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Noisey Drops “Don’t Call it Road Rap” Documentary

A close look into UK gangsta rap.

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Noisey recently released a 30 minute long documentary looking into the up & coming road rap scene out of the UK.

American hip-hop audiences have been increasingly introduced to the UK rap scene in recent years. Big time US rappers such as Drake & A$AP Rocky have worked with and praised popular artists such as Skepta & Giggs. However, Noisey uses this documentary to look very close into the rising genre called “road rap”, a gangsta, drill, & trap inspired genre that is currently breaking their underground roots.

Noisey teamed up with UK music legend Mike Skinner to highlight the genre of road rap. The documentary gets up close and personal with some of the genres biggest names & collectives, such as the 67 Crew, Section Boyz, Potter Payper, C Biz, & GB founder Corleone. The artists & collectives spend time discussing with Skinner their own musical influences, road raps history & sound, troubles with law, and their aspirations to be successful and make it out of the hard upbringing most of them come from.

Fans of modern day hip-hop will see many parallels between the road rap scene and current American trends. The genre’s lyrical content and production are very similar to modern trap & drill rappers, some referencing artists such as Chief Keef & Bobby Shmurda in the doc. Similarly, like many young rappers in the US, many of the artists here discuss their desire to make it independent versus signing to a major label. Lastly, the artists also share with American rappers their hardships of staying away from the law. With such gangsta rap driven lyrics and lifestyles, it is difficult for many of these road rappers to stay out of prison and actually release music. At the end of the doc, several of the interviewed artists have landed back in jail, & one was unfortunately murdered. But as C Biz says in the video ,”We’re in a world where provocative music sells, or provocative things are actually more hype”, so clearly the lyrical content and lifestyles they live go hand in hand.

The documentary is a thrilling look into a genre sweeping over the UK.  American audiences will find many familiarities with many of the sounds, lyrical content, and lifestyles seen in the video. However, road rap seems to have a connectivity and organic feel that American audiences may be unaware of. Hopefully more American artists will work with some of these young artists instead of just the established ones in order to speed up the genres inevitable success.

For a less serious look into the UK rap scene check this out!

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