The Uk Rap Up With Tobz
As mentioned in last month’s musings, the biggest video of the year in UK rap is – or more appropriately, was – Krept & Konan’s freestyle over Jay-Z and Kanye West’s 'Otis'. The rap duo’s video was sitting pretty on just over 5 million views up until the point when it was unceremoniously removed from YouTube for copyright treasons...
This further reiterates my desire to see less freestyle’s over established US tracks. We have a wealth of producer talent in this country and, together with artists, they can all profit from creating originally sourced material. A lot of the Play Dirty fans placed the blame at Jay-Z and Kanye West themselves but, in reality, it can’t be looked at as anything other than record label staff and lawyers doing their job – as far copyright infringement goes.
Moving on, October 16 introduced another historic occasion into the timeline of the UK rap scene, as Lowkey dropped his sophomore album, 'Soundtrack to The Struggle'. I was granted an early listen to the album and, if you’ll excuse me from quoting myself in the review, my sentiments were: "This isn’t just beats and rhymes. Echoing the initial words of Lowkey on the intro, this is 25 years of a man’s life, love and beliefs put into audio."
A true modern classic, the response to it was equally as positive. Lowkey shot to No.7 in the iTunes album chart and managed the phenomenal task of breaking into the UK top 40 album chart. As an independently released album, with no major label backing or daytime radio play, the power of the people was fully demonstrated and it's a great sign of things to come. The rapper/activist will be embarking on a seven-date nationwide tour starting from November 4.
Towards the end of the month, I spoke at length with Brixton’s DVS for an exclusive interview. He will be dropping a mixtape very soon, so keep your eyes peeled for that!
Words: Tobi Oke (@TeflonTobz)
Online editing: Joseph 'JP' Patterson (@Jpizzledizzle)