Thursday, 18 October 2007

Leeds by Example

Support your local music scene.

I’ve had my ears tuned into UK Hip Hop for some years now and I thought that was pretty broad minded since Hip Hop is generally considered by the uneducated masses as America’s baby. Over the last few months however, I’ve gradually been drawn towards the vibrant sounds of my neighbouring towns, Leeds in particular. My original statement is a result of my dabbling in what’s bubbling just below the surface.

Last Thursday night the HiFi club in Leeds played host to ‘Leeds By Example’; a showcase for up and coming Leeds Hip Hop artists. Thanks to for the free ticket and compilation CD, much appreciated!

The night kicked off nicely with tracks and freestyles from the 9 Lives Clik. Chief Wiggum (congratulations on the baby) and Eliphino opened up nicely and got the assembled heads bouncing some. The highlight of their set was Wiggz and Sammy D trading a capella rhymes.

Next up were Junkyard Tactics (known by Channel U viewers) who brought the energy for sure. J. Bravo is a lively MC who blatantly enjoys being on stage with mic in hand. Amongst other tracks they performed ‘On Road’, ‘Takin’ Ova’ and a really bouncy track that I really want to get my hands on, unfortunately I don’t know what it’s called.

The biggest act of the night was Breaking the Illusion. BTI were two of the original four bods who set up the UK’s most successful Hip Hop label; Low Life Records. Unfortunately things seem to have turned sour between old Joey Brains (Braintax) and Tom (MC from BTI) as can be heard on BTI’s track ‘Joe’. Just to go off on a tangent for a minute: It seems BTI are not the only ones who have fallen foul of Braintax, it looks like Chester P of Task Force now has beef about money/record labels/payment etc and rumours are Joey and Mystro fell out on tour. Anyway…back to Leeds and BTI. BTI (now one man) was accompanied by a 3 piece band who provided an interlude and a highlight of the night. Their Hip Hop instrumental medley consisted of Snoop’s ‘Gz and Hustlas’, Busta’s ‘Woo Ha’, NERD’s ‘Lapdance’, P Diddys ‘Bad Boy For Life’ and loads of other classics in a straight up rock but still Hip Hop style, in a word: elating. Unfortunately Tom lost his voice after a couple of songs but kudos for him for still completing his set somewhat hoarsely. My favourite track was ‘Mr. Bouncer’, it got me bouncing and singing along in my oh so excellent patois.

Guess how many mans there is in the crew Northern Hostility? They literally upstaged anyone else that night with their 26(ish) strong posse, there may have been more of them than audience. A shout goes to the guy who did a very long freestyle, I liked him. Then I went home to bed because I had to work the next day.

The Leeds scene is very much in it’s infancy but through sheer determination and a big dollop of skills it is making itself a sound and a niche. The benefits of supporting your local scene is that you are bound to find like minded individuals and you can experience it live and for next to nothing; now who doesn’t want those things? A masochistic hermit maybe but last time I checked Sitemeter I didn’t have any readers under such a category. Get out in your town or nearest city and find out what’s going on, whether you like Hip Hop or people who play moogs you’ll find it and you’re like as not to enjoy it. Go. Do it. Now. Or whenever there’s a gig next.

See what you think:

Stay tuned for more Leeds Hip Hop exposure and a review of this Friday when Brighton's Beer & Rap visit us.

1 comment:

Analogue said...

Nice one mate. I'll link you up to my blog.

Keep checking the Leeds scene... plenty more coming up!


(Straight Out Leodis/ Leeds Hip-Hop Scene)