How the UK Music Scene is mirroring the early 2000s US Scene.
Here’s how your new UK faves are channelling the energies of the early 2000s MTV Base icons. From Dave to Nas and Mabel to Jojo. Tenuous links? Or straight facts?
This game started because of a bit of nostalgia, thinking about some of my favourite artists of bygone days versus the new dargs of today I started noticing some things. Things I’d think are glaringly obvious but conversations with friends made me realise I need to explain these seemingly tenuous links between the UK sound leaders and the peopledem of MTV Base days. So here goes nothing.
Dave and Nas
Biggest similarity: their subject matter and lyrical delivery.
Biggest difference: Nas’s gangster edge.
Look no further than the lyrical depth and (I hate to use the word) “woke” nature of both Dave and Nas. And I rest my case.
NSG and N-Sync
Biggest similarity: all-singing all-dancing boy-band.
Biggest difference: the glaring genre difference sets the two apart. But it’s both pop(ular) music right?
You might have thought that boy bands were dead with the disintegration of the likes of One Direction, but NSG are showcasing there’s strength in numbers. 6 energies on stage delivering a spiritual shaku? It’s a winning formula.
Teni the Entertainer and Missy Elliot
Biggest similarity: the styling and aesthetic.
Biggest difference: the music style and delivery.
It could be a series of incidental styling matches or a tenuous link based on complexion but it wouldn’t be incredibly surprising to hear Teni’s team have been looking to Missy Elliot for inspiration.
Young T and Bugsey and Clipse
Biggest similarity: rap duo.
Biggest difference: Clipse are real brothers, but T and Bugsey might as well be.
If you listen to any Young T and Bugsey track you’ll quickly catch onto the organic way they bounce off of eachothers energy, the perfect adlib placement would have you thinking they’re real life brothers. The Jamaican and Nigerian, Nottingham duo are definitely giving Clipse vibes. Argue with your nan.
Tion Wayne and 50 Cent
Biggest similarity: gangster sex symbols.
Biggest difference: Tion’s gangster translates to a playful sound on his tracks.
Sonically you can’t really compare the two. 50 Cent is really talking about shooting a man in the face but Tion comes different, even though he’s still gangster. What Tion Wayne song can you compare to “Candy Shop”? Yard full of girls? “On My Life”?
Not3s and Usher
Biggest similarity: both started popping in the scene as young (16/17 year old) hearthrobs.
Biggest difference: Not3s doesn’t dance, or does he…
Aside from the (not-so-)subtle physical resemblance between Not3s and Usher, and although we’re going to ignore the fact that Not3s is a long way from popping and locking like Usher did, the teen-heart throb essence is alive in Not3s. And it’s looking like his move towards becoming an R&B-Pop sensation is going to be evermore present with his new music. Take “Wanting” for an example.
Stefflon Don and Lil Kim
Biggest similarities: styling and boasy energy.
Biggest differences: Stefflon Don is more than just a rapper.
Lil Kim has been open and honest about her love for Lil Kim, showcasing exactly how Kim inspired her with the “SECURE” artwork cover. As far as UK rap queens go, Stefflon Don is holding that crown with a bold and colourful image much like Kim’s and I’m not mad at it at all.
Tinie Tempah and Pharrell
Biggest similarities: stepping from the music world to the fashion world.
Biggest differences: Pharrell is a legendary producer.
Mabel = JoJo
Biggest similarities: girl-next-door-Popstar-vibe.
Biggest differences: Mabel is set for the stars.
AJ Tracey = Eminem
Biggest similarities: the fuck you attitude.
Biggest differences: everything else.
Yxng Bane = Sisqó
Biggest similarities: taking creative risks.
Biggest differences: everything else.
Although Bane hasn’t gone as far as white hair and tongue piercings, something gives me the impression that Bane is not afraid to take risks and get super creative with his aesthetic. The film he created to accompany his latest release feels like just the tip of Bane’s creativity. Let’s see what’s coming.