CAS - Slags (feat. B2 & Uncle Mix) (Video)

"I don't do wine bars... nah, I  do nine bars."

CAS builds upon his already unknowable mystique by riffing off an acid house beat with a couple of cohorts. If you haven't already, check Drugs Don't Work, T.R.O.N. and Play for the guy once known as Castro at his most intent.

Piff Gang - Keep It Moving (Video)

More languorous music from the piffiest gang, whose recent Greenhouse mixtape is equally paced and leaned-out.

Fliptrix - Something's Going On (Video)

Fliptrix plays UKHH mystic, leaving behind old times for new beginnings just as the Mayans refresh their calendar. Off that Road To The Interdimensional Highway.

Problem Child - WTF (Video)

Dubbledge and Dabbla free their inner problem children for a taster of their new project. Sumgii, who handled the 808 and toy piano on this, will also be involved in the latest venture.

Dido - Let Us Move On feat. Kendrick Lamar

Dido's already firmly acquainted with the rap world, Eminem's breakout hit Stan working in both their favours. Now the English songstress returns with man of the moment K.Dot taking a guest spot that manages to finesse, despite contending with middle of the road coffe-table music.


Benny Banks - Patiently Waiting Vol.2 (Mixtape)

The 679 young gun follows up Bada Bing and Who's The Daddy with his latest mixtape.

Benny Banks - Patiently Waiting Vol.2

Sonnyjim & Kosyne - It's About Time (Free EP)

The brains behind Eat Good Records have yet to put out a full collaboration, until now. It's About Time is verse-for-verse tagteam antics over beats from Fel Sweetenberg, Apatight, Dag Nabit, Kelakovski and Jaisu, plus features including globetrotters Foreign Beggars.

Sonnyjim & Kosyne - It's About Time

Edward Scissortongue - Coma feat. Contact Play (Video)

Edward Scissortongue is joined by his Contact Play brethren for a posse cut off his just released Better.Luck.Next.Life set, out now on High Focus.

Mike Skinner & Danny Brown - Back & Forth (pt. 4 of 4)

In the final instalment of Mike Skinner and Danny Brown's sit-down the Detroit native reveals that cream soda is a superior sizzurp mixer than Sprite, third-person beats first-person for the ultimate gaming experience, and discovers that Quavers are "crack" while Skips smell like horny teenagers' fingers.

Black The Ripper - Throwaway Thoughts (Video)

This one leaked a few months back before cropping up on Black Is Beautiful 2. Now Samson continues  to up his buzz with yet another video off the tape.

Show N Prove - Instrumentals Vol. 2 (Beat Tape)

Having already worked with the likes of Klashnekoff, Benny Banks, Wretch 32 and Rizzle Kicks, the Scotsman drops off this showcase of some choice cuts. Rumour has it Show N Prove is working on new material with the likes of Tinie Tempah, Professor Green, Dot Rotten, Roll Deep and Giggs for the new year.

Show N Prove - Instrumentals Vol. 2

Mike Skinner & Danny Brown - Back & Forth (pt. 3 of 4)

Danny on a potential Newport ad campaign with his dad, getting on to Dizzee, The Streets and Wiley early, putting Schoolboy Q on to grime and the 140bpm heritage making UK rappers more dexterous.

Micall Parknsun - Grade & Liquor (Video)

Parky gets twisted on his two favourite vices. Me, Myself And Akai lands on 28 January.

Black The Ripper - Intro (prod. Loudmouth Melvin) (Video)

After cleaning up with the excellent This Is For, Black The Ripper continues his onslaught, this time delivering a video for the intro on his recent Black Is Beautiful 2 mixtape. #dench

Get the hirsute Edmonton MC's latest offering for nada.

Mike Skinner & Danny Brown Back & Forth (pt. 2 of 4)

More priceless banter from the ex-Streets frontman and Detroit's biggest cunnilingus enthusiast.

Giggs x Waka Flocka - Lemme Get Dat (Video)

ATL meets Peckham for this traptastic tribute to lifting people's jewels and other coveted valuables. Waka is currently over here touring, so stay out of his way if you're carrying anything expensive.

S.A.S. - Drug Flow (prod. The Last Skeptik) (Video)

S.A.S. wyle out at Livin' Proof in their new video for Drug Flow, taken from their impending mixtape Coming To America II.


Nu Brand Flexxx - Project: Cherryade

Nu Brand Flexxx get turnt up at a house party before it gets locked off by the fuzz for this vocal of Darq E Freaker's Cherryade beat. Their The Trip EP will be available on iTunes from Wednesday.

Onoe Caponoe - Funkadelic Planet (Video)

Surrealist Onoe Caponoe goes all multiplicitous, various incarnations travelling across inter-dimensional borders in the motherwhip. Get yourself a copy of his freshly released second LP Willow's Midnight Gallery and take a peek inside the man's mind over here.

Piff Gang - Greenhouse (Mixtape)

New Pizzy. Budgie, Crankz, Sumgii, JD Reid and the ever rising S-Type on the buttons.

Piff Gang - Greenhouse

Mike Skinner & Danny Brown Back & Forth (pt. 1 of 4)

Mike Skinner sits down with the inimitable Danny Brown to talk vomiting in glasses and getting a hand shandy while you're performing on stage.

Catch'em feat. ItsNate - Same Old G (Video)

ItsNate turns in another appearance, this time alongside Catch'em, who delivers a hook that could easily pass itself off as French Montana trying his best British accent - but in a good way. And with that infectious backdrop, Same Old G ticks all the right boxes.

Micall Parknsun - Grade & Liquor

The second glimpse of Parky's Me, Myself And Akai after the video for Me was launched on the masses a few days ago. Grade & Liquor? We'll toast to that. 

Verb T - Where You Find Me (prod. Pete Cannon) (Video)

"R.I.P. Bob Holness"

Verbs confesses the hermit status he's been unable to shake since the 90s, Pete Cannon popping up once again. If you want to know whether you're getting on a bit - do you know what an Opal Fruit is?

Where You Find Me is on T's just-released The Morning Process.

The Purist x Maffew Ragazino - Fish$cale

The Purist has been busying himself stateside of late, what with his rock-solid collaborations with Action Bronson and Roc Marciano. Now the producer has an album alongside Brownsville Brooklynite Maffew Ragazino coming to fruition.

The Purist x Maffew Ragazino - Fish$cale

Pete Cannon - This Year feat. Guilty Simpson (Out Now)

After lacing Torae and Nutso, getting the nod from Premo and working with Guilty Simpson from a distance, Pete Cannon links up with the Detroit native proper.

You'll be lucky to get your hands on one of the 250 7"s that've been pressed up, so look lively.

Sway - Charge feat. Lunar C, Stig Of The Dump, Shotty Horroh, Jordan of Rizzle Kicks, Black The Ripper & Jehst

It's all too easy to put rappers into boxes and divide the scene along its contours, it makes things simpler to understand. It also makes it easy to forget that everyone's all in it together. Credit to Sway for mixing things up on this one.

And a big shout to dude from Rizzle Kicks for name-checking UK All Day in his verse... Oh, go on.

Don't Stay In...

If you're in Cambridge this Saturday.

S.A.S. - Suave Life feat. Vinny Cha$e + CurT@!N$ (Remix)

Vinny Cha$e and CurT@!N$ hop on this remix from Mega and Mayhem's upcoming mixtape, Coming To America II.

Piff Gang - Tanqueray & Piff (Video)

Piff Gang perfect their only-half-trying flows in this toast to high grade cannabis and mother's ruin, a heady combo for even the most seasoned substance abuser. This one's taken off their Plant Life mixtape.

Buggsy - Trapped feat. Onesoul (Video)

Bristol's Buggsy drops off a video for this haunting double-time number sourced from his EP A Bit Of  Bugz 2012, which regrettably passed under our radar a couple of months back.

Micall Parknsun - Me (Video)

You can't go wrong with this menacing statement of intent. Double bass looped, swinging, snapping drums and about as egotistical a hook as you can get. You can get ahold of this before Me, Myself And Akai arrives.

Melanin 9 - White Russian feat. Roc Marciano (Video)

Talk about timing. With Marci riding high off the back of his white hot follow-up album Reloaded, M9 unleashes his collaboration with the former Flipmode wordsmith.

Magna Carta will be available from 3 December.

UPDATE: You can preview the album over at M9's bandcamp account.

Maxsta - Streets (Video)

Maxsta makes a short departure from his recent club-friendly successes for a thoughtful, collected and ultimately more hip hop approach.

Jae Mann - Ava Word (Free Download)

After splitting from Crisis Crew, Jae Mann is now in cahoots with Chemo over at Kilamanjaro Music. Toeing the line between hip hop and unabashed grime, Ava Word is his reintroduction to the scene.

Jae Mann - Ava Word

SBTV: Skooled By - Melanin 9

SBTV continues to shed light on the UK's trad hop MCs, with Melanin 9 turning in a performance for the second episode. The Triple Darkness member's Magna Carta album will be available from 3 December, before which you can catch him talking to Blatantly Blunt below.

Fliptrix - Cycles (Video)

Off Fliptrix's upcoming fourth album, The Road To The Interdimensional Piff Highway.

Onoe Caponoe All Day...

In today's go-go world of lead times, press releases and marketing smokescreens it's rare that you stumble across an act that's truly come out of the blue. Onoe Caponoe seemingly popped up from nowhere last year with Clockwork Green, swiping a Dilla production and not only doing it justice, creating a new song entirely. While piggybacking one of hip hop's most revered producers may not be pushing the envelope, everything he and his Funk Mafi crew do courses with psychedelia. A rare breed amid scores of "me too" rappers.

To mark the release of his second LP, Willows Midnight Gallery, we spoke to Onoe about sun-dials, Liverpudlian punk outfit Big In Japan, unexpected props from Jehst and to see if he's a mere earthling or lost his way from the mothership.

Congratulations on the new album, it doesn't sound like anything else anyone's currently putting out.

Safe man, thanks for that. We're on our way to be making some real amazing 'delic music, so yeah, at the moment I'm just putting out the stepping stones leading people into the shit we' re heading towards. Shit's not even started yet.

What are you listening to at the moment?

I like pretty much everything, apart from fake shit. That to me means music that's been created by people just for the purpose of making money - no soul, no heart, no meaning, no emotion. As long as it's not that I'll probably be diggin' it. I been really into sub poppy, punky type stuff  like the Vivian Girls, Dum Dum Girls, Wavves, Mika Miko, even Big In Japan. I'm really into music like that for some reason -  I find it mad interesting. But yeah, anything from fuckin' Angolan 70s shit, Latin jazzy type stuff to disco and funk, to jungle 'n' all that. So yeah man, literally everything man. I pump fuckin' Al Bowlly when the mood takes me - music is the shit, period! Yo, lemme go on for ever and drop drop some crystals on you - Walter Wanderley, Roy Ayres, Bobbi Humphrey, Kavinsky, Gangsta Pat, Lord Infamous, Tragedy Khadafi, Henry Mancini. I don't wanna even start to go and give all that trill shit away, but yeah, you get the picture.

You've got Jehst on the new album and the collaboration fits really well. How did that feature come about?

Jehst has just been showing me mad love for a while now telling people to check out my music in interviews and stuff before we even met, so I was just like “yeeeeeeeeaaaah son” 'cause he's fuckin' dope and I grew up bumpin' his shit. I got the chance to go down to Chemo's studio time ago, before I put out Milkyway, to feature on a track and Chemo holla'd at me after like “yeah, let's do something!” Then I started puttin' shit out and he holla'd me again sayin' how he'd showed my stuff to Jehst and he really likes it 'n' shit. Then a mutual friend, a dope producer called ADE, hit me up saying to come down to Jehst's studio to jam and work out some tunes 'n' shit, so I went down with my homie Taz and we started banging out some marrfukin musak!

Your style is psychedlic through and through. Where does your inspiration come from?

Yeaaahhh son! I'm straight 'delic, Funk Mafi are straight 'delic. Basically I got a good group of friends who I make all my music with called Funk Mafi, Funkadelic Mathematix, Punk Trashy, Drunk Smashy etc etc. Our music is 100% who and how we are. Long story short, yeaaaaaars ago we all broke into a music festival to sell weed and just got fucked up. We had nowhere to sleep and met loads of really cool people 'n' had an amazing time. Basically carried on kinda living like that and jus' having a fuckin' sick time all the time. We decided about three or something years ago to make music properly and do something different. Fuck all the following bullshit. We're not brainwashed anymore. We're gonna make some dope shit 'n' have a dope time no matter what...169.

The imagery and lyrics are pretty out there. Is there any drug element to the music? Any hallucinogens involved in the creative process?

No comment. But art is a big thing in the group. I paint and there are a few others in the group who are amazing! We got a crazy dope animator as well!

The album's got a cohesive sound, which a lot of people say is missing in rap since artists started cherry-picking beats from hot producers. Was that cohesion intentional?

Yeah, that's good to hear! Well, I just do me so I work mainly with two or three producers who are my good friends and have very different styles. We all been working together for years, so it's very comfortable. With my shit I'm like the executive producer, so I'll get beats, write the songs then maybe play shit in over the beats as well or find skits I wanna add to create a final product. I also help to put across the 'delic Catporno vibe...Make shit my own, you know? I make beats but find it mad hard juggling time, so writing and painting take priority at the moment.

And how about the name? It's got to be one of the best monikers in British rap. Where did it come from?

One day I was at the bottom of a hill in the middle of nowhere and I didn't know where I was going. All I could see was this huge mountain, so I started making my way up there and I meet some weird people on the way and they all give me a gift. One was like a sun-dial, one was like a scroll written in French, but I don't speak French or anything. When I made it to the top there was a mad castle. So I knocked on the door, it opens and there was this woman standing there wearing an all-red dress and she's got no pupils in her eyes, her eyes are just white. She calls me Onoe Caponoe and she takes the scroll off me and reads it, and then puts her hand out and we go into this huge hall with mad paintings all over the walls. And in the middle of the hall there's this huge fountain with silver liquid coming out of it and shit. We go into the fountain and everything's splashing and I woke up in a house party in London somewhere.

Anyone you want to shout out before you go back to the mothership?


Willows Midnight Gallery is available for free from Audio Doughnuts now.

Don't Stay In...

Skinnyman - 2013 Freestyle

"Happy New Yeeeeeeaaar!"

The skinniest veteran turns in an appearance after serving a bid. Sounds like he might have more up his sleeve for 2013, but here's hoping he gives whoever made this beat a very wide berth.

Big Cakes - I'm Going In (Video)

Off Big Cakes' CCC.

Skepta - Castles (Video)

Skepta seems to be on winning streak at the moment. The Boy Better Know producer-turned-rapper isn't the most natural vocalist but this and his self-assured home truths...

"I’ve been keeping my ear to the streets/
The UK’s run out of ideas, everyone’s doing covers of American beats/
If it’s not the Ace Hood, Hustle Hard flow then it all sounds like Rick Ross to me"

...on Ace Hood Flow show he's not playing games. And kudos for the paisley smoking jacket.

Kal Sereousz - Leftovers

A small batch of previously unreleased leftovers from Kal Sereousz, with a feature from Cappo and beats from Chemo, John Phonics, Kelakovski and Torino the Scientist. Expect two more releases before the year is out.

Sleepin Giantz - Mucky (Video)

Rodders and Big Fals carry the lurgy with Zed Bias. Sleepin Giantz' album is out now on Tru Thoughts.

MOBOs: Business As Usual

It's almost too easy to pick on the MOBOs. Each year is as contentious as the next, and the media justifies its coverage by acknowledging as much. Whether it's stirring the race debate, or criteria so foggy it allows for carrot-topped guitar strummer Ed Sheeran to be shortlisted, someone's always got something to say about the validity of the awards ceremony. But every year it somehow loses yet more credibility.

Perhaps the greatest trick they ever pulled was passing it off as a democratic poll, the people deciding who walks away with what plaudits. It gives the impression of an open vote. An open vote between a handful of hand-picked popsters.

It would be easy to accuse its organisers of apathy – throw some “urban” acts into a spreadsheet, order by their record sales, pick the top five and let the public do the rest. The truth is that the MOBOs are a business like any other.

Whatever you think of Sneakbo, who's as guilty as anyone of diluting his sound to get a leg-up and admittedly is already on the MOBO's radar, he should've been shortlisted for Best Newcomer. He's amassed millions of Youtube views off his own back in the last year and built a dedicated following. But here's the problem:

"Lemme show u the wave
Gun man fam I don't play games
Bad man now I'm out on a rage
I roll out then lock off the rave
Man I ride no phone
U can't get me
No ping ping
Nobody don't text me"

It's guaranteed the MOBOs' new sponsor might have something to say about such reckless talk from a newbie, and not just for renouncing his mobile phone. It's the same reason Jay and Kanye can be nominated for best international act despite having not released an album in the last year. The fact someone like Kendrick Lamar – whose new album has been hailed a classic in some quarters and who has almost single-handedly made hip hop exciting again - was nowhere to be seen. The fact the Dre protege doesn't get papped in the Sun's Showbiz column is no coincidence.

As a consequence, the MOBOs serve no real progressive purpose for black music, urban music, or any other music for that matter. Its mission statement of “recognis[ing] artists of any ethnicity or nationality performing black music” has been reduced to fanfare for young pop musicians whose work may or may not have a tenuous link to black heritage. It's a money-making exercise simple and plain. And it's dressed up as a celebration of inclusion (“Hey look, black music has its very own awards!”), just as it excludes the countless artists it's meant to support. And more importantly, it validates the music industry's boilerplate blueprint for success.

Of course, categories such as best African, best reggae, best jazz and best gospel act show the MOBOs' heart was once in the right place. But these categories aren't directly sponsored, nor do they draw an audience, which is the problem. So long as Labrinth and JLS sell records (and therefore attract sponsorship and draw crowds) they will walk away with trophies in hand.

And the MOBO's organisers have the perfect cover - they can pass any accusations off as the futility in trying to please everybody all of the time. But it seems suspiciously resolute on pleasing Middle England every time.

Black The Ripper - This Is For feat. Dot Rotten (Video)

Just about errryone from all corners makes an appearance in this cameo-packed video for Black The Ripper's This Is For, which holds a torch for the scene. The trudging and thumping backdrop only drives the dedication home.

This features on Samson's new Black Is Beautiful Vol. 2 mixtape.

Myke Forte All Day...

Myke Forte's string of Zodiak releases have steadily cemented his reputation as an impeccable producer, one with a deft ear for chops and loops and a taste for forward-looking aesthetics. With the series near completion, and with the Cosmik Panda EP already turning heads, the beatmaker has teamed up with SBTV to present Cosmik Zodiak – a hybrid of the two projects. We caught up with Myke to talk his hometown, collaborations and the sampling rulebook.

We first learnt of you from the Zodiak series. What were you working on before this?

Good question. Before the Zodiak series I was working on two projects, one was called Discovering Myke Forte and the other Pay EP. I was new to beat-making but felt as though these projects were a pivotal moment for me as a beat-maker, so I decided to release them via iTunes.

Besides the MPC, what piece of studio equipment could you not live without?

I couldn't live without my Core 2 Duo Macbook Pro. Without this I couldn't design websites, covers, social network or record the music from my MPC2500 to mp3 format - and wouldn't be here today.

Hip hop has traditionally meant sampling vinyl, which to a certain extent sets the limits for its sound. Do you subscribe to the vinyl-only rule?

No, not at all. I'm an advocate of sampling from vinyl, but ever since the web it's kinda changed the way I sample and where I sample from. I like to sample from films and video games, old classic games and films. Not all of these sound bytes will be on vinyl, so I have no option but to find them using the digital outlets like YouTube, Spotify, iTunes and computer stock libraries. I sample from vinyl because I have a small collection of records which I love, but I'm not a complete purist.

Birmingham is a hub, being home to the Louis Den network and there's been plenty of talent in the city. What does its beat scene look like today?

It's thriving and producers work together on collaborations a lot. I've thought of collaborating with Urban Monk, Kosyne, Raul Supreme, Decypher, The Avengers and Mac Real. There is a community and it's good, we just need a professional network to push it further.

Is there anyone in particular in your hometown that you're a fan of on the producer front?

There's a few. I'm a fan of Knox Brown, Kelakovski, Urban Monk and Cypher of MD7. They all bring something different and original to production.

Are there any producers you think people should be checking for, UK, US or elsewhere?

Black Milk, Nottz, Nicolay, Labrinth, Elaquent, Smith The Mister, Preditah, Budgie, Jaisu, Raul Supreme. There's too many for me to mention, I'm inspired by so many. Ask me again next week and it'll be something different.

What MCs would you most like to work with, on both sides of the Atlantic?

Nas, Elzhi, Jay-Z, Kanye West, Talib Kweli, Kendrick Lamar, C4, Akala, TY, Jae Mann, Malik of MD7...

You worked with C4 last year on Time, the flip to his first single. He's made noise in the grime scene with his producer brother Preditah since then. How did the hook-up come about and did being involved with his debut help to get you in front of a new audience?

I've known C4 and Preditah a while through a youth network called Fit4Life. They were very talented in their own rights from day one. C4 was recording lots of music and he wanted a style which showed his versatility, so he asked me to make a beat using a vocal he had recorded. I made two beats and he chose one which became Time (Retro Chain).

What are you working on at the moment?

I'm working on a remix album called Darker Than Black which is my own take on Jay-Z's Black Album and I have a debut LP called Tronik coming out next year. And then I've just finished the SBTV exclusive beat tape called Cosmik Zodiak, which is a special edition Zodiak tape.

Pick up Myke Forte's Cosmik Zodiak over at SBTV.

Dr Syntax & Tom Caruana - My House (Video)

Synners and Tom Caruana's new album Slice Of Gold - a project inspired by and sampling dialogue from the work of Spaced and Shaun Of The Dead director Edgar Wright - is in the shops now.

Essa - Time For Something New (EP Sampler)

A sneaky peak of what Essa is set to release next Monday, after which you can join the man formerly known as Youngun on 10 November @The Social for his launch party.

Task Force - My Last Trip (Video)

To keep all Task Force aficionados ticking over until the Brothers McBain release their next and final outing, MFTC 5, Farma hooks up a psych-rock backdrop for Chester to purge his innermost unhinged thoughts.

SBTV: Skooled By Micall Parknsun

Parky drops in for SBTV's new Skooled By series that shines light on UK rap's pioneers and those not chasing trends. Me Myself And Akai is on the way.

Black The Ripper - Words Of Wisdom (Video)

Black The Ripper offers some words of wisdom off of his 60-track album The Edmonton Dream. New mixtape Black Is Beautiful Vol. 2 will be out tomorrow.

CAS – Yellow/Red feat. Serena Soya (Video)

Downtempo and sultry, Yellow/Red touches on the lotto of a shotter's life. Masked mic-man CAS's Commercial is waiting in the wings.

Devlin - Off With Their Heads feat. Wretch 32 (Video)

Orchestral opus meets gangland execution steez. Devlin builds anticipation for his sophomore album proper, A Moving Picture, set for a February release. 

Onoe Caponoe - Narnia On Pluto feat. Jehst

Who better to chime in on Onoe Caponoe's purple-tinted psychedelia than the original cloudstepper himself, Billy Brimstone? Add a muddy, filtered loop and you've got yourself one good reason to keep your peepers open for Willow's Midnight Gallery.

Pusha T - What Dreams Are Made Of (S-Type Remix)

Pusha T can do no wrong since his brother and fellow Clipse member decided to pursue more godly ambitions. And if Cruel Summer fell short of expectations, it was nothing if not a showcase for what Terrence Thorton is set to deliver as a solo artist on Kanye's imprint.  

What Dreams Are Made Of already had its time in the limelight on the Fear of God II: Let Us Pray mixtape, but Glaswegian S-Type resurrected the swag-heavy song for a remix project, Lucky-T, that was later canned. Luckily this remix was salvaged.

The progressive, electro-heavy beat is reminiscent of S-Type's LuckyMe labelmate Hudson Mohawke's early work on Butter but with a more palatable, less jarring sound that's ultimately more hip hop. 

You can buy S-Type's LuckyMe debut, Billboard, now - for which the lead track has just been brought to life with a New York-championing video.

Jae Mann - Mic Man (Video)

Don't be fooled, Jae Mann's introduction might be all golden age aesthetics but the MC's grime through-and-through. Check the preview to his looming mixtape #AVA WORD. 

Melanin9 - Magna Carta

M9 goes to the very heart of boom bap and captures its essence, a trick tried by many but often fumbled. "Formulate on your math" and buy Magna Carta on 3 December.

Dels – Bird Milk feat. Bila

Ninja Tune will be releasing DELS' forthcoming EP Black Salad on 26 November, but before then here's a taster of Bird Milk. Pre-order at will.

Kingdom Of Fear - Sir Digby Chicken Caeser (Video)

Raoul Duke and Dr Gonzo get tanked up and go on a mad dash around town. The Kingdom Of Fear album is in stores now.

Rapper Tag UK #21 - Ray Vendetta

Now that was quick.

Rapper Tag UK #20 - Cyrus Malachi

Cyrus Malachi does his thing for Rapper Tag.

Giggs - What Niggas Want (Video)

After serving another rumoured stretch in clinky for gun possession, bolstering his already formidable street cred, Giggs is back and dropping n-bombs all over the bleedin' shop.

It's official - road rap and trap music have become one. Jeeeeze!

Grand Hustle BET Cypher 2012

Salute to Chip for his part in Grand Hustle's BET Cypher. He's come a long way in the five short years since first gaining recognition and could well be in a better position than any before him to "break America" - for what that's worth. T.I.'s career might have lost some steam but presumably being with Grand Hustle opens doors, not least granting access to producers and having an immediate team that shares your vision. That said, selling snow to eskimos comes to mind.

This isn't the first time the UK has represented for the BET Cyphers - both Sway and Dizzee have already done themselves proud.


Take The Stage - Stories Of Hip Hop Ep.1

In addition to compiling the slick Take The Stage e-books, Huck magazine editor Ed Andrews has  been filming his interviews with hip hop's dearest acts from the UK and US.

The first in the series lets you into Kilimanjaro Studios supremo Chemo's world, where you get to see his lab and learn how he came to be the go-to guy for Brit rappers' recording and mastering needs - as well as a venerable producer in his own right.

Theme - Toys Get Smoked (Free Album)

At seven tracks deep, Theme has put together something between an album and EP that doesn't scrimp on features or production credits. Verbal assistance comes from Genesis Elijah, Melanin 9, Tony D and Reveal, while Beat Butcha, Ill Move Sporadic, Quincey Tones, Iron Braydz and Young Levs handle the beats.

Why UK rap can't bang and go pop

I had a chance meeting last week with a senior marketing exec from a major label at Nas's last London date. Once the formalities and niceties were out of the way, talk turned to Joey Badass, the 17-year-old NY native that has been racking up internet plaudits as a precocious talent to watch. And that led to some insightful observations on UK rap that I thought were worth sharing.

Apparently, Joey Badass turned down a record deal with this label. I pointed out that he would have nothing to gain from a deal – he already had indie, and even some more mainstream, press attention. All a major could do is add some gloss and start pushing the young rapper to a more pop-oriented audience. In doing so, he would lose all the support he and his team have already built and be in thrall to whimsical teens quick to trumpet the next big fad. It would be career suicide.

I used Professor Green's career as an analogy – a respected rapper, albeit on the battle circuit in this case, who signed the dotted line and started making pop music. When I said I didn't understand who the audience was for an act like Pro Green, I was told it's “kids”. This exec went on to say that it's much tougher for UK rappers to succeed and retain their credibility than their US brethren. There's just no middle ground over here.

And, I was told, there's a practical explanation for this void. As a US act, there's much to play for at home. American rappers can sell to ready and willing heads, in itself enough to start nudging that act into chart territory. Take Nas's Life Is Good – it's an average album by a certifiable legend, backed by a label with equal amounts of clout and hip hop savvy. Faithful fans bought it and it debuted at No.1 on the Billboard Charts. Nasir was then able to sell into foreign territories and tour off the back of the LP.

That's not how it works on this side of the pond. A UK rapper has a shallower market to sell to. And it's not inevitable that their music will be accepted outside of their borders in the way that US acts are. If they're lucky, parts of Europe or Australia might latch on, but it's not a given.

And what does that mean for the majors? They can't sell credible hip hop from the UK, because there aren't enough willing punters to fund it. The only way round this is to repackage and sugarcoat acts to pitch to a broader audience and increase the likelihood of seeing a return on investment.

I'm sure we've all noticed that what's passed off as rap or hip hop in this country by major labels is mostly a sham, it's just nice to know why.

Benny Banks - Who's The Daddy? feat. Squeeks & Joe Black (Remix) (Video)

Benny Banks is joined by Squeeks and right-hand man Joe Black for the remix to Who's The Daddy?. I've never followed any of Black's work, but on the strength of this you have to wonder why Benny got picked up by Warner over him.

XO - Luxury Shit feat. Tranqill & Kid Daytona

The latest from the venerable MMG - Mello Music Group, not the cop's label - sees XO call on Kid Daytona and the UK's Tranqill. The south London rapper, One-Handed Music signee and frequent MMG collaborator's poorly enunciated and throaty bars match the beat perfectly, adding another doozy to an already impressive CV.

CAS - Play (prod. Tre Mission)

Drug-rap enigma CAS pitches more work, ferrying contraband "the same colour as Elton's cock" up and down the country "since MS-DOS". Throw in barely audible sublo from Tre Mission and you've got yourself another certified winner from this apparent masked kingpin. Commercial is in the works.  

Nas - Cherry Wine feat. Amy Winehouse (Video)

God's Son's collaboration with late Brit soulstress Amy Winehouse gets the visual treatment.

Jehst & Kashmere - Kingdom Of Fear (Teaser)

“Jesus, bad waves of paranoia, madness, fear and loathing - intolerable vibrations in this place. Get out. The weasels were closing in. I could smell the ugly brutes.”

Ever wondered what a hip hop album made by drug-addled gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson would sound like? Well, you can find out come 15 October, the release date of producer album Kingdom Of Fear from YNR bossman Jehst. Joined by longtime collaborator Kashmere adopting the personality of a Thompson-a-like, the pair have created a dusty, rough-hewn project complete with mescaline-infused raps. Check the teaser.

Foreign Beggars - Goon Bags (prod. Blue Daisy)

Kudos to the Beggars for enlisting Blue Daisy on Goon Bags, a welcome departure from the "low hanging fruit" of going the brostep route by instead choosing to work with a producer successfully carving out his own lane.

The Uprising is out today.

Myke Forte - Zodiak: Capricorn (Beat Tape)

You can't talk British beats without mentioning Myke Forte's name. After a brief hiatus from his Zodiak  series to concentrate on the Cosmik Panda EP, he's polished off the next episode with Capricorn. Complete with dry snares, swing and plenty of thick, syrupy bass, it's more of what people have learnt to love from the Brummy beatnut.

ItsNate – NeverAverageTalkingExcellent (Mixtape)

More boundary blurring and new wave swaggery from ItsNate. Sure, NeverAverageTalkingExcellent might border on the kind of inane raps mastered by the likes of A$AP at times, but it's also unafraid and a welcome break from a genre broadly concerned with retreading well-worn conceits.

The astral-planing of Schemin' and bravado of lady-poaching anthem WSLTA should be enough to convince the doubters. If not, move along.

ItsNate – NeverAverageTalkingExcellent 

Samson - Throwaway Thoughts

The man with the sacred hair gets lackadaisical over an equally mellow beat, throwing out thoughts as they come to mind.

Pete Cannon - Stunts Blunts n Trap Music

Pete Cannon eschews his puritan hip hop roots for an up-to-the-minute sound, bypassing the popular trap aesthetic and ending up with an instrumental EP that's closer to the kind of electro experimentation  being spearheaded by the likes of TNGHT.

Melanin 9 - Organized Democracy (Video)

M9 keeps his sights firmly trained on the establishment, taking shots at perceived democracy and the powers used by the state to keep man on a leash. The Magna Carta LP drops on 3 December with contributions from Melanin's Triple Darkness family and Roc Marciano.

Verb T - Said & Done (Video)

The second single from Verb T's  Morning Process is available as part of a precursor to the album - the Said & Done EP. If you can't wait for the full release, get said extended player from iTunes now.

DJ Yoda - Happy feat. A Boy Called George (Video)

An odd pairing as cut-and-paste specialist DJ Yoda coaxes erstwhile popstar Boy George out of retirement. Expect Sway, Greg Nice and bearded wonder Action Bronson on his looming album, Chop Suey. 

Lunar C - Sewer Side Sex (Mixtape)

Few rappers succeed the transition from stage to studio. Here Leeds vocal pugilist Lunar C calls in everyone from Jack Flash to Dot Rotten and JME to help a hand. Does he pull it off? You call it.

Maxsta - Pop Off (prod. Show N Prove) (Video)

Having worked with Benny Banks and Maxsta previously on his I Wanna Rock breakout single, Show N Prove continues his steady ascent behind the boards.

Foreign Beggars - Apex (Video)

Say what you like about the Beggars (trend followers, purveyors of the easy win etc), but there ain't no flies on 'em. Spotting the sinking ship that UK hip hop became half a decade ago they broadened their portfolio. And it's doing their career wonders.

Rapper Tag UK #19 - Melanin 9

No shots but I'm not a fan of passing the baton between team members. I suppose it's only to be expected and M9 always delivers the goods.

It's a surprise that none of the High Focus roster has got a look-in yet. You've got Verb T, Fliptrix, Jambo and Dirty Dike and whichever way you cut it they've collectively been responsible for breathing new life into the UKHH scene.

Youngs Teflon - God Save The Queens (Video)

Who ever said the new school Britpack can't rework an absolute classic got it dead wrong. Youngs Teflon takes Return Of The Crooklyn Dodgers and makes it his own. Let's just hope Premo doesn't do a Lord Finesse on the London MC.

Youngs' Trillin is on its way.

John Legend & Teyana Taylor - Bliss (prod. Hudson Mohawke)

After whispers of Hudson Mohawke buddying up with Kanye, officially adding keys to posse cut Mercy and remixing (and arguably improving) the lead single for a lark to create Lambo Furnace, now the Glaswegian has wound up on Cruel Summer with something original. Well, sort of.

Bliss lifts a beat called Ice Viper released three years ago, a surprise considering the anticipation that's been building for Cruel Summer. (Mr West also jacked Chief Keef's breakout hit I Don't Like.) 

It's not the first time one of America's largest rap artists has cannibalised tried-and-tested music from the UK by simply recording vocals over the top. Drake did the same last year on Take Care when he nabbed Jamie XX's I'll Take Care Of You for the title song.

Presumably that's the benefit of your largest market being unaware of avant-garde dance producers across the Atlantic. Let's see if the US continues to popularise sounds authored in the UK. I'm sure HudMo isn't complaining.

Dubbledge - Ten Toes Down (prod. Chemo) (Video)

"Ten toes down, two thumbs up / one mouth open, your mouth shut."

Dubble Dubble and Chemo. You can't really go wrong with that combo.

Funky DL - Def Lyricist (DJ 279 on cuts)

The sticking point with Funky DL was always that he rapped in an American accent. Yet when you think that his music stretches as far back as 1997, all that goes out the window. His legendary status is never in question.

Stig Of The Dump - Head Banger Boogy (prod. Pete Cannon) (Video)

Moshpit music from big Stig and Pete Cannon's Cannon Fodder EP. Catch the man in action when he hits up London and Leeds for the launch parties.

Kings Of The City - The Devil (Video)

Acoustic outfit Kings Of The City comfortably deliver a crossover sound, as much stadium-rock riffs and double-time indie as it is hip hop. The first half of their double EP No Guts No Glory is up for grabs, the second following soon.

ItsNate - Where She Learnt That At (Video)

ItsNate continues his new wave indie hustle, striking the balance between breaking from the blinkered trad hop crowd and not shamelessly copycatting MMG's swag (see Lethal B below).

The newcomer is preparing the release of Never Average Talking Excellent, the sequel to last year's Never Ask Take Everything, where you'll find the Jon Phonics-produced Hardware

Lethal Bizzle - R8 Gang (Video)

Bizzle gives it his best Rozay rendition, shows off his "white girl" Audi and drops trademark catchphrases with the frequency of a nervous tic. #leaveityeah #obviously 


People's Army - General Salute Vol.2 (Free Album)

Logic, Mic Righteous, Big Cakes, English Frank and more take rank for People's Army's General Salute follow-up.

The People’s Army – General Salute Vol. 2

Onoe Caponoe - Donnie DarkONOE (Video)

Taking inspiration from apocalyptic modern cult classic Donnie Darko, the best name in UK rap adopts the guise of Jake Gyllenhal's protagonist, speaking to a mysterious bunny-eared prophet and coming off as a certified crackpot to all outsiders.

Onoe Caponoe will release his new LP, Willows Midnight Gallery, next month.

Footsie vs Fei-Fei - Torture (Video)

'Ardbody lemonface music as LA DJ Fei Fei and one half of the Newham Generals unite.

Mystro - Mystrogen (Album Sampler)

Mystro's debut album has been a long time coming, but will finally arrive on Monday. Pre-orders are now a go and ensure a couple of bonus cuts, but before then here's a taster of what's in store.

K-Nite 13 - Sign Of The Times feat. Jaunty (Video)

K-Nite 13 lends some graphics to Sign Of The Times, where he muses on hip hop living today and more noble paths to tread, backed up by collaborator Jaunty. This can be found on K-Nite's According To Plan.

Rapper Tag UK #18 - Iron Braydz

Eighteen down and still going strong, but who's up next? Is it a wait-and-see or what? Huh?

Copywrite - Ghost In The Machine feat. Context (Video)

Anyone can act like a tough guy behind a keyboard. God Saves The King (The Proper English Version) is out now.

Dream McLean - Network

Dream McLean has freed up his latest effort, Network, which came with a crisp-as-you-like video earlier this month. This one's a freebie and comes with a refix from topboy production outfit Chase N Status too.

CAS - Drugs Don't Work (Video)

New school enigma CAS rides the melancholy of this Verve-sampling beat, recounting the ills of drug abuse and suicidal paranoia. Warped genius. If this piques your interest, look out for his Commercial mixtape.

Shabaam Sahdeeq - Seasons Change (prod. Lewis Parker)

Rawkus-era alumnus Shabaam Sahdeeq gets the ol' Lewis Parker treatment for a cut off his looming mixtape, Degrees of Separation.

Iron Braydz - Grey Skies (Video)

Braydz drops a vid to accompany Grey Skies, off his Holla@Braydz mixtape and which pilfers probably the best/most popular beat of last year next to Jay and 'Ye's Niggas In Paris - Just Blaze's Lord Knows.

Verb T - The Morning Process (prod. Leaf Dog) (Video)

A sharp video, a butter-smooth beat from Leaf Dog and Verb T at his most pensive, The Morning Process ticks all boxes. Be on the lookout for his High Focus debut of the same name, available to pre-order now.

JJ Doom - Guv'nor (Video)

You may have passed him in the street or sat next to him on the Tube unawares 'cause Doom has called London is home for the past two years. British-born, the metal-faced villain hasn't had much luck with his green card. Or he never had one. Regardless, he'll be performing the first live set of his new album with Jneiro Janel at Bestival next month.

The first number to be given the video treatment off JJ Doom's Key To The Kuffs is Guv'nor, shot in an unidentified location in the capital and littered with Brit speak and references.

UPDATE: So it looks like ol' Doom sent another one of his imposters out, this time replacing him for a DJ set at London's Livin' Proof night over the weekend... The promoters responded to the whole palaver with the following:

To everyone who came down to our Livin' DOOM event on Saturday and are questioning whether that was the real DOOM - we are in the same position as you. We had a legitimate contracted gig from his official booking agent and were in contact throughout the booking process with his US management, and label. We were even talking and working with the promoters of DOOM's forthcoming London live shows in October and November.

As far as we were concerned, the real DOOM was going to appear… we received news from DOOM's management on the morning of the gig that DOOM wanted more money or he would not show up. This show was done and intended as a very special and intimate show which was not about making money but putting on an incredible party in a very small capacity venue. As we wanted the show to go ahead and was left to ransom to this extortionate request, we agreed this even though this was a breach of our agreed contract. In hindsight, we should have cancelled the show then and there…

At 9.30pm after we had open the doors, we were told by management that he would appear but would not DJ and was just going to sign autographs. We said this was unacceptable as we had agreed and paid for a DJ set… 10 minutes later we received a call saying that he would DJ… Or that's what we were led to believe.

As many of the people in the venue noticed, there is a very strong possibility the person that was finally sent down was not DOOM himself.

Doing this show has taught us a lot about how some artists operate and how they feel they can treat others and, most importantly, their fans. As fans of DOOM ourselves, this has left a very sour taste in our mouth.

Anyone who has been to Livin' Proof parties always know that we do our utmost to provide the best quality show and we are so sorry for anyone who came down and were disappointed by the DJ set from the artist supposedly meant to be DOOM.

We will do our utmost to make this up to anyone who purchased a ticket for this event. We paid the fee upfront to Daniel Dumile's bank account and have the receipts to prove this. We will be seeking legal advice and are doing our best to get his show fee refunded from DOOM and his management and will then take suitable steps after this action.

All the best,
Livin' Proof Crew.

Kinetik - Here We Go feat. Micall Parknsun (Video)

The opener on Kinetik's Kinesis Thesis Vol.3Here We Go is about as on-point as trad hip hop gets in this country and proves the North-West London artist's pairing with Parky sets them apart as a force to be reckoned with.

Remus - MOBC (Video)

Farma G's son Remus takes a leaf from Drake's book, pinching his flow in places, and updating his look to fit rap's current chichi stylings. All the while he bodies the beat, so no gripes over here.

Mystro & Rodney P - The Best Is Right Here (In-Studio)

"I'm like Benjamin Button in black skin / I'm the Peter Pan of this rap ting."

Mystro and Rodders show how it's done for this dedication to 1Xtra's tenth birthday, going verse-for-verse and justifying the unknockable reps they've built over the past ten years and counting.

Zombie Robot - So Obnoxious feat. Ben Black

After drawing praise from the likes of Annie Nightingale, Lowestoft electro-house producer Zombie Robot gave Delusionists frontman Ben Black the call for his first vocalled track. This debut release for label Bass+Bars - an offshoot of Bass=Win - sees Mr Black switch up the status quo and, like he says, show another string to his bow. This one's available from all the big digital outlets.

Stig Of The Dump - The Truth Is... (Video & Download)

"Tinchy had a number 1, I'm happy for the bloke / but that don't change the fact I wanna stab him in the throat."

Stiggie Smalls tells it like it is on this moody heart-on-sleeve outtake that didn't make his looming Cannon Fodder EP with Pete Cannon. You can pre-order the release ahead of its 31 August landing date, but before then The Truth Is... is all yours, gratis.

Stig Of The Dump - The Truth Is...

Skillit - Don't Doubt feat. Homeboy Sandman & Iron Bradz

Quaranteam member Skillit is joined on this brisk Iron Braydz-crafted headbobber by the Harlesden MC/producer and none other than Stones Throw's Homeboy Sandman, who recently jetted back to NY after touring Europe.

UK All Day caught up with Homeboy Sandman on the London leg of his tour, but owing to our strict focus on Brit-hop, the article was published with the venerable Broken Culture. You can read that here.

DJ Whoo Kid Presents: K-Lash FTLT (Sampler)

With only a week to go until Klashnekoff unveils DJ Whoo Kid-sponsored mixtape Fuck The Long Talk, the Black Russian is whetting appetites with a sampler that gives you a rundown of all ten tracks. For those patient few, you may want to hang on until the whole shebang is out next Monday. For the rest of us tainted by the internet's immediacy, hit the link below for the download.

DJ Whoo Kid Presents: K-Lash FTLT (Sampler)

ItsNate - Hardware (prod. Jon Phonics) (Video)

Jon Phonics laces Piff Gang affiliate ItsNate with a spacey and detached doozy that could as happily be the break in a dance track as hip hop. Is this "cloud rap"? Who cares, it works either way. Keep tabs on ItsNate as he gears up for the release of his NeverAverageTalkingExcellent mixtape.

Ed Skrein - We Run Them feat. Graziella & Dubbledge (Video)

Great production on this video representing East London's Run Dem Crew, of which Skrein is a dedicated member. In fact the sports nut has gone so far as swimming the Channel and has riden from Lands End to John O Groats, no less. Dubbledge arguably takes the gold on this one.

Wretch 32 - Wretchercise (Mixtape)

The pop charts might be his playground but Wretch 32 still needs to Wretchercise his range by straying from the mainstream limelight for a second. You may have heard Tour Blues and Drinking In The Sky already, both of which feature here, but there's much, much more for ya - jacking Drake to James Blake.

You can download the full tape by signing up with UKAD affiliate Download A Mixtape.

Don't Stay In...

What better way to spend this Sunday than at Relaxation Generation's mini one-day festival @Vibe Bar? You've got bashment, dub, dancehall, drum and bass and of course some hip hop thrown in for good measure.

Cop an earlybird ticket for just a fiver before it's too late.

Jack Flash & Wizard - Law Of The Jungle feat. Alec Townsend (Video)

Jack and Wiz don't mess about on this one and Alec Townsend's indie falsetto fits the bill. This is taken off their joint album, Progression. Wizard has got material for days and seems to be everywhere right now.

Chemo Presents... Lamplighter - Rain (Video)

A minimalist feature on Chemo Presents... My Mate Does Beats, Lamplighter's Rain has been synced with some quite disturbing imagery that includes some lass with her face sellotaped up to look like a deranged mannequin and a bloke playing Icarus.

Get your fill of this eclectic beat compilation over here.

Ti2bs - Black Dynamite feat. Sway (Video)

The ex-Mud Family member and former representative of the One Crew with Sway, Pyrelli and Sincere comes back off hiatus. Black Dynamite is all triumphant and uplifting, and it's heartening to see Little Derek is just  a phone call away.

Phoenix Da Icefire - Cinematic (Video)

With the dust barely settled on Quantum Leap, Phoenix Da Icefire is back with more music. Donning his auteur's hat for a second, Cinematic is the title track off an EP entirely produced by Strange Neighbour that is rumoured to boast a couple of surprise features.

With Klashnekoff and Keith Murray both turning in verses on The Point of No Return, there's a good chance those rumours will come good.

Piff Gang - Candy Cup (Video)

More #pizzy pizz from Piff Gang, this time Don Silk going for dolo to toast sippin' from that candy cup. Jolly Ranchers are hard to come by in the UK, so presumably popping a Fruit Pastille in your codeine-and-Sprite mixer is the way to go. Alternatively, try the bitter beaker - plop a Werther's Original in a pint of Tetley's.

Anyway, PG stay on their steady ascent to the top, leaving backpack rap fanatics fussing in their wake. This one is available on the team's recent Plant Life offering.  

184 - Where's My Parade? Vol.2

Snapping at the heels of Where's My Parade? Vol.1, released in March, 184 shows off more of his credentials with the second edition. "Who's who" is thrown about a lot, but is more than apt with this compilation and its predecessor - dude's worked with just about everyone in the scene at one point or another. Get your fill of just a part of his discography below.