Spread The Mesidge

Mes1dge - Machete Raps EP

The long anticipated EP with guest apperances by Planetary(Outerspace), Phaizrok and The Hitfarmers on the cuts! Production from Prime Music, Chali Brown, Phaizrok, Gifted Glitch, Lisn, & The Hitfarmers!!!

01 - Intro
02 - Machete Raps
03 - Beautiful feat. PhaizRock
04 - Lika Shot
05 - The Definition
06 - Wut It Be (Blunted Mix)
07 - Glorious Muzik feat. PhaizRock
08 - Werk Of Art feat. Planetary (AOTP)
09 - Reflections10 - Werk Of Art (Hitfarmers RMX)
11 - What It Be (Bonus)

Oh, this life we live

Hmmmmmmm. Sometimes we struggle to find a place for things. By that I mean we struggle to put things into a type, We'll think on it for quite a while. Weighing up all of the pros & cons of labelling something in a certain way. Trying to recognise the consequences, no matter how trivial, of the decision we are about to make. Yet we seldom stop to consider another possibility. Why should we be trying to put something into that metaphorical 'box' in the 1st place? I tend to title my ipod playlists according to the type of music it contains. Hip Hop or Nu Jazz or RnB etc. While listening to Replife's The Unclosed Mind (perfect title) via iTunes, I found myself trying to group different tracks on the album under different playlists. Until finally I came to the same conclusion I refer to above. The 1st & 2nd tracks on the album, Spirit & Change 4 A Dolla, are a perfect draw for the listener as they have enough of a Hip Hop element to keep the heads nodding while adding a Nu-Jazz-esq b lines & synths to proceedings. Then the uptempo Emerald City, uses its 'sharp' bass tones to great effect. From that to the heavy latin influence shown on Pangea with its nice bounce. Then tracks like Away, Elevation & Heavy Jazz/Trip Hop of Out of Soul (complete with spoken wordisms)only add to an already intriguing track list. As for my stand out on this one. The last track on the album, R U Ready, with it's smooth, almost Tony Dofatish (you must remember some of his beats for Heavy D)appeal is an unexpected end to an unexpected longplayer. This is definately my vote for most interesting Hip Hop album of the year so far. Now that may sound like i'm trying to find a nice way of saying it's rubbish. Well i'm not, it is a very refreshing album, which is sometimes needed even in Hip Hop. Rep is a talented MC, poet & muse & utilises his repertoire to great effect. So while i'm listening to my 2nd fav track on the album -The Left Side Of Things, which even if it's the most conventional track on the album still manages to flip an oft used sample- imma leave the good people a taster & say...

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Art Official Intelligence

I'm a sucker for live instrumentation. Which is why apart from Hip Hop, Nu Funk is always on heavy rotation on my Ipod & Stereo. The Dap Kings, The Hot 8 Brass Band, The Soul Investigators, Breakestra, The Bamboos, The Quantic Soul Orchestra etc are masters of their craft. In my experience The Roots live (obviously), The Chapter & Glue amongst others are about as close as Hip Hop has to this kind of musical brilliance. I now have another name to add to this cast list. ArtOfficial, Hailing out of Miami are, Ralf, Danny P, Manny & Keith with the sounds & Afterlogic & Newsense on the mics. Everything about the way this album is put together is superb. From the drum patterns to the ever evolving bass guitar to the sax & woodwind in the backgrounds to the positive message the MC's provide, the cohesiveness of the whole album is pure niceness. I cannot fault a single joint on this album & i dare any true Hip Hop fan to try. It's got Hip Hop funk, Anthemic instrumentation, great beat changes between intros, verses & hooks, plus an ill Shin Ski Remix too. At 13 tracks deep with ni filler this is an absolute must have. I can't big this up enough & i'm currently struggling to choose between these guys & Nicolay & Kay for my album of the year so far. Fist Fights & Foot Races, Superb.

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It's A Secret & I'll Never Tell

What is it that some of you peeps don't like about 9th Wonder. Buck's universal appeal & entry into the Hip hop hall of fame was secured a long time ago. 9th was seemingly headed in the same direction but as usual, once he started to get some major shine some of his former trumpeteers turned on him. Apparently he'd fallen off & his beats were too similar. He was a 1 trick pony that wasn't able to adapt. The Minstrel show couldn't hold a candle to his work on The Listening (really?). When it comes to Hip Hop all the greats have a Formula they follow. Dr. Dre, Pete Rock, Primo, Timbaland, Kanye West, The Neptunes etc. The reason these guys are held in such esteem is beacause 90% of the time when 1 of their beats hits our ears we know it's them. Up to now 9th is no different so why the hate. I've made no secret of the fact that i'm a big 9th fan & I personally feel it's just a case of sour grapes from the supposed 'underground' heads that can longer claim to hold Hip Hops latest best kept secret. Thus his latest project, the 2nd joint outing with Buckshot, The Formula, finally graced my ears. Now, I was rather underwhelmed when the 1st single, No Doubt, reached my ears. But upon hearing the track in amongst the rest of the album i'm feeling it a lot more. As good as it was, I always felt that Chemistry had 9th (Subconciously or otherwise) pandering to Bucks aura. Hence the album had a Beatminerz (ish) feel (that dusty vinyl crackle & pop) to it. The Formula is a more polished affair that is much more of a meeting in the middle between the 2 of them. From the opening 2 tracks, Intro & Ready, you can hear the difference straight away with the former using a chopped kiddie choir sample to good effect while the latter borrows gentle trumpet & vocal samples for Buck to do his thing. And their isn't a moody snare used in either one. It's not until Be Cool that you'll here anything gritty & even then it's broken up by a songstress on the hook (which does the track no harm at all). Then No Doubt kicks in & by the time i've spun it for the 3rd time in a row, i'm a bit embarrased for myself that I wasn't feeling it in the 1st place. The album is a more soulful affair & it could be said that the original appeal of Chemistry is lost in translation. Personally I say The Formula has an appeal entirely seperate from the 1st joint. My fav track on the album, Only For You, is a perfect example. A very simple soulful vocal loop plus the faintest rimshot i've heard on any track plus Buck paying his respects to friends passed & my neck was gone. Another is my 2nd fav, Shinin' Y'all which follows the same approach with a meatier rim shot. Plus M1 Platoon do the reputations no harm with their bars on this track either. An honourable mention has to go to the final track on the album, Man Listen, which uses a emphatic string sample Just Blaze would be proud of. A more cohesive effort than it's predecessor, The Formula is a great addition to what i suspect may be a trilogy or even a quartet (I formally put forward The Catalyst as my vote of a title for the next installment) and a space has already been made for when my copy arrives.

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Triple Threat 1, 2 & 3

Having built up quite a following both online and on the ground MR DRASTICK has been working the streets of London, Leeds, Cardiff, Glasgow and actually pretty much the entire UK, selling his mixtapes to everyone and anyone! Building up sales figures that most established indie labels wouldn’t scoff at. He’s now set to release his first full length and has certainly saved the best 17 tracks till now! Its a solid release with guest appearances from YUNGUN, TB, STYLAH, IRON BRAYDZ and battle champ REIN.

Raised by his Ghanaian mother growing up between her native gold coast and London, MR.DRASTICK realised his love for hip-hop at the early age of 7. Taking inspiration from U.S artistes such as Lords of the Underground, Big Daddy Kane, Pete Rock & CL Smooth, De La Soul, Tupac, Slick Rick, and many others, MR.DRASTICK would emulate his favourite artists, by recording his raps on tapes, through a microphone on his mother’s Hi-fi system. Fast forward 14 years on (late 2005), a young MR.DRASTICK releases his first mix tape ‘The Gladiatorial Passion vol.1’. This release made significant noise, with the first single ‘They Swear’ being voted 1XTRA single of the week! And the mix tape itself scooping Mix tape of the week on DEV’S 1XTRA show.

Fast forward on again to 2007 MR DRASTICK emerged this time with the first two lead singles / video’s from THE GLADIATORS ANTHEM project, ‘REP DAT’ & ‘GIVE IT UP’ again well received:

‘Reppin’ the UK to the fullest………’ - (HHC)

‘No doubt you will be hearing a lot more from this gent….’ - (Britishhiphop.co.uk)

‘One to watch for sure….’ – (247 Magazine)

‘Pick it up and drop it at any jam’. – (Big Smoke Magazine)

‘Excellent…’ - (DJ Magazine)

‘This is one UK rapper doing things on his own terms…’ - (The New Nation)

Never one to shy away from the spotlight, It would be fair to say that the proverbial lamp has shone or at least flickered upon this up and coming mc. With rumours of beef with certain, more established figures in the UK hip hop scene to allegations of full on brawls with some of our better known friends from across the water [G-G-G-G-G-UNIT!!], rumours continue to spread about MR DRASTICK.

But none of this is about to take his eye off the prize! With a countless number of free promo mixtapes in the bag, and many more planned, his work rate never ceases to amaze!! MR DRASTICK has also just teamed up with fellow underground hype, LUC SKYZ. Together they form super group ‘VALLEY OF KINGS’ look out for their brand new video for ‘Nothing Wrong’ hitting the box in a minute.

‘THE GLADIATORS ANTHEM’ is out on 28th APRIL 2008 from all good download / high st / online record stores.

‘HALF PAST CALM’ the debut from producer JON PHONICS is here. After first emerging onto our airwaves in 2006, having produced the underground street banger ‘REP DAT’ for MR DRASTICK & DOC BROWN. He’s since lent his talents to a number of projects including release from M9, VERB T & TEEF. ‘HALF PAST CALM’ is a collection of exclusive tracks that showcase what this remarkable producer has to offer and by every means sets the standards for whats to come.

The compilation includes 13 exclusive tracks, featuring some of the most prolific artists in the UK, with appearances from VERB T, SIR SMURF LIL (YNR), CYRUS MALACHI (TRIPLE DARKNESS), M9INE, MR DRASTICK, LUC SKYZ, T-BEAR, 9PLANETS, PHOENIX DA ICEFIRE, I VERSE & FLIPTRIX.

From the off the album has a rugged , organic sound which flows throughout, the open ing track ‘State of Hip Hop’ featuring M9INE & PROPHET, a hard hitting sonic dart laced with emotional flute, plucking harp and evocative keys, more that suitably kicks off the occasion. Despite the records sleazy soulful sound the tracks have an undeniably raw edge, which carries us on a journey through this versatile collection of gems.

The single, watch out for the video coming soon, ‘NOTHING WRONG’ is an up-beat anthem featuring Mc’s MR DRASTICK & LUC SKYZ. Both artists spit raw verses about their own come-up in hip hop over a soulful track draped in guitar licks and string stabs.

The story telling piano of 'THE LIONS DEN' (FEATURING CYRUS MALACHI of TRIPLE DARKNESS) and the haunting strings and distorted drum loop of FORBIDDEN CHAMBER with MC's NINE PLANETS show a darker, more direct side to JON PHONICS, where he finds himself more than at home.

Elsewhere on the record tracks such as 'CELEBRATE' with T-BEAR, 'IN THE ENDS' with SIR SMURF LIL' have more a subdued, reflective approach, laced with smooth funk basslines and rhodes pianos. The tracks sound like they could have been lifted straight from a 70's blaxsploitation soundtrack.

‘HALF PAST CALM’ is just a taster of what JON PHONICS has to offer, however don’t let that fool you, the quality of the tracks far out do most of his peers.

Having first been made available as an edited free download version, demand was such that the heads at ILL SMITH PRODUCTIONS decided to re package the project and offer it in its full glory to retailers and your wonderful self’s alike.

‘HALF PAST CALM’ is available everywhere from the 9th JUNE 2008

SKANDAL is an emcee you can hate, revere and be astonished by. He isn’t afraid to bring raw, gutter hiphop back to the table, yet occasionally throw in a party joint, because lets face it, thugs need recreation time too. Helmed, honed and pushed by rising producer CHEMO (JOE BUDDEN / KOOL G RAP / ROYCE DA 5’9), and fresh from collaborating with HALAL BEATS powerhouses BEAT BUTCHA (ROOTS MANUVA / PLAN B / KLASHNEKOFF / GHETTO) and THE LAST SKEPTIK (MF GRIMM / SWAY / STIG OF THE DUMP), SKANDAL is bound to be beating the shit out of your ear drums in 2008.

In this his first EP, SKANDAL projects his views over uncompromising electronic production. A fusion of hiphop, dubstep and grime set the scene for a vivid depiction of growing up in poverty, and the perils of street life. Without an official solo release under his belt, SKANDAL has already had extensive support on KISS FM, and performed alongside SAIGON, STYLES P, IMMORTAL TECHNIQUE and FOREIGN BEGGARS with his former crew CHAIN OF COMMAND.

Skandal - The Warning

Carlos (TEV)ez is a Great Player!!!

TeV '95's long awaited instrumental album "Powerful Muzik" has finally been released! 21 tracks of original never heard instrumentals. This album plays straight through with no gaps and it is a must hear an have for any MC. 

While "Powerful Muzik" is mostly a soulful sample based instrumental album, there are also up beat club bangers and tracks with techno and trance sounds. "Powerful Muzik" begins with a narrative by TeV'95 himself introducing the album and leaks in to a haunting DEA voicemail over a jazz beat asking TeV to self surrender himself to the DEA. 

There are lot of ill beats on this album. "Powerful Muzik" uses witty vocal samples of Hiphops fallen soldiers such as Biggie, Tupac, and Big L. Some of my favorites include: "Another Day" (the single), "Gettin Paid" (with an ill Tupac sample), and Computer Love (a tecky club beat).

We got a chance to speak to TeV '95 himself here's what he had to say:

"Im putting this instrumental album for free for the people! And every beat on here is powerful, so I had to name it Powerful Muzik for the People. A lot of producers don't put out their beats, they want to sit on them and see who they can sell it to. That aint my plan. I'ma put this out there and real Hiphop dudes is gonna recognize Im really bout this Hiphop shit! I dont sweat the bootleggers or the thieves cause that only gives me more exposure. Eventually it will come back around. If the people like what they hear and wanna use these beats then they will holla at me and purchase the tracks or hire me to do some more shit. I got 1000's of beats! 

I just want people to get to know me TeV'95 who I am and what I do. I've been down here in Miami and me and my peoples have worked with Pitbull, Trick Daddy, Rick Ross and all that. But I dont think the people have got a chance to get to know me personally, as a producer and as songwriter. I got a lot to say through my music. I'm bout real music not this bulshit we've been hearing lately. I can do commercial, I can do street but its always gonna be Powerful and from the heart."

Hey Kids!!!

Prince Paul, Chali 2na, Wordsworth, Ladybug Mecca, Scratch & Ursula Rucker, team up for what is the best way to introduce the kids to this world that is hip hop. To top it off the entire cd is full of life lessons & positive messages for your children to absorb. Its all lighthearted & fun yet i still found my self nodding my head to most of the tracks on there. The tracks are simple, short & sweet so as not to sap the kiddies attention span & the rhymes are easy for them to get into and remember. Chali 2na has always had a cartoonish quality to his voice & as T-Rex he's easily the best character. Having Ursula Rucker as narrator was genius, her voice is perfect for the job. This is a superb idea which is engaging & fun for any 2 to 6 year old. This is the type of thing that only hip hop can do. Apart from the nursary rhymes themselves i can't see any other genre pulling this kind of idea off this well. Be sure to check the site for for some freeness for the kids to enjoy. And the best thing is my princess loves it.

Core, That J's A Bit Lively Isn't He!!!

I'll start this one with the production credits shall I: DJ Spinna, DJ Nu-Mark, Locsmif, Cap D, Oddisee, DJ Jazzy Jeff, Evil Dee, Kenny Keys, Nicolay & Marco Polo, amongst others. After that list i could stop the review right now, safe in the knowledge that those in the know will be more than prepared to grab this album when it drops. But since i have a little more space to fill i'll continue for a little longer. After the lukewarm reception received for The Here After, J has gone back to what he does best (a la The Best Part & All of The Above) & doesn't disappoint over one beat afer another of pure Hip Hop goodness. The movie score horns & sharp yet slightly understated snare of One to 31 should imediately put at ease those who were left a little disappointed last go round (& there are a few of you). Be No Slave is located below for your listening pleasure so i'll let the good people judge for yourselves. Then comes The Upgrade, which sees J joined by Posdanous & Oddisee over a chopped vocal sample & some nice brass/horns on the hook. Through It Don't Stop & The Understanding, things continue in the same vein of head nod niceness. The Last Third (which sounds like a Spinna beat to me) sees J contemplating on various what could've beens while being carried by atmospheric horns & keys, plus a snapping snare. The latin infused guitars & brass of  Ole, The accomplished keyboard meshing of Oowee & eerie vocal samples of Simmer Down, are my other definite playlist additions. But my fav on here has to be We Are! Spinna laced this one big time & J takes it back to Braggin' Writes with the lyrics. J-Live the MC never went off the boil but i just thought some of his beat choices on his last full length album (i'm not counting his EP's which are all nice) were not great. He may have been in Common/Electric Circus mode & was just trying something new. But he's chosen the beats to match is mic skills this time out & the listening experience as a whole is much better because of it. A definite must have.

810 Ways To Warch This Video

New vid from my boy 810 & i'm feeling this beat too. Ch Ch Check it out