I can understand about 50% of British rap.
That’s difficult cause dem rap a lot faster than Americans, with not only different slang words, but different everyday words… in American rap, a bird is a kilogram of cocaine, but in British parlance, a bird is a woman.
Most American rap is between 70 – 100 beats per minute and Brits do it at 130 – 140. And it’s darker, like a lot of UK music.
From what I can understand, most British rap is Grime, which is something like rap over stripped back but heavy garage/two-step/bassline beats with really…fuck it, idk i’m gonna ask a British person.
“has more of a garage/jungle influence than hip hop (although that kind of changed as time went on), uses harsh kind of sounds, square waves, aggy* lyrics… i dunno it’s kind of hard to say because there were a fair few distinct sounds within it…sorta epic but also a bit melancholy at times.”
that’s according to my friend Chris, who just put together this nice little grime mix, providing a retrospective and some new tunes as well.
I’ll be honest I love the instrumentals on a lot of grime tracks but the MC often ruins it for me.
That’s not the case for this track, whose production definitely borrows more from the American side but the lyrics are distinctly British.
CAS – Leon Best
Or here, where you have a prominent British producer, Darq E. Freaker, producing for Detroit rapper Danny Brown.
Darq E. Freaker ft. Danny Brown – Blueberry
I hope we see more cross-Atlantic collaborations between UK producers and American rappers. Sorry to say but *most* British rappers don’t really do it for me and are interesting at best, compared to someone like Danny Brown or even Big Sean.
But I love the instrumentals…
I’ve never been to a grime show. Tonight at The Shelter will be my first. The homies at SplitWorks are bringing one of the OG Grime legends Terror Danjah in for the Rabbit’s Foot Afterparty tonight.
Lately a lot of grime wades into R&B territory but still stays brash, like this.
Terror Danjah ft. Ruby Lee Ryder – Full Attention
I love this style. Like bassline house, it takes the beauty of R&B vocals and lays them over something dark and heavy, but still made for the dancefloor (unlike say, witch house or drag).
And of course this, off the new Royal-T album, which you should go buy cause it’s got some amazing tracks I’ve been playing in all my sets lately.
Royal-T ft. Terror Danjah – Music Box
See you at The Shelter tonight! I’m playing too, along with Drunk Monk and Steven Lorenz. Gonna be a big one.