The 10 Best Scottish Hip-Hop Songs Ever
Don’t love these hip-hop tracks cos they’re Scottish. Love them because they contain some of the best bars ever committed to tape.
When I first began writing about Scottish hip-hop, five years ago, no cunt cared about it. Today, not much has changed: most cunts still don’t care, but at least now they know about it. If you’re from Scotland and you ain’t repping homegrown hip-hop, it’s not because you’re ignorant of it – it’s just because you ain’t feelin’ it.
If that’s the case, you’ve been listening to the wrong mixtapes. Allow me to fix that.
Like any insular scene, there’s a lot to fault with Scottish hip-hop. But there’s also a lot to love. If you know where to look, it’s possible to unearth some of the greatest bars ever written since Robert Burns walked the land. Fuck the low production values and funny accents: the following ten tracks encapsulate everything that’s great and grimy about Scotland. Whether you were born and raised in the scheme or your knowledge of the nation extends no further than Trainspotting, the tracks you’re about to hear should send a shiver down your spine and light a fire in your belly.
We might be a bunch of mad cunts but deep down we’re good cunts, so we are.
10. Madhat McGore: Jailbait
Madhat was once one of Scotland’s most promising rappers. He might not have realised his full potential, but there’s no disputing the brilliance of this early cut from the Edinburgh MC.
9. El Green: Dunt Chasers
It’s 3am, you’ve just piled out of Sneaky Pete’s on the Cowgate and you ain’t even close to crashing. What do you do? Double dunt, snort a line of dizzle and spark a joint, that’s what. This Edinburgh anthem will strike a chord with anyone who’s ever found themselves chasing that euphoric first high. Fuckfaces.
If you like this, The Dunt is a magnificent tune in the same vein.
8. Perfect Practice: Bullet Proof
So simple but so good. Bang Dirty’s Adam Holmes, in his guise as rhymer Nostal, combines with scratch DJ supreme Sonny on the La Roux-sampling Bullet Proof.
7. Jordan Butler: Falling Down
It’s not often the word beautiful can be applied to Scottish hip-hop, or indeed to anything Scottish, but it belongs here. Falling Down is hauntingly beautiful.
[bandcamp width=100% height=42 album=3850026609 size=small bgcol=ffffff linkcol=0687f5 track=3382234757]
6. The Jakeybytez: Out Comes Stanley
Out Comes Stanley is the Scottish rappers’ Scottish rap. This cult anthem may be shambolic, lo-fi and bleak as hell, but it’s also hilarious. Just wait for that chorus to drop. Pure feminist kryptonite. Like every other Scottish rap crew, The Jakeybytez never amounted to anything but it doesn’t matter – Out Comes Stanley is an obscure masterpiece that deserves to become our national anthem.
[soundcloud url=”httpss://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/16397195″ params=”color=ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false” width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]
5. Bang Dirty: No Grave
The best track Bang Dirty have released might be their reinterpretation of Johnny Cash classic Ain’t No Grave, but their best known – and indeed only – music video is Break Up. What to do? Fuck it, have both.
[bandcamp width=100% height=42 album=3703454638 size=small bgcol=ffffff linkcol=0687f5 track=3387440598]
4. Gasp: A Girl Called Glasgow
While we’re cheating, have two Gasp tracks, both on a Glaswegian tip. A Girl Called Glasgow is the more commercial offering, while A Glaswegian Film is Gasp at his claustrophobic best.
[bandcamp width=100% height=42 album=4186940231 size=small bgcol=ffffff linkcol=0687f5 track=1449825472]
3. Big Radge Andy: Overindulgence
There are two types of people in this world: those who get Big Radge Andy and those who listen to Nickelback. You don’t listen to Nickelback, do you? A’ight, then give Big Radge the respect he deserves. The most obscure MC on an obscure list, The Jakeybytez rapper is an absolute madman and a fucking genius. If you ever jacked off in the pre-internet era, this track will have you nostalgia’ing hard.
[soundcloud url=”httpss://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/28671820″ params=”color=ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false” width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]
Also by Big Radge Andy: Jock Cunts, another contender for Scotland’s new national anthem.
[soundcloud url=”httpss://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/36412984″ params=”color=ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false” width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]
2. Werd: Drunk Story
When he’s at his best, Werd is one of Scotland’s cleverest and most intelligent MCs. Drunk Story is his apotheosis, a song so epic it attained cult status years before it was even released. Drunk Story is a hammer blow to the feels, because we’ve all been that pished cunt before.
1. Mog: Evolution
I pity foreigners whose Glaswegian isn’t good enough to comprehend these bars. There are more truth bombs crammed into the following 4 minutes and 35 seconds than most rappers pen in their entire career.
[bandcamp width=100% height=42 album=3054545254 size=small bgcol=ffffff linkcol=0687f5 track=975440268]
Thoroughly disagree with this top ten? Put your own suggestions in the comments below.
Mog & ZA’s latest release, November 2016