Sunday, 14 October 2007

New Britain

We’re on a little bit more of a commercial tip today, with some promo releases by two artists that have recently captured mainstream audiences with their two very different styles of UK Hip-Hop.

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First up, we have Plan B, a rapper/acoustic guitarist who instantly gained success with his hard-hitting lyrics and delivery and his nod to the British Indie/Rock scene (who incidentally seem to welcome him with open arms, word to NME). His songs are said to use ‘shock lyrics’ in a similar way Eminem did back at the turn of the century, but I disagree. Plan B just raps in a way that makes you listen, which in my opinion, is exactly the point of rapping in the first place.

Before he released his critically acclaimed debut album ‘Who Needs Action When You Got Words?’, he released two different Promo CDs. The first, was an introductory CD that was making the rounds, featuring his breakthrough songs ‘Kidz’ and ‘Sick 2 Def’. ‘Its Time 4 Plan B’ really got people listening, and it features some exclusives tracks such as his remix to Blade & Baby J’s ‘Its Your Time’ and the extremely err…interesting ‘Hows It Feel’ featuring Skrein.

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Plan B - Its Time 4 Plan B

1. Intro
2. Sick 2 Def
3. Hows It Feel (featuring Skrein)
4. Its Your Time
5. No Good Cuts
6. Kidz
7. My Life
8. Rakin’ The Dead
9. Some1’s Switched In Harvey Nicks

While touring to help promote his music, Plan B sold a homemade album called ‘Paint It Blacker’, which featured his songs along with some freestyles and exclusives tracks over beats created using samples from various classic tracks. The album features samples from The Rolling Stones, Thom Yorke of Radiohead, Nirvana, Coldplay & more. it’s a great album, and really works well as a demo to show off his sound. This album is worth it even just to hear how he’s flipped the samples to use them in hip-hop tracks.

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Plan B - Paint It Blacker

1. Paint It Blacker featuring The Rolling Stones
2. Luscious (skit)
3. Who Needs Actions featuring Nirvana
4. Happy As Larry featuring Larrikin Love
5. Missing Links featuring Radiohead
6. Not This Time Gal (Skit)
7. Kidz featuring Willie Mason
8. Dave From Leicester (skit)
9. Knoxville Girl featuring The Lovvin Brothers
10. Hustling featuring Coldplay & Rick Ross
11. Mama Loves A Crackhead featuring Hall & Oates
12. Wild Horses featuring The Rolling Stones
13. Couldn’t Get Along featuring Thom Yorke
14. James Brown Is Dead (skit)
15. Suzanne featuring Leonard Cohen
16. Cast A Light featuring Jose Gonzales

Plan B - No Good (Video)

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Our second artist that has broken into the mainstream in recent times, and maybe even more prominent than Plan B, is Sway Dasafo. He dropped the second name, and released a series of mixtapes that garnered a lot of attention on the British Underground, and soon enough a very sizeable bidding war between record companies ensued. Sway deserved all the success he has got, and I bought the vinyl singles of both ‘Up Your Speed’ & ‘Little Derek’.

However, that said, I must admit I was a little disappointed with ‘This Is My Demo’ and thought that it could have been much better. Not to let that spoil anything though, I’ve always been a fan of him as a rapper. Over time he’s released the ‘This Is My Promo’ series, and a LoveDough mixtape entitled ‘This Is My Rave’, which should get an honourable mention because it features a lot of skits set in my home region, the North-East, and specifically Newcastle.

The CD has Sway rapping over a lot of the well-known British songs at the time (2005-2006), along with er…the Magic Roundabout theme tune, and many others. Well, if Sway could only be a bit more selective in his beat choices I think he really could be a great artist - he just has to break free from all of this grime rubbish that seems to hold him back in among some lesser intelligent emcees.

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Sway - This Is My Rave

1. "Mackems In The Toon"
2. "Intro"
3. Sway - "Ain't No Stoppin Us" (Freestyle)
4. Sway - "Up Your Speed" (feat Skinnyman, Bruza, Bigz, Triple Threat & Pyrelli - remix)
5. Bigz - "Cor Blimey" (feat Sway & Mayhem - remix)
6. "Taxi Driver Skit"
7. Sway, Tor & Bigz - "Coming Soon" (remix)
8. Sway - "Interlude"
9. Sway - "No Dough No Show"
10. Sway - "Set The Record Straight"
11. Tedi - "Around The World Like LoveDough"
12. Bigz - "Bump Bump Bump Bump"
13. Sway & Baby Blue - "Love Story 05" (feat Suwese)
14. Sway & Pyrelli - "You Need To Know" (feat Ny)
15. "Bouncer Skit"
16. Sway & Pyrelli - "Bouncers Theme Tune"
17. Sway - "Interlude Part 2"
18. Sway - "5,4,3,2" (feat D-No)
19. Sway - "Magic Roundabout" (remix)
20. DJ Shux & Bridget - "Musicflows"
21. Low Key & Styla - "Broken Language"
22. Stacy & Emma - "Toliet Skit"
23. Fallacy - "Freestyle"
24. Sway - "Locked Up Freestyle"
25. Sway - "Carry On"
26. Sway - "My Manor"
27. Sway - "Stalker" (feat Tedi)
28. "When Sway Met Matt"
29. Pyrelli - "Caribbean Love" (remix)
30. Sway - "Interlude part 3"
31. Sway - "Rolling Stone"
32. "Outro"
33. "Shouts For Mayhem, Terra Danjah, Haunted House, taz, Fama G & G Money"
34. KC - "Attacks Of The Evils"
35. KC - "Hungry For" (taken from the unreleased Deadly Sins Mixtape)

Sway - Little Derek (Video)


TW Branding said...

Good lookin' out, mate. I had to get "This Is My Promo" Volumes 1 & 2 shipped across the pond. The same goes for "This Is My Rave." Thankfully, "This Is My Demo" was easier to come by. I love that album! The skits got a little in the way, but his lyrical skills are excellent. "One for the Journey" was a great EP to tide me over. Sway's lyrical delivery is so unique and entertaining. Do you have/need those albums?

SniperInTheMist said...

cheers mate, but me being the hoarder of musical things that i am, I have them already.

But yeah, Sway is undeniably a brilliant rapper. His flow is so charismatic and effortless that it draws you to what he's saying. I wasn't as keen on his debut full album as you were by the sounds of it, but that wasn't necessarily because of his lyrical ability. As i said in the post, it was more to do with some of the beats/music on the album being a little weak.

But I don't think anyone can disagree that he's a big talent, and he's one of the frontrunners of mainstream british rap at the moment.

TW Branding said...

Well, since I cannot help you now, I will continue to be on the lookout. Unfortunately, it's harder to come across the new UK ish FIRST o'er in the States.

Thanks for the wonderful blog, bruva. Keep postin' that (underrated) amazing UK hip-hop.

Oh, and when is The Streets expected to drop his new album? I was, sadly, less than impressed by Example's release. Did I miss something there?

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