Archive for May, 2017

May 22, 2017

Pixies Tracks Of The Week @ARTANLDN @BigFris @casisdead @skrapzisback @OppsNextDoor

Artan – Opposite Interests

Artan is one of the freshest artists that has created a different dimension to his music, switching up between singing and rapping. It’s an exciting time for him as this is the first release off of his forthcoming debut E.P ‘Breaking Stereotypes’ on 24th May. It’s one for the summer too!

Frisco – Get Greazy

Boy Better Know’s Frisco drops a brand new very cold video for ‘Get Greazy’ where he spits over two different beats, the first one has an oriental theme to the production filmed with a dark background. After 2 minutes it changes to a white background with a more darker, bouncier beat.


This is an artist who knows how to bring his lyrics to life with his visuals, and here it does it again with ‘The Grid.’ CASISDEAD spits gritty lyrics that match what is going on in the video.

Skrapz – Enemies

Ice City Boyz representative Skrapz heads out to Barcelona for the visuals to ‘Enemies.’ He speaks his mind about events in his life from his ambition, to being the coldest, and how you shouldn’t be fucking with him or his his energy.

Tizzy Gang – Shekel

Tizzy Gang drop the latest installement ‘Shekel’ from their forthcoming album ‘Opps Next Door’ out June 16th. Tizzy Gang members Merky Ace and Cadell are joined by Vic Santoro for this aggressive grime banger, laying down sick bars over a haunting beat.

May 14, 2017

The Sounds of UK Rap

Skrapz – ‘Enemies’

Fresh from Anthony Joshua playing Skrapz’s ‘They Ain’t Ready’ as he headed into the ring to go on to beat Wladimir Klitschko, the Ice City Boys representative brings us a brand new track called ‘Enemies’. Rapping in his trademark flow, Skrapz’s lyrics reveal that he doesn’t “fuck with anybody that prevents progress.” He raps cold, real-life lyrics over a dark, trap production showing his ambition and drive, hence why he has a large fanbase and is thought of by many as one of the best in UK Rap.

Yungen – ‘Fools Gold’

Yungen brings us a laid-back, summery tune in ‘Fools Gold,’ where he discusses gold digging girls, how he’s not really just into looks, and how there has to be more to his woman than just a pretty face: “Snapchat she always sending me the whole filter, she got man coming home to no dinner. I’m like baby girl a wifey ain’t all about looks, so you best start learning to cook. I don’t want a pretty face with no brains get your head in your books.” He’s telling girls to dream bigger, be independent and do it for yourself. The visuals show Yungen and his girl in Central and South London in his car along with views of the London Wheel in the background.


Abra Cadabra ft. Sneakbo – ‘My Hood’

Abra Cadabra is joined by Sneakbo for ‘My Hood’. The dark track is joined by an equally sinister video that matches the mood and theme of the track. The video opens with an actor being asked to open a briefcase, where he pulls out two photos and is asked to get rid of the people in them. The men in the photos are Abra Cadabra and Sneakbo, and he clearly doesn’t get very far as we see him in the next shot bloodied and bruised. It shows off Sneakbo’s hard flow and strong lyrics stating his lifestyle, “I came a long way from a push bike, blacked out hoody I’m a hood guy, gas gang I was like Suge Knight, now I live it up every month book flights.” Abra brings his trademark delivery along with some hard lyrics, “When it comes to the beef then we dun talking.”

Dutch – ‘Speeding’

Hackney rapper Dutch brings us the inspirational and deeply emotional ‘Speeding’. Dutch brings his fans into his world and his struggles he has faced such as being able to give his family money in this introspective offering where he also talks about how Skepta’s ‘That’s Not Me’ made him realise that blowing your money on certain things wouldn’t help, so he went back to the drawing board. You can hear Dutch’s passion shine strongly in his delivery and lyrics over the melodic production from Michelin Shin.

Fekky – Billi

Fekky hits us with his brand new and brilliant video for ‘Billi’ after his return to Charlie Sloths’ infamous Fire In The Booth where he hit new heights with his lyricism and style. The new track is a taster of what to expect from his new album El Classico and shows Fekky with lots of swagger in a fur coat in the TV Toxic-directed visuals. The track is directed at his opponents and haters: “hating n****s everywhere they wanna lick man down.”

“Talking beef, f*****g punk look at you now.” Fekky goes in with straight, savage lyrics like the D Double E bar, “Head gets mangled and dangled,” and no nonsense delivery that should really show anyone going up against him, it isn’t worth it. Fekky delivers us with another straight up banger, and we can’t wait to hear more from his forthcoming album.

May 10, 2017

Shackfuyu [Food Review] @shackfuyu

After trying one of Bone Daddies restaurants – Flesh & Bun last year, I was destined to try another one of their different food havens dotted across London. With there being a queue extending outside at their first opening in Peter Street, Soho, which is a Ramen Bar, we walked to Old Compton Street to Shackfuyu.

Starting off as a pop up, it made it’s impression on the folk of London town so much that it became a permanent residency, serving Western-inspired Japanese dishes. You could almost say it’s Japanese soul food. Looking at the menu you can see much thought and effort has gone into the menu, they don’t over-do it with wide variety of dishes, these are carefully selected, and you can order a few as they are meant for sharing.

Shackfuyu like most of the Bone Daddies chains has a rock ‘n’ roll edge to it, with shiny tiles and brickwork and lots of small lights with a soundtrack to match. As you enter it feels smaller than it is, with seats round the bar when the back end of the restaurant with its booths and tables fill up.

Looking around to see what everyone else was eating, we decided on a main each and a few smaller plates so we could try as much as possible. The hot stone rice (£.8.50) was the larger, main dish chosen and it also came out first. Brought out as you would imagine in a hot bowl, the concoction of rice, beef and chilli with vegetables and sesame is literally steaming. It’s based on Korean bibimbap rice which is stirred at the table, as they do here also at Shackfuyu mixing the meat, veg and egg, but with a tasty sauce and a crunch from the sweetcorn in there too.

For the smaller dishes we opted for Korean fried chicken (£6) which is always going to be a winner. It came out as a portion of 3, so if there’s two of you there could be a fight over who gets the extra one, as these are so delicious. They have a sticky red coating dotted with sesames with a sour and chilli kick to them that will want you craving more.

The last small dish we chose was the seabass taco (£4) which were kind of small so it was hard to share, but we did manage as there was at least 6 bits of fried seabass each to enjoy. It came complete with tomatillo salsa like you would find in a Mexican restaurant. The seabass was cooked to perfection, crispy on the outside and the fish was soft and flaky, with spring onions and red onions chopped on top.

We washed these dishes down with a few glasses of prosecco, although there was a nice cocktail list too. Unfortunately we didn’t even have room for the desert which sounds and looks delicious, kinako French toast served with green tea ice cream. Definitely one for next time!

Where To Find: 14a Old Compton St, London, W1D 4TJ   02077347492

May 7, 2017

Pixies Tracks Of The Week @SafoneMadone @CapoLee100 @Dapzonthemap @Jhus @realmostack @StashPeso

Safone x Capo Lee – Gyal From Brum

This is a Birmingham to London link up from two of Grime’s heavy hitters Safone and Capo Lee for ‘Gyal From Brum,’ a flip on Safone’s now Grime classic track ‘She Wants A Man From Brum.’ Both emcee’s take turns, trading bars about swagging and wanting a gyal from Brum! This tune is going to bang at raves and festivals this Summer for sure as it’s a high energy bassline driven track, with Capo Lee and Safone throwing down some slick dance moves too.

Dapz On The Map – Mini Valet

West Bromwich/Birmingham artist Dapz On The Map brings us a strong new track ‘Mini Valet’ talking about his rise in the industry, following his own path, and how now he performs in the 02 with fans queuing to get in. It’s a motivational, inspirational track and shows how by putting in the work you can achieve what you set out to.

J Hus – Common Sense

‘Common Sense’ is the third track release from J Hus’ forthcoming album of the same name which will be released on 12th May, and sees previous bangers such as ‘Friendly’ and ‘Did You See’ on the album as well as a host of new material with features from Mist, Mostack and more. ‘Common Sense’ has a jazzy, live band natural feel to the track, and sees J Hus reflecting on things happening around him.

Mostack – Ussy Ussy

Mostack drops a vibrant new track ‘Ussy Ussy’ the first offering from his forthcoming new mixtape ‘High Street Kid’ out on the 2nd June. It’s another straight up banger, and the visuals show the North London artist out in LA with the Hollywood sign in the background and also shots in the UK too as he talks about his girl.

Stash Peso – Glow

Stonebridge rapper Stash Peso drops ‘Glow’ in the lead up to his forthcoming EP ‘Shine’. It’s a song written from a personal place about embracing your glow, and not listening to others. It shows off Stash’s unorthodox style, wordplay and impressive lyrical flow captivating his listeners as he sings and raps over the production.

May 3, 2017

Ego Is The Enemy: Clash Meets Donae’O

“When I was young I had to prove I could stand by myself, that I’m the best at what I do and all that crap,” admits Donae’O, taking a break from a studio session to talk to Clash. “As I’ve got older I’ve realised that trying to be the best is nonsense, because you can be the best but if no one else sees it, it doesn’t matter.”

The North West Londoner is already a legend of the UK underground; from the days of Garage crew Bubbling to his freshly-inked deal with Island Records, his work as a producer, song-writer and vocalist has made an unforgettable mark on the scene.

While working on his long-awaited fourth album, the follow up to 2009’s ‘Party Hard’, Donae’O has simultaneously been self-improving; endeavouring to put the song first, rather than attempting to outshine others. “I had to get over my ego to accept that I’m not the star in the scenario,” he says. “For instance, I’m not the star of [‘Lock Doh’], Giggs is. My job was to make him the star. It made me understand getting rid of that ego, giving more eventually that will come back to me.”

He experienced this good karma while working with WSTRN on the follow up single to their massive breakthrough ‘In2’. “Trying to be the best might not be the best for the song,” he implores. “I [was working on] a song called ‘Come Down’ for WSTRN. I made the beat and Louie wrote the chorus, but the song wasn’t finished. I couldn’t work out what it needed, so we got [other producers in to add to it]. Throughout the whole process my percentage [of royalties] were going lower and lower, but I had to get rid of greed and ego so that the song could be the best it could be.”

In the end his ego-less approach would pay off. The song would climb Radio 1’s playlist and prove more financially rewarding than it might have had Donae’O been selfish: “I’ve learned not to be so self-destructive,” he laughs. “Everyone has limitations.”

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Over the past couple of years Donae’O has been travelling back and forth to the US, examining how contemporary rap music is created in its homeland. The experience has opened his eyes to bigger aspirations, and has interestingly drawn his attention to the importance of his clothing choices. “I started seeing that even underground artists can make millions,” he explains. “I saw that image was part of the artistry. Wearing clothes was just as artistic as writing a song. It had never been portrayed to me like that before.”

He began to embrace streetwear, naming US brands Supreme and Stüssy, as well as homegrown staples Trapstar and Benjart amongst his favourites. “I like clothes and style that have a story behind them,” he says. “Benjart’s from North West and he’s doing well and I identify with that. Trapstar, they’re guys from West London. I love Supreme’s culture, the exclusivity… if you’re into it you’re into it, it’s not for everyone, it’s more about the culture than the clothing. I associate with the story, which I didn’t know before.”

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Me wearing black is the physical representation of me changing…

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In a similar way, the story behind a track brings context that helps reach listeners on a deeper level. To Donae’O, his single ‘Black’ – which features Grime heavyweights Jme and Dizzee Rascal – represents him coming to terms with letting go. “Me wearing black is the physical representation of me changing,” he clarifies. “It’s made me a better person.”

The track initially began life two years ago, around the time that Donae’O was shooting a video for his track ‘Mami No Like’ with director and Jme-collaborator Matt Walker. “Jme was going mad about the record, so I reached out to him and said thank you for screaming about it – because it helped it a lot,” he remembers. The pair soon began discussing ideas for collaboration, and Donae’O would send Jme an early version of ‘Black’. “I was chilling in Nandos when I got the verse,” Donae’O laughs. “I was like: what the fuck am I going to do with this, I’ve got a Jme verse!”

He’d also been in touch with Dizzee Rascal about a potential collaboration, and decided to send ‘Black’ over to him on the off chance that he might be able to bring a dream collaboration together. “Dizzee sent me his verse back in about four days!” recalls Donae’O, still with a hint of disbelief. “I was like: fuck what am I going to do with that!? I put it away for a bit and the rest is history.”

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Train yourself to solve problems and you will always be successful.

Putting in more work last year than any of the other fifteen that he’s been in the music industry has paid off. In 2016 he had three tracks in circulation on the Radio 1 playlist – ‘Come Down’, ’Lock Doh’ and ‘Black’ – as well as underground hits ‘My Circle’ and ‘Polo’.

This prompted the the decision to let go of his previous control-freak approach, allowing others to handle business while he puts his all into the music. “I don’t need to be the businessman anymore, no-one’s gonna fuck me over and if they do I can walk away,” he explains. “I thought, let me put the business side away because I’m good at it, but I’m great at making music. I’m going to put my energy into just making a banging tune.”

Donae’o’s freshly inked deal with Island Records gives him the balance of creative freedom and business support that he needs to move forward. “They want me to make the music I want to make,” he says. “They’ve given me a label to release my own music. I understand the underground. If you ask me to market a record in that world I can do that, but I’ve never really gone mainstream before.”

“I feel like ‘Black’ has crossed over into another world, and I wouldn’t have been able to do that. Island understand me and understand how to get it to that point.”

As he puts the final touches on his new album, Donae’o reflects on his journey so far, admitting that the position he’s found himself in, was never one that he envisioned. “You can plan as much as you want and I think planning is excellent, but your never going to land where you think you will,” he says, sagely, as our conversation draws to a close.

“The key in life is that nothing stays the same, the only thing you can do is trust that you’re intelligent: everyone is smart, they just have different things they are smart at. Train yourself to solve problems and you will always be successful.”

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*Published on Clash Magazine 20/03/2017