Thursday, 13 December 2007

Who Is Kid Acne?

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No, it’s not a superhero child with a face like the inside of a malteser, it’s an off-the-wall throwback rapper/artist from Yorkshire, UK. Acne first came to my personal attention as a graf artist, cartoonist (whatever you want to call it) through his cover art and full page works in Hip-Hop Connection magazine. At around the same time, as I started to remember the name, his album ‘Council Pop’ hit the shelves and it was an under-the-radar gem that was rewarding, if maybe a little awkward in parts. He has gone from strength to strength over the past few years and is finally getting some well-deserved recognition with the release of his biggest album yet, ‘Romance Ain’t Dead’.

But you can find out for yourself whether you rate that album as one of the best of 2007, because here we’re focusing on his two earlier albums, ‘Rap Traffic’ and ‘Council Pop’.

The first of the two, ‘Rap Traffic’, was released in 2001, with Kid Acne handling all of the lyrics and his mate Req One holding down the beats and the turntables. Together they created a decent LP full of love for the old-school and an even bigger love for the old-school approach. This album is minimalism at its best. Forget The Whisper Song, which was so polished you could see your face in the sound waves, this album sounds like it was made underwater in a cave on a dusty old beat machine.

‘Rap Traffic’ is a little patchy and there aren’t many stand-out tracks that really move you, but the overall feel of the album is what kept me listening.

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Kid Acne - Rap Traffic (2001)

1. The Emphasis
2. Bus Stop Emcee
3. Def Prezident
4. Rubber Body poppers
5. Ill Mic Dragster
6. Squirrel Hunters
7. Wasteground Revival
8. Ghosts With Teeth

So, the creases were ironed out and Kid Acne came back again in ‘03 with ‘Council Pop’, a much more cohesive set with standout tracks such as ‘Reality Raps’ that convey Acne’s true character and his happy-go-lucky perception. Req One is still present on the beats, and the pair seem to keep getting better and better.

At this point I think I have to point out that Kid Acne is hardly a brilliant rapper. In fact, his flow and voice are very weak, but his music has such an endearing feel to it, and his lyrics are often very funny, so you quickly forget about that. He has definitely improved with each album, and not many artists can say that.

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Kid Acne - Council Pop (2003)

1. Chase Intro
2. Gyp-O-Hop
3. Radio Music
4. Rap Dracula
5. Reality Raps
6. Hot Up District
7. Junction 20
8. Strong Captains
9. Hooligan 78
10. 9T4 Rugged
11. Twocker's Hi-Fi
12. Chase Outro
Both albums come complete with Kid Acne’s trademark artwork, and its very easy to see that graf art is possibly his first love about the hip-hop scene. Either way, the two albums are worth the hard drive space and his new album is worth the tenner, so get it bought you tight miserly bastards.

Monday, 10 December 2007


To my readers, the millions of them (obviously) I feel ashamed to have let this charade go on for so long. Its been three weeks since the last post, and that is not the definition of hard work and elbow grease.

Truth be told, I have been irritated over the past few weeks. First, my typical arrogant approach to the England vs Croatia game left me looking like a pompous twat in the end as we lost to the Eastern Europeans 3-2 and will not be partaking in the European Championships next summer. Then, my local footy team Newcastle United went on a big streak without winning leaving me depressed. I don't know what its like in the US, or with other people throughout the UK, but if my team don't win (this applies to whichever sport be your choice) then it ruins my whole week. That one loss seems to set the ball rolling for a clamity of errors that continue up until our next match when it starts all over again. Well, Newcastle have got back on track (kind of) and I'm back to better days.

Another thing stopping from me from contributing to this illustrious site is that I travelled home to the North-East to see Queens Of The Stone Age live, and only hours before the gig Josh Homme (lead singer for those not in the know) pulled out with a chest infection. He could have told me before I bought a train ticket and travelled 200 miles to see him. Ginger twat.

Oh well, things are back on track, and you can expect a few posts coming in the next week. One being the long-awaited posting of some old school Kid Acne, who has came on leaps and bounds in '07 due to his critically acclaimed new album 'Romance Ain't Dead'. Another you can expect is the start of a series reviewing and highlighting UK hip-hop classics. It will be me putting forward a claim for a certain album and explaining why I think it is a classic. Feel free to agree/disagree with them when they come up and put forward your own shortlists.

Check back in the next few days for new shizzle. Or does that mean 'sure'? These days I'm not so shizzle about where to use certain hip-hop slangterms. Maybe thats because I'm of the school of thought that if you actually like Soulja Boy's music then you should be anally deflowered with a cleaver. But hey, that's just me...