Throughout much of the 20th century, the UK was responsible for giving the world some of the best music it had ever seen. Whether it was the Beatles, Led Zeppelin or Queen, every decade seemed to be full of new and exciting artists all of whom hailed from Great Britain. This trend has changed somewhat, with the world’s best music now coming from America. This is partly because of the fact that African influenced music has been making the most waves recently, and the UK has not really accepted African influences into its music until very recently.
Now, however, all sorts of music is being produced that is receiving international acclaim, and this is simply because so many Caribbean and African musicians are incorporating their culture into Britain’s music scene. One thing to be noted is that in spite of the fact that these black musicians have been instrumental in shaping the UK’s scene and giving birth to so many artists that are achieving success today, they are not being thanked or even given their due credit for bringing popularity to these styles of music.
One example of such an artist that has been influential to many world famous artists but has been unable to reach that level of fame himself is Sneakbo. His birth name is Agassi Odusina, and while growing up he listened to all sorts of music. Music from the likes of 2Pac and 50 Cent obviously played a part in him becoming a rapper, but he also listened to things such as Caribbean dancehall and Afrobeat from places like Nigeria. This helped him do what very few rappers in the UK had done before: create a distinct image for themselves.
Black culture in the UK is not quite the same as it is in the US. This is why when so many UK rappers just tried to ape the styles and references of their North American idols, they ended up sounding watered down and uninteresting. Hence, when things like dancehall and afrobeat started to be incorporated, rap music from the UK started to become a trailblazer rather than a trend follower.
Kenny Allstar is a DJ that has praised Sneakbo an enormous amount, claiming that the rapper has been instrumental in giving UK rap and music its own voice. He also claims that the incorporating of Afro tinged influences into other genres such as electronic music was inevitable, and has led to a brand new way of thinking about how to make music.
One thing is for sure, the future of music in the UK is very bright indeed, and there are a lot more African influences that artists can look into in order to stay as fresh sounding as possible. An important thing to note is that black musicians are finally getting the credit they deserve for their music, and in the future are probably going to find their rightful place at the forefront of the music industry.