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. It’s possibly the most high profile UK & US hip hop collaboration of recent times, having been blasted consistently on radio stations across the globe.
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 endless potential for intercontinental bangers.
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 an 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
This should be the Kanto region’s national anthem.
Sampling Pokémon’s Ash and featuring a super infectious hook, Tottenham’s AJ Tracey linked with BBK’s JME and Denzel Curry.
Former Raider Klan member Denzel brought his trademark rapid-fire flow to a track that oozes replay value. There’s a genuine chemistry on the track that’s complimented by all three artist’s distinct approach to lyrical sparring.
Dave – Wanna Know Remix Feat. Drake
Drake’s near obsession with UK culture is well known now. His involvement in the resurrection of Top Boy has been well documented and in the past he’s made a surprise appearance at a Section Boyz show with Skepta and even has BBK tattoo now.
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. The Brixton native is now a staple of the UK music scene and it’s interesting to chart his trajectory since the OVO head honcho jumped on the remix.
Whatever you think about Drake’s fetish for UK culture, this record is an undeniable head nodder. It’s a little reminder that America isn’t the only country on the other side of The Atlantic.
Wiki – Elixir Feat. Jesse James Solomon & Obongjayar
Quite simply a match made in heaven. Jesse James Solomon brings his smooth and poetic bars to the track, juxtaposed by Wiki‘s gritty cadence.
If the two rappers are attempting to keep the track grounded, then Obangjayar’s spiritual vocals are trying to take this track into the clouds. There’s something beautiful about how the three distinctly different deliveries all work harmoniously together.
Danny Brown – Dubstep Feat. Scrufizzer
Danny Brown has made no secret of his appreciation of UK rap music and his love of The Streets in particular. When creating the track ‘Dubstep’ he recruited West London’s Scrufizzer for a wacky verse.
The British spitter brings a feature that holds it own even when compared to Danny’s crazy cadence on the track.