Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Mr. Ekow, illiterate, Trigz & Vitamin G / Open Mic / DJ Sarah Love & Mys...





There is a great vibe to this cypher bought to you from the incredible Fubar Crew (shout out Mys Diggi and Sarah Love!) Some excellent bars with lots of lyrical dexterity and positive content with a great chemistry between the four emcees. This is that real live hiphop right here!

Saturday, October 07, 2017

Eliot Fresh & Fish, London Live, Hip Hop bubbling with DJ Sugai, CW Jones & Bennydiction

Listen to this and enjoy. You will love it, so then go and find out more and buy the vinyl from http://boombappro.com/album/mirrors 


It has felt great getting out and about recently to enjoy a little taste of the ever present music scene. Got to know where the good ish is at and my man DJ Sugai was kind enough to introduce me to the Nomadic Gardens where the incredibly talented CW Jones went down a storm with an electrifying performance. Check "Morphine" below and then head to the Bone Dry Records Bandcamp page for a multitude of more treats including the album "Half Ill, Half Lazy"....





 


The Nomadic Gardens is hidden off Brick Lane (the Bagel Shop end) go check it out for yourself for a heap of DIY inspiration and incredible artwork. Cultural revolution in a highly positive manifestation. Another ace slice of live hiphop goodness was found at "Root Down" hosted by the inimitable Poet Curious. Was great to jump on an open mic backed by a live band (including the very talented gent Rob Grundel on keys), catch up with Eliot Fresh and my brother Bennydiction and chat briefly to the Hip Hop Classroom in human form, Darren Chetty. It was also great to be introduced to the poetical talents of Ghetto Geek and Benny who smashed the acappella with some goodness about the growth of an Oak Tree, watch out for that one soon. 


Finally got to give thanks and shout out Benny Diction for the excellent collection of Nas Albums and DJ Sugai for the incredible "Food and Drink Volume 1" Mixtape hosted by Mnsr Frites and Benny Diction (all getting a bit incestuous this post innit eh!?) It was all in honour of my birthday....just turned 17 again yeah. Peace to the Scran Cartel; Enjoy suckers! 



Saturday, September 16, 2017

South London Smashing Music....Inspirational hiphop from DEGIHEUGI, Chima Anya, Consensus, Ty, Phoenix Da Icefire and Cormega

He's a doctor so you can quote from his lectures...the force of nature that is Chima Anya is featured on DEGIHEUGI's beautiful classical sounding rhythms. Chima brings the listener in with a pretty chilled introduction but quickly gets mad deep with some intricate reflections on art, maths, science, algorithms and lyricism that needs more than a few re-winds to even catch let alone appraciate....a playlist certainty and the visuals are just spectacular, big ups to Jeremy Bleunven of Abyss Media and the wonderful Sarah Le Ray and Fanny Lego!



With Brixton just down the road from Vocalswords Towers its great to see amazing videos of the locals set to incredible music so have been loving "Brixton Baby from Ty, very inspirational as ever as is the dope collaboration between two guys who feature in high playlist rotation in my cans...the New York legend Cormega and incredibly talented Phoenix Da Icefire.





Not content with surfing the bleeding edge of particle physics research in recent album ConCERNed, Consenus rounds out the summer with a belter teaming up with Shumba Youth reminding us that life is a test until we puff, puff, past it....creative dopeness as ever!





Monday, May 15, 2017

Stormzy, Brother Ali and Phoenix Da Icefire bringing all angles of Grime & Hiphop together!

In homage to the incredible switch ups I had the pleasure of watching Stormzy perform last night in Brixton, thought I would bring a little contrast to this post...So for starters relax and gaze in wonder at the visuals, dance and atmosphere of this New Brother Ali next level video, then switch gears for some wilding out fire from Phoenix the Icefire who is outhere breaking necks with an incredible heavy Boom Bap banger....and finish off with the absolute banger that is Big For Your Boots! Enjoy

Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Particle Physics gets broken down by Consensus....Album Launch in Brixton 25th May

Vocalswords is very excited to reveal the upcoming launch of an album from a superb Emcee who is taking an Iron Man/Elon Musk approach not only to music, but to the world of Science and Education as well.

Having been personally part of intimidating ciphers in which Cons has torn apart beats with jaw dropping flows of incredibly intricate complexity and ingenuity Vocalswords will be waiting eagerly for this project to drop. Catching up briefly with the man recently, it was great to hear that he had been spending the last two years back and forth between London and Geneva crafting the "ConCERNed" Album; having gained privileged access to the world famous CERN facility and the Scientists that are conducting ground breaking research.

If you are UK based, get down to Brixton for what promises to be a great night. In the meantime, get to know more about the project reading The Voice Newspaper's recent article and interview by Amandla Thomas-Johnson here;or below, and check out first cut from the album "Method to the Madness" with Dr Koul....




First Published by The Voice Newspaper....

AN UNDERGROUND rapper from south London has performed and delivered workshops at the world famous European Centre for Nuclear Research (CERN), near Geneva, Switzerland.
Antoine Gittens-Jackson, known as Consensus, was invited to the laboratory after spending two years writing an album which translates complex particle physics into grime and rap. As well as performing songs from the album to a group of scientists, the 27-year-old delivered a rap workshop to a group of school children visiting CERN from Austria who then performed their creations in front of the Austrian ambassador. One track on Consensus’ latest album tries to explain the pure energy released when matter collides with anti-matter by drawing a parallel to the societal harmony that would come if two opposing gangs were to resolve their differences. Another uses a word-play on the standard model – the equivalent of the periodic table but for subatomic particles – by exploring what it means to be a fashion model and the fundamentals of beauty.

Speaking of his two-year immersion in particle physics, Consensus said: “It was exhausting in terms of how deep some of this stuff goes. “You’re visiting the limitations of all reality and what we know. You get really close to this edge of what is important in general, in life, and all this crazy existential stuff. It’s heavy on the brain.” Based at a sprawling campus that straddles the border of France and Switzerland, CERN is best-known as the place where British scientist Sir Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web.As well as this, the elusive Higgs boson or ‘God-Particle’ – thought to be the fundamental building block of the universe – was said to have been discovered there in 2012 thanks to a hi-tech particle collider housed in a 27km circumference underground tunnel.

 Consensus visited CERN as a guest lecturer and was hosted by Art@CMS, a science outreach programme named after the CMS particle detector which records and analyses the high-speed collisions of subatomic particles. Started in 2012, the programme tries to bring together artists and scientists through concerts, exhibitions and concerts. Consensus has performed, recorded a music video and taught CERN scientists how to rap as part of the programme. Dr. Michael Hoch, the Austrian scientist who founded and heads Art@CMS, told The Voice: “I do not limit any art expression, painting, digital, photo, sculpture, music, performance – it just has to generate a serious discussion and dialogue between our worldwide science community and the artists.” Dr. Hoch, a photographer who pieced together the famous image of the CMS reactor from 200 individual photos he took, added that bringing artists and scientists into direct contact allows “the artist to create a unique interpretation of the world of particle physics”.

Consensus set out to achieve just this with the help of Sudarshan Paramesvaran, a British scientist at CERN who introduced him to the complex theories that underpin particle physics. “He wanted his music to truly represent what we do here, and the physics we study,” Paramesvaran said. Brought up by a single mother in Lewisham, south-east London, Consensus told The Voice that music was an outlet from local gang violence where “people were getting stabbed for the sake of a postcode”. At the same time as grime was taking off in the early 2000s, Consensus began to make and sell his own mixtapes in Leicester Square, as well as square off with other artists. “Generally a lot of MCs at the time were chatting rubbish – guns this and guns that. I used to battle them and say you don’t really have guns,” he said. From his local state school he won a scholarship to Dulwich College, an independent school in south London. He stopped music to complete a degree in aeronautical engineering at Bristol University, but after a restless two years he headed down to the closest open session in Bristol and picked up the mic again. “I think I was born then,” he said as he recalled how he dedicated himself to his art. He added: “My overall personal mission as an artist is to make people open-minded. I’m not here to inspire, I just want to show people that rapping about science can be done.”

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Political Special feat Talib Kwali, Styles P on Sway In the Morning plus Ras Kass Raekwon & Evidence

Political Special featuring Talib Kwali & Styles P on Black Power in an excellent interview with Sway plus Ras Kass on White Privilge and the New Trump Era, Raekwon and an inspirational slice from Evidence.












Monday, April 03, 2017

Emcee, Lyricist & Battle MC Felman shares his wisdom and reflects on EP Good Grief in Exclusive Interview

The rapper/emcee/poet/musician Felman, previously known as Mos Prob has had a wild ride through hiphop and life in recent years. Just before he jetted off to the USA to keep his battle skills sharp he kindly sat down to answer a few questions about his excellent recent project the EP "Good Grief" currently available on Bandcamp. Mad props to the man himself for such enlightening/philosophical/intriguing responses, enjoy the read!



Good Grief kicks the EP off in a fairly melancholy tone. You say you were looking for respect and hearing laughter. Is this still true? 

Because I did four comedy rap albums and maybe twenty pretty silly battles before writing anything heartfelt, I did feel like I had a lot to prove. The more I funnelled into my funny stuff, the more popular it became, but I was getting less and less happy. There came a point at which I had no option but to make Good Grief, and there was a lot of that in the opener. I've been rapping for twelve years and I was definitely getting nervous that I was piling a lot of time and effort into being a laughing stock. I think I stopped caring at a certain point. Obviously the respect of others is important and you don't get too far without it, but ultimately it's about self-respect as much as validation from external places. I think I've found a fair bit of self-respect since I wrote Good Grief and I think less now about how I'm received. I'm better at rapping than I ever thought I would be, and I've had some great feedback and encouragement so I'm happy. But only because I've started to get on with myself. Otherwise it would be largely meaningless.


 I do enjoy some of the visual imagery you create such as "picking out little scabs and ripping them open" comes to mind. How do you go about finding inspiration or hone your observational skills in order to develop these sorts of vignettes? 

 Books, weird books, and lots of them. I like reading stuff I don't understand and forcing my head around the metaphors until they make sense or reinforce a picture that fits. I love writers like David Foster Wallace, Kurt Vonnegut and Mark Leyner for that, they just have a sense for vivid pictures that sound good at the same time. I try to incorporate as much of that density as I can. I guess with the headspace I was in for Good Grief I overthought stuff a lot as well, so didn't feel the need to explain what they meant in the track or ram the meaning and emotion down anyone's throat. Otherwise I let the multi-syllable rhyme dictate possible options, and then work with the words I can fit in. There's no science to it. I just wrote three songs for every song and cherry-picked the bits that made enough sense. My observational skills are actually pretty piss-poor, which is why I write in a more abstract way.

You say that you are man enough to start living by a better system...I like the sound of this, what would your ideal system be? 

I'm talking about that sense of balance that's nigh on impossible to come by. I had a pretty thorough meltdown after recording Good Grief and had to really sort myself out to keep my job and my life together, but since then I've been working on a system where every day is its own mission, and the various parts of my life are different things I have to do in that day, rather than have 50,000 overarching goals like I used to. My ideal system has space for other people, a filtration system for those people (so you're only surrounded with positive influences) and time to make yourself happy and fat. Maybe with a bit of gym time so the fat part isn't so galling. The ideal system would change with you anyway, and be ready for any odd or tragic situations life can put forward. So it's hard to say what it would be like. But you wouldn't have to think about it much - it should be self-sustaining. Just a natural part of your day going about doing everything that makes you happy and empowered.

I like the L.Ron Hubbard reference. I don't know a great deal about the man, whats your POV? 

He's a dangerous lunatic, a marketing mastermind and, from what I've heard, a pretty shoddy sci-fi writer. It's kind of fascinating to have seen a religion spring up from the ground more or less in our generation, though. I saw the Church of Scientology in LA and it is absolutely colossal. I reference him in another track as well where I'm travelling space with Gishnchips. We share a joint in the bath and discuss theories on life. I think I keep talking about him because he has a stupid name. I should probably stop.

I love the upbeat bounce of Fairweather but I can imagine it being a difficult listen for some of your past acquaintances, especially those who "Led you to meds" is this track still a reflection of a feeling towards some people who have not been the greatest help on your artistic journey?

It's actually not about too wide a net of people. But I guarantee you they wouldn't play my record to save a puppy at gunpoint so it's never going to be an issue for me. Truth be told, there's some bullshit that was too painful to let go but too old and buried to be worth digging up in front of concerned parties so I just channelled it. I've felt a lot better since. At that point, I'd become pretty distant from people that still matter to me, so the song was a kick up the arse for me to hang on to the ones that have me covered. Some of the song came out as anger when it was really misdirected loneliness. I see a lot more of my real friends now.

Hail RGB confused me for a little bit until I discovered that RGB stands for the Red Blue and Green colour based model of our human perception that is usually associated with television (and I then also presume mobiles/screens of all kinds). I was just thinking that the quirky sound effects are great but aren't you just too young to remember those modem dial up tones!? 

 How old do you think I am? I spent many-a-fifteen minutes waiting for a ten second porn clip to loads at 64bps during my youth as well, you know. The modem noise was actually my wife's idea, which means she's technically old too. The song was based on a David Foster Wallace essay about TV eating up six hours of your day, and the power that gives to the people behind it. And I just got to thinking of TV as this manipulator that always finds a way to stay at the centre of people's lives even with the bewildering array of options we now have. The modem verse is a struggle between TV and the Internet for dominance. It's my first sci-fi story track, essentially. But it is pretty pissing weird. By the end, the TV mentality still manages to end up dominating the Internet and making its way into people's pockets. There's going to be a lot more on the next album, Tidings, that sounds like Hail RGB. I've been pretty limited with my setup until now. AWAIT THE SQUELCH.

Somnambulist! Fucking love this track, obviously a labour of love so is writing or performing still embedded in your grave, cradle and is still your crutch?

I think I have writing and performing more in perspective now. At the time I wrote Somnambulist (it's actually the oldest track at five years) I really needed it, at the expense of being an actual person. So since Good Grief I stepped away from gigging to fortify myself a little. I love music a bit more now that it's not the be-all and end-all of everything. It's fun again. Ive listened to this track many times on repeat but there is a certain bit of quick fire spittery I still cant catch; could you please help me out!? "Happy calamities happen when trapped in a labyrinth.....(something I lost a long the way.....slow it down!!.....Dentists for Basilisks.... Happy calamities happen when trapped in a labyrinth Stabbed in the back with a catalyst Average mannequin capturing Anadin gradually rabidly panicking, The hourglass smashing and shattering, There's still some fragments of sand in it, Happy Samaritan, gathering arrogance shambling back at the battlements, Avarice seeping and bleeding between every crease of my fracturing, cracking lips, I snack on the hand that bit, bites back and it grins so I'm not even mad at it, A permanent capturing of a passing glimpse of every crack in the manuscript, Antagonist shaking hands with it, fact of the matter is scratching your back is inadequate, Reactions are frazzled and battered and damaged and cannot quit snapping and hammering, The back of my hand is a land unexplored and I'm bored of pretending to handle it Dentists for Basilisks.... telling 'em they should have less of the saccharine. One day, I will learn to rap this kind of stuff fast Til then, just make do with fast.



Three Forty Five, a beautiful, poignant track that tells a great story in itself. When researching this I found the juxtaposition of such personal lyrics with the newspaper splashes that your proposal generated as a Battle Rapper pretty nuts. What lessons do you take from this mainstream media attention and how has this track been received by other audiences? 

Never, ever put something that personal in that public a scenario again. It was cool, and a bewildering and interesting experience, but a moment like that is too special to make everyone else's, I think. I didn't clock that it would blow up like it did. And I love the memento, the actual ability to watch it back and see that moment - that's irreplaceable. But that moment will never just be ours, and I do often wonder it would have been like as a small, intimate gesture. I've got quite a selfish mentality about it, but it's also our moment to be selfish about. We didn't even really get to share the buzz when it was going viral because she'd already flown back to the US and I didn't know when I was seeing her again. So it was bittersweet. Either way, we aren't forgetting it in a hurry. It's most people's favourite track on the album, which is weird for me for two reasons. Firstly, I wasn't even going to include it because I didn't feel it fit and it's really old (I'd been writing it on and off for four years) and secondly, I wrote it as directly as possible for Jackie, throwing in references I knew only she would get. For some reason, personalising it like that made it more accessible for more people.

Do you both still enjoy Ibsen, and what's the deal with Heda Gabbla? 

 My wife was in Hedda Gabler (nice try) when we met up at the Edinburgh Fringe - I felt like referencing it made that just our story. When I saw Jackie's production I obviously enjoyed it a lot but I haven't seen any other Ibsen stuff. Jackie still loves the guy and there's a production in London soon she's taking me too, but she's the theatre head. I just smile and nod. I love the homely line "We did it mate" From one happily married man to another happy but as yet unwed bloke, what advice do you have for a successful relationship? You know the smiling and nodding thing? Applies here too. Nah, just share everything, do right by each other, always try to make each other laugh and don't text your wife pictures of your poo. It's just being a team and giving a tremendous amount of shits about each other at the end of the day. What's also important is keeping on with your own stuff and making sure the relationship is just part of that overall balance.



 You laudably donate any proceeds from the EP to the charity MIND....what does the charity mean to you and how well do you think Mental Health problems are currently being addressed?

 Around 2012 I'd hit a brick wall with depression and couldn't really form a dialogue with anyone about it. I finally reached out to a friend with experience in that field and he first opened my eyes to what it could be. I had another friend who took the opposite approach, and it was really damaging. I saw the value that open dialogue with someone who understands and wanted to put the money from this towards supporting that, I actually don't have a personal connection to the charity outside of an appreciation for the amazing work they do. But I sure could've used knowing about them when I was younger. It hasn't ended up being a huge amount, donation-wise. It's quite a small project that did pretty humbly. But I'm deeply grateful to anyone that has supported and continues to do so. Felman

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!