Visit Zwolf's myspace for more of an insight into his warped world - apparently he cites "zwolf is staring at your earlobes" as an influence. Crazy dude.
Thursday, 28 May 2009
Visit Zwolf's myspace for more of an insight into his warped world - apparently he cites "zwolf is staring at your earlobes" as an influence. Crazy dude.
Wednesday, 27 May 2009
‘Superstar’ is full of big, well polished and radio-ready productions that thankfully don’t conform too much to current trends but are more in line with Kanye or Lupe’s best work. Some instrumentals are a little samey but out of 21 tracks everyone will find their favourites.
Lyrically Slickmouth has the ability to put things simply but skilfully. He raps cathartically about love and life and also doesn’t hesitate to rap egocentrically. Slickmouth raps positively, with little reference to the usual stereotypical Hip Hop themes. It seems to me there isn’t a shortage of the more romantically themed songs, obviously aiming for the female market there. As a male Hip Hop head, here are the tracks I feel both for production and the rapping: ‘Universal Soul Music’, ‘I’m Back’, ‘Don’t Be Mad’, ‘I Made It’, ‘Music’, ‘Never Give Up’ and the old skool, all hands on deck ‘1988 Allcast’.
Latest reports show that the most recent movements are coming from J-Simple who can often be seen raining down fire with Jack Flash. J-Simple’s debut single ‘They Don’t Know’ should see him explode onto the scene with its molten Apa-Tight beat, his own pyroclastic flows and Thabo’s ashy tones on the chorus. With Jack Flash’s jazzy remix luring you into a false sense of security, be sure you heed the warning signs.
The B-side ‘Breath Control’ features Leeds MC Chief Wiggum and Jack Flash – sonically it’s like the darkness that follows the destruction, lyrically the three MCs make this concept track air tight over the Brutal Artistry production.
‘Even though you may not know now, you soon will. ‘They Don’t Know’ is available on itunes now on the Klinik label, it’s packaged up with the instrumental, radio version, the Jack Flash remix and ‘Breath Control. Check the video at youtube. Listen to 'They Don't Know' now on the Certified Banger Podcast.
Check out Bradford's latest mic masher, Lunar C (of Missing People), on the track with one of West Yorkshire's two best beatboxers, Ball-Zee (Megamouth is the other!). Here's Lunar's homemade 'video', illustrating perfectly his hyperactive lyrics.
So the Beastie Boys have announced the title of their new album: 'Hot Sauce Committee', they've just remastered 'Check Your Head' and 'Paul's Boutique' and released all sorts of goodie packs surrounding those two remasters and they went on Jimmy Fallon's show the other night to begin their promo. Glad to see they're still going strong!
Tuesday, 26 May 2009
Edmund Cavill is the guy behind The Earlyman and late 90's soul/indie/Hip Hop outfit Spacek and he's readying the release of 'Lola Una', his debut LP under his new guise. The album features Mr Ti2bs as well as Infinite Livez and Foreign Beggars (who feature on this release's B-side 'Slinky') and MC Kombo who raps on the A-side 'Alpha'.
'Alpha' is all about the rapper's brother's alcohol and narcotic abuse and deteriorating mental health - not normal subject matter for a banger but it works at the same time as highlighting an important problem in our society.
'Alpha' is out now on Stopstart Recordings and can be bought here. Click here to hear more music from The Earlyman.
On occasion the hook is the guest MC – Jehst, Verb T and Dubbledge represent the UK Hip Hop scene and Finale Detroit’s. Verb T’s contributions on ‘Invisible World’ and ‘Frozen In Time’ sure build up anticipation for the Invisible Inc. project he and Ghost are involved with alongside Kashmere. Both tracks are pretty atmospheric yet the drums maintain the head nod – a formula Ghost has perfected.
What’s nice is that the tracks here are not samey, and not just for background music (although it is great for that). ‘It’s All Love’ explodes with cheeky jazz swing right before Ghost’s spaced-out version of DJ IQ and Jehst’s ‘Elevate’ kicks in. I can only describe ‘See You Crying’ as a Massive Attack-esque power ballad whereas ‘Remember’ manages to remind me of Jimi Hendrix, early-days Oasis and psychedelic-times Beatles all in one track – definitely a stand out. Then ‘Road To Somewhere’ shuffles into existence with as much jive as a Hip Hop head could wish for.
The much-anticipated ‘Freedom of Thought’ is being released on 15th June on Breakin Bread and there’s no doubt – you should buy it!
Beatroute - Saturday 30th May 2009, in Canterbury, featuring Mr. Loop, Yosh, Rapskallions and loads of other DJs, Breakers, Graffers and the likes.
You’ll be glad to know that overall there is a Hip Hop focus; it’s just that all the other elements make this fresh and different. The rappers list consists of the gorgeous Yarah Bravo, La Methode, Pugs Atomz, Juice Lee, Big Red and Chicagoan singer/rapper Wes Restless all of whom add their unique voices to great effect – these aren’t just your average rappers. The roll of singers drafted in for the soulful, R’n’B numbers is jam-packed and multi-cultural too.
Whatever style he tackles, be it Ska, Reggae, Electro, Soul, Folk or Rap, DJ Vadim comes up with rose-smelling Hip Hop every time. ‘U Can’t Lurn Imaginashun’ seems to be available now on BBE Records at all the usual places; itunes, Amazon… etc.
Check out the heavy and almost militant new single from the UK's Nine High (although two of them now live in Oz) which is produced by Aussie producer of the moment M-Phazes (who's worked with Pharoahe Monch, Royce Da 5' 9" and Micall Parknsun). The guys kinda sum up UK (and probably Australian) Hip Hop on this track, but not in an obvious way. Their self titled album will be released on 6th June on Taos Records.
Monday, 25 May 2009
Chrome's 'Flow Man' EP has the the bounce that you could well imagine Das EFX rickedy-rocking their unique brand of lyricism over. So, it was bound to sound like the 90s when one track is Chrome's own remake of Organized Konfusion's 'Bring It On' (not on some X-Factor cover/Karaoke bar tip) but the title track and previously heard on a Sir Beanz OBE (he produced it) project 'Miles From Home' just make this the perfect throwback package.
Normally Chrome can be found rocking out with the Def Tex crew but if there's more solo stuff to come, I'll welcome it with open arms. 'Flow Man' is out now on Son Records and can be bought for 3 squid on CD or half the price on mp3.
Friday, 22 May 2009
Wednesday, 20 May 2009
1. 'Braggin' Writes' - J-Live. "One of the original joints that brought J into the consciousness of all underground heads worldwide. The beat that you can't date. Crazy flow. Wherever I listen to it I feel like all of a sudden I'm in a cypher at the back of a grimy New York club. Plus at live shows he does the cuts himself whilst rhyming."
2. 'Them That's Not' - J-Live. "Yep. That's the one with that dope beat that speeds up and J rides it all the way. Ill concept."
3. 'A Charmed Life' - J-Live. "An honest autobiography by the man himself. Beautifully drawn portrait, a wonderful flow and a "How-to" lesson in story telling."
4. 'True School Anthem' - J-Live. "I remember seeing J perform this live with L-Fudge and Mr Complex at Fresh Jive Leeds, back in the day. Big up all the b-boys and b-girls Fresh Jive Leeds! He had us singing "No skool rule like true skool!""
5. 'The Truth' - Handsome Boy Modelling School ft. Roisin Murphy & J-Live. "My last track. Alright, not strictly a J-Live track. But it is, in fact, one of my favourite verses managing to take a song that you don't think can get much better and cold killin' it!"
Monday, 18 May 2009
Officially it’s a mixtape but it does feature full tracks with original production as well as verses over pilfered beats - the former truly stand out. Some heads may not be ready for Starr’s flow which switches without warning from hyperactive to lethargic but this is what makes this charismatic MC truly stand out from the pack.
The unique delivery walks hand in hand with the enigmatic subject matter, whether he’s painting a picture of life in his Slough estate, likening himself to a toreador, talking about the booze or paying the bills Joker Starr makes rap music you want to listen to, like, so you’re actually hearing and hanging on to every word he’s saying.
With production from Beat Butcha, Dan Solo, G-Man, Keith Lawrence, Ahmos and Soliheen, guest raps from Genesis Elijah, Jehst and Micall Parknsun amongst others and an intro from the Gangstarr man himself, Guru, this is a CD worth your £7.99 (from Suspect Packages) – and I’m really endorsing this one, it’s just so flippin’ refreshing to hear Rap that manages to be fun and serious all at once.
When a friendly cuppa becomes one third of a collaboration and a case of stalking makes up the remainder, one should expect remarkable results. So it was that Homecut, the alias of MC, beatboxer and singer Testament, built his single ‘I Don’t Even Know’. The track features the vocal talents of chart topping songstress Corinne Bailey Rae who heard the track when she popped into the studio for a drink and subsequently demanded to sing on it. Then, after tracking him down and hijacking a radio interview Homecut also managed to get a sax solo and 16 bars from Birmingham jazz/rap cat Soweto Kinch.
Homecut’s debut album ‘No Freedom Without Sacrifice’ boasts contributions from over fifty musicians plus a couple of rap cameos. Ty firmly stamps his approval and American MC J-Live trades bars on ‘Time Difference’, a track that covers three concepts: time zones, the day in the life of a rapper and coming to terms with growing up. Working with a hero via phone and email after supporting them at a show may be unconventional and difficult but as Testament explains, “J’s really on it… he always comes correct” – in fact the hook-up deserves full marks.
Thematically, Testament raps about reality: “Life can be tough – I think everyone can identify with that. This is my attempt at expressing this…” Don’t get it twisted though, he continues: “…but also the sense of hope and perseverance that got me through it”. Moaning and negativity have no place in the Homecut repertoire - positivity is key to the overall sound.
When Homecut isn’t roaming the country recording in all manner of places (boats, dressing rooms,churches…) he’s busy being a part of Shlomo’s Vocal Orchestra, performing with a 6 piece band and running music workshops in prisons. It’s this unique combination of factors that makes for the refreshing musical output of this London-born, Leeds-dwelling, full time musician. Carving his own groove in a 30 year old genre, Homecut is stuck in no rut and fits in no mould.
HHC, in their new tradition of giving an mp3 of a track by each featured artist put up Homecut's collaboration with J-Live, 'Time Difference', for you to listen to. The album 'No Freedom Without Sacrifice' is out on Monday 25th May.
What with UK Rap and its Marmite status, this release will probably provoke one of two reactions: “Yawn, backpack rap - boring” or “Finally some decent Hip Hop in this Grime-addled scene”. I’m going to imagine you’re of that second opinion: after all, you’re not reading this in Angling Times.
Sunday, 17 May 2009
Saturday, 16 May 2009
Check out the videos for Speech Debelle's two singles 'The Key' and 'Go Then, Bye':
The B-Side is ‘The Big Picture’, it features similar blunted production although this one features a distorted double bassline to infiltrate your brain. Neither tracks were on his album ‘Who Is This Man?’ which was released in January, so if you bought that, this isn’t a waste of cash.
Check this beauty out now on itunes and peep his albums on Amazon.
Friday, 15 May 2009
There’s a fair bit of love talk on this album (‘Pros, Hos and Cons’, ‘Love Sick/Sick Love’ and the brilliant ‘Angel’) but none of it is cloying but nor is it depressing. Catch 22 speaks honestly and with authority on relationships and the fairer sex. Other tracks are just straight up bangers – ‘Immaculate’ and ‘Cut the Crap’ both need a Spinal Tap-esque volume knob, and they’re not the only ones.
Where Catch 22 speaks about everyday life he manages to remain engaging where most rappers sound self indulgent – mainly due to his turn of phrase, on point flow and nice rhymes. Whilst many of the subjects explored on this album are pretty… erm, well, miserable it’s still entertaining – the Harlequin simile is extremely justified.
Over the 16 tracks I.C also features on raps as does Standard, making this the effort of a real tight family. ‘The Harlequins Monologue’ is available now from Sugar Free Records for an unbelievable £6.
As a fan of UK Hip Hop, or indeed any sort of Hip Hop, there’s only so much of the same thing one can take. On ‘Lost World’ C-Sparks bemoans society but does little to add to the solution - as result it comes off a little dreary and samey. The grey mood doesn’t lift - I guess that’s just who he is and what he’s experienced, take ‘Sunshine’ as case in point. ‘Conspiracy Theory’ is an interesting examination of modern war tactics and is the best track here - this C-Sparks has something to say.
‘Rooftop’ is a little lighter but then, it’s the same old, same old weed talk. Artists with abilities (such as C-Sparks) need to extend their creativity beyond just rhymes and making dope beats – there need to be concepts, originality and thoughts from outside the box.
Overall, this is an average release (think half marks) from a talented individual and I’m well aware that there are many out there who totally vibe of music like this and would not share any of my opinions. Why not listen for yourself and let me know how wrong I am?! It’s available now and a search reveals its availability at eMusic.
Thursday, 14 May 2009
On the album it’s followed by the melancholy ‘Beautiful not Suitable’ which boasts the vocals of Black Spade and is a tale of love and disappointment. Elsewhere things are a little less Hip Hop and more ethereal although tracks like ‘Relax’ featuring Deborah Jordan manage to combine the two. ‘Mask’ and ‘Moog Jam’ manage to combine the above formula with some dirty electronica. Other tracks reveal world music and jazz influences.
‘Waiting For The Sun To Come Up’ evokes the exact feelings you’d expect to experience whilst doing what the title suggests. Imagine a long night of good partying, hitting the beach in the early hours and just being content to lie and wait for the morning to come.
The album ‘Soundspecies’ by Soundspecies is out now on Burnt Progress. The EP (which features Foreign Beggars) is also available now on 12” at Phonica Records.
It's also coming with either 35 or 40 free mp3s from all the artists featured in the mag as well as a mix by The Last Skeptik (but not DJ Skeptik mind!).
Wednesday, 13 May 2009
Spitz spits some political, sometimes religious and always forceful raps on his free to download 'Deep Water (Bags of Sand)' - check 'Not In My Name' and 'Free Palestine' for his manifesto. If you want something a little more normal listen to the relaxing 'Head Up'. Download 'Deep Water (Bag of Sand)' now. Spitz is an interesting character as he's a convert to Islam from a western background - born in Wales, lives in London. Click here for more info on the guy. Look out for the second part of the 'Deep Water' series coming soon.
Krate Krusaders who provided some excellent tracks for Volumes 2 and 3 of my 'On The Radar' series have been working with Devi for a couple of years now. The culmination of which is this selection of tracks under the name 'The Devinekrusade' EP. What you get is quality, sometimes quirky boom-bap beats and solid lyrics exploring a nice variety of ideas. Check out 'Hip Hop Frankenstein' and 'Fruit' for the freshness. Click here for 'The Devinekrusade' then find them on myspace or facebook 'casue them boys want feedback like a guitar next to an amp.
East Midlands MC Rukus intends to put out a mixtape every other month this year. Part one of the '2000 N Mine' series is available now, and has been for a little while (well, since April), I'm sure there'll be another soon (keep checking here for more). Alex Blood and Ty feature on 'Overstand' and many tracks (such as 'Jus Flow' and 'Hear Me') toe the Hip Hop/Grime line daringly - a little different to his work with producer Baby J. The quality of this isn't that great but the skills come through nevertheless.
I've slept on this release and this artist for way too long. Rob Kelly is undoubtedly one of Ireland's best and with his unashamed accented lyrics surely everyone wants to hear him go in over House of Pain's 'Jump Around'. Rob Kelly has the hardest lyrics, it's no wonder that Frankie Krutches, Slaine and Memphis Bleek feature. On 'St. Patrick's Day Massacre' RK freestyles and raps his way through 21 tracks of hard beats - what you waiting for? It's been long enough - download it!
Tuesday, 12 May 2009
The track sums up the concept of the whole album. The two MCs basically compare lifestyles in their different locations – a theme which is explored in depth on the album ‘A Baltimore Martini’. Strada’s production has a westcoast-ish, top-down-on-the-way-to-a BBQ vibrancy which matches up nicely to the vocals of our tourguides.
‘Take A Walk In My Shoes’ is out now on Nu Revolution Ent. and ‘A Baltimore Martini’ will drop on 25th May.
Conspicuous, Cobane and Shameless all feature on the hypnotic ‘Flesh and Blood’ and the mixtape’s theme continues. It finishes off with ‘Nothing Remix’, a big and bouncy anthemic tune which features Major and T-Lo – defo a favourite. As is usual with mixtapes, things are a little unfocused and samey but this is decent music nevertheless.
‘Unconditional Hustle’ is out now on MKD Recordings/The Hip Hop Village/RGS Entertainment.
A case of tapping into popular markets? I think so! Inja goes all grime with the music, the look and the Granny-scaring subject matter. Man he's even got backing dancers (I like dancers though)! Not sure what I think of this yet...
Here are few tracks borrowed from other blogs that I'm feeling. They're all from the US so enjoy this brief excursion from my usual fare:
I'm ready for new Wu-Tang type stuff so this U-God track with Ghostface comes at a good time: 'Train Tussle'. 'Blackout' was and is one of my favourite albums so I'm looking forward to 'Blackout 2'. Red and Meth seem to have let a few tracks go including 'How 'Bout That' which I'm feeling lots.
Kid Hum has just put out a free album called 'Offshore Drilling' and this track with Braille is a good un - I really like Braille for his honesty and his general on track persona and the production suits him to a tee. The track is 'Thinking Shoes'.
I love a bit of Mos Def too so hearing his latest 'Casa Bey' was a treat for me. It's a fast paced and funky return to the game for this chap - reminds me a bit of 'Universal Magnetic' - a good thing.
For some reason I can't resist The Game. And here is his latest track 'Bang Along' which is a real laid back joint on which he chats general reminiscences about the westside.
Monday, 11 May 2009
Part of the Millenium Jazz Movement, Louisunseen's 'Never Unheard EP' (see artwork left) features his beats and vocals from Mp3dom, Verbal Remedy, Mr. Prophecy, Doobs and Hannah C over 4 tracks. Go to his msypace page for more info.
'The Pro P Files Vol. 1' is a collection of 'On The Radar' artist Professor P's productions for a wide selection of (mostly Northern) MCs and crews including Analyst, Antidote, Kulez, Stoney, Connect Logic, Chris L, TPS Fam and Dweller. Download it here.
Lee Scott and Monster Under The Bed got together one day and recorded a ten track album under the name McAbre Brothers. With production from Reklews, Lee Scott and Dilner The Lost Kid and track names like 'Grande Gonzo' , 'Moron Tick' and 'The Men Who Stare At Goats' you probably already know if you want this one or not. Download it from Blah Records now if you do.
Bashy got together with The Truth Movement at Maida Vale for the BBC to record a little free download for y'all. It's simply called 'The Jam Sessions' and it's 4 tracks, all on that live flex. Get it now.
Werd, the scottish rapper has released his latest mixtape as a free download (surprise, surprise). It's called 'The Scottish Rapper Mixtape' and it features Deeko, Wardie Burns and Riddlah and a lot of self production. Get it here, for free. If you like it then go buy 'S.O.S: Sons of Scotland' by Werd and Deeko.
Lastly, for now, Leeds based multi-genre label Crackhouse Recordings have made their back catalogue available for free download here. Expect gully whackiness from Lyrical Dan, Ill Phil, Tha PCP, SmackDaddy MCz, No Change and more!