Nice one Pipes.
Rashed told me about this comp yesterday on synctube - this is gold from start to finish. Crank this shit.
Review from the Guardian
Funny old game, that thing they call urban music. In the US, it's a multimillion dollar industry populated by obscenely wealthy mugger-barons, whose lurid tales of murdering and the ruthless pursuit of money boasts such a cross-demographic reach it's effectively the modern pop music of the day. In the UK, however, the popular perception of homegrown urban music has a less salubrious sheen. It's Ali G rapping in a Staines car park. It's Mark Morrison with a stun gun. It's Argos gold. It's not dreams of wealth and the destruction of your enemies, rather more the sound of having chips splat against your head on the night bus.
But if British urban music has largely failed to replicate US hip-hop's steely eyed capitalism, it has found other, rather less showy ways to thrive without the sanction - or even the attention - of the mainstream. Soul Jazz's excellent new compilation An England Story, then, has something of the forgotten history to it. Subtitled The Culture Of The MC In The UK 1984-2008, this two-CD set wisely skirts the crossover successes and the rather sorry ranks of faux-gangsters rapping in pretend American accents and focuses on one particular strand: the music made by the first- and second-generation Jamaican and Caribbean immigrants, sons and daughters of the newcomers who arrived in the 1970s and 80s to an England that wasn't quite sure if it wanted them.
Steeped in poverty but rich in humour, these 21 tracks trace how reggae and dancehall's Caribbean flavour would slyly infuse through the history of British dance music, from jungle to breaks to grime, and in the process become every bit as English as bangers and mash. On London Posse's Money Mad, released back in 1988 on Tim Westwood's Justice label, hip-hop beats meet reggae bounce as Rodney P and Bionic rap in broad cockney accents and flee from police sirens like Del Boy Trotter caught with a Robin Reliant full of hooky VCRs. Tippa Irie's Complaint Neighbour deals with the ever-present threat of a visit from the Environmental Health after some meddling biddy objects to your wall-trembling all-night soundsystem. Meanwhile, Jakes And TC's Deep sounds like Ian Dury dropped on a jungle bassline and, even when threatening to knife you, can't hide a childhood sat in of an evening waiting for Blackadder. "We'll send round the murkiest merkmen from merkdom on a Monday, which is merking day," says Jakes. "And we will fucking merk you." Frankly it's pretty difficult to be scared when you're thinking about Rowan Atkinson's flared nostrils.
It'd be easy to come out of An England Story saying something glib about just how smoothly Caribbean immigrants fit into the social fabric of Britain. The secret story here, though, is not how they integrated, but how they went on to influence. Not that you'd ever know to listen to it, but YT's England Story, the patois-heavy dancehall track that gives the compilation its title, is actually the work of one Mark Hull, a white guy from East Anglia. That's a fact that probably says more about cultural integration and the Great British melting pot than any number of Mobo awards. Don't call it urban; it's just the sound from round here.