It's a testament to hip-hop's malleability as an art form as well as the universality of its core cultural values that it is the most popular youth culture in Western Europe. And those who view hip-hop as a distinctly American phenomenon should probably take a closer look at the U.K. Though British artists have yet to match the artistic and commercial viability of their U.S. counterparts, they've offered a fresh and interesting perspective on both the art form and the culture. Early pioneers from the late-'80s and early-'90s such as Dereck B and Hijack faithfully and literally adapted the genre for British ears, while more recent artists such as Ty and Roots Manuva have incorporated elements of ragga music to something that sounds completely (and refreshingly) alien. In the U.K.'s vibrant underground scene, innovation is at a premium and seemingly birthing new sub-genres every day. Pirate radio stations, meanwhile, provide the support system, and indie labels flip white label 12-inches like pancakes. This blend of adaptation and talent has made Britain the most important country for hip-hop outside of the United States.