Monday, 30 November 2009

'The Digital Revolution Vol. 4' - VA (free download)

I'm criminally late with this one and most of you will probably already have heard this but I've gotta show support for this so will post it up.

As usual Tricksta does his thing and features artists Skandal, LATE, TB, Iron Braydz, Mr. Drastick, Scorzayzee, Big Cakes, Reload, Deadly and more.

Big Cakes hosts and you should also know that he has a free to download mixtape out right now too called 'Money Talks... So Listen'. It features production from the likes of Rainmayqah, Morfius, Kilinikal, Grade, VLM, K Nite, Asaviour, Micall Parknsun, Tricksta and Del Boy as well as collaborations with Dalmighty Ego, Raggo Zulu Rebel, Cocotone and TB.

(for 'Digital Revolution Vol. 4')

'Flashing Lights' - DJ IQ (mixtape review)

One part cream of the crop UK MCs, one part lefty beats of the wonky/dubstep variety = DJ IQ's 'Flashing Lights' mixtape. IQ has facilitated a mixtape the likes of which have never been heard before. His vision is clear - create a dope, new, futuristic version of UK Hip Hop. The clarity of his intention has led to the production of one of the most compelling mixtapes of the year.

With beats from Samiyam, Tiago, Dabyre, Floating Points, Hudson Mohawke and more, the more cutting edge of you will know what to expect production-wise. DJ IQ mucks in with a couple of productions which, in my humble opinion, are the best on there with the Micall Parknsun-fronted 'Do It For A Fee' being the overall standout track. TB gets clever on his dub of 'Overnight' by spelling out rude words in radio alphabet. Jehst's space-based wordplay on his dub of Floating Points' 'For You' is another top track.

Eva Lazarus and Stac provide non-rapped vocals whereas the likes of Asaviour, Ramson Badbonez, SonnyJim, Kashmere and Prof Green bring the lyricality. Fresh faces Gen and Pride showcase unorthodox styles - ones to watch for.

'Flashing Lights' is available now and is well worth your hard earned moolah. Get it from DJ IQ's website if you want.

'On The Radar Vol. 5' Artist Profile - Chattabox & Rick Fury (+ free download)

Name: Chattabox & Rick Fury of Dialect

Age: Mid 20s crisis

From: South Shields, North East, Great Britain

Track on ‘On The Radar’: ‘Bucket Of Spit’

Tell us the story behind the track: After Dialect released their second album ‘D.Day’, Chattabox and Rick Fury decided to do a side project called ‘Mastablasta’ this features some production from Peta Max but most is from outside the Dialect camp. Also some special guest spots from MCs around the country. This will be out early 2010!

Record label: 1984

Who you roll with: Lowercase, Milestone, Rola, Skruffz, The Projekt, Textoffenders, Mav Sabre, IRS, Stig of the Dump etc etc

Favourite album: The Band ‘The Last Waltz’ and Wu-Tang ‘36 chambers’

Describe your style in three words: MINT AS F**K

Past/Present/Future projects:
2006: ‘Dialect’ (self titled)
2008: Rick Fury –‘ Mis 20’S Crisis
2009: Dialect – ‘D.DAY’ ft. Vast Aire, Copywrite, IRS
2010: Chattabox & Lowercase – ‘Hard Graft’
2010: Rick Fury – Full Belt
2010: Chattabox Solo
2010: SEP 5 – THE S. EP
2010: Chatta, LowercaseE & Milestone – The Swamps EP

All albums can or will be available from get updated via the facebook fan page

'On The Radar Vol. 5' Available Now! (free download)

‘On The Radar Volume 5’ is the fifth and final in Certified Banger’s series of free-to-download compilations of up-and-coming UK Hip Hop. Since the first one dropped on 30th November 2008 the series has gone from strength to strength with over 80 tracks of British Rap music being given away for free and with the final instalment that total will be in excess of 100 tracks in the space of a year!

With some new faces joining some of our regular artists ‘OTR Vol. 5’ ensures that the series goes out on a high note – or with a bang. Remaining true to the original vision this volume seeks to showcase some of the newest talent in the UK alongside a few more of our established acts as well as those who have already begun to gain some recognition in this underground scene.

Once again the music comes from all over the country with representatives from Northumbria, Yorkshire, London, the Midlands and elsewhere providing their music free of charge for your listening pleasure!

Make sure you check the ‘comments’ section of each track’s tag for more information about the artists and the tracks. Keep your peelers on also for interviews, features and more free music from the artists involved. Remember that, without you, the listener, our scene cannot survive – if you’re feeling an artist find out how you can give them pounds in exchange for their music – support them with your cash, it can’t all be free!

1. Chima Anya - Drinks Up (produced by Raul Supreme)
2. Homeless Genius - Plug One ft. Eddie Skratch (produced by Miss Tofelees)
3. Missing People - Bradford to Leeds (produced by ExP)
4. Suus - Top 40 (produced by Pro P)
5. Dialect - Bucket of Spit (produced by A.D.S.)
6. Kirk Spencer - Clap Your Hands ft. Scorzayzee, Jah Digga, Tempa & Lee Ramsey
7. Kasha - Round and Round We Go (produced by Chris Lock)
8. DJ Roast - Trading Darts ft. Cyrus Malachi
9. Reps - Stepping Up (produced by OSTR)
10. C-Lone – Friends (produced by MCM)
11. Preest – Paranoid (produced by Arcitech)
12. Mr. Flex - Nothing To Prove ft. Sophie Rose (produced by Beat Butcha)
13. Delusionists - The Low (produced by Ben Black)
14. S.Kalibre - All Day (produced by Mike S)
15. Teef – Rush (produced by Errol Farquah)
16. Chief Wigz - Don’t Want Much ft. Proptic (produced by Brutal Artistry)
17. Amass Hegemony - Cinematic Visuals (produced by Illskilz)
18. Franko Fraize - Blood of the Earth (produced by DJ IC)
19. 30KB - My Vote (produced by Article10)
20. No-Change – Wonderful (produced by Mike D)
21. Illmystic - Life’s An Outing (produced by Risk)

(alternative link)

Friday, 27 November 2009

'On The Radar Vol. 5' Artist Profile - Franko Fraize (+ free download)

Name: Franko Fraize

Age: 24

From: Thetford

Track on ‘On The Radar’: 'Blood of the Earth'

Tell us the story behind the track: The track was a little track we made for Chronicredeye’s up coming project ‘Ruffneck Interlect’. DJ IC made the beat and me and Lyrical T went in on a Wu vibe. The tracks got a nice rugged Hip Hop vibe that gets a good reaction when we perform it live.

Record label: I'm currently putting out releases via an Independent Label called ‘Hoodlem’.

Who you roll with: I roll with the main DJ/producer DJ IC. He is the man who runs Coldbeatz studio in Thetford. Lyrical T is my main partner in crime. TBone is another prodcer/singer in the camp and is gonna do a lot in 2010. I also roll with people like Chronicredeye and DPF, DJ Scotty as well as people we are bringing through on the Label like Trackz, Kid dot T, Happy. Also people like Grayz and Azza B id defiantly call family.

Favourite album: My favourite album is probably 'Council Estate Of Mind' by Skinnyman. This is an album that really inspired me, both lyrically and as a full album. It’s a complete package. I cant say many other albums have been as important to me as this one.

Describe your style in three words: Tempo, Specialist, Barer

Past/Present/Future projects: I am currently working on a free download which I’m planning to release at the end of 2009/start of 2010. This is to go hand in hand with my radio show that I do with DJ IC called ‘The 140 show’. After that I plan to record a full length album which I don’t want to rush out. That’s slowly coming together.

At the moment I have a release called ‘Something In The Making’ which features Lyrical T. this has been out a few months and is selling really well. You can cop it from Suspect Packages.

Links –
140 show –

Thursday, 26 November 2009

'On The Radar Vol. 5' Coming Soon!

1. Chima Anya - Drinks Up (produced by Raul Supreme)
2. Homeless Genius - Plug One ft. Eddie Skratch (produced by Miss Tofelees)
3. Missing People - Bradford to Leeds (produced by ExP)
4. Suus - Top 40 (produced by Pro P)
5. Dialect - Bucket of Spit (produced by A.D.S.)
6. Kirk Spencer - Clap Your Hands ft. Scorzayzee, Jah Digga, Tempa & Lee Ramsey
7. Kasha - Round and Round We Go (produced by Chris Lock)
8. DJ Roast - Trading Darts ft. Cyrus Malachi
9. Reps - Stepping Up (produced by OSTR)
10. C-Lone – Friends (produced by MCM)
11. Preest – Paranoid (produced by Arcitech)
12. Mr. Flex - Nothing To Prove ft. Sophie Rose (produced by Beat Butcha)
13. Delusionists - The Low (produced by Ben Black)
14. S.Kalibre - All Day (produced by Mike S)
15. Teef – Rush (produced by Errol Farquah)
16. Chief Wigz - Don’t Want Much ft. Proptic (produced by Brutal Artistry)
17. Amass Hegemony - Cinematic Visuals (produced by Illskilz)
18. Franko Fraize - Blood of the Earth (produced by DJ IC)
19. 30KB - My Vote (produced by Article10)
20. No-Change – Wonderful (produced by Mike D)
21. Illmystic - Life’s An Outing (produced by Risk)

Head back over here on Monday to download this!

Mr Krum's Podcast Episode Two

Check out Mr. Krum's latest mixtape for some vinyl based, funky funk, old school Hip Hop and good ol' crackle all dug from the crates of various charity shops and the like.

I don't have a tracklist and don't recognise anything on it so I'm pretty useless on the information front this time... sorry!

Check it here at his interesting and informative blog.

'On The Radar Vol. 5' Artist Profile - Homeless Genius (+ free download)

Name: Homeless Genius (Miss Tofelees and 3Demonz)

Age: 3Demonz – 26 and Miss Tofelees – google me and you might find out!

From: Huddersfield/Leeds, Wakefield

Track on ‘On The Radar’: ‘Plug One’ featuring Eddie Skratch

Tell us the story behind the track: This has been a long labour of love. 3Demonz originally came up with the idea of celebrating the talent in West Yorkshire. It started off with a freestyle drunk at Miss Tofelees’ house! We found that we really gelled and many ideas for songs were spawned. The vocals got recorded by Brutal Artistry. Then we had to find a good DJ for some amazing cuts. DJ veteran Eddie Skratch was approached and he was feeling the track so much he got involved. The track has received so much positive feedback from many leading artists and is the perfect introduction of Homeless Genius to the world.

Record label: 3Demonz – Don’t Talk to Strangers.

Who you roll with:
3Demonz: Homeless Genius and the Don’t Talk to Strangers Fam.
Miss Tofelees: Homeless Genius and I spread my wings – there are so many good artists I work with – too many to mention, but they know who they are.

Favourite album: We love music – there are so many talented artists creating so many beautiful songs we cannot narrow it down to one.

Describe your style in three words: Intelligent, Entertaining, Passionate

Past/Present/Future projects: ‘Plug One’ is the first tune by Homeless Genius. We are a great team so watch out for an EP and album during 2010.

Skandal Launch Party Tonight!

This sounds like a good do - get down and support!

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Skandal Interview and Freestyle (video)

With thanks to

'Flashing Lights' - DJ IQ (video)

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

'On The Radar Vol. 5' Artist Profile - Kasha (+ free download)

Name: Kasha aka Tyrone Ashley Roach

Age: 25

From: Charlton, London

Track on ‘On The Radar’: ‘Round and Round We Go’ (taken from 'On The Radar Vol. 5, available Monday 30th November)

Tell us the story behind the track: The track is me reminiscing on old times but not just any time… a dark past when I wasn’t always on the right side of wrong. It is a summary of dark times gone but also me looking forward to what could be… in the meantime shedding light on the reality of today.

Record label: Vivid Imagery

Who you roll with: Riffioso and Max Real

Favourite album: Common – ‘Be’

Describe your style in three words: new, old, unorthodox

Past/Present/Future projects: Past: ‘The Oracle’ Album, present: ‘Retro Kid’ Mixtape, future: ‘Life On Dead Trees’ Album

Monday, 23 November 2009

DJ IQ 'Flashing Lights' Launch Party Invititation

Wednesday 2nd December 2009 at 7PM - 12PM at Market Place, London W1W 8AH (nearest tube: Oxford Circus) with free entry all night - it's DJ IQ's 'Flashing Lights' mixtape launch party and you;re invited. DJs on the night will be DJ IQ, Mr. Thing, Alex Nut, Mr.Beatnick and Josey Rebelle. Watch out for a review of that mixtape here very soon.

'24 Bars' - Fliptrix (video)

Look out for the new Fliptrix album 'Theory Of Rhyme' in Spring 2010 featuring Jehst, Verb T, Kashmere & Jam Baxter with production by Chemo, Jehst, Jon Phonics, Verb T, Runone, Chapta & Medison

'Real Name No Gimmicks' - Sons of South (video)

'All Eyes On The South Vol. 3' aka ;Real Name No Gimmicks' by various members of the Sons of South collective are dropping this mixtape pretty soon - it'll be available in Decemeber.

'Sounds From The Skylight (Side A) - Paul White (free download)

"19 weird and wonderful beat constructions fresh from Paul's South London attic studio, known as 'The Skylight'. Woozy, psychedelic Hip Hop from one of the most fertile imaginations of our time."

Certainly is. With Paul all convention goes out of the window and the result sounds like beatsy versions of Oasis B-sides ('Trying To Tell You'), re imagined ideas of the traditional sounds of eastern countries ('Ultra Violet') and dreams capes from your wildest nighttime adventures.

Saturday, 21 November 2009

'Forever LuvLee' - Dres of Black Sheep

Loving this new track from Dres - the video goes really well with the lyrics as Dres parodies all these flossy, jiggy rappers. This is the first single from From 'The Black Pool Of Genius: The Prelude', available December 1st.

Friday, 20 November 2009

Mystro Investigates: The Circus Space

DJ Yoda Christmas Fun!

Diversion Tactics, Krate Krusaders, Tactical Thinking and 3 Amigos Live At Top Billin!

Featuring the hefty line up of Diversion Tactics, Krate Krusaders, Tactical Thinking and 3 Amigos this is defo not one to miss for you south coasters. 9th December is the date, White Rabbit is the place - I only wish I could be there.

SkinnyMan, SonnyJim, D.Gritty & DJ First Aid Live at Top Billin!

Top Billin must put on the best Hip Hop nights in the UK right now judging by their latest two line ups. On the 27th November be at the White Rabbit in Plymouth for SkinnyMan, SonnyJim, the release of a Sika Studios Mixtape and D.Gritty and DJ First Aid.

UK Graffer Kev Munday's Solo Show!

UK artist Kev Munday has a new exhibtion which is running 'til January. 'Making It Up As I Go Along' (could be the title of my autobiography) is on at 37 Earlham Street, Covent Garden, London and his work will be available to buy with limited edition giclee prints starting at only £45. check his website for more info and examples of his work.

Certified Banger Presents 'On The Radar Vol. 5' Coming Soon!

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Suspect Packages Radio Show with SonnyJim & Kosyne

Head over to Disorda's blog for the latest Suspect Packages Radio Show featuring SonnyJim, Kosyne and R.Tillery live in the studio and brand new tracks from the likes of Verbal Contact, Foreign Beggars, Skuff & Inja, Endemic & Cappo and more.

Also check out the Suspect Packages shop for Barbie Analogue's EP (that's C-Mone's alter ego by the way), Pre-orders of the Verbal Contact EP, the limited edition Ramson Badbonez mixtape and Skandal's mixtape - all big in their own way.

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

'Rockin With The Best' - Precise Da Analyzer (free download)

Precise Da Analyzer (an MC who impressed me on the Rapsploitation Sessions compilation CD) is readying himself (and us) for the release of his LP by dropping this free to download single.

'Rockin With The Best' is the title track - some good solid Hip Hop with name drops ranging from Pete Docherty to KRS One to a range of history's best (or worse) dicatators - turns out Precise is rockin' with all of them!

'Analyze' be the B-side and Mr. Da Analyzer analyzes how good he is over the eastern-sounding beat. He also drops some more similies that refer to famous people.

LDNU Records are letting you have this for free so head to their website and say thank you in some way.

'Seven Figure Swagger' - Foreign Beggars (single review)

You may think ‘Contact’ is a hard act to follow... unless you’ve heard ‘United Colours of Beggattron’. If you have heard the latest Foreign Beggars LP then you’ll know of their follow-up single – ‘Seven Figure Swagger’ featuring Dubbledge and Badness.

‘Seven Figure Swagger’ is a healthy serving of sparse, futuristic Electro-Hop courtesy of Holland’s Rednaz. Dubbledge comes as charismatic as he did on his ‘Lips To The Floor’ remix and Badness represents the more mature end of the Grime scene as they cheekily lambaste Rap’s obsession with material wealth and the like.

The lead track is backed with ‘Don’t Dhoow It’ (another electro production hailing from foreign shores, this time from Norway’s King Knut). The Foreign Beggars MCs get live on a mini-story telling tip.

Both these heavy productions are accompanied by remixes – Machinedrum reworks the B-side on an Electro-Disco vibe and Dubstep beast Bar9 transforms ‘Seven Figure Swagger’ into a banger bigger than most tracks in that genre – this one is the gem of the collection!

‘Seven Figure Swagger’ b/w ‘Don’t Dhoow It’ will be released via Dented Records/Essential Music on November 23rd.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

'Careful On The Way Up' - Diversion Tactics (album review)

Authentic Hip Hop from the UK – don’t believe that? OK – Percee P and Tim Dog, two pioneering Bronx rappers, feature on this LP. Believe me now? Thought so. Need proof from the UK? UK legend Blade endorses this by lending an out-of-retirement verse – dopeness and total awesomeness in my books.

‘No Collaborations’ features no collaborations – with lyrics like “if you think this is about you, then this is about you” Chubby holds his own over the banging beat shaming you for ever needing big names to recommend ‘Careful On The Way Up’ to you. As well as Blade ‘Three Card Blag’ features back-on-the-rise D.Gritty – top tune.

When top quality producers Jazz T and Zygote aren’t doing their dusty thing, Tommy Koi is flipping some 80s-sounding cheese on ‘Return of the Ladies Man’ and The Last Skeptik is doing the honours on the neck snapping ‘Where I’m From?’ (on which Chubby discusses the roots of Hip Hop).

Previously heard tracks ‘Can’t Swim’ and ‘Back To School’ (produced by J-Zone) still sound aces as part of this small (35 minutes – just how I like it) but perfectly formed LP with won’t be released until January 11th 2010 on the Boot label.

'Thoughts Of The Nameless' - Defenders of Style (mixtape review)

With Big Band Swing samples, crunching and crashing drums and a crew of hungry Yorkshiremen on the mic ‘Thoughts of the Nameless’ is one of the properest releases you’ll hear this year.

With 100% original productions from Jack Danz, High Top, Prys and Mike D this hour long mixtape is as good as a full blown album. Prys, Jack Danz, Jay Snow aka Lip and Tongue Tied rap their way through the 15 full tracks with enough style and skill to remind even the biggest fan of N-Dubz what real Hip Hop is all about.

Title track ‘Thoughts of the Nameless’ stands out with it’s jaunty posturing and the laid back Jazz guitar of ‘Vision of Utopia’ combined with its lyricism make it a Northern classic. ‘Stronger’ is an ardent war cry influenced by the robbery of all their music making equipment complete with beats and lyrics – this set is a fine comeback from these setbacks. ‘Fight Club’ serves to prove they have not been left weakened. ‘Stealth Mission’ is a fine example of Jack Danz’s slight obsession with the aforementioned Big Band Swing samples.

Singer Chenai lends vocal beauty to the proceedings and associates Matter (who is one half of Verbal Contact with Prys) and Mr. Ris and Sir Plus (of Alphabetix) bring their verses to the table.

‘Thoughts Of The Nameless’ is out soon and will be available at the mighty Suspect Packages. Certified Banger says buy it. Disorda says buy it. So buy it.

'Tomorrow Never Comes' ft Doom Man & Aaron Norton - Sam Khan (video)

New video from rising artist Sam Khan featuring rapper Doom Man and indie artists Aaron Norton. The video tells a little concept story and is done well - a compelling watch. Production comes from Hi-Rolla and you can find out more here.

Nirvana's 'Lithium' covered by Human Beatboxer thePETEBOX (video)

Here's UK Human Beatboxer thePETEBOX putting his talents to what some may consider as controversial use - performing a cover of Nirvana's 'Lithium' with a guitar and a loop pedal - dopeness for you open-minded heads out there.

'Soulscapes & Jazz Breaks' - Pat D & Lady Paradox (album review)

Pat D and Lady Paradox have returned with a brilliant LP by all accounts. Any one of this album’s elements on its own would have me championing the record but the fact is that everything I look at – beats, rhymes, content, guests etc – is all of such a high quality. It’s the album’s positivity that binds its essentials into a super-cohesive body of work.

Pat D’s ear for an accessible Jazz sample combined with his coordination of real life musicians makes for evocative, laid back yet heavy productions – and that goes for each of the 12 tracks – it’s all first-rate.

Lady P’s rhymes are insightful, thoughtful and thought provoking and in no way does she resort to clich├ęs. ‘Dear Negativity’ paints negativity and positivity as people who appear in our lives and ‘Juicy Grub’ and ‘What’s It Worth’ celebrate music of all genres, displaying a real love and knowledge of music from Hi-Dialect, US MC Melodiq and Lady Paradox. Her flow is simple and clear and her voice is different to that of your average femcee. Her thoughts and way of expressing herself are in the same vein as Jehst and Lewis Parker.

The featured artists complement the overall feel and sound of the album with the standout guest being poetry/spoken word hero Benjamin Zephaniah on ‘New Dawn’, a story of love on which Zephaniah translates his poetry well over the trumpet-led production. Elsewhere Efeks, Izzy G, Shaheen, Praverb, Selone and Eva Lazarus feature.

‘Soulscapes & Jazz Breaks’, probably one of the most aptly-named albums ever, will be out soon and is sure to be album of whichever month it drops in (December 8th)! It’s being released on A Bridge Too Far Recordings. There will be a 12" EP version and a CD version of the full LP. The album can be streamed here and now.

On The Radar Artist Interview: Vee Kay

"Sometimes I use a mic to record vocals, but most of the time I rock some headphones through the input so I can keep it grimey."

Sometime around the time when 'On The Radar Vol. 4' dropped, UK Hip Hop producer Vee Kay let himself loose on the Certified Banger stock questions. It is only now that I have come to terms with his lack of respect and decided to blow the dust off the Word Doc for your public eyes to see:

Certified Banger: Can you tell us your necessary background details so we can build on basics for the rest of the interview? For example: who you are, where you are from, projects you have worked on, people you have worked with.

Vee Kay: I'm Vee Kay, I make Hip Hop and trans-atlantic-speed-bhangra. It's a fairly new genre, but it's coming on with quite a following - so far there's about 14 people into it!

CB: How would you describe your sound? Is there any one track that would best define your style?

VK: My sound is a mixture of Rice Krispies and chocolate. Oh, sorry, that’s Krispy Cakes. Well then my style is just whatever it comes out like at the time of creation - sometimes I'll make a beat with an artist in mind and we'll go from there, otherwise it's whatever sound I find that inspires me first.

Phoenix Da Icefire Interview

"Have you ever used the term vibe? ...what I do is listen to the vibe or vibration of the track and try to align myself with what I hear."

Having recently dropped his 'Baptism Under Fire' mixtape it was time that Certified Banger dusted off the old interviewing flex in order to get a few words from the man known only as Phoenix Da Icefire:

Certified Banger: Tell us about Phoenix Da Icefire - who is he?

Phoenix Da Icefire: The character I have created goes by the name of Phoenix Da Icefire, he is my alter ego, much more fierce and stronger than I show in my day to day life, I feel like I can do almost anything when I slip into the character of Phoenix.

I am also the other half of Higher Heights and was responsible for bringing out the ‘Anathema’ LP by Triple Darkness, I first featured on ‘High Fidelity’ (by M9) on a track called ‘Holy Water’ and a track that I have got for my album called ‘Mental Prisoners’. I put it on there so I could test the waters with the UK scene.

CB: You’ve just released your mixtape ‘Baptism Under Fire’. What else is on the way?

PDI: I’ve got an album coming called ‘Right Timing the Quantum Leap’, it features Kyza Smirnoff, Triple Darkness, 9 Planets, Jah Miracle, Midas Touch, Yasine and El Crisis.

Click here to read more!

Monday, 16 November 2009

'Im Doing It' - Genesis Elijah (video)

Genesis Elijah is all growed up and serious - check this gem - 'I'm Doing It'. The beat is by Rich West.

'ParaSeapamol' ft. SeapaDee and Mark Alvarado - Paradox

Its Not Long - Pyro (video)

"They're like "you can't quit, everytime your bars hit//You strike a chord like you were Korn with a guitar pick"" - nice lyrics and the beat is by Loudmouth Melvin, the video is directed By Nitevisions.

Remembering Derek B

Today news that UK Hip Hop pioneer Derek B has died of a heart attack reached us. I'm not old enough (or that's my excuse) to be super-knowledgable on this legend but others are:

Check out DJ MK's tribute to him in which he lists why this DJ and MC was so great (such as "THE FIRST PERSON I EVER SAW IN UK HIP HOP TO HAVE A MOBILE PHONE AND A PORSCHE IN 1987".)

DJ Diablo pays his respect here, do their bit here and the football section of The Mirror remember him as being a co-writer of 'The Anfiled Rap'. In fact, search for 'RIP Derek B' and you'll find a whole host of heads sad to hear the news.

Thoughts and prayers go to his family.

Chali 2na, Teef & Lazy Habits Live at Cargo!

Get your tickets here!

'Golden Legacy' - Iron Braydz (free download)

Slotting right into the mould that M9 and pals have been carving out over the last 2 years is Iron Braydz' 'Golden Legacy' taken from the forthcoming 'Devil May Cry' project. This track takes a different and more serious and religious route to the one taken on the Blind Alphabetz album.

'I Gotta'/'Gladiator' - Prose (free download)

Free soulful boom bap Hip Hop from the crew called Prose. 'I Gotta' is a track that we can all relate to (unless you're very rich for whatever reason) - we have to work for our living. 'Gladiator' is a more fast-paced affair about dedication to the art of Hip Hop. Both tracks are real, full flavour Hip Hop with crunchy drums and samples and both instrumentals come in the package

These two tracks are taken from the forthcoming 'The Boombap Bootleg Vol. 2'.

Whilst you're over at Bandcamp (click the 'download it now' link below') check out their other free to download releases.

'Jack Of None (snippet mix)' - Byron (free download)

Download a free sampler from an MC who seems to have appeared from nowhere. Byron, from the sounds of this 20 minute snippet mix, is a very dope MC and is definitely worth checking for in the future - I'll be listening out for sure when he drops his album 'Jack Of None'. Here's the press gubbins:

"Hailing from the much-maligned town of Slough, Byron's penchant for witty wordplay and intricate intonation are sure to establish the 23 year old as one of the best in the UK to ever touch a microphone. With original production from Loco (Joe Budden, Ghetto, Emeli Sande), M-Phazes (Amerie, Pharoah Monch, Royce Da 5"9) and Ghosttown (Jehst, Foreign Beggars, Dubbledge) his debut mixtape "Jack of None" is bound to set both Hip Hop & Grime scenes alight. The dawning of a new era in British Urban music is imminent."

Saturday, 14 November 2009

'Ghetto Mentality' - Ramson Badbonez

Check this Badbonez track - it's taken from the limited edition CD version of his 'Tales From The Staircase Vol. 1'. King Kong Holding Company have kicked off their series of limited edition mixtapes and releases with this release which can be bought now at Suspect Packages.

'Novacaine' - Orphans Of Cush (video)

'Feeling Funky (remix)' Sway

Here's Sway's version of a track called 'Feeling Funky' by Funkin Kofi and produced by K.G - Sway should probably link this producer for some more African Dancehall type vibes.

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Orphans of Cush Interview with DJ Gone

Kyza, Ramson Badbonez, DJ MK and Sarah Love live at Scenario this weekend!

Don't forget this is happening this Saturday - Soundcrash presents...Scenario featuring a whole host of UK Hip Hop goodness including Kyza and his live band Focused Few, DJs Sarah Love, Gone,MK and Charlee Brown, Ramson Badbonez, D Gritty, Danny Spice and Dysu. Big ups to Chris who won two tickets for this event - hope he enjoys it!

Saturday, 7 November 2009

'Just Above The Blues' - Millennium Jazz Music (free download)

‘Just Above The Blues’ comes from thinking people’s UK Hip Hop outfit Millennium Jazz Music. Setting the context is ‘Prevention Enforcement & Punishment’ featuring a Gordon Brown speech about knife crime prevention over a melancholy beat.

‘Death Pours’ mourns the constant cycle of youths turning to crime only for it to end in fatality. The rest of the EP continues on a similar theme and ‘Idle Minds’, instead of talking of the problem, provides a solution by way of advice.

With a positive and realistic message I whole heartedly support what Gadget, J-LeeN, MSJ, Klarity, Ama, KyraUK and Serocee are trying to do in our scene.

'The Interview' - Funky DL (album review)

Funky DL must be the only UK MC who has been allowed to get away with an American accent – if you didn’t know he was British, his music would leave you none the wiser.

Listening to the album without the constant interview snippets (thankfully they’re their own tracks) is probably the way to go (although the interview bits do showcase his real British accent). With a real variety of subjects, things don’t get too boring. ‘1947’ has a great New York mobster concept, ‘So Sexy’ is his smooshy R’n’B jam (think LL Cool J in jiggy mode) and ‘Back Around The Old School’ is just a straight up reminiscing track about the good old days of Hip Hop.

Music-wise things are diverse too – Jazz shows up on the lovely ‘Dusty’ and the squelchy ‘The Morning’, Samba rhythms back up the Slick Rick-esque ‘The Party’ and then the usual Soul and Funk influences are all wrapped up in an easy listening Hip Hop experience. The album finishes off with ‘The London Convention’ – an awesome posse cut featuring MCD, Skinnyman, Blak Twang, ESP, TY, Phoebe One and Kwes.

‘The Interview’ is out now on BBE Records now.

'T.W.O.K.' - Spee 69 (mixtape review)

T.W.O.K. – Taken Without Konsent. For the duration of this mixtape Spee 69 (that's 6 9 not 69) raps stolen beats from the likes of Outkast, DJ Premier and Mr. J Medeiros.

This Yorkshire MC has truly got the flows required to gain respect from heads around the world – on beat, on point and just on it in general. Unlike some rappers, Spee 69’s thoughts and interests are ones you’ll actually want to pay attention to, making this mixtape a rare treat in a world of too many tracks and not enough variety.

The intro is one of the original beats one here (produced by Captain Nick) and it’s a big look – sounding like the score to a medieval war film it gives Spee the chance to let loose and come hard – a great way to start. ‘Lemonade’ produced by Jay Large (and one of the original ‘On The Radar’ tracks) still sounds dope, Profanity provides the beats for ‘Fiend.ish’ and ‘Hard Times’ and J.R. Hartley offers the jauntiest 30s sounding beat ever made for ‘Diagnosis Murder’ proving that it’s not just classic beats that make this mixtape so dope. The Krate Krusaders also bring Mexican spice with their production on ‘I Make Moves’.

Support real Hip Hop - buy ‘T.W.O.K.’ – simple as. It’ll be out very soon, check Spee’s myspace for more details.

'Nothing 2 Declare' - Hustle Pandemic (EP review)

With ‘Intro’ being an actual introduction to the EP (in the form of a rapped flight announcement over a really hard but funky beat) things bode well for Hustle Pandemic’s ‘Nothing 2 Declare’ EP.

Hustle Pandemic is UK Hip Hop producer Mike S and US MC Sabotawj and together they make great Hip Hop – this project was apparently laid down in one night. Sabotawj is an extremely listenable rapper with a tight flow, an agreeable timbre and some excellent lyrics. Mike S provides 8 slabs of real Hip Hop beats, each with its own identity – these aren’t cookie cutter beats.

‘Core’ turns Evanescence’s ‘Bring Me To Life’ into a haunting boom-bap beat over which Sabotawj, through the art of story-telling, warns of the dangers of a life of crime. ‘Not Yo Style’ features some real old skool drums destined to get necks snapping whilst Sabotawj drops some real sense about being oneself.

A couple of guests are brought along for the ride – ‘What’s Good’ features the UK’s S.Kalibre and the gruff Syndrome features on ‘Break’.

‘Nothing 2 Declare’ is a terrific EP and you can buy it now at Bandcamp – and you should.

'32 Bars' - Assa (video)

Thursday, 5 November 2009

'Unexpected Friends' - DOOM (review)

What’s there to say? One CD-shaped collection of DOOM’s bestest featurings and collaborations. These sorts of things, aimed at the fans, always seem a little redundant – you’ll probably have most of the tracks, but then it’s a DOOM release and you need it for your collection.

‘Unexpected Guests’ is a gathering of tracks that illustrate why DOOM gets these gigs – he sounds so good on guest verses! Commencing with the great ‘Rock Co. Kane Flow’ off of De La’s ‘The Grind Date’ (and produced by Jake One who crops up a few more times) the album brims with that real Hip Hop that is above all amazingly entertaining in the ‘I can’t believe he thinks of and says these things’ kind of a way.

I really enjoyed this mix CD and with Dilla beats, Wu-Tang verses and other appearances from folk like Kweli (who is back on point on ‘Fly That Knot’) it should make sense to you, the discerning Hip Hop head. Good stuff.

It’s out now on the Gold Dust label and is available at the places where you buy your Hip Hop.

'Fallen On Def Ears' - Para (album review)

Funky and fresh in an old school way, Para’s album really delivers the goods – hopefully it will fall on many def ears and no deaf ears. Incredibly listenable, and with a diverse palette of influences, this LP should be some kind of benchmark for largely instrumental albums.

Blues, Funk, Soul, Hip Hop, Swing, Samba, Rock, Jazz – you name it, it’s there. ‘Birth of the Sun’ is an amazing amalgamation of a medieval trumpet riff and a funk bass line and rhythm, ‘The Hideaway’ will bring the carnival feeling to your living room during your winter’s hibernation and ‘D Blues in C’ is perfect as a turntablist’s salute to the blues – personal favourites but once you buy this, you’ll find your own because they’re all top notch.

‘Fallen On Def Ears’ is out on November 16th on the Breakin’ Bread label.

'Hot Peppa' - L J (EP review)

A double EP from 2 different artists – a kinda nice idea. L J and Frisco Fresh have joined forces to bring you ‘Hot Peppa’ and ‘Fresh as F**k’.

L J does his thing first with the ever-evolving guitar-led ‘Warming Up’ - a great rap track that would only benefit from a more vivacious and imaginative chorus. He closes his bit with the excellent (and also guitar-y) ‘Janglish Boy’ – the tale of how he moved from Jamaica to Britain. In between you get the dope Indian-flavoured ‘Pain Relief’ and the original (topic wise) and quite Nu-Metal ‘O.N.L.I.N.E.’ – a good first EP for sure.

Frisco Fresh then steps up to bring the ruckus and with ‘Tears In The Sky’ he brings that epic-ness last heard on ‘Judgement Day’ by The Thunderclaps. Frisco’s side is also musically diverse (bit of Jazz, bit of Grime) which keeps things engaging. ‘Deeper’ features a heartfelt Red Hot Chili Peppers-esque acoustic backdrop as Frisco laments his past. ‘No!’ features L J – both MCs get live on this hectic production.

The CD can be bought now here or you can get a digital download at Bandcamp.

Hip Hop at Leeds Film Festival Courtesy of Bonafide Magazine

Bonafide Magazine "is putting on an evening of underground Hip Hop entertainment at the 23rd Leeds International Film Festival. Inspired by a conversation with multi-media/events organiser guru Liz Ainge , earlier this year we approached the organisers to see if we could put on a night and for their sins they accepted.

After much dithering we plumped to show the excellent Upper Playground/Walrus TV documentary The Run Up that pokes a lens into the face of artists such as Jose Parla, Doze Green, Futura, Cody Hudson/Struggle Inc. and Swoon and gives them an intimate platform to talk about their work and motivations. Estevan Oriol comes as one mean mutha of a photographer and the film is all the better for it. This is a rare chance to see The Run Up - we’re not sure if it’s ever been shown in a cinema setting before - at the Carriageworks 2 on 9th November with a showtime of 6.30pm. Oh yeah, did we mention the kick-ass soundtrack too?

Part two of the evening is arts based free-for-all at A Nation of Shopkeepers. Kicking off at 8.30pm the face off will feature uber turntablist DJ Mike-L who is a five times DMC finalist(what happened in the finals Mike?!) and has produced a mind-blowing spraycan/street-art themed mix. Mike-L is part of theFirst Word camp. Squaring up to him in the blue corner is nimble handed illustrator The Pern part of the Best Joined Up crew. Serious props.

Two events not to be missed even if we do say so ourselves. For further details click here."

'Needle Drop' - Endemic & Cappo (EP review)

Most hardcorest producer from the UK – probably Endemic. One of the UK’s most legendary but underrated MCs – definitely Cappo. They’ve got together to create the ‘Needle Drop EP’ on No Cure Records.

Cappo goes solo over Endemics gritty, orchestral, solid and sometimes soulful boom bap beats on 3 tracks – ‘Intro’, ‘Crumbs’ and the title track. With strictly lyrical raps Cappo proves that going in hard doesn’t mean being offensive.

‘Hacksaw’ features Cyrus Malachi, Lee Ramsey and Ironbraydz – this comes off very much like a Triple Darkness track. Cyrus Malachi also features alongside another legendary Notts MC and man of the moment Scorzayzee on ‘Eagles’ – a concrete slab of Hip Hop.

This EP is nothing new – it’s just good, reliable Hip Hop designed for playing loud and admiring. It’s out soon on No Cure Records.

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

'Vulgar Eloquence' ft. Craig G - Steg G (video)

Real lyrics from Steg G ("There's no fans anymore, everybody's selling it) over a banging, semi-futuristic beat from Scotland's Steg G ("This production here's a powercut...This is what Hip Hop's supposed to sound like"). Look out for the album 'Vulgar Eloquence' coming out very soon on Powercut Productions.

'Stuck Behind The Lookin Glass' - Madhat McGore (album review)

Scotland are coming thick and fast now with Hip Hop releases and if you want to keep more up to date than I can possibly keep you then I'd totally recommend that you get over to the Scotland Stand-Up blog.

Madhat McGore, is as his name might suggest, one of Scotland's gullier rappers - a product of his enviroment maybe - Scotland's not all Lochs, castles and glens you know. Tracks like 'Young Man (Mad Mind)' and 'Nothin's Ever What You Expect' may sound a bit gloomy and depressing, and to some extent they are, but they're still pretty dope although it may spoil a good mood. Scottish history, everyday life and other usual Hip Hop themes make up the content. The use of certain offensive words would ideally, be cut down (particularly the 'c' word).

The beats come from a wide variety of producers including Sky Scraper Beats, Babble-On Beats, ShogunW, Chuck, Madhat, Dave Gunn, UV Beatz and Bill Breaks. 'Take A Look About', produced by UV Beatz is forward thinking and pretty grimey, 'Naughty Eyes' is pure jauntiness, 'Next Of Kin' is the slowest and most Scottish Hip Hop track I've ever heard wheras other tracks are just straight up headnod Hip Hop - the beats are very varied and that's a good thing.

Features come from the tight knit Scottish family - Riddlah, Werd, Wardie Burns, Blasfima Sinna, Nity Gritz, Dave Gunn, Blythe and Holmes all feature on vocals. Music Comes First Records is the label y'all.