Sunday, January 29, 2006

English Hip-Hop from the Nineties


I'm not sure why these artists are making repeat appearances in my iPod cue of late, but they are. And what they have in common is that both artists made hip-hop in England in the 1990s. That's about it. For a thorough look at the history of hip-hop in the UK, try here.

Hailing from the East End of London, which I knew well from the PBS-syndicated Brit soap Eastenders, Gunshot found their way into my collection first via a catchy 12" called "Clear From Present Danger," which was as hardcore as any UK stuff I'd heard (and I heard it all, friends-- Monie Love, um...Coldcut) at the time. On the strength of that vaguely Public Enemyesque single, I bought their 1997 album, and it was pretty damn good. This track would be from said LP.

Gunshot - Ghetto Heartbeat
Buy it!

Lewis Parker's first LP was released on Massive Attack's Melankolic label in 1998, and I dug the ominous, orchestral sounds Mr. Parker offered, as well as his sleepy delivery and vaguely mystical subject matter. But I saw him open for someone...maybe it was the Black Eyed Peas, Behind the Front era. And no one...I mean, no one... was giving him the time of day, except for maybe me, with my hands in my armpits, quietly praying for him. Another album followed in 2003, followed by a 12" with Yungun.

Lewis Parker - A Thousand Fragments
Buy it!

Plus, because I couldn't resist:

Monie Love - Monie In the Middle
Monie Love - It's A Shame (My Sister)

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