Just when this winter was getting too much to handle, Mungos Hi-Fi alongside Kenny Knots have pulled out a scorcher to warm your bones! This is ‘The Brand New Bangarang’ to warm up the dancehall session! “Selecta Selecta!! DJ! DJ”. You can hear the influences of the Unity sound days, the days that saw Kenny Knots as a rising star in London. Kenny proved his talent then, and is now still continuing his great legacy as a true UK reggae ambassador. On this Album you will hear the clear cut sound of Mungos Hi Fi with the hard hitting drum beats and heavy heavy bass lines, and Kennys sweet voice and lyrical ability smoothes this album over to be a complete, well mixed and produced example of the modern era of reggae music in the UK. The album has a real good bounce to it, when listening to some of the tunes, it really reminds me the style of Unity Sounds in the late 80s in London. Back then they produced all the tunes on a Casio keyboard, and they had a real simple but unmatchable style at the time. Mungos Hi Fi have brought this vibe back but in a 2013 stylee and are doing it well!
Since listening to this album for the first time, I have been hooked on it, for me it’s some of the best Mungo’s Hi-Fi I have heard for a long time, and an extra treat to hear this great singer on such a versatile tip showing everyone what he’s got. The album is a real party album, filled with killas fitting to all moods. Mungo’s are doing their ting and its sounding good so nothing more to do than go to your local record shop, grab a copy and Turn the amplifier to full and “get ready fe rock it in the dancehall, good vibe ina the dance”
This time Mungo’s Hi Fi are leaning in the dub-step corner teaming up with Mr Williamz and Yellow Man. Mr Williamz debut album in 2008 ‘Babylon in Helicopter’ got to No1 in the US reggae singles chart and has since then been releasing plenty of tunes and getting air play all over. Now he has linked with Mungos Hi Fi and they have produced a real basement shaker of a tune! For all dub step fans this tune is a must to get your ears to. But Mungos have not forgotton about their reggae roots and have got Yellowman pon the riddim too, always a pleasure to hear an old school veteran still on the microphone.
Digitaldubz and Brother Culture:
Selecta him good!!! Brazil’s finest Digitaldubz are sending shickwaves through South America and beyond playing their digital vibes. Their sound reminds me a lot of the Jah Tubby’s vibe in the 80s. One of the most sought after digi tunes like ‘Selecta him good’ come straight into my head when I heard this latest release. Brother Culture eases over this riddim and Holds sown the vibe like no other. He is a great UK talent as he proved with his massive hit ‘Ing’ a few years ago, he’s still standing strong as one of the finest artists around today. Dont miss this brand new release, sure to keep the vibes rockin!
There’s a Cherokee legend about two wolves. A grandfather explains to his grandson that inside of everyone exists two of these creatures. Whilst one wolf thrives on aggression, anger, egotism, arrogance and superiority; the other feasts on faith, truth and benevolence. The grandson asks: ‘Which wolf will win’ and the Grandfather answers: ‘The one you decide to feed’.
As an artist, Tyler has been the former of the two wolves of the tale. A disturbing and angst-ridden teenager seemingly fuelled by controversy. But two years after the release of ‘Goblin’, the addition of a TV show, accolades for fellow group members and his face appearing more frequently in the media – exposure has arguably led to the wolf’s teeth being blunted.
With the most polarized of fan opinions in hip-hop that I can ever remember. ‘Wolf’ provides an opportunity for both advocates and disposers to find some sort of middle ground. Whilst the jury is still out on his abilities, some still question whether this phenomenon is the result of a fluke.
There’s a side of the album, spun together from the loops of broken synths and those uneasy overtones. Unfortunately people won’t be wrong to suggest that at times, tracks sound lazily developed and unfulfilling.
Fortunately, to counteract this are the minutes of jazzy interludes. Which serve only to tame the beast. They don’t serve to be anything but filler. This form conflicts with the competencies Tyler has. Meanwhile ‘Trashwang’ is at times incoherent and ‘Slater’ just comes off a lazy track. Whilst featuring Frank Ocean heavily, only seems to facilitate his claim in that this appearance retracts all his hideously homophobic statements over the years.
On the other side, tracks like ‘Pigs’ and even ‘Domo 23’ (which caught some slack from the needle drop). Develops his character, it becomes much less agitated – free from the confines of shock tactic rap. Whilst most critics are calling the move more reflective, the avid fan of Tyler will just say these are a result of a continuation of topics he now feels comfortable to touch upon.
‘Ifhy’ Is an extension of Goblin’s ‘She’ and where you’ll find Tyler’s best lyrical proficiencies demonstrated. Producer, Pharrell’s experience saves the day where loops would start to get repetitive and makes things engaging for the full 5 minutes. ‘Rusty’ brings a real west-coast ring, an unintentional rebuttal to the cyphers of the Pro-Era crew. ‘Colossus’ is a heart (or gential) -felt story of a ‘Stan’ describing his love from Tyler, eluding to the more playful side of the Creator and a throwback to the ‘Yonkers’ track that was the catalyst to his popularity.
Altogether, the album does little to distinguish the animal we’re truly dealing with. There’s an element of his genius – particularly ‘Answer’ telling his absent father of his increasing the resentment is a beautiful track. Times like this the ‘Wolf’ becomes a fan’s best friend. But ultimately, Tyler’s bravado is only just enough to carry him through the project. Although it’s a good effort, you have to wonder how an artist so self-aware still manages to proceed with frustrating directions.
Ironically, ‘Wolf’ will only be a big hit to those types of fans which he denounces in ‘colossal’. All the reviews thus far have described the album as ‘introspective’ with ‘gorgeous’ beats. Simply put, this isn’t the case. Sure, this time it’s much more personal – but still at an arm’s length. The beats – are softer but not to the point they enrich the experience, only dumb it down. It’s a shame the leader of the wolf-pack hasn’t preyed upon the opportunity to mark his territory as a great.
You could say that someone limiting his or her choice to one style or era of rap music is what can lead a person to reiterate, “Hip Hop is dead”. To truly believe for example that there’s been nothing good since the 1990s means some people miss out on a lot of good ish! As MC MellO once said “Open up you mind, see what you can find…”
So attention! New tings a gwan! It’s time to open a fresh Tetra pack! Juice Aleem (New Flesh) is back and he’s not alone. The mighty Roots Manuva produces Aleem’s new single, “MoorKaba Lightbikes”. Apparently this task took place on an airplane in full flight. But consider this, I think the press release has played down the genesis of this track. A more likely scenario is, these dudes were on a Sun Ra fact finding mission zooming up to Saturn. As they circled the planet Mecca style, they created this fire filled track.
I can’t lie when it comes to my thoughts on rap and I have to say, the first 3 seconds I heard had a slight disco’ish thump and I did pause for thought. However, 4 seconds and beyond the true madness of this track was unleashed. Clashing, crashing drum pattern, frenetic electronica combined with electric guitar style distortions rage forth. Juice’s far from center lyrics interspersed with forthright vernacular that can bring grins and create thought. Make no mistake; this is a tune to stomp to. “The dark matter passes right through you…” indeed. The Ebu Blackatude Shadowless remix has a dub vibe and I think I detected what sounds like old style dial-up Internet noises in the mix! As you immerse yourself in the sounds, take Aleem’s advise to “ Eat up ya Spinach, sup on ya Guinness…” you’ll need to as the whole thing is energy fueled.
Juice raps swiftly but with clarity. It’s frustrating when an emcee is speeding away but you only catch one word per verse. This is not the case with Aleem. And this leads me on to, in traditional terms, the ‘B side’ track “ AnuMal is produced by Bay Area’s Neurotic Nate. It’s a call to arms situation. The battle has commenced and this track delivers rough stuff. We are further treated with a Kashmere Iguana Man remix that makes you feel you are zooming along on a Yamaha in a Motorcycle race! It’s a heavy mix. There are acapellas of both tracks to crown the whole episode.
Juice Aleem on the mic with Roots Manuva, Kashmere . Ebu Blackatude. Neurotic Nate on the boards is a true meeting of minds. Aleem’s forth-coming album release “VooduStarChild” is an event to anticipate.
I have to say I love the concept of the EP music format. It brings me memories of the so-called ‘Golden Era’ of Hip Hop. The first EP I ever bought was Ice Cube’s ‘Kill At Will’ and from that I always have had great expectations from music released in that format. It’s a snappy something to fill time in between your favorite artists album releases. EP’s are also a welcomed holiday from epic 20 or more track releases that some rappers insist on doing even when they really should listen again and trim off half the tracks before unleashing it on us weary rap fans. The uncompromising emcee Cappo does it correct with concise short EPs and albums that run generally 10 to 13 tracks with no filler.
Cappo’s new 5 track EP is “Unprogrammable Raw”. It’s rammed full of his word-dense flows over production that is lush and in less capable hands would have been a vehicle for mushy bullshit lyrics.
Track 1 “Swagbasco” introduces us to Hip Hop’s very own hot sauce! The Godfather-esque beats adds to the food flavor of this opening track – “I’m cooking a storm up / Scotch Bonnet and Swagbasco the skin is piping” It’s a fly opening track from an emcee straight out of Nottingham City. A place that’s been repping hard in our Hip Hop scene from way back and Cappo is without question carrying the flag.
Track 2 “All I Know” has Cappo laying out his strong views on what a true emcee is and in his case It’s all he knows to put heart and soul into his material. In his own words he’s got “Breath taking Wordplay”
This is press play on your car system and drive music and track 3 “Volkswagen” plays testament to that peddle to the metal vibe.
Cappo reveals his true character in his rhymes using inventive lines and language edged with realism. We need more emcees to follow this trait of showing us they are ‘real’ and not just shouting that word at every opportunity. Sam Zircon provides the truly mesmerizing production facilitated via MPC3000, S950 and 2 tape machines that compliment Cappos rhymescheme.
To celebrate the release of the Cappo / Sam Zircon EP on Boot, Zygote and Jazz T cobbled together a remix of the track ‘Iron Flyer’. Its available on the Boot Bandcamp for free download.
The first thing I think when someone mentions the word ‘Dubstep’ is simply ‘No’. Not interested. Any shreds of what was once an interesting sub-genre in the early 2000’s has all but disappeared, and what was once actually laced with dubwise sounds and credible vocals from reggae singers and performers has quite simply descended into the farcical Skrillex lead earache that has its place on daytime Radio 1 sessions.
It would appear though that all is not lost, and there are still producers out there that don’t just capture my ears attention, but send me a tune that gets repeat plays and several notches turned up on the amplifier. Here we have a heavy pressed DJ friendly 7”. I wasn’t previously aware of the Powa Cuts recording stable or its team, but what I’ve heard here, really is doing it. The Powa Cuts label is run by Max Powa, of Austrian descent now working out of Spain. Max is in fact known, without my realising as working on several ragga jungle and dub tracks with genre leader Jacky Murda, but on this outlet he teams up with German executive producer Lenny Roots. The results are big.
A: Prince Alla and Seanie –T ‘Great Stone’.
The intro kicks off with lush authentic Jamaican sounds which really sets the tone for the whole tune. Hammond organ and bass trickles along for mere seconds before big bad bass drops and Prince Alla’s voice instantly pleases. Hailing from Kingston Jamaica and with one of the richest most sincere and honest deliveries, you can hear every word come from deep in the soul. The bass sound is also deep soundsytem dub sounding, owing more to dub and steppa’s perhaps, and a far cry from the aforementioned distorted Radio 1 rubbish. The drums are half time in pace and has a nice dancing feel with the Hammond organ intermittently warming the senses. The second section with the same vibe gets a massive kick in the rear from another Kingston town vocalist Seanie T. His fast lyrical style really picks it up yet the rapid fire lyrics still manage to shoot down Babylon, the main theme of the tune. It is masterfully produced by Lenny Roots. The vocals were all recorded on a trip to Jamaica and the vibe and authenticity is obvious throughout, a really big tune that I cant wait to play peak time on a big set of speakers.
B: Max Powa & Jake Savona ‘Great Dub’
As with most ‘Dubs’ the tune retains the main backbone of the A-side, and makes subtle changes that offers up a somewhat more laidback effort. With the main vocals taken out, Max Powa sticks the echo chamber on and chops the vocals up a bit. The bass line isn’t as in your face and is a little warmer, the organ steps up a bit will be very much welcome for those that don’t do big vocals in their set.
This release is a massive breath of fresh air. UK Bass culture is already in very good shape with independent sound systems nationwide blasting Dub, Jungle, Hip Hop and Drum and Bass. I must say though it’s been a while since I’ve heard thing from this genre that instantly made me want to get up and write about it.
With one release under their belt already from the mighty Horace Andy and having just received a cracking remix E.P, with further news of an imminent new release, I will be waiting keenly for more music from this Label and will be spinning this tune with a smile this summer. Top Marks.
You can check out Powa Cuts online at www.powacuts.com and you can buy the physical release from all good record stores and in digital form via the labels page at https://soundcloud.com/powa-cuts … Check it out!
With UK hip hop in rude health right now, and vinyl sales still rising, despite apparently trying to die for about 10 years, it’s great to see artists and labels pushing the boat out to both deliver vinyl releases with an air of collectability and more so with a bit of mystery.
On this special Fat Hop release, on DJ friendly heavy 7″, we have two cut’s of B-boy style hip hop, littered with classic breaks, beats and a healthy dose of spot on cuts and scratches from ITSO UNO, who as it goes is label owner DJ Jerome Hill. A firm favourite of London’s techno and live electronics scene, Jerome has put his vast knowledge of hip hop, breaks and bass into the blender with his excellent studio productions skills to show where his influences come from.
ITSO UNO, his alter ego delivers another killer selection here, starting up with A side ‘Noise of the B-boy’. It kicks off with a funky break, and straight off features Jerome Hills classic scratching to drop in more percussion that sets off the first of many funky bass breaks. With samples lifted from Art of Noise’s classic ‘closer to the edit’ and relentless old school samples and b-lines it produces smile after smile for those that know their classic breaks.
On the flip is ‘Murder Scene Concerto (in Bass)’. An altogether darker affair as the title would suggest, and my personal favourite, although both cuts are a must. This tune again displays the producer’s second-to-none knowledge of the old school and features an unforgettable vocal hook from Heavy D. Heavyweight bass drives all the way through with added movie murder scene stabbing sounds. What’s not to like? B-boys old and new will massively dig this.
The whole thing sounds great, and as with all previous releases on Fat Hop, it’ll be sure to fly out as it’s a limited release. Go get it!
Fat Hop 003 is available now from Chemicaluk.com as well as all good record shops.
Ty, aka Ben Chijoke, hit us this April with the release of his brand new EP ‘A Kick Snare and an Idea’. Many of you know and love the well-established UK rapper for his numerous past successes, but for those who don’t know- well let’s just say this man is not shy to the scene. Previously being signed to Big Dada record label and nominated for 2003 Mercury Award for his album ‘Upwards’, makes it clear this man knows what he is doing when he picks up pen to paper. The signing early this year to record label ‘Tru Thoughts’, who of which hold a host of talented artists from Quantic to Hot 8 Brass Band, shows an exciting new turn in the artists musical endeavours.
The release of ‘A Kick Snare and an Idea’ demonstrates Ty’s talent and craftsmanship with words still stand strong ten years after his Mercury nomination. By offering us a variation of subjects and flow alongside eclectic beats, it gives us listeners a chance to take in a deep breath of fresh air and witness something that goes against any conforming grain. It is clear that the key theme that runs like a gold thread throughout the EP is his thoughts on music culture today. The artists passion for music and how it currently stands is poured into every part of this three track treat.
The opening track ‘Like you Never’ has already hit YouTube by a storm with thousands of views. It is definitely in my opinion the best track on the EP, both lyrically and with the catchiest beat. Ty lays out on a plate his perception on the state of music culture today. Starting the track with lyrics “I love the music but can’t see where its at” automatically demonstrates his concern for its current position. The thought provoking bars touch upon the cliché elements of music that lacks any form of originality. As Ty says himself “upon further inspection you can see what has been borrowed”.
Now I will be honest,‘Knock Knock’ is the one track that I am not too sure of, as it originally left me with the early eighties classic ‘Pop Musik’ floating around in my head. Don’t call me crazy but I’d say that’s a bad sign. Still, after a few listens this initial ‘issue’ soon faded into just a slight concern. The sound of the chorus doesn’t sit well with me but Ty smashes it with his versus about elevating minds and Barry Manilow’s nose- I know just saying that makes you automatically more intrigued to hear what I’m talking about.
Big appreciation to the man who pumps new life into hip hop culture, but to be honest it was a bit of a grower at first. It may not hold the same weight to some of his previous releases like ‘Special kind of fool’ in 2010, but it should still be celebrated as one of Ty’s unique creations and his love for music. Rather than becoming any form of cliché, he demonstrates pure passion, which is a strong lesson that can be learnt from this artist and that in itself deserves big respect.
After a build of anticipation, H.Fitz has finally arrived with his EP ‘Over Your Head’ that dropped this March. Being buds with Wordplay’s man behind the camera Anis Ali meant that we could not wait to get our hands on this and have a listen. H.Fitz, aka Harris Tweed is one of the many talented artists that have spawned from the South West region. Part of the talented collective called Abnoxshuz Entertainment, he is recognised for his unique flow and really not giving a fuck about making any money in this game. This is a man who is on a mission to create for himself.
‘Over Your Head’ is a perfectly sized listen for you to get stuck in to if you have not heard of this guy before. Also, featuring other artists from the Abnoxshuz Ent collective, like JCA and M.A.B ultimately adds more weight to this already bass heavy EP. Tracks like ‘Do I Care?’ and ‘Over Your Head’ show off this guy’s fire spitting delivery whilst ‘Getting Nowhere’ and ‘Alter Ego’ show his frank way with words. There are a few short gems like ‘Intimate’ that you wish could be longer. The vintage beat and cheeky piano loop stands out as one of the more memorable tracks on the EP and for me one of the most played. On top of all of this, H.Fitz makes sure we get the most out of this EP by banging on an extra two bonus tracks, including a disturbing amount of alliteration that would have made your English teacher cry.
As a listen in full, it is rated but I reckon many of these tracks would be taken to a new level if they were to be heard live. There may be a few tracks in there that I wouldn’t rate as mind altering, but saying that though, H.Fitz still achieves to show off his skill in this EP. For a guy who is creating for his own satisfaction and no monetary gain, he sure as hell is blessed with swift delivery techniques. Once again for a free download off Band Camp you should show the support for H.Fitz and get listening.
Winter was the season of our discontent. Bitter cold and despite the slight spattering of tulips and daffodils in our local parks it doesn’t feel like springs arrived yet. Winter is heavy, weighed down by bad weather and 1000 jumpers its hard not start feeling heavy yourself. And a lot of rather weighty releases emerged from the frost giving us a lot to think about while waiting for a bus in freezing conditions. However, despite the cold spring is arriving we have passed the equinox and are about to embark on what promises to be a contented summer. And what a better way to escape the stern chill and fast forward to a more tropical climate than tuning in to Skillit’s latest release Skillit Bang.
Skillit Bang, for the most part is light hearted fun, with brash beats and a clear and measured flow it emits those summer vibes we’re all craving. Skillit keeps it simple, his bars are not a complex web of metaphors and can be a pleasant escape from the often grave and intense tunes that are oh so present. Preferring to spit about everyday irritations with songs such as ‘don’t block me’ and ‘remix your life’ Skillit delivers his words of wisdom and lets out his frustrations in a precise and blunt manner.
That’s not to say this album is all fun and games. Skillit does give his audience a measured amount of misery through songs such as ‘lonely’ telling the stories of various mentally isolated individuals. However, he wastes no time in returning to his preferred subject, the fairer sex and his endeavours to attract them with ‘They call me SKILLIT BANG’ releasing us from the funk of the previous song and ensuring all the ladies out there know exactly why they do call him Skillit Bang.
The beats themselves come from a cocktail of producers and all share a rather retro feel which reminds one of being sloshed at parties on summer nights, singing and skanking to amusing tunes.
Skillit Bang is a vibelicous album full of enjoyable beats that can’t help but be bopped to and bars that can’t help but amuse you. So escape the grey and the gravity of this seemingly never ending winter and download Skillit Bang and start bopping towards longer, warmer, happier days.
If there is one musical ring to unite them all, then it is Dub reggae music. The intertwined root at the heart of everything that is great and good about the bass and culture music we love here at Wordplay. Be it the ghetto blaster beginnings of hip hop, the drum and bass and jungle sound systems ripping week in week out nationwide, or the myriad of reggae styled singers keeping the soulful roots of Jamaican culture alive and very well.
And if there are three things that are well championed here at Wordplay then it is Dub music, London’s Sliver Bullet club and Red Stripe Jamaican lager.
This Friday brings the three together in a fashion to offer up ‘The Dub Show of the Decade’. The long awaited unveiling of the new African Head Charge sound system, long in the making arrives this Friday at The humble 200 capacity Silver Bullet Club in Finsbury Park teaming up with Red Stripe lager and dub legend Mad Professor.
African Head Charge are a pioneering psychedelic dub ensemble that have been active since the early 80s and are led by master percussionist and royal Rastaman Bonjo Iyabinghi Noah. They have released 18 ground breaking records to date and are one of On-U Sounds longest serving musicians. Well respected and renowned worldwide they continue to transform the landscape of contemporary reggae into innovative and electrifying shapes. This event see’s them team up with Legendary ‘Second wave’ dub legend Mad Professor to carry on a long relationship to unite in dub and break in the new sound system in style.
A disciple of Lee “Scratch” Perry, Mad Professor was one of the leading producers in dub reggae’s second generation. His Dub Me Crazy albums helped Dub music make the transition into the digital age, when electronic productions started to take over mainstream reggae in the ’80s. His space-age tracks not only made use of new digital technology, but often expanded dub’s sonic blueprint, adding more elements and layers of sound than his forebears typically did. In the mid-’90s, he returned to the basics, debuting a more retro-sounding style on the Black Liberation Dub series. He also runs his own studio and label, Ariwa, which is home to a stable of vocalists and some of the finest British reggae productions of the era.
Support DJ’s and singers on the night offer up a who’s who of the modern era. INCIENT ANGEL // Incient angel is a wise minded musical leader with a fast growing fan base and a universal message of peace & unity. Born from devout Rastafarian parents & blessed in the Nyahbinghi order, he has been perfecting his unique, peacefully bliss voice since the age of 7, and is fast receiving recognition from the reggae fans far and wide..
LIONESS FONTS // With her album debut ‘Calling Me Home’ soon to be released and a succession of European shows under her belt this UK Fyah artist is quickly making moves to the masses. Lioness Fonts is fierce behind the mic and has an efficacious energy that echoes through her music and one I certainly look forward to. Last but no means least see the FENOMENO SHOW + SAMURAI // “Strictly vinyl, mostly rarities”, is his motto. Offering an Old school selection serving a 360° view of reggae music from Ska, Rocksteady, Roots, Rub-a-Dub, Dub to new roots and Dancehall since 2005. He has played alongside Trojan Sound, Aba Shanti, Channel One and Zion Train, OneLove, Mungos Hi-Fi, & DreadZone to name a few.
With a line-up like that, in venue with such a rich history of hip hop, and dubs artist having graced it’s four walls, (Jeru The Damaja, Lords Of The Underground spring to mind), filled with the new African Head Charge sound system, topped off with drinks offers on Red Stripe Lager, I don’t think many will need convincing to head to Finsbury Park this weekend.
The Dub show of the Decade is at Silver Bullet club, 5 Station Place, Finsbury Park, London, N4 2DH
Task Force Affiliate Ransom Badbonez and Three Headed Beast’ Twizzy team up for a 10 track album entitled ‘The Good, The Bad & The Ugly’ This gritty western album is well equipped with hard hitting boom bap and heavy hitting hooks that encapsulate both emcees fast flows and vigorous emceeing techniques.
Ransom Badbonez’ newly formed brotherhood with Twizzy also see’s features with Three Headed beast crew members, M.A.B and Jinxsta Jx and Bristol’s Jman- who is the pace maker of young MC’s, extending his lengthy list of collaborations.
‘The Good, The Bad & The Ugly’ starts with a suspenseful sample of the western film that kick starts the tone of album, the fast paced beat and Badbonez’ hook creates a menacing introduction into how Badbonez and Twizzy are going to slay their way through the album.
‘Not seeing it’ sees Twizzy advancing on his knowledge about the struggles of progression and the mental set backs, Badbonez continues, slaying metaphors and intricate wordplay to create a certified head banger.
Twizzy is accompanied by Three Headed Beast crew members, Jinxsta Jx and M.A.B who both complete drop fire on the album, Badbonez goes in hard with the THB gang on the penultimate track ‘Blow The House Down’ and comes out golden, each flow compliments the next, this is no easy feat, stepping into a crews already crafted style can and has ended in complete train crashes due to the fact that flows can sometime be complete polar opposites, thankfully this was not the case in this instance and each completely went in on their versus, aided by production from Hutch which justifies the album exceedingly well.
Jman is no exception; ‘Well Well Well’ see’s him proving himself a versatile man within the scene, his contribution shows that he can adapt to any album concept thrown at him, his team up with Badbonez is a perfect fit with both MCs delivering melancholy versus over a slower bmp track that reflects on certain challenges in life. ‘Well Well Well’ adds a nice reclined feel to the album, with a soft simple guitar chord looping around the beat, Badbonez and Jman deliver their individual subject matter with ease.
‘The Essence’ produced by Hutch overflows with therapeutic vibes, taking your mind on a peaceful journey assembled with well thought pensive versus, a nice wind-down track at the end of the album to finish a journey.
‘The Good, The Bad & The Ugly’ is now available on bandcamp for a measly £4- support the cause and dig deep into your pockets.
It’s always dope to see crews still going strong after 30+ years, so it was a pleasure to get an exclusive interview with currently one of the most active members of the legendary Dynamic Rockers Crew, Kid Glyde:
Yo, my name’s Kid Glyde, I’m from New York, I represent Dynamic Rockers and we’ve been around since 1979.
Whenever I Think of New York I always assume that the hiphop scene is thriving, what’s the breakin’ scene like over there at the moment? The breakin’ scene is a bit commercial, we do have an underground scene which has blown up again. Around 2006/2007 a lot of breakin’ events were happening, I was one of the event promoters that helped bring the scene back to where it is. There’s a lot of young, inspired kids in the scene right now, a lot of them are doing other peoples moves but you know, they’re young.
And how about the current scene for graff and MC’ing? I’m not really in touch with the MC’ing community but I’m starting to get more involved with the graffiti scene since I’ve been working with 5 Pointz. From what I’ve seen at 5 Pointz there’s always artists there, coming from all over the world, but 5 Pointz is usually from May – October.
Have you ever tried Graffiti or MC’ing? I’ve tried to rap but I sound pretty corny. I can draw but my handwriting’s pretty bad, I need to work on that but I really wanna get into being a graff head.
Who are your favourite MC’s? Gotta say Rakim, 2pac, I like Jay Z, Nas, I had the pleasure of meeting Nas and performing with him one time. Actually I’ve also had the pleasure of performing with Rakim, that was a great achievement of mine. I like a bit of everybody but those are the main artists I like.
Being in a crew that’s over 30 years old, is the current crew tight and do the OG’s still get involved? Yeah, ever since our anniversary in 2011, a lot of the OG’s came back, the crew did split up back then when the dance became very commercialised around 1982, Dynamic Breakers was established, but after the Anniversary they came through and represented with us and Dynamic Rockers because they were Dynamic Rockers originally. We’ve been getting in touch a lot lately because they’ve seen what we’re doing now to help keep the name and they’re very appreciative of that. Even the founder who retired at 18, he’s coming around now and he’s happy, we love to live up to the name and learn a lot more from the elders. The crew’s very tight right now, we had a lot of changes, a lot of people left, a lot of people came back and that’s that.
What inspired you to dance? At first what inspired me was how natural it felt, I believe my Dad that I did learn when I was younger because the stuff I was getting when I was 12 years old felt too easy, I was learning everything really really fast. What Inspired me was mostly just trying to break out of my shell, I was a really shy kid and loved all the attention and joy I got from doing it. I didn’t really have any other outlet besides playing video games, I had no motivation, I had no vision of what I was gonna do. Dancing I always had a vision of getting certain moves and being better, always working on the next thing and that’s what inspired me in my life. I apply all the things I’ve learnt through breakin’ to my life.
Many would argue that the 90′s was the golden era for rap, what was it like living in New York at that time? I was still a young kid, I lived in the hood but then I moved out at a certain age so I didn’t really get to experience it but when I was there I used to love hiphop, playing basketball and listening to stuff, but I was only like 9/10/11 years old at that time. Once I became 12 I moved to the suburbs of Long Island and things were different, there was a different culture, I went from an all black school to an all white school, that opened my eyes, it was really different. They weren’t really into hiphop as much and all the other spanish kids that were there, they were more into the spanish culture. Me and a few select people there were into hiphop, KRS ONE dropped one track and all the bboys I knew were on it and that was one of the few songs I remember, we’d bug out to that. But I wasn’t really focussed on hiphop culture when I was at school.
What’s been your most memorable battle and why? My most memorable would be Rocksteady Anniversary, 2009, I went to the concrete battle, I wanted to win it and I did. The next day I went to Frenemies, which is a concept where everybody battles everybody, I went there to just battle everyone, I didn’t think about winning but I won and I got the chance to represent the US at the UK Champs. Just going through that, battling everybody, letting the music guide me, that was one of my most memorable moments because I was free.
Which up and coming dancers should we look out for? My crew, look out, my crew’s coming hard. We got Sweet Lu who’s already out there, we got Evade who’s a monster, Form, yo he helped change my footwork, this guy’s from Brooklyn, he don’t even do a 6 step, he calls his steps cars and he’s always talking about how many different cars he has, his termanologies freaking dope. He learned from a different camp to me so it’s dope to know him and to learn, everyday I learn. I got Spidey, I’m telling you, he’s gonna be in the Red Bull BC One in like 5 years, this guy is incredible, Loose Lee is insane. Other bboys in New York, I don’t know, I would say little X-Fenz coming up, there’s a lot that I can’t think of right now, I’m just mostly thinking of my crew. There’s a lot of new talent in New York, there’s this cat in Norway who was killing it when I last went there, when I went to IBE there was some cats that caught me by suprise in the footwork battle. There’s a lot of bboys coming up, the future is coming up. I’m 29, I’m still in the game and I can still hang with these cats and I’m gonna show them how to really do it.
Lastly shout outs to my Mum, my Dad, I love you guys, you’re incredible parents, but if it wasn’t for you guys I wouldn’t be who I am right now, my daughter, I appreciate you so much, I love you, my family support me 100%, my friends, my crew, even my enemies, even people that were part of the crew, I appreciate all you guys I appreciate everybody that’s been in my life and helped guide me to where I am right now. PEACE
We have a true Sci-Fi boffin in the house! Left-off-center emcee, Kashmere, aka Iguna Man, starts of his latest EP ‘Strange U’ as he means to go on. He’s had a ‘Day The Earth Stood Still moment’, like in the classic 1951 science fiction movie, tapped into his fiendish mind and is commanding via track 1 all humans or robots to ‘Klaatu Barada Niktu’. Kashmere’s musings gives us plenty to decipher. With his declaration “The Queen is a Human Being not a Lizard!” I would say Kashmere is more likely to accept concepts from Spock than from the lizard obsessed David Icke. Personally I’m waiting for the DNA result☺
His tunes have not been designed to put the listener at ease. This isn’t a middle of the road / easy listening affair. To my mind it’s the rap and production style that appeals to true heads that like a challenge and not instant gratification. Dr Zygote and Cross Bone T are the beat providers and there is nothing not to appreciate and love in any of the tracks.
‘Plastique’ is probably as much a comment on wack emcees as Z-list plastic surgery junkies. This commentary is worth making, as fakeness, in so many forms, permeates every aspect of our everyday society to the point it’s almost normal.
‘Scarlet Jungle’ comes with a military edge to it’s drum pattern and the helicopter sounds drifting in and out almost make you look above to see who is surveying the battleground as Hip Hop is always fighting a war to survive. Shadowstar Boxer the guest artist and Kashmere lyrically kill it. This track is Straight up dopeness. I would love it if someone remixed this with some Jimi Hendrix screeching guitar and I mean that sincerely. I was compelled to have this track on repeat and it gave me my “this is why I love Hip Hop” moment.
‘Rancid canvas’ closes proceedings and it has in my opinion a Doom in Vaudeville Villain mode vibe to it and that is fine by me. Kashmere suggests we “Reconfigure it! Many interesting flavors!” May I suggest that he markets some off-key named ice-lolly’s as we creep towards summer? How about Reptilian flavor? I’m gonna email him my genius idea!
In short this is an EP of dirty abstract beats and rhymes. For those who gravitate to the likes of the half-Shark Alligator Dr Octagon or if you are holding a torch for the strange yet wonderful New Flesh or Gamma crew, Kashmere and his “Strange U” is right down your alley.
Last week saw the opening of a show from a graffiti great, Tizer’s first solo show at the Pure Evil Gallery. The streets and gallery were packed all night. The paintings were a mix of graffiti and those beautiful and sometimes mad faces Tizer is well known for.
I heard he sold well and his stolen canvas was returned in the end. Everyone who attended it seemed to write on the walls all down the street, and one UK legend got arrested for tagging and promptly got naked. You couldn’t make it up :) Good fun and how art shows should be.
The show is running until the 30th March so there’s still time