Friday, 30 October 2009

Souls of Mischief Live In London!

Are you mad? You don't wanna go to this? I do but probably won't be able too - so why don't you go for me? The legendary Souls of Mischief, lyrical beast Skandal, the much-hyped Charlie Sloth, ex-Scratch Pervert Mr. Thing and hostage by Mystro and more - sounds like a good do to me. Monday 9th November is the date (definitely can't make it!) and the Carhartt Store is the place - drinks on the house apparently. Click on the flyer to see the full thing.

'Literary Vices' - Verbal Contact (EP review)

Don’t know about life in Leeds? Well, Matter and Prys are willing to be your tour guides for half an hour. Their debut EP is entitled ‘Literary Vices’ - a clue to the type of intelligence behind the lyrics of Verbal Contact.

Opener ‘First Impressions’ pulls no punches as the MCs introduce themselves over a seriously heavy beat. ‘Wasteland’ is a day in the life of and ‘Tourist Information’ follows – this is Leeds. ‘Likad 2nite’ features Mr. Ris (of label mates Alphabetix) and details the highs and lows of a typical night out (as does ‘Misadventures’) whereas ‘David’s Struggle’ takes a more serious tack – a cautionary tale about the life and times of a drug dealer.

Most of the EP is on a real boom bap Hip Hop tip but the final track ‘Mind The Gap’ showcases their doubletime flows and features Grime MC Devalish aka Dialect (who recently featured on Westwood TV alongside Asher Don) – proof that this crew aren’t close minded and do whatever it take to make good music.

‘Literary Vices’ is out on 30 Tonne Slug on 30th November.

'Sirens Comin' - DJ Shepdog (Busta vs. Dizzee Mashup)

Check out DJ Shepdog's youtube channel for more mashups and DJ type jugglinz such as Dead Prez vs. Damien Marley and Gorillaz vs. Malente.

'Talk To Frank' - Virus Syndicate (video)

Skandal & Faith SFX on DJ Gone TV (video)

'Chop-Hop History' - Mr B The Gentleman Rhymer (video)

Thursday, 29 October 2009

'Engurland (City Shanties)' - Dizraeli (album review)

Revitalizing, invigorating, stimulating – nope, not some soap-based beauty product but Dizraeli’s ‘Engurland (City Shanties)’. UK Hip Hop has not seen anything quite like this before.

With clear folk influences the album begins with ‘Homeward Bound (On The Overground)’ which lays out all the essentials of what’s to come, only the rapping is missing; seamen’s harmonics, beats, guitars and fiddles and scratched samples will get you stoked for the rest of the album.

The album flows perfectly, each song seems to share elements with the last. ‘Engurland’ is a gloriously sarcastic anthem and a faultless analysis of our society – I defy you not to sing along. Then, before you know it Dizraeli is imagining the staff of a supermarket making sweet music using everyday objects on the comical ‘Bomb Tesco’. ‘Take Me Dancing’ has the most beautiful melodies, ‘Pen Tangle’, ‘It Won’t Be Long’ and ‘Reach In’ provide a few minutes respite from Hip Hop then ‘Maria’ sees Dizraeli skilfully tell the sad story of love gone bad.

‘Reach Out’ proves itself to be the perfect track – one that stands alone as well as something that contributes so much to the structure of an album. It sounds just as great on the LP.

‘Engurland (City Shanties)’ was released on Monday 12th October, can be heard here and is a must for your collection if you are fan of plain good music. Look out for ‘Bomb Tesco’ – coming soon as a single with video and D&B remix.

'Remixes From The Edge' by Ghost Coming Soon

Heaviness from UK producer Ghost soon come:

"This album is compilation of remixes I decided to give away for free. All tracks remixed by Ghost, a big thanks to all the artists for letting me remix their great work, support the artists and buy their official releases."

Go listen to the snippet mixes now - they're terrific! Whilst you're at the marvelous bandcamp why not stream his other albums and then buy them if you haven't already. Support good music!

The release of 'Remixes From The Edge' will coincide with the launch of Ghost's new website and will feature Foreign Beggars, The Heavy, Coldcut, Dabrye and Doom, Photek, Anti Pop Consortium and Bonobo.

Masta Ace & Edo G Live in Leeds!

Get across to this - not to be missed! Masta Ace and Edo G live in Leeds with support from Verbal Contact (who're making this their 'Literary Vices' EP launch), Alphabetix, J Bravo, Defenders of Style plus DJs Sinical an Prolific. If you get there at 9pm there will be breakdancing battles too - and all for £5 - bargain!

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

'On My Jais: The Prelude' - Jai (review)

Dopest female MC right now? Jai. Easy. It’s been out for a little while now but Jai’s ‘On My Jais:The Prelude’ is a great release from a true wordsmith. 14 tracks of Jai all on her own is hardly necessary – one verse on one track is enough for her to prove herself. But, since she’s so skilled you’ll be thankful there are 14 tracks.

The beats are real Hip Hop proving that Jai is a real head – not some Grime upstart jumping on the latest craze. The lyrics are cleverly put together with plenty of sense-making multis. Her flow is immaculate, her voice is anything but annoying and her subject matter is varied enough to keep things interesting although this release would benefit from some more original concepts and topics.

As I said, ‘On My Jais: The Prelude’ is already available and Suspect Packages have it in stock.

'It's My City' ft. Ricky Blaze/'Just Say Yes' ft. Darren B - Jelluzz (single review)

Jelluzz is back with more of his sugary urban pop this time roping in NYC's Ricky Blaze for chorus duties on 'It's My City' and Darren B for 'Just Say Yes'.

Strictly made for fans of anyone like Chipmunk (i.e. Grime artists from London who are now on Radio 1, T4 etc) these two tracks are synthy, upbeat and about inane stuff like partying with champagne and getting girls into double beds.

Jelluzz is about as Americanised as someone who still has a North London accent (and a pretty likeable flow) can be and there are plenty of teenagers who ride buses whilst playing music through tinny phone speaks who would love to bump this in a similar way.

'It's My City' is out on 3oth November on Big Deal Management.

'Everything' - Jaycee Payaso (single review)

Sermstyle's poppy/urban current production style suits Jaycee's R'n'B type singing and with the right push I can imagine Jaycee Payaso having a reasonable go at the pop charts. Apparently Cheryl Cole has already invited him to work with her so who knows?

'Everything' is a typical smooshy love song about trying to be the best you can be in a relationship and in its own little way it's quite catchy. Silvar provides a rapped verse and proves to be easier to take in a small dose and whilst his lyrics remain simplistic he does flip some nice flows.

The second track 'My Girl's Blessed' employs autotune and appears to be pretty hard (in an R'n'B-ish way) until the chorus - then unfortunately, it flops.

'Everything' is out on 23rd November on Razeone.

'Searching' - Silvar (single review)

I could write this review with one line: Silvar - not for fans of Hip Hop. I won't just leave it at that though; you need to know why. If I'm not mistaken 'Searching' is produced by Sermstyle who can produce decent Hip Hop beats. Instead for this release someone decided that synthy-dance-mulch based beats would do. It's obvious this is aimed at folk who listen to the radio and go to see X Factor winners in concert but I doubt this will even cut it with them - it's a bit too mundane.

The beat for 'Too Famous' panders a little less to the latest urban trends but it's clear from Silvar's simplistic lyrics that he has limited scope - he talks about a girl wearing his rolex in both tracks on this single.

'Searching' is probably out sometime soon (possibly November 2nd) on Razeone.

Markus The Sadist - West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds, 27th October 2009 (review)

Playing to a fairly diverse audience, including those who I suspect don’t frequent the theatre, Jonzi D’s cast of eight wowed the audience at the West Yorkshire Playhouse last night with their performance of his rap opera ‘Markus The Sadist’.

Using minimal props and scenery alongside music, dancing, video and of course rapping and acting, lead man Bashy and the crew document the rise and fall of a skilled, young and conscious MC lured by all the trappings of being a successful Hip Hop artist (click here to read more of the plot).

The exaggerated storyline which includes a UK rapper making it big in the states (albeit with a fake accent) and then later having a forced frontal lobotomy to make him conform to The Company’s desires (selling products and ideas to the masses) delivers a much-needed message to both rap fans and rap denouncers. Skills, friendship, family, respect, morals and responsibility are all explored through a highly comical, extremely clever and rhyming script.

Acting from the whole troupe is on point making for very believable characters and representations. Bashy plays both the “nice boy” Markus and the gangsta Markus The Sadist (a reference to Marquis De Sade) with ease – look out for more of his acting skills. Irish comedian and rapper Rob Broderick brings bags of humour to the proceedings whilst Colleen Joseph injects high octane dance routines.

Composed by the award-winning Soweto Kinch, the music (a most important aspect in a production about Hip Hop) perfectly suits each different scene making ‘Markus The Sadist’ into a genuine product of real rap fans.

If you thought visiting a theatre to see a play about a rapper would be corny, think again. These aren’t actors pretending to be, these are real people doing what they really do – people with real skills. By showing up what is false and immoral in the world of platinum rap Jonzi D has produced a dazzling piece of theatre that will remind you of why you loved Hip Hop in the first place. A must see.

'Champion Fraff' - Contact Play (album review)

Look past the dopely presented CD and the well executed tracks (great production, talented MCs) and ‘Champion Fraff’ is an hour’s worth of schoolboy humour, tales of drunkness and unsubstantiated sex stories brought to you by a group of lads who are proud of their wasteman personas.

If Mr. Key, Dirty Dyke, Ronnie Bosh, Ed Scissor Tongue and Jamm Baxter were actually funny then their funky and technical rhyme styles, sing-along choruses and bouncy production would be put to good use. ‘Fingers In Your Nose’ is a song about snot, now Dead Residents proved on Vee Kay’s ‘Bogey Homicide’ that that concept can be funny, but when Contact Play do it, it’s just not.

‘Death of a Prick’ is proof that this crew have what it takes as they tell the story of a man wastes his life away. Now I don’t know for sure but it seems that a lot of the lyrics are just a front and that if you met them, these guys would actually be quite nice – who knows though. This LP is not for me but I can think of heads who would love it.

Production comes from TwoManySteps, Adrian, Cire, Karem Fraiche, Mr. Constant, Andy Dextrous, Medison and Jimmy Wahgwan – no names that I know but each certainly knows how to build dope beats – my favourite part of the album.

‘Champion Fraff’ is out now on School Bully Records and can be bought at Suspect Packages.

'Revenge of the Blowfish' - Squid Ninjaz (album review)

Drawing comparisons between Squid Ninjaz and Wu-Tang would be easy, lazy journalism – but I’ll do it anyway because it seems so apt: there are lots of them, they’re dirty and grimey and there’s the whole martial arts thing too.

The production comes from Metabeats mainly although Dogruffbeats, Lousain Hekla and Imakemadbeats all pitch in too with beats. Sparse, crunchy and dusty and ultimately very heavy backdrops back up the Squids – the LP’s strength.

Opener ‘8 Bars’ features fifteen MCs who all come in full on ill lyrical mode. However, as the album goes on the allusions to violence and misogyny wear pretty thin – if you can stomach it to begin with. I appreciate their quest to bring “raw raps” but I’m pretty sure that doesn’t necessitate so much sordid imagery. For some heads – this is just what you’re looking for. For me, it’s not. Having said that, all these MCs have skills – they all rhyme the rhyme well – it’s just the relentless content that’s the problem.

Single ‘Luna Disco’ is a dope track and I can’t front on that!

‘Revenge Of The Blowfish’ will be out on December 7th on Squid Ninja Records.

'Mind Of A Tehranist' - emceeKilla (album review)

An album almost based solely on one man’s deep mistrust of all authority might sound daunting but emceeKilla’s ‘Mind Of A Tehranist’ lightens the blow with upbeat headnod productions and likeable flows.

For just under 50 minutes emceeKilla “speak[s] a tough message but keep[s] it fun”. The message in question nears on conspiracy theory but challenges how the listener thinks about government and media. Whilst you may not agree with his thoughts, it’s certainly good to question the status quo and how much you might be ignoring. Towards the end of the album subject matter lightens and changes a little with ‘More British’ and ‘Jah Guide’.

'Brick Wall' features Australian MCs Frenic, Koziosko and Plarks and 'Web Of Deceit' features Manage.

‘Mind of a Tehranist’ will be out soon on Dealmaker Records and can be bought digitally at Amazon.

London Posse Biography

The multi-talented DJ Jimmy Green aka Jimbo Jones has written some essential reading for fans of UK Hip Hop. He's done a concise history of London Posse, or a biography if you like. It's really worth a read and there's a chance you'll learn a few new things:

"London Posse were one of the most influential groups in British hip hop, and one of the first to sound authentically British. Pretty much everyone who MCs now in the UK owes them a debt, from Roots Manuva to Jehst to Wiley to Ghetto to...well, you name your favourite UK rapper, or anyone who raps in his or her own accent about things that are local to them, and it'll be pretty much down to the London Posse's trailblazing series of classic (but sporadic) releases in the 80s and 90s."

You can read the article here on his blog.

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Mystro Investigate #1 - Horse Riding

I kid you not - here is a video of UK rapper Mystro learning to ride a horse, asking why people don't ride zebras and then finding that his balls have "gone all up inside" him! Quality TV.

The Line Up ft. SonnyJim & Jack Flash - This Friday in Leeds

Since Friday is on its way and Friday 30th October means The Line Up in Leeds I thought I'd post this to remind you and to give yourself something to do in preparation.

On Friday I'll be grabbing an interview with SonnyJim. It's been over a year since my last interview with him and things have changed up in the Eat Good Records camp so it'll be good to catch up. If you weren't with me a year ago you should check out that interview. For everything else I've posted about him, including free tunes, click here.

You may not have heard the name Extra Curricular but you will know Jack Flash - the MC of the live band. If it's an interview with Mr. Flash you want then look no further than here - also from about a year ago.

Defenders of Style (aka DS Fam) are a dope underground act from Leeds who will be releasing a mixtape ('Thoughts of the Nameless') very soon - keep your ears pricked and your browsers pointing towards for more news.

Farma G Joins Rock Band The Invasion Of...

Here are some photos of Task Force's Farma G performing with his new band The Invasion Of...

In an interview I did recently with Farma G for the next issue of Bonafide Magazine he had this to say about his new project:

"I have joined a band called The Invasion Of. It is a straight up Rock band in which I perform the lead vocals (no rap). Our drummer is the world famous Gary Powell ex Libertines/Dirty Pretty Things. Watch this space!"

'RIP Life' - G-Range (video)

Monday, 26 October 2009

Markus The Sadist in Leeds and Ipswich

Markus The Sadist - A Hip Hop Opera featuring the acting talent of Bashy, the musical input of Soweto Kinch and the overall mastermindery of Jonzi D is coming to the end of its UK tour. The remaining dates are:

Mon 26th October - Tue 27 October
LEEDS West Yorkshire Playhouse

Fri 30 October - Sat 31 October
IPSWICH New Wolsey Theatre

Go see it, who knows, it may get a permanent residency in the West End if it continues to proves popular.

'One Inch Punch' - Dubbledge (mixtape review)

Are you a fan of 90s beats such as those crafted by RZA and DJ Premier? Are you a fan of charismatic, funny but intelligent rappers? Then the ‘One Inch Punch’ mixtape fresh from Dubbledge is for you.

Hurtling through productions jacked from classics from Snoop and Dre, ATCQ, Raekwon, Souls of Mischief, Rakim and more, Dubbledge brings a brief 26 minutes of madness and memories. Kyza joins Dubbledge to destroy ‘Juice aka The Duppy Tamer’ (not the Puppy Trainer as I thought at first glance) and TB brings his aggy delivery to the table on ‘Glaciers of Ice’.

This release is a prequel to his forthcoming album ‘Is Wot It Is…But It Ain’t Wot It Woz’ and it’s proof that Edge is still on top form lyrically. ‘One Inch Punch’ is what a mixtape should be – not a listening marathon, quality loveable beats and well chosen verses (as opposed to every bar the MC ever wrote).

‘One Inch Punch’ will be released on 7th December on Hidden Agenda.

'The Kinesis Thesis' - K.I.N.E.T.I.C. (album review)

Solid, real Hip Hop is on the menu with K.I.N.E.T.I.C.'s sophomore LP release. With always-reliable production from Jon Phonics plus more dope beats from ones to watch JJ Malone and Vintage (who enlists Chemo's co-production help on 'Leave It All Behind' this album will keep you involved for its 47 minutes.

With lyrical performances as powerful as 'Love Has Never Lived Here' (an honest look behind the doors of K.I.N.E.T.I.C.'s childhood home), it's obvious his Energy Man suffix doesn't just adhere to the kind of hyped up Hip Hop displayed on opener 'Let's Go' - electricty runs through whatever topic is tackled.

Overall the album documents the elements that contribute to the MCs place in life - the city ('In The City'), soul destroying 9 to 5s '(Leave It All Behind'), upbringing and Hip Hop itself ('Memory Lane'). The bluesy 'Don't Be Silly' tells a tale of changing attitudes to love as a result of heartbreak - an attitude sadly adopted by many, resulting in an endless cycle of messy relationships.

'The Kinesis Thesis' is released digitally on Monday November 16th.

'It Ain't Hard To See' ft. Jamieson - K.I.N.E.T.I.C. (video)

Organix Part 8 - 'Freespit'

Probably my favourite episode of Organix so far with a really bouncy beat from Pro P and verses from 16 MCs - 777, Diligent Fingers, Ed-Xl, Gadget, Terawrizt, Dweller, Milc, Inferno, Evil Eyez, Mal, Trick, Day Two, Arfa Tunn, Stiks, DFG & Baron Samedi. Is it me or is there some beef going on with 777 and Pez who previously featured side by side on Organix projects?

Sunday, 25 October 2009

'Mercedes Benz' - Sway

Buy 'Mercedes Benz' now - for all y'all who've been asking for the mp3, it's here -> (at itunes!).

'Zone' ft. Mr. Lif - Kids In Tracksuits (7" review)

I remember reading about Kids in Tracksuits in HHC a couple of years ago but I never actually heard any of their music. Well, just before they disband (two members becoming Lone - that's the name of their new outfit), Fluid Ounce/Unfold have decided to drop a nice little 7" (well, not little - a normal sized 7") which features rhyming rhymes from Mr. Lif and Non-Genetic.

Mr. Lif features on 'Zone' alongside panpipes and mean buzzy, bassy synths and a hectic drum pattern. The hungry-sounding Non-Genetic features on 'No Hooks' - a more relaxing affair with all manner of orchestral instruments.

'Zone' ft. Mr Lif by Kids In Tracksuits drops on 2nd November. 'No Hooks' has also featured on a 90 track DVD entitled ‘Fluid Ounce Presents…’.

'Swing Reswung' - Voodoo Browne (single review)

Ever heard of Voodoo Browne? I hadn't until this made its way to me (beats me how I got it - maybe through FB?). Anyhoo, bags of charisma and dirty funky beats are the basic ingredients of 'Swing Reswung' and its B-side companion 'Told Ya'. Originating from Ipswich, Suffolk Voodoo reps the UK with some pretty original sounding material with the title track being an excellent anthemic introduction to this MC and producer.

'Swing Reswung' is out on Ambiel Music and is available to buy as a download on 16th November.

'Punches' ft. Baron Samedi, Dweller & 777 - Wizard & Scizzahs

If you wanna get involved as an MC in the next Organix track then check this:

'Designer Girl' - 10Shott (free download)

Probably not to the taste of some of my readers but here's the new free EP from 10Shott. 10Shott has brought himself up to date with the latest trends in British urban music with the whole autotune, housey beats thing and 'Designer Girl' is the result. Lyrically Tenny is way ahead of anyone currently making it big in the radio-friendly rap world - this deserves to go far, just as long as he keeps making music to keep the real heads happy too! There must be hundreds of women out there who'll love this!

'Sleeping in my Bed' is still very radio friendly but it has that noughties R'n'B vibe to it.

Saturday, 24 October 2009

'The Watcher' - Sway (free download)

Sway goes in over one of Dre's best loved '2001' beats 'The Watcher', unleashes news of a forthcoming mixtape entitled 'The Delivery' and goes back to his old mixtape ways. Nice.

Friday, 23 October 2009

'New Day' ft. Soweto Kinch/'A Star Is Born' - Chima Anya (video)

A longer version than the one I posted and still a really top track - love this one. Check out Chima's version of Jay-Z's 'A Star Is Born' - it features guitarist Jake Burrell and it's easily preferable to the original:

Thursday, 22 October 2009

'I Want In' - Podgy Figures (single review)

Bizarre name, bizarre track concept. Actually, if it weren't all so weird I might have felt this a bit more. Mr. Figures basically wants to be in on every money making scheme going - a nice thought but simply ridiculous - to be 'in on' something, you need to have a reason; you need to have done something to deserve it!

As a rapper Podgy is not bad, his playful side does come across and I suppose the fact that this concept hasn't been done before is a plus point - originality and all that. I even liked the synthy beat and I'd probably give further a releases a listen - we'll see.

'I Want In' was out on Gingerbread Records on 19th October.

'Antidote EP' - Virus Syndicate (EP review)

The last EP in the Virus Syndicate’s ‘Breakout Trilogy’ is the ‘Antidote EP’. The EP kicks off with a hyped up version of Reel To Real’s ‘I Like To Move It’ (more recently performed by a Sacha Baron Cohen voiced Lemur king in the Madagascar films) entitled ‘Move It’ – this 90’s house hit has been twisted into a dubstep rap banger – defo loving this.

‘Talk To Frank’ leaves you to decide the group’s stance on a variety of narcotics – apparently they’re playing devil’s advocate. Another hard track though – the production on this is next level, mature dubstep/grime. ‘Crazy’ is a pretty funny expose of mental women and ‘I’m Here’ is their “we’re better than you” track.

‘Antidote EP’ will be released on 9th November on Contagious Music.

'Hunger Pains' - Skandal (mixtape review)

Even from the cleverly put together 15 minute mini-mix it's obvious that Skandal’s new ‘Hunger Pains’ mixtape is of a high calibre. Each verse exhibits this MCs ability to twist and wreck words – bending them into his own configuration to serve his purposes. Roast dinners, films and actors and play with different root words all contribute to the overall dopeness and listenability of Skandal’s product.

DJ MK does the cutting honours and the beat selection is solid – guaranteed to keep you moving in your chosen way. The CD features Little Dee and Ramson Badbonez and it seems some real heads are already in support – Shortee Blitz, Huw Stephens (Radio 1) and DJ 279. Big.

‘Hunger Pains’ is available on 26th October and is exclusive to UK Record Shop.

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

'OCDC' - OCDC (free download)

for some truly great Hip Hop that I know you're going to dig then get to for the free download from OCDC!. OCDC are Associated Minds MC Ralph Rip Sh** and producer Stoph.

The EP features 8 tracks and it appears to be self titled. It doesn't really need a name - it's dopeness speaks for itself. This just seemed to drop out of nowhere and music of this quality is rare - be sure to download this and then be ready to support them to the max.

Sunday, 18 October 2009

SonnyJim & Jack Flash play The Line Up (Fri 30th Oct) Leeds

In just under 2 weeks time this is where you need to be. SonnyJim, Jack Flash and the almighty DS Fam (Defenders of Style). Throw in some DJs (all of whom do their thing well) add in the fact that it goes on from 9pm until 5am then you know you've got a party on your hands. Your 8 quid in goes a long way. Be in Leeds on Friday 30th October.

Friday, 16 October 2009

'Baptism Under Fire' - Phoenix Da Icefire (review)

Bringing real trad-rap Phoenix Da Icefire has dropped a pretty hot/cold mixtape. Mixed by DJ Roast and hosted by M9 'Baptism Under Fire' features a whole host of wholesome and meaty full tracks - it's more like an album that happens to be mixed and cut up (big ups to Roast for the quality scratching).

After an hour your neck will ache and your brain will be busting - beats are dope, rhymes are deep. Coming with a similar thesis to the whole Triple Darkness crew but with slightly more of a good time feel Phoenix Da Icefire proves that he's an MC worth making noise about.

Tracks such as'Purple Mist', the lullaby-like 'Silver Lining' and 'Mic Check' will repeat themselves in your head whilst others just sound ill each time they play. Banger '3rd Degree' features Young Roots and Prophet and elsewhere M9, Masikah, J Tha Exodus, D21 and 9 Planets feature.

If this is a mixtape then watch out for the album - it can only quality when it comes. 'Baptism Under Fire' is out now and is available at Suspect Packages.

Thursday, 15 October 2009

'Hip Hop Hype Dog Compilation Vol. 1' - VA (free download)

Hip Hop Hype Dog have just dropped their first compilation. The free download features 28 tracks of Hip Hop from the UK but with a few US representatives thrown in for good measure.

The thing that gets me going about this compilation is that, nestled inbetween tracks and artists I'm familiar with already, there are a few new bits. Vice and Mister D's 'On My Mind', Capital R's 'I Represent (for Hip Hop)' and Sicnis's 'Get Better' all fall into this catergory - dope, fresh and new.

The tracks that you may have heard before are all quality too - if you didn't pick up the LPs they belong to then you'll be wanting to after this. Kyza's 'Murderman' (from 'S.O.S'), Micall Parknsun's 'Bang' (featuring Jehst), Asaviour and IQ's 'Complicity' featuring Kashmere and loads more are examples of tunes taken from brilliant releases.

MC Life's 'Hard 2 Spit' produced by DJ Nappa is not a track I remember from elsewhere and it's a really dope and excellent inclusion. The Americans are represented by Elzhi, Raekwon (and some of his famous mates) and MF Doom - only quality MCs. With other tracks from Ty, LDZ, Kelakovski, Farma G, Chester P, Orphans of Cush, Truth, SonnyJim, Kosyne, M9, Delusionists and more you'd be foolish not to get this for free.

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

'Summer Breeze' - Loudmouth Melvin (video)

'Want Me Back' ft. Shanice Davis - Conspicuous & Sir Smurf Lil' (video)

Cons alerted me today to the fact that Shanice Davis of The X Factor/Miss Frank featured on his track 'Want Me Back' with Sir Smurf Lil'. Check it y'all - like he said "not just Graziella with the Hip Hop link, huh!".

UK Rapper Ruffstylz Breaks World Freestyling Record - Again!

Yesterday, on the 11th October 2009 for Oxjam at The Toucan Club, Cardiff, six years after his first attempt Ruffstylz broke his own world record of 10 hours 34 minutes. He extended it to an incredible 17 hours, lasting from 2pm-7am and stopped by choice again.

"It was more difficult than I thought it would be, I hit a wall early on but it actually got easier as time went on."
- Ruffstylz

Maximum love out to Oxfam for proposing the idea and absolutely everyone who came through on the day and night, especially all the DJs who held Ruff down throughout. At AM we're proud of Ruff for doing his thing for charity and history being made once again.

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

'The Skuff & Inja Show - Skuff & Inja (album review)

When heard in the context of a whole LP, Skuff and Inja’s new musical direction makes more than sense. I wasn’t a great fan of Inja’s ‘Hats Low’ but when the remix pops up at the end of ‘The Skuff & Inja Show’ all becomes clear.

Leaving behind the more familiar sounds of samples are the tracks that leave the biggest dent – the tunes that are designed to be played loud, preferably in the type of club I’d love to spend my weekends in. Tracks such as ‘Kickstart’, ‘Spark it Up’ and ‘Side Effects Remix’ fall into this category.

Where things are more traditional, dopeness abounds - ‘United Kingdom’ in its social and political seriousness, ‘Be Like You’, ‘Enter The Albatross’ and other tracks all sound more like Hip Hop as we know it. Mr. Thing’s ‘Witness’ and DJ Nappa’s ‘Ital Violence’ provide the MCs with the chance to show off their considerable double time skills.

‘The Skuff & Inja Show’ is full of innovative and creative Rap music and should be in your collection upon its release. CB’s favourite tracks ‘Famslam’ (featuring Farma G, Chester P, Ramson Badbonez & Remus) and the beautiful ‘Sunnicide’ can be heard on the pilot of the Certified Banger Podcast. It will be released by In Records/The Music on November 2nd 2009.

'Too Broke To Go Solo' - Tactical Thinking (album review)

If you want raw, hyperactive, non-stop Hip Hop look no further than Tactical Thinking’s ‘Too Broke To Go Solo’. The group approach equates to pack mentality – with a united goal (to bruise your ear canal) this collective of artists hit hard.

17 tracks, 1 hour, 6 MCs and 2 Producers plus guest spots from even more TT family members makes for a relentless audio assault. Opener ‘Dusk ‘Til Dawn’ embodies the whole album in one track – this is their war cry. With sometimes cheeky lyrics, sometimes downright dirty it’s hard not to faux-screwface and get down to this release.

With a variety of beats ranging from electronica (‘Superstars’ and ‘That’s Right Move’) to wonky dubstep (‘Stick ‘Em Up’ and ’10 to 3 Chicks’), straight up Hip Hop (‘Do Wah’) to jaunty productions borrowing from a range of musical genres (even Barbershop Quartets) no two tracks sound alike – and that’s a grand thing.

Buy this, take a deep breath, slot into your player, sit back and prepare for the face-distorting G Force of Tactical Thinking – mighty.

'Hacksaw' ft. Cyrus Malachi & Iron Braydz - Endemic & Cappo

Micall Parknsun & Joker Starr Interview (video)

Big up to Lady Jay for this one!

'Mercedes Benz' - Sway (video)

“'Mercedes Benz' is all about the fun side of what I do – hitting the road, travelling from city to city tearing down parties and doing live shows. I wanted to take it back to basics and make something in the style of my original 'This Is My Promo' mixtapes, music where I’m havin a laugh, havin' some jokes and people can dance to it, you know?” - Sway

So that might explain but it still seems like he's going straight for the mainstream jugular - he wants to get that money! Don't we all though?

Whatever you think, beat is dope! Big up 45 King!

Saturday, 10 October 2009

'Civil Rights Insemination'/'Wrath of the Perspective View Vol. 3' - First and Last (review)

First and Last have two releases available to you right now - 'Civil Rights Insemination Mixtape' and 'Wrath of the Perpective View Vol. 3'. They're both full of politcally and socially charged frustrated rhymes about life in London's ghettoes.

'Civil Rights...' with its moody beats ('Roads and Paths' and 'Blood On My Garmz') nestling against reggae flavours ('Fade Away') and headnod productions ('Social') ensures there's enough subtle variation to keep you feeling the product. You may have to give yourself a break every now and then from the full frontal assault of the two MCs but otherwise this is good stuff.

'Wrath of the Perspective View Vol. 3' follows a similar path to 'Civil Rights...' although there is definitely a darker feel to this one. 'Aimless Wandering' ft. Kyra UK is a nice bit of melodic respite and one that stands out for that reason. 'Time Frames (Hip Hop Path)' is pretty upbeat too. With probably a bit too much to digest in one go, this mixtape would have benefitted from some slimming down.

Both CDs are available now from First and Last - contact them on myspace.

'Taiko Rolls' - Taiko Rolls (album review)

If you don't know, get to know - Taiko Rolls is the collaboration between Rak and Edge and their debut album is self titled.

'Taiko Rolls' is an album full of honest, heartfelt rhymes that journey to the core of the MC. Lead track 'E', a boom-bap salute to the likes of DJ Premier, tells of Rak's early days with details of drug-addicted parents and his anger at school. Following on with nothing but more quality is 'The Hardest' featuring none other than Vast Aire - not a bad combo with more top notch head no production.

The album progresses, only 40 minutes all in all, with more dope beats and more dope rhymes. There is no one track that will get you reaching for the rewind button - you'll just need to put the CD on repeat. 'Taiko Rolls' brings back real Hip Hop and it's available now on itunes! Go on lads!

'Sickness' - Highrise (video)

Slick but sick video from Bigz, Shotty, Panache, Flexplicit and Hypes.

UK Hip Hop Artist Graziella on The X Factor Tonight!

It's not often you'll find anything very mainstream on Certified Banger but this is different (I think so anyway). Graziella - a UK Hip Hop mainstay (check her work with the whole Dented Records movement) - is due to appear as part of her group Miss Frank on The X Factor tonight. She's properly talented and if this is what she wants, we should support her in her quest for fame, a record deal etc. Do whatever you have to do to vote for Miss Frank tonight. Peep the video above for the skills - especially the foreign rapping from our girl.

Skandal's 'Hunger Pains' Mixtape Coming Soon!

I got my promo of Skandal's 'Hunger Pains' mixtape mixed by DJ MK this morning and then I saw these so thought I'd share them. First vid is an interview and the second two are snippets. You can pre-order your copy at UK Record Shop now. Also, go check out volume one of 'On The Radar' for his track 'Venom' produced by Chemo.

Friday, 9 October 2009

'Running Man EP' - Prose (free download)

Ah here's some really dope, fresh and free UK Hip Hop for your earpieces. Another Bandcamp drop from the group known as Prose.

Steady and Efeks defo keep it really real - the lyricism is top notch ("You only wanna destroy life, whilst I preserve it//Embalming this beat after I stone cold murk it") and the beats are too.

'The Storm' has a menacing but melodic sound, 'Running Man' is computer game digital and 'Born Invincible' is a very recognisable sample - all guaranteed to get you mean mugging and head nodding. The download also includes the instrumentals.

'The Numbness' - Stanley Odd (single review)

Seems like it’s every other day that I’m telling you about some new Scottish-based Hip Hop. Here’s some more – with a twist.

Stanley Odd are a six-piece live Hip Hop band with members from Norway, Germany and Scotland. Their new track ‘The Numbness’ features Solareye’s confident and cheeky rhymes (“I woke up with no shoes, my wallets missing//And I’ve enough guilt to jump start Catholicism”) and Veronika Electronika’s lovely singing and it’s top stuff. With the chance of mass appeal Stanley Odd should keep the good work up.

‘The Numbness’ is released on 17th October on Circular Records.

'It's On' - Kilian Ateh (single review)

I had to laugh at the press release for this one – a comparison with Andre 3000? Nah. Lupe and Kanye – yes, I can see that. Kilian Ateh is very American influenced – right down to his accent which doesn’t sit well with most fans of UK rap.

‘It’s On’ is one of those poppy R’n’B affairs and Kanye can be heard in every utterance – it’s basically a cocky song about girls and sex over a annoyingly try hard ‘summery’ beat mixed in with orgasm sounds. Not pleasant.

There’s a Chartstalker mix and a track called ‘Hello’ on which Kilian says hello to his family and friends – a better track, but not a redeeming track. ‘It’s On’ is out on 2nd November.

'Barbie Analogue' ft. C-Mone - Barbie Analogue (review)

Low key, haunting, downtempo production tinged with synths, strings, guitars and pianos with equally evocative rhymes courtesy of C-Mone: this EP is the musical equivalent of a whispered secret – quiet but powerful. ‘Q&A’ sees C-Mone musing life and ‘Storm’ lyrically describes how feelings continually shift. ‘Barbie Analogue’ sees Barbie go it alone (mostly) in the style she has crafted for herself on this short but sweet release.

This new project from C-Mone will be released on Dark Whisper Records from all major online stores from the 14th Nov 2009. C-Mone is currently working on her sophomore album which is due out in 2010.

DJ IQ's UK Hip Hop Evolution Mix (free download)

DJ IQ was invited onto the BBC to do a UK Hip Hop mix to document the evolution of our scene. After asking for requests on Twitter IQ came up with around three quarters of an hour's worth of top notch UK Hip Hop. It was on the radio. Now we've got a rip of it for you to download so you can listen to it any time you want.

The tracklist is as such:

Malcolm McLaren - 'Buffalo Gals (Instrumental)'
HiJack - 'Hold No Hostage'
Silver Bullet - '20 Seconds To Comply'
SL Troopers - 'Movement'
Demon Boyz - 'Vibez'
London Posse - 'Money Mad'
DJ Pogo, Monie Love, Mc Mello'O' - 'Juss Badd'
Lewis Parker - 'Walk In the sky'
Blak Twang - 'Dettwork South East'
Roots Manuva - 'Juggle Tings Propa'
Skitz Feat. Rodney P & Skinny Man - 'Twilight of the gods'
Mark B & Blade - 'The Unknown'
Taskforce - 'Intro'
Jehst Feat. Asaviour - 'People Under The Weather'
Klashnekoff - 'Murder'
Roots Manuva - 'Witness (1 Hope)'
Dizzee Rascal - 'Fix Up Look Sharp'
Kashmere - 'Do The Numbers'
DJ IQ Feat. Allstar Mc's - '8 Bars of Fire (Pt.2)'

CRS Entertainment Freestyle Session

'Ellipsis EP' - Scatabrainz (EP Review)

Scottish instrumental goodness - Scatabrainz' 'Ellipsis EP'. Using samples perfectly alongside lilting, swinging beats he creates the beats I crave at the moment. From the vocal utilised in 'Someone To Love You' to the blinding synth bass of 'Munatayo' this is going to be admired by all serious beat heads - download (for £3), bump and grimace.

Quotes from men in the know go like this:

"really feeling this, perfect blend of classic Hip Hop production fused with electronics and a healthy sprinkling of detroit stylings on top, 'I Know You're There' is my pick but the whole EP is hot" - Hudson Mohawke (Warp/LuckyMe)

"I'm in a position where I get to hear a lot of beats week in week out...not to say I'm overloaded with beats but I hear my fair share of bangers so I'm not easily gassed! I heard a joint and a half from Scatabrainz and I immediately had to find out who this dude was and started sending his bandcamp addy out to my peoples....boy! This EP is serious! I suggest you pay attention!" - Kosyne (Louis Den/EatGood Records

Ed Strong Wins 'Parallel Worldz' Remix Comp! Runners Up Available For Free Download!

Delusionists have dropped a limited download 5 track EP of remixes to their 'On The Radar' exclusive track 'Parallel Worldz' featuring Invizible Frenz. The 5 featured tracks are the best runners up in the competition and production comes from 30KB (also 'OTR' artists), 44th Parallel, Lucien Digwell, Dugless Vinegar and Ample Mammal (I'm assuming here that those are the names of the artists and not just the names of the remixes).

Anyways, there are 5 very different versions of this track on offer with Ample Mammal's being the most mental and un-Hip Hop but still very fitting - get ready do a little dance.

So these were the runners up. Well, who won? It is with great pleasure that I announce Ed Strong (from the almighty IRS crew) as the winner of the 'Parallel Worldz' remix competition! Ed's version is currently being finished off for the new version of the Delusionist's EP 'The Prolusion'. Big yaself up Ed!

You can go to Delusionist's Bandcamp page now to download the remixes EP for free!

'Battle Drum' - Hieroglyphics (video)

Another US banger from the legendary crew. Watch out for a new Souls of Mischief album coming soon called 'Montezuma's Revenge'.

'Little Young' - A&E (Masta Ace & Edo G) (video)

One of the few US tracks that has penetrated my thick UK skin lately is this one - love everything about it. The video looks cool too.

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

'The Script' - C-Froo (album review)

Bristol stand up! 'On The Radar' artist C-Froo dropped his debut 'The Script' earlier this year and you may just wanna check it out.

C-Froo swiftly carves himself a rapidfire flow (but not double-time) groove over some hyped up BPMs on 'Elemental Gentlemen' and 'The Gauntlet'. C-Froo's down with Tough Touch so you know the beats are gonna get your head nodding - 'Proper Mint' will for sure, even if you don't share their(Chalk MC & Kali Mist feature) definitions of what's mint and what's not.

Things mellow out briefly when it gets to 'Let It Out' but it's only a brief respite - 'Where U 2?' explodes back in with some details of temptation then 'You Made Your Bed Now Go Lie In It' then tells the story of the aftermath.

'Mad Method Posse Cut' is straight up Hip Hop over a simple but banging loop featuring Kali Mist, Mighty Mandroid, Pins, Ewan Hoozami, Social Conscience and DJ Kraf-T. 'On The Radar' track 'Financial Times' ft. D-Melo still bangs - my favourite beat on here and C-Froo chats sense that we can all relate to.

'The Script' is a real solid first outing - a more mature second outing will be anticipated here at the CBHQ - possibly with a few more concepts and a more refined rap style. Hit C-Froo up on his myspace and get your copy - it's all properly presented with dope artwork.