I got aggy this week at the sight of a few fools from the twat farm on the infamous ukhh.com message boards talking complete and utter, ungrounded bullshit about a guy who for the past two or three years, they've been giving nothing but hype and respect to. It seems that however great the chances the scene gets to grow and develop on upwards, there's always going to be arseholes who have to get all negative for the sake of it. I guess the opening conversation on Skinnyman's 'Never Gonna Happen' is spot on. As soon as he blows up, a lot of idiots will be chatting trash about his name. And its that mentality of 'as soon as it's looking good, lets get un-necessarily critical and feed our false sense of superiority' which is why our top artists are still holding down jobs, are still struggling to get a 12" out and who are constantly fighting to maintain the little enthusiasm and motivation they have left to keep going. Some folk need to re-evaluate what it is they want out of UK hip-hop and pack their bags.
And now on to the news.
Ugly Duckling are to release an EP entitled The Left Over which will include their track with DJ Format, and some rarities from the Taste The Secret era. It's going to be available on import from Australia and the States as well as being a bonus disc on the UK release of the fast food themed concept album. The enhanced CD will feature animation from the same dude's behind the recent 'Impact' video from Aspects.
Lauryn Hill's record label Columbia have confirmed that the awesome ex Fugee's star will release an album by the end of the year but there's no title and no release date. However, the next few weeks are expected to see the announcement of US promo appearances to support the new material which will be followed by some Europe dates!
Pharoahe Monch has been speaking on his forthcoming second LP. There'll be tracks produced by The Alchemist, Jelly Rolly, Denaun Porter and himself. Teasing his interviewer, he said there'll be a huge single featuring a big time artist which will take the form of a sequel to an earlier Organised Konfusion concept. There's still no release date and there's not even been an official press conference to announce the signing to Shady Record. But trust, it will happen and it will be big.
Radio One have been giving nice airplay to some UK hip-hop acts. Jo Whiley has been playing Skinnyman's new single as well as Estelle's new track 1980 which there's a new video out for. Also, Tim Westwoond, who's show Skinnyman appeared on this past Friday, played the new Tommy Evans and Colony track which will have a video made for it hitting MTV and Channel U soon.
Indelible TV has begun! Every Monday and Thursday night at 1AM on MTV2 you can check out tons of great hip-hop videos alongside some live footage and interview spots from the UK scene. I saw some of the first show, and was pretty damm impressed. Make sure you check this out on the regular and give those MTV fat cats an indication as to how much we want stuff like this.
KRS One wants to take over a small town near Arizona called Kingman and turn it into a hip-hop city, with doctors, a leader, clubs, and religion all with the hip-hop mentality. The 20 by 20 blocks town, he says, would be a place to go to to get high, get drunk, listen to hip-hop music and practice 'some of the most profound ideas of spirituality, justice, law and education'. Taking it a bit too far or keeping it hip-hop to the utter max?
Banksy will release his third book this month. That's 70 pages of wickid street art coming our way. It's been delayed because of the usual BS legal stuff. Check out www.banksy.co.uk for the latest. Also visit http://a.parsons.edu/%7Ejk/thesis/archives/video.html and watch the coolest push bike in the world in action. When you pedal it sprays the pavement with a preset slogan. (This link may not exist by the time you read this page).
Nas and Sony Music UK are offering one aspiring UK rapper the chance to appear on the UK release of the God's Son's new album 'Street Disciple' dropping on October the 11th. All you have to do is download the instrumental of 'Theif's Theme' from the following address, record your hottest effort on top of it and send it in. The winner is announced on the 31st of August. http://www.sonymusic.co.uk/nas/thiefstheme/
Mos Def is said, according to hiphopgame.com to have completed work on the album 'The New Danger' set to be released on the 28th of Septmember. It's apparently going to be a straight hip-hop record and not the much talked about rock project 'Black Jack Johnson'. Mos is currently filming his role as Ford Prefect in the up and coming movie 'The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy' which is based on a book of the same title written by Douglas Adams.
Tunes to check: Turn It Up To The Read by Second Son/Jehst, Trust by Wordsworth, I'll Be Surprised + Never Gonna Happen by Skinnyman, Thief's Theme by Nas, Jesus Walks by Kanye West, Weed by Jehst & Asaviour, What's Real? by Mista Websta, El Mariachi by ED209/Cappo.
Gigs to attend: Skinnyman dates> 16/07 @ Brighton 17/07 @ NASS Bath 31/07 Sheffield 05/8 Glasgow 06/07 Cargo London KungFu 20/07 @ Underworld with Pacewon. Roots Manuva 20/07 @ Somerset House London with Chuck D
Jurassic 5 are back in the country in August to perform at the Reading rock festival. But for those not wishing to join the thousands of little Goff teenagers for a chance to see the group, you can check out The Forum a few days later. The night is titled Jurassic 5 DJ's Nu-mark and Cut Chemist but surely the MC's will be dropping by to perform a few tracks right?
The forthcoming Tommy Evans album has unfortunately been delayed. 'New Years Revolutions' will now be released in November whilst its lead single now set to see the light of day in October. YNR affiliate Asaviour will be filling the void for the crews fans with a 12" release that will include the track 'Homecoming' and a remix of 'Money In The Bank' featuring Kyza and Yungun, Jehst handling production.
KRS One has this month released his latest album 'Get Right' which is said to be typically hot in terms of lyrics, but lacking something in terms of production. Despite reviews of the release being all over the internet and message boards talking tons about it, its first week sales were an extremely miserable 602. In related news, MTV pulled a KRS video because it contained scenes which included graffiti. A case of higher forces of power at work? Well durr!
Estelle is getting major airplay all over Radio 1 right now with her latest single 1980, the video of which is available at her homepage and on Channel U's playlist. The rapping has personality and the singing is skilled. It's dripping with cross over potential and is worth checking out.
Skinnyman and Blade have announced a series of gigs on their way this October. The two legends of UK hip-hop will release the dates and venues very shortly on their websites http://www.selfdestructmusic.com and www.blade691.com so be sure to keep looking. The tour is set to be fire!
Lauryn Hill, the greatest female MC of all time is almost certainly releasing her third album before the years out. News is dribbling in from the states claiming her to be organising an America wide promotional tour which will be followed by European dates. For a long time the album has been rumoured to be called 'Khumali Phase' and is likely to include the track 'Social Drugs' released on her website to view for a few earlier this year. Her most recent appearance was at MTV's Rock The Vote Party where she did an acoustic set to a crowd more interested in hearing old Fugee's hits.
Wyclef Jean is releasing an all Creole project entitled 'Welcome to Haiti 101' on his own label Sak Passe. It's intended to be a celebration of Haiti's 200 years of independence. An English spoken album is also penned on the release calendar of J Records for before the years out.
Wordsworth who I've interviewed and reviewed for this sites update next month has just finished a collaboration with Talib Kweli. The track also features Musiq and will feature on Talib Kweli's Beautiful Mixtape Part 2. Let's hope we hear that AFTER the Beautiful Struggle album…
Skinnyman launch party @ Cargo 28/07/04,
Mobb Deep @ The Forum London 29/07/04,
Jehst @ Jazz Cafe Camden 30 & 31/07/04,
Blade @ Koola Club Cornwall 05/08/04,
Lyric Pad @ Oh Bar Camden 05/08/04,
Pharoahe Monch @ Jazz Cafe Camden 23, 24, 25/08/04,
DJ Format and MC Abdominal @ Borderline London 26/08/04,
Jurassic 5 @ The Forum London 02/09/04,
People Under The Stairs, Blade, Yungun & Mr Thing @ Jazz Cafe Camden 07/10/04