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2Planets – ‘Do it now’
Oh. My. Goodness.
This had to make it onto here as I don’t think there is anything that would attain ‘banger’ status as well as this does, it demands it, and actually, I’d be scared not to give it that label.
To be honest, I don’t know what it is that 2Planets want me to do right now but within 20 seconds they convinced me that I should find out and do it. Aurally 2Planets are a burst dam in your ear canal, and the water is pure grime. T.Amore and Sublow sound like the spawn of M.O.P., conceived in the dirty dirty south and shipped over to Bedford, UK. The Crossfire production is big, hyped and almost drum ‘n’ bass sounding and can only have been designed to rip apart those speakers that come as standard in your mums Toyota Yaris. If you are weird enough, to put it plainly, to try listening to this quietly then you will discover that it is intrinsically loud, it is in its nature to smack your eardrums at any volume.
M.O.P. – ‘Live from Ground Zero’
I might as well carry on with some more certified bangers and who better to choose than M.O.P. I’m not sure what relevance, if any, this has to 9/11 but to quote Lil' Fames first words this has ‘funky beats’ and his ‘dope beat rhymin’ make it so simple’. So now you know. Also this is ‘the showstoppinest rockinest,non-stoppinest poppinest’ track ever…possibly.
O.K. who’s up next?
Bubba Sparxxx – ‘Heat it up’
It’s the most slept upon most under-rated and probably most interesting MC in the south. I’m not much of a fan of the southern sound; it’s not their accent, more the choice of beat. I can’t stand the double time, ear piercing tinny hi-hats and the overuse of synths. Bubba chooses more varied beats - I’m definitely a fan of the more country sounding guitar led tracks but this one is just straight up…er…heat. You wouldn’t be wrong to liken it to Lil’ Jon’s remix of Terror Squads ‘Lean Back’ with the flute loop, hand claps and bass drum being the major components. The difference being that even Bubba’s party raps are more intelligent than the bulk of the mainstream club fodder that you hear in the ‘other room’ in your local lava and ignite.
Bigg Steele – ‘In & Out’
Have you ever been to the dentist and had to have cotton wool swabs in your mouth? Bigg Steele has and he forgot to take them out, also in post production they seem to have taken down the pitch of his voice. Maybe that’s just his real voice. A heavy, unrelenting beat that has more than one loop drives this track and I’m pretty sure the chorus only came about because Bigg actually needed to catch a breath or two before he begun his next onslaught of thuggish utterances. The reversed drum loop that kicks off the third verse is the icing on the cake for me, those four bars just leave me feeling satisfied, safe in the knowledge that those drums will always be reversed and that I can always listen to it again.
The Game – ‘It’s so hard’ (I made that title up)
What with my dislike of southern hip hop I kinda shot myself in the foot with the last two tunes. Here’s a nice piece of westcoast rap from our home slice The Game. This man is single-handedly heralding in a new rap sub genre; I like to call it ‘fan rap’. And yes, he does mention Dre, of course he does, he loves the bloke. Henessey, jail, pistols, hoodrats, snoop de villes and NWA - subjects of choice for any commercially viable rapper are all covered here, oh and Dr. Dre. Craig David’s ugly brother provides the second verse - I don't like Bank$ on the whole but he rides the beat well with a strange, snappy emphasis on the 13th beat of each bar. The beat is just so good that the quality of the rappers doesn’t matter that much.
Karl Hinds – You don’ know
‘In this industry mans get used like roll ons…NEVER!’
Back to the UK again and K Dot H steals the intro off ‘Public Enemy Number 1’ and manages to continue it into an entire banging track. Woo! This track is for those who ‘don’ know’ (his spelling) and by the end you know that he likes shouting lyrics in a likeable high pitched London/Patois kind of accent. Also check out his ‘Don Gramma’, it gives the meaning of UK slang words (A condom is a rubba), a bit like the late Big L did with ‘Ebonics’. And now, on to the underground…
Aesop Rock – ‘Fast Cars’
Yeah! Def Jux alternative kinda guy Aesop Rock raps over a nice steady beat and talks about ‘scrubbing piss with a toothbrush’; all totally listenable and lovely. I don’t know what he’s on about cos it’s not really about fast cars, danger, fire or knives but every time you listen to it you can pretend he makes sense and feel smug that you are listening to something that could be construed as clever and intelligent, that’s what we all like isn’t it? It’s cool to listen to music like this because it’s not gangsta rap isn’t it? Yes, it is, but no-one knows why.
Here’s something new for you, something somewhat more head noddish and, let’s not beat around the bush, something more Albino.
Brother Ali – ‘Truth is’
Brother Ali is apparently an Albino Afro-American (please don’t hate on me if I got that wrong) and he has a nice flow and a good ear for an appealing tune that is a totally finished product. And as I have made a habit of quoting lyrics, ‘I want more’, I really do, I want his new album ‘The undisputed truth’ and like he says ‘Hot songs are supposed to be the voice of our soul’, it’s good to hear a rapper doing what they claim to be doing.
So we’ve had UK, southern, westcoast, underground and for the last track we really go underground…to the grave actually. Hip Hop’s obsession with the deceased has resulted in the recent posthumous hype of J Dilla. To be truthful I’d never really heard of him before and so I thought I’d check him out. The hype is justified and I certainly want to add ‘Ruff Draft’ to my CD collection where I can stash it away next to Pac, Biggie and Big L…oh and the Run DMC album I cut into thirds. Anyway, this track is nice, probably due to the sample, but sampling aint always easy.
That’s it I think, but I just had a thought, dya remember when Westwood got shot? Haha, that was funny. If you think I’m cruel then check out the DVD that came with ‘This is my demo’ by Sway, witnessing wigga Westwood slapping the camera and ruining biggz’z’z rap leaves you wishing that the ride by shooting had been successful. Drop the bomb….!
Brother Ali - Truth is
Karl Hinds - You don' know
The Game - So hard ft. Bank$ & Balance
M.O.P. - Live From Ground Zero
2Planets - Do it now
Bigg Steele - In & Out
Aesop Rock - Fast cars