Attempting to come across like west London’s very own Public Enemy, UK rap band Cash Crew enjoyed a brief flirtation with the hip-hop public in the late 80s and early 90s. Comprising a trio of DJ Loose, Trim and Champion, they earned their only real notoriety with a vicious put-down of Betty Boo (then part of the Outlaw Posse) on ‘Bouquet Of Barbed Wire’. It soon became apparent that the Ladbroke Grove team had neither the attack nor the subtlety to carry off the gangsta act. They did, at least, set some new benchmarks for UK rap, being the first to appear at London’s Marquee Club in 1989, and the first to release an ‘ecology rap’, ‘Green Grass’, two years later. After a restorative period they released a new four-track EP in 1994, Anything Can Happen, which found them reduced to a duo. DJ Loose had moved to Brooklyn, New York, and Champion had rechristened himself Jamal. They additionally set up their own Streetministry label, and began to work with different rappers and producers, including Phreaks Of Nature and the Laylow Posse, on new collaborative projects. Their regular meetings at Hyde Park’s Speaker’s Corner on Sunday afternoons also helped to spark a debate about UK hip-hop and black issues.
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