I am still learning a lot about the UK’s rap scene, so I could be wrong here, but I feel that it accepts female MCs a lot easier than the US does. I only seem to see a few in the same picture at the same time in the States, and most of the reason I’m hearing about them is because they’re dissing each other. Don’t get me wrong, there are fantastic talents if you look hard enough, and there has definitely been a slight uprise in the market since Ms Minaj came into picture, but it still seems to be a bit of a struggle over there.
Meanwhile, in the UK, the rap/hip hop scene as a whole (including the guys) kind of keeps one foot underground. There have been a few breakout acts in the charts, but you go into a record shop in London, or even on Youtube, and you’ve got a much bigger selection. That said, there are a lot of layers, reasons and issues as to why the UK hasn’t embraced this genre as a whole, even in 2012.
Envy and a few other artists including Amplify Dot and Mz Bratt got together to record a female version of Tinchy Stryder’s Game Over. It’s amazing. I’m positive there are probably a few beefs happening over here, but it isn’t in this. This sort of mass collaboration hasn’t happened in the US since the 90s, though I wish it did.
London rapper Envy stands out entirely, as her style is like a tongue twister on fast forward. It is ridiculous. Oh yeah, she does have a song called Tongue Twister. Her material is very self aware, and you get a taste of her sense of humour in songs like Friday Night. The album, 2010’s Set Yourself On Fire, does have a darker tone overall. Every single song highlights her skill on different levels and has relatable themes on all accounts. She’s arguably much more vocally talented than most of her contemporaries and terribly underrated.
These days she’s up in Manchester doing a DJ gig on UnityFM. I hope she’s also planning a follow up in the meantime.
Taken from the album, Set Yourself On Fire.