Gang performing Rapper’s Delight – Top of the Pops – 1979

However, although rappers delight was a global hit, it’s important to underline that at that time in Europe people were not thinking about hip hop or rap as practice, as a culture movement or a style. It was just one hit record that went global.

Buffalo Gals – Malcolm McLaren – 1982

For audiences outside of the UK, the promotional video for Buffalo Gals almost singlehandedly introduced the holy trinity of hip hop — breakdancing, rapping and graffiti. It wasn’t until the video for “Buffalo Gals” was unleashed onto a totally unsuspecting British public that the full impact of Hip Hop culture hit the UK.

FIRST UK RAP SONG – DJ Newtramente – London Bridge is Falling down

A pivotal moment took place in 1983 when DJ Newtrament teamed up with MC Sir Drew and Monoman to record the first British rap song, London Bridge is Falling Down. The 12inch vinyl highlights an ‘American accent’ which would continue to be present in most British rap records during the first half of the 1980’s. London Bridge though is the first rap song to make references to the UK through its mention of the ‘boys in blue’ and its message about the state of electoral politics in Britain.

Electro Rock – Hippodrome 

Electro Rock is a film on the seminal Hip Hop event held at the London Hippodrome in 1985. It captures the cream of Hip Hop talent from the era: it was a raw and energetic event, captured on film . Electro Rock features a host of break dancing, body popping, beat boxing and rap acts from the UK and a few from the States. These include the legendary Afrika Bambaataa, London All Star Breakers, Broken Glass, Mastermind Roadshow  and Family Quest!

London Posse – Money Mad

The song is a perfect translation of late-80s New York boom-bap to a U.K. context. Bionic’s voice is Jamaica by way of the rough parts of London. Rodney P raps in the cadence of New York rappers, but with a thick British accent full of swagger.  Their difference led to a natural meshing of the reggae and hip hop styles that reflected the state of London sound systems at the time. London Posse was one of the first British Hip Hop acts to rap about their own experiences as black British youth growing up in south London in the 1980s.

BAD MEANING GOOD – Bad Meaning Good is a BBC documentary originally aired on TV in 1987 and put together by Tim Westwood. He made this film as a showcase for the talented young rappers, scratch-mix DJs and graffiti artists in London. With a special guest appearance by the New York kings of rap, Run‐D.M.C., at the Brixton Academy. (1987)