UK rap and Grime are very much their own genre although I think for them to progress and to reach global status the sound would definitely benefit from collaborations with foreign artists, especially from the US. Lately theres been a lot of this going on in the scene so I thought I would just write about this and look back at the progression over the years.
There’s no doubt there is some influence from the US when UK artists make music, when you turn on the TV it is mainly American artists and they have produced some of the greatest artists ever! I think Rap in USA is so popular now that Rappers are our generation of Rockstars. And so collaborations with US artists would be so beneficial and also great to hear as UK artists have so much talent to deliver.
The first time I saw a Grime act collaborating with a USA artist was Skepta featured on P.Diddy’s ‘Hello Good Morning’ Grime remix .
I don’t know why but I feel this song went under the radar a little, and perhaps should have deserved more recognition. This was back in 2010 so obviously Puff saw the potential of Skepta and Grime way ahead of the curve.
There was a track before this which I had previously never heard to be honest. That being Dizzee Rascal ft. Bun B – Where Da G’s, and this was back in 2008, almost 10 years ago now so very few people were on Grime outside of London. Dizzee had won the Mercury Prize by then and so had really made a name for himself in the UK and was looking to establish himself in the US. I think its fair to say he’s had a very successful career since then and I’m looking forward to his upcoming Grime album.
There were quite a few more collabs after these, Tinie Tempah collab’d with both Wiz Khalifa and J. Cole after he blew up with Pass Out. Although once again I feel these went quite under the radar. Giggs got a feature from B.O.B. and obviously Chip had his song with Chris Brown – Champion, which came under ridicule in the recent Bugzy vs. Chip thing. I think the next real big link up that really helped out the UK scene was the Don’t Waste my Time Remix.
I think this was the first UK rap song that the US audience really appreciated. The Remix also brought together several big name American & British artists and so really showed the US that these collabs could produce big songs. Since then Krept & Konan have had many US features on their songs, their latest album ‘The Long Way Home’ features artists such as YG, Rick Ross & Jeremih.
Since then I think the connection between UK an US artists with regards to Rap/Grime has only become stronger and stronger. I think two artists who deserve a shout out and who deserve some recognition because of this are A$AP Rocky and Drake. From what I remember A$AP was the first artist to really develop strong links with BBK and Grime artists as a whole. Then Drake, of course is actually signed to BBK and has a big hit with Dave on the ‘Wanna Know Remix’.
Even in the past few weeks I have seen some big collaborations and possible link ups for the near future.
This week 67’s LD was spotted with the likes of Americas LD (Lil Dicky), and Solange. 67 also just featured on Mura Masa’s track with Desiigner – All Around the World. As well as this we saw recently J Hus hopped on a remix of French Montana’s new hit Unforgettable, so French came back with a remix of J Hus’ hit Did you see. Now if all of this can happen in a week I look forward to hearing what the rest of 2017 has to offer.