Monday, January 16, 2017

Welcome to 2017! William Cooper attacks the Federal Reserve, Bennydiction smashes out brilliant album & Simon Jr hits you with Crazy Beats

An interesting take on the well known Wizard of Oz story in which William Cooper relates it as a parable about exploitation of workers and the manipulation of politic, media and society. The animation is pretty clunky but a thought provoking piece nontheless.

The formidable presence of Benny Diction is making waves in the UK hip hop scene at the moment and I was privileged enough to appear on his excellent new album "Button Up" produced entirely by South African beat smith Blue Buttons. Benny made the album as a bit of a tribute to a milestone 30th birthday and felt he needed to develop and reflect on a level of maturity that the ageing process has had on him. Hence a song about toilet paper! A track to which a recent audience member to quip "I loved that shit song" after a slamming performance.To be fair that track "Whatitdoo" is a great bit of light relief amongst a hard hitting, but reflective, entertaining and mature album.  Jokes aside the album packs a serious punch with stella guest appearances including LeeN, Mnsr Frites, Eliza Shaddad, Legoman, Mr P, Amos, Tang the Pilgrim, Elliot Fresh, Luca Brazi & Ash the Author. All the guests bring distinctive styles to their respective tracks, and the storytelling techniques displayed in "Growing Pains" is particularly poignant. The raw political element diplayed in the excellent "Back to Pangaea" by Benny alongside eMCee Killa, Archetype and Tony Skank a piece delightfully bought together by the vocals of Sister Mary.  Another highlight for me is the super appreciative "Ah Yeah!" which isn't really a rap tune, more of sing song skit but beautifully put together ode to the lovely beautiful simple moments that are to be found in a life of positive hard work and dedication. Massive respect for this album, with extra shouts to Blue Buttons for delightful production throughout and DJ Sugai for his always entertaining on point and precise cuts...if you don't know...Get to know!

Simon Jr returns to the Vocalswords pages with a very nice new beat tape. The first joint knocks heavy and is a great base for any emcee to lay down a few bars....only a few mind as the legend B.I.G. then kicks in to dominate the rest of the track, so if mans/womans have the cahunas to share a track with Big Poppa dig right in. Starfunk 4 again nods delightfully with some super squelchy undertones with a sprinkling of outer space noises, some excellent Meth and Red drop ins; I imagin making for a great track to perform live if your an emcee who wants to rock out with the crowd while saving your voice for the next track! Broken is what is says on the tin, a very offbeat, high pitch concoction, not really my cup of tea but surely one for the more leftfield inclined. Blackwidow 4 is also on some next level futuristic ish with ray guns or phasers blasting through the background, a headnodder for real.  Die like a Rock star is on some hardcore industrial/tech glitch mission which I can imagine someone like El-P going in on hard. Kayhole is weirdly minimalistic and interestingly otherworldly at the same time. One for the metaphysically inclined. Yellowking 2 is pretty much a high pitch remix at the start with some interesting bass patterns. The bonus track of Toni 2 is a slightly more orthodox but highly listenable and banging track which I'm pretty sure would get the club turnt out in a very funky direction. Get involved!

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Wordplay Album of the Year Nominees

Yes yes it is that time of the year when the cream of the crop gets formally judged. Having been on another planet for the majority of 2016 it means there is special pleasure for me being able to jump in and out of a hefty batch of dope projects. Going to line them up all here with no bias part from to say a massive big up to my Ipswich homie Booda French and large ups to Truffle Barons for keeping everything lively as part of the extended Granville famalam. Sorry not to see Bennydiction's excellent "Button Up" LP on the list but what can you do!? Check out the official listing, artist info  and get your vote in ASAP at Wordplay.... in the meantime check some of the shortlisted music right here.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Big Cakes "Tracing Paper" & Billy Danze gives a few words for Obama's last few days in Office....

Almost a year since my last post. 2016 has been a shocker for many people, world events seemingly conspiring to make a grim vortex. Personally I have been struggling with the pernicious fog of depression, and in an attempt to reconnect with my once beloved hiphop I remembered this Big Cakes jam. A lot of it resonates positively for me, especially with the hypnotic Micall Parkinson beat. Also wish I knew what thoughts were going through the mind of the bloke behind Cakes on the train! Amazing one take goodness taken using the Brrap App.

Trump and his future role is on everyone's mind but Obama still has a little while left in Office, and this "6'o Clock Briefing" given by the M.O.P soldier's hits home hard; the importance of the Black Lives Matter movement surely needs to remain high on the political agenda as the U.S. moves into an uncertain future.

Friday, December 04, 2015

Feel Cool Forever

What a piece of advice! And what a stormer of an EP...classic raps, introspective soul bearing dopeness and beats that absolutely smash it, this is an evocotive piece of work crafted with a depth of soul, acoustic finesse and lyrical accomplishment that makes it a definite to check and download for repeated listening.....a lot of instrumentals on the end of the jams which is great for you aspiring rappers out there to get up and rhyme to your reflection in the window!

I probably need to write in shorter sentences. So check it...

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Scare the Normals, Endemic Emerald & Skanks and Marcus Juvann....Dope Fresh Rap Yo

"I can't take it, I'm loosing my childhood favourites, Bill Cosby a rapist & Hulk Hogan a racist"....too true and a sentiment I increasingly find myself relating too. This beautifully produced banger from Endemic Emerald, the seasoned UK heavyweight producer smashing it in NYC sets the scene perfectly for Skanks to deliver topical insights into the messed up world where the Black Lives Matter is increasingly heard but not necessarily addressed.

Bury St Edmund's is pinned definitively on the map by the Scare the Normals crew who present their second full length release "Creepy Brainfood" a very welcome blast of fresh air from the fens incorporating anti-establishment spit fire rhymes with hyped up instrumentals with the classic festival stomping elements of scratching and mind bending sound effects. Serious messages are nicely laced into the fabric of the hectic, feel good vibe while reminding us of perils of modern life; "Diet coke and fluoride giving me a tumor" Apologies but late Sunday eve and there are too many bangers to go in depth review wise on but if you want to mainline the goodness jump straight to "Brass Leaf" for a super smasher of a track.

Marcellus Juvann presents a nicely laid back projects kicking off with "Make my way" which has some lovely sax work intertwining with everyman struggle bars interspersed with some imaginative vignettes such as winning a stare out competition with Medusa. "Do the Right Thing" gives a good account of the dillemas faced in modern life and the percieved need to get the Fat Gold Chain and other shiney trinkets.