Posts tagged ‘UK’

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.”

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July 11, 2016

The Sounds of UK Rap: @ReekoSqueeze @Official6ix @Sneakbo @TherealWholagun @DonStrapzy_

Reeko Squeeze

This year, Reeko Squeeze has being working hard, dropping track after track. After his separation from infamous UK Rap crew Section Boyz last year, which left fans shocked and disappointed, he went on to drop his introductory mixtape Child’s Play as a solo artist. It proved he was strong on his own and made room for himself in his own lane, collaborating with artists such as Youngs Teflon and J Hus. His new track ‘Ring Ring’ takes on a production courtesy of Loadstar, bringing a different sound to the normal street bangers he goes for. We see him flowing effortlessly over an energetic instrumental, with a chorus that matches the vigor of the beat.

 

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One of London’s hottest UK Rap crews have released another heavyweight track titled ‘Traumatised 2’. It features a haunting, ghostly, and sinister beat mixed with raw and gritty chronicles of the streets, their lives, and what they see around them. ‘Traumatised 2’ captures their authenticity, “Mans on trapping, man got skills, g money got gwop like Tesco tills, peng tings wanna lurk on Brixton Hill.” Their real bars, teamed with their original sound, have pushed them already into the limelight.

 

Sneakbo

South London rapper Sneakbo sprays bars all over his new Dancehall anthem, sampling a classic riddim ‘Bookshelf.’ Produced by iLL Blu and featuring the vocals of Nyla, Sneakbo has a surefire hit on his hands for the summer – ready to hit the clubs or be played whilst relaxing on the beach. This is his first release since being signed to Virgin EMI, and it’s clear nothing has changed with Sneakbo’s style; it’s full of energy and charisma. Sneakbo lays his bars down about a female: “10 out of 10 girl your looks are nice, get what I like I don’t watch the price / I woke up like you see tonight, I’m living life, living like I’m about to die.”

 

Wholagun

Wholagun drops one for the streets with his new track ‘I’m Sorry.’ He matches ice-cold bars with a flow that switches up and quickens. The South London rapper isn’t new to the game, and has an undeniable sound in the UK amongst other rappers, pairing minimalist beats with sharp bars. ‘I’m Sorry’ shows Wholagun telling us he’s about to mess up the game with his unruly, boisterous bars and feverish delivery: “Been looking hard and observing, if I go hard then it’s curtains, they got bars and they murking, but they ain’t like this in person,” talking about how other rappers lie in their bars and aren’t really like that. We wonder who he’s aiming that at?

 

Don Strapzy

Another artist straight out of South London, Don Strapzy has been putting in the work this year. dropping strings of videos and headlining a show at Birthdays in Dalston. ‘Write Off’ finds him going hard with a passionate and fiery delivery over a lively, upbeat production that should be turned up loud in your car or in the club. “I’m Donny and I’m all about the dolla, loyal to my family I’ll die for my honour.”

News

Beyoncé has been in London for her Formation world tour and along with dancing to Skepta and JME’s ‘That’s Not Me’ on Saturday night (July 2nd), she also brought out UK Rap crew Section Boyz for a support slot on July 3rd.

Section Boyz also have a new track out with Chris Brown, Wiz Kid and Hoody Baby titled ‘Shabba.’ It dropped on Chris Brown’s SoundCloud, and is the second time the crew have paired up with the R&B singer (the first being ‘Whippin’).

July 6, 2016

Underdog Music: Clash Meets @OfficialAvelino [Interview]

When you’re preparing to speak to a highly skilled rapper, known for mind-blowing wordplay, you know that you’re in for a good conversation. As soon as I speak my first words with Avelino he is the same charismatic, laid-back, and intelligent person as he is in his lyrics.

A prominent name in UK Rap after co-signs from BBC Radio 1 DJ Semtex, Tinie Tempah, and one of the kings of lyricism himself; Wretch 32, Avelino has spent three years of releasing mixtapes’ from ‘Underdog Music’ to ‘Iconic Ambition’ and the recent joint mixtape with Wretch himself ‘Young Fire Old Flame’. He has recently taken his unorthodox approach to music one step further with the release of his debut EP ‘FYO’ which was executive produced by Odd Child’s Raf Riley.

“It’s mood driven,” he says of his unique style. “I go by how I feel at the time and I hope that reflects in the music. Very experimental, without deviating from myself. Original, I like to be the best version of me at that time.” Perhaps this is because he spent his time in the studio, refining his skills, or due to the fact he is respectful of other artists taking time to analyse them, “I watch the behavior of people I look up to. The one mistake people might make is thinking you know it all, we don’t, you can always feed off others. Pick up things, learn things, add something to your game.“

Beginning his career with a slew of freestyles, he dropped his second mixtape ‘Iconic Ambition’ in 2013. “It was a humble mixtape. We did it on minimal resources, me and my mates,” he says. “Still, with the title and with what we tried to do with the songs kind of indicated what we were reaching for.” His ‘Young Fire Old Flame,’ mixtape with Wretch 32, released at the end of last year, was a definite step forward. “It was a mixtape with one of the icons,” he reflects. “One of the people I look up to and idolize, and we actually worked together to make a mixtape which was almost like completing part of the checklist and an amazing feat for me personally.”

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The pair dropped a now legendary freestyle on Charlie Sloth’s ‘Fire In The Booth’ which demonstrates Avelino keeping up with his idol, both artists complimenting each other in an effortlessly natural way.

“When you hear someone speak with as much excellence as Wretch 32, you know whatever you record has to be your best moment at that time, because if not it’s going to be evident,” admits Avelino. “I don’t feel there were challenges. Now that’s not saying it was easy to work with Wretch 32, because he’s maybe the greatest lyricist we’ve ever had in the country.” Avelino definitely held his own and in the words of Stormzy “Can we take a minute to pay homage to Avelino for lyrically keeping up with Wretch 32.”

He has become known as a master of lyricism, especially with regards to his wordplay. It can be quite intense, but he has crafted his lyrics with such finesse that you can only admire the end result. “There can never be too much focus on wordplay and lyricism because that is what rap is all about,” he says. “Rap is an art form where you are directly speaking to someone. You want them to replay the tune, to listen to something that they didn’t catch. For me it adds to the excitement and the enjoyment and the appreciation. It’s why I take care of every single line that I think of.” This is apparent when listening to his music, the complexity of his lyrics demand rewinds and repetition to absorb, and yet his flow and production choices keep this from ever becoming a chore.

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Keep striving, keep working, keep trying to get better…

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From his work with Wretch, to signing with MMR (More Money Records), working closely with Labrinth and his Odd Child label, it’s clear that Avelino has nestled himself with like-minded artists, feeling at home with them, “They are creative people and I always try and take away as much as I can from them. Labrinth is one of the greatest musicians I’ve seen with my own two eyes, he’s phenomenal. He’ll go through like five songs in an hour and slap out numerous ideas, leaving you trying to keep up with him. You don’t know how to tell him slow down, because I’m not keeping up with that. You always try and incorporate certain things you’ve heard from him, or certain things he’s tried, certain principles he has, certain techniques he might use.“

For his debut EP ‘FYO (Fuck Your Opinion)’ it is really a time for the Young Fire to shine, “It’s my moment to really introduce myself, and to impose myself into the area that I’m going to be in for as long as possible which is rap,” he states. He delivers his easily recognisable laid-back flow with quick clever bars in a style that has become highly definitive. When asked about his approach to his signature style he offers, “The only thought process I had before making it was consciously choosing to work so closely with Raf Riley on it. I knew he was quite left and I was quite maybe in a different place but we met in the beautiful middle and the product was almost like a hybrid alternative but still hip-hop, it was still me.”

As grime continues to thrive, not only in the UK but extending worldwide, it can sometimes feel like UK rap doesn’t get the credit it deserves in the shadow of it’s 140bpm brother, yet this isn’t something that phases the young North Londoner. “They are two different art forms and we shouldn’t be competing with grime. Let them win. Rap can win as well. I don’t want to do that whole, is that getting more recognition and how does that make rap feel, let them win and we can win as well, everyone can eat. There is enough for everyone. As long as we never get ahead of ourselves and know that there is more to be done. Keep striving, keep working, keep trying to get better, keep trying to expand and we’ll be cool. We’ll be massive, UK will get more and more love.“

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Published on clashmusic.com http://www.clashmusic.com/features/underdog-music-clash-meets-avelino on 31.05.16

July 13, 2015

Pixies Tracks Of The Week @MerkyACE @Izziegibbs @Rejjiesnow @Novelist @Meridian_Dan

Merky Ace – Cuss Match

A new one from the Dirtee Stank camp comes “Cuss Match” from South London spitter Merky Ace. Ahead of his Peak Levels EP which drops on July 17, he brings the war on a devilish beat produced by one half of Newham Generals, Footsie. The video was directed by Dizzee Rascal himself and also sees him make a cameo appearance, along with Footsie in the ghostly and eerie setting.

Izzie Gibbs – Swear Down

Izzie Gibbs is gearing up to release his EP Justsu and shows us what’s to come with his first track to be heard from it “Swear Down”. He takes it back to the old school Grime days with the beat, and proves why he is one to watch with his sharp and clever wordplay and lively delivery.

Rejjie Snow – All Around The World

Rejjie Snow is known for his unique take on hip-hop and has been rising steadily since the release of his debut EP Rejovich. His new track “All Around The World” sees Johnny Deep’s 16-year old daughter Lily-Rose play a smitten fan who Rejjie picks out from the crowd. Production comes from Chance The Rapper affiliate Cam O’bi along with a poignant melody.

Novelist – War

Novelist is one of grime’s most powerful, up and coming MCs and has been working non-stop. He uses the Jon E Cash classic riddim “War” to deliver 3 and half minutes of intense and menacing bars. He definitely doesn’t hold back on the snarling instrumental where he is cheeky and threatening all at the same time.

Meridian Dan – In The Street 

Bloodline member Meridian Dan drops a brand new, bass heavy track ‘In The Street’ which premiered on BBC Radio 1 & 1Xtra.

 

April 4, 2015

One To Watch: C Cane (@OfficialCCane)

ccane

C Cane is an MC from North London, Enfield that is about to cause some serious waves in the scene. Not only can she rap, she can sing, play the drums, piano and the guitar. She’s been in the studio recently with the New Money Recording team and has gone from putting out some sick freestyles to now laying down and recording tracks in the booth and releasing visuals such as ‘Whos Dat’. She’s worked incredibly hard the past few years, doing as many live shows as she can and building the foundations to become a recognised, serious and talented artist. As a lyricist she has some serious bars and can go from a skippy, fast flow to switching it to a more relaxed one. Check out ‘Just Cool Nah’ her recent collaboration with DJ Cameo, Scrufizzer, Saskilla, Drifter & Lil Nasty.

Go to C Cane’s Youtube channel by clicking here

 

January 29, 2015

Soul Acoustic Tour [Event] (@SOUL_ACOUSTIC )

Punch Records return with their 3rd Soul Acoustic Tour with a strong line up of confirmed artists for 2015.

rsz_soul_acoustic_2015_flyer

These include headliner Carroll Thompson, the undisputed Queen Of Lovers Rock, and one of the UK’s finest female voices who has brought her incredible vocal ability to audiences across the world for over 25 years; Raheem Bakare who has recently performed at BET Music Matters in New York; talented Londoner Dionne Reid who has previously hit the stage at

Glastonbury; Bristol’s Eva Lazarus who is the lead singer of The Dub Mafia; acclaimed Liverpudlian singer songwriter KOF makes a welcomed return to Soul Acoustic after performing in 2013; Afrobeats star Silvastone who has just been voted as one of the “Hot For 2015” artists by BBC Radio 1Xtra and Urban Music Awards 2014 winner for Best Newcomer, Stephanie McCourt.

Catch the tour across the UK, dates and locations below!

SOUL ACOUSTIC TOUR MARCH 2015 

Friday 6thNottingham, Glee Club 

Saturday 7thLiverpool, House 

Sunday 8thBirmingham, Glee Club 

Tuesday 10thBristol, Snug Bar 

Weds 11thLondon, Jazz Cafe 

Thursday 12thLeeds, The Wardrobe

 

January 27, 2015

One To Watch: J Hus (@JHusMusic)

J Hus

J Hus

J Hus is a name you should start to be hearing more often, a lot of eyes and ears are on him this year. He’s from Newham, East London and has had a lot of artists already telling us to watch out for him such as Fekky. He’s released freestyles on all the big ‘urban’ channels most recently an SBTV Warm Up, last year saw him record a Street Heat with Link Up TV, and a GRM Daily Rated. His unique style is perhaps what might draw you to him, and the fact his name is all over Twitter, but it’s his controversy, flow and wordplay that made him me a fan straight away. Keep an eye on this talent…

Check out his Soundcloud here 

January 5, 2015

Five Emcee’s To Watch Out For In 2015 – @IsaiahDreads @swiftsqueeze4p @Novelist @SNOW667 @ThePotterBk @sleeks300 @inchawali101

I’ve named 5 of my top five artists to watch out for in 2015. See who I think has what it takes below and why…

Isaiah Dreads

A 16 year old grime MC from the West Country. He can already add to his credits performing at Glastonbury, Wireless and Isle of Wight as well as being Zane Low’s ‘Next Hype’ & Mistajam’s ‘Radio Ripper’ for track ‘U See Me’ produced by Preditah. He’s also received co-signs from other radio tastemakers Toddla T & DJ Target. Watch out for more from him this year including a mixtape.

IsaiahDreads

Section Boyz

These guys have been on my radar for a while. A collective of rappers from South London including Swift, Deepee, Sleeks, Knine, Inch, Littlez & Reeko. 2014 saw them really cause a stir and got a lot more people taking notice especially with track ‘Delete My Number’ and mixtape ‘Sectionly’ making a big impact on the underground rap scene. 2015 should see the boys tighten up their game and really shine.

SectionBoyz

Novelist

 I first met him in late 2013 and as I saw him freestyle in front of just a few people for a press day I was running I knew I was witnessing something special. Now he has everyone talking, the freestyle on Toddla T’s show over ‘Incredible’ was insane and he has released material on Rinse with Mumdance and now has signed to the legendary XL Recordings for new EP ‘1 Sec’. Founder of Lewisham grime crew The Square; they are essentially going to be the crew in years to come that rule.

Novelist

 Snowy

18 and from Nottingham, I spotted Snowy on social networks and a freestyle video on UGX with some of the other cities sick MC’s such as Dubzy, Vigilant and Fangol and DJ Cameo’s Gimme Grime freestyle alongside Manga and another that’s hotly tipped this year Izzie Gibbs. He really began to get recognition in 2013/2014 and in 2015 I look forward to hearing some really exciting new material from him. Go check out his soundcloud where you can hear two EP’s from him.

snowy

Potter Payper

 This Essex rapper has been about on the underground for a little while, but incarcerations have held him back. 2015 should be his year and we will see a new project very soon to be exact 15/01/15 called ‘24’. Last year saw a host of videos and his mixtape ‘Training Day’ be released as well as an epic ‘Fire In The Booth’, ‘Crib Session’ on Westwood TV ‘Warm Up’ on SBTV and a lot more. On instagram we’ve seen potential collabs with Donae’o and Bonkaz. Watch out for him!

PotterPayper

October 15, 2014

UKF Celebrate Their Fifth Anniversary [MTV Feature]

As UKF celebrate 5 years in the game, we look back at their rise to success and talk to the artists involved…

UKF are set to have a huge birthday bash tonight (Friday Oct 10), celebrating five years since the birth of the brand, and what an amazing five years it has been! The Wrap Up talk to some of the artists performing on the night to see what UKF means to them and the EDM scene in general.

TC and Brookes Brothers discuss their thoughts on electronic music culture, with TC telling me: “It’s really different in every country in the world. In the UK, the crowd seems really educated, even the underground stuff. It’s like for some reason people in the UK really know the tracks. A lot of other places have that too, but the UK seems to just have that on lock, especially in D&B.”

The Brookes Brothers comment on its changes. “It’s changed beyond recognition from when we were growing up but its as strong as it ever has been. There’s so much going on it’s ridiculous!”

With the charts set on fire with artists such as Chase & Status, WilkinsonDuke DumontDisclosure and more, Brookes Brothers praise these artists: “Disclosure sparked a lot of the interest in ‘deep house’ in the UK when they first started getting attention two or so years ago – they pretty much spawned a whole new scene”.

TC explains the growth of EDM: “There’s so much content. There’s also loads of access to software now that there’s so much exciting talent coming through. It’s a really exciting and creative time. Sometimes in the past I feel the scene has got a little bit stagnant, but right now there’s a freedom to be creative… it’s wicked.”

Brookes Brothers agree with TC, also discussing what they think the main factors are behind the growth. “The digital generation who grew up with the sounds of computer bleeps and video games are more open to electronic music than previous generations. The bigger radio stations and labels have been pushing it harder and harder over the last five years or so which has had that snowball effect and the perception of it in the mainstream has changed massively.”

This growth helps the genres of EDM such D&B, Dubstep and House, but 10 years ago you wouldn’t have seen it so often in the charts. But with pop tracks taking influence from the genres, it’s presence in mainstream music has been solidified.

Brookes Brothers agree. “Things come and go but House music has had its place in the charts and clubs for years in one form or the other – its the most accessible form of dance music and such a great template for pop records as well. Its good to see it back in the charts. People have a naturally huge appetite for that four to the floor beat at 120bpm.”

It’s evident through this discussion with TC and the Brookes Brothers that there has been an uplifting change in the electronic music world over the past five years and how much it has expanded. Not a day goes by on Facebook anymore when I don’t see a video of a people shuffling, which I would never have seen a few years ago.

UKF have definitely played a major part in this and TC says its to do with “Luke who runs the channel – he’s really into his music and I respect that.”

They have hit a such a wide fanbase through what they do, catering to many people through their events, channel, downloads and more, with Brookes Brothers saying “It definitely helped the music reach a new audience and grow globally, also it brought in a new younger audience who can’t get into clubs just yet.”

A big congratulations to the team and as UKF stated themselves, “Bring on the next five years!”


Published on MTV The Wrap Up on Friday 10th October –  http://www.mtv.co.uk/the-wrap-up/blog/ukf-celebrate-their-fifth-anniversary#spdPwGVCY4dq1Hiy.99

August 12, 2014

MTV The Wrap Up: Global Gathering 2014 [Review]

Global Gathering returned to the pretty, historical town of Stratford-upon-Avon to bring us the best in electronic music in two days of partying. The festival has been going for 13 years now, and each year festival goers can listen to 12 hours per day of music, this is definitely for the hardcore ravers.

Main stage acts included the legendary Andy C who literally played tune after tune on his hour long set on the Saturday, keeping the drum & bass ravers exceptionally happy. Jaguar Skills brought his mixing skill to the table blending hip-hop, funk, dub, drum & bass and everything in between. Major Look warmed up the sitting down crowd nicely with his early 1pm set getting everyone up. Annie Mac also smashed the main set in pure dance style that only she can do. Netsky was a firm favourite of mine on the Friday and Chase & Status who headlined on Friday completely smashed it with their light effects and music.

Apart from the main stage the UKF tent, Hospitality and 1Xtra tent was where I spent most of my time. Wilkinson played to a rammed UKF tent with an exceptional set playing well-known tracks such as ‘Afterglow’ and ‘Too Close’. Friction also played a standout set as always but unfortunately no special guests were present. I also caught a bit of Matrix & Futurebound and Digital Soundboy’s Shy FX who played a pure class set of jungle and drum & bass.

Hospitality set up on the Saturday too and I ventured over various times to watch and listen to the sounds of High ContrastSigma and Camo & Krooked. Sigma played their single which has taken over the airways ‘Nobody To Love’ getting the crowd singing along to every word, and showcased some other great tunes. Welsh drum & bass producer and DJ High Contrast played a fantastic set to a highly lively and energetic crowd for an hour.

I also managed to catch a bit of Toddla T and Mungos Hifi over at Ram Jam. Overall the festival was one of my favourites of the year so far, full of energy and a great crowd, and managed to keep me up on my feet dancing for pretty much the whole time. See you there next year!