Thursday, 17 July 2008

Save Target As

It's about time that I bless with you with some actual music, I know I can't expect you to just read about music and watch videos with music on them. To get the balance I'll not write very much today.

First some heat from Seattle: 'Tobacco Road' by Common Market is a beautifully chilled southern country baptist gospel type track seemingly based alot on farming. This theme continues, apparently, throughout the album - one I'm really looking forward to.

End of the Weak is a British MC battle competition and a load of it's partakers (Reain, Stig of the Dump, Dr Syntax, SonnyJim, Jazz T) got together over some Chemo production to create this banger: 'End of the Weak'.

Estelle had a life before she met Kanye and Will.I.Am and a rich and fruitful life it was. Here is an early demo/promo that is funkybanginghard - 'Ahead of my Flow'. Thanks to Disorda at Suspect Packages for that.

Lupe Fiasco and A-Trak have made this cool tune and it's something to do with Nike: 'Running Man'.

Naughty by Nature are back with a little remake of The Game's 'Game's Pain'. It's called 'Hip Hop's Pain' and is all about how they respect the new wave of artists.

Leeds lad Breaking the Illusion (BTI for short) has remixed fellow Leeds lad's The Hair's track 'Half Cut'. That type of British Indie music isn't really my bag and the remix just makes it a bit more electronic and glitchy but BTI's lyrics on the last verse are worth hearing.

Finally, this track by Tobias: 'Bumper 2 Bumper'. It basically sounds nice so it's here. I think it's about rush hour traffic.

Tuesday, 15 July 2008

Roots Manuva 'Again & Again' video

Here's the video to the nice new single to be taken from Roots Manuva's forthcoming Long P 'Slime and Reason'. On a reggae and cricket vibe (much like 10CC once were) this should do alright for itself. It actually sounds like a different, more straight instrumentalised version to the one that is on the advance copy of the album but promo tracklistings often differ so it remains to be seen which one is released as the single and which one is on the album.

Stay tuned for a proper review of the full album (if I can find time amongst doing my last week at work, married at the end of next week and going on honeymoon).

Tuesday, 8 July 2008

Mudmowth - 'Circus In The Cemetery' 12" review

You have to chuckle - Associated Minds are hilarious. They're just edging into the scene, loudly mind you, bringing Welsh Hip Hop to the ears of the still London-centric UK Hip Hop listeners. It's just pure comedy value, given that the Hip Hop plus Wales thing that most people think of is Goldie Lookin' Chain's idiotic banter, that their releases are all so RIDICULOUSLY AWESOME!

Mudmowth's latest offering, a shexy white vinyl with dopey-dope-dope artwork, is just so hardcore it's mental. Mudmowth is a tremendous MC who mixes clarity with humour, seriousness and sickness in perfect measures.

Essentially, this release is a 5 track EP featuring labelmate guests Willo Wispa and Ralph Rip Sh** and production by P.L.O., Devize (from Australia) and Sam Rockwell. The overall feeling is of hard, dark but outright bouncy and jouyously heavy Rap music. Next time I get a chance to see Mud perform live, I know my trainers will get stepped upon, one part of my will be body bleeding and there will be a HUGE grin on my face; this is mosh pit inducing stuff.

'Skullcrackology', produced by P.L.O., opens up proceedings and is orientated around live rock drumming, synthy, filthy bass lines and screaming guitars. Mudmowth comes across most vehemently with millions of quotables e.g. 'The only police record you've got is 'Every Breath I Take''. It's great to hear such a brilliant Rock infused track that suits the MC'ing down to a T.

'Return of the Cavemen' is fresh, Devize offers a jaunty beat that somehow has an Australian sound to it - there's something about it that sets it's sound apart from the UK or the US. Willo brings a more chilled out contribution, his style is so lazy and laid back compared to Mudmowth's - it's great to hear MC's who sound different - usually you can't tell when one has stopped and the next has started! ('Shouts to Steve Irwin, Down Under - Literally'!!!)

The intro to 'Circus in the Cemetery' must have been robbed from some bad 80's horror movie and it heralds perfectly what's to come. The title track is menacing both in lyrical content and delivery and the two MC's have come up with a nice concept with plenty of scope for more classic lines. Not my favourite track on here but nonetheless a banger.

'Knuckle Down' is another Devize jobby and the beat is on the lighter side of things whereas the verbals are still gnarly. I like the fact that even though the lyrics are classic battle material the beat is not a doom-and-gloom, dreary sounding backdrop. This track really showcases Mud's overactive mind; I don't know how he thinks up this stuff!

'The Broken Home of Mr. Jones' is a lovely but sad track and the title says it all. Mudmowth takes on the persona of an alcoholic man whose life is in tatters and he paints the picture real well. As Mudmowth says himself: 'The sad thing I know is that half of Britain understands me'. This is an insightful examination of the state of many people in our country.

I can't really say anything I didn't already say in the intro to this review. This is simply brilliant Hip Hop that reveals new treasures on each listen. For the price of a couple of beers this could be yours and if you buy it right off Associated Minds they'll no doubt throw in a load of free stuff; don't be a Mr. Jones - buy this EP!

Baby J's 'Fix The Problem' mixtape and forthcoming single 'Lies'

Baby J has rapidly become well known in Hip Hop, mainly in the UK but as a result of working with Wu-Affiliate Shabazz the Disciple, Brand Nubian and Dead Prez and others there are some in the US who will also know his name. His knack for sampling already insanely catchy songs and matching them up to MC's and singers who are actually decent has seen him score a few successes. 'Young, Gifted & Black' featuring Dynamite MC got loads of Radio 1 airplay, he produced a good few tracks on Skinnyman's album debut 'Council Estate of Mind' and entirely produced Blade's last ever album 'Guerrilla Tactics'. He has had two great 'Mixtapes' (F.T.P. & FTP2: Fight The Power) that are really more like production albums featuring the likes of Fallacy, Mr Ti2bs, Rukus, Yogi, Ty, Klashnekoff, A-Alikes and Moorish Delta 7 as well as others.

Now, Baby J has 'Fix The Problem: FTP The Mixtape pt.2' which slightly confused me because I didn't even know the first one existed (it does, it's called 'For The People: FTP The Mixtape' and if anyone wants to send me a copy, be my guest). Anyway, 'Fix The Problem' seems to follow along the lines of the first mixtape in that it's got hundreds of tracks, each one a verse from a different rapper.

Actually it's got 'MORE THEN 60 OF THE WORLDS BEST BLACK MUSIC ARTISTS, PERFORMING OVER BABY J'S GREATEST INSTRUMENTALS' - and this is where I take my only issue with this CD. In that one sentence, emblazoned (well not quite, but it's there) across the front there are 2 errors that annoy me and something else that just nags me. First, 'MORE THEN' - it's 'More than' and secondly, 'WORLDS BEST' when it should have an apostrophe - 'World's best'. Now I know that sounds fussy but if you want to be professional, spelling and grammar is important. The third thing that gets my goat is 'BLACK MUSIC ARTISTS'. I don't like that as an umbrella name for Hip Hop, Grime, R'n'B and whatever else it encompasses, especially when half of the folks on here are white! Gripe done.

It's a great collection of guest verses (there are 65 tracks/verses) from the likes of Million Dan, Jehst, Shameless, Brotherman, Asher D, Young Max, Yungun and Dynamite MC and obviously, a flippin' truckload more. Consider this a starter course for Baby J's 'Baby Food' album, scheduled to drop in October.

The big single off 'Baby Food' is 'Lies', a simplistic track that features Asher D (going by his real name - Ashley Walters - trying to shake off the old So Solid/jailed for gun crime associations?). For you Americans, he's the guy who played one of Marcus's mates in 50 Cent's 'Get Rich or Try Dying' film (y'know he got shot and was in hospital and that). It also features UK R'nB 'sensation' Nathan. It's a really catchy,insanely radio friendly, modern sounding piece of slick UK Hip Hop; it's destined to attract teenyboppers/radio listeners and props to Baby for that! It's got a nice, light summery vibe to it too; it'll be unoffensive to your ears as you sit back in your hammock this August.

Check back here in the autumn/fall for a review of 'Baby Food'. As a fan who has actually bought his previous work (Gasp! People buy music?!), I'm really looking forward to it especially since I know it's going to feature guests old and new: Million Dan and Farma G (of Task Force) being my most anticipated collaborations!

Rising Styles Block Party this Saturday!

This is happening on Saturday so if you're around that part of the country, get to it! I'll be in that part of the country and if there aren't too many wedding plans to be made, I might be there!

As you can see the guestlist is brilliant and even if you can't see that, take it from me - it is.

There are certified UK veterans and legends in there - Skinnyman, Blak Twang, Jehst, Million Dan. There's some foreigners - Kidz in the Hall and Emmanuel Jal. There are Brighton's natives - Koaste, Enlish, Witchdoctor Wise. There are the trendy types - Soweto Kinch and Sway.

There's something for everyone here, even if you don't normally like Hip Hop. There will be a great atmosphere; something which Brighton is well known for so be sure to quit your jobs if they don't give you the time off!

It kicks off at 12 (that's lunchtime) and it's only a fiver if you book in advance.

'The Bigg Hitter' is coming!

To add to my last post about 10Shott's 'Talking American' (from forthcoming album 'Groundbreaker... A Di Real') featuring on Ras Kwame's show and Homegrown podcast I have this news:

'The Bigg Hitter' is due to be finished this Friday! Choice FM DJ 279 (a massive tastemaker in the game) will be checking it out in the studio this week and I'll be getting an exclusive listen once it's finished.

I've already heard one track from this mixtape entitled 'Comic Book Thug' and compared to the tracks on 'Groundbreaker' (review coming sometime soon) it's much heavier, grimier and way more 'street'. On 'Comic Book Thug' Tenny effortlessly bridges gaps between the new UK sound and the old hardcore East Coast sounds of the late 80's and early 90's. With a huge crunching beat and 10Shott's ultra-entertaining wordplay this is sure to appeal to fans worldwide AND genre-wide.

I'm unsure as to the terms of the release of 'The Big Hitter'; it may be free for download, it may be purchase-able but you can count on me to let you know can't you?

It's about that time, if you haven't already to backtrack and listen to 10Shott's past work so you know where he's come from when 'Groundbreaker' explodes. I'd recommend getting Vicious Circle's album ('Bagged Out'), 10Shott's 'Ghetto Brick Road' mixtape and Wolftown Committee's album 'Legendary Status'. You could also go and download both 'Tin Soldiers' and 'Memory Blank' as well as taking a trip to his myspace page and downloading Ras Kwame's latest Homegrown podcast.

In other 10Shott news, Guy, 10Shott's manager and Zy Records owner, has just signed No.1 chart topper Elli from Latvia and Tenny has just co-written and recorded a collaboration with her due for release in Russia in 6 weeks. Elli's last 2 songs went to No.1 so no doubt with 10Shott on board it'll be big too.

Monday, 7 July 2008

10Shott's 'Talking American' Free Download From 1Xtra

Last night saw 10Shott get the Homegrown treatment from 1Xtra's Ras Kwame. As a result you get to download it for free!

10Shott on Ras Kwame's Homegrown download

Sunday, 6 July 2008

Oasis bring it!

Oasis have rewritten their classic 'Wonderwall' to diss Jay-Z. OK so it isn't really Oasis, it's Charlie Sloth and some cleverly matched up concert footage! Awesome!

Wednesday, 2 July 2008

Roots Manuva Promo Video for 'Rhyme & Reason'

Tuesday, 1 July 2008

Mudmowth, Associated Minds on the Beeb

I put this track up a few somethings ago (click on the 'Mudmowth' label below) but here's a lovely acoustic version. It features P.L.O. on guitar and Kima Otung on singing duties. This version takes away the fun element of the original that really takes you back to those days and replaces it with a much more reminiscatory (second time I've used that word - is it a real one?) feel.

Also watch live and acoustic recorded sessions for 'The Broken Home of Mr. Jones', 'Skullcrackology' and 'Cherry Bomb' which features that tall welsh lad - Ralph Rip Sh**!.

Remixes, Tasters, Free Albums and Good Tracks

Logarhythmik has created this delightful remix of that track Kanye, Nas and KRS One did for Nike. 'Better Than I've Ever Been' is the remix and 'Classic' was the DJ Premier original and as much as it pains me to say this, I think I like this remix more. Don't get me wrong I love Premo's original production but maybe this has just refreshed it and made it new again. Thumbs up.

The P Brothers, Nottinghams most famous Bronxians have given you and I a taster of their next album 'The Gas' which will be out in August. It seems to feature a few American voices and it does it's job well, it certainly whets my appetite.

United Centa are Mick Luter, Big Wiz and Rashid Hadee and 'Under The Act' has a great 90's feel to it. These , and other Chicagoans are really making a bid for the Hip Hop capital at the moment, I'm hearing lots of good things. This has some nice laid back production and features a simple chorus that appeals to my ears.

Wax, an MC from Cali by way of Baltimore is a pretty vicious rhymer whose recorded output is surprisingly chilled and thoughtful. 'The Adventures of Larry and Tina' is an attention grabbing story rap that still has some great rhymes. Anyways, this is a track off a project he is working on with a bloke called Elements of Music, it's going to be called Wax and EOM present: "For All I know He's An Asshole".

Jelani, son of old skool Hip Hop stylist Dapper Dan has an album up for grabby grabs. It's called 'Wait, You Can Rap?!?!'. It sounds like this album is a real summertime affair - it's got a West Coast laziness to it at the same time as having an East Coast hunger. If you want a good time vibe, largely unoffensive lyrics and some cooooool production then it's right click, left click, save target as.

On a more souful tip but as equally as free you can have Kam Moye's 'Self Centered EP'. You may know this man as Supastition, which ever moniker, it's the same guy. Yeah, the EP is quite self centred but he puts himself across well and it makes for an interesting listen. As a whole sound, this is Hip Hop in one of it's lovelier forms and bumping this will leave you feeling more complete than a listen through most 'Hip Hop' albums on the popular shelves at the moment.