What I like about people like Simon Reynolds is the way he drops weighty multi-faceted jewels that bedazzle you and entice you into looking more at When Brits and Hip-Hop Collide
"The British have always had a thing
for the music of Black America. An almost-random example: Paul Weller. In the mid-'80s, shortly after launching the Style Council, Weller opined that black people were "the only people making any good music, like they've always been." This attitude is surprisingly common among U.K. music hipsters. What makes the British different from black-music devotees in other countries is the combination of pious reverence with a lack of humility. From the Rolling Stones onward, British artists have always been totally confident that they can not only master these foreign forms but contribute to their development. So, Weller, for instance, immediately ignored the implication of his remark (hands off, Whitey) and churned out his own faux soul.
Embedded in the British response to blues, soul, funk, hip-hop, deep house, et al., is a paradox: The strenuous effort to be authentic immediately creates inauthenticity. The more fiercely you identify with the original, the more you erase your own identity and end up producing something not only unoriginal but deeply redundant. This cruel dilemma—fidelity versus mutation—has convulsed British music repeatedly over the decades: from the schisms of trad jazz vs. free jazz, to blues purism vs. progressives, to more recent debates about hip-hop, where the argument is about whether British rappers should ape American MCs or instead inject stilted Anglo cadences into their flow and parochial references into their lyrics."