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.