UK Hip Hop - breakbeats
Although UK hip hop was heavily influenced by their American counter parts, the style and production skills are quiet different....
Taking a look back at history, uk hip hop was a blend of American style beats and lyrics, but sometimes with a cockney accent. It seems over the years uk hip hop has developed its own style and today is quiet different from the usa style.
The first uk hip hop act to be signed to a label was a crew called Phaze One, signed to the then crediable and only urban label of its time. The label in question being Streetwave, owned by Morgan Khan and based in Ealing West London. The label also was the first urban label to sign USA artist for distribution in the UK. The Uk had to rely on imports until then, which cost awhole lot of money. This also included Japanese imports. Morgan Khan also went on to develope the Streesounds compilation albums and Westside Records and was the first to do this. Today you cant enter a record store without masses of compilation albums on the stand.
Music of Life Records owned by Simon Harris took the uk hip hop scene one step further by releasing a string of uk hip hop acts including Cookie Crew - Hijack (Signed in the usa to Ice Ts Rhyme Syndicate Records, distributed by Warner Bros ). Mc Duke releasing an album (a track called Riffin being my personal fav). Overlord X another uk hip hop act signed to Mango Records (Island Recordings)Radical kickback being my fav. The Cookie Crew then went on to sign for a Major FFRR Records, which saw their debut release top the national charts. Caveman - a London crew signed to Profile Records, produced by The Principle and gaining recognition as crediable acts, as RUN DMC also signed to the same label in the UK. Monie Luv signed to Cooltempo and had a string of national chart hits with her blend of street lyrics mixed with dancefloor beats. Wee Papa Girl Rappers also scored highly reaching top 5 national charts with a track called Faith (Jive Records). London Posse also signed to Mango Records with their own unique blend of cockney ragga lyrics over hip hop and reggea beats.
Derek B (Derek Bowland)Started his career as a pirate radio DJ and had worked with the likes of Froggy (legendary mix DJ)later went on to become a successful artist. Releasing his first album - BULLET FROM A GUN which saw him get top 40 national chart success with Good Groove - Bad Young Brother and Get Down.
Silver Bullet saw chart success with 20 seconds to comply(Tam Tam Records)
Kold Sweat Records based Shepards Bush London owned by Angelo Starr in the early 90s released hardcore uk hip hop acts including Katch 22 - Son of Noise (hardnoise) - BNice (DMC Rap Winner)- SL Troopers - Point Blank amounts awhole host of others.
In more recent years the likes of Dizee Rascal - Kano - SWAY - Lethal Bizal - Roni Size - Ragga Twins amoungts others develope their own unique styles, with their speeded up hip hop beats over drum n bass type productions.
I think some of the above are the pioneers in a uk market that has gone from strength to strength and reached audiences all over the world in a very short space of time......
Today the blend of drum n bass productions with uk hip hop style lyrics reaches a whole new market and has seen the hip hop and drum n bass audience come together to creating a unique sound which only comes from these shores and only the uk could achieve such a thing.... Having listened to other types of worldwide styles which all seem to copy from usa... but the uk can claim to having created their own identity and a sound which is highly effective in clubs......