The Uk Rap Up With Tobz
The penultimate month of the year was met with good news right around the scene. At the beginning of November, great news was received for K Koke, USG, and the UK rap scene as a whole. As mentioned in the very first column at the start of the year, K Koke announced he had signed with Sony RCA/Roc Nation with big things in the pipeline for the future...
In April, Koke was arrested and charged with a crime he always maintained he was innocent of. Retribution finally came this month when the Stonebridge rapper was rightfully freed. Not wasting any time in getting busy in the booth, footage and clips emerged of Koke working on his forthcoming album with Rita Ora and Emeli Sande. Later in the month, fans were also treated to a collaboration between K Koke and Krayzie Bone of Bone Thugs-N-Harmony fame. The rapper’s debut album, 'I A’int Perfect', is due to be released next year.
2011 has been by far the biggest year for UK rap, in terms of industry and record label recognition. The latest rapper to have secured a major label deal is North London’s Benny Banks, signing with 679/Warner. No surprise there, considering he's put in a major amount of work this year: dropping his critically acclaimed debut CD, 'Patiently Waiting', in June and sustaining his buzz throughout the year by doing various freestyles. Not sure how he’ll make the crossover from hardcore street lyricist to chart-topper, but his next moves will certainly be interesting.
The mixtape grind in the scene has slowed down towards the end of the year, but November definitely saw a revival with DVS' long-awaited mixtape, 'One In A Billion'. With the CD universally appraised by fans and critics alike, DVS kept all eyes on him by following up with a video for new street anthem, 'Life Of A Real G'. In The Wrap Up’s recent interview with the PDC rapper, he revealed: "My aim is to just keep progressing in music and go through the sky! I just want to do stuff that no one has done before, to be honest." Needless to say, he’s certainly delivered on his word.
Words: Tobi Oke (@TeflonTobz)
Online editing: Joseph 'JP' Patterson (@Jpizzledizzle)