Posts Tagged ‘us hip hop’

The ‘Klashnekoff Appreciation’ Post

July 30, 2009

In 2004, as 50 began his carbine-round rise to superstardom and the Dirty South started grabbing attention, I switched my musical focus to UK rap. Following what was happening stateside grew increasingly tedious. US rap became greedy and predictable and, much like a child with ADHD, obsessed with anything new and shiny, regardless of substance or merit. Later, when Lil’ Jon, the embodiment of lazy, MTV media hype, was propelled into pop culture for shouting a series of simple affirmatives, I decided enough was enough.

Buying narcissistic MC’s CD’s, only to hear them battle an invisible opponent, or affirm some self perpetuated macho image, or say how much more money they have than me for 35 minutes, was no longer the one. I started looking for music that was a little closer to home, not just geographically, but lyrically and conceptually. I needed something that would tickle my teenage sense of rebellion. Through Dre I quickly discovered an MC from Hackney called Klashnekoff and bought his debut release, The Sagas.

Sagas (which when I last looked on Amazon was on sale for £25) changed my whole outlook on rap music. There was a ferociously rebellious and yet conscious energy at its heart, the kind all good rap music has, and it wasn’t tied up in Wu-Tang gangsterisms or Post-Civil Rights protest, a la Public Enemy. Its organic sound, sorely lacking from rap music at the time, made Klashnekoff’s descriptions of claustrophobic urban life, modern relationships, hate, promise and death seem all the more heartfelt and real. Even Murda, a song described by Klashnekoff himself as ‘very obvious’, has more lyrical depth to it than most rap artists’ albums.

For me, The Sagas Of Klashnekoff set the bar for UK rap, a bar that hasn’t been raised since. So, with news of a new Klashnekoff album on the way and an impending interview with the man himself after recording of said album is finished, I thought I’d take time here to reflect over his career so far, and showcase some of his biggest tunes, and most inspirational pieces to date.