Is British rap running out of ideas amid a barrage of cliched samples?

British rappers are looting the choirs of the 2000s to help paint their music. Whether it is a deceptive hoax or a lack of imagination, it is a sign of how the scene has developed

It’s hard to say where the current British rap obsession with sampling pop songs began in the 2000s, but perhaps the catalyst was the guitar licking and vocals of Lady Soo, 2020 Headie One, AJ Tracey and Stormzy’s Ain’t It Different . When three of the biggest and most influential stars on the scene fuel a dazzling nostalgia for the one-hit teen—and one of his own—the idea is sure to spread.

Most will recognize these clean guitar notes as coming from Crazy Town’s 2000 butterfly, which itself is a lift from Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Pretty Little Ditty from 10 years earlier. As the old saying goes, if you can’t beat it, find out who owns the publishing license, then give it a try. It’s a mantra that some British rappers have enthusiastically embraced, and has fans wondering if it’s hurting or helping the genre.

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