Wednesday, 27 June 2007

This must be Love

I remember watching a video either at school or at a youth group that was all about love and sex, you know how they do. Anyways, at the time it was made (it was outdated when we watched it then) Simon Mayo was the big cheese in the radio DJ world. He worked at Radio 1 and was excited to show us how he’d categorised all the records he receives into ditties about love and, as far as I can remember, ‘other’. He proved his point, there are a lot of songs about love, the majority of those played on Radio 1 in fact are about love.

Love is a powerful emotion so it’s unsurprising that there are so many tunes about it. It’s almost a requirement for an artist to make at least on track with ‘love’ in the title or somewhere in the lyrics. Here are 10 tracks, not a top 10, just 10 tracks about love that I like.

Busta Rhymes – I love my Chick
All there is to be said is ‘Yup Yup I love my chick’ and ‘comedy’.

Lady Sovereign – Love me or Hate me
So this isn’t strictly about love but it is in a way. Plenty of people do bother about whether people love them or hate them, most people are insecure in this way…and I just wanted to post the S.O.V.

Labi Siffre – Turn on your Love
This is the guy (not the song) Dre sampled on Em’s ‘My name is’ so you know he’s got that funky soul going on.

Huey Lewis & The News – The Power of Love
One of the songs going by this title, definitely the best by far. A great feel good tune perfect for driving.

K-Os – The Love Song
Hailing from Canada and contradicting the title in the first line (“This is not a love song, it’s a sonnet”) K-Os brings dusty beats and sing-song lyrics and if I remember correctly this was used in an advert that had a fly in it.

Peace 586 – Love’s still there
Not man/woman love this time but man/God love, 586 explains a relationship with God easily over this laid back, sweet, headnod beat.

Erick Sermon – Love iz ft. Al Green
A song about all sorts of ways that love is manifested all built around a sample of Al Green singing, you guessed it, ‘Love is…’.

>aRRO – I Luv U ft. Digga
Sharing a title with a Dizzee track could be a bad thing, but in this case it’s not. This is something a little different for y’all, from the vocoded fart bassline to the 80’s rock snare via the Grange Hill theme tune breakdown this is pure fun (and love).

Uffie – First Love
Yeah so posting Uffie is a little hypocritical after the whole Justice thing, especially since I got this off someone else’s blog but it fits right in here. This has 80’s written all over it and Uffie’s cheesy lyrics fit nicely with that but the fact they are slightly vocoded really brings it bang up to date, as does the broken electro beat.

Codebreaker – Are you ready 2 love?
This is probably thieved off another blog too but it’s infectious with more vocoder, funky guitars and bass and simple lyrics that I challenge you to not sing along to.

Sunday, 24 June 2007

Sorry Tom but...

Hype Machine might as well be called Justice's either that or Simian.

Tuesday, 19 June 2007

Collabo Connections #3 - Rodney P

The links - Rodney P made Mark B & Blade’s ‘We stay rough’ his own in, you know the year; 2001. Rodney also featured alongside Skinnyman and others on ‘Twilight of the Gods’.

2004 saw Low Life Records release Rodney’s album ‘The Future’ on his own Riddim Killa imprint. The two main MC collaborators on here are M.C.D. and Mystro but production comes from Joe Budha, Skitz, Pepper, Dobie, Stone and The Sea.

Before all of this Rodney made moves with Bionic (and Sipho and DJ Biznizz for a while) under the moniker ‘London Posse’ and had big UK tracks like ‘How’s life in London’, ‘Money Mad’, ‘Live like the Other Half do’ and ‘Pass the Rizla’. They also toured with Big Audio Dynamite (with Mick Jones from The Clash).

But all this pales into, well, not insignificance, but rather lighter shades of grey when compared to this list of collaborations:

Bjork – I miss you (dobies rub)
Us3 – I’m thinking about your body
The Brand new Heavies – Shelter remix
The London Allstars – London Convention ft. ESP,
Fallacy, Funky DL, Kwestmann, MCD, Phoebe One, Q-Tee, Rodney P, Skinnyman, TY, Taipanic
Dobie – Consider
Dobie – Luv n hate (can never be friends)
MSI & Asylum – Northernly winds ft. Rodney P, produced by Baby J
Simply red – aint that a lot of love (desert eagle discs remix)
Pharoahe Monch - Simon Says Skitz remix ft. Rodney P & Roots Manuva
Deckwrecka – Frontline ftr. Intenz, MCD & Rodney P
Skitz – Dedication
Skitz – The Killing
Deckwrecka – The Juks
Desert Eagle Discs – Bigger Better Deal (Big Deal mix)
Angie Stone – Brotha remix
Roots Manuva – Witness the swords ft. Big P, Blackitude & Skeme
DJ Die & Skitz – It’s on
Blak Twang – Dirty stop out uncovered
The Nextmen – I’ll try
Moorish Delta 7 – Where we from ft. Rodney P & Venom
Joni Rewind – Rude Boy Link ft. Rodney P & Cocoa Brovaz
Nightmares on Wax – 70’s 80’s (upbringing mix) ft. Rodney P, Roots Manuva, Toz 180 & LSK
Roots Manuva – Swords in the dirt ft. Rodney P & Fallacy
Fallacy – Rap Folly
Freq Nasty – Come let me know
MJ Cole – Foot to the Floor
The Nextmen – Firewalking ft. Rodney P, Dynamite MC & Cutty Ranks
The Nextmen – Hear what I say
Various – Freestyle Frenzy ft.
Canibus, Masta Ace, Maylay Sparks, Mr. 45, Rodney P, Scor-Zay-Zee, Scorpio, Skinnyman, Wordsworth
I Kamanchi – Sounds of the culture ft. Rodney P, Tali, Retna & MC Darrison
Gemma Fox – Messy
Nitin Sawhney – Rainfall
Joe Buhdha – The Big up (re-edit) ft. Estelle, Klashnekoff, Rodney P, Scor-Zay-Zee, Tempa & Wildflower
Roni Size – No trouble
Blacknificent 7 – ‘Ere comes the Black ft. Estelle, Jeff3, Karl Hinds, Roots Manuva, Seanie T, Skeme & Rodney P
David Banner – Ain’t got nothin’ (UK Remix) ft. Rodney P & Durrty Goodz
King Bicuit Time – C I Am 15 (C. Swing remix) ft. Braintax & Rodney P
K-Ners – I am K-Ners (remix) ft. Skeme & Rodney P
Timo Maas – Release
Keith Lawrence – Style & Fashion
Stanton Warriors – Dip & get low
Braintax – What the Huh?
Dub Pistols – Speakers and Tweeters (album)

Phew, I’m sure there’s more too. This is a busy man, if I was getting paid for this Collabo Connections series I’d be eating for a long long while. Just to point out a few collaborations that are a bit different: Bjork, Nithin Sawhney, Roni Size, Freq Nasty, Angie Stone, Simply Red & The Brand New Heavies. Rodney P certainly gets around.

Right, now I'm off to post that list onto wikipedia.

Here are a few extras to fill some gaps in Collabo connections #1 & #2.

DJ Mentat - When I give my heart to you ft. Skinnyman.mp3
Omni - The Hot ft. Blade.mp3
Sway - Up Your Speed remix ft. Skinnyman & More

Thursday, 14 June 2007


I wondered when this would happen; my two interests have collided. I've been skating (at the moment I'm out due to injury and physio) for 11 years now and I've been into Hip Hop for a similar amount of time. Now I'm not so much into the whole Dipset thing, I like a couple of Juelz Santana tracks but that's about it, but if they want to put money into the skating game then that's fine by me.

The one gripe I do have is this: Why do away with the name we've been happily calling it for all those years (Rollerblading) and giving it some jumped up fancy name; Freestyle Rolling? Yes it describes it well, but it's nothing new Jim.

Anyway Calvin Sayles and Ramelle Knight seem to be holding it down, not sure on the Evisu jeans but each to their own.

P.S. Do you think I could join? ^^^ Hmmm...not black enough.

Wednesday, 13 June 2007

Round ups and Thank yous

Thank you to everyone who has supported this blog so far! Due to sitemeter I'm fully on top of who's coming and going and from which pages they come via links. Thanks to all the other bloggers out there who keep me informed and up to date and for putting links on your pages. It's really nice to see that people actually want to hear about and hear the music that I like. Special mentions to Eclectic Hermit and Snow Day Music and basically all of the other blogs on my links, take time to check them all out! It's great to see readers from the USA, Canada, Europe, Australia, Africa, Finland and name a few. If you have a minute please leave me a comment!

I have heard the Beastie Boys new album and in my humble opinion it is fabulous, just what I was expecting (once I knew it was to be all instrumental). Don't ask me how I got it, but it is out there somewhere and I will be buying a copy when it's out. Trust me, I cannot have an incomplete collection of Beastie Boys albums!

I think I will begin posting the Top 100 Rap Tunes (according to HHC) quite soon as it seems people are chomping at the bit, I know people are checking back for it! So watch this space, literally.

If you like Hip Hop mixtapes and don't mind trawling through piles of trash from the likes of Dipset, Fiddy and all of those guys who release everything that isn't worth putting on a proper album, you can find some quality stuff at Datpiff. I've sorted myself out with some weekend listening from there this week.

I've thoroughly enjoyed writing on here and I look forward to writing alot more. The Collabo Connections series seems to be promising a fat load of posts as does the Top 100.

Monday, 11 June 2007

Collabo Connections #2 - Skinnyman

Skinnyman featured on Mark B & Blade’s ‘The Unknown’ in ’01 on the track ‘The long awaited’, a banger for sure. Skinnyman, considered by many to be a UK Hip Hop veteran, spent his childhood in Chapeltown, Leeds, moving to Stoke Newington when he was 10. These two locations schooled him in the art of toasting lyrics at reggae sound system clashes and after Malcolm Mclarens ‘Buffalo Girls’ introduced him to Hip Hop it was inevitable that the two styles intertwined.

The year before Baby J dropped ‘F.T.P.’ he produced 3 tracks on Skinnyman’s long awaited debut album. The two big tracks were ‘I’ll be surprised’ and the Bobby Byrd sampling ‘No big Ting’. This led to Skinnyman having the first track on F.T.P. – ‘None of them (ft. Laurissa)’. Also producing on ‘Council estate of mind’ were DJ Flip (producing the title track), DJ Noize, Stone and Adam M. ‘Council estate of mind’ was released on the number 1 UK Hip Hop label – Low Life Records (owned by Braintax whos Biro Funk set featured Skinnyman on ‘Opening Titles’).

Taking it back Skinnyman was, and still is, a member of Mud Family who released, most famously, ‘Itchy Town’. Mud Family at the time comprised of Skinny himself, Chester P (Now of Taskforce) and (Blak Twang hater) Mongo. The changing line up of Mud Fam meant that Skinny also worked with SupaNovar, Mr. Ti2bbs, Farma G (Chester P’s Brother/other half of Taskforce) and others. Before Mud Family, in the mid 80’s, Skinny was a member of the Bury Crew also with Chester P and Mongo as well as Intenz, Mike Skilla, Keith and Sparks.

In 2000 Skinny appeared on ‘Twilight of the Gods’, a Skitz track which also featured Rodney P, Wildflower, Riddla and Prime Cuts. Skinnyman was on Westwood’s second compilation (2002) holding up the UK’s tiny section (2 tracks) at the end of the 2nd CD was ‘Straight Outta Jail’, a song probably written straight after Skinny got out of jail (“I ain’t sayin’ what I do//I ain’t gettin’ catched”). Skinnyman also featured on a track with Mystro and Jargon called ‘Put the word out’.

2003 brought a teaming up with Foreign Beggars on ‘Asylum Speakers’ and 2004 saw a couple of collaborations with Karl Hinds; ‘Have Patience’ and ‘Let’s av it’.

In ’05 Skinnyman (along with Blade) featured on First Rate’s album ‘Walky Talkyz’. His track Barfight is a song all about…well you know…over a wobbly piano led beat. In the same year he featured on a remix of Sway’s ‘Up your speed’ with Pyrelli, Triple Threat, Bruza and Bigz. Skinny also worked with Life (of Phi-Life Cypher) and Sway on ‘The whole nine’ in this year.

Skinny’s latest track is ‘Live Right’ featuring Monkane, an ex-label mate at Gilles Peterson’s Talkin’ Loud records before it folded.

There are plenty more leads to take here as well as the ones from the post on Blade, this is just gonna get bigger peeps!

(There are so many collabos, for a full list of appearances check out Wikipedia)

Skinnyman - Ill be surprised.mp3
Mark B & Blade - The long awaited ft. Lewis Parker &.mp3
Mud Family - Itchy Town.mp3
Skinnyman - Straight Outta Jail.mp3
Skinnyman & Baby J - none of them ft. Laurissa.mp3
Skinnyman - No big ting.mp3
First Rate - Barfight ft. Skinnyman.mp3
Skinnyman - Council Estate of Mind.mp3

Sunday, 10 June 2007

Collabo Connections #1 - Blade

Here begins a series which after some thought I realise could run for a long time. Collaborations and rap go hand in hand. There are few rap albums out there that don’t feature a cameo from another rapper or group. Some artists rely on paying a bigger rapper to help them either launch or revive their career. Other artists have the insight that fans want to hear two (or more) of their favourite MCs together on one track. Often collaborations are frowned upon for the first of the above reasons but I would be so bold to say that without them the rap world would be slightly boring at times.

There is no reason for starting this thread off with this artist other than I wanted to write a post on him anyway. Whilst meditating a post on Blade I realised he had worked with many other artists who in turn have worked with other artists, and so on. Then (slightly influenced also by ‘Comedy Connections’ off the telly and maybe my mums obsession with family trees) I came up with the idea of creating a string of posts that map out who’s worked with who and how hip hop eventually links up into one big family.

Growing up in Yorkshire and being born in 1984 means I missed out on all of Blade’s earlier work. I haven’t yet had a chance to familiarise myself with his back catalogue it so most of this post will be focussing on his work following Mark B and Blade fame.

In 1989 Blade released ‘Lyrical Maniac’, his first official single (go here for more info). In 1997 during depression he released ‘Rhyme Bomb’ (go here for more info).

2001 saw Mark B and Blade being played on Radio 1 with their track ‘The Unknown’ and then ‘Ya don’t see the signs’. The former was released with, amongst others, a remix featuring France’s premier rap collective; Saian Supa Crew. The latter hit the airwaves in the form of a rocky remix by Grant Nicholas of Feeder and frankly rock and rap rarely sounds this good together. The album, also entitled ‘The Unknown’ featured collaborations with Rodney P, Lewis Parker, Skinnyman, Chester P and Westwood (!).

In 2002 Blade reared his head on Lewis Parker’s ‘It’s all Happening Now’ on ‘The Chase pt. 1’.

Blade’s next big move was in 2004 with the release of ‘Storms are Brewing’, an album on which he collaborated with only session musicians and DJ’s, he produced and wrote it all himself. The flip to the single ‘Reflection’ was ‘Soldiers’, a track featuring Life (of Phi-Life Cypher) and Respek BA.

2005 was Baby J’s year in the UK and Blade was making moves with this modern superproducer. He appeared on J’s excellent album F.T.P. on Mumps (also featuring Laurissa). This hook up obviously worked so well that Blade decided Baby J would produce his entire second album, my personal favourite being the excellent ‘UK Hip Hop’, a track with which Blade hopes to educate people about the roots of rap in Great Britain simply by name checking all the greats (note – I’m not going to use that fact to make tenuous links to all and sundry in Brit Hop!).

2005 also brought us a solo album from The Scratch Perverts DJ First Rate. Blade cooked up a feast on the tasty ‘Hamburger’; a semi-hilarious ode to eating fast food on tour.

Blade has worked hard for decades now so please go buy some of his music if you do like what you have heard. Visit his website and go to the store.

I’m sure you’ll agree there are many roads I can now take and I shall endeavour to explore all of them. I’m pretty sure I’ll get quite confused on the way and we’ll see how truly intertwined the web of the hip hop spider is.

If, during any of this series, you have tracks and collabos to add then feel free to leave comments or drop me a line. I’ll gladly add them to expand the wealth of knowledge available here!

Blade - Lyrical maniac.mp3
Blade - Rhyme bomb.mp3
First Rate - Hamburger ft. Blade.mp3
Blade - Soldiers ft. Life & Respek BA.mp3
Lewis Parker - The Chase pt.1 ft. Blade.mp3
Mark B and Blade - The Unknown ft .Saian Supa Crew.mp3
Blade - UK Hip Hop.mp3

Missing Tracks *updated*

For those who like doing good deeds and helping out fellow rap fans here is the list of tracks from the Top 100 that are still missing:

OC - Time's up
Mos Def - Ms. Fat Booty (Tom?)
De la Soul - Plug tunin' (Really should have this album!)
Ultramagnetic MC's - Watch me
Hardnoise - Untitled
Rammellzee vs. K-Rob - Beat Bop
Big Daddy Kane - Wrath of Kane
Brand Nubian - Punks jump up to get beat down
T la Rock - Breaking Bells
Dr. Dre and Snoop - Deep Cover
BDP - Poetry
Slick Rick - La-Di-Da-Di (Used to have this but lost it!)
Run DMC - Runs house
Hijack - Style warriors Revenge
EPMD - Headbanger
A Tribe Called Quest - Description of a fool
Blak Twang - Red Letter Day
Mantronix - The Bassline
Just Ice - Cold getting dumb

I haven't had time to look for all of them yet but if you do have them and want to upload them somewhere and then send me a link i'd be grateful!

Tuesday, 5 June 2007

Top 100...

Yeah it's coming along nicely for all those who don't care 'cause the only people who seem to come to my blog come because of an image search result for pigeon. Stupid pigeons.

There are now 72 of the required tunes safely in an itunes playlist, some are proving tricky to find. Anyway, once I've got them all, I'll probably post them in tens, in reverse order. For those who were wondering how the top 100 SINGLES were decided:

-the top 100 was compiled from [HHC readers votes], those of Hip-Hop Connection's writing staff and a quick poll of a few valued professionals. One crucial point that all entries from 2001 onwards were disqualified. Why? Because a single's real test is whether it can transcend the place and time it was released in and enjoy a life of it's own. All our top 100 clearly have.

Monday, 4 June 2007

Old magazines + itunes + blog = procrastination

...indeed. Today I got my old HHC's out to find something for a future post. I picked up a copy dated March 2002 and flicked to the 20-page supplement entitled '100 Best Singles of All Time'. Hmm, do I have all of these tracks? A quick scan reveals I don't, but, how many do I have?

Turns out on itunes I have a mere 27 out of the 100, on CD it appears I have 40 of them and 33 are missing from my collection. It is now my mission to complete the list and have an itunes playlist dedicated to 'HHC's 100 Best Singles of All Time'. Yes, I'm a rap nerd.

Here are a few tracks that I anticipate having some trouble finding straight away:

OC - Time's up
Ultramagnetic MC's - Watch me now
The Crooklyn Dodgers - Crooklyn
Hardnoise - Untitled
Marley Marl ft MC Shan - Marley Marl Scratch
Rammellzee vs. K-Rob - Beat Bop
T la Rock - Breaking Bells
Hijack - Style Warriors Revenge
Just Ice - Cold getting dumb

If you can help me out, let me know!