"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 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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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?
BIG SHOUT OUT TO THE DELIX 169ERZ FANGGANG FUNK MAF SMASHERZ N ALL THOZ SPREADIN OUT THAT MARRFUKIN LOVEEEE%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
Willows Midnight Gallery is available for free from Audio Doughnuts now.
"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.
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.
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.
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.
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'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.