Sunday, 20 May 2007

UK Hip Hop - 'We are the unknown'

Any Hip Hop head dwelling in Great Britain worth his/her salt will be a fan of UK Hip Hop. I am a great believer in what is sometimes termed as Brit-Hop and I honestly prefer it over the majority of the products of our American counterparts.

Now let me counteract some common retorts to that statement before they are said; I don’t like ALL UK Hip Hop, I like what I deem to be GOOD UK Hip Hop. Let’s put it this way, just because it’s on Channel U it doesn’t mean I like it. I could get on Channel U if I wanted, they show anything.

In this post I aim to provide a sample of some excellent Hip Hop that may have passed by even the most avid fan’s radar. There are obvious acts that would be recognisable by many, even those who have just scraped the surface of UK talent; Skinnyman, Blade, Klashnekoff, Sway, The Streets, Roots Manuva, Jehst, Rodney P, Blak Twang and erm… Goldie Lookin’ Chain. Getting hold of UKHH is hard - simply because it’s so much more expensive to buy.

Chester Copperpot – Moneygrip ft. Braintax – Not 100% British as I believe Copperpot resides in Roxbury, US, but featuring Leeds born label owner/vinyl presser/MC/UKHH legend. Braintax spits his usual easy on the ear and witty lyrics over this funky beat.

Asaviour – Money in the bank (remix) ft. Kyza & Yungun – 3 great British MC’s here; Yungun being my favourite mainly for his quotable lyrics. You should def listen to his album ‘The Essance’. This track is produced by Jesht so best believe it’s good.

JTWR – Backlash ft. MCD – There may be a reason why this guy went unnoticed but I do like him. His moniker stands simply for John the White Rapper, cool eh? No. However, this track featuring one of the UK’s stalwarts is just goodness.

aRRO - 1066 – Yes! A medieval knight rapping about rescuing princess and killing folk who rape and pillage in his village. This is concept rap at it’s best and although I’ve heard a couple of other similarly themed tracks since I think this was first. The chorus even contains battle sounds! This Geordie born, one time leeds resident would be the first round my round table should I ever create one.

Inertia – Hostile Takeover ft. Analyst, Gentleman & Trotter – Rap from red rose country, Lancaster to be precise. I met Inertia whilst at uni and I don’t just like his music cos I know him. Check it out, he’s talented on the mac and the mike. Listen carefully to analyst’s verse, this guy is funny and has a quick mind; his freestyles are possibly better than his written lyrics. Check the website.

Zionnoiz – And What? – Look, their name spells the same both ways; clever! This London collective are all professing Christians and both versions of this are heavy, party orientated slices of rap.

DJ Pager – The Product ft. Ironbridge – A tuba loop and a scratched chorus with witty simile and metaphor laden raps from Ironbridge, a duo from somewhere in this country. Jibberish is probably the fastest rapper in the UK - fact.

SK Crew – I wreck the Mic – First time I saw the SK Crew live supporting Adam F they did a track along the lines of ‘If you go down to the clubs today’, based on…you guessed it, Teddy Bears Picnic. Then in their DJ/freestyle set after they rapped about me. Then I discovered Stoopid Ill was actually the cousin of a girl on my course, so I invited them to perform at the hip hop night I had. Again, great, hilarious freestylers and always with tongue firmly in cheek. Go to theirspace.

Infinite Potential – I excel ft. Amber MC – From Brighton’s Catskills records comes this short track featuring lots of scratching and some rhyming about how Amber MC is better than all the rest, classic Hip Hop fare.

Mark B – Ya know we don’t stop ft. Tommy Evans – Wooo, another Leeds born MC, this came off the flip of radio played ‘Move now’. A more classical driven beat here, some solid hip hop.

Mr. Spleen – 1st Class Delivery – As far as I can work out, Spleen is the producer of this Andrew Lloyd Webber raiding, fast paced banger. Various MC’s and a DJ provide verses and scratches. Some Yorkshire rappers here too.
I guess the main reasons I like UK Hip Hop are it's fun, fresh and closer to home.

2 comments:

Mr. Real Talk said...

wo nice post it's interesting.

I haven't heard of any of these guys except Kyza. I really like Kyza's song called "My Reality". Rapping about having a hard life is a staple in rap but I think Kyza did it better than any American ever could.

"it rains every day in the slums // miracles don't seem to happen so i start praying for one // ... // some brehs that are young // get caught up in the way of the gun // could you imagine the pain of a mum..."

amazing.

Tam said...

Yeah, lately it seems like US Hip Hop is in need of a revolution, you know like the way The Sex Pistols gave established rock a kick in the balls. Whereas truly exciting things are happening in Brit-Hop ... and I'm not British so it's really not a patriotic thing. On a different note, thanks for the Jurassic 5 track above!