Just over a month ago, jaws hit the floor when Leaf Dog‘s The Legacy dropped a couple weeks ahead of the release of the rapper’s second full-length album ‘Dyslexic Disciple‘. After a lot of head scratching, discussion and trawling through artists’ back catalogs here in the UKHH camp, we couldn’t think of any examples of UK hip-hop tracks that had as many features as the whopping 19 guest MCs boasted on this (nearly 8 minute long) beast of a tune. Then we discovered Eskar‘s FluteJam which also crams 19 extra heads onto one long-arse song. If we’ve missed an obvious example that packs a bigger crew then please get in touch and correct us but to the best of our knowledge Leaf now holds the joint record for the biggest posse on a tune. This would of course be worth shit all, if The Legacy was a pile of steaming faeces. Fortunately though its sick. In addition to it managing to stay listenable for twice the length of a normal song with one loop, no hooks and 160 bars split into 8 bar segments the line-up of talent assembled is also pretty momentous. Joining half of the High Focus label roster, a handful of UK hip-hop royalty ices the Legacy cake including spots from Jehst, Klashnekoff, Mysdiggi (fka Mystro), Sonnyjim, Chester P, Farma G and a surprise Phi-Life Cypher reunion for good measure.
So hats off and mad props to Leaf Dog for all that and to mark this achievement we’ve put together a list of 10 of our favourite examples (not ranked) of guest appearances getting crowded.
Artist 01: Eskar
Track Name: FluteJam
No. of Guests: 19
Guest Artists: Scorzayzee, Sandy Minto, Tenchoo, Spee 69, Micky Swagz, Spida Lee, Doberman, Junior Disprol, ABD, Krankit, Watson G, Mury P, Kinetik, Jolly Jay, Ciaran Mac, Lego, Obi Joe, Gen, Micall Parknsun.
Seems only fair to start with the joint champ at rounding up a posse. Although it has the feel of something old, on second glance this appeared on YouTube less than a month in front of The Legacy!! In fact a lot about the two tunes surfacing at almost the exact same time feels like a bit of a cruel joke on poor Eskar. To be honest I don’t really rate Eskar’s other material that I’ve heard but this is pretty cool. Firstly, particularly as his name doesn’t have the same clout as Leaf Dog’s, the organisational mission of getting this many artists involved isn’t a small feat. Credit where it’s due as well, while it looks like Eskar only held the record for the most guests for a few weeks before The Legacy popped up and equaled it, he’s still definitely the longest by a huge measure with everyone putting down 16s. Also, considering its gargantuan length it manages to be mostly sick throughout. The majority of rappers involved are more or less unknowns but there’s a good level of variation in style and texture achieved in part by drawing lyricists from all over the country.
It’s not really surprising that this has been eclipsed by The Legacy, mainly because of the calibre of the names involved. While the talent on FluteJam isn’t shit, there are only really 2 MCs out of them who are in the same lane as the rhymers on The Legacy. It’s obviously not a mistake that Scorzayzee opens and Micall Parknsun finishes being the two heaviest hitters involved. This being said, while at the time of writing The Legacy has 115,000 views, FluteJam is barely a blip on the radar with only 120! That works out as 6 views for each rapper involved. It 100% deserves a fuck load more checks than that especially as it’s had its parade pissed on a bit.
Artist 02: Tony Broke
Track Name: 68 Sag
No. of Guests: 6
Guest Artists: Bill Shakes, Lee Scott, King Grubb, Tommy Dockerz, Black Josh, Bang On.
For the sake of coming up with this list, the main rule was that it had to be specifically the number of guest artists not simply the number of people on a tune. E.g. Split Prophets or Cult of the Damned wouldn’t make the cut alone. So this one verges on seeming a bit of a cheat as COTD member Tony Broke has roped in 4 out of 6 of the guest spots here from the Damned talent pool. However, as this track dropped in 2014, at this point Cult of the Damned were still Children of the Damned which didn’t include Black Josh and Tony Broke’s involvement with the crew was minimal with him featuring on only 1 tune on the Brick Pelican album. Also it’s off a solo release. Also its vibes.
Artist 03: 184
Track Name: Posse Cut (Kashmere Remix)
No. of Guests: 7
Guest Artists: Skuff, Koaste, Dr Syntax, Sonny Jim, Rup, Stig of the Dump, Salvo Mifune.
Nice selection of barsmen on this bite sized yet crowded number from 184 off the album When Producers Attack. Possibly the most surprising thing about it in contrast to the rest of the beats in this category is how it manages to bung 7 rappers onto such a short track. The second Kashmere remix posted here runs a modest 3.34 but the harder album version is somehow a full minute shorter. Fucks off the intro, gets down to some savage bars and done. Efficiency points. Cambridge’s Skuff and Brighton’s Koaste start it off strong making way for some heavy hitting verbiage from Syntax, Sonny and Stig. Sick.
Artist 04: Roots Manuva
Track Name: Swords in the Dirt
No. of Guests: 6
Guest Artists: Blackitude, Fallacy, Big P, Skeme, Niara Scarlett, Rodney P.
This list would seem weirdly incomplete without an entry showcasing uk hip-hop’s old guard repping hard. We struggled to think of many UK hip-hop albums from a way back that had high feature numbers but Swords in the Dirt off 2001’s multi-influenced masterpiece Run Come Save Me fits the bill pretty nicely. This spacey yet stompy one is a classic, with an MC line-up that includes the UK scene’s last man standing Rodney P killing it as per usual.
Artist 05: Dirty Dike
Track Name: Future Posse Cut One Thousand
No. of Guests: 10
Guest Artists: Stig Of The Dump, Dr Syntax, BVA, DatKid, Verb T, Jam Baxter, Edward Scissortongue, Mr. Key, Fliptrix, Leaf Dog.
As obscene Posse Cuts have become something of a High Focus trademark its unsurprising that a couple places in this selection have been reserved for HF artists. The Legacy for now is the culmination of a trend amongst label mates of seeing how many rappers its possible to cram on to a track, with this offering by Dike in particular establishing itself as a heavy hitter. While the meagre 10 spitters Dike dragged along might not quite compete with The Legacy on the headcount, it’s definitely funnier. Dr Syntax, Stig and Verb T stand out for jokes with Jam Baxter and Fliptrix bringing some savage bars as well. Also noteworthy, the beat absolutely bangs, the video is dope and each MC comes with a 16 which results in track length being a massive 10.19 mins.
Check out number 6-10 on the next page.