2010 through the Hip Hop lens

Posted on 30 December 2010


It’s that time of year – lists, lists, lists and best bits: the year’s best albums, the decade’s best artists, the top ten news headlines for 2010, the best bits from Pineapple Studios’ idiotic pop star obsessive Star Man etc.

Keeping in tune with the time for lists, here are 2010’s best (or worse) moments through the Hip Hop lens:

William Hague in prison whitesWilliam Hague’s trainers

Displaying enough gay symbolism to set Dale Winton’s gay-dar on Blitzkrieg red alert, William Hague stepped out for a walk with a young friend (sorry, researcher) and rumours were abound. But it was one particular item that rankled: his white Nike trainers. Long time an icon of Hip Hop culture, the trainer is sacrosanct; a symbol of street culture and style stretching from the classic white Adidas shell toe to Nike Air. This is a cultural zone that should not be trespassed upon by people like Hague. With this foul act he committed Hip Hop treason, which is no way for a man to act when representing the UK on the world stage. A new elder statesman, such as Roots Manuva, for Foreign Secretary, I say.

Rihanna on X-FactorRihanna’s performance on X-Factor

Rihanna’s year got off to a flyer with the single Rude Boy, taken from her R-Rated album. The track is driven by a dancehall rhythm and is a dirty skank of a tune. By the end of the year her performance on the X Factor was more X-Rated and drew a record number of outraged complaints. Just for the record, I’d like to congratulate ITV for sending me into a Bogle-infused madness for a few glorious minutes. Watch Rihanna’s performance

Kanye West's Tweets re-enactedKanye West’s Tweets

Self obsessed, narcissistic, egotistical; that’s Hip Hop’s rising clown, Kanye West, in a nutshell. Storming the stage and dissing Taylor Swift in 2009, whilst looking as manicured as Ken in his best “street cool” outfit, was a low and frankly embarrassing move. The fact Taylor Swift looks a little like Ken’s lavender lover, Barbie, added to the surreal scene. It was a low moment. Yet 2010 has seen Ken West dig deeper with a series of toe-curling Tweets since he joined Twitter earlier this year. So congratulations to Landline TV and Babelgum for putting together a series of hilarious re-enactments of Kanye’s Tweets. Watch the Kanye Tweet re-enactments

VuvuzelaThe Vuvuzela

The monotonous drone, tinnitus-inducing and atmosphere wrecking sound – and that’s just Kanye West. The Vuvuzelas at this year’s World Cup were pretty awful, too.

Strong Arm SteadyHip Hop I liked in 2010

Strong Arm Steady – having released their album, In Search of Stoney Jackson, at the beginning of the year it set the standard and not much could match it as 2010 progressed

The RootsHow I Got Over is straight up, glorious Hip Hop from true masters

Stig of the Dump – Geordie wordsmith and prize-winning battle rapper brings raw and banging Hip Hop and Street Fighter sampling track, I Got Game

Wrong Tom provides a bubbling re-rub of Roots Manuva tracks with the album, Duppy Writer. Re-rub-a-dub science

Listen to: Rude Boy by Rihanna, I Got Game by Stig of the Dump, Cheeba Cheeba by Strong Arm Steady, Big Tings Redone by Roots Manuva and Wrong Tom, How I Got Over by The Roots, Loungin’ by Guru, Love by J Dilla and Pharoahe Monche, Beat Bop by Rammellzee, Buffalo Gals by Malcolm Maclaren with Duck Rock

RIP (sadly, to name but a few):

J Dilla
Malcolm Maclaren