UK hip-hop "on verge of breaking" U.S. :Diddy

Fri Jun 11, 2010 10:46am EDT
 
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LONDON (Reuters) - British hip-hop is on the verge of making it big in the United States, according to one of the top names in the genre, Sean "Diddy" Combs.

The U.S. rapper and producer said he believed that British MCs and producers had finally found their own voice.

"I think in the past maybe some of the UK hip-hop artists weren't as authentic to where they come from," Combs, who goes by the name Diddy, told the BBC.

"It's all right to be from the UK and it's all right to talk about what you want to talk about and not try to sound or be like somebody from the U.S."

There is now a "self-pride in UK hip-hop," he added. "That's the starting point. Hip-hop respects something that's authentic.

"Just like the way in the U.S. it took time for the south and the west coast to break, it's the same thing and I just think that UK hip-hop is on the verge of breaking."

British acts are already making inroads into the U.S. music market, the world's biggest.

According to Billboard, Jay Sean led the way by becoming the first British urban artist to top the Billboard Hot 100 chart with "Down" in October 2009.

Taio Cruz followed him in April with "Break Your Heart."

Last month N-Dubz signed a U.S. label deal with Island Def Jam.

(Reporting by Mike Collett-White, Editing by Paul Casciato)

 
<p>Singer Jay Sean performs during the Bollywood Music and Fashion Awards in Atlantic City, New Jersey November 17, 2007. REUTERS/Tim Shaffer</p>