June 2004

June 29th, 2004

Big Boi of Outkast recently said this to MTV, referring to the soundtrack to the duo's movie for HBO, in which they wont be playing themselves: "But before we put the soundtrack out, we're going to put another album out this November. It's gonna be a hardcore album, me and Dre letting Organized Noize produce the whole album. I can't give you the title of it yet, but it's coming together nicely. It's going to be a lot of MCing and a little bit of other stuff. But a lot of MCing. Think about what I'm saying — MCing! He's back."

Last night I was handed the news that a mates bird not only expressed her interest in the new YunGun CD and the track 'Big Idea' but also fell a sleep at Islington's Carling Academy which was playing 50 Cent. Another convert? Lets hope so. And if anyone has any more stories of UK hip-hop indoctrination, send them in on a postcard and maybe, just maybe (but increasingly unlikely), the government will employ a sufficient enough postal service to get it to me. Now here's some food for thought. Eat it slowly, remembering to chew, keep your elbows off the table (aren't funny bones pointless!) and your internet porn habits out of conversation: People will eat shit if its served on shiny silver, a thought that came to mind reading the website of Blade where folks were discussing what they'd do to improve the UK scene if they had all the money in the world. Most points were orientated around television and radio, and just how utterly dire the majority of the material it wastes airplay on is! It makes life for the likes of my latest interviewee, Salvo, a lot harder than it needs to be. I urge you to put on some evil black gloves, get out your plastics and infiltrate each and every home in your neighbourhood, erasing any trace of square boxes full of booty and champagne obsessed retards and little rectangular boxes which leaves you hungry for mindless static. Of course I don't really want you to commit crime, but you get my point. I hope. And there ends the lesson.

Just got back from Glastonbury Festival and it was very muddy to say the least. It wasn't all bad though. There were a few hip-hop acts scattered around here and there. Taskforce were due to play The Ballroom tent but Farma G was ill so Chester P and Rawdog ran through some cool freestyles and tracks. A young crew by the name of Death B4 Dishonour or DBD performed for about half an hour at the Glade stage. Perhaps their recorded material isn't so bad, but the live performance was all over the place, to the point of boring and tedious. Skinnyman (pic) played to a three quarters filled dance tent, running through some of the more well known tracks from his EP, a couple of tracks from the forthcoming album, some amazing spoken word performance pieces and the odd bit of freestyle here and there. Goldie Lookin Chain's set was….actually, am I allowed to mention them? James Brown, an important figure in the development of hip-hop and a very sampled man, did an amusing but drawn out set.

That's not the only live things that have been happening. On the 23rd of June at Camden's Jazz Cafe, a sell out crowd turned up to listen to Talib Kweli. A very fortunate crowd got a very big surprise in the form of Mos Def, who turned the whole night into an hour and a half of Blackstar, singing the big hits and freestyling. Not to mention the humble meet and greet with the entire crowd after the last track.

Chuck D, Big Daddy Kane and KRS One are to come together as the new Treacherous Three produced exclusively by DJ Premier who released the most exciting news of the year, in an interview in which he also talked about his first official solo venture, his up and coming release with Poet and a new instrumental release of his classic work from Group Home's 'Living Proof. The collaboration between KRS and Premo who have in the past, disagreed about the price of the legends beats and between Chuck and Premo who met in court over a sample from an old PE song which was used without permission on a track glorifying crack dealing seems a little odd, but if this materializes, could result in one of the most memorable releases in hip-hop history. The potential is insane! It lets face it, there's more chance of this happening than the buckets full of projects Dr. Dre is always claiming on making, which never see the light of day. Read the full Premo scoop at www.hiphopsite.com

If you're free this coming Saturday (19th of June) make sure you do all you can to get up to Flitwick where the Urban Games are happening. It's a free event, beween 11am and 7pm and see's the likes of Skinnyman, YunGun, Blade and Jehst take to the stage, plus more! The most interesting detail is that its free admission, with a capacity of 5000 very happy hip-hop heads! You can get there from London via the Thames Link, past Luton and a ton of other places which I've never heard of. And if you're getting there from anywhere else, remember, I only acknowledge London! Hehe.

More great news from my social mate, who this week visited Elbow Rooms in Angel, with his girlfriend (who hates to be called 'bird'). I got a satisfying text message informing me that none other than the man of the moment YunGun's track 'Dancing Shoes' was played! I just knew that guy would start blowing up, and it's still very early days!

The website of graffiti legend Banksy is up and running, although you wouldn't be alone in falling for internet chatter that he's been caught and that the site has been taken down. It's just a matter of placing your mouse to the centre of the black and blank page, and clicking a few times. It's worth the effort, there's some chilling new pieces, including Ronald McDonald taking a war victim for a walk! www.banksy.co.uk

This months Kung Fu (15th June) sees Doc Brown step to the stage to perform tracks from his forthcoming CD release The DOCument which will be landing on shelves later this year. If you were lucky enough to pick up last months Undercover Magazine you'd have seen his awesome track 'In My Life' on the cover CD and if you have a struggling social life like myself (Why do Uni friends have to move back for Summer?) you'd have heard about his cover of the UK christmas number one Mad World. Talking of Undercover, turn to the last few pages and check out my four reviews!

Talib Kweli is dropping through London also this week, performing at Jazz Cafe. Tickets sold out well before any advertising kicked in so I'm afraid your out of luck. That is, unless you want to go to Wembley Arena and sit through Missy Elliot and others for a glimpse of the NY MC, already causing serious hype with the releases 'Lonely People' and 'Peace of Mind'. The new album 'Beautiful Struggle' just may be huge. But surely not as huge as what old label mate Pharaoh Monch will be dropping when he comes out of hiding…

Fresh from signing a sponsorship deal with THTC.co.uk Eastborn has been working hard all over the place. Back from doing the college radio thing in the states, the Scottish MC has recorded a remix for Indy band Travis's single 'Happy to Hang Around' which is set to be the B side of the release! If that wasn't cool enough, the dude is to pop up on a forthcoming Wu-Tang Clan mixtape! A seperate Wu collaboration will feature on the new Eastborn Presents VOL 2 which also features Blade, Skinnyman and Mr Thing. Where's Volume 1 then? I hear you ask. That's coming out soon too, featuring Pitman and DJ Vadim! Bloody busy bloke then…

Tommy Evans will release his debut solo album 'New Years Revolutions' this Autumn. The first single is the double A Another Hit/Revolutions which will drop on the 2nd of August. Video's for both tracks will be played on Channel U and MTV 2.

More twisted news from across the shores; The remaining members of TLC may be launching a new reality television show in which they will narrow applicants down to a select few, to replace Left Eye who tragically died in a car crash. I feel sick….but there's a cure on the way. It's official, Pharoahe Monch is going to Shady Records. In an audio interview at hiphopdx (see links page) the highly anticipated lyricist explained his decision to move in with the ever powerful Interscope imprint and just how close he came to packing it all in!

Tunes to ch-check out: Who? Me by Skinnyman, GCSE by Blak Twang, Weed by Jehst & Asaviour, Why Must You by Yogi, Ghetto People by Blackstar, British by Pesci, Damn This Headache by Kashmere/Braintax. Peace of Mind by Talib Kweli, Liquid Love by YunGun, All I Got by Klashnekoff, Reflections by Blade, English Knight by >aRRo, Impact by Aspects and My Life by Doc Brown.

Live Dates: Don't miss Rebel Music at Electrowerks EC1V this coming Friday where Skinnyman, DJ Flip, GM Baby, Unusual Suspects and more will be performing. It's free before 10pm and all money made at the door afterwards, gets donated to Cuban youth! None other than Afrika Bambaataa is in the country on the 11th of July at Cargo London alongside a host of lesser known names. Check out Jehst and Yungun at 72 Record's launch party for the Beyond There 12" release at Plastic People, Old Street London, on the 18th of July at 8pm for four quid. 20th July see's Roots Manuva, Asian Dub Foundation and Chuck D together at Somerset House, London's Strand for a Channel 4 headed evening to launch their coverage of an up and coming cricket match/s between the West Indies and England. Woohoo!

DMX @ Shepards Bush Empire, London on 1st July. Blade in Liverpool on the 4th July. Wu Tang Clan @ Hammersmith on 8th July.

Releases: Lowlife have just released Kashmere and Verb T's Technical Illness/Backhand Slap Talk and will be dropping the vinyl AND CD Skinnyman single 'I'll Be Suprised' during July. The Roots release 'Tipping Point' on the 13th. It's getting mixed reactions. Roots Manuva is back in September with a full length new album! Evil Ed will be releasing his debut album 'The Enthusiast' in October. It'll feature tons of folk including; YunGun, Tommy Evans, Jehst, DJ IQ, Probe Mantis, Doc Brown AND more!