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The UK Hip Hop scene emerged in the 1980s, with many early acts paying homage to American heroes such as Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five or Afrika Bambaataa & The Soul Sonic Force, crafting Electro epics for the dance floor (examples being Broken Glass and Newtrament). These artists would imitate their heroes heavily prior to groups such as London Posse, who rapped in their native accents and thus creating truly British, unique hip hop.

By the 1990s, the UK had progressed to a denser, more aggressive style similar to Public Enemy termed Britcore and eagerly moved beyond imitating American accents and inflections. This coincided with a growing trend: the use of patois, a form of Caribbean slang used in Yardie and Rastafarian culture. This different slang lexicon helps differentiate some UK artists from other regions.

UK hip hop was mostly supplanted in popularity in the mid-2000s with the emergence of Grime, an urban Electronic Dance Music style heavily influenced by UK Garage and hip hop. .

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