Since '86 when U.K. hip hop started to take off there have been a heap of mad artists that were every bit as good as U.S. artists like Derek B, Gun Shot, Overlord X, Hard Noise, MC Duke, Silver Bullet and the dopest U.K. group ever Hijack. These artists paved the way for todays U.K. artists like Phi LIfe Cypher, Yungun & Klashnekoff.
As I just mentioned Hijack are easily the best U.K. act ever, they burnt most U.S. rappers but never got the respect they deserved in America. Hijack hail from Brixton and consisted of Kamanchy Sly, DJ Undercover and the legendary DJ Supreme They released "Stlye Wars" and recorded a handfull of other tracks before they got signed by Ice T to "Rhyme Syndicate". Ice was doing a radio spot while touring the U.K. and the radio played Hijacks "Hold No Hostage", Ice loved it and signed them the next night. Hijack went on to release the hit "The Badman Is Robbin" and the "Horns Of Jerricho" album but, "Rhyme Syndicate" went bust and Hijack got left to deal with Warner Brothers that delayed their release, they then released "Style Wars Revenge" on "Music Of Life" records while waiting for W.B. to drop the album. When they finally did they only marketed it in Europe where they sold about 40,000 copies claiming that the style of rap wasn't suited to U.S. listeners. Apparently while performing they pull out guns with blanks and shoot people who have blood capsules while acting out their rhymes. Unfotunately they broke up in '92 after "DJ Supreme" had different views on the direction of the group (K Sly & Undercover wanted to change their style to appeal to a U.S. market). The remaining two members got a new DJ two weeks later also named "DJ Supreme" to cash in on the name and released a 12". The O.G. "Supreme" sued and they had to stop pressing the track. "Resevoir Records" released "The Original Horns Of Jerricho" on wax with an instrumental vinyl, it also has a few different tracks. Anyone who is familiar with Hijack will know them for their hardcore delivery of lyrics and more bpm's than any other group ever.
MC Merlin also got signed to "Rhyme Syndicate" although is not even in the same class of Hijack. North London's Derek B and (M.C.) EZQ are up there with the '88 release "Bullet From A Gun" with the track "Bad Young Brother" and the title track itself being hard, raw deff tracks and the rest of the album although not as good as them still is good. After they made it into the U.K. charts in '88 they toured around the world, they came down to Australia in '89 with Run DMC on the "Tougher Than Leather" tour. Einstein had a hit with "Friday Night & Saturday Morning" in the late 80's and has a pretty good album titled "The Theory Of MC's Squared" Unfortunately female English rappers couldn't be on the same level with wack rappers such as The She Rockers, The Wee Papa Girls, Monie Love and The Cookie Crew. There were also plenty of equally shit male rappers out of the U.K. aswell though like DJ Daddy, Asher D& Daddy Freddy amongst others.
Hardcore group Gunshot were crazy with releases like "Children Of A Dying Breed", "Battle Creek Brawl" and the album "Patriot Games" making them a huge underground success along with Hard Noise (RIP Nyce D) who only released a few bits and pieces like "Untitled" and were signed by "Music Of Life". The group that formed in high school split up with members Son and Mada starting a group called Son Of Noise along with ex-Gunshot member Curoc (Q-roc) and DJ Renegade that used to DJ for Blade.
Other crazy U.K. artists are MC Duke who released "Organised Rhyme" that unfortunately dosen't have my favourite track "The Final Conflict" on it, Silver Bullet's (Silvah Bullet) "Bring Down The Walls" album is another fast tempo U.K. release that has some mad tracks on it like "20 Seconds To Comply" and "Bring Forth The Guillotine". Another one of my favourites would have to be Overlord X, who got peoples attention when he released "14 Days In May" in '88, a track about a guy called Edward L Johnson's final 14 days in prison before his unfair execution, he then released "Rough In Hackney" and followed it up with the albums "Weapon Is My Lyric" and "X Versus The World"
There were plenty of other U.K. artists that were putting in work in the golden era of Britcore rap such as The London Posse, MC Mell'o, Katch 22, Thrash Pack, Demon Boyz and Black Radical MKII amongst others but the artist above were my personal favourites.
Hijack - The Terrorist Group
Derek B - Bullet From A Gun
MC Duke - The Final Conflict
Overlord X - 14 Days In May
Silver Bullet - 20 Seconds To Comply