Great Britain isn't generally known for hip-hop, but the 10 best English rap songs make a case for the British Isles as a place where the music is growing in new and unexpected ways. From the hard, street sounds of grime to the cockney flavor of the Streets, the 10 best English rap songs put a different spin on a very American genre. Here are the 10 best English rap songs from a variety of artists throughout England.
- "Fix Up, Look Sharp" by Dizzee Rascal. Dizzee is probably the most prominent English rap star, and this single is the best English rap song. With beats composed on a Playstation and a grimy delivery filled with uniquely British wordplay, "Fix Up" tops the list of the best English rap songs.
- "Don't Mug Yourself" by the Streets. Cockney provocateur Mike Skinner, who records as the Streets, tells stories with his songs. A breakup song in the guise of a dance track, "Don't Mug Yourself" has an infectious beat and clever lyrics. It is easily one of the 10 best English rap songs.
- "Witness" by Roots Manuva. Roots Manuva sounds more like an American than any other artist performing tracks on the list of 10 best English rap songs. This hard-hitting song sounds like it could have come from Queens, the Bronx, or any other hard neighborhood on the East Coast.
- "Poison Dart" by the Bug featuring Warrior Queen. A dubbed out dancehall blitz, this angry track is dominated by the vicious Warrior Queen. American hip-hop producers should envy the bass in the bottom of the track, created by producer the Bug. It is a unique entry on the list of the 10 best English rap songs.
- "Love Me or Hate Me" by Lady Sovereign. Lady Sovereign is the face of English rap songs for many Americans due to her deal with Def Jam records. A spunky young songstress, she declares herself the biggest midget in the game on this track.
- "Spaceape" by Burial featuring Spaceape. Dark, ethereal, with spoken-word rhymes that sound as alien as the music backing them, "Spaceape" is a haunting track. It is one of the best English rap songs of all time and one of the darkest.
- "Pow! Forward" by Lethal Bizzle. Lethal Bizzle is a gangsta tougher than many Americans who claim the same. This song announced his presence on the scene loudly and angrily.
- "Brand New Day" by Dizzee Rascal. Dizzee's second song on the list of the 10 best English rap songs is more hopeful than most of his tracks. Still it is chaotic, though it brings beauty from the chaos.
- "Push Things Forward" by The Streets. The simple beat and slow rhymes caught many listeners off guard with this, the first glimpse of the Streets in the US. The song grows on the listener with time, making it one of the 10 best English rap songs.
- "Jezebel" by Dizzee Rascal. Dizzee's final entry on the list is also number 10 on the list of best English rap songs. It reveal's Dizzee's more introspective side as he ruminates on the young girls in his tough neighborhood selling themselves short and attaching themselves to bad men.
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