Dead poets, very good writers and decent spoken word, surely mean that when the Irish want to rap, the progression is natural, but we didn’t want that. The non-rappers were mortified on their behalves. The swagger and arrogance of hip-hop was the antithesis of the self-doubting and self-deprecation of the Irish. And as for the accent, well, nothing sounds better than sad things in an Irish accent, look at The Gloaming. We can do sad, we can do happy, we can do funny and sarcastic but lord above we cannot do bravado. And we can especially not do hip-hop bravado because that archetype was bred from an American ethos; the American Dream and over-coming it all with self belief. Mainstream hip hop to us was about wearing your jewelry big and your dick on your sleeve. The problem was young lads rapping about American problems in an Irish accent or worse; Irish problems in an American accent. Either way it was itchy.
Then Grime spread in England and the valuable lesson that has made it so successful is saving the Irish from doing hip hop wrong; stop trying to be American. Talk in your own accent, about things that are naturally relevant to you and without all that manufactured rage. We hate it when the Americans try to be Irish so I imagine it works the same in reverse. The material is there: we are angry, we’ve been repressed, our police are annoying. Everyone imitates before they innovate but maybe we’re there now and not a moment too soon because the Irish accent wasn’t made to pronounce the word ‘Booty’.