So, in our last week of UK Month on RapReviews – a tradition that dates back many a year, now – you’ll have witnessed that commercial hip hop in the UK is all but dead… But the underground scene continues to thrive, with cities around the UK outpacing London itself. Meanwhile, grime is a self-preserving circle of life that supports each member of its family with aplomb.
Major labels still tend to get confused by rap, and exactly how to market it, let alone make it. That’s why creative control is so crucial, and an uncut end product with the necessary rawness to hit the target will always be more important than the odd crossover hit. That’s not to say that the two cannot go hand in hand, but it must come naturally.
The truth is that there are plenty of excellent rappers; countless wonderful R&B singers; a bevy of brilliant producers… But the act of coordinating them all still lies out of reach for 99% of labels. People, it’s not that difficult and the Americans have been doing it for decades now. We had a good run in the charts a few years back, but that lasted about 18 months. It’s time for a concerted effort – or maybe the fans should just take shit over. After all, who knows better than us? The world keeps turning, and scratch the surface to find underground acts that will light your fire. Keep on keeping on, UK.