DJ DeeKay - In The Mix

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Chipmunk - Chip Diddy Chip (Video)

Personally the tune isn't for me, but the video's lively. Loads of cameos, Mr Munk looks like a natural in front of the camera. Good look for him.

Dubplate Drama 3 (Open Auditions)

Dubplate Drama Series 3 | Open Auditions

Dubplate Drama is back and you could become part of the cast.

Dubplate Drama will be holding an open audition for actors aged between 18-25yrs. If you know anyone who'd like to head down and try out, please forward this on.

Auditions will take place as follows:

Dates: Saturday 31st Jan & Sunday 1st Feb

Time: 11am - 4pm

Location: Westbourne Studios, 242 Acklam Road, London, W10 5JJ

For more info email:

"Girl you must've lost your way from heaven // could it be for me you came so far..."

Calvin Richardson featuring Angie Stone - More Than Woman

What a groove. Haven't heard this tune in a while, so thought I'd share it with y'all.

Monday, 26 January 2009

Newham Generals - Heads Get Mangled (Video)

What the fuck?! This is disgusting. Dee sounds fucked on this. On some Drum and Bass/Prodigy vibe. Video looks tidy as well, definitely not slipping when it comes to quality. Watch for Dizzee's cameo.

Sunday, 25 January 2009

Tinchy Stryder At #3

So Tinchy charted at Number 3 in the UK charts this week with "Take Me Back", his Fraser T Smith produced collaboration with Taio Cruz. But as Chris Tarrant would say, "we don't want to give you that". So here's Stryder and Roachee instead. Ah, it's been a while since I last heard that sickening bass.

Big up Stryder! Massive achievement.

Saturday, 24 January 2009

Ms Dynamite - Bad Gyal

Ms Dynamite - Bad Gyal (Radio Rip)

The song's been about for a little while, but this is the closest to the real thing that's around. Dynamite's vocal is alright, but it's Sticky's beat that raises this track into fully-disgusting territory. The bass! And the strings! So fucked. Dynamite's definitely back in a big way.

"When I spit, I'm the definition of mastered craft, and all you ask about is Aftermath // motherfucker move on..." (c) Joell Ortiz

Joell Ortiz featuring Joe Budden, Royce Da 5'9" and Crooked I - Move On (Slaughterhouse remix)

Slaughterhouse all killed this. Four emcees with their fair share of past issues take the opportunity to clear the air and duppy nicely.

Leona Lewis - "I Will Be" (Video)

Fuck Chace "Nate From Gossip Girl" Crawford. Getting next to my woman like that!

Video's okay, I mean Leona is so fine that really it doesn't matter what else happens. I do quite like the song now though, which is odd because up until today, I barely acknowledged its existance.

Written by Avril Lavinge, but Leona's rendition offers much more character and emotional depth, purely because she has the far stronger voice and the ability to control that voice.

And on a random note, even though Zac Effron's been touted by most people for the role, I'd much rather see Crawford play Light Yagami if they ever make an American Death Note movie. I'm not convinced that he's a particularly great actor either, but come on, anyone but Effron!

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

20109 Change at IndigO2

So last night I had the pleasure of attending the 20109 Change event put on by the Ibbamo Trust at London's IndigO2.

As is evident from my ticket, I was very much VIP (thanks for the most part to a very helpful lady at the PR company working the event, who really hooked me up, and The Roundhouse's RedTop Magazine, for which I was covering the event). That meant Kings Row seats (literally the best in the house!), access to a private bar (which I only used once, not because it was £4 for a bottle of beer, but because I was THERE TO WORK... obviously...) and general VIP treatment. It was alot.

The evening kicked off with the BBC's coverage of the inauguration being aired on the big screen - as would be expected, Obama's oath and then his speech received numerous massive cheers from those already inside the building. After the speech, the show began for real, with the London Community Gospel Choir performing. The entertainment on the night consisted of a wide variety of acts, with skills ranging from beatboxing to dancing to singing, and the transition between artists was seamless, thanks mainly to the show's hosts, comedian Eddie Kadi and singer Patrick Alen.

The first noteworthy performance of the night came from award-winning saxophonist YolanDa Brown, who was able to stir the inexplicably reserved crowd with a short but impressive set, concluding with her take on Robin Thicke's "Lost Without You".

Next, the London Community Choir returned, alongside Patrick Alen and the Music Box Live band, and the stars of the West End's Motown Live Revue, who included Stephanie Benson and Kele Le Roc. They ran through a number of Motown hits, before Britain's Got Talent semi-finalist Dominic Smith came to the stage.

Eliciting undoubtedly the biggest reaction of the night (louder than even headline act Lemar), the 16 year old was such a success that he was brought back for an encore, with the running order of the show altered on the spot to allow the teenager a second performance.

More acts followed, including Q&A and Ava Leigh but next of note were N-Dubz, performing to a crowd much older than their usual demographic. The trio's effort was admirable, and their set featured the same energy (if not crowd interaction) that their live show is famed for.

Natty was up next, and delivered a short but effective set, which included debut single "Cold Town", and a new song he wrote on the day of Obama's election: a tribute to the President's achievement and how it inspired him.

DJ Ironik followed Natty. Unfortunately he wasn't there to DJ. I'll say no more.

Finally, the headline act, Lemar, came to the stage. He performed "If She Knew", "If There's Any Justice", new single "Weight Of The World", and for an encore, "It's Not That Easy". Vocally impressive as always, he had the crowd singing along, and shared his own feelings about Obama's election. Anyway, here's a short video of him performing "If There's Any Justice".

The show closed with some scantily-clad Brazilian samba dancers, who I unfortunately didn't take any photos of. All in all, in my eyes at least, it was a success. The turnout wasn't amazing, and it seemed as though it was mostly press and media, but the vibes were right, and more importantly, the aim of the event was fulfilled. Ibbamo director Keynes Emeruwa spoke of wanting to bring together like-minded individuals to celebrate a moment in history, a culmination of centuries of spirited campaigning for justice and equality. Judging by the crowd that came out for this event, selective in their applause but vocal in support for the man of the moment, the trust was overwhelmingly successful in putting on an event that sought to unite its guests under the banner of not only embracing change, but actively persuing it.

A final note just to highlight the performers I thought stood out on the night, or who I personally liked. Eddie Kadi was hilarious - the charismatic young comedian owned the stage. A particular highlight was an improvised performance with Beatbox band Duke about Tesco not selling Supermalt. Speaking of Duke, those guys were AMAZING. I fully regret not recording when they started Wiley's "Wearing My Rolex" then switched into Ghetto's "Mountain". Actually incredible. YolanDa Brown was so impressive I'm about to cop tickets to her Jazz Cafe show in February, on the strength of a 10-minute performance. Dominic Smith is a talented young man with a bright future ahead of him. It's no secret I'm a fan of N-Dubz, Lemar and Natty, they all represented as I expected they would. Oh and Twin B held it down pon deck.

"I was raised in the city, when they was out blazing a philly // I was on the 5 bus, chasing the titties..." (c) Kano

Chase and Status featuring Kano - Against All Odds

Look I love the tune, and I like the video and it's no secret that I think the album was one of the best of last year, but my only thought right now is... what the fuck is Kane wearing on his head?!

I went to the 20109 Change event in celebration of Obama's inaugration at the IndigO2 tonight, watched the show from the King's Row VIP, pretty much the best seats in the house. I'll write it up tomorrow. Was a great night.

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Ghetts interview from Marvell's Blog

Talking about grime, the future of The Movement, and replying to MCs that send.

"If you got a racist mind, it's alright // my president is black but his house is all white..." ( c ) Jay-Z

Young Jeezy featuring Jay-Z - My President Is Black LIVE


"I'm out for Presidents to represent me..."

Those Nas bars that Hov so famously sampled take on a new meaning tomorrow when Obama finally steps into office. Hov duppied this remix, the first four bars are disgusting. Expect the studio version soon.

"My President is black, in fact, he's half white,
So even in a racist's mind, he's half right,
If you got a racist mind, it's alright,
My President is black but his house is all white!

Rosa Parks sat so Martin Luther could walk,
Martin Luther walked so Barack Obama could run,
Barack Obama ran so all the children could fly,
So I'mma spread my wings, you can meet me in the sky,
I already got my own clothes, already got my own shoes,
I was hot before Barack, imagine what I'm gon do,
Hello Miss America, hey, pretty lady,
Red, white and blue flag, wave for me, baby,
Never thought I'd say this shit: baby, I'm good,
You can keep your puss, I don't want no more Bush,
No more war, no more iraq,
No more white lies, my President is black..."

(c) Jay-Z


Saw this at a screening today. Sick film, the acting was great, it was nicely paced, good chemistry between the two leads, as you'd expect given they played their respective characters in the stage version of the movie, prior to filming for the big screen. Definitely lived up to the hype and well worth watching. It's out in cinemas this Friday.

Friday, 16 January 2009

"Even though we probably link up every now and then, with minimal convo, look it's really good to see you friend..." (c) Busta Rhymes

These days I'm fairly indifferent to Busta Rhymes, but this track is sick. I suppose with a lineup like that, it would've taken an epic fuck-up on somebody's part for this to be anything less than hot. Still, this ode to true friendship is one of Busta's better songs of recent times.

Busta Rhymes featuring Jamie Foxx, Mary J Blige and Common - Decisions (Produced By Dr Dre)

Or maybe I'm just a sentimental motherfucker that loves my friends.

"Sometimes I feel the people I love don't appreciate me // But some'll hate to see the shit I've been going through lately //See you was here when the shit started to hay-wire // You're still here, walking with me, going with through the fire // And I really love you for it, I know you all relate too // On everything that I believe, I appreciate you..."

I told you! Did I not tell you?!

Oh, so NOW everyone's talking about Slumdog?! I'd like to take this opportunity to point y'all towards this post dated 24th December 2008:

"Slumdog Millionaire"

You better take man for Alex and remember I told you! (Are references to last year's Big Brother played out in 2009?!) Anyway....... if you regularly read this blog, you'll probably have realised I've been "working" PR for this film intensively over the last few weeks. If you've had the pleasure of seeing it (and judging by the Facebook statuses of half of my friends, most people probably have), you might now understand why. If you haven't, stop what you're doing immediately, hop in the car/bus/cab and go to your nearest cinema. If you're reading this at 3am, fuck it, just leave now and camp outside until morning, it's worth it.

Thursday, 15 January 2009

"Bad boys get the good girls all the time..." (c) Sincere

Kid Bass featuring Sincere - Goodgirls Love Rudeboys

The official video. How's that for a preview still in the youtube video! The first girl in this video is alot. Reminds me of Izzy from Hollyoaks. Anyway, big tune, big video (or standard dance tune video but with high levels for once). Check it out.

SWIPE: "damn you, shakira (six signs you’ve fallen into the “friend zone”)"

Came across this on my travels this morning, and found it to be fairly accurate and amusing. Remember guys, the friend-zone is dangerous and inhospitable territory, and much like the Bermuda triangle, once you've been dropped in there, it's virtually impossible to fight your way out. Therefore, unless friendship is what you're after, upon deployment to the friend-zone, I would suggest you immediately withdraw most of your troops in order to avoid further casualties.

P.S. If you're after an amusing read, I would recommend Very Smart Brothas as something to peep. Once you've read and re-read High Fidelity in it's entirety of course.

Swiped From Very Smart Brothas.
"it was the summer of ‘91. her name was shakira, and her half black, quarter-chinese, quarter-unknown mutt ass was the object of the 12 year old champ’s desire. every day that summer, we’d play double dribble in her basement, and she’d bring me a glass of terrible lemonade from her kitchen.

despite the fact that we hadn’t actually hugged or kissed or even held hands, i was convinced that she was my girl…in my head at least (conveniently forgetting the fact that she was 14 and about to enter high school).

this all changed one day towards the end of the summer, when her usually sunny disposition had disappeared. when i asked what was wrong, she replied…

“alex doesnt wanna go with me anymore. champ, you’re a boy…help me. what should i do to get him to wanna go with me again???”

instead of actually attempting to reply with the giant lump in my throat, i dropped the joystick, left, and never spoke to her again.

looking back, i had definitely been placed in the “friend zone”, and to insure that “shakira” doesn’t happen to any guy ever again, here’s six signs that you’ve somehow fallen into that dreaded, coitus-less abyss

1. you’re “dating”, and she makes any reference whatsoever to anybody else she might be seeing.

even if it’s “unintentional” (which it never is), most women aren’t going to let a guy she’s interested in know that she’s seeing other people, for fear that it might scare him away. she might imply that she’s “busy”, but if she’s into a cat, it stays the ambiguous “busy” instead of the ball-shrinkingly unambiguous “damn…do you realize this is my second date this week?? you’re lucky you caught me“.

2. you all havent been physical before, but she makes any reference whatsoever to sex she’s had before

basically, if you’re sitting around shooting the sh*t and she’s telling you about “that time a couple years ago in the movie theater, with the bus driver, the basketball trophy, and the stopwatch“, consider yourself neutered. her “freeness” of the tongue if proof that she now officially looks at you as a “friend“, not a “potential sex partner“. the next time you see her, you might as well just leave you balls in your glove compartment. if you’re not going to use them, they should at least be somewhere safe

3. you go over her crib to “chill” or watch a flick, and she looks as if she just completed a decathlon.

***if she greets you at her door like this, just hand her your nuts so they can go in her purse***

if you haven’t slept with a woman yet, and she allows you to see her at her hair-curlered, scuffed timberlanded, dirty-t-shirted weekend worst, the chances of her ever seeing you in a sexual manner is about the same as the likelihood that ann coulter’s adams apple isn’t bigger than her balls.

as neurotic about their appearance as most women are, (unless she’s still in college) there’s no way in hell she’s gonna allow a guy she’s actually interested to see her at her “worst” before they actually sleep together.

4. any compliment about her looks or her potential as a mate is responded to with the same lazy “thanks” you’d get after loaning a co-worker a broken pencil

to expound:

guy complimenting “interested” woman: “you’re killing that dress tonight”

interested reply, accompanied with eye contact, a smile, a slight blush, and a undetectable tingle of the vagina: “thanks”

guy complimenting “uninterested” woman: “you’re killing that dress tonight“

uninterested reply, accompanied with a forced and somewhat condescending return compliment, to ease the awkwardness she’s feeling: “awwww, thanks hun. your socks are really nice too. they really compliment your knuckles”

5. she either refers to you by one of the killer b’s (”buddy” or “brother“) or uses this phrase (”he’s like a **fill in the blank** to me“) at any time when describing you.

just the thought of hearing this from a woman i’m interested in gives me cold sweats and hot flashes. i think i’m just gonna move on


6. she tells you she’s not interested in or ready to be in a relationship…

…which is her polite way of saying she’s not interested in or ready to be in a relationship, with YOU...and she probably never will be. if a woman actually says these words to you, believe her. its the realest thing she’ll ever say

there you have it. six surefire signs. don’t get shakiraed.

—the champ"

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Tahani Salah - "Hate"

My boy Anarki posted this on our sister site We Write The Lyrics, and I had to share it with y'all. An alternative perspective on the Israel/Palestine conflict.

Christina Milian - Us Against The World (Video)

Ummm this is the video for Christina Milian wearing underwear (amongst other, definitely less favourable outfits) in a desert singing some song I heard last year. I wasn't really listening.

I kid... obviously... The song is from her forthcoming album to be released on MySpace Records/Interscope. Yep, MySpace Records. That's the sister label to "Facebook Music Group" and "BBE" (BeBo Entertainment). It's just a matter of time, the game's all types of fucked up.

Good luck to her, I hope that she stays famous for long enough for me to one day oggle date stalk interview her!.

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

"I got my own plan, handle mine like a grown man // long as I know I'm nice, fuck it, I'm my own fan..." (c) Jadakiss

Jadakiss featuring Faith Evans - Letter To B.I.G.

Sure it's a four minute trailer for the upcoming "Notorious" movie, but Kiss did this joint up nicely.

Sunday, 11 January 2009

"You can look all over, but you’ll never find, (hot shit) like mine, it blow your mind..." ( c ) Kid Cudi

Kid Cudi - Dat New "New"

So it turns out Kid Cudi isn't a one-trick-pony. The man behind "Day 'N' Nite" has more than a few bangers up his sleeve, one of which is this massive tune.

Saturday, 10 January 2009

DJ DeeKay Presents BoxFresh 6th Edition

DJ DeeKay Presents BoxFresh 6th Edition

Charles Hamilton - Brooklyn Girls
Kid Cudi - Dat New "New"
Asher Roth - I Love College
Bishop Lamont featuring R Kelly and 50 Cent - It Could've Been You
Jay-Z featuring Santogold - Brooklyn (We Go Hard)
M.I.A. - Paper Planes
Kanye West - Swagger Like Us
Ne-Yo - Don't Call Me No More
Bobby Moon featuring Akon - The Reason
Rihanna featuring Chris Brown - Bad Girl
T-Pain featuring Lil' Kim - Download

For promotional purposes only. The sole function of this download is promoting the artists and songs featured, with a view to encouraging listeners, who are given the opportunity to preview the tracks in question, to purchase the full songs/albums when they become available commercially. In the day and age of the iPod, radio is (unfortunately) a dying platform, and mixes such as this are vital for making the listener conscious of new music. Furthermore, many of the artists and tracks featured in this mix are those which I have in the past, and will continue to actively support. With that said, if any party feels their rights have been breached as a result of being included in this promotional mix, please contact me and I'll rectify the situation.

Thursday, 8 January 2009

Fly Gypsy - The Ruler (From Malcolm To Barack)

I know I'm late on this. Dope shit. I wouldn't say it's remotely accurate to compare Obama to Malcolm though, but the track's nice. A demonstration of the potential of Hip-Hop.

"...And in my opinion, the young generation of whites, blacks, browns, whatever else there is, you're living at a time of extremism, a time of revolution, a time when there's got to be a change. People in power have misused it and now there has to be a change and a better world has to be built and the only way it's going to be built is with extreme methods. And I, for one, will join in with anyone, I don't care what color you are, as long as you want to change this miserable condition that exists on this earth." ( c ) Malcolm X

Vote for Noel Clarke at the BAFTAs

Adulthood star, writer and director Noel Clarke has been nominated for a BAFTA Orange Rising Star Award, which recognises emerging talent. Noel's deserved success is paving the way for young ethnic minorities who wanna be involved in the film industry, and a win at the BAFTAs would give the guy some further recognition, not only for the great film that is Adulthood, but for his contribution thus far to British cinema and that which is yet to come.

Vote for Noel Clarke here and you'll be entered into the prize draw to win tickets to the awards ceremony on February 8th.

Once again, enter your vote here.

"You don't wanna see me when it's midnight..." ( c ) Ghetto

Ghetto featuring Devlin - Buss 1

Because I know I could NEVER play this on no radio show. And I'm not sure I'd ever wanna: I'm one of those people who gets mad when I hear chat about grime and hip-hop are responsible for violence, but this shit... This shit is liable to increase the crime rate. I can see why it was banned from Kiss - if you tried to radio edit this, it'd be three minutes of entirely reversed shank and skeng bars.

Anyway, this was on Ghetto's "Freedom of Speech" mixtape that dropped last year. Which I put on for the first time in a few months last night, having forgotten how sick it is. How more people don't appreciate this as one of the best grime CDs to ever drop I don't understand.

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Freida Pinto on Jay Leno

Freida Pinto, who plays Latika in Slumdog Millionaire, makes an appearance on the Jay Leno show.

Once again, the film is phenomenal and drops here on Friday so make sure you check it out.

"That party last night was awfully crazy, I wish we taped it // I danced my ass off and had this one girl completely naked..." ( c ) Asher Roth

Asher Roth featuring Jim Jones - I Love College (remix)

Well this song definitely compounds how much I nostalgically miss uni.

"Drink my beer and smoke my weed, but my good friends is all I need // Pass out at 3, wake up at 10, go out to eat, then do it again..."

Skillz - The Wire Rap-Up In 5 Minutes

First things first, if you haven't finished The Wire, stay the fuck away from this. Do not click it, this is essentially a 5-minute spoiler of television's greatest show, and I don't wanna be the one responsible for someone finding out that you-know-who did you-know-what to you-know-who. "Let's keep that shit between me and you!" (c) Hov.

If on the other hand, you've enjoyed all five seasons of this mindnumbingly awesome series, here's a five-minute summary of the show by wrap-up specialist Skillz.

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

"Let's get back to the way things were // I'm fed up of the arguments, from I get up it's an argument // truthfully, this ain't how it used to be..."

The Movement - Used To Be

Caught this on Wretch's blog a few days ago, I'd forgotten how much I like this track, Hip-Hop or not. Ghetto's chorus and Schorcher's verse especially.

"I make the gyaldem sing for me, it sounds sweet like a symphony.." ( c ) Ghetts

Ghetts - Sing For Me (remix)

I didn't wanna post this until a better quality rip was online (y'all might not have noticed but I'm strictly high-def these days), but seeing as that the tune is big and most of my posts in the last few days have been about US Hip-Hop, here's a little gift for those of you who haven't seen it yet.

The track is signed to All Around The World/Universal and is due for release next month.

Oh and I'm not gonna comment on the Wiley/Doogz thing yet, but my views are pretty much the same as FullyGrown so read that if you've missed the latest shots fired inna di war.

Monday, 5 January 2009

"Excuse me, you could be a regular groupie, but the way you move is so hypnotic... and it just ain't riiiight..." ( c ) Asher D

Harvey featuring Asher D and Romeo - Excuse Me


So Solid are back?! This is supposedly Harvey's new single, featuring Asher D and Romeo. Harvey's lost if he thinks he stands a chance with the British public right now, with Alesha having fully stolen the nation's hearts. Forget that though, because this track is disgusting. The beat is crazy, that hook is big and Asher and Romeo actually do quite alot. In fact, Romeo, who I remember being pretty crap in his post-So Solid days, had the best verse on the track. Video looks great too.

You can buy it on iTunes here.

"...I got new shit, I'm getting better still // little n*ggas put my name in their verses, because their girlfriend put my ass on a pedestal..."

Drake - Say You Will Freestyle

Most of the few coherent and consistent statements made by Lil' Wayne last year tended to be focused towards frequent collaborator Drake, whom Weezy went on record to praise on numerous occasions. Hailing from Toronto, the rapping actor is closely affiated with Wayne's vanity label, Young Money Entertainment, and is widely tipped (by DJ Semtex amongst others) to be one of Hip-Hop's next-big-things.

"Future said 'coz this is 'Ye's shit, you'd better kill // and I think this's got that making of a legend feel..."

I'm still not quite convinced, but he definately wrecked this freestyle over Kanye's "Say You Will".

Saturday, 3 January 2009

"I miss ya, I miss ya, I really wanna kiss you... but I can't..." ( c ) Soulja Boy

Soulja Boy featuring Sammie and Pitbull - Kiss Me Thru The Phone (remix)

Look, I realise the ridiculousness of me posting a Soulja Boy single straight after blogs about Obama's lack of response to recent events in the Middle East, a Black Ice song about New Orleans, and a track from Blu, one of Hip-Hop's best young lyricists. I realise the ridiculousness of me even liking this song, called "Kiss Me Thru The Phone", which is basically any bullshit contrived sentiment that actually makes me feel a bit sick. I even realise that any credibility I've got has probably just been destroyed.

But this beat bangs, what the fuck can I do?!

"Obama's deadly silence" by Ali Abunimah

"I would like to ask President-elect Obama to say something please about the humanitarian crisis that is being experienced right now by the people of Gaza." Former Georgia Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney made her plea after disembarking from the badly damaged SS Dignity that had limped to the Lebanese port of Tyre while taking on water.

Link to full article

Now I'm an outspoken supporter of Obama but even I'm struggling to see why he hasn't seen fit to condemn Israeli actions in Gaza (on the grounds that "there is only one president at a time"), yet had something to say about the Mumbai attacks, where innocent civilians were mindlessly slaughtered with a similar level of nonchalance.

And by struggling to see, I mean refusing to accept that perhaps he, like most politicians, is in the pocket of Israel and more significantly, those powerful members of society who deem pro-Israeli (or even anti-Palestinian) foreign policy a crucial necessity to acquire their support.

Friday, 2 January 2009

"Such disorder in a country that burns so much money, I'm telling you, you learn so much money, when you just open up a book and look inside..."

Black Ice - The Ugly Show

This shit right here. Let's hope the world never forgets, and never dismisses this as just another tragedy amongst many in the modern world. What took place in New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina should NEVER have happened in a country which has styled itself as the mighty protector of the weak and needy.

"...For some odd reason, we feel like it's better that less is said,
But for God's sake n---as they left us for dead..."

"...And them batallions from the Bayou,
That don't know what they're over there fighting for,
What the fuck can you possibly say to them //
When they learn their parents died,
Casualties of the War on Poverty,
Waiting for help outside a fucking stadium..."

Thursday, 1 January 2009

"Nor do I got a flat to bring you back to, but I can roll up a blunt, try to relax you // probably make you laugh when you're mad, in a bad mood..."

Blu and Exile - "First Thing's First"

2008 was the year when I fell out of love with contemporary American Hip-Hop. I still checked for my favourite rappers and their new releases, but I just wasn't following it like I used to. Then, towards the end of the year, I belatedly discovered two artists who made me excited about the future of this music. One of those artists was Charles Hamilton, who I'll probably write a post on at a later date. The second is an MC called Blu, who, along with producer Exile, in 2007 released "Below The Heavens", one of the great Hip-Hop albums of the 21st Century. Here's a real lyricist, rhyming with substance about real issues over some lush and soulful beats.

So here's my favourite track from the album. It's probably not his best joint, but it's the one that jumped out at me lyrically. To me, I feel the same way about this guy as I did when I heard Talib Kweli for the first time, or when I first started listening to Kanye. This is authentic music, not born of any formula for chart success, but instead a product of the artist's desire to give an honest account of themselves and their grind in the booth.

DeeKay's Best Of 2008 (Music)

Best UK Album

1. Chase and Status – More Than Alot
2. N Dubz – Uncle B
3. Kano – 140 Grime Street
4. Adele - 19
5. Jay Sean – My Own Way

The Chase and Status album was a truly remarkable Drum and Bass album, featuring an endless stream of bangers, crossing genres and melding styles with relative ease. It’s a tragedy this album won’t be widely appreciated for the classic it is, simply because it isn’t a vehicle for any of the British music industry’s current in-fashion fads. Conversely, N-Dubz’s Uncle B took only six weeks to go platinum, and has undoubtedly brought them the mainstream recognition they always deserved – just a few weeks ago they could be found on GMTV, lip-syncing latest single “Papa” while Kate Garraway and that-other-guy proclaimed them as what all the cool kids were listening to.

Honourable mentions: Ghetto – Freedom of Speech, Shayal – My Moment, Wiley – Grime Wave, Sway – The Signature LP

Best Hip-Hop Album

1. Kanye West – 808s and Heartbreak
2. T.I. – Paper Trail
3. Lil’ Wayne – The Carter III
4. Nas - Untitled
5. The Roots – Rising Down

808’s probably isn’t Hip-Hop, but I don’t know what else to call it, and furthermore, whatever genre you’d like to place it in, it was overwhelmingly the best album of the year. T.I. delivered a great album on which, “Whatever You Like” aside, even the obligatory chart-fodder was quality material.

Honourable mention: Blu and Exile – Below The Heavens (it might’ve dropped in 2007 but seeing as I’ve only just gotten around to listening to it on the last day of 2008, we’ll slot it in here. I’m embarrassingly late: had I not been slipping, this would have made it to the top of my list last year. Phenomenal album.)

Best R&B Album

1. Day 26 – Day 26
2. Ne-Yo – Year of the Gentleman
3. Jasmine Sullivan – Jasmine Sullivan
4. Lloyd – Lessons In Love
5. Usher – Here I Stand

The fact that I almost had to put an Estelle album which I consider to be fairly mediocre in my top five R&B albums of the year should be enough to indicate my general consensus on the genre in 2008. Day 26 did pretty well though. That was a very solid album, and “Since You’ve Been Gone” should be gearing up to take its rightful place as a classic R&B single instead of having been barely heard. Ne-Yo, indifferent as I am to him, dropped a decent album.

Best MC

1. Ghetto

That’s it. You can chat to me about other MCs that have had a good year. I know people have been feeling Dot Rotten (again I’m indifferent), and Wiley really picked up pace in the second half of the year, but every time Ghetts has touched mic, whether on radio or on a track, he’s done something disgusting. “Hunting We Will Go”, “Inna Di Ghetto”, “Don’t Phone Me”, “Sing For Me”, and that’s not even considering the bangers that were on Freedom of Speech. And the sets! The best MC in the scene by a mile.

Best Newcomer

1. Chipmunk
2. Crazy Cousins
3. N Dubz
4. Blu
5. Charles Hamilton

Chipmunk had a big year, breaking away from his peers to become an established and recognisable face for the scene. The Best Newcomer MOBO was just the icing on the cake for an MC who has seen his profile rise exponentially in the past twelve months, becoming the most talked about younger from the grime scene since Kano. I’ve already discussed N Dubz’s success. Funky house producers Crazy Cousins did a lot this year and will no doubt do more in 2009 with the commercial release of underground smash "Do You Mind". Charles Hamilton and Blu get a shout because they’re probably the only new Hip-Hop MCs to break through this year that are actually interesting and bringing something different to the table.

Best Song

1. Kano featuring Ghetto – Hunting We Will Go
2. Estelle featuring Kanye West – American Boy
3. Wiley – Wearing My Rolex
4. Chase and Status – Eastern Jam
5. Wretch 32 featuring Ghetto and Badness - Ina Di Ghetto

Happy New Year 2009!

As should be evident from the timing of this post, I gave raving a miss last night and stayed at home with the fam. So, just before I jump into bed and call it an early night, let me wish you lot a Happy New Year.

To everyone who deserves it (y'all probably know who you are), thank you for your support thus far and I hope you stay with me in 2009. However big I might talk, I'm still on a humble vibe, so whenever I get even an iota of support, whether from friends, acquaintances or people I've never even met, I truly appreciate it.

With that said, fuck humility. No more Mr Nice Guy, it's 2009 now and I'm setting up for the win this year. I hope you lot come with me.

Oh, and I'll post up my "Best Of 2008" lists in the morning. And try and drop a best of 2008 mix by the end of the weekend at the latest.