It's been thirteen years since Dizzee Rascal released his now classic Boy in da Corner and twelve since Wiley's Treddin' On Thin Ice, yet somehow, I'm a fully grown woman before even able to attend a grime show on my own turf. It took flying across the Northern Atlantic to lose my mind in a crowd of thousands as Dizzee performed 'Fix Up Look Sharp' during a headlining festival set, and my dignity in a sweaty mosh-pit throughout Skepta's Flow Festival takeover. But yet, while walking up to the Velvet Underground doors in Toronto to catch Stormzy's debut headlining set on Saturday, it felt like it was supposed to.

Grime's recent New World takeover has been a long time coming and decades in the making. And while the rest of the world may need to take a second to familiarize themselves with the intricate genre's slang, packed directly into spitfire lyrics, and a moment to catch the rhythm of the garage, drum & bass and dancehall infused beats, Toronto's rich West Indian diaspora has always remixed a very similar urban culture on this side of the pond; one that makes grime less than foreign and one that sustains a certain kind of respect from music fans here, who seem to understand the participatory nature of a culture that's grinded diligently for years, regardless of any international recognition. As here we are doing the same, with a similar worldview and the slang to match it. (And despite what some may believe, that has zero to do with Drake, no matter how many times he's co-signed UK artists or taken on the title of symbolic BBK signee.)

It's dark, crowded and new Kano is playing inside the Queen St. West venue via a high-energy warm-up by Toronto natives Internet Daughter and Freeza Chin who've been given the difficult task of entertaining a restless sold out crowd leading up to show time. There's already a sea of Adidas tracksuits and soccer jerseys paying homage to Stormzy's South London roots when I make my way to the front of the venue beside the empty stage and I can't help but snicker at the uniform. Like the army of Golf Wang tees you'd see at a Tyler the Creator show or Bape at a Travi$ Scott event or even bucket hats at Mac Miller, Toronto is sporting a grime starter kit as they begin to chant incessantly for Stormzy's debut, (a historic moment in itself.)

But that doesn’t happen any time soon. It is 1:30am inside the stuffed sauna-like venue and the city has lost its patience and sobriety. Raucous boos begin to break out and the dark scene is set for a merky hostile takeover. It's a problem. Stormzy, backstage still thanks to promoters' wishes and technical difficulties, is just as pissed and tweeting to fans with the hopes of calming the crowd, but the only thing that works is DJ Tiny, who finally appears to kick things off.

All previous tensions, grievances and inhibitions are lost in the split second the Croydon-bred 22-year-old grime star hits the stage in a blue tracksuit to his massive tune 'Standard,' as the crowd erupts and the mosh pit pushes flailing bodies towards the stage. Stormzy is apologetic, sharp and full of charisma as his mountainous presence alone fills the stage. Tracks like 'Shut Up,' 'Nigo Duppy,' 'Hear Dis' and 'Gold Thoughts' are delivered with roaring precision and the energy is evenly matched from start to finish as his fans, who are enthralled in the sweat and the vibe of it all, seem to grasp the gravity of what they're experiencing. Layers of clothes are lost, legs give way, yet Stormzy keeps the die-hards at the front hydrated by passing out bottles of dark liquor to share, although they don't – because it's Toronto.

"Everywhere I go, I understand that people are just getting familiar with grime, but I understand that you guys have fucking known about this for a long time," the monstrous MC says to the screaming crowd while catching his breath. "You are like the London over here. This is what I love. This is like my fucking city. You're my people." And with that, the crowd storms the stage ending off the historic set alongside the rapper for a demolishing rendition of 'Know Me From' - a grime experience just as authentic as the artist they came to see.