Welcome to the South Easy
I don’t know if Scorzayzee’s P Brothers produced Great Britain is the greatest UK hiphop single of all time. It’s definitely a contender, or at least it will be later this month when it’s finally released as an actual single for the first time, sixteen years down the line from its initial impact playlisted by 1Xtra after its appearance on P Brothers monumental 2004 album Live Hardcore Worldwide Pt 2. Personally I couldn’t much care about details like that, it was a single because it was on repeat, on the radio. It’s one of the greatest because… well, that’s an essay right there. It captures a time. It’s simple enough to be pop music but there’s so many layers to the lyrics that pretty much every rewind sets off a different train of thought. There’s no varnish, you can hear it was recorded after a sleepless night by a bloke chewed up over this shit.
And that’s before you even begin to address the actual topics Scorz is wrestling with. It’s not a track for people who want cosy reassurances from their music, for people who need to agree with every last thing an artist says. Obviously a lot of mainstream people blew a gasket back in the day over the obvious anti-royal stuff, which in its own way to UK rap fans is probably the least shocking thing about the record. Those are the lines to quote, the ones where you pump the volume up to make sure the neighbours hear, “you sold weapons to Iraq, Great Britain/Sold your soul to America the devil, Great Britain” and “slavery made the riches of Great Britain” and “could have spent the war money on homes, food, and water”.
But he’s at war with the world, there’s something to shake everyone that isn’t on board with his programme. Personally the bit I struggle with most is the opening line, “if you don’t believe in evolution, then where’s your soul?” and I’d hazard a guess I’m not the only one. That’s the beauty of it, the type of nuance that never sits well in the mainstream but somehow broke through on to state funded daytime radio for a brief moment of glory.
I’d wager it sounds bloody incredible on vinyl, too. Check out the pre-order here. | Ringo P