Wednesday, 6 February 2008

Utter Nutters

Two treats for you today, one a request, one I just wanted to share with the lesser informed world because its top class.

First off, we have the request, ‘Get A Life’ by Welsh-based rap crew The Headcase Ladz. Even the front cover of this album screams Britain at you. Its just two mates sitting in a dirt-drenched flat drinking cans of Guiness with some turntables set up and some weed paraphernalia in the background. Well, actually, that doesn’t scream Britain at all…that’s basically the average student flat worldwide (not mine of course, I wouldn‘t advocate drugs at all, I just laze about drinking tea and playing on Football Manager most days).

The Headcase Ladz comprise of producer/DJ Slicer Man and emcee Nobsta Nutts, and they are part of the ‘Wonky Wax Collective’, a band of hip-hop lads from the same place where Charlotte Church was brought into the world. This album is a really enjoyable listen because of the difference it offers you to your average rap release, even from the UK. Its full of top notch humour, top notch beats, and top notch scratches.

The fact that the group are championed by many a famous face in our scene such as Aspects, Blade and Junior Disprol of Fleapit (damn, I really need to up their album because its immense) just aids in showing you your dealing with proper artists here.

Nobsta Nutts is quite hard to get used to as a rapper at first simply because he sounds SO welsh, and SO regional. Imagine Goldie Lookin’ Chain all rolled into one guy who sounds like he’s high as a kite. Slicer Man, on the other hand, makes beats that truly special. They rumble and crackle like the old school breaks they’re built on, and are filled with horn and sax samples that are clearly reminiscent from early 90’s US boom-bap.

There’s something the most discerning of US hip-hop heads who can’t stand hearing any other accent on wax than the New York one would find enjoyable (just listen to the beats instead).
In fact, I think the best way to sum up this album is to use the chorus from 2wats:

“All for one and one for all, cos we’re t-wats and I scratch my left ball”

1. Back To Wonky borough (Fashionably Late Intro)
2. Modern Romance
3. Why Don’t You Pay Us A Visit
4. 2wats (featuring Lews Tewns, co-produced by Mr. Stophe)
5. While You Ponder (Tea Break 1)
6. 2-3 Stretch
7. Bittersweet Bermuda
8. Helpless (featuring Lews Tewns)
9. She Told Me She Was A Boxer (Co-produced by Mr Stophe)
10. Up The Garden Path (Piss Break)
11. Ruffle Your Feathaz
12. Humphrey
13. How Many Times (Tea Break 2 With A Hint Of Rum)
14. Mr Bubbles (featuring Nicola Williams)
15. Self Preservation (featuring Mykes, Wez Cooze & Lews Tewns)
16. Don’t Exit This Way, Go Back To Wonkysborough

Our second offering today comes not from Wales, the home of Catherine Zeta-Jones-Douglas or Anthony Hopkins, but France; the home of Gerard Depardieu, Jean Paul Gaultier and David Ginola, the second best footballer of all time (the first obviously being Alan Shearer).

Oh yes, those frenchies know how to hip-hop too, with such incredible artists as Saian Supa Crew, IAM, Fabe and Le 3eme Oeil being superb artists well worth looking out for.

But here, we have something completely different. This bunch of mentalists may be the best hip-hop outfit of the lot. They are the French equivalent of the Bomb Squad high on crack and glucose hooked up to ten thousand synthesizers. Indeed, it’s TTC.

Everything about their second Big Dada album release ‘Batards Sensibles’ is brilliant. The album cover looks superb, with the four members in a ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’-type arrangement, and with the eyes of each member cut out in the shape of shades - the shininess of the CD behind it making it look like they’re wearing futuristic aviators.

The songs are huge booming soundscapes with every noise under the sun finding its way onto the record. Songs such as ‘Dans Le Club’ and ‘Girlfriend’ should have health warnings, the grandiose production really takes you back that much. Add in some frantic scratching here and there (I don’t care what anyone says, a hip-hop album isn’t a classic unless it has scratches on it), and some very enthusiastic French emcees (and a few US ones) and you have some sort of a twisted masterpiece.

Its light years away from any of the music TTC produced before it, and its truly a one-off. There isn’t another album in the world like it, and so-called avant-garde producers such as Diplo, RjD2, Blockhead and the like should bow in the presence of these stupendous Frenchmen. I give you…’Batards Sensibles‘…

1. Ebisu Rendez-Vous
2. Dans Le Club
3. Le Chant Des Hommes
4. Du Sang Sur Le Dancefloor
5. Catalogue
6. J’ai Pas Sommeil
7. Rap Jeu
8. Latest Dance Craze
9. Girlfriend
10. Batards Sensibles
11. Codiene
12. Meet The New Boss

Apologies for the files being on MegaUpload and not Rapidshare as usual. My Rapidshare Account is being funny with me at the moment.


Mike Dikk said...

Hey man, since you're taking requests, how about some MC PITMAN????

I don't know if this dude is just written off in the UK because he's a goof, but thats like the only UK Hip Hop i heard pre-blog takeover. I had that Nation of Tossers CD. If you had that and the one after that available for posting, I know at least one dude who would download it (me.)

Also, what UK hip hop would you recommend to a dude who really likes MC PITMAN (me again)??

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