International: UK Hip Hop vs UK Hip Pop
I’ve always respected how the UK can just make a new genre whenever they feel like it.
Dubstep, Grime, Garage, Drum & Bass, these genre’s are alien to us, but commonplace over there.
I go to the UK twice a year. I have people who keep me updated on the music scene there.
One huge difference between the UK music industry is the gap between indies and majors.
Indies like XL Recordings,Ministry Of Sound and Dirtee Stank, regularly compete with the Big Four majors.
They also have less radio stations. If a label needs to get some airplay, $15000 to an independent radio promoter would get you moderate airtime. Plus, the biggest radio station in the UK is government owned. Radio 1 is the only station that is broadcast everywhere in the UK (excluding DAB/Digital). That can be looked at as a good thing if you’re a label, or a bad thing if you’re an artist trying to build regional exposure
UK Hip Hop has finally managed to dominate the mainstream after many attempts.
Recently, we’ve had UK artists enjoy success on The Billboard Charts. Taio Cruz and Jay Sean have both managed to top the singles charts in the last 12 months.
But, is the bubble about to burst?
The problem with the majority of mainstream UK Hip Hop is that it’s not actually Hip Hop. The beats are closer to electro/synth pop then hip hop.
Then you have the mimicking of U.S acts. Image wise, production wise, even vocal wise! For example:
Gang signs? Really? Does he even know what this means?
L.V Scarves over the head? I could have sworn this started in Harlem…
I’ll let you call that one…
Tinie Tempah, a rapper linked to Puff (not romantically) does a good Nicki Minaj impression.
N-Dubz are said to be a British version of Black Eyed Peas.
In my opinion, this trend won’t last long because:
a) For a UK artist to have chart success here, they need a feature with an established U.S rapper or producer. The manager responsible for this Jamie Binns. He manages these artists. Singing with an Americanized accent helps to crossover.
b) Lack of originality: When something is easy to copy, it means it’s available everywhere. This reduces the value.
c) This is clearly aimed at a very young demographic, who will grow out of this trend along with their artists, who tend to be aged 18 to 22.
Next Week: International: The surge of white artists performing black music in the UK.