Literacy rates in England have stalled; the country has not seen any improvements since 2005, according to Ofsted’s chief inspector Sir Michael Wilshaw. Teaching unions, however, argue that there have been big improvements over the past two decades. A national reading competition was announced by the government in February in an effort to encourage children, between the [...]
Plan B has always positioned himself as a provocative artist. One who seeks change. Equally he is not scared of shying away from big, thorny issues. His new single iLL Manors has received great praise from both The Independent’s Tim Walker and The Guardian’s Dorian Lynskey. Fearful that the artist has overlooked those he is trying to represent, whilst wildly contradicting an editorial he wrote in The Sun in the wake of the riots, it’s worth listening to the track anew.
With the infectious Bada Bing blaring out of speakers everywhere, Benny Banks discusses plans for his new album after signing to Warner, whether he’d sell out to the mainstream and why he quit crime for music.
It was always going to happen. UK hip hop, has been suffering from an affliction. For too long it has come to be characterised by, the negative image and reputation left by corporate boardrooms and their marketing strategies. Of late though, UK hip hop has seen something of a renaissance.
Within the slight frame of Birmingham’s Lady Leshurr lies a lyrical beast that has relentlessly unleashed itself on the grime scene and brought with it a growing fan base as well as comparisons one of hip-hop’s rhyming heavyweights.
South London rapper, DVS, is one of the emerging talents from a scene that was before overshadowed by the sound of grime. His genuine lyrics are illustrative of how UK Rap has placed a firm foothold in British music culture with stern and frank accounts of inner-city trials and tribulations.
Last Friday I went along to The Garage in Highbury, where UK rapper Lowkey was celebrating the launch of his new album. “Soundtrack to the Struggle”, released without major label support, has seen phenomenal success: on the day of its release it surged into the top 10 of the UK iTunes charts, and made similar waves in a host of other countries, including the US, Canada and Australia. “Too Much”, which has emerged as something of a lead single from this album, has also been played by Greg James and Zane Lowe of BBC Radio 1.
I first became aware of rapper/singer KGB when I captioned some pictures of her in August. In the photos she was wearing a see through dress so, being the disapproving journalist I’m supposed to be, I called her ’shameless’. Through the wonders of the internet KGB found me and, rather than berate me for my indignant tag, she was really positive and thanked me for writing about her.
In contrast with genres like rock and jazz, hip-hop can sometimes feel like a youngster’s game, with even the most celebrated rappers and producers often finding themselves unfairly cast out into the box marked ‘irrelevant’ once they hit the wrong side of 30, as listeners stay keen to latch onto the next big sub-genre, new regional scene or latest fad in rap.
Murs has always been one of the West Coast’s most distinctive voices. The famously dreadlocked L.A rapper, who started off with rap collectives 3 Melancholy Gypsies and Living Legends in the mis-90s, has worked with some of hip hop’s finest talents over the years, from Atmosphere’s Slug to producer 9th Wonder.
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