Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Bennydiction "Beer Goggles and Rose Tinted Specs" New Video

Check out my brother Bennydiction getting some pretty rough treatment from a series of femme fatales in this heavy new video...the latest track from highly anticipated Long Player 'Hard Graft, Arts & Crafts and Hearty Laughs....I love it and it also get the thumbs up from my girlfriend who rates it as Fantastic! Check it ouuuut!!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Hip Hop History 1988 till 2011 The last installment...at last!!

From 1988 Hip Hop really seemed to be flying in a variety of very interesting directions. Talking to my man Chima Anya about this particular countdown he asked what the general theme or direction of the list was. I realised it doesnt really have a particular theme; just for me going through some of the different releases from each year of Hip Hop's existence. Supposedly at a rate of one a day in the run up till Christmas...oh dear that deadlines a bit dead now....never mind lets keep it running to the new year! And so, in at Number 22 from  1988 its......none other than the rap immortal Big Daddy Kane with one of my favourite classic jams, aint no half stepping......paragrahs I manifest, check out the original rhyme Prime Minister in full force; remember when his pen hits the paper....Ahh shit!!!

Big Daddy Kane held the crown as a giant of lyricism, however around the same time a hungry emcee made a return tot the stage. Kool G Rap was sharpening his skills and edge as his hardcore style began to be embraced just as musch of the inncence of Hip Hop had been lost and the early period of hip hop in the1980's was sadly being confined to history... Number 21....Kool G Rap& DJ Polo - Men at Work (1989).

1990 Number 21 - Masta Ace - The Music Man

1991 Number 20 - EPMD So Whatchya Saying? Apparently released in 1991 as a single, although the hip hop junkies had already been rocking to it from thieir 1989 album.

1992 Number 19 - Oh dear, far to many hot joints from 1992; I guess they will all have to share the 19 spot heheh I guess this is where Chima was right to question my priorites!!
Dre Dre & Snoop Dog - Nutin But A G Thang
Diamond D - What You Seek
Pete Rock & CL Smooth - T.R.O.Y (They Reminisce over You) Nas - Halftime 1993 - Number 18 - Souls of Mischief - Now till Infinity - Classic shit!! 1994 - Number 17 - Channel Live and KRS One - Mad Izm. Again I'ver had to miss out on mad classics (especially Big's Juicy, the classic Warren G/Nate Dogg Collab 'Regulate' and Common's I used to love Her) from this, another great year for great hip hop, but it's your turn to investigate more otherwise this list is never getting done!! Big L - Put it On! Nas ft Az - Life's a Bitch
1995 - Number 16 - A toss up again this time between Killah Priest's 'BIBLE' cut from the amazing GZA album liquid swords and Mobb Deep Shook Ones Part II - Probably the most ruggish thuggish track on this list. I guess this point in the list marks the increasing gulf that emerged between styles of hip hop from this period in time, and it seems sad that  these two tracks are nowadays unlikely to have any current equivalents.

I couldnt leave 1995 without this booming track that was mad influential in developing my personal love of hip hop lyracism, ruggedness and general verbal gymnastics to get ya girl on my mattress!
1996 - Number 15 - Poor Righteous Teachers featuring Nine - Gods, Earths and 85ers
1997 - Number 14 - Wu Tang Clan - Triumph
Immortal lines for all hip hop heads! Possibly the greatest posse cut of all time!? Rap along now... I bomb atomically, Socrates philosophys......

1998 - Number 13 - Big Pun - Dream Shatterer

 1999 - Number 12 -  Xzibit - Paparazzi

2000 - Number 11 - Task Force - Wha Blow.....Jacking the classic beat from Black Rob's 'Woah', Taskforce smashed this record and just as an era was apparently coming to an end in the US, British heads were showing strongly that ill spitting could be done regardless of accent......picking up a rare vinyl copy of this back in the day in an Australian record store also impacted on me showing the truly global element of hip hop.....

2001 - Number 10 -
Roots Manuva - Dreamy Days

2002 - Number 9
If lyrics had been getting increasingly forgotton in the mainstream version of hip hop, Canibus was resoulutely putting out some of the best music of his career. Re-listening to his work and noting the complex scientific, historical and liturary references it just reminds me of why his place as one of the greatest ever emcees should be assured. Ive sneaked in Jehst's classic Alcoholic Author track here to demonstrate the quality of lyracism also developing at the time in the UK. 2003 - Number 8 (Joint) Canibis - Master Thesis & Poet Laurete 2 - 

Jehst - Alcoholic Author

2004 - Number 7 - Its gotta be Jada with this unusually political anthem... Cant bypass this year though without re-visiting the classic Nas - Your the Man...indeed, ill shit from the legend

2005 - Number 6
Klashnekoff - Black Rose (revisted)

2006 - Number 5 - Hi Tek Music for Life
plus note this Killer Mike track....I was just embarking on studying to become a teacher around 2006 and that may be why I missed it; but hearing it fresh today has really opened my eyes to the intelligence of Killer Mike......

2007 - Number 4
International Players Anthem....I need to get married like this! Wonder how much this lot would cost to perform at it!!??

Honerable mention......Chammilionare and Slick Rick sticking it to fools with this great take on rap, politics and the media....
2008 - Number 3
Joel Ortiz - Hip Hop. Had this knockin on constant repeat when it first came up...dont believe me ask my housemates! twitter@jonmhill @lovelychaos!!

2009 - Number 2 - Rakim - Holy Are You....I love this track, inspirational and powerful; however with 77 dislikes on YouTube the controversies and prejudices of the world are ever present, seemingly especially towards hip hop and the people who create it.

2010 - Number 1 - Sci Fi Stu feat Remarkable Mayor John Robinson -No Swag Needed
Debut video for producer SciFi Stu featuring rising underground hip hop stars Remarkable Mayor & underground hip hop heavyweight John Robinson (Lil Sci of Scienz of Life). Turntable wizardry by Twelvebit!

2010 was a great year for releases that though not reaching the heights of fame deserved in the mainstream, at least bought the underground crew some gems. Akala released a very powerful track 'Yours and My Children' that provides food for thought in these fraught and increasingly divisive times
2011 - Check this! Most played video for me of 2011.....3 of the nicest rappers come together in the spirit of unity....loving hearing J Rawls breaking it down, the only missing bit is him doing a bit of rapping as well (saw him at Hip Hop Kemp rapping and DJing at the same time; dude is a beast!! Anyhow, yet again loads from 2011 that I've missed out but thats your job! Now I can get back to my inbox to try and supply some of the 2012 batch! Dont forget to check Suspect Packages for all the latest UK stuff too; I've let my finger slide off the pulse unfortunately but Disorda will always keep you laced. And for radio fixes Check Sammy B side's Rhymepad Radio, and as ever get the most indepth interviews and dope new Hip Hop from Conspiracy Radio and Rob One's 2020.........Peace to all and apologies if your favourite track of any year didnt appear.....this was a pretty personal take on hip hop! Reply with tunes if your offended! 

Hip Hop from 1985 to 1988 - Christmas Countdown!!

1986 Number 26 MC Lyte - I Cram to Understand You. Apparently written before she had turned 16; this love story turns nasty as Lyte tells of a relationship breakdown due her man's addiction to crack. 1987 Number 24 - One of the most ridiculous rap intro's that we all love; check out Ice T - Rhyme Pays ...."Bustin rhymes was his natural thing , he was crowd the westcoast mc king ,  but There was a rush of wack rappers , with one intention to crush this master rapper, but he showed no mercy , he rapped blood thirsty" 1988 Number 23 - Public Enemy - Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos. Wow!

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Solocypher's Hip Hop Countdown 1983-85.....Rockmaster Scott and the Dynamic 3; Nucleus and Frandmaster Flash & Melle Mel

Number 29 - 1983 - Grandmaster Flash & Melle Mel - White Lines The pounding beat and production of White Lines puts it streets ahead of its contemporaries; whilst Melle Mel's veiled anti cocaine lyrics are another great example of Hip Hop's early social conciousness. How many different ways can you say snow anyway!? Check the end of the record with some super futuristic cut ups!! Wonder what Mel makes of Rick Ross and all the other cats glamourisng the drug dealing lifestyle nowadays? Number 28 - 1984 - Nucleus - Jam On It - This is one of the craziest early hip hop videos; b boys slammin it off the heezy!! Number 27 - 1985 - Rockmaster Scott and the Dynamic 3 ...Think you havent heard of this record? Check it and think again!!

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Solocypher's Hip Hop Christmas Countdown 1979-2011 - Number 29 - Grandmaster Flash & The Furious 5- The Message (1982)

The hip hop police should take a fresh listen to this...original music from the people with a message. Melle Mel's immortal line; broken glass, every where...still rings through my head when ever I see those tell tale shining fragments signalling urban decay even in the London streets of 2011...The Furious 5 deserve even more credit as apparently it was member Cowboy who actually coined the term 'Hip Hop' itself while scatting. Respect due.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Solocypher's Hip Hop Christmas Countdown 1979-2011 - Number 31 - Kurtis Blow 'The Breaks' (1980)

A wicked break to party to, Kurtis lays down some nice observational and party verses over this piano led track. Highly influential down the line!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Solocypher's Hip Hop Christmas Countdown 1979-2011 - Number 32 - Sugarhill Gang - Rappers Delight

Greetings from a cold south London flat people! The world is not looking too rosy from this window at the moment; but let's not dwell on the negative for now and think about the upcoming festive season! I thought a good way to celebrate is to honour some of our hero's; and as such I humbly present the 'Vocalswords Christmas Countdown'; a journey through hip hop time and space. Please check the Solocypher Facebook page to like or add any of your favourite hip hop tunes from a particular year to make it a community history of hip hop....what will be Christmas number one!? (Shit too much SiCo sorry) So, officially (by record book standards anyhow) Hip Hop began (or at least) reared its recorded voice first in 1979. In that year, really only one record can truly be said to have set in motion the events, songs and history that combined to create the movement so many of us hold so dear...controversies over lyrics (shoutout to Casanova Fly!) aside; this is the jump off.... I've embedded the full length version with no video here; sit back in your time machine and imagine your self in a whole different era and world........

Saturday, November 26, 2011

J Live - The Authentic

Always a breath of fresh air to hear a new Ras Kass joint and this one is no exception; incisive gangsterisms rubb shoulders with jokes and political commentary in the singular style that keep Rassy fans fiending for more! Check the track here
Another jem dropped throught the mail the other day; Audible Doctor X Blacastan. Check this new dopeness!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Skyzoo & Torae Live in London 1 Off UK Date!

My man Chima Anya will be hosting not one but 2 New York City heavyweights; Torae and Skyzoo at a fantastic venue in South London; if you are remotely near the big smoke on Wednesday 13th December you need to get your self a ticket quick for this exclusive night of dope hip hop!
SKYZOO With his critically-acclaimed debut album “The Salvation,” Skyzoo was both Brooklyn’s narrator and curator. The album hit the Billboard Top 200 charts at No. 14, the fourth-highest position among new artists. Working with a cast of producers that included 9th Wonder, Just Blaze, Nottz, Black Milk, Best Kept Secret, and Illmind, he created a sonic successor to hip hop milestones “Reasonable Doubt,” “Ready to Die,” “Illmatic” and “Only Built 4 Cuban Linx.” The lyrics are why Hot 97’s Peter Rosenberg felt confident enough to put a lord of the underground among Nas, Andre Benjamin, Lil' Wayne, and Talib Kweli as the top lyricists alive. www.skyzoo718.com TORAE Torae gained recognition by collaborating with DJ Premier and Marco Polo. He and Marco Polo went on to receive critical acclaim for their collaborative LP entitled „Double Barrel“. With Cosigns from Hiphop Dx, 2DopeBoyz, Nah Right, Hot 97, XXL and a dope new album feat. production from DJ Premier and Pete Rock, if you are serious about Hiphop this is a man you need to catch up with. www.itstorae.com Chima Anya Chima Anya is a name familiar to anyone with a serious interest in Hip-hop in the UK. His debut mixtape came to national attention with support from Kiss, Choice, 1xtra and Radio 1, all while practising full time as a medical doctor. Having shared stages with legends such as Amp fiddler, KRS 1, Jay Electronica,Dead Prez and Pharaohe Monch it’s no surprise that when asked Chima states his greatest joy comes from performing. Always engaging, energetic and charismatic, Chima also fronts his own genre-leading 4 piece electronic / hip-hop outfit; a group that can only be described as a “must see". www.chimaanya.com + Special guests TBC

New Statik Selektah, B.I.G. Krit & Freddie Gibbs

Beats, rhymes, being dope and enjoying life; this is an ill track from some of the most exciting up and comers in the game...

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Chima Anya - Closure

Big Props to Chima on this one; the hard hypnotic beat lays down the soundtrack to Chima's epic reflections on life. Filmed on a cold London autumnal morning; check out the cameo in the video lovingly shot by Fat Gold Chain renaissance man RP-1! And if you're feeling this make sure you check Chima alongside NY contemprary legends Skyzoo and Torae on 14th December for a one off UK show; more details Here

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

RIP Heavy D

Very sad unexpected news today; Heavy D has died aged just 44. A young death is a sad occurence in any circumstances, especially as Heavy D was one of the most positive, thoughfull and inspiring rappers of the 1990's. His presence will be sorely missed. RIP

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

New Solocypher, Jeff Spec, and Submit plus Classic Eat Good Hip Hop!

New Solocypher on production from DJ Nifty.....I recently hooked up with LeeN (NLT) to finally make a start on some proper productions and this is the result; was a very good feeling to get a recording done professionally so see what you reckon. Solocypher - What The Fuss by Solocypher Jeff Spec has produced a pretty immense sounding album 'Specnology'; I'm just listening through it bobbing my head to some wonderful horns at the moment so havent had a chance to form a full view of the album as a whole; but its going to be a pleasure checking it out! Jeff says of the project "Over the past 10 months, I've been working on a record that I truly believe is my best yet (I know that's the standard thing to say, but I won't release a record unless I feel it tops my last). The album, called "Specnology", is up on Bandcamp now for preview/purchase. Go check it here. Eat Good have been doing some outstanding work with many of the dopest heads in UK; I believe there is a Sonny Jim/Foreign Beggars collab in the not too distance future. In the meantime I've gone back to 2009 to re-check this dope posse cut 'Planet Rasco' ; in particular check out the rediculous verse from my boy Truth, always reppin the East!!
Submit - Victory Lap....pretty excellent track; haven't heard much stuff doper stuff than this recently! Soon to have his Mixtape dropping, this track is a thank you to fans after winning a hypetrak.com competition; Get involved...... SUBMiT-Victory Lap by Bombay Knox

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Logic - Spectator

The spark that Sylvia Robertson, Grandmaster Flash, Last Poets and all the pioneers kindled still burns strongly; and for evidence of how Hip Hop has given a voice to humanity just watch this...the potential of simple beats and rhymes to hit so deep; big up Logic

RIP Sylvia Robinson

Regardless of the arguments to and fro on the precise origins of hip hop; credit must be given to Sylvia Robinson and her Sugarhill imprint for bring hip hop to the world; Rest in Peace. The following article is from the Guardian; please do check it out on their site if you would like to be embroiled in the usual pedantic debates in the comments section! Sylvia Robinson, 'mother of hip-hop', dies aged 75 Pioneering producer put out the first ever rap record by assembling the Sugarhill Gang by Sean Michaels Sylvia Robinson, 'the mother of hip-hop', has died aged 75. Most famous for assembling the Sugarhill Gang, Robinson was a songwriter, performer, producer and label owner. "RIP Ms Rob," tweeted Public Enemy's Chuck D. "A black woman putting rap records on the map/now a scene where today women are voided out of it." Born Sylvia Vanderpool in New York in 1936, Robinson began making records aged 14, under the name Little Sylvia, and enjoyed her first hit – 1957's Love Is Strange – as part of the duo Mickey and Sylvia. It would be 16 years until she next reached the top 15, this time with her own song, the soul classic Pillow Talk. Despite her success as a singer, Robinson's life changed direction in 1979, during a visit to the Harlem World disco. As a DJ played the Chic song Good Times, Robinson discovered rap. "The DJ was playing music and talking over the music, and the kids were going crazy," she told the New Jersey Star-Ledger in 1997. "All of a sudden, something said to me, 'Put something like that on a record, and it will be the biggest thing.' I didn't even know you called it rap." Although rap was already in its infancy, the genre had yet to be recorded. Robinson assembled a trio of Jersey kids – Big Bank Hank, Wonder Mike and Master Gee – and dubbed them the Sugarhill Gang. Hiring a band to recreate the rhythm from Good Times, they recorded the first rap single. "This was in the days before samplers and drum machines, when real humans had to play things," said bassist Chip Shearin. "Sylvia said: 'I've got these kids who are going to talk real fast over it; that's the best way I can describe it.'" Robinson released Rapper's Delight on Sugar Hill Records, founded with her husband Joe. While it only reached No 4 in the R&B charts, it launched a movement. By the early 80s, the label's roster included the biggest names in the scene: the West Street Mob, Funky Four Plus One, the Treacherous Three, and Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five. When the latter released The Message in 1982, Robinson was listed as co-producer. "She was really good on the artistic level," said Michael "Wonder Mike" Wright, "coming up with material and shaping lyrics and melodies into a song, not just a piece of music that's five minutes long." Her work was a powerful inspiration, helping to make hip-hop into arguably the most popular genre on the planet. Robinson's label notched up 26 gold records before closing in 1986, following a troubled distribution deal with MCA. The Sugar Hill recording studio, in Englewood, New Jersey, was destroyed by a fire in 2002. Robinson died on Thursday morning of congestive heart failure. She is survived by three sons, as well as several grandchildren and great-grandchildren. "Making a dedication song with my sister [Leanetta] to my grandmother," Darnell Robinson tweeted on Thursday. "Grandson and Granddaughter of Hip-Hop." The Sugarhill Gang are reportedly working on a new album.

Random Axe ft Roc Marciano "Chewbacca"

Some top technical spitting as ever from Sean P, rocking with the force of a Jedi cipher,alongside Guilty Simpson and a nice cameo from Roc Marciano, the beat knocks and the video is pretty jokes. Good work as ever coming out of Bucktown.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Murs x Ski Beatz plus The Dark Sea Scrolls ft El Crisis and HKB Finn

For all the Independent Artists doing thier thing this is a heavy weight rallying call, check it out..... And if that gets you in the mood for some authentic artistry, make sure you check this new night if you are out and about in London; having had the pleasure of witnessing the host El Crisis at one of our recent Fat Gold Chain events and his spoken word forthcoming events 'The Dark Sea Scrolls' are destined to be pretty special, especially as UK hip hop legend HKB Finn (previously Huntkillbury) is one major name amongst some serious poetical and lyrical talent.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

B Boys in the UK

I like to harp on about the disunity between the elements of hip hop down the pub; but like many pendants rarely do anything to help bridge the gap...so in a small attempt to do such check details for the UK B-Boy Championships, its going to be hosted by Bronx legend Crazy Legs and Zula Nation grandee Afrika Islam. If its anything like the Notorious IBE in Holland it should be sick! Tickets are pretty steep for the main event (although some real world class talent will be battling it out)....however for ballers on a budget you can check the qualifying rounds out in Islington for £15!

Monday, September 26, 2011

League 510 - The Soul of a Synth (Flying Lotus Instrumental)

League 510 - The Soul of a Synth (Flying Lotus Instrumental)
Got stuck into this tune and if you are reading this I have a feeling you will too! These guys have a got a pretty interesting back ground story according to thier press release "Emcees TK, Mont, Mr. Knowitall and DJ Blacksmith better known as League510 are pioneers of a sound that is all their own, Town Techno. With a sound that is out of this world, League510's musical journey began in a galaxy far away from ours. After traveling the universe for years, they entered our galaxy and our planet shortly thereafter. With sights on our world, the quartet chose to land in the hills east of Oakland, CA. After hiding their ship deep in the hills they approached this new town with great curiosity and were immediately amazed by the vibrant culture that they found. Adopting the Bay Area scene as their new home, League510 wasted no time in beginning their new musical journey here in our world. Using advanced abilities, the four emcees quickly mastered the art of sound and gave birth to Town Techo, a form of music that would unite the people in heightened awareness; to show them to take action, to appreciate the fun in life, to believe in themselves and to believe in The League." Check the styles! The Soul of a Synth (Flying Lotus Instrumental) by League510 If you're feeling the vibe; buy the album here - http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/believe-in-the-league-ep/id422907443

Casual and Chima Anya both going hard on new tracks!

Very excited to be posting these two choons today; reinvigorating my hopes for a return to dopeness in Hip Hop...First up Chima Anya (chilling with myself and Big John at Fat Gold Chain) treats us to some fiiire bars on a freestyle jumping on hard beats on this heater, originally Terrah Danjah, by Royal T ...and can you believe a reject from his soon to come 'Closure' project...must mean its definitely gonna one to look out for... Chima Anya - Full Attention by Chima Anya Moving over to States and Westcoast legend Casual of the Hieroglypics presents 'Fiend for Hip Hop' for a slice of rediculously dope music with a nice Nas vocal cut on the hook...classic!

Friday, September 23, 2011

J.Cole - Cole World the Sideline Story Album Preview

An awful lot of hype is surrounding J Cole at the moment, and having been impressed by a few of the tracks I had already heard from him, it was a great pleasure to attend a listening party of his debut album, apparently produced by No ID and released very soon (cant find an official date at the moment) here are the initial Vocalswords impressions..... The album intro eases in gently with some general random chat, which seems unassuming but swiftly an ominous piano leads into the massive sounds of 'Dollar and a Dream', a classic cinematic, riding out beat with a fantastic arrangement provide a great platform for Cole to set out his stall. "Walk with a n--- pain, quick fix, everyone broke" this is an ode to coming up through hard knocks in the game of life and music. It's good to hear a humble note that runs through the album with "Never knowing riches, he's known broke, jeans low with a mean flow" This album opener is pretty swaggertastic but works pretty well. The tempo remains quite upbeat but "Can't Get Enough" featuring Trey Songz is a fairly standard bump and grind led tune that will probably be favoured by many people, unfortunately not me....while I like the amusing swagger and tongue in cheek class of In the Morning with Drake, later in the album, I will probably skip this track on the album; for some reason the phrase 'Beat the Pussy Up' jars a sour note in my mind. Luckily for me a real treat from this album comes up next. Fans of Cole will already be well aware of this track but on listening again the clever song set up and magnificent delivery of 'Lights Please' is a sure fire reason to get this album. Documenting the fine line between discussing social issues and getting more intimate there is something intangible about this track that makes it a classic....playing it to my flatmate he was very impressed by how such a simple set up can sound so good. Sideline Story appears at the heart of the album and is a statement of intent that showcases J Cole's rhyming ability and honesty over a resounding boom bap beat highlighted with a nice piano tinkle; highlighting how it "fucks up a white man's head when they see I got manners". I didnt quite catch the full version of the hook, but again this track will be another good reason for grabbing the album. Unfortunately the out of place electronica and disjointed, unnecessary ostentationess of Jay Z and by default Cole on 'Mr Nice Watch' knocked the so far smoothly running album out of kilter slightly. The pace remains high with Cole World and some heavy 808 drums inject some energy as Cole flips some pretty nice verses of a generally self congratulating tone. 'In the Morning' is, as mentioned earlier, a great tune so take a break if you need and appreciate the humour and production value of the song. Got to love the girls singing along to the chorus. "Lost Ones" brings a well placed slice of maturity to the proceedings over a classic beat that allows the lyrics to shine; some deep refleections on the responsibilities of parenthood taken as a conversation between partners. Cole switches his delivery to narrate the female's point of view and the vicious lyrics and delivery sound like a slap in the face. The track ends with a heavy soulfull hook, mashing up generic song arrangements and providing another example of the diversity and talent of the artist. "Nobody's Perfec"t (ft Missy Elliot) is a fantastic tune that see's Missy in excellent form displaying an amazing voice that to be honest I hadnt really appreciated before. This fairly slow headnodder has some really nice guitar licks and fits in perfectly to the running order. "Never Told" has a spacy, soundshifting type beat with some random word play that appears to be aimed at a girl. Although it sounds quite odd its a fairly short track and seems to work well as a slightly offbeat musical interlude before the final installment of the album. "Rise and Shine" is a highly optimistic tune where Cole documents some of his journey on the rise up to achieving the position he is in now. His workman like attitude and persona gives him an affability that helps this track sound very genuine, and is genuinely a positive and entertaining track. "God's Gift" Has a gaellic sounding, haunting introduction which is soon accompanied by some hard drums creating a very nice soundscape. Cole comes over pretty hard on this one but again, a single listen does not do it justice and I will have to check this one out in more depth. "Breakdown" is a very interesting, soulfull sounding tune with some fantastic instrumentation with Cole in his finest form, waxing lyrical about the temptations that lurk in clubs, stresses and strains of family life on mothers and various social issues and problems. I really need to relisten to this track but it sounded a super dope slice of soulfull music that really establishes the potential of hip hop can be; for me this is J Cole's real superstar track. The album moves finishes up with "Workout" and my first impression was.....really? Another unfortunate sore thumb, but I imagine it will get spins as a radio friendly hit for the ladies. General generic pimp fodder about hollering at big ol chains in a range shaking them thangs. As a tea drinking british gent it doesnt really float my boat but I imagine when Im dandying around the west end and this comes on I probably wont mind gyrating against some nubile young thing while this is playing. Still think it is a bit of a shame as it it slightly tarnishes what is otherwise a pretty genuine heart felt album. So in summary, despite a few blunders this album hangs together extrodinarily well; the music is incredible and Cole delivers an album that bares an awful lot of soul whilst giving him credibility as an authentic lyricst, story teller and showman. This is the sort of album that has long been needed and should put a shot of adrenaline into both hip hop and contemporary music. It would be nice to hear some more lyrical schemes edging more into a political or economic commentary but that's a personal bias of mine, but I am hopeful that as J Cole becomes more comfortable in his role he will be able to expand the scope of his work, and lead the way for a concious, music loving approach to beats and rhymes.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Truth Vs Tony D - Cold City Battles hosted by Charlie Sloth

Loving this battle some great lines, and both emcees coming with a bit more comedy and intelligence than is sometimes seen! Vote at the end for the winner

Unbridled Land Grabbing Greed! Plus new Statik Selektah ft Big K.R.I.T & Freddie Gibbs

A pretty slick preview of a larger campaign from Oxfam's GROW campaign; a project to try and make sure the world has enough to eat. Pretty powerful stuff already. Statik Selektah always packs a smooth hip hop punch with his consumate production and his new single featuring Big K.R.I.T and the hard-as-fuck-but-mad-intelligent Freddie Gibbs lay it down nicely. Check the new single taken from new album 'Population Control' here

Monday, September 12, 2011

Juice Aleem, Fat Gold Chain, Antidote plus Carpetface & Audio1

Yes yes Yall Live hip hop is repping as Fat Gold Chain present Juice Aleem plus the return of funky rap battles! Emcees and rap Junkies get down to Charlie Wrights this Friday! Email solocypher@gmail.com for more info or join us on Facebook (link on the right) In other rap news..... People here in the UK have had a while to reflect on the recent riots that broke out accross the capital, and Carpetface & Audible 1 have decided on the drastic but fun filled measure of just packing it in and head to the beach instead. A pretty good idea and if the convoy is going to be pumping this thumping tune (and its dopealicious dubstep remix) I might have to get in the missus's jalopy and join 'em...enjoy! Time To Get Out (escape from the riot) - new single from CARPETFACE & AUDIBLE1 by CARPETFACE & AUDIBLE1 Slightly less sunny but definitely representing the British sound is boom bap heavy weight Antidote's latest project alongside the always ill Pro P 'Antidote - Mass Hypnosis. This free to download album is chockfull of emcees spitting from experience in a Mancunian land filled with alcholic, drug fuelled geezers and slags where tea is drunk mainly as a cure to the disgusting hangovers and memories of truly messy nights...the sort of mess most can relate to on a "Friday Night". The track "Termination" with Assa and Deadline is a rediculous highlight with lightning speed sick flows over a redicullous headnodder from Pro P. The whole project is full of gems; I need to spend a while more zoning out to this but hopefully you get the idea; real life from quality artists this is UK hip hop still grinding.
Go get your down load on now for some quality......Bandcamp Goodness

Sunday, September 11, 2011

A Good Man? Great tune from Eliza Shaddad

It's great to see my home girl Eliza Shaddad starting to get a real buzz in the industry and congratulations to her on winning a Sony recording contract. I've just been checking her flashy new site (www.elizashaddad.com) and stumbled over this fantastic mini-movie or video short. On a car radio can be heard the incredible voice of Eliza on her song 'A Good Man; whilst a pretty disturbing but very well done drama unfolds. I have no other info on this work so am quite intrigued...anyway get checking!

Mr Average Shortfilm from Jesus Plaza on Vimeo.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Esinchill - Daddy Was A Sailorman

Great piece of chilled hip hop with a very nice sentimental feel representing good family. Lovely sounds from Jake One and a smooth video shot by Casual...

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Muneshine & Vinyl Frontiers - Easy Does It

Check one of the most fun looking hip hop videos I've seen in a while! Need cheering up on this gloomy rainy supposedly summer London day! Get your super villain on!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

New! Silent Knight, Manifest, Chima Anya, Roach Giggs plus Classic Skinnyman

Rolling into my summer has been pretty great so far, finding some time to read, catch up on music and generally relax...however it cant last long as I try to get some of my own material up off the ground, sort out Fat Gold Chain and generally try scheming to keep my head above the financial waters, life is hectic even when on holiday. Silent Knight appears to be in the same situation, laying it down in this smooth banger....
Silent Knight 'Busy is My Best Friend'

Twitter is a wonderful thing and whilst retweeing some of my boy Chima Anya's endless quotables stumbled accross this rediculously real joint from an emcee out of Ghana, Manifest currently putting work in the big bad Bronx....
Manifest 'Suffer'

Another man known for his random global positioning is (the Doctor) Chima Anya who's most recent video must surely be one of the most expensive rap videos ever made.. believe the hype andcheck this out as he joins forces with Soweto Kinch and Mr Mann. There are rumours abound that Mr Mann has retired from rapping; please listen to his verse then go create a petition to bring him back!

The Vocalswords mailbox has been pretty rammo lately, and Roach Gigs has often turned up with a slew of releases...his style isnt normally my cup of tea but I couldnt hate on this record due to the lively tune and sheer fun Roach is having making the video. What Hip hop is all about.
Roach Gigs F A Chrous

And just to remind ourselves in the UK that we can also lock down a track deriding repeated phrases in rhymes....all about the Mud Fam man....
Skinnyman Fuck the Hook

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Mister P 'The Unheard' EP Review

Mista P's 'The Unheard' is an intense project combining psychedelic spiritual reflections with a socio political commentary sadly lacking in the apparant mainstream of popular and hip hop music. The title track drops highly involved subject matter over a mellow, haunting instrumentals that has a sinister backdrop of a snare giving an ominous military tatoo.

Cardboard Culture drops on the hyper vibe that P is known for at his numerous live performances, a mighty swift head nodder of a track with a wild west feel complete with whirl wind sound effect, this ends far too quickly and the need for a re-up really draws you into the multifaceted mind of this emcee. His pessimistic conclusions and observations often leaves him "trapped in a hum drum oddessy" but he presents the journey with a great style.

Carousel puts P squarly into the grinding rat race of everyday life, again presented with a lyrical imagination that paints bleak pictures in such an intruiging way you need to hear more. As P says 'I aint scared to say my tastes highbrow'...and I'm glad it is because this is a thinking persons record. Recognise.

P's highly textures rhymes sometimes can cloud over the real points he presents, however this trait is absent in the banging 'Moments'. Sleepy Time Ghost lays down a hypnotic boom bap beat as Mista P gets straight into his natural cynicism via the chicane of "Surrounded by dumbfounded products of capital, astoundingly poor sounding views are rational" as he casually sticks "a middle digit to the names and the branding, alone in the dark a sweets Brandy, trying to block out the Bill Boards and Eye Candy. True that...

The EP raps up with an up beat cheery production featuring the dulcet tones of Punning Clan shaker and mover BennyDiction who's blackberry and apple metaphores must be heard to be appreciated. The cheeriness of the beat is interestingly juxtaposed with observations on anorexia, alcohol and the corruption of young minds; expect nothing less and ask for your hip hop with a damn brain!

Check the EP out now at Bandcamp by clicking the album art work above, and then come and get a copy from the man in person at Fat Gold Chain (Charlie Wrights Jazz Bar, Old Street, London) this Friday or Love Music Hate Racism Saturday at Brixton Jamm.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Onyx, Sonny Jima and Soul Kahn goodness

Sonny Jim - The Psychonaut EP
The Birmingham spitter ramps up his output in anticipation of the Psychonaught LP (apparently only available in Australia) to present a selection of tracks he recorded whilst travelling down under. I'm a big fan of Sonny's highly complex and humour stuffed verses but for me enjoy his style best when he's in reflective mode, and Lotek's remix of his 'Mission Statement' at the end of this EP is my favourite joint. Its a good showcase for the other spitters from various corners of the globe; but go get it quick as I think it's only available till the end of the month....Get it Now

Hip hop accross the pond is still lurking around if you care to dive into the grimy underground. Vocalswords favourite Soul Khan recently shot a video (at last) for my personal favourite 'Soul Like Kahn' tune from his free to download album. I think a few people have used this sort of edit before but love the way it's done here.

Meanwhile at the grimier end of the spectrum its good to hear of Onyx making a bit of a comeback with their 'Classic Terror'....if your gonna do thug music, do that shit properly!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Fat Gold Chain Live...Punning Clan, Mister P plus HLI and Sonny Jim goodness

Yes yes y'all its that time of the month again and a triple whammy of fresh hip hop is headed to Charlie Wrights (nr Old St Tube, London) this friday...make sure you get down to enjoy the vibes of the Punning Clan, HLI and Mister P and open mic hosted by me :)for more info check the Facebook Event ... in the meantime check the amazing HLI video for 'Vectors' hot off the press...I was lucky enough to join the crew on set and its definitely come out a treat; graf heads should especially dig the timelapse recorded piece being thrown up by another writing legend...heat!

Meanwhile Sonnyjim has been busy (when is he not?) working alongside the P.L.O to spit on a heavy guitar led track. The press release said it had Mudmowth on the track also, but I must have developed myopia; answers on a postcard to solocypher@gmail.com if you spot him please. The track has also been remixed Stateside with Has-Lo, Zilla Rocca and Curly Castro rocking the Mic in the style of the classic Smooth Da Hustla and Trigga Da Gambla's 'Broken Language' joint. The link to the remix is below Sonny's Joint, but I thought what the hell lets revisit the original as well...Enjoy!

Now Check the American Language Remix Here!

But dies it hold up to this!?

Monday, May 02, 2011

Chima Anya 'What Now'

The big man Chima is back with a very impressive video to the stomping track 'What Now'; something to meditate a little on for you all...

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

F-T - Deep Times

F-T is a name to be reckoned with. Producing and rhyming on this incredible track, its a deep song that deserves heavy rotation. I say no more; check it...

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Rock the DELS!

Egg on my face right now as I have to apologise for fronting on DEL's mixtape a couple of years back, mainly as the download I had I couldnt work out so didnt listen to the effort properly, shame on me! Anyway the dudes at Big Dada did do their job properly and the boy from my hometown Ipswich is making some heavy moves with some inspired videos and very interesting rhymes of a sort of style the scene has been missing for a while....if you haven't already, check the video below then go youtube more tracks taken from forthcoming 'GOB' album....The London release party is at Hoxton Bar & Grill this Thursday, for more info check out the info Here. Word.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

AKS, Cunninglinguists, Baron Samedi...Read this Now!

Sunday's a good day to discover South London's Aks, as today I've been engrossed in his EP 'The Bus Stop'; engaging in a lot of topics with energy, honesty and well formed perspectives over great production this cat is going places...although TfL might be dictating the speed just at the moment, Aks depiction of place and mind set is refreshing but holds down a lyrical swagger that should see him up there with the big names...'House Called Home' is for me the heaviest cut and according to the man himself one of his favourite songs he's ever written; great to hear this sort of energy in the game. At the moment this gem is available for free DL but you only have around 5 hours left to get it! Dont Sleep People! http://thebusstopep.com/

AKS - The Bus Stop EP
Some more dopeness, feeling the vibe of this one....

and Finally we cant leave you without sharing this to the minute Banger celbrating and possibly bettering the antics of your favourite Hot Shots actor....
Baron Samedi 'Team Winning'....

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Sonny Jim - Purple Patch 4

The Final Chapter! This 4 part series comes to a finale with more heavy braggadocious bars...

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Pharoe Monch presents 'Clap' Short Film

Powerful stuff this, an entertaining but piece inlaid with pathos, tension, and fear, excellent camera work and dramatically inter woven lyrics from Monch. This War album/project is looking to turn out to be pretty incredible.

Probably better to check it full screen over on the tube...(anyone know how to allow my embedded videos to be played full screen!?)

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Welcome to the Arab Spring?

If this is to be the name given to the recent revolutions and popular uprisings accross Egypt, Libia, Bahrain,.... then welcome, the long overdue over throw of outmoded and oft despised leaders or despots by popular protest. The (largely) overwhemlingly peacefull nature of the demonstrations, protests and defiant actions

Masta Mimmz - Back down Muburak

Fat Gold Chain keeps rolling on London

Conrad the Scoundrel

This guy is heavy weight! Bars, Charisma, Jokes, Message...this man is the definition of proper emcee in 2011. Check the video but thia man has bucket load more of different flows and styles to slap you with in his live show!

Wisdom Band

From Brixton Ritzy to Brixton living; check out the smooth sounds of The Wisdom Band and there motherland ode to Africa...

From Brixton streets to America where Vado's banger 'Large on the Street Scene' shows a rapper with huge potential blazing hard. This guy is a serious mic ripper and evidently has a rep to protect; it will be good to hear more from him in the futureas his content diversifies.

so sitting around with Vado on repeat can get you hyped to a certain extent. However its only when a true blast from the past like this rolls through that you remember why the fuck you love hip hop music so much...

Ice Cube - Gangsta Rap Made Me Do It

Conspiracy World Wide

Re Up Re Up Info!....Menace and Montana have been providing the back bone of journalistic insight on hip hop for a while now (2006 I believe?) and the start of 2011 has seen the team getting into serious discussion with all manner of heavy swangers...make sure you get to know!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Liam Bailey - You Better Leave Me

Liam Bailey has been mentioned a few times across various press outlets as a future star...his recent work with Chase and Status and this latest song 'You Better Leave Me' is proving them right and I've got to say that great music like this just cant be held down!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

New Talib Kwali - 'I'm On One' from Gutter Rainbows new album

Taken from his new album 'Gutter Rainbow's' this new track 'I'm on One' has Kwali looking nicely hyped in the video in a classic looking sweatbox of a hip hop club. I like the sentiment of the backing track vocals but not sure if it comes off all that well...Talib's flow is trademarkedly wordy but sounds dope in context of the current era where lyracism in rap music seems to have flown completely out the window. Having said that I didnt hear any quotables jumping straight at me, maybe I need to check it a few more times! By the way his album drops 25th of this month; a hip hop day for all as it is also the date when Homeboy Sandman will be blessing the marvelous Fat Gold Chain! (smoooth plug segue there or what!?)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Akala - Yours and My Children


What can you say!?
I wonder how much media cover this track got? Enjoy, as I go investigate!!

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Launch of 'Equality' movement....Lowkey, Logic, Jody McIntyre & Tariq Ali

The inaugral meeting of the 'Equality' movement spearheaded by Lowkey, Logic and Jody McIntyre proved immediatly impressive as due to demand the venue had to be moved to a larger lecture theatre, which itself was packed to capacity of around 500 people.

Speakers included Seamus Milne Guardian columnist and author of ‘The Enemy Within’,Lizzie Cocker political activist, Tariq Ali, a political commentator and campaigner who recently wrote ‘The Obama Syndrome’,Jody McIntyre writer for the Independent and author of ‘Life on Wheels’ and Dr. Hanan Chehata, commentator on Palestine and Middle Eastern affairs.

The lead question of 'What is Imperialism' was not debated as such, rather each speaker gave an empassioned overview of various elements of the anti-war, anti-imperiallist mosvement that has grown since the invasions of Iraq and Afgahnistan after the 9/11 attacks. There were some excllent points raised, especially in regards to the illegal Israeli imposed blockade of Gaza,the victimisation of protesters espcially young Muslim men by the policed, and examples of imperialistic aggression against civilians and children by Britian and America.

Unfortunatley, a debate it was not and the question and answer section after the initial speeches was hijacked by a lot of enthusiasic comments agreeing with all the previous speakers. Although encouraging to see such enegry it was a shame that there was no little internal criticism or debate, especially in regard to the initial question - What is Imperialism? Preaching to the converted is one thing, however the nature of imperialist capitalist hegemony means that levels of apathy in the general population must be addressed before a popular movement can really prove to be successfull. Although Lowkey was only present via a video speech, his presence was most definitely felt, and some of his views I have later found encapsualted in this important and provocating video for his track 'Terrorist?' below.

Regardless of lack of debate, the meeting showcased a lot of common sentiment against violent oppression everywhere, and was very inspiring. The next meeting is set to be even larger, I just hope the next one will begin to solidify some ideas for raising awareness, especially over the situation in Gaza, and direct action. For the time being I'm writing to my MP (probably not the most revolutionary of actions but its a start!)so watch this space...

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Unforgivng World - Wyld Bunch

Pretty impressed by this, raw soulful stuff over a great beat. From upcoming "RICH BLOOD.BROKE POCKETS" album by James (WYLDBUNCH) Bunch. Produced by TWOMANICS...as someone as commented, "Real Hip Hop, at last!'


Sonny Jim - The Purple Patch part 3

My favourite of the four part series so far! Plus the Eatgood team have kindly put this banger up for free download here! Heavy