Many would argue that the UK urban music scene is currently at its most vibrant. The popular charts are awash with homegrown shiny-faced slang bandits, however credible their sound may be. Many critics of the scene constantly debate the affect this had to the true, raw and unpolished hip-hop sound.
Spotting good graffiti is a rarity nowadays and you're only likely to stumble across a true B-Boy at the fragrance launch of the next 'MC' to be named after a small, striped squirrel. Therefore, the pressure was truly on the talents of the UK turntablists at London's O2 Academy to defend the remaining element of real hip-hop and prove that Nas' proclamation that "Hip-hop is dead" just isn't true.
Armed only with a bag a full of records, two turntables and a mixer, the eight UK DJ battle finalists were all eager to be named UK DMC champ. The promise was there for both an aural and visually delightful evening of cuts and scratches. Sadly, the underwhelming competition would've left even the most belligerent of backpack hip-hop heads seeking harmony in the sound of nails down a chalkboard.
Adopting supposedly intimidating pseudonyms like Rasp, Mr. Eclipse and the hilariously titled Dr. Weevil, each battler had 90 seconds to showcase their talents in front of a panel of judges and a scantily filled academy. From the minute the first record was spun the only scratching that made any sense was coming from those in the crowd who couldn't comprehend the racket they were exposed to.
Whilst there wasn't a DJ on stage that matched the turntable dexterity and showmanship of previous DMC legends like Craze, A-Trak and the sadly deceased Roc Raida, it was clear as the rounds progressed that one DJ, named Deceptikut, was surely the deserved winner.
Justice prevailed when he took the crown after battling Rasp, the former UK champion. Rasp was a true character to behold; he turned up late, wore headphones when his opponents were spinning and had all the arrogance of Derek Zoolander; we can only hope this was for comic effect.
On the whole, this years DMC championships won't be remembered as the re-birth of underground hip-hop. The only positives of the night came from the live PAs of UK legends Ty and Klashnekoff, who evoked nostalgia in those who remember when true UK hip-hop had integrity and promise. The night was uninspired and mustered a sense of melancholy for the golden years now passed. Perhaps Nas was right.