Over the weekend I was added to a group on FaceBook (which I normally hate when people do that, but this one is entertaining, at least for now!). It’s called Hip Hop debates UK. Well, after going through some posts and making a few comments I thought it would be a good place to post about the very first UK rap tune. Now I love the art of conversation, I try to think of Facebook as if you wandered into the pub and there just happened to be some rap nerds in there (no one has internet access to fact check) and debates arise that you can only draw on your memory to mull over.
So I posted about what I thought from my foggy memory was the first UK rap record. Now I thought this might have been “London Bridge is falling down” by Newtrament, so posted words to that affect to kick off a thread.
I had some great responses and thought that rather than that information get pushed down and forgotten about on FB, I’d post it here.
So, first response I had was from a feller called James McNally with: “Summer 1981 As The Time Goes By (Rap) by Funkapolitan, 1982 Dizzy Heights Christmas rapping, 1983 Man Friday and Jive Junior Picking Up Sounds… All before Newtrament and all featuring rappers who were part of the Language Lab crew, so actual rappers not novelty performers”
And a follow up post with “There was the rap on Funkmasters’ Love Money, which I think was 1980? That was produced by Tony Williams who produced the first Junior Gee records”
Ant rap & Wham rap are mentioned by DJ Just 1, but obviously these tracks were just pop artists exploiting this new musical avenue.
I posted back with this, which made me think I should get this on Disco Scratch: “OK so after a bit of thought I remembered I have a mixtape from a guy who knows a bloody lot about UK Hip Hop, maybe more than anyone else I know! Back in the days of Heroes Of UK Hip Hop we did a mix swap. His mix was 3 decades of UK rap, with the first track from 1980. Well, I dug it out and had a look and this track is a UK rap from 1980 by “The Mexicano” (this is actually Rudolph Grant, brother of Eddy Grant) with the track “Dallas” on Mercury records. Well, it is a proper rap, with a genuine UK artist, Ambush says it’s the first so unless anyone else can prove otherwise, I’d say this is it then!”
So, I found the CD from Ambush that I have double checked to see if it is online anywhere and haven’t located it. I can’t get hold of him these days, Websta is not online & I’m sure they would both be OK with me posting this mix, as it’s great and covers 30 tracks from 1980 to 2010. There are some great tunes in here and shows how styles have changed through the years.
I’ll let the music do the talking, track list at the bottom of the post.