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Dec 05

THE FT Top 100 Tracks of All Time No.72

FT + New York London Paris Munich/Post a comment • 4,800 views

THE WEE PAPA GIRL RAPPERS: Wee Rule

Is it lame to like a song because it has Wee in the title. Of course not. Luckily, that is not the real reason why Wee Rule, well, rules. Though my description of why Wee Rules rules is partially about the idea of “ruling” in a UK slang kind of way. UK rap was still in its very nascent form, and this – along with Smiley Culture – defined (for better and worse) what we were going to get from the UK rap scene for ten years. Often it was quick snatched verses over a pop track. Or a slow, sonambulent Jazzy B stab at something credible. What We Rule does, in a minor sense, is bring it back to the playground.

You would not hear Run DMC saying that they rule. Or that they were skill. The Wee Papa Girl Rappers were clearly British, albeit leaning on dancehall roots. They were not an Althea And Donna for the late eighties though, this was clearly rap. And it managed to slip French swearing on to Top Of The Pops (and even point out it was doing it). It was a pop tune though, and probably led to more school projects where you write a rap about crossing the road. The Wee Papa Girl Rappers (one letter away from being the Twee PGR) told us they were rap, and were just a cheeky pair of South London girls (who have passed their French exams).

All this and the “Bomp-bomp-bomp-bomp” in the chorus: one of those killer stings that roots a tune in your brain for the rest of your life. The Lawrence girls may not have done much more, but were clearly paving the way for Mel & Kim and TLC (though both groups would probably have been able to traverse an unpaved road).

Alright, it does have Weein the title too. That is a bit funny.

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