November 28, 2016

Pixies Tracks Of The Week @NewhamGenerals @WileyUpdates @BlakieA @Callmecadet

Newham Generals x Wiley – Unruly

Three of Grime’s foundational and important people link up for a momentous collaboration “Unruly” where they take to the streets of Newham for a gritty Grime riddim which matches the menacing visuals.

Wiley – U Were Always, Pt.2 feat. Skepta & Belly

Wiley takes it back to old skool Roll Deep days as he brings us “U Were Always Pt.2,” sampling SWV’s ‘Fine Time”. It features North London MC’s Skepta and Belly in this sultry slow jam. This will be on his forthcoming “Godfather” album out Jan 2017.

Blakie – Can’t See Them

19 year-old South East London lyricist Blakie releases his debut single “Can’t See Them” which shows him stepping out on his own from crew The Square for this fun and energetic Grime track produced by The Square member Lolingo.

Cadet – Ooouuu (Remix)

Cadet puts his own stamp on Young Ma’s “Ooouuu” as he gives it a remix. It’s joined by dance heavy visuals that suit the bouncy track well as Cadet lays down some sick bars.

 

November 17, 2016

Sneakbo Interview

Sneakbo was one of the first artists in the UK responsible for mixing Afrobeat with Rap, which is an impressive feat. A lot of artists are now following suit, building upon the increasingly interesting platform that Sneakbo has helped create.

After 6 years of being independent, paving the way and kicking down doors for UK Rap, he’s now signed to Virgin EMI and in an even better position to become bigger than ever. He’s not had an easy life, but Sneakbo is a fighter, and his passion for music has kept him going. I caught up with the intriguing artist to find out more.

You say music saved your life. Can you tell us how?

Before music I was just out and about. When I found music it kept me focused and I didn’t get into much trouble, and I was just doing what I love and I’m getting paid for it. I know what I’m doing now and I’m doing good things.

Let’s talk about you being signed to Virgin EMI recently. Tell us the story behind it, how did it happen?

I’ve been independent for 6 years and I think it was March or April that I signed my first actual deal with Virgin EMI. It was through my manager that played them 3 singles that I had and they liked it and they signed me. We were in talks for a month before I signed the deal. Other labels were in touch, but my heart was with Virgin.

Being home to Krept & Konan and Lethal Bizzle, as well, do you feel like you’re in safe hands with the label?

Definitely. I’ve seen what they can do and it made me more confident.

Do you feel you’ve done all you could independently or was there something else behind the move?

I wouldn’t say I’ve done all I can independently, but I felt like this was the right time to get back in and see what I do with these singles, what a label can do with these singles. It wasn’t really that I can do all I can independently, it was more to see what I can do with major backing,

Do you feel in this day and age that you can be totally independent throughout all your career or do you feel we still need labels?

I believe you can do it both ways, it just depends on the artist and the team they have behind them. You can do it both ways, if you’ve got a good team you can do it independently.

You’ve smashed it independently for around 6 years gaining Top 40 singles such as ‘Zim Zimma,’ where do you see yourself going from here on?

Hopefully bigger and better results. Hopefully higher chart positions, bigger shows, better video qualities. I just feel like everything should be better. When I was independent I was doing everything that the label is doing, right now I’m not sitting back, but a lot of things are getting done that I’m not doing. There’s a major difference.

Your style is very unique, mixing Afrobeat with Rap, do you see any other artists now being influenced from your style and how do you feel seeing this?

I see loads of artists doing it now, especially the newcomers. I’m happy and it shows I’m doing something right and what I’m doing people are following it. I don’t feel they are copying or nothing like that. I’m definitely proud. At first I can’t lie, I used to feel funny when I heard a song, and I thought nah this person is copying my style. Now that people are mentioning it to me, you feel proud that people are following your style, and I’m happy people can see that. It makes me feel better. I rate J Hus, I rate Timbo, I rate Mologo.

How do you make sure your sound is always different and distinct?

I’m just focused on making bangers and hits. I’m not fussed if anyone goes with that style, I’m just focused on myself, the wave, the jetski wave.

What’s your opinion on the UK Rap scene now?

I’m proud of it. I’m happy because it’s changed a lot. 4-5 years ago you would have had to make a certain type of music to get loads of radio play, but now they accept us for our music and what we like making. It’s changed a lot.

How would you compare it to when you first started out?

A lot more underground and unsigned artists are doing a lot more shows. Before you had to be signed to kind of be doing well and doing good shows, but now you can go on Link Up TV and drop a hot song and you can do well.

How has being from Brixton influenced your style of music?

Being from Brixton I grew up with loads of Jamaicans, I’m Nigerian, but in Brixton there’s loads of Jamaicans, and when I go to the clubs and that and they used to play bashment, bashment, bashment, that’s what made me love it and start jumping on it. My new single ‘Too Cool’ it’s on a bashment track called ‘Bookshelf Riddim’ that came about from me listening to bashment from young.

What’s a defining moment that changed your career and or life?

When I made ‘Touch Ah Button’, that’s when I started getting shows and that’s what started making the industry interested in me.

You’ve just dropped your first single ‘Too Cool (Right Here)’ since being signed, what was the process behind the track, and how has the reaction been?

The reaction so far has been great. It’s getting loads of radio play, the video is doing well. I’ve had a great reaction, all my fans have been messaging me good messages about it. The video was shot in LA. My manager set it up for Nyla to be on the song, but I knew about her for a long time, she had a big song called ‘Love Is Wicked.’

Any plans for an album?

Right now I’m working on the album, I’ve got a couple songs ready, so hopefully next year I’ll have the album finished and ready to drop. The next single will hopefully be next November time, it will be wavy, even better.

What’s next for Sneakbo?

I’ve got to plan the video for the next single. Lots more work.

 

November 8, 2016

The Sounds Of UK Rap @Frankofraize @Blademusic @MicRighteous @realmostack @KojeyRadical

Franko Fraize – ‘Tell Me A Word’

Fresh from his Maida Vale session for Radio 1, Franko Fraize returned with the excellent ‘Tell Me A Word.’ It was first played by Huw Stephens, but it now comes with a video for us all to enjoy.

‘Tell Me A Word’ is the perfect example of his down-to-earth approach as he discusses the stresses of life, not talking trash about other people, and loads more. The video takes us through a journey from outside a kebab shop, down the high street, and past a packed bar. It’s witty and it’s real.

Blade Brown – ‘Plug Talk’

Blade Brown doesn’t play around when it comes to his videos and for his new one – ‘Plug Talk’ – he heads out to the Nevada desert and downtown LA.

Blade spits some hard, street bars where he states, “these n****s better listen when the plug talks, bricks on bricks on bricks man that’s a plugs thought, and now these little n****s they can’t walk with me, you need like 50,000 just to talk to me.” In the video we see Blade living an expensive lifestyle out in the states, driving a Mustang and living in a mansion.

Mic Righteous – ‘I Turn Up’

Mic Righteous is hitting us hard with some new visuals from his Dreamlandalbum which is out now and popping on the iTunes chart.

Mic’s energy on this track is 100, and he adds a comical value to the video too, making it an interesting watch. Have a read through his chorus lyrics: “What is it then? I’m down for whatever login and send, you turn up in the club with a drink, I turn up with a kosh and a pen, fuck you mean. Come to my manor with gun chatter, then get hit in the head with a buss hammer.”

Kojey Radical ft. PW- ‘Gallons’

Kojey Radical is a contemporary artist and poet who releases pieces of work that will leave you thinking. His new one – ‘Gallons’ – does just that too; it’s heartfelt and compelling and tells a story of race, class, and struggle.

The visuals are striking, showing Kojey adorned in black against the backdrop of a futuristic version of London in a dystopian world. He says of the track, “‘Gallons’ is a uniting of class, it’s a celebration of struggle. The conversation doesn’t die when you kill us. Seeds of positivity will ensure that the beauty in all our differences will come together and grow for future generations.”

Mostack feat. Krept, Konan & J Hus – ‘Liar Liar’ Remix

Mostack has been steadily on the rise this year, coming out with anthem after anthem. His ‘Liar Liar’ track (released in September) is nearing 5 million hits, but has now been given an official remix by Krept, Konan and J Hus. It’s as mad as you’d expect, with the three artists bringing their hardest bars. It bangs even harder than the original.

November 7, 2016

Pixies Tracks Of The Week @Footsie @izziegibbs @KingPMoney @SCRUFIZZER @AJFromTheLane

Footsie – My Team

Footsie dedicates a track to his team. Produced by OGTaxx of American production team 808 Mafia, Footsie spits some hard bars over a trap lead beat, lighting a spliff for the people who keep it real with him.

Izzie Gibbs – Bare Talk On Road

Izzie Gibbs hits us with a brand new video ‘Bare Talk On Road’ taken from his ‘Jutsu’ EP. We see him step out a barber shop where Big Narstie is waiting to go in. The Northampton MC delivers a message with his fierce flow.

P Money ft. JME & Wiley – Gunfingers

Three of some of Grime’s best lyricists unite for ‘Gunfingers’. P Money, JME and Wiley all throw down bars in a tribute to gunfingers, a signal done in a rave to show appreciation for the track. The track produced by Skepta has an old-skool vibe to it, and is taken from P Money’s forthcoming album ‘Live & Direct’.

Scrufizzer X Aubrey Whyte – Out & Bad

Scrufizzer switches it up for his new one with actor Aubrey White, where he gets rawer than usual for ‘Out & Bad’. Scrufizzer flows over a hard-hitting, dark beat with a heavy bassline, with his trademark adlibs present too.

AJ Tracey – Buster Cannon

One of Grime’s hottest prospects AJ Tracey drops the cinematic visuals shot in Japan to the lead single from his forthcoming EP ‘Lil Tracey’ released in December. Produced by Canada’s Tre Mission this super powered beat fits perfectly with AJ’s fast flow and dextrous wordplay.

November 1, 2016

From the corner to the stage: Dizzee Rascal at Copper Box Arena

Dizzee Rascal performed at the Copper Box Arena in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park on Saturday 22nd October – which is, of course, in the East End of London and down the road from his hometown of Bow. It was a special moment, as Dizzee returned to the stage to perform his debut, award-winning album Boy In Da Corner, 13 years after its release.

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When the album dropped, the production was noisy, rude and intelligent, and remarkably like nothing else that had been heard before (or since, really). It sounded like music bred from isolation. But last Saturday, over a decade later, 7,000 people filled the arena floors to watch Dylan Mills perform the iconic album. Warming up was friend, and another pioneer of the Grime scene, DJ Slimzee – who played tracks such as Bloodline’s ‘Side By Side’ and Terror Danjah ft Jamakabi ‘Juicy Patty.’

There aren’t many words that can describe the evening. I guess you had to be there. But if you were, you were one of the lucky ones. It was truly magical hearing this innovative album being performed live, and it took me back to my teenage days. If it wasn’t for Hyperfrank and her petition to get Dizzee to perform it again in London, and Red Bull who hosted it, this would never have happened.

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He blazed through his hour set with help from DJ MK and Bigman Scope opening with a yellow background with the black lines, trying to replicate the album cover with Dizzee sitting on a chair. He opened with track ‘Sitting Here’ with the crowd quiet, trying to take in his reflective bars.

Then the madness began as soon as ‘Stop Dat’ started with drinks flying around the standing section of the arena and mosh pits being formed, with Dizzee spraying his bars like the teenager he was when it first came out. He bounced around the stage with energy hyping up the audience as he went from side to side. He then went into another crowd favourite ‘I Luv You’ and then into ‘Brand New Day’.

DJ MK scratched the intro to ‘Fix Up Look Sharp’ whilst Dizzee jumped up and down along with the crowd who sang along to the words with him, with everyone’s hands in the air.

Another highlight of the night was when ‘Just A Rascal’ dropped and got a reload from MK as the whole crowd went wild, with Dizzee jumping up and down on the stage saying “Big up my moshpit crew,” performing the track with clarity in his skippy flow.

This album is so important to UK music, and getting the chance to relive it live was special.

October 31, 2016

Pixies Tracks Of The Week @Scorcherslife @TheCocoUK @Snow667 @donaeo @TheBugzyMalone

Scorcher ft. Mercston & Ghetts – 99 Riddim (My Ting)

Three of the original The Movement members unite for Scorchers new hard track ’99 Riddim’ (My Ting). Mercston & Ghetts join him and they all come together for the brand new visuals which adds to the nostalgic beat produced by Scholar, combining a retro feel with a fresh one. 

Coco ft. Shola Ama & Deep Green – Waters Run Deep

Sheffield lyricist Coco has been dropping hit after hit this year and his newest one will show a completely different side to him from his other tracks. ‘Waters Run Deep’ features the beautiful vocals of Shola Ama and fellow Sheffield spitter Deep Green. It shows a warmer, deeper side to Coco and proves he can experiment with different styles and flavours, resulting in super cool tracks. He’ll be ending the year in style with his brand new mysterious, reality track that you will fall in love with.

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Snowy – Do’s/ Donts

Nottingham MC Snowy’s work rate is impeccable and for this track he joins up with Leicester producer Massappeals for ‘Do’s & Donts’ who creates Snowy a minimal but hard track. Its taken from their collaborative EP ‘Hater Behaviour’ which is out now. Listen to the bass heavy track linked with Snowy’s catchy, merky and provocative lyrics.

Donae’O – Black ft JME & Dizzee Rascal

What a tune! Donae’O drops his new one ‘Black’ featuring two heavyweight Grime MC’s JME & Dizzee Rascal where they all talk about why their favourite colour to wear is black.

Bugzy Malone – Mad

Ahead of Bugzy Malone’s two week tour, he has released a brand new single titled ‘Mad’ produced by Swifta Beater. Bugzy raps about his clothing line with JD sports, chart success and more.

October 24, 2016

The Sounds Of UK Rap: @tweet_mist @MicRighteous @reekzmb @scribz6ix7even @SKEAMEROJB @ClueOfficial

Mist – ‘Ain’t The Same’

Birmingham rapper Mist really killed it with the video for his new track, ‘Ain’t The Same’. Filmed in Dubai, it shows Mist living life on a boat, being given gold chains by a Sheikh, driving sports cars, and generally living it up. It’s really setting the levels in all senses – production wise (s/o Steel Banglez), the video, and of course Mist’s bars. Mist has built up his credentials this past year and is stepping it up with every release. His ability to connect and tell his life through his bars is what has gained him many fans.

Ice City Boyz – ‘All Out’

Church Road’s Ice City Boyz have followed up ‘Pressure’ with brand new cut ‘All Out’. Each and every one of them goes in hard over the dark production, with twinkling keys prowling over the beat. They take it to the streets for the video, which shows them with bottles, and getting harassed by the feds. This is six minutes of straight heat from the crew, who are set to do some serious damage in the UK Rap scene.

Mic Righteous – ‘Honour Mic’

In the lead up to the release of his Dreamland album, Margate rapper Mic Righteous delivers another stellar visual from it. ‘Honour Mic’ shows Mic in a pensive frame of mind, delivering real bars with a passionate delivery, something he’s well known for. The haunting hip-hop beat allows him to flow with power and intelligence – taking us through different subject matters such as other rappers and the music industry. “Do what you can I do what I like, too many begs on too many hypes, too many threats when nobody dies, not enough fist fights too many knives, too many skets telling too many lies, too many too many times.” Mic kills it with his flow, switching it up from fast-paced bars to more relaxed ones, letting his passion shine through.

Reekz MB ft. LD – ‘No Face’

Reekz MB is joined by 67’s LD for hard new street banger ‘No Face’. The track fits them both perfectly because if you’re a fan of UK rap you will know they both cover their faces, with LD wearing a silver mask, and Reekz covering his with a black one.

The two masked, South London rappers discuss the police, beef, grinding and more. The video shows them with a whole crew out on the block at night. We even see some nuns running around, misbehaving with masks on and blowing up a car. Reekz shows off his wordplay with bars such as, “Man a turn thriller, Jackson, man hit him up like Pac did.” LD brings his hard flow to the end of the track: “I raise my mash on the streets and I’ve kicked mans head in with Reeks. I don’t know about peace, I’m a real chef, I pepper my beef.” These two know how to make a banger together.

Skeamer & Clue – ‘Run Up’

This is a heavy track straight out of South London courtesy of Skeamer and Clue who are representing the OJB crew. The streets at night are the perfect setting for this underground banger, where they both talk about the realities of their life, pagans, beef, and trapping. The ominous beat with its chime lurking throughout gives it a sinister and menacing feel, which gives way for their bars to match. Skeamer spits, “Love me or hate me, there still gonna rate me, death to the two face, death to the pagans, you can’t beef with the mandem.” Whilst Clue goes in, “Came to the block with Skeams, duck man down might burst them, I put n****s in check, check my scoreboard, deep in the trap you can tell it’s a trap when you walk on the floorboards.” The duo definitely need to keep making tracks together as this is straight fire!

October 17, 2016

Pixies Tracks Of The Week @bignarstie @DoubleSmusician @SafoneMadone @Jammz @TODDLAT

Big Narstie – BDL Skank

Big Narstie drops the video to his future Grime anthem ‘BDL Skank’ where he gets things tropical. Watch the lively video where Narstie himself shows you how to do the dance. Big Narstie also launched his ‘Base Invaders’ game on Friday where it headed straight to No.1 in the app charts.

Double S – Yana Darg

Double S represents Grime in a perfect way capturing it’s spirit and true form, and his new track ‘Yana Darg’ is an example of this. Produced by The Heavytrackerz, Double S spits over a thundering beat like an experienced mic controller that he is.

Safone – Heard Of

Safone goes in hard with his new track ‘Heard Of’ where we see him at a car impound. His skippy flow complements the pace of the beat well, as he talks about how he has Grime that “No one else ain’t heard of…”

Jammz ft Scott Garcia – It’s A London Thing

Scott Garcia released ‘It’s A London Thing’ back in 1997 with MC Styles, and has sampled it for his tune of the same name with Jammz. The bass heavy production lends way for Jammz to spit his commentary about London, whilst the video gives a outlook of some different scenarios.

Toddla T Meets Andrea Martin ft. Silkki Wonda – Always

Toddla T warms up our autumn with this bittersweet brand new track, now with the accompanying video for “Always”. To launch his Steeze label, he teams up with Andrea Martin an R&B icon who is responsible for writing many R&B classics such as En Vogue’s ‘Don’t Let Go’ and Silkki Wonda who brings the patois, making this a chilled out reggae tune.

October 3, 2016

The Sounds of UK Rap: @ClueOfficial @ArdAdz @OfficialGiggs @Sneakbo @S_Wavey @SkeamberOJB @SkoreBeezy

Skeamer x Skore Beezy

Two of the OJB crew (Official Junction Crew) – that’s Clapham Junction for those of you who don’t know – link up for ‘Balance’. An Afrobeats-influenced instrumental sets the tone for their track, with the whole hood out with drinks in their hand for the video. Skeamer comes in first with lyrics about where he’s from, his upbringing and his struggle: “They wanna know my story, they want the beef they want the war they want the glory.”

Skore Beezy then steps up with strong, elevating bars coupled with his solid, passionate and perfectly executed delivery. The two then go back-to-back with their bars after the hook, complementing each other’s flows extremely well. This is how you make a collaborative UK Rap track.

Sneakbo and S Wavey

South London rappers Sneakbo and S Wavey give us one for the streets in their collaborative new track ‘Aigons’. The pair drop some heavy-duty bars over a powerful, marching, beat with Sneakbo repeatedly saying “gang” on the intro and outro, beginning his verse by talking about some real life situations, “Look at the life I’m living, went for the love of the money, I’m sinning. ain’t digging no L’s, I ain’t getting no sleep and winning from the beginning.” It’s directed at people who think he’s changed because of his fame, but this track proves he’s still bringing the heat to the underground as well as commercial landscape.

Giggs

The Landlord himself dropped the video to one of the more ‘party’ tracks from his latest album. The visuals certainly fit the track’s vibe with it being filmed at his own private party, with a bunch of women to keep himself – and Donae’o who features on the track – entertained. Giggs and Donae’o take over London’s arthouse North London cinema Screen On The Green, with Giggs at the entrance running the door and guests such as female rapper Stefflon Don. These two definitely know how to party and put together a very cheeky, rave-ready anthem.

Giggs announced his headline show at the 02 Forum Kentish Town on Friday 11th Nov and you can get tickets here

Clue

The first track we heard from Giggs’ Landlord album was ‘Whippin Excursion’ in July, which has since become a big anthem. South London’s Clue decided to take on the instrumental and re-fix it for ‘Gripping N Swerving’, spitting straight fire of his own, with fresh bars, and a fresh hook, whilst keeping Giggs’ adlibs present throughout the track.

It features Reepz (part of OJB) who comes through on his verse with a fierce and passionate execution that ends the track nicely. Clue’s own delivery and essence is laid-back with heated bars: “You ain’t a ganster, you just a gangsters version. My n****s wicked and bad, 67 man lurking, for a monkey I would tell my little n**** burst it.” Giggs gave the track his approval too, so if the Landlord did, it’s pretty certain that everyone else will follow suit!

Ard Adz

Ard Adz has a special way of bringing emotion to his words, like a true artist reaching out to his listeners. He brings an uplifting message for his new one ‘Worry Less, Smile More’ spitting thought-provoking bars over a harmonious, key-led beat and vocal hook. Adz talks us through some honest thoughts he has, coupled with his journey in life and what he wishes for the future, “sinning but I’m winning this s**t isn’t funny though, pray for me. If I told you that I’m coming would you wait for me? I hope the angels tell the Lord to hold the gates for me. I been on my grind but aint made it out this hood yet, my sons getting older can’t be following my footsteps.”

September 20, 2016

Pixies Tracks Of The Week

Lixo ft. Trim – Writers Block

This track is unusual, creative and wonderful. Produced by Lixo who provides an airy, spaced out, chilled beat with twists and tribal elements, which allows one of Grime’s finest lyricists Trim to put his touch to it.

Sticky Blood & JiKay ft Frisco – Oh My Days

Sheffield producer duo Sticky Blood are known for their genre defying music, and they have come up  once again with a straight up banger, collaborating on the production with JiKay (All Trap Music/Hot Damn) and enlisting veteran MC and Boy Better Know member Frisco for their brand new track ‘Oh My Days’. Frisco attacks the bass heavy, thunderous beat with his bars, bringing snarling lyrics and punchlines

Lil Choppa – Kill This

Birmingham Grime artist Lil Choppa has dropped a madness with new tune ‘Kill This’. He talks us through real life situations that have happened to him and people around him in a dark video with flames and lights that add to the the ghostly feel.

Kid Bookie – Premonition w/ Christie Ft. Nasaan & Dot Rotten

South East London’t Kid Bookie brings us a UK U.S link up for new track ‘Premonition’ where he brings in exceptional UK artist Dot Rotton who also produces the beat under name Zeph Ellis, and Atalanta rapper Nasaan. Each artist brings their own unique style and flow to the track. Kid Bookie has definitely stepped out the box with this one.