Thursday, 29 November 2007

Urgent - Please vote!

Here is my fiancee singing a Christmas jingle for a Pringles competition. If we win, we can pay for our honeymoon so please, please take the time to vote for us. Even if you don't like it.
Click on this link and vote now! Thanks so know it's a good cause!

If you ever downloaded a track from here then really owe me don't ya? Show your heart!

This ends very soon and she is third in the ratings! Get us to number one please!

Wednesday, 28 November 2007

Beirut - now I do care!

After the boom in page hits when I posted a Beirut remix of Jay-Z I decided to look into this further. I posted some more remix tracks that I already had from Beirut's 'The Remixes Volume 2' and I also managed to find Beirut's myspace page and I brought you all a link to download 'The Remixes Volume 2'. I also recieved an email from Beirut himself, someone had passed him a link to my page (I think through the SOHH message board). Here's some of what he said:

"This is Beirut, the producer from Los Angeles. Someone sent me a link to your blog in which you mentioned some of the remixes I've done. Just wanted to give you a shout to say that I really appreciate the support from yourself and everyone else who heard and dug the remixes through your blog."

So I emailed him back and asked if he could post up a link to 'The Remixes Volume 1' and he did it in super fast time. Thanks Beirut!

My current favourites from this volume are:

These tracks are all quality in their own right but the remix production is so tight it sounds like these MC's rhymed over these beats to begin with. I just love the quality samples he uses, keep checking me for further heat from Beirut (and believe me there will be heat on the way) and possibly a little interview.

Oh yeah, thanks for the anonymous commenter who only proved that people do go on blogs and download anything. If you don't want this quality music interupting your playlist, don't download it. Simple innit? And don't call me a schmuck, that's just lame.

Mystic Man & Eshaman Jaro - Cheshire Cat

When I was younger I was taught to play the piano. Nowadays I’m not too hot on the old keys but whenever I get a little chance I’ll tinkle those ivories. My repertoire consists of half of ‘Maple Leaf Rag’ by Scott Joplin, ‘Tiger Blues’ by Christopher Norton and a number of Hip Hop piano loops. Mystic Man & Eshaman Jaro have come up with another track that’ll have me hammering those whites and blacks next time I’m round my parents house.

A quick google and myspace search only serves to confuse me further as to who’s behind this. Sure, I have the press review which is bare helpful but I like to see things online! Type in Eshaman Jaro and you get 2 results (nearly a googlewhack…kind of) and they both relate to York Uni’s online journals; interesting but unenlightening. Apparently Eshaman Jaro is MC Escha. This isn’t the M.C. Escher who draws mind bending doodles or the American MC by the same name; it’s another bloke. Another bloke with a nice bouncy British vocal flow.

‘Chesire Cat’ would be slinky if it wasn’t the crazed offspring of sibling genres Jazz and Funk. Mark ‘Merka’ Ford has layered, with a salute to break beats, the aforementioned piano loop with soulful strings and voices, a smoky double bass, skittering brushed snares and more piano riffs. This mix has been finished off with a warm reverb; perfect for those winter nights. It’s coming just in time for said evenings too – it’s released on December the 10th on Fat! Records.

With grounding in word play the lyrics are intelligent and entertaining. However there is no specific message to be heard. There’s no revelation to be experienced as a result of the words but in no way is this track brainless. A sense of joy will creep through your fibres as you listen to this and in it’s closing few seconds you’ll be content that the tune has had a positive influence on you in one way or another.

The Gella remix is a dirty, fuzzy slap bass fuelled romp more likely to be heard in a club. A healthy dose of scratching, chopped and phased lyrics, drum breaks, a ride cymbal and a hint of electro ramps this up to get you moving.

The album ‘Heavy Weather’ will be dropping early in 2008, but meanwhile, jam on this homies.

Thanks to Lou @ Trailer for sending me this and more!

Tuesday, 27 November 2007

Home Sweet Home - ExP, JND & Freyed Knot

On Saturday I intend to attend 'Get Cained' at the PM Freestyle Lounge in Shipley, Bradford. This is ten minutes away from where I live so I felt I should represent my locality. My Leeds favourites 9 Lives Clik are gonna be there and Spida Lee from Huddersfield (Haven't told you about him yet) is headlining. The bill alerted me to some local Hip Hop that I'd previously been ignorant of.

With the internet hidden talent doesn't stay hiddenfor long once you look for it. A quick keyword search on google or myspace and you'll be listening to new music before your eyes are even open. The flyer advertised ExP and JND and as every aspiring artist is today -they're on myspace, they've got tracks to download too. They are both in a cleverly named band, 'Freyed Knot', and they've got skills that measure up to most credible UK MC's.

ExP is short for Experimentality and he has a really really nice website; I'm quite jealous of it! Head over there after you've read this, or open it in another tab and have a soundtrack to this post courtesy of the audio section. This bloke is making moves with his humourous and clever lyrics, funky beats, bradford representing and some self promotion.

JND is ExP's mate, who has a myspace page, is also handy with his when he's weilding a mic. Compared to ExP, JND's tracks appear to be darker and less jaunty on the whole. As a fan of both fun and funky Hip Hop and rap of a more heartfelt, lamentious (?!) ilk I can get down with JND too.

They are both (as I think I've mentioned) in a full band (with instruments and everything) called Freyed Knot. The band seem to have loads of original material, they too have an audio page on their own website. If you like what you hear then you'll probably have the patience to listen to the solo versions of 'Ego Trip' by JND and 'Deep in the Valley' by Exp and to then compare them to the versions they do with the band. Freyed Knot are tight, funky and often 'rockin'' and I look forward to seeing them live as do I anticipate their solo act on Saturday night.

If you are on your grind in or around Bradford and Leeds hit me up (down, sideways...) with an email, some tracks, dates, videos or anything that you think I might like (as long as it's to do with beats or rhymes - no life thank you very much).

Sunday, 25 November 2007 - The Mix CD Volume 3

Firstly; thanks to DJ Analogue for sending me this copy to review. You can buy yours here.

Lunatrix and Vokal who compiled and mixed this CD must have been up in the library studying documents entitled 'How to compile and mix the perfect UK Hip Hop CD'. They must have been taking notes too because there is nothing to fault here.

The formula is something like this:

Take some well known UK MC's and some less well known but on-the-rise UK MC's who feature on a variety of differing production sounds and who have a variety of differing song themes. Take a host who can flow rhymes and instead of shouting and just introducing tracks and let him do his thing. Add some turntablism and some mixing. Finish it off with some nice neon cover art.

That's how it's done, simple eh? Well, probably not but the bods at have done it.

One thing that stood out to me was the amount of memorable tunes. All too often mixtapes can be a bit confusing, the songs often morph together and nothing is special. Mixtapes aren't proper albums and often this devalues them from the start. However, tracks such as 'Dear Lord' by Kid Rad and 'Fairytale' by Izzy G (the host of the mixtape) really stand out and make you want to listen to them again.

With names like Blak Twang, Rodney P, Million Dan, MCD, Skinnyman, Klashnekoff and Foreign Beggars on the ingredients list, any UK Hip Hop head should at least give this one listen but it's the newer names that, after one listen, will be more likely to grab you. I could listen through the CD and write about each track but I'm not going to do that. This CD should be judged as a whole, finished product and not as just the sum of it's parts. Yes the parts are great, and that's what makes it but really you need to listen to it.

I mentioned how varied the tracks are before. Topic wise you get straight bravado battle raps, postive social commentary, love songs, spiritual musings, honest life tales, street narratives, ends repping and death raps. On the production tip you get sample utilising UK boom bap, garage influenced beats with live instrumentation, slowness, fastness, rock guitars, acoustic guitars, bass heavy synthy tracks, reggae tinges and electro themed fuzzy bass bangers. The UK has diversity for real.

The plus points of this being a mixtape are that you get the freestyles and the skits and they don't sound out of place; they should be there. The HHB Leeds turntable skit is more than a welcome addition - bring that art back, I want to hear more scratching in UK Hip Hop. Word to Jabba the Kut for his cuts too. Izzy G's frees are awesome too, he does have a way with words ("Dropping words that go over your heads like the shoulders of hunchbacks", "You breddas are missing the beat like ex-cops" and "My first LP will be better than your 'Best Of'").

Props deserved for all those involved in this project; all the MC's, all the DJ's, all the producers and all the heads. It's good to see that we (the UK scene) can get things done and that the results are quality.

10Shott - Memory Blank single review

Back in August when I heard this track in the studio with 10Shott this is what I said about it: "'Memory Blank' is a huge, banging track about writers block with an immense hook." Guy, his manager, has been good enough to send me an unmastered version of this track for me to listen to and review. Unfortunately for you lot, it's for my ears only but don't get to sad. Just go to 10Shott's myspace and listen to the snippet he's posted up there!

'Memory Blank', available on download from January the 29th (I'll keep you posted as to where that can be gotten), is musically a great introduction; "world this is 10Shott". Don't let the title mislead you though, somebody who can produce a mixtpe with 30 tracks blatantly doesn't have a problem knowing what to write about. This track is just another in his arsenal of varingly themed raps.

10Shott displays his lyrical prowess by giving us an insight into an artists head. Tenny outlines the downsides of writer's block in a jovial manner. He has the skill of making everyday situations sound amusing and the further skill of doing this in complex rhyme patterns that are clearly delivered in his unimitable flow. Even varying line lengths don't phase 10Shott, if he needs to say more words in one line then he does, it doesn't put him out of time.

The production is original and very catchy. A smile will probably play on your lips as your head nods to the stabbing strings and by the time those ascending and descending piano rolls drop in the chorus this will already be your new favourite tune. To accompany the production 10Shott has written one of the most singable and radio friendly hooks ever to grace UK Hip Hop and before you think it, it's not cheesy or poppy so put your tongues away.

Is 10Shott going to join the few UK heads who have stradled the divide between the underground and radio play? If he doesn't then no-one will.

Edwin Birdsong/Daft Punk/A-Trak/Kanye

Ahahahahahaaha. Funny picture.

Edwin Birdsong -> Daft Punk -> A-Trak (mashup/minimix)

Saturday, 24 November 2007

Everybody loves Beirut, but is Beirut the same as Beirut?

This is so hilarious...well I think it is anyway. I posted ONE Beirut remix of Jay-Z and now people keep coming to my page after searching for Beirut. Thing is, I don't even know if this is the same Beirut as the manically hyped band by that samename. Do you know what? I don't care either! If it is then good, if it isn't then good. See I'm indifferent.

This has made me realised something. If you are a blogger and you are registered on a certain popular aggregator and you want hits all you must do is read that list of most searched and popular artists and post them. Seriously, there can't be that many people out there who only want to hear those artists. It's weird. I'm going to experiment by posting stuff related to those artists. The visitors won't care, they won't read this. They won't care they are part of a cruel investigation into their fickleness. Hahaha.

The Notorious BIG - Young Gs (Beirut Remix).mp3
Clipse - Wamp Wamp ft. Slim Thug (Beirut Remix).mp3
Young Buck - 3 Kings ft. T.I. & Young Jeezy (Beirut remix).mp3

Or go here to download the whole remixes 2 album.

OK so I did care a little bit, it's not the band it's a guy who really needs his own production album with top rappers all over it and here is his myspace page.

Friday, 23 November 2007

Up and coming posts...

Thanks to all who visited yesterday, that was my highest ever visits in a day...maybe because I posted Jay-Z?* This wont stop me posting more underground and local music but if you do check my page and download, leave a comment to show your appreciation.

Check back during the weekend for:

  1. 2 10Shott track reviews
  2. 2 Album reviews
  3. 1 Mixtape review ( Vol. 3)
  4. An exposé of a portion of the Bradford Hip Hop scene
  5. Some tracks I've ripped from vinyl I own
  6. Whatever else takes my musical fancy this weekend.
  7. A possible redesign of the logo

See y'all in the comments box ;)

*No it's cos I posted Beirut - favourites. Might post some Burial and Radiohead and some Interpol now.

Thursday, 22 November 2007

Next up...The Nextmen

Just spied this video on myspace. It's a good one but the track is a totally different direction for UK Hip Hop production duo The Nextmen. If you are a fan of their other work and are closed minded then you wont like it. If you are fan of their other work and are open minded then you will like it. Easy. I love the simple animation of the lyrics.

If you're a fan of Neo-soulish stuff or even classic female singer/songwriter-ness then you should also check out Zarif's solo stuff over at myspace. I'm certainly on the conversion path. Shhh...beautiful voice.

Wednesday, 21 November 2007

Singled Out no.2 - Redman - Smash Sumthin'/Let's Get Dirty

Adam F, the well known Drum 'n' Bass DJ/Producer created an album on which he collaborated with rappers. This was the single from that album. 'Smash Sumthin'' features, or rather is a track by, Redman. The single in the UK was a double A side with 'Let's Get Dirty'; how lucky are we?!

'Smash Sumthin'' begins with cinematic orchestral sounds and choirs; they are perfect introduction to this grimey bout between two heavyweights. Reggie get's his gloves on and begins vocally jabbing the track. As he provokes, Adam F leaves the ropes. A dirty funk monster is unleashed at which point the two seem to resign themselves to working together. The result is a mean-mugging, claw dance inducing extravaganza. Blow ya horns, smash 'em, crash 'em.

The smashing glass that concludes 'Smash Sumthin'' leaves way for another big fat club banger - 'Let's get Dirty', this time produced by Rockwilder. It's no wonder Christina jacked the concept here, there was blatantly more money to be made. This is basically the original to that R'n'B night staple and personally I'd rather hear this. Red is as hyperactively shouty as he always is on his club tracks. DJ Kool adds some growls to the hardcoreness of the horn laced pounding beat and it's all perfect.

But the next track is a remix, by who? Gorillaz! That man Damon Albarn and that other man Dan the Automater have totally flipped this track and made a once heavy, bass bin shaking heater into a chilled out headnodder. Ahhh, I totally love it! This is what a remix should be. The beat compliments the lyrics but in a way you would never imagine whilst listening to the original. This is one you could come home to after a night of grimacing and stomping along to Wu-Tang tracks.

Smash Sumthin.mp3
Lets get dirty (gorillaz mix).mp3
Lets get dirty.mp3

Tuesday, 20 November 2007


Q: Why did a promotions company who were only meant to be sending me Hip Hop related stuff send me Pash?
A: Because Hip Hop producer Frequency has remixed 'Kill Rich Boys II'.

I took a quick look on Frequency's myspace page and was delighted by what I found. If you check that link then you'll see the extensive list of rappers he's produced for (Snoop, Wordsworth, Cam'ron...). The MC's that were featured on his player were not ones I'd usually listen but on myspace you can't really help it can you? They just come on! Well I'm glad they do.

I'd heard a few things bout Red Café and I dismissed him because his wigedywhack name. Red Café? Café Rouge? I went there the other day. What next? MC Donalds? KFC Crew? That's not the name of a rapper! Anyway, the dramatic introduction to his track 'Invincible' grabbed me right away and I was hooked. Café actually flows pretty nicely and whilst his hood commentary is nothing new it's the beat that really makes this track.

The Cam'ron (can't believe I'm posting this) track - 'Y'all Can't Live' - is another horn driven, triumphant hood track with a riff that sounds like the one out of Cream's 'Layla'. He shoulda left out those annoying backing singers though.

Juganot's track 'En Why Cee' is an ode to New York and it's chilling. The instrumental is so mellow whilst the beats bang in just the right places. The scratched up chorus is nice, that's been missing from Hip Hop and it needs to be brought back in a big way.

Check out Frequency on up and coming Raekwon tracks (possibly on the 'Only Built For Cuban Links II?).

Cam'ron - Y'all Can't Live (prod by Frequency).mp3
Red Cafe - Invincible (prod by frequency).mp3
Pash - Kill Rich Boys II (Frequency Remix).mp3
Juganot - En Why Cee (prod by Frequency).mp3

Pash - The Best Gun

When you get sent free stuff it's rude not to isn't it? Fanatic, a promotions company from the US, have recently added me to their mailing list and have begun to email me with mp3 goodness loosely related to Hip Hop.

Pash are a collection of musicians who make tunes with guitars and stuff. Their vocalist is a lady called Meredith Munoz and their music really reminds me of music I used to listen to. I don't actively seek to listen to music like this any more - all my time is spent hunting down and listening to Hip Hop. If, however, it's served up on my plate for me, I'm more than happy to listen to it and accept it. And seeing as I've been feeling just a little stifled by my Hip Hop only diet this couldn't have come at a better time.

Pash bring melodic indie pop right up to date in a very sensible way. Flying in the face of the current trend of bands who, to my ears, sound unaccomplished in one or more ways, Pash have a togetherness that nears perfection. If you like indie bands fronted by girls who really can sing, such as The Cranberries, then I can see no reason why you wouldn't like any of the songs Fanatic have offered for your listening pleasure. This is certainly a breath of fresh air for me and if you're here then it probably will be for you too. Give it a try.

Pash - Kill Rich Boys I - A fast pace, movie chase style lament.
Pash - ABCD - A good song about something, I'm rubbish at listening to none Hip Hop lyrics.
Pash - The Best Gun - A familiar sounding riff heralds this devotional.

Monday, 19 November 2007

Singled Out no.1 - Lionrock - Straight At Yer Head

"What you get is what you see not what they say..."

...the words of MC Buzz B as featured on this recording by Lionrock. This wise statement maybe true in some cases but right now you're going to get what you see AND what I (me being they) say. Despite having a name that reminds me only of the vicar (Mr. Busby) of the parish where my first primary school was, this not-very-famous MC flows just lovely. I still know all the rap/poem now and it's deep in a simple way.

This was one of the first CD singles I ever bought (possibly the second), stay tuned to learn what the first was. I still love the title track to this day and I can never tell which of the two featured versions I prefer. This, although not strictly Hip Hop, paved the way for my love of UK Hip Hop before I even knew it existed. When this was released in 1996 I was either 12 or 13 and was just developing my musical preferences and was more likely to be found listening to Brit-pop or my dad's music.

If you like Faithless or Massive Attack, down-tempo break beats, trip-hop or Hip Hop then I suggest you have a listen to 'Straight At Yer Head'. The bonus tracks are big-beat/dance respectively.

Friday, 16 November 2007

1940's Movie for her!

Here is my fiancee singing a Christmas jingle for a Pringles competition. If we win, we can pay for our honeymoon so please, please take the time to vote for us. Even if you don't like it.
Click on this link and vote now! Thanks so know it's a good cause!

If you ever downloaded a track from here then really owe me don't ya? Show your heart!

Oh and watch this space for my rap pringle's gonna be big!

And cheekily, just to get this post on hype machine, I'm going to post the new EPMD song. Now you know they are legends in the game and they have recently put all differences behind/aside and have got back together!Yay!

Wednesday, 14 November 2007

1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10 tracks for y'all

U.K. Rap Cats by Tha 4orce & Poynt Blak

I don't know much about either of these acts but what I do know is that they've used Quasimoto's Rap Cats, produced by Madlib, and done a UK thing instead. Listen out for the biggest names in UK Hip Hop both past and present. I think I do prefer Blade's 'UK Hip Hop' but this is good too.

Surviving the Times by Nas

I've always liked Nas. I like his emotive voice and the way he writes. His lyrics are honest and whilst clever they sound effortless. I'm not going to go on about 'Illmatic' and what his careers been like since then but this track takes us back in Nas' memory to those 'Illmatic' days. Just erase all criticisms of Nas and sit back and enjoy this, it shouldn't be too difficult.

No Qualms (Revox) by Wiley

This track features Chipmunk, JME and Skepta; if you're into the UK Grime scene then you'll know these names. Pretty empty topic wise but the MC's have skills and the tune is nice and bouncy.

Dumb it Down by Lupe Fiasco

Doesn't seem a minute since Lupe dropped 'Food & Liquor'; an album I rate as one of the best of last year. The lyrics in the first verse here are top notch - listen carefully. The verses tick over quietly but menacingly and the chorus is masterfully written: it sums up what the track is about. Similar in topic to last years 'Daydream', Lupe obviously feels he hasn't got his message across. An anti-stereotypical Hip Hop mentality track at its best.

The Mission ft. Jehst & Micall Parknsun by L.G.

L.G. is a UK producer who makes real Hip Hop. This sample based track is laced with Biscuit's flute, the distinctive rhymes of one of UK's best Jehst and the not so distinctive but very up-and-coming rhymes of Micall Parknsun. This off-kilter beat sounds like it should be hard to flow over but Y'n'R's brightest talent make it sound so simple.

Classic Cliche ft. Mpho Skeef by Elektrons

Not Hip Hop, rather electrodiscofunk from Manchester duo Elektrons that features Ty collaborator and impossibly named Mpho Skeef. So her name sounds like the noise you'd make when being thumped in the stomach but her vocals are clear and happy here, I dare you not to move to this. Happy music.

Dillagence (One For Jay) ft. Phonte by DJ Spinna

A medley of synthy strings and punchy basses of different pitches backs up this track sung (I presume) by Little Brother's Phonte. A dedication to Jay Dilla in a Slum Villagey way (in case you couldn't tell from the title).

Leyendecker (DJ EMZ remix ft. Joell Ortiz) by Battles

Battles were only brought to my attention the other night by Jools Holland and I don't know much about them other than some call them art rockers and I think they're a bit mad. Anyway, this track sounds good, it's really good for humming and Joell Ortiz does top notch raps on it.

Skeng ft. Killa P & Flow-Dan by The Bug

What's this? Grimey Dubstep? Yeah probably. If you play it quietly it's quiet, but if you turn up the volume it's loud. Ya get me? This can't be played at a low volume, it just can't. Although it's a slow creeping track it's not really relaxing. Bang it out and let the hairs on yer neck stand up.

Punctuation by Wretch 32

Wretch 32 must be from around my way somewhere. His certainly aint a London accent as his myspace page might have us believe. The lyrics here are pretty intelligent, check how he includes loads of english grammar into his rhymes fullstop


These blokes have a great collective beard.

That's not all I'm going to say, I'll also say (well write) this:

A guy from this band just emailed me a few minutes ago, before then I'd never heard of them. Now I have, and now I'm posting about them. Good turn around eh? I'm not usually a fan of electronica glitch stuff but when it's this good and it's coupled with samples of instrumentation I can't resist. The songs are eclectic audio mentalism and are actually beautiful and banging at the same time, it's some weird recipe but it sure tastes nice.

They are from Argentina and they have all worked under their own names on many musical projects as well as on five albums as a band. If you want the full lowdown go to their myspace page, there is a very detailed biography there. Also go to their lovely website, and try to get on the english version; I couldn't. Even if you can't, go on the Espanolish version and go to the download section, there are bare tracks there.

Here are the tracks the kindly sent me, enjoy:


This week marks three years since ODB died. Wu-Tang's forthcoming album, '8 Diagrams' contains the track 'Life Changes', and is about and dedicated to the Durty McGurty one. Pour out a little liquor...

This week also brought us the news of the untimely death of Kanye West's mother, Dr. Donda West. It is believed her death may be linked to surgery, possibly that of the cosmetic variety. Will this provoke a 'Lost Ones' style tribute from Kanye? Was it his money that was paying for it? Remember Jay-Z rapped "My Nephew died in the car I bought//So I'm under the belief it's partly my fault". Thoughts and prayers are with Kanye and family right now.

Oh, and...100th post. Whoop there it is.

Tuesday, 13 November 2007

Popes on Dope remix Thieves Like Us...

Before the slew of other remixes hit Hype Machine, check this one that Popes on Dope (aka me and Tom of Eclectic Hermit) have produced.

Thieves Like Us - Drugs In My Body (Popes on Dope Crack Team remix) (ZP3)

Some would describe it as an ambient electro banger with a hint of gothic house, others would simply say it's a damn fine tune.

Let us know what you think and if you like it, pester Kitsune to let us win!

Feel free to share amongst your friends.

Monday, 12 November 2007

Pyrelli - Vitamin A - A Twist of Fate

As Sway’s partner in rhyme you would expect great things of Pyrelli. Stupidly, I didn’t anticipate said great things based upon one thing; his performance on Sway’s ‘Up Your Speed’. I was a fan of the track because of the replayed Fleetwood Mac elements and the fact that it looked outside of London but to be honest I couldn’t really hear what they were saying.

‘Vitamin A - A Twist of Fate’ is a humble title for something which seems so deserved. This album is defiantly more than the work of an unknown power although the ‘Twist’ part makes more sense. Pyrelli, who currently works part time at Clarks in Seven Sisters peddling shoes, should definitely expect life changes if this CD is anything to go by.

By now you’ve probably cottoned on to the fact that this review will be positive and that I am more than pleasantly surprised by Pyrelli’s latest offering. And an offering it is, at no point do you get the feeling that Pyrelli has already got too big for his boots, he simply brings what he has to the table and seems to say, quite shyly, “What do you think of this?”. Now don’t get me wrong, the boy has confidence and charisma but whilst he knows how good he is, there are no illusions of grandeur. He openly admits he wants ‘papers’ to be a result of this album and honesty is a good thing. I don’t fault him one iota for this; who doesn’t want their part time job to pay out? And which rapper doesn’t want their part time grind to become a full time paid position?

The album as whole is not traditionally British, if anything it salutes the southern states (the relentless hi-hats, synths and screwed chorus vocals of ‘Do Not Disturb’ especially) and displays clear influences from current trends in the grime and dance scenes. If more UK producers and rappers decide to follow this trend it’s not going to be a bad thing as long as it’s not overdone. What you won’t find here is dusty samples taken from long forgotten vinyl or boom-bap beats but if that’s the kind of rap music you usually like, don’t write this off yet. If you did like Sway’s album, particularly the more grimey tracks, you should really listen to this.

‘Vitamin A…’ kicks off with ‘Introvert Me’, a synthy string and choir stab laden affair, part fast rap and part recorded interview, that serves to introduce this MC. The album begins loud and heavy, ‘Can’t be Asked’ continues on this theme and wouldn’t sound amiss alongside any Timbaland produced club banger. ‘Do Not Disturb’, as I mentioned before is dirty south-esque but a British accent brings it home and makes it ours. Track 4, ‘Fashionably Late’, switches up the formula; a blaxploitation sound is sampled here and Pyrelli tells us how just because he’s a rapper he’s not going to bang all the groupies; mans got morals.

Title track ‘Twist of Fate’ changes the pace and mood of the album. Darker and more menacing than preceding tracks, ‘Twist…’ displays Pyrelli’s ability to tell a story lyrically. This mood doesn’t last long as ‘Caravan of Love’ is a straight up loved up ballad that almost parodies itself; it’s Pyrelli’s ‘Month in the Summer’ and everyone should have a place in their heart for this sentimental slop. The loving doesn’t end there, thankfully it’s Pyrelli’s love affair with hot countries and their cuisine that he’s rapping about on ‘Caribbean Love’. The tune starts off with a comedy sample of a song about calypso music. Then it stops and a heavy headnodder laced with a relentless synth horn shocks your speakers.

‘Eazy Peazy’ is easily the worst track on the album and I probably won’t listen to it again. He seems to have gone for a dreamy drum ‘n’ bass-ish beat that uses bells and other things that make it sound like a demented Christmas carol; tis not good. But don’t give up on him now, everyone can have one whack track right? ‘Full Burst’ redeems Pyrelli and puts the album back on track with it’s slow burning relentless beat and it’s clear and concise lyrics. ‘Know No Other Way’ is an uplifting, chipmunk vocal utilising ear pleaser and Pyrelli’s vocals are impressive - he rarely takes a breath and each line morphs perfectly into the next.

‘Push Tha Boat Out’ is in a similar vein to ‘Fashionably Late’, a soul break complete with bongos and some dirty south drums provide the perfect backdrop for Pyrelli to drop some quick rhymes about this and that, (maybe everything he wanted to say on his other tracks and didn’t).

So, is this a vitamin you need? Yeah, it pretty much lives up to it’s name. Vitamin A is essential for life and whilst this isn’t necessary for existence it’s indispensable for any forward thinking UK Hip Hop head. For fans of US Hip Hop this may just be your way in to the UK scene. Pyrelli has come with something a little different, drawing influence from some of the hottest sounds around and has managed to mix them all into one without anything sounding out of place. Look out for Pyrelli Tha Instigator.

*This is a review of the promo version of the album, the tracklisting is different for the released version*

Friday, 9 November 2007

Back in the Day #6 - West Street Mob

We gotta keep things moving here and for those who like a bit of oldness, this should fit the bill. I was reading Andrew Emery's column in HHC and he was harping on about how young Hip Hop fans don't listen to old rap music whereas young Rock fans do listen to old rock. I was obviously trying to address that problem before I read that but I do agree so here ya go:

West Street Mob - I Cant Stop.mp3
The Wise Guys - I Cant Stop.mp3
West Street Mob - Breakdance (Electric Boogie).mp3
Now get your lino out (a laminate floor is good too) and do a little dance, get down tonight. It is friday.

Absolutely Dame Judi Dench

The Beats - The Absolutely Dame Judi Dench Mix (zshare)

Featuring The Mitchell Brothers, Example and Professor Green. Tracklist to follow...
Mitchell Brothers ft. J2K - Solemate (S.Chu Remix)
Example - Posh Birds
Mitchell Brothers - G.O.R.G.I.E.
Example - Yes Please
Mitchell Brothers - Cats & Dogs
Neon Hitch - Derek
Example - I don't want to (Goldielocks remix)
Example - Who needs sunshine
Mitchell Brothers - Michael Jackson
Example - Me & Mandy
Professor Green - Before I die (MC mix)
Professor Green - Lets talk about me
Professor Green - Like you hate me
Mitchell Brothers- Excuse my sister (MC remix ft. No Lay, Baby Blue and Krush)

Thursday, 8 November 2007


Prof Green

Prof Green (short for Professor Green) is a London MC who came up through battling. He is the latest signing to Mike Skinner's The Beats label. He is playing The Mint Club in Leeds next week and I'm off to review it. He's well known for having fallen off a stage during a battle at The Jump Off, check out the footage!

I contacted the promoter and he tells me Mike Skinner (of The Streets fame) is going to be there and there is a possibilty of me interviewing him; awesome!

Get yourself there, it's next Thursday and it starts at 10 o'clock!

Sample some tunes:

Professor Green - Hard night out.mp3
Professor Green - Hard night out DB.mp3
Professor Green - Addicted remix.mp3
Professor Green - Upper Clapton Dance.mp3
Professor Green - Before I Die.mp3

Monday, 5 November 2007

Dizzee Dizz Photos

Thanks to Nath (my bro) and his spiffing new camera for these photo's of Friday's Leeds gig.

Saturday, 3 November 2007

Get Cained and things

If you are in or around the Bradford are and you like any number of the advertised genres then you should really check this out. For £3 you can hardly go wrong can you? I can fully vouch for the greatness of Spida Lee (gotta love that Huddersfield accent) and you all must know I like 9 Lives Clik. Don't Talk To Strangers should be a blast too, just as long as they bring their backing tracks and not the vocal ones.

As for the venue, I went there once and it's a classy place, one to take the missus to. but you could also go with your mates, don't get me wrong.

On the more direct, I want music now, front you should really go to the Blunted Presents blog. They've got bare mixes for you to download. Some of them are Hip Hop, some are Drum 'n' Bass, others are Funk and there are some that mix it all up with a bit of reggae reggae sauce. The latest one is by Tom Caruana who, if you look back in my posts, or if you click on the tab with his name, I have already posted on here.

It's now the weekend and I'm glad. Because of work I missed the chance to go to two free gigs this week. Double D Dagger on Wednesday and Crystal Castles on Thursday. Sadness.

Thursday, 1 November 2007

9 Lives Clik + Yorkshire Terrierz

I'm sorry to start on a negative but it's probably best if I get this off my chest to begin with. Whoever promoted this event must have no idea what flyers and posters are, they must have never stumbled across this thing we call the internet; that new fangled contraption.

I've never actually been to any kind of public event that was so under attended. Sure, people drifted in and out all night but by the time 9 Lives hit the stage there was me, my bro, our mate and a handful of others (shouts to Leady for representing his scene).

To be fair the bill was good. The aim of the event was to celebrate 'the influence of Hip Hop on modern British music and culture' and was put on as part of Black History Month. I missed the first act, Dave Acari a blues guitarist and arrived to see Roya perform. I'm going to have to be critical about this and since I've already slagged off the organisers I might as well say this: Roya can't sing live. Some of her beats were pretty heavy but overall her performance was uninspiring. Dboy hit the stage accompanied by an electro-acoustic guitar and a good voice; he played a few nice singer/songwriter tracks including a melancholy cover of Britney's (Hit me Baby) One More Time. A couple of beat boxers (Who were you?) provided some proper entertainment, by that time I was ready for some Hip Hop. Ridim Ryda was next with some dubstep but again, to be honest, he needs to step up his live game.

9 Lives Clik were a breath of fresh air, every time I see them play they get better. These boys are certainly skilled but good raps and beats ain't all they got; they entertain and engage. I'm looking forward to getting my hands on some recorded material from these boys (2 solo albums and 1 mixtape coming soon I am assured) and in a twist on the usual way of things - I hope it's as good as their live show. If you haven't seen them live, just go see them, they had me grinning and nodding my head (what more could one wish for?). I believe Chief Wiggum is playing tonight (Friday 2 nd November) so be there. Look out for the trading of rhymes they seem to have concocted on a bus and the time machine, highlights my friends, highlights. One thing you may not get to see again is the boy band ballad mockery they derived from the presence of a stool on the stage.

The other half of the audience then got on the stage: Yorkshire Terrierz. For a group with over 3000 friends on myspace I was surprised about the turn out (but as you know I blame the promoters). Despite the lack of crowd they did their thing. I'd heard a couple of their tunes before (thanks to itunes, check for their album/mixtape on there) and their set was not a disappointment. Their brand of street level life rap is made fresh and consistent with their use of their Yorkshire accents and dialect. The Terrierz add another ingredient to the bubbling melting pot of Hip Hop in Leeds, it's only really their accents that would make their music sound out of place in either the UK scene as a whole or the US. With some hard work and accurate marketing they could become integral in the UK scene.

All in all, a good night musically but atmospherically it was lacking that extra something that really lets you enjoy a night of live music.