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!