Saturday 9 July 2011

Posse Cut Extraordinaire

My homeboy AGENT FINCH was busting out some vintage UK hip hop tracks today, and he played one track in particular which epitomises the early UK hip hop sound perfectly. But not only does it have that hardcore break-laden sound synonymous with the UK, but it is essentially a glorified posse cut featuring some of the UK's finest MCs of the time. I'm talking names like DEMON BOYS, HIJACK, OVERLORD X, GATECRASH, ICEPICK, LONDON POSSE, LONDON RHYME SYNDICATE, STANDING OVATION, MC MELLO, SHE ROCKERS, and not forgetting one of my favourite UK emcees MC FRESH SKI.
I'm posting this video more for the regulars from the States who, for obvious reasons tended to ignore rap music from the UK. And you cannot blame US hip hoppers for this as they had all the MCs and DJs they needed on their own doorstep, so why would they need to look any further? But because of that fact many have never heard DEMON BOYS, or FRESH SKI, GUNSHOT etc. and realise how hardcore UK rap was back then. UK beats were uptempo break bangers and our MCs took no prisoners with their lyrics. I still believe the UK hip hop scene was more concentrated than in the US back then. You had to go OUT OF YOUR WAY to be into hip hop, so it was rare to get fakes and frauds on the scene (unlike the US). Also most of the UK labels putting the music out were independent so artistic were free from major label tinkering. Hence the records that were released were raw and uncut.
It would take me forever to introduce a list of UK artists, so what better way to give you an insight on vintage UK MCs in one 6 minute video; "Beyond the 16th Parallel" by B.R.O.T.H.E.R. was a collaboration track recorded in 1989 to bring awareness to the Apartheid regime in South Africa. Produced by GATECRASH and HIJACK and also featuring the voice of BERNIE GRANT (rip) former MP for Tottenham, North London.

DJ SUPREME from HIJACK tells the story...

"Brotherhood in the form of the Black Rhyme Organisation To Help Equal Rights (B.R.O.T.H.E.R ) was a collection of some of the most talented UK Hip Hop artists around in 1989. Instigated by the political ragga-rap group Gatecrash, the main purpose of their debut record, "Beyond the 16th Parallel" was to raise awareness of the racial inequalities of the South African apartheid regime.
Assembling an all-star line up, including the late Bernie Grant MP, each of the separate groups had the task of tackling the specifics of the Botha government. With this as a new main focus, the B.R.O.T.H.E.R project managed to temporarily stem the inter-group friction that existed across much of London's Hip Hop community. All artists royalties were donated to the ANC.
This led to a second B.R.O.T.H.E.R project entitled "Ghettogeddon". This three track EP, focussed entirely on the rising inner city gun culture of the nineties, and was preceded by a BBC documentary entitled: "The violence must cease". All artists royalties were donated to SCAR (Sickle Cell Anaemia Research)."

Conscious dope music! This is how it sounded in London back in '89.


Anonymous said...

I think the UK had it's fair share of frauds and general wakness to be fair.
I do love this instrumental though.

Anonymous said...

"Demon Boyz, Boyz, 'Z' is the noise"

-Demon Boyz 'With A Z'

; )