Sunday, 11 November 2012

Late 90s 12"s Part 3:L'a the Darkman featuring Raekwon-As the World Turns

It was late 1995 and the Hip-Hop world has firmly in the grip of Wu-Tang fever. We had been listening to the original 9 members for almost two years and the affiliates were starting to appear; Sunz of Man, Killarmy, Shabazz the Disciple, Dark Skinned Assassin and of course L'a The Darkman. Their 12"s were of varying levels of quality but all had that Wu Tang sound despite hardly any of them being produced by The Rza and most being produced by one of his many proteges; 4Th Disciple, Mathematics, True Master and Bronze Navareth. Some of them were even lucky enough to have one of the original 9 dropping a verse or at times just a chorus. This 12" here is one of them.
I picked this joint up in the fantastic but long since gone Deal Real record shop in London's west End (the first and real one, not the recreated trendy one off Carnaby Street but the true one on D'Arblay street) I probably paid about £6 for it and it would have been picked up with other similar joints.
As a teenager in New York City, the Crown Heights, Brooklyn-bred emcee born La The Darkman (Lason Jackson) negotiated his first deal just as he was finishing high school. Having studied the game he was more than prepared when an in-studio freestyle on WKCR's The Stretch and Bobbito Show drew the attention of major and indie labels alike. Like many emcees at the time he put out a 12" on the indie label Fo'Real records under the Wu Tang Productions heading.
The A-side has two versions I want it all both produced by Carlos "6th July" Broady who has also produced tracks for various Bad Boy artists, Ghostface Killah, Raekwon and Nas amongst others. The beat on the first version is a rather subdued affair with muted drums and some nice orchestral string. La raps about how he wants it all "Lex and Tech and Shit". At the time this joint came out La was an average to above average emcee however today he'd be one of the best considering the drop in quality over the 17th years since this was released. The second version of I want it all has some nice xylophone stabs and a slightly nicer snare and is actually my favorite of the two. The B side is probably the reason most people bought this track as it features Raekwon on the chorus and the first verse. Its typical Cuban linx part one era Rae which is of course a very good thing especially as he works so well with La. The beat itself is a mellow track with nice strings and crisp snares. Generrally a nice slower than most Raekwon track that became a staple of those underground Wu tape of the mid nineties check the link below for the vinyl rip and check back soon for some more late 90s gems. 

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Late 90s 12"s Part 2:The Giant Hidden Crate / Hold Mines

This one here is for my old mate Ricardinio, I hope I got the right 12". This 12" was on constant rotation in mid 1998 and even now it is still a heavy 12". So this was released under the pseudonym The Giant which anyone can easily tell is AG (Andre The Giant)from Show & AG fame. The reason for the use of the pseudonym is because these two track aren't produced by Showbiz but produced by DJ Greyboy. Greyboy is often described as an Acid Jazz producer although he did produce tracks for OGC (Originoo Gun Clappaz)and Main Flow of the group Mood he was more on the Acid Jazz side of things. Originally hailing from California he has released a number of compilations most recently 15 years of West Coast Cool in 2008.
The A side is Hidden Crate and starts of with a De Niro Taxi Driver sample before moving into a deep guitar loop laden beat over a jaded drum with some flutes in there. AG demonstrates his usual skills in his trademarked laid back flow. He drops dope verses with some choice lines Certified Gold Medalist,you could play fly I'm the Most high like Everest and my favoriteYou can't see me I'm camouflage besides I'm God. Just in case you were thinking of testing him not only is he camouflage but he is also God so don't bother. The B side is even better than the A with a sick guitar loop, some keys and crisp drums. Its slightly more upbeat and AG is not so laid back but still dropping gems like Master Chemist, jewels flooded like the streets of Venice. Its only two verses but that gives you almost a minute of the instrumental to enjoy which is perfect anyway. Its kinda strange how often you get these essentially non hip hop producers who create such a banging hip hop joint and then seem to just fade away. Check the link below for the rip and enjoy. Check back soon for another late 90s gem. I'm Like Einstein a Genius or the Gza but my clan be Bronx Ni**as

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Late 90s 12"s Part 1: Colored Section Bomb M.C.

This is the first in a series of Random Late 90s 12"s that I thought I'd up for you guys to enjoy, I'll try and keep it regular but I can't make any promises. This is a 12" that I bought from in 1997. I remember playing it a lot during '97 and dug it out again recently and still enjoyed the piano laden beat and the funny hip hop lyrics.
Colored Section are a tight 2 man project from this left coast act. Smooth beats combined with the the mellow rhyme style of Coke (formally of Madcap) and Che'ski equals a solid album. This is a fun 12" with incredibly clever lyrics which pays tribute to the pioneers of the game. The group itself did drop an album however I never managed to get hold of it at the time but did grab it a few years back from some download site or the other. I found it to be a fun and enjoyable album with no social commentary or deep lyrics but just an enjoyable fun album. It also includes a West Voast remix of this track. Grab it if you can find a copy of it anywhere. The 12" was on green vinyl and included the track, an instrumental and acapella.
Follow the link below to check out the 12" rip. Bomb M.C.

Friday, 3 August 2012

The Re Up - Lord Have Mercy Paint Ya face

As requested by reader Dredwerkz here is a re-up of an earlier article with a new download link

I was never a big Lord Have Mercy fan, to me he was always a hype man for a rapper who didn't need a hype man. But when this bootleg 12" came out in 1998/99 I was a major M.O.P. and I still am to this day so I had to pick this because of the fact that it co stars lil' Fame and Billy Danzene. This bootleg was picked up in Uptown records in London's west end for about £8. It is produced by Nottz and it was originally recorded for Lord Have Mercy solo album 'Thee ungoldy hour', but that album never came out. However a track as dope as this rarely gets left on the cutting room floor and finally made it onto M.O.P.'s 2000 classic 'Warriorz'. Home Sweet Home could almost be a Premier, joint like the majority of the 'Warriorz' album was, but its Nottz who created this funky joint. Its made up of some nice horns as well as an off kilter piano loop with some humorous lines from Lord Have Mercy and those Brownsville boys. Of course Billy and Lil' Fame drop some of those signature gun sounds effects that we all love. I really like this joint its got a dope beat from a producer who almost always drops heat and three hyped up emcees.
The B side is a funky track called 'Paint ya Face' and is produced by Nottz again. The beat is a solid beat with some nice bongos and what sounds like a native american chant running through it with a nice bassline underneath it. Lord Have Mercy tells us all to paint our faces for some reason that I am unsure off. He also tells us that he dances like Indians, maybe he thinks that if he does the correct dance Busta will allow him to release his album although this strategy clearly didn't work back in 1999. As far as I know 'Thee Ungodly hour'r was scrapped when Lord left Flipmode. Also set for the album was Havoc. 
Lord left Flipmode stating that he did not like the mainstream direction Flipmode was taking and also stating that Busta Rhymes had promised that Flipmode would be a launching pad for all of the members solo careers, which for Lord Have Mercy did not happen. He also blamed Busta for holding his record release back and relegating him to being a "backup singer. Fellow former Flipmode member Rah Digga, indirectly corroborated this when mentioning in an interview that Busta shelved Lord's album release (which was completed) for Digga's (which hadn't even started although it did end up containing tracks by both Premier and Pete Rock).
After leaving Flipmode, Lord recorded a three song single called The Come On Down EP which included songs "Charge", "We Will", and "Come On Down". Lord disappeared from the scene for a while before forming his own record label Sword and Shield and releasing the mixtape The Runaway Slave. The mixtape had many strong hits like "Until the Wheelz Fall Off", which is still available on iTunes in the US at least.
Lord has revealed that he is releasing another mixtape of old unreleased songs and has asked people on his myspace for the songs they would like to appear on the mixtape. I for one would like to get hold of a copy of 'Thee Ungodly hour' Heres the link

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Copywrite - God Save The King

Copywrite is an underground hip-hop artist from Columbus, Ohio.  Copywrite emerged onto the independent hip-hop scene in 1998 along with his group "MHz" with a debut single on the legendary Fondle 'em Records, entitled "World Premier".  Since then he has worked with the High and Mighty,  Royce Da 59, Dilated Peoples, Inspecta Deck, Sean Price as well a heavyweight producers like Jay Dee (J Dilla), RJD2, Jake One and J-Zone.  He is a talented emcee who has worked with a cadre of UK artists including Mystro, Rhyme Asylum, Loudmouth Melvin, Skillit, Sarah Love and Sam Khan. 

This is his first full length since his 2010 release The Life and Times of Peter Nelson and is released on Man Bites Dog records on the 13th of June.  Its seventeen tracks long with only one interlude and a whole host of emcees and producers on board.  In fact every track features a number of other emcees and a variety of producers.
The album kicks off with a track called Year of the Gun produced by Wu Tanger Bronze Nazareth and featuring Killah Priest, Inspecta Deck and Bigz Flygerian.  The beat is mellow with a soulful vocal sample throughout and some nice strings.  All four emcees drop lyrical gems with Deck and Copywrite coming out the strongest but Killah Priest and Flygerian still hold their own.  The second joint features LA native Crooked I alongside West London native Iron Braydz over a Surock produced joint.  Serious battle rhymes over this harpsichord beat.  All three emcees spit fire on this one with lines like “Its like surviving an avalanche to die in the ambulance” and “I did’nt lose my mind I purposely misplaced it”.

The third track is an interlude with UK DJ Sarah Love telling us about the album and how it features a host of UK emcees which to be honest I would expect most people who listen to this would already know.  The fourth track is Troop jackets and features BCC All Star Sean Price and UK emcees SAS.  The beat is provided by Kount Fif and samples the Labi Siffre classic I got the Blues with an additional guitar sample thrown in for good measure.  Copywrite once again shows off his lyrical skilss with intricate rhymes, Sean Price does exactly what you want him to do with boisterous rhymes and SAS represents London nicely.  

The next joint features someone called Context and Jason Rose produces the beat.  It’s a slower paced track featuring an uninspiring sample and although both emcees represent nicely the beat detracts from their obvious skills making the track tiresome and boring.  Track six features one of my favporite rappers, Royce Da 59 and South London rapper Genesis Elijah.  The beat features a crisp snare with some nice strings but it’s the emcees who stand out here.  Copywrite spits “I’ll put you in a box for Eternity like Calvin Klein” alongside Royce telling us that “Give me a track and I give it back in an Urn”.  However its not just the US emcees that represent on this joint Genesis Elijah makes us South Londoners proud with a dope 16 bars.  A very strong track for those of us who like our lyrics strong. 

J.O.Y.  is up next featuring one of my favorite indie emcees Torae and a vocalist called Jason Rose who also produces the track.  The beat features an of kilter piano and some nice snares alongside some singing from Jason Rose which at first I didn’t like but after a few listens it grew on me.  Torae and Copywrite drop some nice lyrics with intricate word play.  A surprisingly enjoyable track.  Jason Rose also produces the next track, Got Myself.  Which is a snappy joint with a nice piano loop and light drum paradiddle throughout.   Lyrically we have Gillie the Kidd and Sinister Daniro joining Copywrite this time with pretty much run of the mill lyrics but this highlight’s above average lyrics.

More Sorrow is a mellow joint paying homage to those who have left us produced by Stu Bangas.  Lyrically it works well to express the emcee’s grief and the beat is mellow but the sung chorus grates and detracts from the track.  Without the singing the track would have been better instead the singing ends up cheapening the track.  Copywrite and Illogic represent well but Don Jaga’s sing is misplaced.   Yo MTV Rap (Money for Nuthin) is another Jason Rose produced joint which he also lays down some vocals on.  I have a problem with this track as its just a poor rip off of Dire Straits and from what I have heard on the album this is below par for both Copywrite and Jaosn Rose.  A bad idea in my opinion that should never have been allowed to get this far.
Golden State (of Mind) is a superb tribute to LA featuring LA legends Casual, Evidence and Roc Marciano over a Vanderslice beat reminiscent of the West Coat indie heyday of the late 90s.  A very enjoyable slower paced joint featuring a good beat, some nice scratches and strong lyrics from all four emcees.  Illogic joins Copywrite again for the Marco Polo produced Opium Prodigies.  This is classic East Coast Boom Bap with two talented emcees spitting intrcicate rhymes that will fly over the head of your average Lil Wayne fan.  Lines like “ Use reason and logic and stop using Reason and Logik” impress me and also show me who this album is aimed at, straight up B-Boys.  Killah Priest returns for the Jaguar Skills produced track Arachnophobia this time with Lord Basis and Melanin 9.  It’s a faster paced joint that the majority of the album and all emcees perform well.  The beat sounds like its sampling some orchestral strings with a nice crisp snare.

            The fourteenth track of the album, Starter Hats is produced by Kount Fif and features Sonny Seeza and Akalla on the mic alongside Copywrite.  The beat is nice and features samples that sound like they could have been lifted from a mid 70s cop show.  Again the UK lyricists represent these shores skillfully alongside their US counterparts.  The beat works well and so do the emcees to produce a dope track.  G$K is the fifteenth track on the album and is another Stu Bangas produced joint.  It features a lovely vocal sample running throughout and touching lyrics from UK emcee Dru Blu alongside Jason Rose’s singing again.  However this time the singing works well as its not too intrusive and adds to the tune rather than detract from it. Copywrite rhymes well as per usual but then I would expect nothing less form this talented emcee.

The penultimate track of the album, Still Pickin sees Sean Price return this time with UK legend Mystro and Dom with Kount Fif behind the boards.  The beat is nice with a xylophone sample and some dusty drums.  All emcees show their own personalities in their rhymes providing interesting and at times funny metaphors.  Another strong track.  The album ends with an eight and a half opus called A Talk with Jesus produced by Poetiq Beatz.  This track is has Copywrite on his own and shows him being very personal in his rhymes.  Talking about the loss of his parents and his relationship with religion.  A skillful track where the second verse sees him acting out a conversation with God where he provides both sides of the conversation.  An interesting concept handled well. The album ends with Illogic giving a brief summary of Ohio Hip-Hop.

All in all a very strong Hip Hop album.  It’s not ground breaking musically but then again I don’t always want that.  It provides strong Boom Bap beats that sound great in my car with interesting talented lyricists.  Copywrite has always been a great lyricist who has earned his underground stripes but with this album he has shown his respect for UK hip-hop by including so many of the dopest UK emcees.  A few of the tracks could have been dropped which would have made it a stronger album and I would have liked to hear more of Copywrite on his own being more personal as some of his best work ever has been when he has shown his own life through his rhymes (the phenomenal June from RjD2’s first album is a fantastic example of this).  However that said he is a talented battle emcees who uses detailed metaphors and snappy punch lines all over this album.  The list of guests help to make this a good strong album.  Easily a four out of five.

Monday, 14 May 2012

El-P - Cancer 4 Cure review

El-P – Cure 4 Cancer

At times Hip Hop can be a genre of music bereft of innovation, where tried and tested formulas provide almost risk free investments for both artists and labels.  Where there is innovation it either avoids the mainstream or like Kanye floods the market and is no longer innovative.  The steady formula of three 16 bar verses split with either a chanted or sung chorus with maybe a little generic scratching has kept Hip Hop going for years now.  Yes you do have legends like DJ Premier and Pete Rock who stick to that formula and yet still manage to create a unique sound but the majority of the mainstream Hip Hop is simply boring and safe.  El-P however is one of those rare producers who is prepared to break the mould.
            Emerging from the NY indie scene in the mid 1990s was Company Flow, which El-P handled the production for and also rhymed in.   Their sound bore similarities to the sonic confusion of the Bomb Squad’s Public Enemy production.  The total disregard of the typical Hip Hop template lead to some of the most innovative and interesting hip hop in years.  El-P went onto produce the phenomenal Cold Vein by Cannibal Ox and two solo albums; Fantastic Damage (2002) and I’ll Sleep When you’re Dead (2007) all three released on his own label Definitive Jux.  Over the years he has produced for  such diverse acts as Del, Sir Menelik, Murs, Mr Lif, Cage, Ghostface, Young Jeezy and most recently Dirty South  Legend Killer Mike.  Now in 2012 he comes back around with his third solo album Cancer for Cure.
            The album starts off with Request Denied.  A fast, almost drum and bass fast track that until three minutes into is instrumental only.  However when El-P does start to rhyme he does it with such urgency that his pace almost matches that of the drum.   It features dark electric noises that create an ominous feeling which is the perfect backdrop for El-P’s rapid-fire intricate rhymes.  This is followed by the slower Full Retard (Tropic Thunder?).  With some crisp snares and a vocal sample over a deep electric baseline El-P spits his acerbic lyrics with a hint of bitterness reminiscent of an OK Computer Radiohead track.
            Works every time is the third track and starts off with a somewhat subdued monologue styled verse from El-P over an almost double-time beat.  Ominous keys linger in the background throughout the track whilst El-P tells us “Its like a fresh start in a new world”.  This is followed by the slightly more upbeat Drones over Bklyn which sneakily grabs a piece of the sample used on G Rap’s Road to Riches but it only pops up sporadically throughout out the track.  Yes he sounds angry again but it sounds so good and works well alongside this beat, which towards the end of the track goes off on an interesting tangent before El-p tells us that he’s bringing it back accompanied by an electric guitar solo.
              Up until now the album has been fun and somewhat interesting but with Oh Hail No El-P turns it up a notch.  This track works on so many levels; the beat is sick layered with numerous samples and sounds, El-P’s lyrics are on point and the two guests fit in nicely.  After the first two verses the beat flips as the nasal toned Danny Brown takes the mic in an almost comedic style with this fantastic line
  “I’m Ric Flair/ with thick hair/ yelling out whooo/ getting head in a directors chair”  
Following this the intensity keeps up with the fantastic Tougher Colder Killer feat Atlanta Legend Killer Mike and Despot.  This track is a perfect example of why I love Hip Hop: you have two entirely different artists from totally different sides of the Hip Hop family reaching the same sound via different routes.  If this is an example of what El-P will be giving Killer Mike on his new album then I’m pre ordering that one now. 
            The seventh track on the album is True story and this features an almost early eighties electro drum break alongside El-P’s Lyrics which this time are broken up by a stuttering vocal sample.  I have to be honest I was not 100% sure what exactly he was rhyming about but it sounded good. 
The next track starts with a bass heavy synth riff as El-P goes through a conversation with someone whom El-P obviously has beef with and little respect for.  The track, The Jig is up, is a middle finger at authority as only El-P could conceive summing up the feelings of anger and paranoia that runs through today’s society.  He follows this up with the Sign here, which is obviously the other side of the conversation.  His verse is indistinguishable from any standard corrupt government official’s language offering the interrogated false hope.  This is a style of rhyming that El-P has used before but this time it is somewhat more disturbing, more insidious.  We have ways to make you speak he says and I believe him.
            For my Upstairs Neighbor starts off with another Lo Fi beat as El-P describes a meeting with his neighbour in such detail that you feel like you are experiencing the uncomfortable situation he is describing.  He tells his neighbour that “If you kill him I won’t tell” over a dirty beat that somehow makes it sound more normal and honest.  Stay Down is the penultimate track and features Island’s Nick Diamonds who provides a melodic haunting vocal alongside some disjointed horns and crashing cymbals.  The album closes with the intimate $4 Vic/FTL (Me and You), an eight minute long opus.  Another hauntingly honest track that could almost be a modern interpretation of the blues despite an almost optimistically defiant flavour running through it alongside a nice guitar riff. 
            Company Flow introduced us to the warped production style of El-P and his honestly intimate and thought provoking rhyme style.  With Fantastic Damage he invited us further into his somewhat dark world and I’ll sleep when you’re dead showed us the paranoia that had engulf America in the post 9/11 era.  However with this album he is no sitting back and taking what is being forced upon us, he is fighting back with his trademarked unrelenting lyrics and bass heavy chaotic beats.  This is a confrontational album from start to finish with a somewhat more cohesive sound creating an album that flows easier that his previous efforts.  I have found myself finding something new in it each time I listen to it.  A must for any Hip Hop head looking for something deeper my only complaint is it could have been longer. 
4.5 out of 5

Track listing
01 Request Denied
02 The Full Retard
03 Works Every Time
04 Drones Over BKLYN
05 Oh Hail No [ft. Mr. Muthafuckin' eXquire and Danny Brown]
06 Tougher Colder Killer [ft. Killer Mike and Despot]
07 True Story
08 The Jig Is Up
09 Sign Here
10 For My Upstairs Neighbor (Mums the Word)
11 Stay Down [ft. Nick Diamonds]
12 $4 Vic/FTL (Me and You)

Killer Mike - R.A.P. Music review

Killer Mike made his debut on Outkast’s legendary Stankonia album back in 2000 before appearing on one of my favourite Outkasts track a year later ‘The Whole world’. Since then he has gone on to release five solo albums on the Grind Time Official label. To some he is an Atlanta legend appearing on tracks with Outkast, T.I., Bun B, Young Jeezy and other Dirty South legends. He has often presented a more eloquent view of rapping touching on such diverse subjects as politics, religion and the plight of the poorer members of our society. Although I usually would not take more than a passing interest in most of Mike’s catalogue, apart from a few of the more interesting songs, I immediately became interested when I heard his latest album would be produced entirely by El-P. The reason why this made it an interesting project is that although El-P and Killer Mike are from different sides of the Hip Hop landscape. However over time the Indie NY scene and the Dirty South ATL scene have evolved to the same sound but via different routes. Something similar was tried a couple of years back when DJ Shadow attempted to harness the Bay Area Hyphy sound in my opinion without a great deal of success as it seems contrived and without understanding. Mike and El-P’s collaboration however seems more natural and evolved rather than forced.

The Album kicks off with a track that slaps you right in the face lyrically and musically. ‘Big Beast’ is an intense journey featuring three Dirty South Legends; UGK’s Bun B and T.I. over an El-P beat reminiscent of his Cannibal Ox days. It has everything you could possibly hope for in Mike and El-P collab and will no doubt tear up clubs across the globe. A fantastic track that shows why this album works. This is followed by ‘Untitled’ featuring Scar. An apocalyptic marching beat that could have come from Funcrusher Plus (Company Flow’s debut) with Mike spitting thought provoking metaphors. Mike’s rhymes ride the beat perfectly showing the value of timing that some rappers often forget. The sung chorus sits nicely with the beat and I say this as someone who often cringes when I hear there’s a sung chorus but this one works.

 The next track ‘Go’, is a short and intense joint featuring a what sounds like an electric guitar sample and some lovely scratching across the chorus. Its only 1:43 second long but damn it bangs like a barn door in a storm. ‘Southern Fried’ is a four minute expedition Down South with El-P providing a sick beat that I will not even attempt to identify the parts of. Mike Once again shows his skill as a strong lyricist who does not fall into the stereotype that many rappers from his part of the world does. Mike starts off the next track saying that “This album was created entirely by Jaime and Mike” with Jaime being El-P before another unusually perfect beat coming in. Mike tells a great story on this beat that could (dare I say it) easily sit alongside some of Slick Rick’s best. The beat is a lively drum lead joint that sounds like it was inspired by the breaker’s jams of the mid-eighties.

‘Reagan’ is a dark dystopian flavoured track sampling a famous Ronald Reagan speech over which Mike points the finger at Hip Hop for selling a hollow life to its fans. Mike really excels on this track showing his political beliefs and not falling into the unoriginal “It’s the Illuminati” stance but questioning the policies of numerous administrations and theior oppression of their people. A thought provoking intelligent track. The seventh track on the album is ‘Don’t die’ which starts off with Atari sounding effects over which Mike discusses police violence and violence towards police. Mike spits one of my favourite lines on the album on this track “Like John Connor’s Momma I be running everyday”. ‘Ghetto Gospel’ has Mike rhyming about the trappings of fame and money over another hard-core El-P beat. ‘Butane’ is the track I had been waiting for on this album where not only does El-p provide the beat but he also drops some lyrics too. The beat is a slower joint with crisp snares and a bass heavy electric sample that Mike drops two verses over before El-P comes in. El-P’s flow is an acquired taste but on this it sits very nicely alongside Mike’s verse to create a well suited duet.

 Emily Panic joins Mike on ‘Anywhere but here’ to provide a haunting chorus that fits the track and Mike’s lyrics well. The subject here is ghosts of our urban landscape and who takes responsibility for their creation. Like a lot of the album it is a dark track creating a haunting soundtrack to our cities despair. The penultimate track on the album is ‘Willie Burke Sherwood’ which is a double time beat that somehow still manages to keep a slower tempo. How many times on your average Hip Hop album will you hear the emcee paying reference to ‘the Lord of the Flies’? Not often I can tell you but Mike dopes and that is why he is a step above your average emcee. He waxes lyrical about his upbringing and the things that his family have been able to see him go through on his path. A deeply personal track that works well. The last track on the album sounds a lot like some of El-P’s Cannibal Ox work and has Mike professing his love for Rap music. In this case R.A.P. is an acronym for Rebellious African People Music. He pays homage to all of the music’s that gave birth to Hip Hop.

  “I've never really had a religious experience in a religious place. The closest I've ever come to seeing or feeling god is -- listening to rap music. Rap music is my religion”

When Mike says the above quote you get the feeling that he believes this completely and this is why this album works so well.

To summarise this album is without a doubt great. Simple as that. It brings together to strong elements of Hip Hop to create a project that is stronger than its parts. Mike at times remind me of Scarface and at other times Big Boi. He is political and philosophical without falling into the usual stereotypical pitfalls. El-P provides a beautifully chaotic soundscape for Mike to rhyme over made up of crisp drums, heavy bass and synths. The two work together to great effect and I hope that this is not the last time work together. The album is cohesive and consistent providing thought provoking intelligent rhymes over original beats. A strong contender for album of the year in my opinion and I hope it will reach the audience it deserves. 5 out of 5.

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

London Juice Crew Concert officially cancelled

There have been rumours doing the rounds for the last few weeks but yesterday HMV finally made it official and notified ticket buyers that they would be getting a refund minus the booking fee of course(robbing bas**rds). It was announced back in January and immediately seemed to good to be true and then in Feb MC Shan started stating that it wasn't going to happen, then Masta Ace saying it was and then last week DJ 279 said it wasn't going to happen. Now HMV, owners of the Venue have officially started giving refunds.

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Juice Crew comes to London

On Monday the 9th of April the Juice Crew comes to London's HMV Forum in Kentish Town. Tickets are £30 each from HMV tickets.

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Plug 1 and Plug 2 are First Serve

I understand that De La Soul’s Plug 1 and 2, Pos and Dave, are doing their own project together without Maseo, Plug 3. For the purpose of this concept album they will be First Serve. Pos n’ Dave have created the character aliases Jacob “Pop Life” Barrow and Deen Whittier for the forthcoming self-titled album. The album is a collaboration with French producers team 2 & 4, it charts the story of two Queens NY teenagers who spend their time in a basement dreaming of making it big in Hip Hop. Check out the trailer above which sees our heroes deep in character and listen below to “Pushin’ Aside, Pushin’ Along”. A new track which samples the opening piano stabs of the Thomas the Tank engine theme. I look forward to this project; Pos and Dave are always good value for money and its nice to see them trying something new although I am unsure if I am happy about Maseo's absence but any De La is better than none. Now would it be too much to ask for that third installment of the Art of Intelligence series and maybe a rerelease of the Clear Lake Auditorium EP ? De La Soul's Plug 1 & Plug 2 present First Serve - Pushin' Aside, Pushin' Along by FIRST SERVE