It's such a good thing that these days UK rappers can create something uniquely British, and rhyme in a British accent, with British remixers like iLS and still attain mainstream success. I remember when I was a kid and you had Mark B & Blade, who had Signs, moaning about the stigma of UK rap. I think that stigma has been safely removed now! There have been many points along the way which I consider pivotal because they have opened eyes and inspired people such as;
1. The success of Arctic Monkeys.
Alex Turner's vocal delivery on the first 2 Monkeys albums has frequently been referred to as almost like rapping. Their massive success writing about British themes was definitely crucial.
2. The success of The Streets.
Mike Skinner's success was great as he was rapping in a recognisable Cockney-British accent, mainly utilising garage, which was a quintessentially British sound. The fact he was white too was great. He was the UK answer to Eminem in a way, yet he did not have to revert to some of the misogyny that has pervaded a lot of rap music.
3. Dizzee Rascal winning the Mercury.
Boy In Da Corner is such an amazing album. I wouldn't want Dizzee to do the same thing anymore. And I know people could be critical and consider that he has gone mainstream, but as always Dizzee has been unique and reflected his current situation. He's loaded and loving it. But I will always love Boy In Da Corner the most.
4. Pass Out by Tinie Tempah hitting no.1
Though some artists like Kano, Tinchy Stryder and Chipmunk had achieved a certain amount of success (with Tinie Tempah talking about being worried that his grime peers were moving ahead of him) Pass Out was a record that took it to another place. Tinchy and Chipmunk had attained a good degree of pop success by diluting their sound somewhat with R&B hooks and love songs (nothing wrong with that though) Pass Out had that bass and that drum and bass bit at the end. It did not sound like a record aimed for the charts, yet it reached no.1 and introduced us to Labrinth, who feels like the first UK superstar producer on a level of Timbaland and N.E.R.D.
So now Professor Green who has been around a while is enjoying success. It's all good and long may the success of UK hip-hop continue!