Month: November 2012

Various Artists - The Craig Charles Funk And Sould Club LP [Freestyle Records]

Various Artists – The Craig Charles Funk And Sould Club LP [Freestyle Records]

Actor, stand up comedian, poet, radio presenter and club DJ Craig Charles has been a dedicated soul boy from a tender age, in fact he was raised on the sounds of sweet soul, "My father came over from Guyana in the West Indies and he brought a load of records over with him. There was always Ray Charles playing in the house, The Platters, Aretha Franklin and Otis Redding. My Dad would play all this old stuff. In fact I was very close to getting called Otis when I was born!"

Public Enemy - Most Of My Heroes Don't Appear On No Stamp / The Evil Empire Of Everything 2xCD [SPITdigital]

Public Enemy – Most Of My Heroes Don’t Appear On No Stamp / The Evil Empire Of Everything 2xCD [SPIT

Would you believe that Public Enemy have been releasing music for 25 years now? I guess so, but that is quite an impressive time, especially as they still maintain that hardcore edge. Public Enemy released what co-founder Chuck D calls "two albums book-ending Summer 2012" earlier in the year. Together Most Of My Heroes Don't Appear On No Stamp and The Evil Empire Of Everything represent the artistic and technological crossroads that Public Enemy yet again find themselves at. Digital distribution, a virtual recording studio and a lot on the band's collective mind made dual albums not only a bold move, but a necessary one since their last album five years ago.

Melanin 9 - Magna Carta LP [Red Snow]

Melanin 9 – Magna Carta LP [Red Snow]

Melanin 9's Magna Carta (due to be released on the 3rd of December by Red Snow) has been two years in the making and is the London rapper's first album. The sound is a refreshing return to classic hip hop whilst staying firmly rooted in modern Britain. Magna Carta , at its core, is focused on old school hip hop values. In many ways it's an album that could fall under the umbrella of conscious hip hop, but M9 is set apart from other conscious rappers in the UK by having a greater focus on the stories you can touch with your fingertips.

Benny Diction - Hard Graft, Arts And Crafts And Hearty Laughs LP [Indie]

Benny Diction – Hard Graft, Arts And Crafts And Hearty Laughs LP [Indie]

What do you get when you mix a Nottingham-born-rapper with wit and lyricism? Nothing actually. But if there was some kind of grandiose prize for a Nottingham-born-rapper with wit and lyricism, I'm sure Benny Diction would make decent candidate. If you are unaware of whom Benny Diction is, where have you been for the last two years? He currently promotes and co-hosts the monthly hip-hop night "Fat Gold Chain" alongside Solocypher in London. Which is arguably one of the best live hip-hop nights in the London Scene.

George Fields - From the Sticks LP [UTS Records]

George Fields – From the Sticks LP [UTS Records]

George Fields, to many an unknown entity, is a young producer from Dorset UK who is setting an extremely high standard with his work. This 10 track instrumental project is a labour of love that any discerning listener will be keeping close to hand (ear) for years to come. Clearly a producer with a love for vinyl, the sample choices, drum programming and quality of mixing and mastering is undeniable and comparable to any contemporary 'big studio' release.

Stinkfish

Stinkfish

Stinkfish is a Mexican born, Columbia based street artist whose exhibition in England recently came to a close. The exhibition, Espina (Spanish for ‘Thorn') was a combination of photographic portraits, found materials and graffiti styled stencilling which made striking colour contrasts and drew you into the world that these people and objects had come from.

Rap Mayhem Friday 30th November At The Forum, London

Rap Mayhem Friday 30th November At The Forum, London

What happens when you have two underground kings, a rapper from the upper echelons of rap elite and a name synonymous with the foundations of Hip Hop in one building, all for one show... Rap Mayhem! Rap Mayhem is a unique opportunity to catch the founding members of Jedi Mind Tricks, La Coka Nostra, Organized Konfusion and D.I.T.C performing live in London for an exclusive, first of its kind, festival tour at The HMV Forum in London on 30th November, 2012.

Melanin 9

Melanin 9

There's something immediately surreal about pressing the buzzer of a tower block and saying, "Hey, is this M9?" But life is surreal and certainly Melanin 9 felt it more keenly than me. He invited me in and offered me a drink while I took the opportunity to have a nose through his DVD collection. We briefly lamented those times you lend a movie to a friend and it seems to disappear into DVD purgatory. But soon enough we dropped the small talk and got down to discussing Hip Hop and his debut album, Magna Carta.

Speech Debelle - Live For The Message 12" [Big Dada]

Speech Debelle – Live For The Message 12″ [Big Dada]

Speech Debelle returns to the fray with the third single from her critically-acclaimed second album, "Freedom Of Speech". One of the standout tracks from the album, "Live For The Message" was produced by Kwes and features a softly-spoken but defiant vocal from Speech in which she outlines why it's more important to be heard saying the right thing than to be heard - a message not just for the contemporary rap community but for a world obsessed with form over content.