Fusing UK and US rap is no easy feat. Both worlds steeped in tradition and decades of evolution, trying to combine them without losing what makes each special has always required a deft touch. However in 2018, the previously Atlantic ocean-sized gulf between American and British rap music seems to have shrunk somewhat and a new transatlantic sound is emerging, led by the likes of Skepta, Playboi Carti, AJ Tracey, Stefflon Don and A$AP Rocky. Now Brighton’s Ocean Wisdom is joining their ranks. The latest breakout star from British hip hop label High Focus, Ocean Wisdom has a rap style that defies borders, combining grime’s speed and energy with hip hop’s lyricism and wordplay over hyper-charged boom bap beats.
His latest offering is ‘Ting Dun’, a furious burst of relentless bars and jaw-dropping flows. Imagine if Crazy Titch was in Terror Squad and you’re somewhere close. Whatsmore, as if the sheer power of the beat, the hook and Ocean Wisdom’s presence on the track isn’t enough to make this an instant classic (it definitely is), ‘Ting Dun’ also features a titan of hip hop’s history in the form of Cheese Wagstaff aka Clifford Smith aka Method Man. You know, from the Wu-Tang Clan? Arguably the greatest hip hop group of all time? Yeah, that guy.
Premiering today on Notion, the music video for ‘Ting Dun’ sees Meth & Wiz rolling around in low-riders with souped up suspension, flexing in front of New York skyscrapers, getting grills fitted and generally lurking around in an old-school, incredibly hype way. It’s a suitably tongue in cheek tribute to the hip hop videos of old, a time when rappers held baseball bats up to the camera rather than assault rifles and when the bars were about Cadillacs rather than Lambos. Combined with some off-the-wall lighting effects and trippy editing, the whole thing is like an acid trip back through hip hop’s past, which suits the track’s homage to the influence of US rap on the UK perfectly. It’s a real joy to behold.
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