50 Years Of Hip-Hop (Part 10): Dave, Blade, Dizzee Rascal & Ms Dynamite

50 Years Of Hip-Hop (Part 10): Dave, Blade, Dizzee Rascal & Ms Dynamite

This year marks the 50th anniversary of hip-hop, with a legendary DJ Kool Herc party in the Bronx on August 11, 1973 commonly cited as its glorious moment of inception. To celebrate for a special edition of Music Week, we asked over 100 names – featuring everyone from Chuck D and Kanya King to top executives, broadcasters, managers, producers and more – to pick and salute one album that impacted their lives and pushed hip-hop culture forward…


“Dave’s Six Paths project deeply resonated with me. I first heard a track off it during his live performance on Later... With Jools Holland, with the captivating live piano. The track Picture Me conveyed a powerful narrative about the various paths we take in life, the hustle, the victories, the losses, and the time we sometimes waste. The lyrics about wasted talent comparing it to a footballer and people wasting your time really hit home for me.” Jonathan Eddy (Sony Music Commercial Group) 


“Boy In Da Corner personified inner-city youth culture across the UK. Blending London-sounding grime and garage beats with clever song structures, flows and lyricism, it was the most impactful body of work from that scene. It really embodies hip-hop DIY culture in terms of production and aesthetic. It was delivered in an unapologetic way, but went on to achieve mainstream accolades.” Kwabz Oduro Ayim (Mixtape Madness)


“A Little Deeper by Ms Dynamite stands as a groundbreaking album that made a significant impact on the UK music scene and beyond. Ms Dynamite emerged as a powerful voice in the realm of hip-hop from the UK and showcased her talents as a singer, rapper and songwriter. The album’s title reflects the depth and introspection that Ms Dynamite brought to her music. She fearlessly delved into her personal experiences and societal issues, providing a poignant and thought-provoking perspective. From tracks like Dy-Na-Mi-Tee and It Takes More, to the emotionally charged Brother and Put Him Out, she addressed themes of love, identity, social inequality and inner strength. What makes A Little Deeper so significant is its ability to blend genres seamlessly. Ms Dynamite effortlessly merged elements of hip-hop, R&B, reggae and soul, creating a unique sound that defied categorisation. The album’s production skilfully blended infectious beats with soulful melodies, providing the perfect backdrop for her heartfelt lyrics. Beyond its musicality, A Little Deeper served as a catalyst for change and inspired a generation. Her unapologetic approach to addressing social issues, particularly those affecting marginalised communities, made her a powerful advocate for equality and justice. Her lyrics conveyed a strong sense of empowerment and urged listeners to challenge the status quo. The album earned Ms Dynamite critical acclaim and accolades, including winning multiple MOBO Awards, and she became the first [solo] Black woman to win the Mercury Music Prize. It remains a testament to Ms Dynamite’s talent, authenticity and social consciousness. It not only changed the trajectory of her own career but also contributed to the evolution of British hip-hop establishing her as an influential figure and leaving an indelible mark on the music industry.” Kanya King (MOBO)


“Perhaps less well known to some, the album I wanted to shout out is the incredible The Lion Goes From Strength To Strength from South London’s Blade, released in 1993. Not only is the album one of the standout classics from that era of UK hip-hop, but Blade’s hustle to get it made embodies the hip-hop spirit. From pressing up and selling his own 12”s outside record shops, to crowd-sourcing funding from fans in advance to make the album (in return for a shout-out in the liner notes), he was in many ways ahead of his time.” Paul Hourican (TikTok)

Click here to read more about our special edition of Music Week celebrating 50 years of hip-hop.

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