Thursday, July 06, 2006

Big Tings Fi Gwan

U.K. rap gets a hard time from pretty much everyone I know. It's not wholly fair; Roots Manuva has been making consistently decent (at times great) records for years now, and I suppose I'd say he and Ty resemble sage elders of the U.K. rap scene. Anyone who hates on Dizzee Rascal has probably never heard "I Luv U" , "Fix Up Look Sharp," or "Dreams" (what a video) and most certainly hasn't caught him live. Kano makes his best effort at keeping it gully, to mixed results. Lady Sovereign is...well, the jury's still out on the midget.

All that said, there's a lot not to like about U.K. Hip-Hop (or is it garage? grime? dub?).
The relative success of the above-mentioned MCs has opened the floodgates for English (and Scottish, Irish, and, yes, Welsh) performers who've spent a little too much time eating hash cake and have forgotten that they're amateurs. It's no great surprise that the U.K. artists who distinguish themselves from the rest of the pack are those who DON'T act out cheap imitations of their favorite U.S. gangsta rappers. Unfortunately, when these assholes are getting signed to Diplomat Records, it becomes hard for up-and-coming MCs in South London NOT to want to go the uninspired route.

Despite all this, Sordid Puppy will continue to rep for the U.K., in spite of the slings and arrows of the NYC purists and Dirty South trendsters who will probably never accept an English rapper who looks like this. It would do all of them -- and you, discerning reader -- well to put Papoose on ice for a bit, accept that Bubba Sparxxx's creative well has run dry, and check for Sway. Here's something to feel good about.

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