The aftermath of ‘More Life’ has left a trail of broken streaming records, chart success, and culture shock….yes culture shock. Drake featured a lot of UK artists on his project; Skepta, Sampha, Jorja Smith, and Nana Rogues, but his decision to feature Giggs on 2 tracks of his ‘More Life’ playlist has caused uproar, condemnation, and shock across social networks since it was recently released.
Giggs is a dope MC, his position is certified and respected. A pioneering figure of the UK rap scene known as ’The Landlord’, but he is actually bigger than that, he is the Godfather. He inspires generations of MCs and after years of graft and personal battles he is in the best place of his career thus far. Immediately after touring with Drake across Europe he starts his own sold out UK tour and is about to drop another mixtape.
There is no doubt that Giggs murdered ‘No Long Talk’ and ‘KMT’ (as of writing, both tracks are in the UK top 20), but not everyone shared the same appreciation for these tracks.
Most US and Canadian Hip Hop artists know what happens out here, they appreciate the flows, understand the culture, as well as how real it can get in the streets. As soon as the ‘More Life’ playlist was aired, various memes started to emerge mocking the lyrics and metaphors of Giggs….then there were more generalised memes aimed at the metaphors of all UK rappers. The presence of UK MCs on ‘More Life’ has clearly struck a nerve with the less cultured rap fans in the US.
There are a couple of instances where US MCs have featured UK MCs on an album, but nothing rivals what is happening right now. We’re witnessing something that has never happened before. A Canadian MC who is revered in the US and the rest of the world overtly putting on UK MCs, flagrantly co-signing a movement in the clearest way possible.
Drake has worked with Skepta, jumped on the remix of ‘Wanna Know’ with Dave, and everyone seemed cool with this, but Giggs featuring on two tracks of one of the most anticipated projects of the year? Oh hell no…..that’s too much. This doesn’t happen and proven to be too much for the lesser cultured US rap fan to process.
When the second verse on KMT comes on ?? pic.twitter.com/4CGWXUjHeV
— Retro Spectro (@R3troSp3ctro) March 26, 2017
Yeah I know…its jokes, it’s just the internets, its just trolling, but what’s weird is that the anti-UK rap rhetoric appearing online is slightly reminiscent of the divisive ignorance of the orange one.
The overwhelming irony is that British born Slick Rick inspired their rap gods; Jay-z, Nas, Eminem, etc. who in turn inspired the great ones of this era; Kendrick, Cole, Kanye, etc.
Lets be real most US rap fans have consumed and embraced a lot of shit over the years; dumbed down lyricism, inferior flows, struggle rap and we are at a place where they are really going to question the UK flow?……really?
Maybe this is the tipping point, the impending cultural exchange that was always going to happen it’s just that Drake and Giggs took it there first. Maybe this step was necessary to introduce the UK flow as a permanent presence on US playlists and airwaves? Maybe this paves the way for or inspires something greater?
Fortunately Cipha Sounds and Kardinal Offishall were in town to give their perspective on this situation and a whole lot more. Cipha Sounds is a legendary New York DJ/Broadcaster and longstanding supporter of UK rap. Cipha was the first US DJ to support UK rap on Hot 97 and put people on to So Solid and the energy of Grime back when it was starting to emerge.
Kardinal Offishall is a pioneering MC from Toronto Canada, one of the first to breach the US and UK when it looked like a dream to others. He has lived the UK experience. Recorded, collaborated, and performed out here for years.
So what happens next? Is this really the best time ever for music? Is the UK responsible for making skinny jeans a thing? A few guys from Toronto, New York, and London connect…
Check out the ‘Hip Hop Raised Me’ podcast with Cipha Sounds & Kardinal Offishall below.
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