Thursday, 30 April 2009
Wednesday, 29 April 2009
'Distant Voices' demonstrates ScholarMan's diversity - 'Across Waters' is laid back but 'Well Suited' certainly smacks of Wu-Tang. Jonesy's beats are of that Golden Era survivalist style - y'know, it doesn't sound exactly like the 90s but the influence is there. ScholarMan's lyrics are credible and is his voice is gritty and commanding.
His hook up with SoloCypher, 'Change Thru The Rhyme', expresses a collective desire to use music to catalyse positive changes in the world and when this style of Hip Hop becomes fashionable, I'm sure we'll get there. At the moment, I feel we're in the tail end of the fashion for ignant rap.
Tuesday, 28 April 2009
Got a couple of tracks taken from Rapskallion's forthcoming album, the pleasantly titled 'Slicker Than A Bucket of Snot'. Just in case you didn't know or you forgot, Rapskallions are Slippa and Zoo Mark. 'Just Another Day' is produced by Vee-Kay & Gut1 and 'The Joint' is produced by Wosk Master Astek. If all goes well the album will be out in June on Sweatbox Sounds, around the same time as the Yosh EP, also on Sweatbox Sounds. Oh and Mr. Loop says he's got some stuff on its way too!
Certified Banger - 'The Number One Blog for UK Hip Hop'
This is one of those albums with which you can kick back with in order to really listen to it. There are autobiographical tracks in the form of the funky ‘Won’t Stop’, the slow burning ‘Quicksand’ and ‘I Woz ‘Ere’. There are anthems like Hip Hop versions of Kaiser Cheifs songs in the form of ‘The Landing’ and ‘Put It Down’ (just one of the tracks on which they really pull off the reggae ting). There are top quality collaborations such as ‘North and South’ with Ed Strong (of I.R.S.) and Mic Assassin, ‘Cerberus’ with Vast Aire, ‘War Games’ with fellow North Easters Text Offenders and ‘Grand Slam’ with Copywrite and Ru’ral – all of which have their own unique sound and style.
Production is mainly done in house by Peta Max although Chattabox contributes the instrumental for ‘I Woz ‘Ere’ and Sermstyle supplies beats on ‘No Guts No Glory’. The overall outlook of this album is a very positive one, certainly the music gives that feel even when the lyrics turn to the old Newcy Broon induced fighting talk or the back story of Rick Fury’s life. Check the secret track for beautiful production and a lovely guitar solo.
Despite being 17 tracks long and weighing in at 1.3 hours (whatever that means, thanks itunes for using unconventional units of time) this album is full of quality music, not just the same old, same old. It’s out soon on 1984 records, check back here for more details on its release date – it should do better than Sep's beloved team are doing right now.
Certified Banger - 'The Number One Blog for UK Hip Hop'
'Wifey Bars' from the Missing People EP is on there and 'On the Radar' producer Miss Tofelees' US hook-up with Real Life 'Oven Roast' is on there too. JND, ExP, Never Learn, Angry Nik, Lunar C, The Protagonist, Wydeboy, Mastermind and singer Angela Bellis all feature as do Bradford live Hip Hop/funk band Freyed Knot.
Production is shared between Never Learn and Freyed Knot frontman ExP and JND (also of Freyed Knot) contributes the beat for ‘Wifey Bars’ featuring Wydeboy and Freyed Knot. It’s Never Learn’s beats that are darker with his stand out moment being the Erik Satie sampling ‘Annelids’ – big favourite. ExP provides the more cheerful sounds that match Lunar C’s solo loony lyrics so well on ‘Why Are People Gay?’ and ‘The Earl of Beantin’. ExP also lends verses on ‘Sweaty Gooch’, ‘Needles In The Gutter’ and ‘Let’s Get To This’.
With lines like “I’m heavy like a bag of soggy Argos catalogues” you know you’re going to enjoy listening in to the minds of these young Yorkshire lads for 25 minutes. ‘The Glossop View EP’ is out now on Sinoptic Music and can be bought for a mere £3.50 here.
Certified Banger - 'The Number One Blog for UK Hip Hop'
Monday, 27 April 2009
Awesome concept (which has to spawn other versions surely!) even if I don't agree with his top 10 - lot of 'Grime' MCs here for someone who I consider a very Hip Hop MC. It's all good though, no doubt they've all got skills! His "'If I did a top 10... list" bit at the end is cool too!
Cee Rock 'The Fury' featuring Timid, produced by 12Bit - 'Lyssynup!' - lovely, happy vybes for everybody, it's for all y'all!
Hi peeps, do you like DJ mixes? Well DMC Champ DJ Matman (copied that from the picture but I did know) has got one and it's the first in his series of Fresh Cuts Radio shows. It's got a freshhhh mix of Hip Hop, some from the UK, and it's all erm, fresh. UK Artists involved are Kyza, Jack Flash and 3 Amigos and the US is repped by DOOM and a whole load of Detroit guys (which is the best sort of US Hip Hop guy right now).
‘Bad Guys’ features differing combinations of vocal stylings from core members Toe, Bee 109, S Class, Inja and Skuff. It also features a fine assortment of beats from Shox, Bee 109, Toe, Earshot and Rak.
The album kicks off with some hardcoreness in the form of the no-nonsense ‘Intro’ and metaphorical ‘Goldenaxe’. This, however, is a misleading start because when the funky, up-tempo ‘HipHop Side Effects’ kicks in you hear the type of Hip Hop that DOC are good at. S Class then stands solo on ‘I Don’t Know’ on which he talks real sense over an upbeat piano loop making it a favourite of mine.
‘Laid Back’ is a standout moment mostly because of its 80s science documentary arpeggiated synths and ‘Cream 2009’ (reproduced by Toe) is a quality UK take on Wu-Tang’s classic (although I doubt many American’s will like it!).
Overall, without taking each track in turn, Delegates have put together an album with suitable diversity both in lyrical styles and content and production sound. The album is out today (that’s 27th April 2009) on School Bully Records and you can pick it up over at Disorda’s ever-faithful Suspect Packages.
For a free download of 'Grip', another favourite from the album, click here.
And the video for 'In My Lifetime' featuring Wretch 32, produced by Quincey Tones and taken from his album 'Dear Listener' which is out now and excellent!
Certified Banger - 'The Number One Blog for UK Hip Hop'
Friday, 24 April 2009
If you're looking for an uplift this weekend then it may come in the form of 'When The Sunshine Comes' by Kero One. The story is heartwarming stuff and if you're technically minded check the 'making of' video too. It features Dan Westbeach.
Thursday, 23 April 2009
As a member of N.A.A. (N-Dubz South) that “Na Na Nye” was bound to pierce the air somewhere and I hate to admit but the collabo is pretty catchy. Fellow N.A.A.-ers Solo and L.Man also feature as do big-in-the-gamers Giggs, Wretch 32 and Scorcher.
Big Narstie’s trademark “Hello Hi” punctuates this mixtape as he raps with poise on the classic bravado, lyrical tip. Not all of the lyrical content is to my taste but I’m just one man - this is hype-up music, don’t expect much of a message; just grimace to the likes of ‘Wildout’ and the looming '45 Remix’.
‘The Big Man Returns’ is out now on UK Runnings and can be bought here.
The album is a patchwork of full tracks, actually funny skits (‘Hunting Season’ is about hunting hunters and mounting their heads) and short idea tunes (‘Patience’ and ‘Cartoon Baboon’) which makes listening easy and pleasurable, especially if you have ADHD. Tom’s production more than adds to the joyful feel of this album as he samples what can only by smiles and sunshine in audio form.
Tracks like ‘Town Called Nowhere’ and ‘Livin’ in the 90’s’ (awesome sample used here) will appeal to everyone who has lived in a town or in the 90s – that’s a lot of people and I hope they all hear this album. ‘Ye Old School’ has a great message and is similarly appealing – quite a few of us have similar fond memories of our days in education. ‘Pay Me A Visit’ features Hip Hop legend Count Bass D and is worth a mention in this review for that fact alone.
Elemental and Tom Caruana have the skill to evoke the “That’s so true!” reaction that a good stand up comedian draws from his audience. They are testament to the fact that the mundane things of life (like sick days) can be the funniest and that they make good subject matter for rap songs.
‘Rebel Without Applause’ is a breath of fresh air in our serious scene and whilst not everyone should be on this tip it’s a very good thing that Tom Caruana and Elemental are. It’s out now on Tom’s Tea Sea Records label and is available from their website. Check out the video for 'Cup of Brown Joy' below:
So, Hinckley Town, Leicester may not strike you as a hotbed of Hip Hop but this art form is everywhere and JVF Clique are purveyors of a particularly fine version of it. Just like Havoc and Prodigy they rap about their environment (no, not the Midland's comprehensive rail and motorway network (apart from on ‘Where We’re From’!) or the fact that they live in the “Cradle of the Hosiery Industry”) taking in subject matter such as bored kids turning to drugs, earning pounds and pence and our Government. The realness continues as they chat about frustrating drivers on ‘On The Road’ (check the last verse for the cheeky ending) before substance abuse talk gets well abstract on ‘Brown Horses’.
The production is nicely varied with loads of plundered sound including a few plucked strings - something not heard all that often in Hip Hop. The LP does have a certain mood – one that’s not all that bright – and the lyrics contribute to that as much as the instrumentals. If you’re after happy times then buy something else but be sure to have this to hand when you need some UK real talk and original beats. It’s only £6.99 over at Suspect Packages - trust JVF to do their bit to make up for the countries financial cock-ups.
To check out tracks for free download the whole ‘On The Radar’ series for ‘Those Dudes’, ‘Drugs Need Kids’ and a Certified Banger exclusive!
Wednesday, 22 April 2009
Both tracks are from his album 'Timepiece' which could possibly the biggest Newcastlian surprise since Keegan got United into the Premiership. An in-the-run-up mixtape by Baron Von Alias is available for free download (see the link below and thanks to Kevin Nottingham for this).
I don't know whole lot about Tough Touch but rest assured I'll find out. What I do know is that they are 3 guys - Social Conscience, Kali Mist and Reggie Million$ who are most probably from Bristol. They sent three tracks for you to download for free: 'Ain't Got A Scene' which is produced by Kali Mist, 'Tomorrow' produced by DJ Fingafood and 'Still My Baby' produced by Matchstick. All three tracks are rooted in the classic 90s sound but have a modern edge that makes them fresh for '09, your suckers.
Tuesday, 21 April 2009
The mood shifts as ‘Pain is not Enough’ makes itself known bringing with it angry and anxious emotions although musically things calm on ‘Drift’ whilst tension remains alongside the furtive lyrics. And so the rollercoaster goes.
Topic-wise, the album begins at the end and ends at the very end. The three instrumentals ‘Last Words’, ‘Losing Touch’ and ‘Peace in Death’ could signify the end of a relationship, the end of life or anything in between. Lyrically, feelings have been captured well – the choice of words and tone of voice ensure that you are right there with the vocalist – inside their psyche.
Whilst the production is musical and creatively epic (the album’s highlight) this album does not contain too many good vibes which limits its listenability – if you’re looking for a break-up album, this is it. To check further the work of producer Zack Hemsey look no further than his version of Reebok’s Allen Iverson advert – a youtube cult video.
Monday, 20 April 2009
Saturday, 18 April 2009
So up to date it's painful! Dan Bull rips off Eminem's latest pile of poo and talks current affairs over a montage of relevant video clips. It's a promotional track for his forthcoming album: 'Dan Bull Ruins The Classics'
From: North West (Macclesfield)
Track on ‘On The Radar’: 'Coming For The Game' ft. Jay Madden, Chris L & Assa
Tell us the story behind the track: Chris L hooked up with fellow North West MC’s Jay Madden and Assa, I flipped the beat, DJ NSD from Knutsford came through to do the cuts, Naive recorded the vocals, I produced it, Ojb mixed and mastered it.
Record Label: GP
Who you roll with: A bunch of stinkin’ winos an coke fiends.
Favourite album(s): GZA - 'Liquid Swords'
Describe your style in three words: Thorough, dark, mythological
Past/Present/Future projects: Check out previous Gouki P & Chris L material. Jut also features on HHB Vol. 3, Beit Nun – Where The Art Is, UKHHF Mix CD, Filthy Rich – From The Dirt/Operation Light etc. Future… currently in the process of providing beats for 777, O.N.E., Warghosts, Beit Nun, Analyst and lots of other domes I don’t want to mention yet… Stay tuned.
OK so it's the least original and most used title ever for any rapper/group releasing the first single off their second album but never mind. Reflection Eternal's debut has some of my favourite Hip Hop tracks on it and I'll be looking forward to the return of Talib Kweli and Hi-Tek.
Here's Huddersfield's J Simple with his new track and video 'They Don't Know' - also in the video are Thabo and Jack Flash. The video is directed by David Ainley, who is something of a legend on the UK Skate scene and is known for his video editing skills. 'They Don't Know' is taken from J Simple's forthcoming LP 'Late Night Theatre'.
Friday, 17 April 2009
If you're there then wave some money in Bane's direction and he'll furnish you with a hot off the press green 7" vinyl of his single with Cage. Have a butchers and peep out the last logo on the back:
Thursday, 16 April 2009
Sounding like big things with the Banana Klan hook up and the features from the likes of Verb T, Beit Nun and production from folk like Rusko and 2nd Suzpect - one to look forward to!
The album is a return to that raw East Coast sound - both the beats and the raps have more than just a gritty edge with the instrumentals being hard to the core and the lyrics being hewn from the streets of DC. This LP is for those of you who are sick of the trash being passed of as US Hip Hop at the moment - and it's free.
Whilst I'm bigging myself up you might as well check out the interview Tricksta did with me - yes, he asked the questions and I answered them this time! Excuse the jpg on that page, that's totally my fault!
This track reminds me of Mudmowth's 'Most Colourful Years' - it's about being a kid and the beat by 2nd Suzpect has a real feel good factor. 'Grown Ups' is featured on 'Flying The Flag' and the video was done by Baby Knotted Productions.
Reggiimental and his whole Rusty Jukebox crew are on the rise and are defo ones to watch. The Lost Generation will be dropping their album 'Lost Property' very soon in partnership with Eat Good Records.
Wednesday, 15 April 2009
As usual I've got a never ending pile of CDs and a hard drive full of mp3 awaiting review. Here's what I'll be covering soon, hopefully before each of their release dates:
JVF Clique - 'Alternative Income' (album) Big Narstie - 'The Big Man Returns' (mixtape) Elemental & Tom Caruana - 'Rebel Without Applause' (album)
Dialect - 'D.Day' (album due out April)
Delegates of Culture - 'Bad Guys' (album due out on 27th April)
DJ Vadim - 'Hidden Treaure' (single due out 27th April)
Wordsmith & I.N.C. The Poet - 'Take a Walk in My Shoes' (single due out 27th April)
The Score - 'Opus' (album due out 27th April)
Yung - 'Unconditional Hustle' (mixtape due out 4th May)
Mr. Lif - 'I Heard it Today' (album due out 4th May
Homecut - 'No Freedom Without Sacrifice' (album due out 18th May)
YNR Records - 'Feeding Time At The Zoo' (album due out 25th May)
Wordsmith & I.N.C. The Poet - 'A Baltimore Martini' (album due out 25th May)
Choong Family - 'Baptism of Fire' (pre-album due out 25th May)
The Early Man - 'Alpha' (single due out 25th May)
Resin Dogs - 'More' (album out 1st June)
DJ Vadim - 'U Can't Lurn Imaginashun' (album due out 8th June)
There are probably more too. I'll try get these done for y'all!
Track on ‘On The Radar’: 'Leafs'
Tell us the story behind the track: Fresh flex on battle rhyming.
Record Label: Don’t Talk To Strangers
Who you roll with: Brutal Artistry, Don’t Talk To Strangers & the 9 Lives Clik
Favourite album(s): Jay-Z 'La Roc Famila: The Dynasty'
Describe your style in three words: Confident, complext’d, context
Past/Present/Future projects: 'Sunday Service' 12” out end of June on Don’t Talk To Strangers. And the self titled Album ‘Chief Wigz’ end of the summer also available on Don’t Talk To Strangers. All musics produced by Brutal Artistry Productions. For anymore future releases check the DTTS web links 'cause there are too many to mention.
On the Hip Hop side of things there are loads of artists on here to make this more than worth a purchase: Wordsmith, Kashmere, Jehst, 10Shott, Sir Smurf Lil, Ramson Badbonez, Dr. Syntax, SkinnyMan… I could go on but instead, go check the tracklist. Some of the tracks are little dated but it’s still great to have them alongside newer and more exclusive material.
This is a significant release – it’s the first time Grime and Hip Hop have been mixed together on one release - a good sign of some unity between the two scenes. The music from both sides is of high quality and Tricksta and Lunatrix do nice job of mixing it and making it flow.
‘Flying the Flag’ is out now on RGS Entertainment on 2xCD or mp3 download. UK Record Shop have it in stock now.