The Streets: The British Can't Rap, Haven't You Heard?
Simon Reynolds, The New York Times, 20 October 2002
THE BRITISH have always had a flair for taking black American music, giving it a twist and then exporting it back, stylishly repackaged. Blues, R&B, soul, funk, disco, house — each in turn has been the source music for a series of British invasions of the American pop mainstream. Yet, despite years of trying, this native genius for appropriation has spectacularly failed in one area: hip-hop. From late-80's contenders like Ruthless Rap Assassins to 90's groups like the Brotherhood, British rappers have not made much impression in hip-hop's homeland.
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