Tuesday, 29 January 2008

10Shott, Gnarls Barkley and HERO

Now the man 10Shott has a 'Black Boys' verse. His verse outlines his doubts about what we know of African history and shouts out black mothers for raising the black boys.

10Shott - Black Boys Remix.mp3

In other news, Gnarls Barkley announced the name of their second album. 'The Odd Couple' is currently being recorded in LA and features live instrumentation from live instrumentalists. Although this may sound crazy (sorry, it just happened) after their debut set 'St. Elsewhere' which featured sample based tracks, Danger Mouse is no stranger to working with real instruments. As you all probably know some of his most famous work in the realms of pop music is with Damon Albarn's 'Gorillaz' and on 'Ghetto Pop Life' (a project on Lex Records with Jemini) he commands a whole choir for the cod-operatic introduction.

Another Hip Hop collaboration that has found it's way to me (directly from the group) is the excellent forthcoming project from HERO. HERO is a group consisting of Darp Malone and E-Dot who are getting ready to release their LP on Feb 26th. They sent me two tracks, 'Mogadishu' and 'Be Aware'. 'Mogadishu' is actually very like Gnarls Barkley sonically, think that crossed with 'Hey Ya' and most tracks by K-Os. If you like any of those songs, or songs driven by guitar strumming and claps, then this is really for you. If that sound a bit too poppy for you, have no fear because the lyrics are hard. 'Be Aware' scans like a conversation between two people and is a very quirky slice of up-to-date Hip Hop, if you like Hi-Tek's productions and intelligent, original rhyme schemes check this project out, I certainly intend to.


Be Aware.mp3

Tuesday, 22 January 2008

Vote Bashy for MTV's Spanking New!

There are two reasons why you should click here right now. One click will mean that you have had your hand in the attempt to make Bashy MTV's Spanking New artist for 2008! Bashy has had an incredible year, really rearing his head in the final quarter with the immense 'Black Boys' project. His success is clear, every big UK MC wanted to be on that remix, and most were. Controversy surrounded the video as MTV banned it for its racist slant and as we all know; controversy = more publicity and support. Bashy deserves this award and I wish him all my best, I've voted.

Another reason to vote is that he is the only flippin' Hip Hop act on there, come on heads, vote for that man!

If you're still unsure go to the page (click on that there banner), check out what it's about, size up his competion and then vote! Also "LOOK OUT FOR THE BLACK BOYS SPECIAL EDITION DVD HITTING STORES ON 11TH FEB 2008!! FEATURING ALL THE VIDEOS, AUDIO, BEHIND THE SCENES FOOTAGE, SPECIAL COLLECTORS PICS, A FULL LENGTH DOCUMENTARY AND MUCH MORE.... " Hope I can get me one of those.

Friday, 18 January 2008

Finally it's here...

Big up to the man khaOs who sent me the link! The mixtape, is as expected, pretty awesome and very satisfying for a Sway fan.

And here is a link for the whole thing :

Sway - The Dotted Lines Mixtape

Check out how ridiculous Sway (From Sway and Tech) sounds arguing with Sway about their name!

Wednesday, 16 January 2008

Chief Wigz Speaks Ill

Despite citing Hip Hop stalwarts, Wu-Tang Clan as an influence and relative newcomer, Lupe Fiasco as a superstar lyricist, Chief Wigz isn’t in the habit of imitating idols. Even the styles of Jehst and Roots Manuva, who Wigz claims as UK inspiration, are not aped on ‘Never Speak Ill of the Dead Vol. 1’. What you get here is a personal interpretation of what Hip Hop is. ‘Never Speak Ill…’ is in an explanation of one man’s understanding of his relationship with Hip Hop. The music of Chief Wigz may not be the way you perceive Hip Hop but after listening to this CD your mind will be expanded 8 tracks in a new direction.

Working with producers Dashiel, Plus Bell, 2 Sheets and Eliphino, Wigz has crafted a window into his world that reveals a multiculture of sounds. The album kicks off with a nice soul sampling Dashiel beat (‘Feel’) which is topped off with some answering phone messages, quite why I’m unsure but it leads onto ‘Welcome’ - the first proper track. ‘Welcome’ is a brooding, verging on threatening, track that features fellow 9 Lives Clik member, Proptic. The way Wigz flows here, as and indeed he does throughout the CD, makes up for the fact that he has restricted himself to only 6 tracks with lyrics. The words flow furiously over the brim of the beats as you are treated to a fast moving word association game that is structured around rhyme and assonance. ‘Occupations’ is a mellow track this time produced by Eliphino and featuring Skuf. Here Wigz displays his knack of writing a catchy but definitely un-poppy hook, which will leave his respect intact but will leave you singing ‘We’re making music’ under your breath. ‘Drunk & Tired’, an instrumental by Eliphino serves as a transition point to track 5 and maintains the momentum that gathers over the 25 minutes of this CD.

If this were in the old days you’d get up right now and turn the record over. And so now, we move on to what would be side 2 of the record. The second half begins with ‘Moves’, again produced by Eliphino, but this time the beat is heavier; more hard hitting. If Wigz flowed acapella you’d be hard pushed to understand how the words could fit around a beat but this track serves to demonstrate that it does work, and it works so well. After a skit with an answer phone freestyle, Chief Wigz and Eliphino continue to pick the tempo up with the dub-infused ‘Don’t Believe You’. The simple concept is delivered perfectly, the chorus shines memorably and the beat is a hazy summer’s day making it the highlight of the EP. ‘Hour’ momentarily takes the pace down a bit with its lazy but relentless piano loop and a more laid back (but still mysteriously hungry sounding) vocal from the Chief. Then, as ‘Hour’ finishes some upbeat folk guitar finger picking heralds what I presume to be freestyling but almost as soon starts it begins to fade out to make way for the closing track. ‘One Line’ proves Dashiel to be diverse in his production skills as the finale is a grimey, dub-step driven heater. ‘One Line’ leaves ample room for Chief Wigz’s wordplay and ultimately showcases the vocal style that seems to come so naturally to him.

The EP was released in the final throws of the 4th quarter of 2007, a year that will go down in Hip Hop history as the year in which we all tried to recover from the death of Hip Hop, apparently. Speaking on a personal level, and hopefully for other rap fans in Leeds, 2007 was a year of life for our Hip Hop scene and the release of this EP is a physical reminder of that truth.

Get in touch with or take a trip to Jumbo Records or Crash Records in Leeds to get your copy.

Tuesday, 15 January 2008

Myspace is still good for one thing and that's the music. This is the first time I've noticed them actually paying artists to provide free downloads and here's to hoping they continue along these lines. (Click the banner for the link)
Freshly Mixed is a good site for downloading mixes by your favourite DJ's and artists. For example, here's one with Prof Green and Ghetto. (Click the pink tape for a link)

On that tip, The Beats, the label that is home to The Streets, The Mitchell Brothers, Professor Green and Example is closing down. Check the news over at the HHC blog. You can download their last mixtape 'Absolutely Dame Judi Dench' here or you can buy a copy from the HHC website.

Friday, 11 January 2008

I can't believe I haven't...

...told you about Suspect Packages. As their slogan says it is 'the one stop shop for UK Hip Hop', and it really is. Nothing worthwhile will go unnoticed by Disorda which means that if its from the UK, is Hip Hop and has been released on any format (even mp3) then you can get it here. Its also better designed than any other online music retailer; where else can you hear a mp3 sample of every UK Hip Hop track as and when it's released?

Disorda is a lucky man, he gets to listen to all this Hip Hop and as a result he does three things well:

a) he runs a well stocked shop - you can get 12"s, CD's, Mixtapes, T-Shirts, Magazines, information, reviews, top 1o's and samples all for the price of an internet connection, which obviously, you have,

b) compilation CD's - which you can buy, surprisingly, at http://www.suspect-packages.com/. He's currently on number 4.

d) radio shows - you can download the podcast too which means you get to keep on your hard drive his pick of the best current UK tunes. The latest one can be downloaded here (on their new blog) and he's even written down the tracklist for you there. This particular show brings you great tracks from Blak Twang, Shameless, Asaviour, Farma G (of Task Force), Braintax, Jehst, Terra Firma and loads more quality UK artists. It's all neatly introduced via an exclusive track from The IRS so you know it's gonna be good when it kicks off with them.

It was good to see a familiar underground name on the playlist too; that of the Tactical Thinking Crew. Part of the TT crew is made up of Surreal Knowledge/SK Crew. When I was at uni I had a weekly Hip Hop night in the SU Bar and SK were kind enough to bless that one night with mad freestyles, turntablism and a boisterous live set.

The first time I saw them was when they supported Adam F in Preston and they totally ripped it there. I still remember their track that went along the lines: 'If you go down to the clubs today' that was set to the tune of 'Teddy Bears Picnic'. Then I heard Mr. Dick and Stoopid Ill aka Derogatory on 'Stealing', an LP by the Funky Fresh Few that was released on Mark Rae's Grand Central Records. Check their myspace page for some hot new tracks that will raise a smile and set your feet a-tapping, that's if you're not just straight wiling out.

Here's a video of them on some TV show, this will give you a good taste of what they are like both live and in person:

Now...if you didn't already download that Suspect Packages radio show, do it now and fast forward to around 15 minutes in. The Tactical Thinking track produced by Naive is so, so, SO heavy! Jay Madden and Mic Dyson rip, rip, RIP it up! Yes, yes, YES! Then a bit later on the whole TT crew smash it on 'Dusk til Dawn', all them SK blokes are heavy.

Surreal Knowledge and Tactical Thinking are defo ones to look out for and the man Disorda agrees!

Surreal Knowledge - Here Come The British

Wednesday, 9 January 2008

Breakbeats and Binocular Footy

If you're into multi-sensory stimulation then allow me to introduce you to these two videos. The first is a young fella named Damaskal (according to Youtube) who has made this well-filmed mini-mix of breaks. It's cool to watch a DJ at work from a birds eye view.

If you don't find this second video funny then I'm afraid you and I don't have much in common. This is the 'official' video for The Losers remix of Candi Staton's 'You Got The Love', a track that bangs hard and fuzzes even harder. Anyway, the concept of the video is this: take 11 orimentalists, strap binoculars to their heads and make them play football in stripy body stockings...much missing the ball and falling type hilarity ensues.

A Very British Gangster

After posting Beirut Gangster I received loads of emails from other budding remixers who had got hold of Jay-Z's American Gangster Acapellas. I felt loyal to Beirut, who crafted such a perfect remix album that after a brief listen to the original made me wish Beirut was the original producer, so I didn't post any more reviews or links.

Beirut managed to create beats that sounded as if they were the ones Jay had spat over, Irn Mnky has done the opposite, and that's a good thing too. The beats are matched tightly to the acapellas and the beats are tight in their own right but you just know that Jay-Z would never have the sense to rhyme over rhythms like these. Hova sticks to what he knows these days and as a result he sounds boring on the whole. American Gangster, unlike The Black Album, was an album made for remixing (perhaps why the acapellas were available almost before the full version) so we can be thankful that this world has produced folk like Irn Mnky because he makes a Hip Hop fan like me happy. Now I get Jays verses (he is a lyricst I admire and respect) and some quirky and jolly beats and it suits me just perfectly.

The tracks I've selected for you to hear (but really, just go download the whole ting ting) are 'Pray', 'Hello Brooklyn 3.0' and 'Blue Magic'. Irn Mnky has chopped and stuttered The Verve's 'Bittersweet Symphony', a Britpop classic, to great effect on 'Pray'; it's familiar but different. 'Hello Brooklyn 3.0' has been cleverly mashed with 'Little By Little' by Oasis, it even has Noel being egged on by a hype man during the chorus (Hype man: Sing it//Noel: Little by little//Hype man: C'mown Noel: gave you everything you ever dreamed of) - genius. 'Blue Magic' is just pure trumpety jaunt with a simple ploddy but comical bassline.

Seel Fresh is Real Fresh

Coming up in the Hip Hop game via Graffiti aint a bad way to go about things when you might not look like the 'typical' MC (See Kid Acne). Gaining respect for your throw-ups must give one the required qualifications for making the transition from having your name known to getting your sound out there. Seel Fresh is one such cross-discipline artist who is doing his thing in Chicago right now.

Before this morning I'd never heard of him (and you can't blame me, I live in Yorkshire, UK!) but now, a few hours later, I'm sat in my chair making moves very similar to those Seel makes in his video for 'Drinkalot' (ya know, white boy Hip Hop dancing and gestures). Whilst I don't exactly agree with the man and his endorsement of mixing excessive amounts of alcohol I can't help but love the beat and his simple, fresh and fun flow. It's this type of music that enables me to massively enjoy a night out without drinking. Here's the video which was just released today

If you're feeling this then you should check out his album 'Trife Life' which includes 'Nickelpimp', a song all about scrimping and saving and other more illegal ways of getting loose change, 'Midwest Monsters', a bluesy number which features Juice; a tune about where they're from and how they do and 'Gifted', a track that boasts Thirstin Howl III and Rack-Lo as guests on which they boast about how good they are. Classic rap fair then; criminal activity, money making, ego building, alcohol fueled party music but all done with a bit of a cheeky grin.

Friday, 4 January 2008

Mash It Right Up

Whilst I've been away some kind folk have been sending me tunes for postage and some are nice. Here's some mash to go with all the usual bangers:

The White Eyed Tigers are from Leeds (What!) and they contacted me with a link to download their American Gangster Remix Album. Well I downloaded that but haven't listened to it all yet but it sounds pretty good. See for yourself here, it's called 'A Very British American Gangster'. Anyways, have a listen to Irn Mnky's Pirates of the Carribean and Jay-Z mashup 'Pirates Encore'. It's reet good. Also check out 'Johnny Cash Rules Everything Around Me (J.C.R.E.A.M.)'. Aside from the genius title its absolute quality; there should be more Johnny Cash and Harmonicas in Hip Hop. Once you've checked them, ankle round to their website for some more!

Ernold Sane sent me a link too. He's done some mashups and they're perfect dancefloor fodder. Bend your ear towards his mashup of 'Love Me or Hate Me' by Lady Sovereign and 'Sweet Dreams' by The Eurythmics (that old bean). Then line up 'Bringing Biggie Back' in your media player, it's 'SexyBack' crossed with 'Nasty Girl', I'd like to play it to people who want to dance.

Heads up to Fox who's taken the vocals from 'Drop It Like It's Hot' and dropped it (like it was hot) over the beat for 'Concrete Schoolyard'. It's a good un and it's called 'Hot Schoolyard' .