Historically, UK rap is often seen as US rap's little cousin - a mere adopter across the pond, while the genre's originators in New York City blazed the trail. As a result, British hip-hop hasn't received nearly the same amount of mainstream veneration or critical consideration that's frequently bequeathed upon its more popular American counterparts, which is a damn shame.
Thankfully though, perceptions are slowly changing.
The world is swiftly beginning to realise just how much the vibrant UK scene has to offer, discovering a swath of talented young artists on the cusp, and rediscovering UK rap's rich, Caribbean-influenced heritage. From its London roots in the 1980s, to street legends like Roots Manuva and Mr. Thing, to the scene's thriving new-school - British hip-hop has become impossible to ignore.
Part of that exciting new wave of UK hip-hop artists is Jay Prince, a critically-adored young MC hailing from London, whose become celebrated for his complex rhymes, honeyed flow and jazz-tinged Golden Era persuasions. We caught up with the fast-rising rapper after his massive showcase at Cherry Discotheque last weekend to talk about some of UK hip-hop's very best records.
Ms Dynamite - 'Dy-Na-Mi-tee'
As a kid growing up this was one of my favourite songs. It for me sounds timeless and a song I still listen to this day and truly believe it played a big part in urban culture in the U.K."
Dubz - 'Pain Is The Essence' (feat. Giggs)
One of my favourite songs of all time! I first came across Giggs in secondary school and being so young, for some reason, this song was one of the realest ever that I could relate to and picture."
Kano - 'P's & Q's'
This right here is a straight up classic you ask anybody about this song here and it's definitely top five best songs to ever come out from the UK. Being from East London this for me was very inspiring especially coming from an artist I look up to and respect."
Sway - 'Up Your Speed'
As a young teenager I always saw this music video on TV and loved how it was so different from everything else I was hearing. Sway always was in his own lane which I respect and admire."
Giggs - 'Talking Da Hardest'
Instant classic. Nothing more needs to be said this right here will live forever."
Blak Twang - 'So Rotten'
When we talk hip-hop, Blak Twang is one of the artists that truly paved the way for artists like myself. Setting the bar and opening doors for UK hip-hop acts. Same goes for artists like Akala who I also feel is from the same cloth and has put on for our country."
Dizzee Rascal - 'Fix Up Look Sharp'
A living legend right here. Dizzee I remember being in school once again listening to this and it being most probably sickest thing I've ever heard. Being from East London, Newhman, this really hit home."
Roots Manuva - 'Witness (1 Hope)'
A true legend. This classic by Roots Manuva is just one of many cuts. On why he is the man. An artist I look up to and respect ever so highly. Paving the way for U.K. Hip Hop not only musically but culturally too. And will forever go down in history as a U.K. hip-hop great."
Giggs - 'Whippin Excursion'
Once again Giggs proving his relevance and consistency through time. For me this right here is a song I believe is shaping the culture in the U.K. And taking the music in the right direction."