Hip Hop Monday #4: Tinchy Stryder, Roots Manuva, Berk Off

It’s the hours after Monday again, which means it’s time for another Hip Hop Monday.

Tinchy Stryder – Game Over

If you told me three months ago I’d be posting Tinchy Stryder, I would have been a dickhead about it, but here I am. I was pointed to this by Rhino Magic. It’s got a Kanye-esque assemblage of UK rappers – Giggs, Professor Green, Tinie Tempah, Devlin and Example, to be specific, some of whom I was vaguely familiar with and others whose pop culture salute within the career of the salutee I was more impressed by than even bands named after Simpsons references.

Anyway, the major point with this is that, in the YouTube comments, one of the genre luddites who live under cyber-bridges on YouTube and say annoying stuff popped up to say “What happened to grime?” He got some likes, but not half as many as the responder, who said “Grime is dead. This is UK hip hop.” And it is. This is could be an American hip hop beat without shame, but it’s not, and the emcees aren’t just flexing pointlessly any more. It is UK hip hop.

Roots Manuva – Man Fi Cool

This is the only other UK rap I listen to with any regularity, obviously at the other end of the English spectrum being unashamedly Jamaican in its influence (and provenance). My favourite bit in this song is Roots trying to explain to his neighbours that they should leave him alone when he’s making music because “dis vocal is de penis, de riddim is the vaj.”

Roots Manuva – Witness (One Hope)

And this is one of the greatest songs ever written. I mean that with no exaggeration and regret the exagerration I employ on a daily basis now because of how much it devalues that statement when it’s true. Sickly cryptic spitting the code.

BERK OFF – Fell In Love With A Hustler

This isn’t British and it’s not even particularly hip hop, but it’s Irish, it’s good and it seems to be a pretty workable example of boxing the indie rock and hip hop cards without being particularly ironic about it. Which is a problem. More here.


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