And whoosh...that was February gone! Such a short month sometimes feels like it doesn't even exist, and a big job changeover as meant a chance to chill in hiphop land has been lacking 'till now...Luckily the Legendary Ludacris has decided to smash back into the booth to remind new jacks who's got the Juice..."You rap like something behind ya"...Some speculation on the Youtube comments that this is aimed at Drake; I don't care either way but if there is a reply it better be fire!....Freshness!
Always love to see a Large Pro release in my inbox....always a guarantee of quality and the Hook says it all...Megadon slams hard and the chorus rocks hard with "Ay yo this Chemistry will make you form ideas, and make things clear, Y'All B Squared"....delivered by the wonderfully voiced Medina Green; an old school hero for producing some of the illest early joints alongside Mos Def....Damn Right We Breakin' Atoms!
An academic career nearly de-railed by drugs, a teaching zipping out disses to wanna be G's in his class, and a pot head puking up at a bar.....got to say bravo to Bravado for repping his profession and presenting a banging record. Along with Alumni SC Static and No Name well crafted bars come flying out covering many ideas and themes common to many young men, nicely paralleling the life of Johnny Cash, as depicted in the film and song, Walk the Line. No prizes for creative sample flipping here but an enjoyable and interesting slab of a track.
A cool combination here over a mellow beat gets the best out of these emcees, it's always particularly good to hear Sean P get reflective, even when as expected it's sandwiched betwen a plethora of depressing gun imagry. Tragedy Khadafi holds it down nicely as do Oowop the Don/Kima Rocel
Kenn Starr has reportedly gone back to the drawing board despite critical acclaim of his first release. Nothing wrong with keeping to the fundamentals and a posse cut has always been a classic move. Taken from his latest LP "Square One" Washington's finest bought a few friends along.
Detroit is well known for it's high calibre of artists and Blacktivity is no exception; the crew have dropped thier first LP and it's a very nice slice of hip hop documenting a blue collar lifestyle full of reality, hopes, fears, dope beats and scratches. MC Ill Tone provides the on point lyrics (including a very nice nod to Wu Tang on Data Day) and the production is held done wonderfully by Shade Cobain. The creativity of this album is seriously impressive, it has been a while since I've heard something fresh with so many ideas and themes. "Photo Album" is a great concept, as it "Death of an Artist" which tells a familiar but sad tale of broken creative dreams, while "Wedding Crashers" goes on a joyfully mischeaveous jaunt of nonsense. The overall tone of the album is very nuanced but ultimately positive. I'm especially interested in the message delivered in the Outro about the effects of translation; however have no idea where it came from. I will investigate; in the meantime check out the whole album.
And finally....I meant to blog this incredible track a while ago as soon as I stumbled over it...Now this is what I call a collection of Emcees!
Who's down for freeing Human Beings? As ever the great Chuck D is on point urging us to "Eat the Rat" alongside DJ Lord who absolutely tears the track to pieces. Power Music.
An M.C. conducting a raging river? Check. An artist singing his own
hook? Emotive bars to catch your attention that then cut off to want you
fiendin' for more? Check Check it out! Ikey comes heavy with the
refrain "they said I was Olodo" apparently translating as 'dumb'...no
longer a suitable adjective yo.
And finally....this has been out for almost a year but in my terrible lack of keeping up to date with the Universe I've only just stumbled across it....essential for those interested in creativity.
Very pleased to hear that Birmingham city will be hosting an event to get the UK rap scene together to develop a more coherent industry. DJ Miss C Brown has put together a lively selection of videos from classic and new UK artists as a showcase for the event on 24th January. Hard to say exactly how a more cohesive scene could be made, especially as music seems increasingly to be seen as something that should be available for free, or at the very least at a much lower monetary value than yesteryear. How successful different approaches can be is up for debate, and especially in rap and hip hop there's inevitably lots of cliques and differences of styles and opinion going on; one set of 'like minds' do not always see eye to eye with another set so will be interesting to see if answers come out of this.....I know Malik from MD7 does a whole heap of work in this area so those attending will be in a privileged position to hear him.
Very fitting that this event is coming to Birmingham, as the ever heavy Brum collective Eat Good have just released this banging cypher featuring RedBeard, Kosyne, Gen Uchiha and representing good Ol' East Anglia new recruit Booda French. Check this out, then head to the Eat Good website for a prime example of a business model built from the ground up with a very clear focus on style and quality product.
Finally, back to the global Inbox and Washington native Gerreddi delivers a track pushing a positive frame of mind in the face of hate and the ills of society, with the "Black Lives Matter" featuring heavily in the video. Not entirely cohesive lyrically I reckon but it stands out from the generice bling trap music that continues to jam up the Vocalswords PO Box.
Shame on me, I hadn't checked for the legendary Soul Khan for a while so it was good to follow a twitter heads up to find he has released the Psalm EP, available here.
Minty Burns comes with some refreshment, a dude I've never heard of before but is coming nicely correct...
Dudley Perkins gets a wild stop motion video redux couretesy of Hey!Zeus.i here, the endearing character struggling to gain an optimistic view of the world ties beutifully with Perkin's desticntive narrative, enjoy!
And finally, a special shout to this dude. Having only just heard the name Vinny Virgo I'm still reeling from shockwaves of uber-lyracism; drenched in psycadelia there is a stream of pure rationalism throughout Virgo's raps; and the admission "Im a mother fucking Carl Saganist" is one that mainstram culture ought to take pretty fucking seriously.Not for the faint hearted, easily offended blah blah blah....enjoy!
A few hungry beat makers/producers/instrumentalists have sent through things for the blog recently, and I also get sent a lot of work from producers selling me their wares as part of their business promotion. Fair play all round, so thought I'd do a couple of posts highlighting some of these new school architects of hiphop music plus a couple of cats from the UK I've appreciated over the years. This is Part One so if anyone wants shine in Part Two holla at firstname.lastname@example.org. To pay dues, gotta start off a post of this kind with the work of Audible Doctor; this tape from 2011 has some gems but dont forget to check out his more recent work too...I have no idea what his terms and conditions are but if you just want some great beats to freestyle over get familiar...
The Eat Good Family out of Birmingham, UK have been providing consistent quality over the years and stellar beats have emerged from the ingenious melting pot of Louis' Den. Eat Good's rhyming and beat producing heavyweight Kosyne, has been (excuse the pun) been instrumental in all this, however it was only in April this year that he released his own beat project. Some very creative and funky styles are given great exposure here, the dreamscape sonics of 'The God 'Shif a particular highlight.
And keeping to the shores of Albion, Manchester's Pro P has been pumping out classic headnod boom bap beats since at least 2009. Check out his catalogue of beats and collaborative projects here. In the meantime get some homies round for a cypher over the menacing vibes of 'Rep My Crew' from Volume 5 of his Boom Bap Tape series. PS Check the end of this post for a sneaky example of his work with emcees on board from yours truly and some of the illest UK spitters....
16 Year old Jasmine Pope aka Jas Beats has got a pretty comprehensive Sound Cloud page showcasing her pretty impressive work. Some nice use of samples are made to get you in the mood with theme ready beats...
Teaming up with DJ Nifty this second LP combines outer space beats with tales of the city and lyrical chicanery
Solocypher - Citizen Framed Download
Debut 2003 album features Chima Anya, Kid Anime, Serious, Concept, Eliza and Kaf. Includes smash hits "Selly Oak" "One Love one Life" and "This is what happens (when you don't stay sane) Email email@example.com for a proper version!
Change Through The Rhyme
Check Solocypher trading international bars with Scholarman over heavy D'Logic beat