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TY INTERVIEWED (2004): British hip-hop to the people

TY INTERVIEWED (2004): British hip-hop to the people

From this distance, British hip-hop comes down to a few big names: the Streets, Dizzee Rascal and Skinnyman. It takes keen interest -- or a look at the nominees for the highly regarded Mercury Prize -- to come across rapper Ty. But he's not a new name. His debut album Awkward appeared three years ago in 2001 and the Mercury-nominated Upwards...

King Kurlee feat. Blackmore Jr: Smoke on the Water (1991)

King Kurlee feat. Blackmore Jr: Smoke on the Water (1991)

The merging of hip-hop and rock (via Run DMC with Aerosmith, Anthrax with Public Enemy, and others) lead to nu-metal and its many unfortunate bands such as Limp Bizkit. But, as with the early days of hip-hop when there was an innocent and enjoyable experimentation, some of nu-metal's predecessors were more interesting than their offspring....

Caveman: I'm Ready (1991)

Caveman: I'm Ready (1991)

Just as Run DMC found when they hooked themselves up with a metal guitar part from Aerosmith for Walk This Way (here) -- and King Kurlee confirmed when he got Blackmore Jnr in to play the classic Smoke on the Water riff (here) -- when hip-hop appropriates from tough rock the results can be pretty powerful. Caveman out of High Wycombe, were...

Plan B: The Defamation of Strickland Banks (Atlantic)

Plan B: The Defamation of Strickland Banks (Atlantic)

East London 'ard-man rapper Ben Drew -- aka Plan B -- can deliver some bruising rap about utterly nasty characters (and in an uncompromising manner which suggests you shouldn't mess with him). But he also showcases another side on this, his second studio album. That of an aching falsetto-Smokey Robinson/Motown-styled soul singer. He goes...

dan le sac Vs Scroobius Pip: Angles (2008)

dan le sac Vs Scroobius Pip: Angles (2008)

Hip-hop's global reach was achieved well over two decades ago now, and because "the word" is the most important medium for a message in any culture it's no surprise that just about anywhere on the planet where there are words, so too there are rappers. In a decade -- from the early Eighties -- rap went from an inner-city movement...

Anthrax: Bring the Noise (1991)

Anthrax: Bring the Noise (1991)

It's hard to believe, but a radio station in New Zealand -- which always seemed to be playing car dealer ads and 20 year old Led Zeppelin on the rare occasions I tuned in -- had as its slogan "No crap, no rap". We can guess they weren't actually distinguishing between the two but by implication rap was crap. It must have come...

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