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.
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!
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 -
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!
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.
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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!
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