New Yorker Fresh Island; the groundbreaking Croatian hip hop festival, saw a record 20,000 fans flock to the tiny and unspoiled Zrce beach as a heavyweight line up of international artists took to the custom-built seafront stage. The three day event kicked off in style on Wednesday 23rd July with a headline performance from legend Rick Ross - as well as a night of global DJ crews including DJ Tim Westwood (UK), DJ Katch (DE), Lil Dirty (AUT), DJ Smoke Dogg (AUT), DJ Maxx (DE), DJ Jayceeoh (USA), Chris Stallion (NOR), Latin Prince (USA) and Patski Love (NOR).
Until recent years I've felt pretty pessimistic about music. A cursory tour around your radio dials will probably demonstrate why. I'm not talking specifically about hip hop, I mean across the board. We live in a culture where genres are represented by the most economically successful acts, not the most definitive, groundbreaking or influential artists.
Hundreds of Professor Green fans flocked last night to see the London-born rapper make his 2013 live debut with a storming set list which included favourites such as Remedy and Read All About It. The exclusive gig was the culmination of Barclaycard's celebrations to mark London life being made easier now contactless payment technology is available on Transport for London (TFL) buses across the Capital.
Lusty doesn't look much like a rapper. And he doesn't sound much like a rapper. At least, he doesn't if you're used to the radio rap dialectic of today, which rarely hears accents from anywhere outside America or London. But Hip Hop isn't about image or voice, nor credentials or race. Certainly, if success as a Hip Hop artist were related to voice we could have expected Dizzee Rascal's career to be short lived and unfortunately that's not the case. In short, Public Mental Breakdown isn't your run of the mill Hip Hop album. It might be a good time, at this point, to quote Lusty himself and say the album is for '...the middle aged B-boy'. In a way that sums everything up neatly but there's more to be said.
Although I wasn't there to witness the inevitable majesty of Wednesday's show, Tuesday's show was fantastic nevertheless. The reunion and 10 year anniversary of the Asylum Speakers album, featuring artists and full band made this a landmark of UK Hip Hop history. With both shows sold out, Dark Circle opened up, having travelled from Germany and Iceland, and set the tone for an incredible evening of music.
Home grown grime collective Boy Better Know smashed the decibel metre during last night's Red Bull Culture Clash at London's Wembley Arena to be crowned 2012 champion by hosts Tim Westwood and Gemma Cairney. The sound of London's streets was victorious, beating loud and heavy competition from Major Lazer, Annie Mac Presents Magnetic Man and Channel One.
Immortal Technique is an angry man. When he hits the stage, he already looks a bit upset. But this is something you expect from Immortal Technique, the rapper known for conscious lyrics and an uncompromising, often aggressive approach to hip hop. He hadn't played in England since 2010 and he seemed set to make up for the two year gap at the Brixton Electric. Tonight he was joined by Poison Pen, Mazzi, Swave Sevah, DJ Snuff, DJ Static and Lowkey.
The 13th of October was a very memorable calendar day for many people in London this year. It was day that Red Bull Music Academy (RBMA) decided to host an event named "Revolutions In Sound" with a concept that resulted in having thirty separate parties in thirty separate capsules of the London Eye, in one night.
Arrested Development took to the Barbican stage in an explosion of colour, sound and energy, much like their entrance on the scene back in the early 90s with ‘3 years, 5 months and 2 days in the life of…’ Their positive, afro- centric variant of hip hop has always set the Grammy Award winners apart. Alongside groups such as Digable Planets, they flipped the hip hop script in a scene then dominated by everything gangsta.
The festival season has come to a memorable end as Bestival came to a fire-fuelled finale with the final Main Stage set from The Prodigy and ceremonial burning of the Magic Meadow tree house. With the majority of festival-goers leaving the site on the midmorning of Monday 13th September, the reluctance to step back into the reality of working for a living may be looming for quite some time.
I recently went to Alaska Street Studios near Waterloo Station with the purpose of checking out a band that was led by… wait for it… Seanie T. For some, an unexpected artist to be leading a band but after knowing the diversity of his music, this was not so much of a surprise. Believe me, anyone who knows British hip-hop, knows Seanie T.
Anyone who knows anything knows that the Hot Natured party at the W Hotel in Barcelona was held on Friday 18th June. With guest list only entry, people were frantically emailing any address that they thought might gain them entry into the party. Sometimes a number of times to see if they could increase their chances of getting in… And it was well worth it.
So, Tiësto once again took over Victoria Park on the 30th of July 2010. I couldn’t get the afternoon off work so had to get there as soon as I could which turned out to be around 6pm. A situation that I’m sure many people had to endure until they were set free from the shackles of employment.
The British Music Experience (BME) at The 02 provided the perfect sense of intimacy for the select audience who attended the showcase and Q&A with internationally renowned British hip hop artist Ty. The night not only celebrated the release of the rapper’s forthcoming single ‘Heart is Breaking’ featuring Sway from his hotly acclaimed album, ‘Special Kind of Fool’, but for the entire month of June the BME will be exhibiting the exquisite Ty sculpture by Ben Wachenje as featured on the album cover.