DJ DeeKay - In The Mix

Sunday, 31 August 2008

30-Minute UKG Mix

30 Minutes! That's half an hour you know! Of the biggest and best garage vibes mixed by yours truly. This mix is nearly two years old now (and listening back to it, I realise how much my mixing style has changed since... i used to let a song run for more than 2 minutes for example!), but it's not too bad still. It's also home to possibly the best and worst recorded mixes I've ever done (I feel they cancel each otha out, so you can forgive the one fairly awful mix because of the levels of the amazing mix). Give it a listen, download it using the link below, and for half an hour you can party like it's somewhere between 1999 and 2004.

Tracklist is as follows:
The Artful Dodger featuring Craig David - Rewind
Wideboys featuring Dennis G - Sambuca
Daniel Bedingfield - Gotta Get Thru This
Top T and Danny C featuring Jade - Magic
Monsta Boy featuring Denzee - Sorry
Sweet Female Attitude - Flowers
Architects - Body Groove
Usher - You Got It Bad (Soul Power remix)
RL - Damn
The Artful Dodger featuring Lifford - Please Don't Turn Me On
Adina Howard - Freak Like Me (Tru Faith and Dub Conspiracy Mix)

And as always, right-click here and "save target as..." to download.

Thursday, 28 August 2008

"There's no school like the old school and I'm the headmaster..."

I've just come back from a preview screening of Guy's Ritchie's new movie "RocknRolla", which is released in the UK on September 5th and in the US on October 31st. I'll start by saying that admittedly, I wasn't expecting much. I mean yeah, "Lock Stock" and "Snatch" were fantastic, but by all accounts, Swept Away was terrible, and I didn't think a lot of Revolver. With that in mind, I can honestly say that lowered expectations had no bearing on my feelings for this film when the credits finally rolled.

The film was exceptional. Easily Guy Ritchie's best and leagues ahead of "Lock Stock" in terms of acting, script, dialogue, humour, and even plot. The cast was pretty much unfaultable and Toby Kebbell in particular was great as Johnny Quid, doing his best Russell Brand impression. In short, those of you who might be cynical given the director's recent pair of flops would do well to go check it out when it hits the cinemas. The trailer doesn't do justice to just how funny and clever a movie this actually is. Better than his critically-acclaimed first two films in every way.

Sunday, 24 August 2008

"When she pulled up, I was like wooooooow..."

So Raghav has a new single. That's Canadian-born Indian Raghav who featured on Top-10 hits "So Confused" and "It Can't Be Right" and had a string of his own successful singles from his debut album "Storyteller" which was released in 2004. You should be able to remember at least one of these hit singles - if you can then congratulations, you've got a pretty good idea of what the rest sounded like.

Let me qualify that by saying I was and remain a big fan of Raghav. I copped his first album in its week of release, and I bought all his singles, some of which I even got on vinyl early, still making sure to purchase the CDs on the weeks of their official release. I've met him a couple of times, and from the brief conversations that ensued, I believe he's also a humble and friendly guy, and definately not someone who's let the trappings of his relative fame get to his head. In other words, I'm completely committed to supporting Raghav. (I can tell already, this is gonna be another LONG post!)

So you have something to distract you while reading this semi-rant, here's Raghav's new video, featuring Redman. Song's entitled "My Kinda Girl". And once you've hit play, you have to listen to it all! Don't give up as soon as you hear the barking!

Right, so I'll talk about the video and the song later. Before that, a brief diversion. Anyone whose ever had the misfortune of talking shit about Jay Sean in my presence knows about my views on supporting Asian artists who are on the fringes of the mainstream. The Cliff-Notes of it is basically that 90% of the Asians (predominantely males) who "hate" Jay Sean feel that way because he's exactly where they want to be. He's picking up girls they wish they could pick up, making money that they wish they could make and has the lifestyle and job they wish they had. There is no relationship between their vehement hatred of him and his music. We know this because we know what else they listen to. Were Jay Sean black, they wouldn't hate him. Were Jay Sean black and American, he'd probably be their favourite R&B singer. Because he's a British Asian, he's "gay" and "shit". It's fully ridiculous.

Now I understand that hate is inherent in all of us. I get that it makes people feel better about their comparatively shitty lives to hate those who are more successful than they are. Fuck that! Maybe some of these people can't comprehend the fact that an Asian star breaks out into the mainstream on average only once every few years because all around them they see generic crappy Asian MCs and Bhangra artists selling 12 copies of their mixtape on Southall Broadway. It's a rare occassion that artists like Jay Sean or Raghav come along with the potential to make a serious dent in the charts and WE NEED TO SUPPORT THEM! Possibily not in the literal sense - the majority of Asians are doctors, dentists, accountants and lawyers who aren't even remotely affected by an increase in Asian presence in the mainstream. But the same way black artists faced a struggle (which remains to this day) to be accepted in the mainstream, we need to unite and support the odd few who get given an opportunity, in the hope that Asians in the music industry become an accepted and established presence, and not the result of "flash-in-the-pan" trends which come about once every few years when "desi" is the in-thing.

Anyway, rant over. The Raghav single... it's not terrible. It's not great - it sounds like a less impressive version of "Can't Get Enough" , but it's by no means awful. I question the Redman feature but seeing as Raghav has adopted an array of British MCs into his entourage, he can't be accused of not supporting the cause. No doubt Iceberg Slimm will feature on the remix. Not to mention Redman on the track might result in a few extra spins on Choice FM that the song otherwise might not have recieved.

The video is interesting... choong Asian girl is also a master jewel thief... seeeeeeen... Anyway, the song's not that good, but it's out on October 13th, go buy it so that he gets to put out a second single... which i'm sure will be much better. The album is called "Identity" and is out on October 20th, and will probably be very good because his last album was. Sure, it sounded fairly similar, but the levels were still high. And most importantly, if you've read this, it must've taken you at least five minutes... don't let those five minutes be a waste and go out and support Jay Sean, Raghav and any other Asian artists you have the opportunity to. While I'm at it, buy Kano's 140 Grime Street in September... and get Wiley and Chipmunk's albums. Wiley's got songs with Kate Nash and Lily Allen, he needs all the help recouping on that album that he can get.

Fuck me, that was an essay!

Sunday, 17 August 2008

R&B Mix (August 2008)

As promised, a quick mix I mixed (:-S) just a few minutes ago.

Tracklist is as follows:
Bell Biv Devoe - Poison
Charlie Wilson - Thinking Of You
Timbaland - The Way I Are
Kardinal Offishall - Dangerous
Donnie Klang - Take You There
Usher - What's Your Name
Omarion - Beg For It

And I'm still nice so here's a download link. You've got to right-click and "save target as..." this time.

Tuesday, 12 August 2008

Chase and Status - Eastern Jam (Indian Dub)

I'm not usually a huge fan of Dubstep, but this track is fully fucked. Samples a song from the Bollywood movie Devdas (I'm not usually a huge fan of Bollywood either, but Devdas is, incidentally, one of my favourite movies of all time) and is out on vinyl in September. Expect it to light up raves for the next 6 months, hopefully in the way that Benga and Coki's "Night" has been doing for over a year now.

Chase and Status - Eastern Jam (Indian Dub)

Monday, 11 August 2008

Kano - 48 Bars (Forum Nonsense)

New Kano freestyle where he addresses a mysterious nameless forum that's been taking shots at him.

Bars are big. 140 Grime Street will be a triumphant return to the scene for Kano, he sounds hungry again, back to the MC that was fucking up sets and tunes before he got signed. 'London Town' Kano was still lyrically sick but it wasn't the Ghetto Kyote Kane that would just eat the track up and destroy it. Sounds like that guy's back.

Sunday, 10 August 2008

Ten-Minute Mix

Short mix I did a while ago for a mixtape that never got completed. Might still use it for something, but I'm a bit too happy with it to let it sit on my hard drive gathering musical dust. The levels were very high that day.

I think it's alot, but then I did it and I've kinda got an unreasonably inflated opinion of myself.

Tracklist is as follows:
Plies featuring Akon - Hypnotised
Craig David featuring Ryan Leslie - 6 Of 1 Thing (remix)
Michael Jackson - Jam
Justin Timberlake - SexyBack
N.E.R.D. - Things Are Getting Better
Usher - Red Light
Amerie - Touch
Britney Spears - I Got A Plan
Chris Brown - Picture Perfect

And just in case you actually like it, here's a download link. I'm nice like that! I might even do this every week. Twice as nice!

Saturday, 9 August 2008

"I'mma bust your head 'til the white meat shows..."

R.I.P Bernie Mac.

In a decade where the world has already lost Richard Pryor, the death of one of the finest comedians of our time at the relatively young age of 50 is truly tragic. I can remember waking up early in the holidays to watch The Bernie Mac Show on Channel 4 as a teenager, and enjoying seeing him on screen in everything from the Ocean's movies to Guess Who.

Warning: The following video contains bad language and discussion of adult themes... but DAMN it's funny!

May he rest in peace and may his family find the strength to work through their loss.

She's Like A Star

Taio Cruz, the UK's latest quasi-American R&B singer to break through into the mainstream, collaborates with The Sugababes and, inexplicably, Busta Rhymes, for the remix to new single "She's Like A Star". The original, sampling the similarly titled Corrine Bailey Rae track, was a highlight of Cruz's debut album Departure, and the presence of the Sugababes here lends the song some weight, both commercially and musically.

"She's Like A Star (remix)" - Taio Cruz featuring Busta Rhymes and The Sugababes

The addition of Busta Rhymes however is confusing. While The Sugababes might earn the song a few extra spins given that they remain A-List pop material in the UK, Busta is no longer a big draw. Here is a rapper whose most recent tour of this country consisted of playing prestigious venues like a near-empty Oceana nightclub in Birmingham. My issue with his appearance here is that, given it should have next to no impact on the song's success, I wonder why Cruz or his label didn't opt for using and up-and-coming British MC in Busta's place.

A verse from Bashy, Kano, or even Chipmunk in place of Busta's generic rambling would have been mutually beneficial for both parties. The rising MC would have a verse on a hit remix in their catalog and hopefully a raised profile as a result of it, and Taio Cruz would've come across as an artist who has even a vague interest in pushing the UK forward. For an artist who is currently writing for Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake and the Pussycat Dolls, a collaboration with a homegrown MC might have increased his standing with thus far cynical fans of British black music who have yet to fully embrace him. Not to mention a Chipmunk feature at present would presumably have cost significantly less than what Busta was paid, and the young MC's star is rising at such a rate that this might not be true for much longer. Bashy and Kano would have effortlessly contributed something more than Busta's "noise-to-fill-space".

There seems to be a culture amongst UK R&B artists to work with mediocre US artists rather than give a shot to the cream of our own crop. Cassidy's appearance on a new Leona Lewis track is one such example, although that was perhaps more inspired by label politics than the need for his presence. With a dearth of average US rappers around at present, and more homegrown talent than ever before, there really is no excuse for artists to opt for the inferior American option.

Wednesday, 6 August 2008

Guide To A Grime Crowd

While browsing GrimeForum this morning, I stumbled across this thread, which linked to Ruffhousing's Guide To A Grime Crowd

It's a pretty funny depiction of the scene's remaining fans, if not entirely accurate. Blog or not, I definately don't fall into the "Blogger" category!

Give it a read... whether you listen to grime or not, you'll recognise these characters from any "trendy" London rave.

Tuesday, 5 August 2008

"I know one thing's for sure. I'm gonna get my kicks before it all burns down..."

When Lil' Wayne's multi-platinum album The Carter III was released this year to both critical and commercial fanfare, fans and press alike hailed tracks such as Dr Carter, Shoot Me Down and Let The Beat Build. One track that I feel was overlooked was Weezy's latest collaboration with R&B singer Robin Thicke. A pair who have a history of creating great music together, their latest effort more than stands up to the high standards set by Carter II favourite Shooter.

"Tie My Hands" - Lil' Wayne featuring Robin Thicke (Taken From The Carter III)

The song's subject matter, Hurricane Katrina and it's impact on Wayne's hometown of New Orleans, is hardly fresh ground, but Robin Thicke's haunting but soulful vocals and Weezy's poignant bars lift this track above those that have come before it. The song's tone is ultimately optomistic, suggesting that the city will one day rise again in spite of it's apparent condemnation by those who might have done something to save it. Great production by Kanye West whose beats on this album re-established his status as a top producer of this decade. To me this is one of 2008's finest tracks, Hip-Hop or otherwise, and I hope that history will remember it as being a highlight of Wayne's thus far biggest-selling album. It captures the zeitgeist of the disillusioned but hopeful masses of New Orleans, the USA and the rest of the world with spell-binding accuracy.

"First came the hurricane, then the morning sun..." ( c ) Lil' Wayne

Monday, 4 August 2008

Jack London's Credo

I would rather be ashes than dust! 
I would rather that my spark should burn out in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dry-rot. 
I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet. 
The function of man is to live, not to exist. 
I shall not waste my days trying to prolong them. 
I shall use my time. 

Words supposedly written by early-20th Century writer Jack London. Admittedly, he's basically taken six lines to say "you only live once" but he does it as poetically and eloquently as anyone ever has.

Except maybe whoever it was at Nike that came up with "Just Do It"...