The Crate Diggers UK Rap Lists

Inspired by Ego Trip’s Book of Rap Lists, here is a collection of lists compiled by the ever-vigilant Crate Digger that relates specifically to hip hop scene in the UK… Inspired by Ego Trip’s Book of Rap Lists, here is a collection of lists compiled by the ever-vigilant Crate Digger that relates specifically to hip hop scene in the UK. These lists are by no means definitive or impartial, but they are intended to stimulate debate and to be continually expanded and updated as new facts come to light and distant memories become clearer. So, if you want to argue against some of the selections I have made or you want to put forward your own lists of nominees, send your ideas in.

Respected Rappers
(i) MC D
(ii) Rodney P
(iii) Chester P
(iv) Skinnyman
(v) Taipanic
(vi) Roots Manuva
(vii) Lewis Parker

Premier Producers
(i) Creators
(ii) Mark B
(iii) Skitz
(iv) Funky DL
(v) Lewis Parker
(vi) Braintax

Rap Crews
(i) Outdaville – Big Trev, Lee Ramsey, Karizma, Fidel Castro, Instict, Tempa, C-Mone
(ii) 12 Stone – Cuba, General Lansunn, Cultcha, Kobayashi
(iii) MSI – Lord Laing, Ranx, Winter, Ravage, Tactic, DJ Casualty
(iv) Asylum – Str8jakit Bandit & Charles Moopowe
(v) Champions of Nature – Lewis Parker, Jehst, Supa-T, AM, Apollo, L Dolo
(vi) 57th Dynasty – Shineye, Paradise, Darktroopa, 50/50, Thunda, Santino, Charlie Parker, Lil Monsta, Ashin

Putting their town on the map
(i) Birmingham – MSI & Asylum
(ii) Brighton – Non-conformists
(iii) Bristol – Aspects
(iv) Cambridge – Delegtes of Culture
(v) Cornwall – The Creators
(vi) Devon – Skitz
(vii) Glasgow – II Tone Committee
(viii) Huddersfield – Jehst
(ix) Kingston – Mark B
(x) Leeds – Braintax
(xi) Leighton Buzzard – Evil Ed
(xii) Luton – Phi Life Cypher
(xiii) Manchester – Kaliphz
(xiv) Nottingham – Lee Ramsey
(xv) Peterborough – Disorda
(xvi) Wolverhampton – Villains

Whatever happened to…?
(i) Max and Dave
(ii) Rebel MC
(iii) Asher D & Daddy Freddy
(iv) Demon Boyz
(v) Darkman
(vi) Chosan
(vii) MC Duke
(viii) Richie Rich
(ix) Scientists of Sound
(x) Cash Crew
(xi) Merlin
(xii) Ragga Twins

UK rap artists that signed deals with major record labels
(i) Me Phi Me – RCA Records
(ii) Iceberg Slimm – Polydor Records
(iii) Rimes – Universal Records
(iv) Structure Rize – Universal Records
(v) Silent Eclipse – Island Records
(vi) Stereo MC’s – Island Records
(vii) Caveman – Profile Records
(viii) The Brotherhood – Virgin Records
(ix) Subsonic 2 – Columbia Records
(x) Kwestmann – Def Jam Records
(xi) Blacka’nized – RCA Records

UK rappers featured on non-hip hop tracks
(i) MC D – Destiny’s Child ‘No No No’ remix
(ii) Rodney P – Brand New Heavies ‘Shelter’ remix
(iii) Taipanic – Beverley Knight ‘Mutual Feeling’ remix
(iv) 12 Stone – Lutricia McNeal ‘Someone Loves You Honey’ remix
(v) MC Ni – Drizabone ‘Real Love’
(vi) Rimes – Celetia’s ‘Missing Your Love’
(vii) MC Bello – KLF ‘What Time is Love’
(viii) Lewis Parker – Ambersunshower – ‘Walter T’ remix
(ix) Rodney P – NT ‘Positivsm’ remix
(x) Ty – Eric Benet ‘Why you follow me’ remix
(xi) Crystal Rose ft Phoebe One ‘Independent’
(xii) Shola Ama ‘Imagine’ remix ft Chuck, Ezee, Iceberg Slimm & Tempa
(xiii) Craig David ‘Walking Away’ remix ft Messiah
(xiv) Junior Dangerous ft Blak Twang & Cowboy Ranger ‘Lay down the law’
(xv) Rodney P ft Don E ‘If’
(xvi) Funky DL & Celetia – ‘Last Night’

They made moves with the Americans
(i) Fredi Kruga was the first artist to be signed to Wu-Tang International Records
(ii) The Brotherhood release white label 12” featuring Tony Touch and Guru
(iii) Funky DL & Miilkbone “Heart’s In It”
(iv) Hijack signing to Ice T’s Rhyme Syndicate
(v) Rimes & Killah Priest ‘Pages of Life’
(vi) Nextmen ft Ty & Red Cloud ‘We Got’
(vii) Structure Rize & Canibus ‘Snakes and Ladders’
(viii) The Roots ft MC Ni ‘Worldwwide’
(ix) Stetsasonic’s Daddy O & DBC produced various tracks from Cookie Crew’s ‘Born This Way’ LP
(x) Mark B & Blade ft Al Tariq – ‘Split Personalities’
(xi) Me-One ft the Roots – ‘Frenemy’
(xii) Jungle Brothers’ Afrika Baby Bam produces various tracks on Stereo MC’s ‘Supernatural’ LP
(xiii) Bobak from the boy band Another Level allegedly rapped to 2pac when the gansta rapper was getting his hair shaved in a barber shop!

UK Rap tracks with US producers
(i) Blak Twang ‘Dettwork Southeast’ Newsroom mix by Lucas
(ii) Urban Species ft MC Solaar – ‘Listen’ remix by Guru
(iii) Roots Manuva – ‘Juggle Timgs Proper’ remix by El-P of Company Flow
(iv) Marxman ‘Drifting’ produced by Gangstarr
(v) Subsonic 2 – ‘Unsung Heroes of Hip Hop’ remix by Jungle Brothers
(vi) Subsonic 2 – ‘Dedicated to the City’ remix by Gangstarr
(vii) Stereo MC’s – various tracks from their ‘Supernatural’ LP were produced by Afrika Baby Bam from the Jungle Brothers.

UK Producers who have worked with American artists
(i) Creators
(ii) Unsung Heroes
(iii) Mark B
(iv) US3
(v) Encore
(vi) Rae & Christian

US rap artists that have recorded with UK non-rap acts
(i) Wu Tang Clan – Texas
(ii) Guru – Craig David, Jamiroquai, Ronny Jordan
(iii) Mos Def, DJ Spinna, Guru – Ronny Jordan
(iv) Redman, Method Man – Roni Size
(v) KRS One – Goldie
(vi) Mekkon – Roxanne Shante
(vii) Bahamadia – Herbaliser
(viii) Mos Def, Likwit Crew – Scritti Politti
(ix) Tim Dog – Apache Indian
(x) Eminem – Dido

Other international hook-ups
(i) Urban Species & MC Solaar – ‘Listen’
(ii) Dynamite Deluxe & Blak Twang – ‘Bonafied Flava’
(iii) Phoebe One ft Red Rat, Goofy & Buchaneer ‘Doing Our Thang’

Real Names/ Name Changes/ Aliases
(i) Kaliphz – Kaleef
(ii) Joe Christie – Braintax
(iii) Derek Boland – Derek B
(iv) Taskforce – Brothers McBane
(v) Agzilla – The Deckwrecka
(vi) M.S.I. – Microphone Stranglerz Inc
(vii) A.S.Y.L.U.M. – Another pSycho Yout Livin Unda Madshit

Names of UK rap acts that were inspired by US culture
(i) Iceberg Slimm
(ii) Huntkillbury Finn
(iii) Universal Soldiers
(iv) Fredi Kruga
(v) Mr Pink & Mr Blonde

UK Hip hoppers with fake American accents
(i) Tim Westwood
(ii) Iceberg Slimm
(iii) Funky DL
(iv) MCM
(v) Phoebe One
(vi) Reveal
(vii) Ca$hino

The UK’s Cockney Emcees
(i) Rodney P
(ii) MC D
(iii) Karl Hinds
(iv) MudBury Family
(v) Icepick

Posse Cuts
(i) London Allstars – London Convention (Funky DL, MCD, Taipanic, Ty, Q-Tee, ESP, Fallacy, Rodney P, Skinnyman, Phoebe One)
(ii) Shoosh – Blak Twang ft Skeme, Seanie Tee, Fallacy, Skinnyman
(iii) Skiver’s Guide – Roots Manuva ft Black Twang & Gamma
(iv) Big Dada Sound “Showtime” ft Ty, Roots Manuva, Juice Aleem, Mike Ladd, Toastie Taylor, DJ MK
(v) Twilight of the Gods – Skitz ft Riddla, Skinnyman, Rodney P, Wildflower
(vi) Fingerprints of the Gods – Skitz ft Roots Manuva, Phi Life Cypher & Skeleton
(vii) The English Patient – Gunshot ft Chester P, Farma G, MC Mell’O’, Icepick, Huntkillbury Finn
(viii) MSI Asylum ft Rodney P and Mr 45 – Northernly Winds
(ix) Taskforce ft Braintax & Jehst – Cosmic Gypsies
(x) Reality Check – Urban Species ft Taipanic & MC Mello from Blanket LP
(xi) Easter Island – Lewis Parker, Supa T, Braintax, Profound & Ricochet
(xii) B.R.O.T.H.ER Movement ‘Beyond the 16th Parallel’ ft Cookie Crew, MC Mell’O’, London Posse, Demon Boyz, Overlord X, Icepick
(xiii) ‘Is It A dream’ – ATL ft Funky DL, plus answer-phone messages from DJ Parris, Myers, Baby Chor, ESP, Steven Chapman, DJ Stixx, Blak Twang, Tatania, Celetia, Phoebe One, Carol McNeish, Guile, Five-O, Fallacy, Pebo, DJ Cuckoo & Versatile E.

Love Songs
(i) Nextmen ft Rodney P – I’ll Try
(ii) Silent Eclipse ‘Black Lady’ from ‘Psychological Enslavement’ LP
(iii) Blak Twang ft Lynden David Hall – ‘Perfect Love Song’
(iv) ‘Spiritual Love’ Urban Species
(v) Funky DL ‘Soul Silhouette’
(vi) Ty ‘You’re So’
(vii) MCD ft Omar & Vanessa Simon ‘True Love’

Respect For The Dead
(i) ‘14 Days in May’ – Overlord X (Edward L Johnson)
(ii) ‘In Memory’ – Life (Stephen Lawrence)
(iii) ‘This is War’ – Black Radical MKII (Roland Adams)

Links between US hip hop and the UK (however tenuous!!)
(i) Monie Love – born and raised in Battersea, London
(ii) Slick Rick – born and raised in Tottenham, London
(iii) James Poyser (producer of Lauryn Hill, Common, The Roots, Mos Def) was born in the UK.
(iv) Canibus spent some of his childhood in Claphan, South London
(v) House of Pain – Everlast’s grandfather was Irish

UK rap artists and the US acts whose styles they copied (allegedly!!)
(i) Iceberg Slimm – Canibus
(ii) Rimes – Mase
(iii) Funky DL – A Tribe Called Quest
(iv) 57th Dynasty – Wu Tang Clan
(v) Kaliphz – Cypress Hill
(vi) Pinky Brown – Eminem
(vii) Black Radical MkII – Chuck D
(viii) Phoebe One – Missy Elliot

Jacking for Beats
(i) London Allstars ‘London Convention’ (rmx) – various US instrumentals
(ii) C.A.N.E ‘For The Children’ – TLC ‘No Scrubs’
(iii) Taskforce – ‘Graf Da Bus Up’ – Pharoah Monche ‘Simon Says’
(iv) Taskforce – ‘Wha’ Blow’ – Black Rob’s ‘Whoah’

Cover Versions/UK Remixes
(i) Lewis Parker – ‘Wonderwall’ (Oasis)
(ii) Funky DL – ‘Promo’ remix (Jungle Brothers)
(iii) Fredi Kruga – ‘Karz’ (Gary Numan)
(iv) Pharoahe Monch – ‘Simon Says’ Skitz remix ft Roots Manuva & Rodney P
(v) Talib Kweli – ‘Down For the Count’ remix ft Ty and Taipanic

The Gimmicks used by UK rap acts
(i) Kaliphz dragging in Prince Naseem Hamed to appear on their ‘Walk Like a Champion’ song
(ii) C.A.N.E. posing for photos with porn star Charmaine Champagne to promote his single ‘Big Bootie Bitches’
(iii) Iceberg Slimm’s pink hair
(iv) JC001 – claimed to be the fastest rapper in the world
(v) 57th Dynasty heralding Brixton as the sixth Borough of New York

UK acts that switched up their style
(i) Stereo MCs – went from doing hip hop to hip pop and in the process picked up a Brit Award.
(ii) MC D – from conscious rhymer to wearing a shiny white suit and holding a golden mic on the cover of his 12” ‘Autograph’ which looks like it was designed by the guys that do No Limit Records’ releases.
(iii) Hijack – Mr Pink and Mr Blonde
(iv) Lee Ramsey – from faking yankee accents to repping Nottingham
(v) Overlord X – from old-skool UK hip hopper to member of the boy band Benz in the mid 1990’s
(vi) Fallacy – From hip hop to garage emcee
(vii) Hip Hop Connection magazine – from Public Enemy being on the cover to pull-out posters of semi-clad female r&b singers.
(viii) Mr Dexter – from being one third of The Brotherhood’s to providing DJ scratching for Five’s number 1 hit ‘Keep On Moving’
(ix) London Posse’s Bionic – from Rodney P’s partner-in-rhyme to Tricky’s sidekick
(x) Kaliphz – changed their name to Kaleef and joined Pete Waterman’s label for some pop hits.
(xi) Mushtaq – from being a member of Fun-Da-Mental to starting a solo career in acoustic reggae/blues

UK Rap Personalities
(i) Tim Westwood
(ii) Matt ‘Paddington Green’ C
(iii) Tee Max & Fusion
(iv) Chubby Kids
(v) Disorda
(vi) Intenz
(vii) Jonzi D
(viii) Normski

Moments Westwood probably wants to forget
(i) The time KRS-One took out his frustrations on Tim live on the radio, claiming that Tim slept on his last two LPs and has been ‘dirtied’ by Radio 1’s music policy (Sep 1997).
(ii) Tim’s appearance on Channel 4’s Jo Wiley Show where Jo puts Tim on the hotspot and interrogates him about why he is always secretive about his church upbringing and how he was dealing with the trauma of being shot (2000)
(iii) Getting shot while driving back from an open-air show in South London (July 1999).
(iv) ‘Westwood is a tw*t (allegedly)’ by Mindbomb

What Westwood would probably like to be remembered for
(i) Producing London Posse’s early 12”
(ii) Being a one-time co-owner of Kiss FM
(iii) Attracting almost a million listeners to his Radio 1 rap shows
(iv) Getting his hands on exclusive tracks before other DJs in the UK
(v) Bringing big-name US artists over to perform at the Notting Hill Carnival
(vi) Being an unofficial member of Funkmaster Flex’s Flip Squad.

Famous Tim Westwood sayings
(i) “Yeaaah man!!”
(ii) “We’re blasting off!!!”
(iii) “Aiight ‘den”
(iv) “So, that’s the way it’s going down”
(v) “Let’s make it happen, baby”
(vi) “That tune is ridiculous!!”
(vii) “There’re a lot of big things happening”
(viii) “What’s three minus two?!!!”

UK Hip Poppers
(i) Derek B – ‘Bad Young Brother’
(ii) Five – ‘Slam Dunk The Funk’
(iii) Keith ‘n’ Shane – ‘Girl You Know It’s True’
(iv) Love City Groove – ‘Love City Groove’ (The UK’s 1995 song for Europe)
(v) PJ and Duncan – ‘Let’s Get Ready To Rumble’
(vi) Betty Boo –‘Doing The Do’
(vii) Wee Papa Girl Rappers – ‘Wee Rule’
(viii) Stereo MC’s “Connected” LP
(ix) Richard Blackwood ‘You Da Man’
(x) Spice Girls ‘Wannabe’
(xi) Robbie Williams ‘Rock DJ’
(xii) Honky ‘The Whistler’
(xiii) Morris Minor & the Majors ‘Stutter Rap’

Celebrity UK hip hoppers
(i) Rhino from the Gladiators – ex-breakdancer
(ii) Saffron Burrows (Gangster No.1 & Deep Blue Sea actress) – used to be part of the Covent Gardens rap scene of the late 1980’s
(iii) Goldie – ex-graffer
(iv) Massive Attack was previously known as the hip hop outfit called Wild Bunch
(v) 3D (from Massive Attack) – ex-graffer
(vi) K-Gee (All Saints- producer) – was one half of the Brothers Like Outlaw
(vii) Malcolm McLaren – member of World Famous Supreme Team that produced the old skool anthem ‘Buffalo Gals’
(viii) Mark Lamarr, Shane from Boyzone and Richard Blackwood are all hip hop headz

Humorous Football Raps
(i) Ian Wright –‘Do the Wright Thing’
(ii) Andy Cole – ‘Outstanding’
(iii) Gazza ‘Geordie Boys’
(iv) John Barnes’ rap on New Order & England’s ‘World In Motion’
(v) ‘Anfield Rap’ – Liverpool FC

Appearances of rap on mainstream British TV
(i) Since Taipanic once called himself the ‘Black Jeremy Paxman’ he was invited onto Newsnight’s 25th Anniversary show in 2000.
(ii) Grange Hill pupils Ronnie Birtles and Fiona (a young Michelle Gayle) were Fresh ‘n’ Fly in the late 1980s
(iii) Ant & Dec took their first hip pop step when they performed ‘Tonight I’m Free’ as PJ & Duncan on the children drama Byker Grove
(iv) Only Fools and Horses Theme Tune – “We’ve go some half-price cracked ice/ and miles and miles of carpet tiles…”
(v) Stereo MCs’ ‘Connected’ is used in Carphone Warehouse’s adverts.
(vi) An Apache Indian lookalike performs a rap in the TVadverts for IKEA (2000).
(vii) ‘Behind the Beat’ segment on BBC2’s Def II youth culture series (late 1980’s)
(viii) Weetabix TV advert based on the graffiti scene (1985)

Movies & Documentaries
(i) ‘Rage’ – the UK’s first hip hop movie
(ii) ‘Pioneers – The British Hip Hop Documentary’ by Chris Leech
(iii) ‘3rd Eye’ – by Byron Davies, 1994 (monthly video magazine that lasted just the one issue)
(iv) 15-minute segment on BBC 2 going behind the scenes of Tim Westwood’s Radio 1 Rap show, featuring freestyles from Big Kwam, Lee Ramsey &Glamma Kid (199?)
(v) Jonzi D & MC Mello featured on a rap special of South Bank Show (1994)
(vi) Channel 4’s ‘Hip Hop Years’ ft title music by Nextmen
(vii) ‘Codes of Honour’, – Channel 4 drama/documentary featuring MSI & Asylum, 1995
(viii) ‘British Hip Hop – A Way of Life’ by Dan Larkin, Tony King & Nick Pye, 1999
(ix) BBC2’s Open Space documentary: ‘Bad Means Good’, 1987
(x) ‘State of Play’ video, All Good Productions, 1999
(xi) ‘The Rise of UK Hip Hop’, Radio 1, August 2000

Mixtape DJs
(i) DJ MK
(ii) DJ Yoda
(iii) DJ Greenpeace
(iv) Disorda

Legendary Radio Shows
(i) Mike Allen – Capital FM
(ii) Tim Westwood – Capital FM
(iii) Max LX & Dave VJ – Kiss FM
(iv) Steve Wren – ‘Rap Attack’ Choice FM
(v) Jeff Young – ‘Nation of Fresh’, Radio 1

Live Jams
(i) El Segundo
(ii) Apricot Jam
(iii) Lyrical Lounge
(iv) Spread Love
(v) Breakin Bread
(vi) Scratch
(vii) Flava of the Month
(viii) Dekefex
(ix) Mudlumz

Publications/ Fanzines
(i) Hip Hop Connection
(ii) Fatboss
(iii) Fat Lace
(iv) True (later known as Trace)
(v) Rago
(vi) Big Smoke
(vii) The Message

(i) Urban Species’ early single releases were sponsored by Levi
(ii) Boxfresh Urbanwear released a DJ Semtex hip hop mix CD in 1998.
(iii) Lewis Sterling has sponsored 12” releases by Braintax, Outdaville and Taskforce
(iv) Dark n Cold Clothing – the capital’s specialist hip hop fashion outlet

I can’t believe it happened
(i) Richard Blackwood getting a record contract
(ii) Chester P battling Common and allegedly beating him
(iii) Freestyle/jamming session on the Kiss FM Rap Show featuring Common, Taipanic and the Brand New Heavies
(iv) Heavy Rhyme Experience

I can’t believe it didn’t happen
(i) Hijack getting a US release of ‘Horns Of Jericho’ LP
(ii) How Can I Be Down Conference 2000
(iii) Busta Rhymes concert 1996

Favourite sayings of UK hip hop fans
(i) ‘Support your own’
(ii) ‘Why don’t major record label invest in British talent?’
(iii) ‘This is the year that UK Rap is gonna blow up’

Reasons given by Hip Hop Connection (July 2000) for why Homegrown Hip Hop is better than its American counterpart
(i) UK artists can do ragga
(ii) UK artists have better names
(iii) UK ‘social realism’ records are more realistic than theirs
(iv) UK artists can do it live
(v) No UK act has done G-Funk
(vi) UK artists don’t wave guns at journalists when they get bad reviews
(vii) UK artists make an effort to bridge the ocean
(viii) UK hip-hoppers don’t sell out
(ix) UK artists are operating under vast conceptual restrictions
(x) UK artists have better accents
(xi) UK acts have a sense of humour
(xii) UK hip hop does not indulge talentless chancers
(xiii) UK hip hoppers recognise stupid gimmicks

Award Winners
(i) Stereo MC’s – Brit Awards: Album of the Year, Artist of the Year 1994
(ii) Chosan – Fosters Icebreakers 199?
(iii) Funky DL – Fosters Icebreakers 199?
(iv) Kwestmann ‘Strategic’ – Talent 2000 Competition 199?
(v) Prime Cuts – UK DMC DJ Champion 1998, ITF DJ Champion 1999
(vi) Scratch Perverts – DMC Team World Champions 1999
(vii) Chad Jackson – DMC DJ World Champion 1987
(viii) Cutmaster Swift – DMC DJ World Champion 1989
(ix) Blak Twang – Best Hip Hop Act, MOBO 1996
(x) Funky DL – Best Hip Hop Act, MOBO 1997
(xi) Phoebe One – Best Hip Hop Act, MOBO 1998
(xii) Roots Manuva – Best Hip Hop Act, MOBO 1999
(xiii) Roots Manuva ‘Brand New Second Hand’ – Best Album, UK Hip Hop Awards 2000
(xiv) Skitz & Rodney P ‘Dedictaed’ – Best Single UK Hip Hop Awards 2000
(xv) The 57th Dynasty –Best Act, UK Hip Hop Awards 2000
(xvi) The Creators – Best Producers, UK Hip Hop Awards 2000
(xvii) Big Ted & Shortee Blitz (Kiss FM) – Best Presenters, UK Hip Hop Awards 2000
(xviii) Fusion & Tee Max, Hip Hop Personality of the Year, UK Hip Hop Awards 2000
(xix) Scratch @ The Scala – Best Hip Hop Event, UK Hip Hop Awards 2000
(xx) Tony Vegas – Best Hip Hop DJ,UK Hip Hop Awards 2000
(xxi) Eminem – Best International Act, UK Hip Hop Awards 2000
(xxii) London Posse – Best contribution to UK Hip Hop, UK Hip Hop Awards 2000

The UK’s female rappers
(i) Monie Love 
(ii) Estelle 
(iii) Tempa 
(iv) Nebula 
(v) Wildflower 
(vi) MC Ni 
(vii) Phoebe One 
(viii) Cookie Crew 
(ix) Q-Tee 
(x) Deetah 
(xi) C-Mone 
(xii) Rozan 
(xiii) Wee Papa Girl Rappers! 
(xiv) Betty Boo!! 


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