Bringing a dose of Tottenham to Flatbush, Santan meets OVO & other heavy hitting collaborations.
UK MCs have been doing their thing for some time now. With the likes of General Levy and Roots Manuva, rocking mics since the late 80s early 90s, hip hop and variants of the genre are no stranger to the United Kingdom. Arguably the world’s most influential music currently, it was only a matter of time before it pierced popular culture outside of the states and encouraged the best of both world’s, either side of the Atlantic to collide.
Slowthai is the name on a lot of people’s lips at the moment and his recent link up with Florida’s Denzel Curry represents a time of unprecedented quantities of transatlantic collaborations.
So we thought what better time to present in no particular order the top 10 transatlantic hip hop collaborations.
Skepta – It Ain’t Safe Feat. Young Lord
Skepta’s flow appears to be hugely inspired by Project Pat’s on ‘We Ain’t Scared Hoe’, in a thumping track featuring Young Lord aka A$AP Bari. The video itself contains a cameo from a young Stormzy whilst bringing an early 2000s aesthetic to paint a gritty picture of the roads.
Flatbush Zombies – Red Eye To Paris Feat. Skepta
One of the stand out tracks off Flatbush Zombies’ ‘Day of the Dead’ mixtape drop in 2015, ‘Red Eye To Paris’ features Erick Ark Elliott‘s trademark haunting production and a relentless verse from Skepta. Not even available on Spotify this is somewhat of a gem that flew under the radar at the time.
Denzel Curry – Knotty Head UK Remix Feat. AJ Tracey & Rick Ross
Two of Florida’s most prominent rappers drafted AJ Tracey for the remix of the hugely popular ‘Knotty Head’. Both AJ and Denzel are now established artists and looking back at the video from over three years ago it almost feels like their rise was inevitable. Rick Ross definitely appears a seasoned spitter in this track and his nonchalant bars complement the more youthful approach of both AJ and Denzel.
GoldLink – U Say Feat. Tyler, The Creator & Jay Prince
Featuring one of the UK’s rising stars alongside two more experienced, Grammy nominated artists, ‘U Say’ is a dance inducing, rhythmic banger. Jay Prince brings a ludicrously catchy hook to accompany the star studded line up on one of the ear worm tracks of 2019.
A$AP Rocky – Praise The Lord Feat. Skepta
This track needs no introduction, possibly being the most high profile UK & US hip hop collaboration and having been blasted consistently on radio stations across the UK, Ireland and USA. The visuals for ‘Praise The Lord’ presents similar shots from Harlem and London demonstrating the similarities that exist between the two whilst simultaneously exhibiting the distinctive features of both artist’s home turf. A certified anthem that has showcased the potential for link ups across the pond.
Dizzee Rascal – Where Da G’s Feat. Bun B
One of the earliest collaborations from heavy hitters from both the States and the UK, ‘Where da G’s’ sees Bun B and Dizzee lashing out at posers in this unlikely link up. Both now considered legends in their own right, this track was a precursor to much of the other collaborative efforts on this list.
AJ Tracey – Alakazam Feat. JME & Denzel Curry
Sampling Pokémon’s Ash and featuring a super infectious hook, Tottenham’s AJ Tracey linked with BBK’s JME and Denzel Curry, formerly of Raider Klan notoriety to bring a stellar single.
Dave – Wanna Know Remix Feat. Drake
Drake’s near obsession with UK culture is well known now, with his involvement in the resurrection of Top Boy, surprise appearance at a Section Boyz show with Skepta and a BBK tattoo all having come in the past 4 years. One of the Toronto star’s earliest involvements in the UK scene was hopping on the remix of ‘Wanna Know’ when Dave was still a teenager. Now a staple of UK music it’s interesting to chart the trajectory of his rise since then. Whatever your thoughts on Drake’s tendency to associate himself with UK culture it’s undeniable this is a head nodder. While we know Drake is Canadian and not American, it’s important to note the list contains collaborations from those either side of the Atlantic Ocean not solely from the USA.
Wiki – Elixir Feat. Jesse James Solomon & Obongjayar
Quite simply a match made in heaven. Jesse James Solomon brings his smooth, to the point, poetic bars to the track, juxtaposed by the ever gritty cadence of the illustrious Wiki. All against the back drop of the almost spiritual vocals from Obangjayar, this track features two of the most respected underground spitters from either side of the Atlantic trading bars on an overcast instrumental.
Danny Brown – Dubstep Feat. Scrufizzer
Danny Brown has made no secret of his appreciation of UK rap music and in particular his love of The Streets. The Dizzying Detroit MC recruited West London’s Scrufizzer for a brilliantly wacky verse on ‘Dubstep’. The British MC brings a feature that holds it own even when compared to Danny’s crazy cadence on the track.