Archive for September, 2013

September 24, 2013

MTV The Wrap Up: UK Rap Rundown [News]

There was very sad news last week that the young and talented emcee Depzman aged 18 was killed outside a nightclub in Birmingham. He was at the venue because of an event honouring another knife victim Kyle Sheehan who was stabbed to death last year.

A lot of people were stunned and deeply saddened by the news about the murder of the Invasion Crew MC with Skepta saying “So full of life, so hype, he could never be in a room and you not know he’s there, SICK MC, overly loved and looked out for his people Heavy black heartHeavy black heartHeavy black heart” and fellow Invasion Crew member Jaykae “I can’t stop crying I jus wanna wake up and wish this is all a dream I love you so much ‪@DepzmanInvasion.” Two men have reportedly handed themselves in to the police. RIP.

There were two fantastic Fire In The Booth’s that came out last week. The first one comes from one of the most on fire emcee’s in the game right now, Lady Lykez. She goes in so hard, showcasing her multi-dimensional flow and lyrics proving why she is one to keep an eye on.

The second one came from The Movement consisting of Ghetts, Scorcher, Wretch 32 and Mercston who reunited after years. Unfortunately there was no Devlin to be seen but it was good to see them back together again after six years. They took it old school with their bars and flow think Wretch in Combination Chain Gang.

GekoUSG’s youngest in charge released his first official single ‘Heartless’ last week, which went to no.12 in the iTunes chart. He dropped the video the next day and it landed on respected American hip-hop site HipHopDX, proving that good UK rap can be embraced by the US. ‘Heartless’ is a love story but not quite a nice one as it tells the story of the woman with a broken heart.

Squeeks kept things moving last week as he released the video to ‘My Scars’ produced by Westy, taken off his recently released huge 40-track mixtape ‘Presidental Musiq’. Squeeks shows off his gentle side in this one for his main squeeze.

Speaking of Squeeks since his falling out with Benny Banks that became public knowledge, there may be a collaboration between him and K Koke on the cards after he tweeted “RT IF YOU WANA SEE ME DO A TUNE WITH ‪@KokeUSG”.

Words: Shireen Fenner (@Shireenxoxo)

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September 23, 2013

Lunar C Talks Good Times and Dead Brain Cells, Yorkshire Talent and Bold Twitter Statements [Interview]

Lunar C is well known for his battling days with the coveted Don’t Flop where although he only did 6 battles he won all of them leaving undefeated. Following on from the release of his 2012 mixtape ‘SewerSideSex’, he is back to show a more deep and personal side to him with his new EP ‘Good Times and Dead Brain Cells’.

You are due to release your EP ‘Good Times and Dead Brain Cells’ in a few weeks. Tell us how you have far you have come from the 2012 release of ‘Sewer Side Sex’ and how this shows your development as an artist.

It’s come a long way, there’s a lot more deep, personal stuff on there. I just think overall it’s a lot more better, a lot more personal, the things I talk about and the subjects I touch on and the concepts. There’s a good mix of stuff, I reckon it’s an all round improvement on my other material.

Can you go into more detail the personal subject matters you talk about?

There’s a track called ‘Good Times and Dead Brain Cells’ it’s a loose concept about life and embodies what I mean when I say good times and dead brain cells. It explains what the concept is talking about; you kind of have to listen to it to know what I mean. There’s another one on there called ‘Contradict’ which is about how I contradict myself a lot, and how I look at things differently when I’m in different moods. It shows how I’m a bit egotistical and self depreciative at the same time, all the things about my personality that contradict each other.

Do you find it hard delving into your personal life and exposing yourself?

It’s new to me I’ve never really done that, especially with battles and stuff I usually keep things like that close to my chest so I don’t give anyone any ammo. It’s not the most natural thing to me in the world but I definitely enjoy it.

Your working with a lot of really strong upcoming artists such as Mic Righteous and Scrufizzer, what other collaborations can we see on the EP?

There’s not a lot of MC’s on the EP. I got them two on the track because they’re my favourite two new UK rappers at the moment. Other than that I’ve just got Orifice Vulgatron from Foreign Beggars who I’ve been a fan of since I was young with Pete Cannon and Wizard on production.

Was there any decision to not choose more established artists?

I did try and get one other artist on there who is kind of big but the collab didn’t happen, so I’m not going to lie and say I purposely didn’t try and get big artists on there. It was never the intention to have big names on it in the first place. It’s more about who sounds good on the track.

Not many names come to mind when I think of MCs from Bradford. Has your initial success inspired more of a scene in Yorkshire, and is there anyone from your neck of the woods you think we should look out for?

There’s kind of a movement going on up north in West Yorkshire everyone called it WY, they have t-shirts like the Yankees one but instead of NY it’s WY, a lot of people are pushing that. There’s quite a few artists doing their thing like Chief Wiggs, Minus, people in my crew Fly Tippers. DS Fam who have been doing there things for a long time. Craze Nott have got a new project coming out which should be amazing. Everybody also look out for Jack Flash he’s going to be doing some massive stuff soon.

A lot of rappers in the battling scene stay there and don’t really make ‘tracks’. Did you always know that you weren’t going to stay on that scene forever?

It was always the plan, I did music before battling so it was always just a thing where it was just to get me some hype for my music. I was always aware of the fact that battlers always get caught in the loop of just having to battle until they fall off and they become irrelevant and never really do anything with the hype that they have gained. I always wanted to do what Eminem and Professor Green have done; they actually used the hype for their music and actually got somewhere. They didn’t get eaten up by the battle scene and that’s what I aimed for.

That’s what propelled you into the limelight and got you recognition so will you ever return?

I don’t think I will ever return I’m grateful for what it’s done, but I always saw it for what it was. Myself and the people that run it Eurgh, we always had a clear understanding of why I was there, I was always there to promote my music. Admittedly I only wanted to do one battle but I ended up doing 6 because there was a demand for it..

You said this statement on Twitter “I can’t lie theres MC’s I rate but cant listen to coz I think they are a b*****d”. Is there anyone in particular this applies to for you especially in the UK. Don’t you think there music is more important then their personality or do you think artists have to have image, personality and music?

Yes but I don’t want to say there name and give them promo because there a b*****d. I think people took what I said on Twitter a bit too personal. I don’t have to personally no or like someone to rate their music, that’s not what I was saying at all. I just think there are some artists who have a really s**t attitude towards what they are doing, and when that shines through in your music and your actually talking with that perspective in your music it just ruins it for me. Dudes who are clearly from a rough place who have been doing grime music and rapping about guns and knives for years but now there an established artist, they don’t need to still be proving that that’s who they are. It’s not positive for anyone, there’s a time and place to talk about violent stuff, I’m all for that I do it myself, if deep down that’s all your trying to promote and prove to people your some road guy, it’s a s**t attitude to have, that just makes me hate some artists. 

You’ve always come out with some quite funny stuff on Twitter, does this ever get you hate, what kind of reaction do you get?

I think most people no I don’t take myself too seriously and I’m winding people up. Some people do take what I say seriously though. I said something like “real rappers take heroin” and I’ve been getting questions about whether I take heroin. I put the worst things up sometimes just to make people talk and it works. Real rappers don’t take heroin by the way!

Apart from yourself who in the UK hip hop/rap scene do you think deserves to blow and why?

Jack Flash he’s been doing a lot of stuff that people aren’t taking notice of, but I think soon they will. Mic Righteous, Scrufizzer. I rate Remus he’s Farma G’s son, Chester P’s nephew, there UK hip hop legends. Now he’s a bit older he’s doing his own thing, I reckon he will be one of the sickest artists. I’ve done a track with Remus and the Rascals on their EP so look out for that.

 *Published on SBTV on 18th September 2013.
September 10, 2013

MTV The Wrap Up: UK Rap Rundown [News]

There has been a lot of positive stuff going off this week in the world of UK rap. Firstly on Tuesday Team Wrap Up headed down to the MOBO Nominations launch where we saw performances from So Solid Crew and heard that AkalaK KokeWretch 32 were up for Best UK hip hop/grime act. Who do you think deserves to win? I know personally who I do…

Krept & Konan are the names on everyone’s lips right now as their ‘Young Kingz’ mixtape dropped and entered the UK official album charts at No.19, a huge, game changing achievement. They had a lot of tweets congratulating them from SkeptaZeon Richards, Fekky, and more. They were also nominated for best newcomers at the MOBO’s so get over to their site and make sure you vote for them. Check out their new video from the tape ‘Too Young’ featuring Yungen which is their third video from the mixtape to be released.

There were a few freestyles out last week that I recommend checking out. Firstly check out the Daily Duppy from Krept & Konan which saw Krept spitting over The Fugees’ ‘Ready Or Not’ instrumental, then Konan taking over with a more upbeat track. Mike GLC took to SB.TV to put out his second 3rd Degree with no instrumental just him talking straight reality.

Colours and Benny Banks took to Link-Up TV for a Behind Barz session. Colours showed impressive lyricism spitting over Jim Jones ‘Summer In Miami’. Benny made his return for the third time with his laid back flow over a funky, hip-hop beat.

Talking of Benny Banks him and Squeeks who were meant to be friends and are both from Islington, North London have took to Twitter dissing each other. Squeeks tweeted ‘The boy ain’t real & from time he signed 1 2 deals I can’t ere from n****s simple really that’s why I be like #F***Banks’. He then went onto say without him, Joe Black and Westy Beats Banks would be nothing. Banks last tweet on the matter was ‘Thank God for my haters!’

The only video really worth mentioning this week is Giggs new one ‘(Is It Gangsta) Yes Yes Yes’. The 9 minute long video featured some of his SN1 crew. Giggs is upping the levels in the UK rap game, everyone take notice.

Boom Bap Festival is on in a few weeks from the 13-15 September in Peterborough and I headed down to the warm up party at Vibe Bar on Saturday where I saw legends in the game Chester P and Micall Parkinson perform. If you missed it you missed out on seeing two of the best lyricists from the UK, so make sure you head down to the festival itself.

September 4, 2013

Giggs – (Is It Gangsta) Yes Yes Yes [Music Video]

Giggs releases the video or rather short film to (Is It Gangsta) Yes Yes Yes produced by Mark Ronson. The track is the first song to be heard from his forthcoming album When Will It Stop and sees cast members from the SN1 crew.

 

September 3, 2013

MTV The rap Up: UK Rap Rundown [News]

I’m back after a break last weekend for the Bank Holiday where Team Wrap Up headed to Reading Festival and caught some incredible performances from Giggs, Mic Righteous, A Trak and the massive headline set from Eminem. It was definitely the best festival I went to this summer…

Giggs has really taken it to a new level with his next video to ‘Is It Gangsta? (Yes Yes Yes)’ as we saw the trailer being released last week. This looks more like a movie then a music video and we can expect the Mark Ronson produced track to be released on October 6th, so watch out for that.

Disturbing London rapper G FrSH dropped a video from his recently released mixtape ‘Legoman II’. ‘Wings’ is produced by Goldielocks and features a healthy line up of some of the best in out scene; Mic Righteous, Fem Fel and English Frank.

French rapper Frenchy Le Boss hooked up with one of South London’s finest Sneakbo for ‘Jump In The Car’. I was looking forward to this release after watching the studio session and am 100% feeling this tune. The two rappers compliment each other so well and I really like Frenchy’s flow. This track is taken from the forthcoming mixtape ‘Ces’t La Vie’.

In the run-up to the release of their mixtape ‘Young Kingz’, Krept and Konan kept their fans happy by releasing another video ‘Don’t Waste My Time’. Taking it back to their roots with the hard hitting production and catchy hook, they really have showed their versatility recently which we will see more of on the tape.  The duo are set to be UK rap’s future stars, also previewing the mixtape online, hyping everyone for the release, which is today!

Top Boy hit our screens again for the second series and we’re onto episode two, so make sure you get watching as there is a whole host of new talent in this one including Cashtastic, Exo, Bashy and Lefty.

I’m going to end on a big release from last week and that comes from North London rapper who has impressed me for a while now, Squeeks. His mixtape has a massive 40 tracks and has some big features from Joe Black, Blade Brown, Youngs Tef and more. A lot of the production comes from Cakes and Westy who he was worked closely with previously.

Make sure you download ‘Presidental Musiq’ for free now!

September 2, 2013

MTV The Wrap Up: DJ Muggs [Interview]

DJ Muggs makes up one fourth of Cypress Hill – the groundbreaking Latino quartet and one of raps most successful collectives hailing from America’s West Coast. He is a true hip-hop legend and visionary, known for mixing different sounds to create innovative music – and his latest album ‘Bass For Your Face’ is no different. The Wrap Up’s Shireen Fenner talks to him about mixing the British born dubstep sound with hip-hop whilst featuring a UK grime legend and some exciting US rappers…

“Everyone was trying to copy Dr Dre and that West Coast sound. We pretty much did the opposite of that and did our own thing. You didn’t have to copy him to make a ‘West Coast’ sound – make your own style and sound! You can still be from the West Coast but stop following suit; bring something fresh to the table.

“I’ve been a fan of electronic music since day one. I started off playing techno in Detroit… back then it was all gangsters; the crowds were all pretty much Latino and black all the gang bangers were pop locking to it. Now I DJ a lot, and I always look for new music to put in my sets.  I play a lot of electronic festivals around the world; I wanted to make more music to play in my sets so I made this record [‘Bass For Your Face’].

“I wanted to make it with an underground hip-hop spirit. Bring some of these hip-hop kids, open their ears and give them a different sound. A lot of rock kids back in the day didn’t like hip-hop but they liked Beastie Boys and Public Enemy, they liked Run DMC… I wanted to open their minds to different sounds.

“I wanted to get more underground MC’s like Roc Marciano. The song I did with Dizzee [Rascal] – I wanted it to sound like an 80’s West Coast hip-hop record. I have a friend called Bun B who is friends with Dizzee, and Dizzee was in LA and he said ‘I want you to get in the studio’. So he came through and we recorded about four songs; Dizzee asked me what I was working on so I played him a record aBun Bnd he said ‘I want to get on there’. I said ‘word, get on it,’ so he jumped on it.

Danny Brown is another MC on the album and one of my favourite’s out here right now. I didn’t want a full song, just some words from him. Chuck D’s been a favourite of mine for years; that song has more of a rock edge to it, so I wanted him on that and we worked on it together.

“I have been coming to the UK since the 90’s, and I’ve spent months out there at a time. I used to go see Goldie and the Metalheadz all the time; I did some remixes for them. From the jungle days to drum and bass, 2 step days, garage days… for all that stuff, I’ve been over there. Last time I was there I went to a couple of grime shows – I love the energy. I was out there with the guys from No Hats No Hoods.

“When I first started hearing dubstep in about 2007, I was like ‘what is this?’ – it worked with hip-hop. What I noticed about dubstep was hip-hop heads liked it. A lot of them didn’t like jungle and drum & bass because of the tempos. They liked this because it reminded them of early electronic music… The culture is changing out here [in LA] too. A lot of hip-hop kids couldn’t mess with it because it was real funny – everyone had glow sticks and vaporizers over their mouths. Finally, there is a type of electronic music that the hip-hop and rock kids can get into, and not only the dance crowd.

“What made me take notice of dubstep were the early Rusko records, the early Benga and Skream records and all those early Loefah records. Loefah had me when I first heard him – I was like ‘what the f**k is that?’ Loefah’s s**t was banging. I would love to work with anyone of them guys. Anything that inspires me to make more music and try new sounds and styles – that’s what it’s all about.”

*Published 22nd May 2013

September 2, 2013

MTV The Wrap Up: Cashtastic [Interview]

Cashtastic is a rapper who over the years has developed a sizable fanbase, and even a publishing deal with Universal. Seeing his growth and determination to succeed really does prove that hard work leads to triumph…

Now he is in the studio with people like Esmee Denters. “I’m with her now. It’s just music. I’m just experimenting and trying to see what I can do; her vocals are crazy. We met through the label, my A&R just lined it up, it was a good move and I’m enjoying it.”

Speaking on the publishing deal with Universal, a massive step in an artist’s career, we discussed the advantages. “I can access a bigger and wider range of producers and songwriters. Not necessarily better than the ones I had before, but I was limited to what I could do. Evidently, since I’ve signed the publishing deal, I’ve made some massive records that I couldn’t have made unless I was in these sessions with these producers and songwriters.”

He has an EP coming out soon that he says will include “tracks that I had already been working on. It was inevitable I needed to put out a project anyway for the New Year. I didn’t want to do another mixtape so soon, and I haven’t done an EP, so it was the perfect time to get that out.”

Currently also working on his debut album, it’s too early to say exactly what’s in store – but Cash does know one thing. “It will be epic, I hate to sound cliché, but it will be epic. You have to expect the unexpected, it’s going to open a lot of ears and a lot of eyes. It won’t be out this year, for the rest of this year I will be working on it.”

We went back to an earlier phase of his career, to a mixtape he put out called ‘A Lil Bit Of Cash’, which for me was something that really got people talking about him.

“The release of ‘A Lil Bit Of Cash’ was important to me. I always look back at that [and] I don’t regret not embracing it, but I feel like I could have embraced it a bit more. A bit with the Universal deal as well. One thing with me – my gift and my curse – is because I love working so much, I always get tied up in working on the next thing rather than embracing the moment.

“When ‘A Lil Bit Of Cash’ came out, it was a great thing – I was 17 and my CD was in HMV, my music video was playing on BETMTV… everyone was telling me and I knew it was going on, but I was like ‘what’s the next project, let me work.’”

He gives some advice to other artists about consistency, and that doesn’t mean putting out a track every week, it just means being relevant.

“I think to stay consistent you have to know how to pace yourself. It’s about understanding that your music isn’t enough sometimes. With me, there have been times when I haven’t put out songs but I’m still relevant, because I’m either at this event or doing this show, or I’m on this blog or that magazine. There are times I don’t put out music but it doesn’t mean I’m not working on music.

“With social media, a lot of artists are quite closed with exposing what they are doing, but I feel like that helps with consistency as well; because if you’re not releasing music but you’re on Instagram and Twitter and you’re not giving people something to look forward to, then they’re not going to know.”

We move on to talk about women – as Cash is a bit of a ladies man, I’m sure lots of girls out there want to know what he looks for in a woman. “Obviously I like a pretty woman, but primarily I like a girl with a good personality. I’m very bubbly and I’m not saying a girl has to be bubbly for me and her to be together, but she has to have a sense of humour, because I tell a lot of jokes.

“If I’m telling jokes and she’s not laughing then I’m going to feel unappreciated. I love a girl that has a good sense of humour, dress sense and ambition, and knows exactly what she wants to accomplish in life. Even if she doesn’t know exactly how she is going to do it, just the fact she wants to do something with her life.”

Would he date a fan? “Yes I would. My choice with that may change as my career goes up but at this current moment I probably would. I feel like she would appreciate me.”

So girls, have a sense of humour and make him feel appreciated… oh, and he likes Janelle Monae, Beyonce and Selena Gomez!

*published 25th July 2013

September 2, 2013

Frenchy LeBoss feat Sneakbo – Jump In The Car [Music Video]

I love this UK/France link up. This tune is a absolute banger i love Frenchy’s flow and Sneakbo‘s verse is hot too. This track will be on Frenchy LeBoss mixtape C’est La Vie.

 

September 2, 2013

Mike GLC – Greatest Of All Time (Warning Shot) [Music Video]

Mike GLC one of the UK’s most established rappers releases the video to Greatest Of All Time (Warning Shot) which is the going to be on his forthcoming album Remember Me out on September 3rd.