10 years ago, the UK urban music scene was a completely different picture…
I mean, to be honest, a lot has changed in 10 years. In May 2009, the current Prime Minister was Gordon Brown. The Premier League title had just been won by Manchester United and Tinchy Styrder and N-Dubz finished in the Top 20 for the year with their song “Number One”…
This says a lot. Fast forward 10 years and Tinchy Stryder’s last big feature was on I’m A Celebrity in 2014 and N-Dubz have since disbanded. Tulisa became a judge on X-Factor with a large amount of controversy to follow, Fazer has since attempted to lift off his own solo career and Dappy has featured on Big Brother and actually, got himself a good little solo career going.
9th May 2009: Tinchy Stryder and N-Dubz “Number One” appears at Number 1 in the charts
9th May 2019: Stormzy “Vossi Bop” reaches Number 1 in the charts
The rest of the year saw three more features on the charts by artists we are all familiar with. On the 30th of May 2009, Dizzee Rascal entered the Number 1 position with this “Bonkers” track with Armand Van Helden. A perfect example of an artist that had evolved and developed into an artist that would feature perfectly on the charts. Tinchy Stryder then featured again later that year with “Never Leave You”. Then in October, Chipmunk really kick started his Pop phase as he entered the pole position in the charts with “Oopsy Daisy”.
The UK urban scene has moved on leaps and bounds since 2009. The scene was not really going anywhere significant. That is not to dampen what artists achieved in 2009, of course, it was success. Artists such as Tinchy and N-Dubz had successful hits but the scene was not being properly noticed in the way it is nowadays. In 2009, as stated above, only a few artists were really being recognised and appeared in the public light. Since then, a vast amount of artists are being featured on all sorts of playlists, radios, videos and much more. Artists are now being able to express themselves in the ways that they want and are still getting in the charts. Back in 2009, artists had to express themselves in a way that would coincide with the charts and that would appeal to the Major Labels and their need for a “Pop” sound. No longer are they looking for a label to sign them. Maybe that has come generally with the time and now many are seeing and reaping the benefits of going independent but in 2009, it was a complete opposite.
Music scenes and genres do change over the years with artists popularity coming and going and different sounds and themes being experimented with. For example, in America, just like the UK scene, there were plenty of artists that are popular 10 years ago, that are no longer popular or charting now. Of course, the sound of the music has slightly changed. The likes of Travis Scott, Gunna and Lil Baby occupy the “go to sound” currently. The big difference is, the Rap, Hip-Hop and R&B scene in America has always had the attention of media outlets. The music has charted. The UK scene has shifted in the same way, with artists becoming popular and new artists rising up. The difference is the fact that the sound has changed so drastically since 2009.
Overall, the scene was a mess. At the time, it may not have seemed it but it was…Hindsight is a wonderful thing. Chipmunk is arguably the only artist that has seen himself chart in 2009 and actually still remain relevant since. Dappy has since had a revival with his track “Oh My” with Ay Em in 2018 and has since featured on a couple of successful tracks with “Motorola” being the latest by Da Beatfreakz.
Ultimately, the UK scene has always been an exciting prospect that has, over the past 10 years, shown huge growth. Who knows where the scene will be in another 10 years. At the rate that the scene is growing, it will be a lot less than 10 years until artists are getting consistently into the charts and even Number 1’s. As stated before, the America scene has been like this for a long time now and even though many people do not want us to look across the pond for any help. Even Drake has been critisied by Wiley for being a “culture vulture” but, the fact of matter is that in the space of 10 years, the UK scene has make huge movements and is becoming a huge force.
Clear recognition and respect is now been giving to the artistic work constructed…