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New UK hip hop

I am planning an official relaunch of this blog soon, so anyone who wants to contribute please give me a shout.

In the meantime, here’s some great contemporary British music that we could roughly place in the rap or hip hop category, although only if we stretch it a bit. What I like about all these tracks is that they draw strength from the specificity of their local voices, in an age when mainstream hip hop artists typically mime an imaginary version of global blackness located somewhere in the United States.


Loki (aka Darren McGarvey) a Scottish rapper from Glasgow with an awesome way with words. This is the superb “The Ghost of Sage Francis”.


Trim is from London E3, the home of grime. This track, pronounced “Hashtag Kanye West”, is really smart and dark.


Jister is an MC from Middleborough in the Northeast. Here’s his “Catharsis”, with some great rhymes over some nice Digable Planets style lazy jazz beats.

I love his cover of the Arctic Monkeys’ “Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High”, far better from the original.

Dr Syntax

Dr Syntax is based in Manchester but comes straight outta rural North Oxfordshire. His “Middle Class Problems” is a little close to home. I particularly love the verse about quinoa.


About bobfrombrockley

South London family man. Eating bacon bagels on the 171 bus, listening to Johnny Cash while reading Hannah Arendt, the kid next to me playing dubstep on his telephone. Mostly politics at http://brockley.blogspot.com and mostly music at https://bobsbeat.wordpress.com

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