The Beginning of An Era
Channel U has helped launch the careers of Roll Deep, NDubz, DJ Luck and MC Neat, Nathan and many more. The popular music station has now become the biggest urban channel in the UK with the largest urban playlist in Europe, with the raw cutting edge of the UK urban music scene. The art of UK Hip Hop is transcending to a whole new level meaning that it’s becoming more appealing to those audiences who never gave UK Hip Hop a chance to rise. What keeps my ears glued to the radio or my eyes fixated to the TV screen is the influx of new UK Hip Hop talent that is beginning to shine through. For example, new talent such as NY, Tinnie Tempah, Fire Camp, Nathan and Nu Brand Flexxx has paved the way for more aspiring UK artists to show avid fans out there that the UK Hip Hop scene is still growing and gaining momentum.
As everyone knows, “real” Hip Hop artists are those individuals who can show lyrical skills by oscillating in and out of beats that’s thrown their way, as this shows how diverse a rapper can be. The art of Hip Hop is also about being able to tell a story through a unique expression of words. While the UK is still at the growth stage of Hip Hop, watching Channel U opens your eyes to a vast amount of hidden talent that the UK has to offer. When Channel U first embraced our TV screens, acts such as Dizzee Rascal, Heartless Crew, So Solid Crew, Raghav and More Fire Crew gave us a prime example of how home-grown talent can actually stretch the boundaries and create another popular music genre other than pop that the UK tends to favour.
Asking viewers what they thought of Channel U as a music channel representing urban music, most people thought that the channel enables those talented individuals an opportunity to be heard and the quality of the videos that are shown on the station are getting better; while on the other hand, some viewers thought that there needs to be more of a positive message in certain music videos shown on the station. Everyone has their own opinions about the rise of UK Hip Hop and Grime, even government officials; such as Tory leader David Cameron is a bit pessimistic towards Hip Hop in general, but this will not stop popular art form from gaining popularity anytime soon! People may say that most Hip Hop tracks tends to be negative, but in the artists eyes they are telling a story of how they lived and how they grew up, so to avid fans, they are telling a story through a unique expression of words.
While Channel U is one of the top favourites for UK “urban” music, most UK artists want to remain on the underground because they feel that going commercial does not enable them to show their true potential as certain label execs dictate what artists can release and what they cannot release. Heading over to the US, acts such as ‘Immortal Technique’ is a good example of an underground artist who freely expresses how he feels. A lot of his lyrics focus on political issues and events happening around the world, though he has the potential to do very well commercially, Some people feel that he appeals to much more of a niche audience who feel that they need a Hip Hop figure who speaks the truth about certain issues.
Channel U: The Success of UK Urban Music?
To further help the rise and success of UK urban music, on September 17th Channel U will be releasing a compilation album featuring tracks from Wiley, Firecamp, Frontlinerz, Tinnie Tempah and many other artists that have appeared on the station. Channel U ‘Soundz of the Streetz’ includes the most popular tracks from the channel meaning that fans get to hear the tunes they know and love over and over again!. This album is showcasing some of the best talent in the underground scene in a big way.
Prominent figures in the UK Hip Hop industry have given the artists of today the platform to do what they are doing now and that’s keeping the UK Hip Hop scene alive and in focus. To some, UK Hip Hop as they say is ‘not happening’ and they justify this statement by the ‘evident’ fall of record sales, rise of downloads and the rise of mediocre songs that’s hitting the airwaves. But we still have artists who are staying true to the game whether they are going commercial or on remaining on the underground.
Channel U has changed since it first came on air; from only showing a few home-grown, homemade videos to a TV channel that showcases the best urban talent taken from here and the US and is well respected and a massive contender to MTV Base.
By: Leon B | The Scene Magazine