Saturday, 31 July 2010

'I Got Game' - Stig Of The Dump (review)

Stig of the Dump is back, big and more bolshy than ever. Coming somewhat like a battering ram Stig slams home his self-belief on 'I Got Game'. Pete Cannon provides the street fighter sample-littered pounding backdrop. Check the whole 38 second-long intro, it's just epic - there's no wonder Stig drops like he does on this one!

'I Got Game' is out on Monday 2nd August on Lewis Recordings and is taken from the forthcoming album 'Mood Swings'.

'Around My Way' - Mystro (review)

You may not have realised but UK Hip Hop scene mainstay Mystro has a new single out. Mystro's been doing it for years and never makes a bad record - "Is that true? Nah it's not true it's matter of fact, fool."

'Around My Way' is just a really enjoyable and upbeat piece of Hip Hop, full of punchlines and presentable to everyone. Amateurs take note - this is a great example of how Hip Hop should be. The production from DJ Swerve does nothing but complement Mystro's cool, calm and witty delivery.

'Around My Way' is available now on itunes and at Amazon.

For a little free something from Mystro then look no further than his track 'Council Flats' on which he raps over the Joell Ortiz track 'Project Boy'. This track is taken from the forthcoming mixtape my Shortee Blitz entitled 'The Standard volume 1'.

'Burning Down the Guest House' - Guest House (free download)

A regular on the Leeds Hip Hop scene as part of Blessed House, this non-Northerner is doing his own thing with 'Burning Down The Guest House'. Backed up with scratches a-plenty from DJ Analogue (both Blade and Rakim get cut up), production from Seizure and Pro P and sing song from Tash Williams.

With sonics ranging from Dubstep on 'Certified Skanker' to beautifully melodic pianos and strings accompanied by a classic break on opener 'Puzzle Ring' things don't get boring over the 5 tracks available here - each song has its own identity.

'Brown Nose' features a hefty chunk of a Gordon Brown speech accompanied by Guest House's political thoughts - you might find you agree with the sentiments. Wonder what he makes of the Lib Con government?

'Intro/Outro' is the only track produced by Pro P and the cut up soulful sample accompanied by pounding mid-range percussion certainly hammers the track home. As on all the tracks, Guest House rides the beat skilfully with unostentatious and authentically solid rhymes - no cheese.

'Burning Down The Guest House' is available now for free from Bandcamp. There are a few hard copies also so get in touch the G. House at his myspace page for one of those.

Friday, 30 July 2010

What's Worth Hearing Today? Part 2 (free downloads and reviews)

Roots Manuva has met Wrongtom and made a tune called 'Jah Warrior'. It's really cool - I love a bit of Mr. Manuva and this Wrongtom fella seems pretty dope too. They've also done a couple of remixes; one of 'Buff Nuff' called 'Rebuff' and I think it's a greater than the original, especially in the chorus. 'Bashment Boogie' also gets tickled with the remix stick and 'Basement Bogle' is definitely rather bogling - good stuff. Buy.

UK Hip Hop artist QRED has joined up with US MC Brandeesh, looped up some apocalyptic beats and got busy with the darkness in a most admirable way. 'Raise The Levelz' has those big sonics that every Hip Hop fan really hankers after. You can download three tracks fro free - but only if you then keep your ear to the underground for more.

Leaf Dog has roped in the rest of 3 Amigos, Jimmy Raygun and Deadline on this Naive produced banger to tell us to do it 'Right Now'. Usual madness from these boys ensues.

Extra Curricular are the live Hip Hop band that Jack Flash fronts. They've put up a couple of free downloads on their blog. There's 'Don't Stop' and 'Where The Problem Lies' - both great tracks with totally different vibes but a recognisable sound. Check them out some more please.

Byron, a UK MC who really deserves more shine, has put out a free EP called 'Hard Worker'. these tracks are billed as covers, you and I might see them as Byron using well known instrumentals and taking cues from the subject matter. The most recognisable tune, B.O.B.'s 'Airplanes', gets done to begin with and then before you get comfortable Byron coes in over Maniac's 'Boiler' - wow, versatile! the further 3 tracks couldn't be more different either - whatever you do, don't pigeon hole or limit this guy - he can do it all. Give it a proper listen.

JC is gearing for a new assault of releases on his own No Money Records. He's hooked up with Oddisee for lead single 'Ayo' which is a double time rhythm with a relentless horn section accompanied by Oddisee's laid back delivery. Malik from Moorish Delta 7 provides the vocals on the flipside 'Soul Search' - a real headnodder. Told ya Yorkshire had the heat. Preview both tracks here. Buy it here.

Have no idea where this came from but it's an awesome bit of instrumental Hip Hop from Kwestro called 'I'm Blowing Up'.

Here's something new from a new artists too: LnC offers up 'Take You On A Journey' for your delectation. See what you think, I think he's pretty nice with his - feeling all aspects of this track. Solid.

To finish with, check Kaos' new track 'Traffic Lights' - got time for this.

What's Worth Hearing Today? Part 1 (free downloads and reviews)

Check these things out:

'Genic Riddim' ft. Skamma & Joe Blow - Stagga - very heavy, dubstep-ish, stripped back, bare and banging.

'Close Reminder' (clean) - Wio-K - beautiful sunshine music from a guy who understands quality control.

'My Estate' ft. Stat Quo - Jaycee Payaso - more sunny production from Sermstyle, raps from the Shady soldier and skilled tones from Jaycee - the next Akon? Maybe. Taken from his mixtape 'Sing City' hosted by DJ Rockstar DevonDJ(Bumsquad), featuring Vado (UN/Dipset), Lil Chuckee, (Young Money), Yung Berg (Epic) + more, with exclusive production from Sermstyle Wiz Khalifa & Young Buck. Mixtape coming August 8th. 'Honour Amongst Thieves' featuring Vado ain't bad either.

If you've still not picked up Klashnekoff's 'Back To The Sagas' then here's something to whet your appetite: 'Somebody Tell Me' featuring Wretch 32 and K9. It's a thoughtful and soulful track with strong contributions from each MC - still love Wretch.

You may not have heard of Cookbook and Uno Mas (I had) but they've got a song with Evidence of Dilated Peoples (one of my favourite Hip Hop groups) called 'When You Rock and Roll' and it's pretty dope. I'd say it's not Evidence's strongest performance (but he's made it hard for himself with some of his past raps) but Cook and Uno both come very correct so check it. It's taken from their album 'C & U Music Factory' which can be picked up on itunes.

Dels has a single out on Big Dada and it's pretty mental - as you'd expect of a Big Dada release. Dirty electronica backs up this UK MC's figurative and imaginative rhymes - it's hot and it's called 'Shapeshift' and it's produced by Joe Goddard of Hot Chip. Buy it now, innit.

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

I Think You Get The Point - Skillit (video)

'Collapsing Cities' ft. Shy FX - Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly (video + free downloads)

Now, if you follow the blog then you'll already know that I like this track and I'll make no apologies for the non-Hip Hop content of it. It is produced, however by Shy FX so that should be good enough for you. It's by Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly and is off his forthcoming album which The Last Skeptik has been working on too I believe - there, there's your link.

'Lollipop Lady's Favourite' - Willo Wispa (video)

A banging beat, as you'd expect from Metabeats, and some off-the-wall lyricism, as you'd expect from Willo - it's 'Lollipop Lady's Favourite' from Willo Wispa. I know you'll want to buy it so head over to itunes now to get your download on. And then sit and wait patiently for his full length to drop - can't wait. You can also get the track here for less I believe.

'Where Did It Go?' ft. Black the Ripper - Charlie Sloth (video)

Charlie Sloth is an unlikely star but, nevertheless, he is. And he's probably only going to get bigger the way that Prof Green has - mark my words. Obviously I've been rating Charlie since 2008 when he dropped the uber-confident 'It's Hard Being Good' (which HHC's reviewer pretty much rubbished, by the way) so it'll be good to see him do well. He's already done tracks with some of the most respected people in the game including Farma G and Rodney P, and that's not bad.

'Back For The First Time' - Caspa

I'm always on the lookout for something a little different to dilute my Hip Hop listening and this track from Caspa really does the trick. I imagine that if I could actually be bothered to go out these days then I'd enjoy some form of dancing to this.

Monday, 26 July 2010

'How It's Done' - Four Max

Now I won't usually post these videos where there's not anything actually to watch but what you get to hear is more than enough! New group Four Max go in hard and have a lot of fun on their new track 'How It's Done'. The group is made up of Beit Nun (MC), Chris Leese (MC / Producer), Jane Ellis (Vocals) and Benny E (DJ). Keep your ears open for more from these four.

Ramson Badbonez 'The Official Part 2' Coming Soon

It seems there's always someone who's not yet heard of Ramson Badbonez. If you're that person, don't worry, there's still time to get to know what he's all about.

My impression of what he's all about is that he's all about writing witty, jaw-dropping rhymes that then drip effortlessly from his lips.

Boot Records are about to put out 'The Official Part 2' (I say about, but it won't be 'til September') and to get you in the mood they're being kind enough to let you have 4 radio edits from the CD:

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

'Concrete Jungles' - Jonski (review)

Jonski may not be a name you’ve heard; I certainly hadn’t when I got this CD through the letterbox. I’m glad the postman decided he didn’t want this and I’m glad I picked it up and listened to it because it’s just the sort of Hip Hop I need.

‘Concrete Jungles’ is a 9 track release (not an album, EP, or mixtape – apparently, all of these) with a real positive outlook and a whole host of wholesome lyrics and funky beats courtesy of Danny Spice. With the socio-political musings of ‘Hall of Mirrors’ and the proposed solutions of ‘Concrete Jungles’ it’s clear that Jonski’s not just another MC following the same of track – he actually thinks and is himself on the record – he practices what he preaches on ‘Organic’.

If you want a copy I’d suggest you keep checking Suspect Packages since Disorda will definitely be stocking this. For now, hook up with Jonski on myspace and facebook.

'Trading Standards Remixes' - SonnyJim (review)

Is this SonnyJim's best release to date? Somewhere between maybe and probably. 'Trading Standards Remixes' is a choice selection of 10 tracks from more than twice that amount of tracks originally on the mixtape, and that's with two new tracks which aren't remixes. Listening to this you get the impression that this is no afterthought, rather the mixtape was the taster and this is the actual album.

10 tracks is a good thing in my books, not too long, not too short and with the variety on offer here there is no chance of boredom whatsoever. With sounds ranging from Lotek's Reggae remix of 'Mission Statement' to Kelakovski's signature sound gracing his version of 'Dynamite' featuring Verb T and Metropolis to the stripped down but straight up Hip Hop of Sivey's remix for 'Next Generation (love that bass!) this truly is a remix album, not just a load of acapellas over beats that sound the same as the originals. Shears brings the muddy and lethargic funk on opener 'Triumph of the Little Guy' and M-Phazes provides his big sound the the huge line up of Jehst, Cappo and SonnyJim on 'God Complex. Jon Phonics is as moody as ever with his hybrid of real instrumentation and synths on 'On All Cylinders' and Kelakovski takes a different direction with 'Stack Ps' - I'd say it's closely akin to Dubstep. Musn't forget Kosyne's feel good vibes on 'Running Late' on which The I.R.S and Sonny really smash it.

The new tracks are 'Just Spit' featuring Unfriendly Neighbours with punchy production from Wizard and 'Dunbar's Number' produced by 184.

'Trading Standards Remixes' is available from all over including, Tesco, Amazon and itunes as a digital download but the CD can be bought for a mere £5 from the Eat Good Records website.

According to the press blurb 'this is the first in a slew of SonnyJim releases set to drop this year. Be on the lookout for the 'Psychonaut' LP out on Australian label Obese Records in October 2010. Also SonnyJim/Sleaze EP 'Working Mnemonics' and SonnyJim/Apatight LP 'Magnum Opus' will be coming soon.'

Monday, 19 July 2010

'My Heart Beats: Remixes and Versions' - Natural Self (review)

A few months ago I wrote a review of Natural Self's 'My Heart Beats Like A Drum' for issue 03 of Bonafide Magazine (if you don't know, get to know).

Now the remix package has come through and it's a blinder, and probably more suited to some of my readers here. Whilst it isn't Hip Hop, or at least, it isn't Rap, it has beats that all you should admire.

the track 'Midnight Sun' gets a thorough going over with 4 remixes in total - 2 from King Tubby and 2 from Jeremy Sole. All are Reggae affairs, suitable for the sunny parts of these sunny days, although King Tubby's 'Prince Fatty Dub' is, erm, Dubbed-out, and Jeremy Sole's 'Sans Drums Mix' is more on the Swing/Jazz end of things - all good anyway.

'The Origin' gets hit by the remix sticks of two First Word artists - Kidkanevil and Eliphino. Both these Leeds lads come correct with Eliphino's being a bit 2 Step UK Garage and Kidkanevil's sounding every bit the glitchiness we've come to expect from him.

My favourite track is YULT's Sub Remix of 'The Shock You Heard'. It's full-on wonky, crunchy, headnod stuff - awesome.

The surprise track here is not a remix at all. It's a cover/mash-up. Natural Self has taken the vocals from Radiohead's 'Street Spirit' and the music sampled by DJ Shadow on 'Organ Grinder' and put them together - surprisingly nice, although depressing as you would expect of a Radiohead song. Natural Self says this about the track: “I originally did this on a whim - it's one of my favourite Radiohead tunes. It was going round in my head one day and I realised it actually fits with the tune that DJ Shadow sampled for "Organ Donor". Mmm, good idea for a mash up I thought. I then immediately realised I don't like mash ups. I'm a snob like that. So one Sunday afternoon I set about doing it over from scratch. I liked the way it came out so I played it to Tru Thoughts’s A&R Robert Luis. We decided I should give it the proper treatment. I re-played the organ, re-did the vocal and laced the drums sampling a recording from an unreleased Broken Keys session. This is how it came out.” This will also be released on the Tru Thoughts Limited Edition vinyl series ‘Black Gold’.

'My Heart Beats' is released on 16th August on Tru Thoughts.

'Publish or Perish' - Running Punch (review)

This weekend I enjoyed a spot of applying sealant around the bath. Now the job itself is probably one of the worst tasks known to mankind so that isn't why I enjoyed it. I enjoyed it because accompanying me were Running Punch with their new album 'Publish or Perish'.

Running Punch consist of "cunning rhyming rabbit Captain Bukioe" and "wholesome producer Sherlock Bones" and appear to hail from Brighton although I'm sure I heard Reading mentioned in there somewhere. The album is getting support from all over the shop so you'd best believe the hype.

The CD is a real fun outing into the everyday thinkings of an ordinary guy. Except this isn't everyday or ordinary - this is something refreshing because it's heavily dosed with a light hearted and fun outlook which means those everyday and ordinary things become entertaining - not something the average Hip Hop CD actually does nowadays; entertain.

You can try before you buy with this either at soundcloud, their facebook page and probably some other places too. You can then buy at various places including Suspect Packages and Rare Kind and click here to check out what you actually get for your money - cool!

Friday, 9 July 2010

'Too Far Gone' ft. Shaunise - Obba Supa (video)

Here's something a little blissed out for you to do what you choose with. I'd advise listening to it but hey, if you can think of something else to do with it then go ahead and do that. If you like it then head over to Bandcamp to buy it!

'Hard Times' ft. Genesis Elijah - Grit Grammar (video)

Love this track - perfect production for a sunny July and two MCs absolutely on point. The beat is by Baron Samedi and the track is taken from the album 'Life Music' which drops later in the year on his own BTS Recordings. It is entirely produced by Baron Samedi and features Kyza, Verb-t, Genesis Elijah, Iron Braydz and more. Watch out for a proper official video for this very soon.

You can get the download for this free - now that is a gift you can't refuse:

Radio Version -
Street Version -

'Around My Way' - Mystro (video)

Check Mystro's latest happy Hip Hop offering - niceness flows like quicksilver of this guy's tongue. Go buy it now at Amazon if you want to.

Lowstarr - 'Oh My Dayz' (video)

Lee Ramsey (of Outdaville) is back with a more commercial vibe. Here's the video for 'Oh My Dayz' which is taken from the Lowstarr EP 'In The Search of the Light'.

Thursday, 8 July 2010

'Guns & Pork' - Shadrack and the Mandem (video)

Hehehe. Love the remix bit!

'Honour Killing' - Nayben (review)

If you like your Hip Hop raw, hard and heavy then these days Yorkshire wouldn't be a strange place to find it. It's the turn of Just Cause Recordings to provide the latest slab of rock solid Rap.

MC Nayben and producer Cyber Ninja hook up for the double serving of 'Honour Killing' and 'Hard To Swallow' all presented on one 12" platter. Both tracks have a dark backdrop but are built up of entirely different elements making for a united pair of tunes that keep things interesting. Lyrically, Nayben has got the skills, no doubt. He sticks to his 'Honour Killing' concept like the proverbial glue and rides the beat like a... jockey?! 'Hard To Swallow' has a real upbeat percussion pattern which strangely works well with the menacingly deep strings in the background.

The recording issues of their 'Raw Cuts' compilation are no longer a problem - this is crystal clear, perfectly EQ'd and in my opinion, sounds so much better for being on wax.

Listen to samples of the tracks here then hop over to Suspect Packages or the Just Cause shop to purchase yourself a copy.

Saturday, 3 July 2010

'Back To The Sagas' - Klashnekoff (review)

As far as I'm concerned ‘Back To The Sagas’ doesn’t have its own ‘It’s Murda’ - let’s just clear that up before we begin this review. It’s all too easy for fans to force artists to live in the shadow of their greatest work but this shouldn’t be.

The fact is, Klashekoff has created a superior album which runs circles around most of the UK’s Hip Hop output. It’s his lyrical propensity that does it – Klash is a gifted MC possessing each gift needed for success: passion, delivery, lyricality… I could go on. Klash’s words are easy to tune into and because of this listening to any track is an entertaining thing.

Perhaps the track many Klash fans wanted to hear was the one which explains certain things that happened in the last few years – ‘Back To The Sagas Intro’, wisely Klash does this then gets on with things. ‘Tek Time’, ‘Music Game’, ‘Klash Anthem’ and the leaked ‘Paper Up’ all stand out although it’s much better to see this album as a whole; it’s more like one long track just with different rhythms, hooks, melodies and tempos.

‘Back To The Sagas’ is available now as a download and the CD will be out later on this month.

'Sticksman' - Skitz (review)

Well it’s been a while, but he’s definitely back. ‘Sticksman’ is the return of the signature Skitz sound – reggae-inspired Hip Hop productions featuring the best of the best UK MCs. Sounds like an easy formula, right? But can anyone else do it like this? Simply, no.

The intro to this album is what all intros should be – a thing so full of hype that you’ll be fired up to hear the rest of the LP. Then the album’s first single ‘Struggla’ bubbles in, encapsulating the entire sound of the album as Rodney P, Kardinal Offishal and Skibbadee hit up the booth for this transatlantic banger. Harry Shotta, Iron Braydz and Brotherman ride a chipmunked Joan Baez sample (‘Slaves’) and the socio-political theme continues – one of my favourites here.

‘Rumble’ is different yet again with its pounding percussion and club-orientated vocals from Dynamite MC. Skitz dares to be different with this one as the result is a very memorable track. ‘Rebel Stands’ features another Joan Baez sample – who’d’ve thunk it eh? It follows in the veins of ‘Slaves’ but this time Mr. Ti2bs provides the raps. Rodney P mans the glitchy ‘Left’ – the chorus on this one will have you shouting along for sure.

‘Rainy Day Science’ featuring Taskforce and Juni is another stand-out track. This one samples yet more folky music (Kathy Mattea) and Farma G and Chester P come correct over the slow-paced beat. This album’s ‘Requiem of the Gods’ features Foreign Beggars main man Orifice Vulgatron, Mr. Ti2bs, Dynamite MC and Harry Shotta – watch the beat switch up for each MC.

Skitz even had the balls to throw in some autotune on ‘Never’ featuring Rodney P and Solo Banton alongside probably the best bassline on the album. Darrison rides different vibes on the piano-led intro of ‘Music Is My Life’ before it pops off into a jaunty orchestral reggae tinged party track.

Overall this album is about two things: how hard everyday life can be but how much fun you can have despite that. It’s a perfect mix of subject matter and Skitz’s production is just unrivalled in this scene. A big album, and one that you should own and will enjoy immensely! Buy it now from Suspect Packages and anywhere else that comes up when you search on google.