Wednesday, 29 August 2007

Corrie, Eastenders, Neighbours...

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Soaps is what I'm getting at. I first heard that song by Dooley-O a couple of years ago and I really did think I'd found an unearthed gem from back in the day. This was not the case, as Dooley-O, the legendary DJ and producer had turned rapper for a new album. I'm well aware of the high intelligence and knowledge of my fellow hip-hop bloggers, so I will not bore you with the story of how he and Steezo (his brother as I recall) sampled Skull Snaps, fell out over it and such. Anyway, the beat Dooley-O made from it paved the way for many other classic songs to be created using the same break, but the man went into hiding over recent years.

Luckily for us, he re-emerged on Lewis Recordings, home to everyone's favourite old school cat Edan, and a few more random acts such as Andrew Thompson (his song 'Misunderstanding' is fairly wierd, funny though). He dropped his album 'I Gotcha' in '05 and got critical acclaim.

It harks back to the dyas of what I like to call 'proper' beats. Made with old breaks and using the drums as the main weapon of choice. The album is consistent throughout, even with old school rhyme schemes and themes present. It really is a nostalgic experience for the older heads, but for people like me, who were itty bitty babies during the '88 hip-hop boom, its a lesson on how things used to be and should be done.

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1. Intro
2. Soaps
3. I Don't Wanna Lose You
4. Monday Night
5. What You Know About Hip-Hop?
6. I Gotcha
7. I'm Comin'
8. Which Way Is Up
9. KGB Warning
10. He's Gangsta
11. Cashed Out
12. I Wish
13. Piano Blues
14. Over You
15. Aahhaa
16. We Ain't Singin' It
17. Rythum's Revenge
18. Drumz

Dooley-O - Soaps (Video)

Tuesday, 28 August 2007

Leeds Festivities

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I have just returned from a superb weekend at the Leeds Carling Weekend 2007. In the past three to four days I've seen about 20 great bands and I've enjoyed every minute of it, with absolutely no hint of hip-hop in sight. I know this blog and its friends are strictly hip-hop, and it will stay that way, but I will set out my musical taste here.

I am, of course, primarily a hip-hip head, but I spend only say 50% of my music-listening time with hip-hop on. I listen to metal, indie, soul, rock, funk, dance, all of it. But rock/metal is my second love. And I must say, it was nice to get away from hip-hop for a few days and just be a rock fan for once instead of just towing the line.

I hope that everyone that visits this site loves rock and many other genres as well as hip-hop, because if you just seclude yourself and commit to one genre you're missing out on thousands upon thousands of superb other artists that could change your life. Right about now, I have to bring up a more serious point.

Hip-hop, RIGHT NOW, is not as creative as it used to be (what an understatement that is...). OK, thats no problem, as the creative output from times gone by was at such a high level it would have been impossible for fans to expect our beloved genre to keep on developing and bettering itself at such a high pace. But the problem does not lie within itself. Hip-hop, RIGHT NOW, is nowhere near as creative as many other genres. Rock, indie and metal are flourishing right about now, and even older bands in those genres such as Nine Inch Nails and the like are experiencing a rebirth of sorts, by tapping into new sounds and changing their own perception on what music should sound like. I just feel like hip-hop is stuck in a rut at this moment.

When the Red Hot Chili Peppers were playing the festival out as the headliners on Sunday night, and had well over 100,000 people all singing along and appreciating their artistry I wondered to myself, could this ever happen in hip-hop?

I just don't think hip-hop at the moment is as good a live spectacle as a) it once was, and b) other genres are. I seriously cannot imagine even the best hip-hop artist in the world (whoever that may be depending on your opinion) being able to both draw a crowd that big into a muddy field and support them and have them hypnotised for the whole time they're on stage.

I've been to some great hip-hop gigs. I saw The Roots at Rock City in Nottingham and was almost drooling when Black Thought was rapping constantly for what seemed like 20 minutes. I saw Nas in the Manchester Apollo and sang along with every song he did and felt like I was part of something special when the first few bars of 'It Ain't Hard To Tell' came out of Nasir's mouth. But these are exceptions. Most hip-hop gigs I go to comprise of just the group members or rappers all walking about the stage going through the motions, shouting at the crowd and generally just looking like they cobbled together the set minutes before. I saw Enter Shikari, a trance/metal british group at Leeds Festival and they had an entire light show going on while managing to persuade the crowd to start pit circles and chant choruses and the lead singer got his whole band to stage dive into the crowd and dance like ravers when the trance came in. It was a sight to behold. Most rappers these days just stand and, well, rap.

I would be interested to see a hip-hop festival, because none have ever been staged as far as I know in my region, and none in our country have been staged on a truly huge scale. But one factor remians, both on creative and performance levels, hip-hop as a genre in this day and age is slipping, and needs to step up. It's falling behind other genres so much at the moment due to its insistence to be monotonous to irritating levels in its commercial circles.

A weekend listening to some great guitar music amongst other things has made me truly see hip-hop as a genre that is in a state of crisis at the moment. Granted, this year has been much better than previous years for material so far, but I'm talking interms of commercial artists. Someone spectacular needs to breakthrough. If Kanye West, 50 Cent and Cam'Ron is the best we can do to represent our culture on a major scale then we aren't doing ourselves justice.

Music update coming tomorrow. Hip-hop needs to wake up.

Tuesday, 21 August 2007

‘Sicker Than A Triple Heart Bypass’

As promised, the Barnsley thug, Doyen-D’s album ‘En-D.Game’. This will be a major culture shock for American down loaders, or even anyone from outside of the British Isles, really. Its one of the most pure, uncut examples of what can only be described as ‘regional’ Yorkshire Rap. Most emcees from Leeds do have a hint of their accent, but its mostly reined in and a generic british tone is created. But this guy, Doyen ‘Mak’ Deezal, who incidentally writes (or has written) for Hip-Hop Connection on the merits of Southern Rap and Bay Area Rap in the US, has just vocalised the northern accent fully for more comedic value.

Its obvious that the whole thing is tongue-in-cheek (well, I hope it is) and there are lots of laughs to be had here. Not only that, but there are some really good songs on here, not least the massive posse cut ‘Thug Energy’, which features everyone from Junior Disprol of Fleapit fame, to Tommy Evans and Cappo.

This is an album that I certainly haven’t seen anywhere in the shops other than the one I bought it at, never mind on the blogosphere or internet, so I’m sure a lot of you will be venturing into the unknown with this one. It will be a little strange at first, but dip your toes in the water and you might find it canny refreshing.

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Doyen-D - En-D.Game.

1.Sole Burnz
2. Underestimated
3. Am Doyen-D
4. Impossible
5. Northern Conquest
6. Meglomania
8. Watchmen
9. Thik Az Theevz (feat. Pri-Cee)
10. Dead Again
11. Thug Energy (feat. Lee Ramsay, Scor-Say-Zee, Bungle, Junior Disprol, Cappo, Tomy Evans, Late, Jibber & Usmaan)
12. Love Iz
13. BreakN Tha M.I.C.

Actually, It’ll be interesting to hear your thoughts on this one, especially overseas readers, so feel free to mention it in the C-Box or drop a comment.

Thursday, 16 August 2007

Return From A Brief Hiatus

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I apologise for going a week without a post, I have just got a little too caught up in the start of the football season and the start of a new era at Newcastle United. Also, I have been busy chuckling seeing Manchester Utd (or Manure) fail to win either of their first two fixtures. But anyway, if football and random talk is what you want, head over to Gangsta Jackanory, thats where I spout most of my comic-wannabe-but-never-gonnabe drivel.

An interesting thing happened today. I went into a computer game shop today (no, thats not the interesting thing) for the first time in a while just for a look about while my lass was furiously buying up all of the stock in Primark, and started listening to the music they were playing. Bearing in mind this is Gamestation, a major computer shop, in Huddersfield, I was very surprised to hear the sounds of Jehst booming from their admittedly weak shop speakers. After just lurking about the shop for the sole reason to listen to what was being played (I probably looked like I was going to rob something) I managed to distinguish the album as Jehst's new Menghi Bus Mixtape.

Now, this may not be that wierd in America, but you're lucky if you hear Common in a shop in England, so I must admit I was very impressed with the shop owners for being supporters of UK hip-hop. The only way UK hip-hop is ever going to be established in the same way American hip-hop is in England is if it is heard in shops, played in cars and generally wanders into the ears of anyone who will listen. When you hear an underground british rap mixtape being played in a major store, you know there is still a chance of local hip-hop music taking off bigtime (which is something we all thought it would have done back in about 2002).

In other boring but notable shops-playing-rap news, I was in HMV today and they were playing DM & Jemini's Ghetto Pop Life album, swearwords and all. Some granny complained that she'd heard racist slurs in the record while I was in the queue, when it was actually Jemini during a live freestyle tagged on the end of a song saying 'I'ma bad n*gga, I'm a bad bad n*gga...'. I wonder how the lass on the till explain the use of the word to the elderly lady...

Anyway, this was a short but always sweet post to say I'm back, and the Northern Author, alongside its brother/sister blog GJ are here to stay.

Oh, and if you're lucky I might upload some classic Doyen D for you tonight. Barnsley thugs, eh? Music doesn't get better than a chav from Yorkshire rapping that he'll give you a black eye like a Panda.

Blaxtrix & Junior Disprol - Night & Day

Dirty Diggers - For The Haters (as we all know, a future UK classic)

Tuesday, 7 August 2007

Fulfilling A Request

Someone asked for the second CD from the Son Records compilation, and here it is. This time it just covers the songs brought out in the year 2004, and it includes the song I started this blog off with, 'Jelly Bellied Eels'.

Another great CD from an underrated UK rap label.

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1. C-Mone - Stan Bac
2. Def Tex - What The?
3. Wordsmith - Nomad
4. DPF - Jelly Bellied Eels
5. Midnyte - No Pills, No Frills
6. Def Tex - Freaks
7. C-Mone - Disfunktional
8. Wordsmith - Sun God
9. Styly Cee & DPF - Once & For All
10. Styly Cee & Scor-Zay-Zee - Want Whats Yours
Apologies for the lack of an update for nearly a week there. My excuse? Extrenuating circumstances. Anyway, I did an absolutely massive post over at Gangsta Jackanory so hopefully that should keep your thirst for my writings at bay until the next go-round.