European Hip Hop Tour #1: England

akala-english-hip-hop

Welcome to the Sampleface European Hip Hop Tour. Our first stop is England.

This is the first in a series of posts written for a now-defunct publication about European hip hop. Originally, it was to mirror a European tour of countries that participated in the 2012 European Championships. My knowledge has grown since I wrote this last year, so you’re getting my old research but feel free to enjoy it despite some gaps.

Country: England

Population: (as of 2011 census) 53,013,000

Capital: London

Currency: British pound sterling (£)

Old places of interest

Groups you should definitely “visit” include the likes of Derek B, The Demon Boyz, Son of Noise, Caveman and London Posse (videos will be provided below). The hip hop landscape is one that was forged by our American forefathers during the mid to late 1980s. Unfortunately, due to copyright law, the illegal use of sampling has damaged the old school inhabitants a little, forcing them to make way for a new tribe of groups and artists.

Current places of interest

Times have changed since the days of jazz rap. The introduction of garage, 2-step and grime pushed through groups like So Solid Crew, The Artful Dodger and Mo Fire Crew, pushing the boundaries of hip hop. Whether you think these acts are hip hop or not, they are definitely part of the culture and are certainly worth checking. By the 00s, the word “urban” was used more freely to encompass all these new (and old) genres. Acts like Ms Dynamite, Estelle, Foreign Beggars, Dizzee Rascal, The Streets, Klashnekoff and Roots Manuva all found fame during this period and shaped a new hip hop landscape in England (as well as Britain in general).