Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

THE BRITS MAKING A MOVE ON THE MOBOS; Who Cares If None of the Big US Stars Are Coming to Next Week's Music of Black Origin Awards? We Don't Need Them Now We've Got Our Own; SOUND CHECK

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

THE BRITS MAKING A MOVE ON THE MOBOS; Who Cares If None of the Big US Stars Are Coming to Next Week's Music of Black Origin Awards? We Don't Need Them Now We've Got Our Own; SOUND CHECK

Article excerpt

Byline: David Smyth

AFTER his much-mocked stage invasion at the MtV VMA awards a fortnight ago, it's almost a relief to learn that three-times nominated Kanye West will not be attending the Mobos in Scotland on Wednesday.

Nor will any of the other major American nominees for a Music of Black Origin Award, including Beyonce, eminem, Jay-Z and Lady Gaga. In other years, this would be the story: poor Blighty's inferior urban music scene snubbed yet again by the real stars. this year, for possibly the first time, we don't need them.

While most British grime, rap and r&B artists remain of negligible interest internationally, their hit rate at home has been remarkable in the past 12 months. there has been one number apiece for X factor spawn JLS and Alexandra Burke, two for tinchy Stryder and three for Dizzee rascal, who has transformed himself from edgy teenage Mercury-winner to radiofriendly pop supremo.

Other homegrown Mobo hopefuls with top 10 hits between them include tottenham rapper Chipmunk (four nominations), DJ Ironik, Alesha Dixon and Mr Hudson. r&B singer-songwriter taio Cruz, another Londoner nominated last year, is number one this week with the skittering electropop of Break Your Heart, while N-Dubz, a modern-day east 17 who seem to be central to the new urban mainstream, are surely due a chart topper of their own before much longer.

Just as, in recent years, indie rock smoothed off its edges and essentially became pop music, so British rappers are moving on from their minor underground fanbases and working hard to land on daytime radio playlists. Chipmunk's joint hit with Ironik, tiny Dancer, unashamedly lifted large portions of the elton John ballad, speeded it up and gave it bounce. Stryder's number one, Never Leave You, features surviving Sugababe Amelle Berrabah on an anthemic chorus, while Dizzee now raps about sunshine and discos over breezy synths. …

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