Posts Tagged ‘Rap’

Grand Taxonomy of Rap Names

September 22, 2010

Wow. Just wow. Click to enlarge.

via The Daily Swarm.

James

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Opium – freestyle

September 10, 2010

Our first foray into film.

Big look. Big up Opium!

Opium – Opium (CD RELEASE 27th September 2010)

September 7, 2010

Front Cover

Back Cover

Hailed by Wiley as a ‘don’ and held in equally high regard by many of the UK’s best urban acts (including Skepta and Tinchy) Opium is ready to step up as the UK’s next Grime star. His self-titled debut mixtape ‘Opium’ is an impassioned exploration of Grime – both lyrically and musically – and features production from Wiley, DJ Target (1xtra & Roll Deep), Chucka and Z Dot.

Released digitally on the 27th September through iTunes, Spotify and Amazon, Opium has delivered more depth and clarity with his debut than most artists can manage in a fistful of albums. Having learned his craft under the tutelage of Grime veterans Wiley and Godsgift he has steadily established his own sound and approach.

His ‘stream-of-consciousness’ lyricism breaks from the typical ego-driven MC fodder currently abundant in the scene, and is complimented on the album by consistently futuristic production.

‘My Dream’ sets the lunar tone, with mellow synths washing over Opium’s thoughtful verse. Emphatic title track ‘Opium’ is a version of the Wiley space-stomper and ‘Empire’ is the glossy lead single in which he muses over his legacy and future.

Being of Turkish descent and having lived in Munich for a number of years, Opium subtly expresses his own cultural experiences through music. The mixtape cover cleverly conceals his nations’ flag within world of his own making. As ‘My Dream’ says, it’s time to “scrap everything old and start feeling new.”

Opium ‘Opium’ is released digitally on 27th September via iTunes, Amazon and Spotify.

Big up Threefold’s Dre for the artwork, and myself for the words. 😛

Kristian

Unsung Heroes of The Hop.

August 3, 2010

For this instalment were going back to 1989. A year when one Texan sporting a LA Kings Cap moulded a west coast sound that would emanate through the nineties. Let me cut right to the chase here – nobody was spitting like this in ’89. The only people who even came close were sitting on another coast – with another sound.

D.O.C

Without The D.O.C, there is no N.W.A. The Texas native became one of the most prolific ghostwriters in hip hop, helping write classic tracks on Straight Outta Compton & The Chronic. The D.O.C. got his chance with No One Can Do It Better. With Dr. Dre behind the boards, The D.O.C. shined with a lyrical prowess unlike any member of N.W.A. (even Cube). D.O.C. broke all the conventions and rules for rhyming at the time. He interweaved his rhymes in and out of bars, ran off beat at will and never once insulted the listener with a sackful of verbiage. Tracy Curry looked destined for greatness before an unfortunate car accident damaged his vocal chords.

Back when Cube – was rollin wit Lorenzo in a Benzo
I was bangin wit a gang of instrumentals,
got the pens and pencils, got down to business;
but sometimes the business end of this shit can turn your friends against you
but you was a real nigga, I could sense it in you
I still remember the window of the car that you went through
that’s fucked up – But I’ll never forget the shit we been through
and I’ma do whatever it takes to convince you, cuz you my nigga D.O.C

No One

The D.O.C. continued to assist behind the scenes; working closely with Snoop and Dre’s on future releases. He was even introduced to a whole new generation (who may have never heard of him previous) through placements on Grand Theft Auto & EA Sports soundtracks in the mid noughties. Revisiting tracks like ‘It’s Funky Enough” “Mind Blowin” or “Whirlwind Pyramid,” it’s easy to see why The D.O.C. looked destined to be in everyone’s top 10 of all-time. No One Can Do It Better may not be as well known as The Chronic or Straight Outta Compton but it’s on the same level, if not higher.

Unsung Hero of the Hop.

The D.O.C

Dré

Artist Feature: Skurge

June 10, 2010

Logan’s belated May blog post pointed me in the direction of this Bay Area MC. I’m always intrigued to hear Yank MC’s respective takes on our sound and after doing some stealthy google work, I found his facebook page. Full up with Music clips and downloads, I got to hear what he’s got to offer and may I say now that Skurge is sick.

Taken from his facebook page:

“Skurge is a member of Sammie Award Winning Hip Hop Group, Righteous Movement. He is all styles. With a sharp delivery and lyrics that often find their mark, Skurge has been effective at giving the listeners what they want to hear. Real, Raw, Hip Hop”

Whilst he doesn’t  jump on what we call ‘Grime’, his music has that same raw element.  He has an infectious drawn-out delivery which slides over some rather tasty, weighty production. The mastering is perfect – an area Americans have always excelled in. They can make a Lil Jon record sound ‘full’ FFS!

Take a trip to his Fan Page and listen to ‘Nobody’, ‘Goose’ or ‘Open Container’ all of which are available for download. Disgusting!

Facebook
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Kristian

GRIME 2010

February 14, 2010

Listen to these and see why the majors are once again paying Grime attention.


Maxsta & Swindle – Back to Grime


Skepta – 2 + 2


Wiley, Ghetts, Devlin & Shifty – 3,2,1 Go!


Ghetts – Artillery


Skepta – Bad Boy (D-Structo Remix]

LEVELS ARE UPPING! Grime is on the rise.

Kristian

Boy Better Know – We’re Goin’ In

November 3, 2009

Bit late I know, but I had to blog about it. Good look for BBK – a good example of genre-disregarding music. Unsure of the vocoder, but the blended verse at the end is a really good idea, and Jammer is hilarious! When Donatella asks Skepta ‘Where can you see this being played?’ during this Grime Daily interview, and he stumbles for an answer, I couldn’t help but laugh.

I feel Grime fans pay too much attention to these sort of things. Instead of listening to a piece of music and making a judgement based on the emotional response the piece does, or doesn’t provoke, many base it on marketplace, situation, BPM, image or genre. This has to stop.

Shank bars and productions with no commercial appeal does not equal integrity. Shank bars are so widespread they should be viewed as spuriously as 8-bar loverman chats. Just because they don’t make any money doesn’t make them any more authentic or expressive.

I welcome this new direction for BBK. Vibes. Vibes. Vibes. And I know for sure, that there are more tracks like this on their way.

Kristian.

Wiley’s New Style

October 28, 2009

Without trying to sound like rebore Wu Tang, Wiley has fathered many lyrical and musical styles. However, his recent commercial successes, whilst broadening his rapping vocabulary (or narrowing it, depending on how you look at it), have caused a bit of a dry spell on the production front.

But now, it looks like he’s back to his button-bashing best. Over the past couple of months, a few Wiley productions have surfaced that have really caught my attention. Showcasing frenetic drum patterns, little or no melody and sharp interjections of vocal snippets, they contain a hint of the old school, whilst also being totally current and banging.

They are:


Wiley feat. The England 10 – She Likes To

The drums on this kill it. With two kicks battling against skittish hihats and percussive ‘Yelps!’ this is sure to smash it in the clubs. It’s big, brash and dramatic.


Wiley & Shifty vs. Ghetts & Devlin – 1,2,3, GO

This is oestensibly a rap battle track, fully updated and pumped full of adreniline for 2009. The drums are similar to She Likes To but the repeated ‘1,2,3’ refrain adds a nice lead into each verse.

The third example is Fumin’s ‘Out Of The Game’ featuring Wiley, Ice Kid, Jookie Mundo and Diesle, but I couldn’t find a video for it 😛 Sick new style for the Godfather, proving there’s plenty of life in him yet.

Kristian.

Manga – The Adventures Of Manga Review

October 28, 2009

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Manga is a bit of a Grime anomaly; a high-pitched, skippy, bespeckled MC whose bars frequently reference style, garms and crepes, yet unlike most rarely stray into badman territory. As a Roll Deep member, his playful persona often seems at odds with the rest of the group – especially when ‘Skeng’ is the main topic topic of conversation (which it often is.) As such, he has faced stick and general ignorance from both MC’s and fans.

Nevertheless, the perpetually adidas-clad MC has persevered, embracing his differences for debut mixtape ‘The Adventures Of Manga’, released earlier this week. Comprised of a curt 10 tracks, the free download features guest spots from Lady Chann and long time sparring partner J2K, and production from Scratchy, Wiley and Bless Beats.

‘The Adventures of…’ starts as any debut Grime mixtape should – with a collection of snippets showing us Manga’s musical journey thus far. If nothing else, in an era of throwaway music, it reminds us why we should pay attention. Verses cut from ‘When I’m ‘Ere’, ‘Fully Involved’ and ‘Do Me Wrong’ set the right tone; a short, stark reminder of this MC’s calibre and his lyrical dexterity.

Indeed, on closing track ‘freestyle’, Manga showcases a colder, ruthless side that has rarely – if ever – been seen before. Addressing his musical demons and stereotypes, he proves that there is substance to back his bubbly delivery. Which begs the question, why include it as the last track? There it is a footnote, whereas if included earlier, it could have been a bold statement of intent.

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The imaginatively titled ‘Style’ featuring Roll deep affiliate J2K is undoubtedly the mixtapes’ highlight. Over a big bastard of a bassline and skittering drums, the pair talk with finesse about their favourite subject. Given their previous form this should sound tired, but they manage to keep it fresh and enjoyable and more importantly – Grimey.

In fact, from the Chemical Brothers-sounding ‘Me Nar Like You’ through to menacing Scratchy-produced ‘Rampage’, this mixtape showcases a rich tapestry of Grime textures within a dancier, more upbeat context. Yet, unlike many ‘GrimewiddabittaFunky’ mixtapes, this isn’t in any way a compromise. ‘Activity’, Danny Weed’s production of the year makes a welcome appearance, although one is left with the impression that the self-named Sir Matchalot could have hit the much-versioned beat a lot harder.

Unfortunately that is one of this mixtapes’ shortcomings. Whilst you can appreciate and enjoy Manga’s stylistic differences, you just wish he’d punch those lines home and add a little dynamism to his delivery. With such skippy, syllable-governed flows, it’s easy to lose track. The radio clips included on the tail-end of ‘Grime Activity’ hit harder than some of the tracks and if Manga is to become top three, he should recognise this and adapt.

This is a solid mixtape, full to the brim with style and should be a welcome addition to any Grime fan’s MP3 library. A great start for Manga, although he will have to shout louder if he is to step out of Roll Deep’s shadow.

Download here.

Kristian

P.S. – Check out Fullygrown’s interview with the man himself here.

P.P.S. Respect to Lady Chann, apologies for the mistake… check her MySpace here.

One To Watch – P-Money

September 24, 2009

Grime music has always had a healthy fascination with violence and videogames. Boy Better Know member JME is renowned for his love of the virtual platform, frequently infusing his lyrics with playful references to Street Fighter and Call Of Duty. ‘Chillin’ Wid Da Mandem’, Dizzee’s romantic ode to his compatriots on latest album ‘Tongue ‘N’ Cheek’, details a particularly boisterous Pro Evo sesh.

Grime’s heady combination of brutal lyrics and synthesized Gameboy beats is almost poetic; a metaphor for how modern consumerist lifestyles and digital entertainment have eroded our sense of empathy, understanding and respect for fellow man and replaced it with a ‘carrot-on-a-stick’ pursuit for 1up-manship.

God I’m good…

And so, on that light and refreshing note, allow me to introduce the number one contender for Grime’s poet laureate, P-Money.

Hailing from Lewisham, South-East London, P-Money’s responsible for some of the most exciting Grime music to have been released this year. His debut mixtape ‘Coins to Notes’ – made available for free download in early 2008 – was widely applauded by Grime fans for it’s diversity in sound and constantly high level of barring. Peppering tracks such as ‘Back in Time’ and raucous street anthem ‘What Did He Say?’ with breathless tenacity, P’s skippy flow was lauded as one of the most exhilarating in the scene.

Since then, P-Money has made 3 releases which, despite some solid features, failed to excite as much his debut. ‘Coins to Notes’ follow-up ‘A Little Back Then With Now’ was exactly what the name suggested and featured a collection of P’s previous hits as well as snippets from the brooding, although ultimately disappointing ‘P-Money Is Power’ album.

His third and latest release however, ‘Money Over Everyone’, signals a return to previous form and is going down a storm in the scene, placing him firmly in the top third of the Grime MC league table.

Don’t just take my word for it. Giveaway paper The Metro did a feature on him last Friday, and lead single ‘1up’ – his Super Mario themed banger (produced by Royal T) – is all over the radio. On it, P displays an aggressive, yet playful wit that is a breath of fresh air in a scene that takes itself too seriously.


P-Money – 1up

It is unashamedly juvenile and all the more appealing for it. Other standout tunes from the CD include ‘Left the Room’ and ‘Fruit and Veg’, both of which are irresistibly catchy and draw P’s larger-than-life persona to the fore. With Funky grabbing all the attention and MC’s flocking to commercial markets, it’s good to see P-Money secure a niche that is hard, fast and wholeheartedly Grime.

P-Money’s appeal therefore, much like Mario after consuming a mushroom, can only get stronger.

P-Money’s CD ‘Money Over Everyone’ is available from HMV and iTunes.
Check out his myspace here.
Search Facebook for ‘King P-Money’

Kristian