James Jessop

James Jessop is one of several pioneering graffiti artists to paint Milton Keynes network of bridges and underpasses and has been inspired by books such as Subway art and Spray can art. In the 1980s during UK Hip Hop’s first wave James established himself as a graffiti artist in his home town of Leighton Buzzard before expanding in to neighbouring areas such as the newly established city of Milton Keynes. James‘s achievements are already well documented online but in this article we would like to focus on his pioneering contributions to Hip Hop, Skate-board and Street culture in Milton Keynes during the late 1980s and early 1990s.

“Diab” by James Jessop – Milton Keynes, 1992.

During the 1980s Milton Keynes became a local hub for street culture. The architecture of Milton Keynes provided a perfect environment for skateboarding and the numerous bridges and underpasses have served as canvases for taggers and street artists over the years. In the early 1980s James practiced and developed his artistry encompassed by a newly established UK Hip Hop culture. Continue reading


Urbanist is one of a handful of local pioneering graffiti artists that painted in Milton Keynes during the 1980s. Urbanist discovered Hip Hop culture in the early part of the 80s and was influenced by films such as Beat Street, books Subway Art, Spray can art and early Hip Hop music by artists such as Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five. By the late 1980s Urbanist had begun to experiment using spray paint and had several murals on display throughout Milton Keynes.

“Urbo 50” by Femez, Vapor, Pie, Arkade “Character” by Urbanist – Buzy, MK, 2021.

In 1989 Urbanist relocated to London and attended Southbank University where he studied a HND in Business and Finance. After graduating Urbanist applied his skills in art and business and used his creative talents to work on carnival costumes and backdrops for a Continue reading

British Dialect

British Dialect were a Milton Keynes based Hip Hop crew that formed during the late 1980s and consisted of rappers Two Tone, Power T and DJ/producer Spatts. While the group was active, they created several recordings that to date remain unreleased. This article has been created to acknowledge British Dialect’s contributions to the early Milton Keynes Hip Hop scene.

Spatts (3rd from right) with The Criminal Minds, 1990.

By 1990 Spatts had joined The Criminal Minds and co produced the groups debut EP “Guilty as charged” which subsequently lead to future releases. In the below social media post Spatts points out a reference contained in vocalist Safe D‘s lyrics acknowledging British Dialect rapper Two Tone‘s affiliation to both The Criminal Minds and the local Hip Hop scene. 

“In 1991, we released a Hip Hop EP called “Tales From The Wasteland”. On that record was a track called “Systems Overload”. On that track, Safe D comes out with the following two lines.
Peace Two Tone with your open minded views, Another contribution from the Red, the White the Blue.
That was a reference to a Milton Keynes rapper Two Tone from British Dialect that I was working with prior to the first Criminal Minds vinyl release”.

(Spatts, Facebook, 2020).

Further evidence relating to British Dialect and there involvement with local Hip Hop culture is also present in an interview conducted by Break to the beat with The Criminal Minds lead vocalist MC Iceski. The below quote is taken from the interview which can be accessed in full by clicking the below link. MC Iceski describes hearing British Dialect during the time the group was active.

“As for British Dialect they were a crew Spatts was working with, there was a very talented MC with a very fast flow & firin’ lyrics. This was Spatts side project & they pulled together a number of strong tracks”

(MC Iceski Interview, Break to the beat, 2011).

During the early 1990s rapper Two Tone continued to record music forming Gutter Culture with DJ Maniphest which later became rebranded as Urbanised Citizens. No recordings from either project were officially released and Two Tone eventually reconnected with former British Dialect crew member Power T to work on new material.

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