Celtic Hip Hop

By jaxster
  • Irish Emigration Begins

    Around 9 million Irish born people have left the country to live abroad since 1700. This figure includes those who have left to live in the UK. Why is this relevant? It created a huge 'Diaspora' of people with Irish roots. Similarly, the Scots people have been notably mobile around the world since the 13th Century, and a large number emigrated to English speaking territories from the 18th to the 20th Century.
  • Transatlantic Slave Trade already ongoing

    Transatlantic Slave Trade already ongoing
    From 16th to 19th Century millions of slaves were transported to the Americas from Africa. Why is this relevant? This is what one book says:
    "We contend that hip hop developed as a countercultural art form as a result of the problems that the African American community faced with respect of [...] societal disadvantages" - Simona Hill & Dave Ramsaran, in 'Hip Hop & Inequality, Searching for the "Real" Slim Shady', 2009, Cambrian Press
  • Irish Potato Famine - 1845-1852

    Irish Potato Famine - 1845-1852
    light damaged the potato crop in Ireland, causing mass starvation, as a large proportion of the population were reliant on potatos as a staple. About 1million died and a similar no emigrated during this time. The population dropped by about 25% during this time.
  • Earliest recorded raps - 1920s and 1930s

    Earliest recorded raps - 1920s and 1930s
    A form of rap was already in Trinidadian music in 1800s, deriving from the African musical tradition "griot", chanting over a drum beat. Early rap in Calypso music included political commentary. This type of activism seems to have informed musical genres that derive from it. http://www.ric.edu/faculty/rpotter/calypso.html
  • Partitioning of Northern Ireland

    Partitioning of Northern Ireland
    British Act of Parliament separates Northern Ireland from Southern Ireland.
  • Ghetto Brothers Gang/Music group Form in the Bronx, NYC

    Ghetto Brothers Gang/Music group Form in the Bronx, NYC
    Gang have block parties, which form the basis of the hip hop culture. Amps were plugged into the lamp-posts, and samples of recorded music mixed in with performer's own words. The gang were involved politically, in Puerto Rican nationalism.
  • Mid 1960s - James Brown & Funk Music

    Mid 1960s - James Brown & Funk Music
    Mid1960s, funk music emerges, with James Brown being credited as inventing it. Funk is important to hip hop because rap typically is over the funk drum beat. (So really it is James Brown's drummer we should be crediting here).
  • Irish Troubles begin

    Irish Troubles begin
    No definitive date for the start of the troubles, but it was the late 1960s.
  • Start of Last Poets Group, Harlem, NYC

    Several groups of poets and musicians who came out of the 1960s African-American civil rights movement's black nationalist movement. The name is a reference to a revolutionary poem that said that poetry was in its last generation before guns would take over.
  • The Last Poets - Chastisement

    The Last Poets - Chastisement
    The album featured "jazzoetry" - a blend of jazz and funk with poetry.
    Lyrics of The Last Poets were political, supporting the Black Panthers, a black nationalist party in the US.
  • Marxman Formed

    Marxman Formed
    Left leaning band from Bristol. Irish-Jamaican-UK.
  • Period: to

    House of Pain (1)

    New York band whose name is a reference to an HG Wells story, The Island of Dr Moreau. The band uses time signatures typical of jigs, but not Celtic instruments.
  • Marxman - 33 revolutions per minute

    Marxman - 33 revolutions per minute
    Initial album, featuring their first single, ‘Sad Affair’, which comprised lyrics from the Christy Moore song ‘Irish Ways And Irish Laws’ which the BBC banned. Although this single was controversial,due to having Irish Republican themed lyrics, the band were not Irish nationalists, but militant socialists. Used some traditional instruments on some tracks on this album.
    A second single 'Ship Ahoy' featured vocals from Sinead O'Connor
  • House of Pain - Jump Around

    House of Pain - Jump Around
    Jump Around The single was released in July 1992, reaches no 3 in the US. (Peaks at no 8 in the UK)
  • Marxman - Time Capsule

    The follow-up album (and final album) from the band. Although the band had limited commercial success, it influenced the Bristol scene, with the foundations of Trip Hop.
  • Manau (French Breton Hip Hop band) formed

    Manau (French Breton Hip Hop band) formed
  • Good Friday Agreement in N Ireland

    Good Friday Agreement in N Ireland
    Covering decommissioning of weapons, policing and so on, to bring peace in N Ireland. Agreement supported by all parties including IRA... (apart from the DUP).
  • BBC uses Chris Byrne's Fenians without consent

    BBC "Spotlight" documentary on alleged Irish Republican Army gun-running operation from Florida included 3 mins of Byrne's music. The documentary alleged that the IRA ceasefire was not being acted upon.
    The song however, alludes to British media's derogatory portrayal of Irish nationals - Byrne is strongly anti BBC, connecting it with perpetuating British rule in N Ireland. In 2002, Byrne was given the right to sue the BBC in the US over the usage of the song without consent in this context.
  • Seanchai & the Unity Squad

    Seanchai & the Unity Squad
    Uileann pipes, tin whistles, mandolin, electric guitar, plus two turntables and some microphones... The band was formed by Chris Byrne, an ex policeman, formerly of highly political band Black 47. Soundviews (New York City) says: Seanchai has integrated the reggae and hip-hop from his Brooklyn environs into Irish folk styling and created a true "you got your ganga in my Guinness fusion".
    Seanchai = storyteller in Irish.
  • First Goldie Lookin Chain Album, Don't Blame the Chain

    First Goldie Lookin Chain Album, Don't Blame the Chain
    First offering from the Welsh comedy hip hop act, which sends up both Welshness (eg Fresh Prince of Cwmbran) and hip hop culture (Guns Don't Kill People, Rappers Do). The group have never shied away from controversy, in 2005 dedicating their song "Your Missus is a Nutter" to David Beckham (referring to Victoria) at Wales' World Cup qualifying match against England in the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, and getting into trouble for it in their home town Newport.
  • Beltaine's Fire Formed

    Beltaine's Fire Formed
    San Francisco Bay area anarchist band, fronted by Emcee Lynx. Formed with the Wills Wilde - experimental folk band + a couple of extra musicians. Initially traditional Irish and Scottish music with some rap elements but evolved more towards hip hop as they went on.
    From 2006, Wills Wilde were not involved.
    Instrumentation includes banjo, cello & mandolin. "Beltaine's Fire is a 5-piece folk-rap juggernaut of revolutionary love & rage taking aim at the dark heart of Empire" according to Bandcamp
  • Y Diwygiad - First EP

    Y Diwygiad -  First EP
    Y Diwygiad means the Reformation. The 2 core group members met at the Welsh National Eisteddfod at an impromptu freestyling session. The Welsh Hip Hop collective rap in "Welsh, English, French, Spanish, and [....] Breton over beats that encompass electronica, ragga and drum'n'bass, they are staunch Welsh language champions." - BBC.
    Other Welsh language rappers include Hoax Emcee and Dybl-L; the Welsh hip hop scene is particularly active in Cardiff. Source - BBC Wales Music site.
  • Silibil n Brains - Great Hip Hop Hoax Ends

    Silibil n Brains - Great Hip Hop Hoax Ends
    2 rappers, who had been laughed at by London record producers for being Scottish manage to obtain fame and success for 3 years by pretending to be from the US West Coast... The recency of this event shows how young Scottish Hip Hop is, and how it is still only early days for those rapping in the Scottish accent. The incident has now been made into a film and the duo have made a comeback.
  • Beltaines Fire - Liberty

  • Period: to

    House of Pain (2)

    The band reformed briefly.
  • Stanley Odd - Marriage Guidance on the album Reject

    Stanley Odd - Marriage Guidance on the album Reject
    The song uses marriage as a metaphor for the relationship between Scotland and England, and is an exchange between the two aggrieved parties, describing essentially the independence debate. Reject, the album containing the song was released almost 2 full years ahead of the Scottish Referendum date, yet Marriage Guidance manages to cover the main arguments for and against with panache. Watch the Video
  • Werd & SeaBass - City of Stone

    Werd & SeaBass - City of Stone
    Pro-independent Scotland song released during the run-up to the referendum.
  • Stanley Odd release "Son I Voted Yes"

    Stanley Odd release "Son I Voted Yes"
    Stanley Odd released a non-album track following demand from fans, with just days to go before the Scottish referendum. The song is about a father telling his son why he voted yes for independence but cleverly doesn't say who won. The video accompanying the song received over 20k hits on YouTube within just a few hours of the song's release. - Daily Record, 5 Sept 2014
  • Scottish Referendum on Independence from UK

    Scottish Referendum on Independence from UK
    Voters asked 'Should Scotland be an independent country?'
    (in the event, the no vote won... )
    “Good rappers should be a reflection of the society they are a part of, and hip-hop has always been about empowering people in their own communities to look after their own interests,” he says. “The referendum is a massive chance for Scotland to do that. Scottish hip hop artists see this as a time to create more opportunities.” - Steg G, DJ & manager Power Cut Productions (Scots Hip Hop label).
  • Beltaine's Fire Cease to be Active

    Beltaine's Fire Cease to be Active
    Anarchitecture their 3rd album is released, and the band donate the profits to the Occupy Wall Street movement.
    All Emcee Lynx's work is on a pay what you can basis.
  • The Future??

    I think Celtic Hip Hop is still developing and will have a lot more to say, particularly with all the social issues we have in the age of austerity politics.

    Whether the form of the music supporting the rapped social comment will remain similar remains to be seen - my best guess is that it will continue to evolve in its sound and take new technologies on board, but I think it will stay around as long as it remains politically or socially conscious.