Posts tagged ‘Melanin 9’

April 29, 2014

MTV The Wrap Up: UK Rap Rundown [News]

I’m back after a short hiatus and the bank holiday weekend to bring you guys what’s been going on in the world of UK rap every week. I’m going to kick things off with talking about G Frsh’s new video ‘Falling High’. Now you have probably heard the song as it was heard on Radio 1 tastemaker shows such as Zane Lowe and Mistajam. Shot in black and white in an East London undertakers bodes well with the whole feel and lyrics of the track, while helping us understand G Frsh and his journey. The track features his fellow Disturbing London label mateSonny Reeves, who provides the hook.

These boys are really something special when it comes to music, and they are called the Rascals. Made up of four lads Kay Willz, Big Shizz, Tempz and Merkz, all in their teens and who gained their first successes at the ages of 12 and 13. They recently released their ‘Class 90’ album, which was an absolute smash and featured some of the best UK talent such as Big NarstieSqueeksDru BluDouble S and more. They return after not long with a brand-new single called ‘So High’ which was given it’s first spin by Zane Lowe and is due for release on June 15.

Brixton’s Peak is one hardworking man, and the grind doesn’t stop when it comes to releasing EP’s, mixtapes, and videos. As well as his consistency, his tracks are quality too, which means he is a super-talented dude! This new track is the first I believe to be heard from his forthcoming tape ‘Brixton State Of Mind’, giving us a glimpse of what to expect. Google Peak ‘Say About Me’ to listen to this new one.

Original Triple Darkness founding member Melanin 9 is due to re-release his 2007 mixtape ‘High Fidelity’ strictly on vinyl on his own ‘Red Snow’ label. He will also add the instrumentals to the tracks, with new artwork and a bonus cut ‘Colours’ produced by Loopholes. As well as adding the bonus track he also shot a video to ‘Colours’, adding some new freshness to the whole project.

Clothing brand Supply & Demand launched a competition a few months back where they asked the public to vote for a song for five British artists which they would then go on to shoot a music video for. They decided on ‘See Me Now’ for Benny Banks featuring Ryan Keen. The video was released last week and for me really showed Banks development as an artist and lyricist; his real life raps seemed more knowledgeable and the sound matured.

Until next time…

 

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April 27, 2014

Melanin 9 (@Melanin_9 ) – Colours [Music Video]

London’s Melanin 9 is releasing his EP High Fidelity 31st May on his own Red Snow label, and releases a brand new bonus cut Colours from it.

 

April 14, 2013

Melanin 9 [Interview]

Melanin 9 dropped his first mixtape ‘High Fidelity’ in 2007 and has since become one of the most respected lyricists around in the UK hip hop scene. Ahead of the release of his debut album ‘Magna Carta,’ Flavour caught up with the rising star to talk music, beliefs, inspirations and more.

In terms of UK hip hop, what do you think about the scene here and the support?

In terms of growth, its come further than it ever has throughout the history of the urban music so to speak. A lot of artists are crossing over overseas and getting collaborations with US artists so it’s definitely grown. A lot of people from all over the world have started to recognise what were doing here. I still believe there isn’t much exposure for a certain type of style here in the hip hop scene. More artists need to be exposed who are doing different things, not all artists do grime, not all artists do dubstep, there’s artists who just speak pure organic hip hop, and I feel the scene needs to support that just a little bit more.

Your music has contained influences and elements from a variety of different individuals and belief systems, including Islamic Supreme Mathematics, David Icke, Malachi Z.York and many others. With such a diverse set of influences, how do you form a cohesive philosophy, and how does this translate into an easily understandable and relevant message in your music?

My music stems from what I do, my life and certain things that I’ve been taught. It comes from all kinds of things taught, from all kind of philosophers from different backgrounds and religions. I’m coming from anything that’s worth exposing to the world. If it makes sense to me I’ll put it in my music. In terms of deciphering, if I make it a bit more accessible lyrically, make it a bit more basic, maybe people will like it a bit more. I know it’s hard to hear what I’m saying at times when the flows a bit rapid and my vocabulary ranges a bit out of the norm. The only way to make it more understandable is to break it down, use more wordplay and more familiar flow.

You are known by both Melanin 9 and the shorter M9. You have previously stated that Melanin 9 represents your identity as a black man, and that the 9 represents you and your people and the journey and struggles of black people as a whole. This is a highly thought provoking choice of name, and yet M9 also stands for a popular handgun. How do you deal with this disconnect and do you ever worry that it sometimes misrepresents you as an individual and an artist?

At first I thought a lot of people would associate me with a handgun and I tried a lot in every single interview to make sure people understood what the M and the 9 meant. At first I was using M9 a lot and I was getting that perception, so I started using Melanin 9 properly, which is why the album is coming out under the proper name. I was getting a little bit of ignorance, but not really now as I’ve built up in my career, people seem to know what it means now. I think people address me as Melanin 9 aka M9 that’s my stage name.

You have done a lot with Triple Darkness. As a group of socially aware and outspoken lyricists, to what extent do you all agree on the messages you want to put out, and how did you find such like-minded artists?

I did a few things with them back in the day; I’m trying to do my own stuff at this point. Like-minded people came from certain places I used to go, hang out. I’d just meet certain guys round my way, people my age, we all rapped the way we rapped and liked a certain type of music, that’s how we found those who were like us. That’s how we built and got collaborations, it all stems from the music, we all like the same kind of things, that why we all rap alike and share the same thoughts.

It seems fortunate that you have been able to work with producers such as Chemo and Beat Butcha in the past, and their beats have added a lot to your music. How important is it to find producers who you work well with, and what do you look for when looking for beats to write over?

Just if it sounds nice. I like nice kicks and snares just like anyone else who makes hip hop would. Nice soul samples, jazz, something smooth is always good to roll with and is the approach I like to go for. I do a lot of searching online, there’s a lot of great producers out there. I’ve found a lot of good producers on Soundcloud, a lot contact me as well on social network and I’m always checking them.

What happens in the future if your current ideologies and beliefs change? What does that mean for the validity of the music you are making now?

My ideologies and beliefs are always growing it always evolves. I don’t limit my perceptions to one thing, I’m always learning, everyday I’m learning something new so that will never happen. I’m always adapting and looking at things differently, always researching. My beliefs are always growing, I don’t believe in one thing, I take whatever makes sense to me and I learn from it. I don’t stick to one religion, I believe in spirituality.

Your soon to be released album is titled ‘Magna Carta’. If you were to create a ‘great charter’ that would apply to the UK hip hop world, and its fans, industry and record labels, what key points would be in it?

Whatever I stand for freedom, spirituality, learning to grow, to read, to explore, to be creative, always try and work on your craft, believe in yourself, be you, be real. Be all the things that would be in the charter, that’s what I stand for.

Can you talk us through the inspiration and the reason behind the name?

I’ve done about 4 mixtapes and a lot of people thought the last releases were albums. A lot of magazines marketed it like it was an album. This is my first album, its all original beats from producers that I like. I wanted to make it the best out of all the other releases so I put a lot of effort into it and it took roughly about a year and a half to make. Hip hop inspired me, the purest form of it, all the people I looked up to when I was young, all new comers like Jay Electronica. I’m always a student of hip hop, so I’m always studying artists and what there doing, and what’s going on in the scene. ILife inspired me, knowledge inspired me, growth inspired me, my people around me inspired me, my daughter inspired me, just life.

 What are your plans musically for after the New Year?

I want to drop a new mixtape. I’m working with quite a big guy from LA an artist. Next year you’ll see an album with me and him and a mixtape from me.

Published Nov 24th 2012

January 4, 2013

MTV The Wrap Up – UK Rap Rundown: The 2012 Round Up

It’s been a good year, especially for UK rap – we have seen it grow and reach some great heights. I have only been writing The Wrap Up’s UK Rap Rundown for six months, starting in July when I reported for you from L.A for the BET Awards. Now that it’s the last UK Rap Rundown of 2012, I guess I should do what everyone else is doing and give you guys a wrap up of the year. But I’m not going to do that; I’m going to give you some of my personal highlights – you may or may not agree, but this is what is what caught my attention and went down for me…

A female that has really impressed me this year is Shystie; from working with Azealia Banks to her videos and mixtape ‘Gold Dust 2’. This lady has really been putting in the work, proving even though she’s been in it for a while she’s still strong and here to stay.

South London’s windy music duo Ard Adz and Sho Shallow really caught my eye this year. Releasing their ‘P.U.S.H’ mixtape, putting out many videos and also being nominated for MTV’s Unsigned for 2013, these two are destined for big things.

Genesis Elijah has also had an outstanding year. Being a more established name in the game and one many look up to, he just keeps evolving and getting better. He released a few mixtapes such as ‘I Ain’t Even Charging Bruv 2’ and ‘An Emcees Worst Enemy’ – a standout track for me was ‘Underground King’.

Let’s look at some other mixtapes that deserve a mention. K. Koke’s ‘Pure Koke 3’ is the last in the ‘Pure Koke’ series which started with Vol 1 in 2010. Vol 3 saw a mixture of new and old tracks, with a standout track for me being ‘I’m Nice’. We also have the ‘I Ain’t Perfect’ album to look forward to from Koke next year.

Political Peak’s ‘Dreams 2 Reality’ caused quite a stir when it was released. He also put out many visuals to some of the tracks, including ‘Times Have Changed’, ‘Tables Have Turnt’ and ‘Tears In The Rain’.

Dru Blu has had a good year, releasing his street album ‘ This Is Don Strapzy’ and recently releasing a mixtape ‘Best Of Dru Blu’ – along with a flurry of videos and tracks to keep us entertained throughout the year.

Margate rapper Mic Righteous is definitely destined for big things in 2013. At the beginning of the year he released his second mixtape ‘Kampain’ which thoroughly impressed me. He also had the infamous beef with Tim Westwood, releasing a diss track to him called ‘Sack City’.  Look out for the ‘Open Mic’ EP, coming early next year.

‘Wretchercise’ was definitely a big one this year, with Wretch 32 being many people’s favourite rapper. He definitely showed us why he was worthy of this title, as he gave us a first class 17-track deep tape.

Ratlin’s ‘Crown Me’ mixtape which was released in December and had a heavy buzz; with a solid two years in the game, Ratlin has quickly cemented his position in the UK rap game. Squeeks ‘Call Me Squeeko’ caught my attention from the beginning till the end, with ‘I Got You’ being my favourite track refixing The Weeknd’s ‘Rolling Stone’.

Melanin 9 aka M9’s album ‘Magna Carta’ is one we can’t miss; the album is a firm favourite for UK hip-hop heads. Mystro’s ‘Mystrogen’ was a cleverly crafted, witty debut album from the emcee that reflected his full range of skills, including wordplay and social commentary.

Blade Brown’s ‘Bags & Boxes 2’ made it high in the iTunes charts, as an independent artist this showed Blade’s progression and for me, he became the king of UK trap. Skepta’s ‘Blacklisted’ is another one we can’t miss out, with standout tracks ‘Ace Hood Flow’ and ‘Castles’.

There we go guys – my personal highlights of the year. Unfortunately I couldn’t mention all of them, but regardless I hope you have enjoyed my updates in UK rap for the past six months. Happy New Year – I’ll see you on the other side!

November 30, 2012

MTV The Wrap Up: UK Rap Rundown [News]

This week was an extremely busy one for me as I headed to Norway courtesy of HTC, who took myself along with other journalists from all around the world on an audio tour. We met Norwegian rappers who performed just for us and went to the Jaeger club where DJ Abstract taught us how to mix. We met some fantastic people and artists who all made us feel at home…

On Friday night I went down to Vibe Bar in Brick Lane to check out Melanin 9’s album launch ‘Magna Carta’. It was a pretty heavy line up with performances from himself, Genesis ElijahJoker StarrIron BraydzLogic and more. I spotted a few familiar faces showing support including Blak Twang and Micall Parknsun.

Speaking of Micall Parknsun, he dropped the visuals to his first single last week entitled ‘Me’, ahead of his forthcoming album ‘Me Myself and Akai’ which Jehst directed.

There was some tension last week on Twitter as K Koke went on the roads for a radio tour to promote his first official single ‘Turn Back’. Dappy has always been a fan of Koke as we can see from his lyrics in ‘Tarzan’, (the only mixtape I believe is K Koke’s), and it looked like a collaboration may have been on the cards.

Dappy tweeted, “Just come off the phone to @KokeUSG He had a bone to pick with me!!! Don’t worry we will make a Monsta together #BadIntentions out Now”.

Koke quickly shut that down, writing: “NAH BRO I SAID WE WILLL TALK ABOUT IT#kokewillnotholla“.

Lucky for us, Koke will definitely holla on Wednesday night, (28) as he is set to perform at The Forum in London as part of MTV Brand New‘s launch; feel free to join us.

Giggs continued his comeback, dropping a visual freestyle over Juicy J’s ‘Bands A Make Her Dance’, to me it was a good choice and in the style of the Giggs we know and love.

Mic Righteous was righteously chosen to feature on the official remix to Naughty Boy’s track ‘Wonder’ featuring Emeli Sande. He has come a long way since dropping ‘Yob Culture’ in 2011, and is set to drop an EP ‘Open Mic’ in February. His socially aware lyrics and fantastic flow make him destined for big things.

Ratlin got some amazing UK talent involved on his first video from his ‘Crown Me’ mixtape. No LayScrufizzerYoungs Teflon and Rebler all joined him for ‘L’s Up’ and the diversity of the artists really makes this track a banger.

November 13, 2012

Skooled By Melanin 9 (M9) [Bars] – S1.EP2

SBTV releases the second episode of the first in it’s series of the Skooled By Series. For the second one they bring you Melanin 9, check it out.

October 23, 2012

MTV Wrap Up: UK Rap Rundown [News]

Last Monday I hit the Jazz Café in Camden to catch one of the world’s best DJ’s, Jazzy Jeff. DJ’s Emily Rawson and Big Ted kept us entertained, spinning some old school jams as we waited. MysDiggi gave a witty performance and Blak Twang came on afterwards to show the crowd what UK hip-hop is all about. Jazzy Jeff gave us an outstanding performance mixing some modern hip-hop with classic tracks…

Azealia Banks was in London for the Mermaid Ball gig recently and Shystie was there to support and perform with Azealia, who later tweeted: “Shystie is better than any female with a mic in her hand right now”. Last Monday Shystie and Ms Banks got to shoot the video to their track ‘Control It’ and I can only imagine how great it’s going to turn out. With not many female collaborations as it is, these two have great chemistry and this is going to show on screen. I can’t wait to see the video!

Giggs told the world who he wanted to help settle his frustration last week since his release from prison, as he tweeted: “Da cover drive chick need to bring that sexy body over here, always wining up her self on TV stressin me out when I was locked up, she owes me”

Giggs also revealed his first video since his hiatus, ‘What N****s Want’; it was the moment a lot of people, including myself, had been waiting for. The track is set to be on his album ‘When Will It Stop’ which is due out next year.

Now it’s time to look at some standout tracks and videos from the week. Manchester rapper Lyrican enlisted 15-year-old USG member Geko to feature on his new track ‘Falling Down’.  Geko also had his own track that came out last night, which hears him talk us through some of his life and trials and tribulations in ‘From Young’.

London MC Melanin 9 who has a reputation for his conscientious rhymes and intelligent wordplay has a new release called ‘Landslide’. This is following on from his recent video ‘Organised Democracy’ off his new album ‘Magna Carta’ which is due for release on December 3.

Young Spray dropped the video to ‘Forgiveness’ from his ‘Hard 2 Kill Vol 2’ mixtape, which is out now. Mr. RTM’s new mixtape ‘Realer Than Most Vol 3’, hosted by Mykal Million will be also be dropping very soon, so look out for that.

Tonight I’m off to see Clement Marfo + The Frontline at Barfly in Camden for their headline show, and from what I’ve seen from them before, it’s definitely not one to miss. I’ll fill you in on what went down next week…

October 16, 2012

Melanin 9 – Landslide [Audio]

 Melanin 9 release his new single taken from his new album Magna Carta which is out on 3rd December on Red Snow Records.

 

 

 

 

September 24, 2012

MTV Wrap Up – UK Rap Rundown [News]

Hey guys. It looks like winter is back; hopefully my news will cheer you up on this gloomy day! On Saturday night (22nd) I went to the East Ender Festival in Shoreditch where newbies such as the Bakery Boys, XO Man and Joel Culpepper joined some old-school heads like Blak Twang, Mystro and TY. I had a chat with TY about why events like these are important to the scene… He said: “Hip-hop events like this are important because in a time when mainstream pop-rap is so readily accessible in the charts, you need somewhere where the real lovers of all forms of hip-hop music can see artists from all over the world on the same stage.”

Saturday’s co-hosts Supa Dupa Fly said: “It’s important to put out quality hip-hop from the UK. Having legends TY and Blak Twang on the line-up made it really special for us. We plan to do more events like this – watch out for the Jazzy Jeff show at Jazz Cafe on October 15!

The booking of Doom had nothing to do with us, but its big shame and let down for the audience that he did a no-show. This just makes us want to support British music even more – TY, Blak Twang, Big Ted and Emily Rawson saved the day!”

I also picked up Mystro’s debut album ‘Mystrogen’ from him on Saturday night. The album reflects the set of skills he is renowned for; it is witty, humorous and has a great mix of wordplay, punch lines and social commentary – I think it is set to be a classic. It’s now available from all good digital outlets and includes features and production from Si Spex, Show N Prove, Mr Thing, Big Al and Homeboy Sandman.

Let’s take a look at tracks and videos of the week now. Genesis Elijah released ‘Underground King’, an honest and hard-hitting track where he spits his views on the music industry. Klashnekoff alsoreleased his highly-anticipated album ‘F**k The Long Talk’ last month and last week he gave us one of the tracks ‘Got To Be Right’ produced by Show N Prove to stream.

Ard Adz and Sho Shallow were due to open up for the Maybach Music Tour earlier this month; sadly, it was postponed. However, the pair covered their track ‘Actin Up’ with a version of their own in true Windy Music style. The duo also visited Link-Up TV for a session, giving us some deep and honest bars.

Melanin 9 released a video to his second track ‘Organized Democracy’, which is also a trailer for his ‘Magna Carta’ album which will be out on December 3.

Lastly, USG’s boss Squingy released the video to ‘Deeper’ from his ‘Wrighty’s 1st Son Part 2’ mixtape. I was a part of the video shoot so see if you can spot me in the visuals…

Until next week!

September 19, 2012

Melanin9 – Organized Democracy [Music Video]

London’s Melanin 9 releases his debut album Magna Carta on 3rd December 2012. He’s built up a reputation as one of the country’s most gifted emcees opening for interntaional artists such as Immortal Technique, Styles P and Wu Tang. Check out the second track Organized Democracy from the new 14 track album.