The Four Owls - Life In The Balance feat. Jam Baxter (Video)


High Focus Records' feathered foursome put some time-lapse action to Life In The Balance, a sombre number that samples Nina Simone's Wild Is The Wind. The Four Owls album Nature's Greatest Mystery is available here.


Sonnyjim - Xmas Promo 2011


Leading the ranks as one of the most generous labels around in 2011, EatGood has wrapped up this tidy package of Sonnyjim loosies from the past year or so. Here you get a snippet, three entire dubs and two full originals - the impeccable Nimbus and As Things Stand.



Grand Central - God Loves Grinders Vol. II (Mixtape)


Kinetik and Mr Drastick, aka Grand Central, have decided to call time on their artistic partnership after successfully teaming up last year for God Loves Grinders Vol. I. Reading between the lines, it's probably no coincidence that just over a week ago the video for S.W.A.G. was pulled from YouTube after the pair - or at least one half... - decided the fashionista-baiting song wasn't in keeping with their penchant for making mature, earnest hip hop.

Regardless, there's no bad blood between the two, but this is the last you'll hear of Grand Central, officially at least.



Krate Krusaders - Fade To Black feat. Akil The MC (Video)


Plymouth production duo Krate Krusaders link former Jurassic 5 regular Akil The MC for a cut off their new album When The Needle Drops, which is set for release on 9 January.


LDZ - Cat Food (Mixtape)


LDZ dish out a bowl of Cat Food, a freebie collection of castoffs, rarities and guest spots alongside the likes of Stig Of The Dump, Jam Baxter, Verbal and Dubbledge. Something for everyone then, surely.



Piff Gang - Jiff Gang (Video) / Mary Piffmas (Mixtape)


Piff Gang illustrate their ode to lemon peng, Jiff Gang, with a new video. If you haven't already listened to the outfit's mixtape Piff Breaks and 808s from September, then do so.

And as if that wasn't enough, the weed-smoking obsessives have compiled a Christmas selection known as Mary Piffmas. Ho-ho-hack-cough-splutter.





The Quaranteam - The Quaranteam EP


Long-time collaborators Loudmouth Melvin, Mentalist, Pyro Barz, K-Nite 13 and Skillit have formed like Voltron to bring you their latest incarnation, The Quaranteam. Their eight-track EP sees production split between Loudmouth and K-Nite and all five get busy on the mic.

Surely as we approach 2012, though, stream links are standard. Ho hum. Download available below.



Reveal - Neva Blink (Video)


Don't call it a comeback: poisonous poet Reveal is warming up for a return in 2012, the first of his new material being this dub of The Jacka's Never Blink.


Sway, Sincere, Lethal B, Dru Blu, Mic Righteous, Lady Leisure, G Frsh, Smiler, Biz, Lioness & Starboy Nathan - 1Xtra Xmas Anthem: Let It Snow


To get into the Christmas spirit, 1Xtra has enlisted Sway, Sincere, Lethal B, Dru Blu, Mic Righteous, Lady Leisure, G Frsh, Smiler, Biz, Lioness and Starboy Nathan for a knees-up laden with festive puns.

But please remember: the time it takes to listen throughout could otherwise be spent boiling an egg, clipping your toenails or playing a round of charades. And that's time you can't get back. Ever.

Yours,

The Grinch


Delusionists - Underachiever


Part four in Delusionists' Lost Letters series sees Ben Black wear his heart on his sleeve and lament falling behind friends and peers. Somehow this manages to bleed disappointment and be uplifting and defiant at the same time. It's also the most honest and relatable hip hop song to come from these shores in a long, long time, which is refreshing.



Show N Prove - Instrumentals Vol 1 (Beat Tape)


Having worked with everyone from grime-turned-pop young gun Tinchy Stryder to jailed veteran Skinnyman, Scottish producer Show N Prove has an impressive repertoire under his belt. To showcase his talents, the man has now compiled a beat tape of his best work.



Skuff & Inja - Fat Love (Video)



Skuff and Inja meet once again for a new track that'll end up on their respective albums, Destroy Everything and Bass Music/Escapism. If jump-up, sawtooth synths aren't your thing then this one ain't for you.


Logic & Last Resort - True Talk feat. Klashnekoff & Lowkey (Video)



People's Army frontman Logic ropes in Klashnekoff and Lowkey for the title track off his new album, True Talk, which just hit stores. All production is handled by Last Resort and the likes of Maverick Sabre and Akala assist on mic duties.


Ramson Badbonez - Pump Dat Bass (Video)



Ramson Badbonez pulls no punches over this break-and-synth combo from Row-D Beats, plus precision cuts from Jazz T. Boot Records will be putting out Badbonez' first album proper, Bad Influence, in the new year. The project will finally see the light of day after suffering numerous setbacks over the years, allegedly from people in his immediate circle.

Scoop this single ahead of the full release.


Tinie Tempah - Happy Birthday (Free EP)


If ever there was proof that UK acts are poaching the most commercially admissible sounds from across the pond, this is it. Still, a flagrant attempt to crack the States may be, but Like It Or Love It is dope and you can't help commend Tinie for securing such big features (namely J. Cole, Pusha T, Wiz Khalifa and Big Sean) for this project.



Has UK Hip Hop Lost Its British Identity?


A worthy debate from DJ Snips, Teef, Miss LaLa and more, who fire up the well-trodden grime-versus-hip hop debate and highlight that the former has been on the decline. It's tough to pin down the exact tipping point, but Dizzee's 2008 chart hit Dance Wiv Me is certainly culpable. As is Wiley's Wearing My Rolex. A year later and Tinchy Stryder was regularly storming the top ten. A year after that and even washed-up Roll Deep members were cashing in. And once a genre's pioneers start vying for commercial success and tailoring their sound to fit, you need new names to fill the breach. But that's presuming people are still interested by that stage - and in grime's case, they're just not. It had a good five or six-year run then unfortunately imploded after its foundations evaporated almost overnight, in a bid to conquer the charts. It will never excite or cover as much ground as it has done already.

Has UK hip hop lost its British identity? It depends who you're asking and where you're looking. If the recent trend towards lifting rising producer Lex Luger's sound is anything to go by, there's definitely a strong case for it suffering a personality crisis. Let's just hope our accents don't start slipping too.


Lowkey - Soundtrack To The Struggle (Video)


The title track to Lowkey's album Soundtrack To The Struggle comes to life. Filmed in Venezuela, the South American country ruled by communist champ Hugo Chavez, the video pays homage to Lowkey's close friend and supporter Adnan Al-Radhi, who recently passed away. You can buy the album here.


Grand Central - S.W.A.G. (Video)


Grand Central take aim at foppish fashionistas decked out in ridiculous clothing. Sources tell UK All Day that it's still cool to sport a moustache and wear retro objects about the neck.

This begs the question: what's worse, skinny jeans and garish colours or grown men in oversized Wu-Tang hoodies? You decide.


K Koke - I'm Back (Video)


If you didn't already know, Roc Nation signee K Koke was arrested and placed on remand for attempted murder earlier this year. The Stonebridge Estate rapper allegedly took part in a shooting in north west London, but the case fell apart over a lack of evidence, leaving Koke to walk free. And now he's back.


Jack Flash - Steamrolling (prod. Wizard) (Video)


Jack Flash and Wizard steamroll their way back into the scene. The pair's album, Progression, is waiting in the wings.


Context MC - Drowning


Context MC has taken some major strides since first popping up on our radar last summer. Getting attention from 1Xtra and MTV in recent months, he's since had his song Listening To Burial shortlisted by Radio 1. Now he's back with Drowning, which is in the same vein as his previous release, all ethereal and dreamy half-step.


Adele vs Bioviolence - Someone Like You feat. Inja (Video)


Delegates of Culture graduate Inja brings a slice of schmaltzy dub-pop with this remix to tubby soulstress Adele's Someone Like You. You can get a copy here and watch out for dude's Bass Music Adventure / Escapism set in 2012.


The Four Owls - Much Too Much feat. Dirty Dike (Video)



Dirty Dike joins his High Focus labelmates in their Four Owls guise for Much Too Much, a certified neck-snapper with suitably belligerent raps. Their new album, Nature's Greatest Mystery, is in stores now.


Onoe Caponoe - Central Control (Album)


We may have clocked Onoe Caponoe's oddball videos for Milkyway 1311 and Clockwork Green earlier in the year, but somehow the west London artist's LP Central Control slipped through the net a few weeks back. Onoe's on a planet of his own, putting his vocals to everything from trad boom bap, experimental beats and lo-fi dubstep. And all with an uncompromising, spaced-out hippy attitude.

If you're in London, head to Suspect Packages Live (see below) this Friday to catch his performance.


Don't Stay In...


Roll up to Suspect Packages Live this Friday for on-stage action from The Four Owls, Poisonous Poets veteran Reveal and newcomer Onoe Caponoe, it's sure to be a right goodun.


Rain - Running For My Freedom (Video)


Rain's Running For My Freedom sees the MC doing just that, evading police as he relives the summer's riots in a fantasy scenario. Top points for the video on this one. Pick the man's album up here.


Klashnekoff - Clear My Throat (Video)


Just when you thought K-Lash was back on hiatus, he makes his presence firmly felt with Clear My Throat, which lifts DJ Kool's Let Me Clear My Throat. Expect a mixtape tentatively titled Fuck The Long Talk to drop imminently.


Buggsy - Connect The SPDIF feat. Jehst & Farma G (Video)


Buggsy, the rapidfire rapper that hails from Bristol, releases this accompaniment to Connect The SPDIF. The Farma- and Jehst-featuring track was on Buggsy's The Great Escape indie set from April.


RapperTagUK#4 - Rodney P


Just when you thought Tony D had been left hanging in the wind, Rodney P picks up where Rapper Tag left off and gives it some trademark, riddim killin bars a capella.

Tony Rotten, where are ya?


Tinie Tempah – Lucky Cunt feat. Big Sean


The second leak off Tinie Tempah's upcoming project Happy Birthday, Lucky Cunt features GOOD Music's Big Sean, who recently wound up being an unlucky cunt when he imprisoned a female backstage and she went to the rozzers.