Saturday 18 July 2020

Album Review - Freedom of Speech by Haynesy & JD

Freedom of Speech
Haynesy and JD
Album Review

In the first six months of 2020 we have seen more upheaval in such a short space of time and from many different sources it has caused so many of us to exercise our right to Freedom of Speech. So, with this album being titled Freedom of Speech it gives us just a glimpse as to what we might expect.
I for one have found the recent releases from both Haynesy and JD to be the sort of music that truly excites and is also insightful and for me that makes the anticipation of be all the more stronger than others. On the one hand you have the legendary Haynesy bringing the sort of production that makes instant classics and on the other hand you have JD who brings such a deep knowledge and power to the mic.

This album promises to be something special but, can you really have any idea of what to expect when two such talented artists bring their own brand of exciting Hip Hop visions to the table and when you add to that, more than a sprinkling of, the turntable prowess of one Jabbathakut things get even more interesting.

So, I am going to give you my thoughts and do my upmost to create a vision of what’s coming...
From the sound of the alarm and hearing JD say its ‘time to wake up’ you get a sense that it is indeed time to wake up on so many levels. Then as the soulful lyrics drop and the beat kicks in you are immediately drawn into On Your Feet, an upbeat track, musically, that will definitely get you moving but, at the same time will get you thinking as JD skilfully gives you an overview of the society we currently live in. More than that there is a message here that says you can either stay closed minded, on your knees believing everything you are told or you can get up on your feet, make a stand and be the change. The almost 80’s electronic feel and frantic cuts that are the intro for Bass & the Treble are  juxtaposition to what comes after, a funky beat with some jazzy flute which again gives way to a chorus with that electronic vibe. This one really has a feel that is not the norm JD’s lyrics here have that vibe too, all about not conforming to what is expected and doing things your own way. A soulful voice floats you into Freight Train as you are reminded that the earth is there for all to enjoy and not be owned. Jazzy horns, bass guitar, an infectious beat, funky flute and some razor sharp cuts give this one that feel good factor that we all need a bit of right now and the unstoppable freight train of the title is JD, Nuff Said...

Production on No Matter What took me back to the rare groove funk that is behind so many Hip Hop classics but, at the same time it has been tweaked by Haynesy to a proper head nod beat and Jabbas cuts are slick. The message here really is that some things are inevitable, they will always be and will continue to be but, you have one shot to make your time here something special, make it matter because too much out there is all wrong and it needs to be made right. Hip Hop and rap, that’s where my hearts at, is how Mullets kicks off But, when the beat hits it switches up the adrenaline levels big time, the heavy beat, strings and dope cuts give it that big beat feel you wanna have up loud and then some while JD takes the mic, switches it up and drops so much on ya with such slick delivery that by the end of the track it’s given all you mullets a crew cut. A big orchestral intro followed by a banging beat and some heavy horns and this one’s got ya bouncing out ya seat, if you we’re sitting that is. Tell Em is JD giving it to ya straight, this guy can emcee and boy can’t he emcee damn...

If PE were from the UK and did Public Enemy No 1 in this moment it would sound something like Scream and Shout. Guitars, drums, eerie electric sounds and the freshest of scratches create the perfect platform for a raw look at the modern day life of work, work, fake news, crooked politicians and little light at the end of the tunnel but, there is a way out and its fuck the system. Pedigree is a slick funky synth fuelled track that sees JD displaying his competence as an emcee while hitting hard with a look at Paedophiles and sex crime. Melody takes an excursion to more modern vibe that mixes up the BPM and produces that rollercoaster feel, while not everyone’s vibe this one has an extra dimension that works so well and JD shows how well he can adapt his lyrical skills and switch up the styles. I’m tempted to say this is one for the younger audience but, I’m sure old and new heads will feel this one. 

The penultimate track has a very upbeat party track feel with its funky horns and guitar heavy vibe. Real rap has always been about having Something To Say and this track has JD perfectly demonstrating that for all to hear. The final track is the single that Haynesy and JD put out early in the lockdown, Changes. A proper feel good vibe with a bass guitar lead beat this one is all about the crazy shit we see around us day in, day out and about the fact that it can’t continue something has got to change. In fact, since this track was first released much has changed but, there is still so much more that has to change lest the planet take back control, think about it, we take care of the planet or it takes care of us...

Let me just take a breath here... That was some ride! From the word go it just seems to grab you at a deep almost soul level. You feel the energy, the passion and the emotion. It is hard to fully explain the feeling of the depth of knowledge here and the desire to educate though this universal medium of music. 

Haynesy has produced a masterpiece that not only perfectly encapsulates what Hip Hop is at its essence but, it also touches on the more modern vibes that have grown from it. There is so much here for everyone and it is all underpinned by an almost unconscious upbeat feel good vibe that seems to permeate the whole album regardless of the subject matter being explored.

JD brings a mature lyrical flow and understanding that paints the perfect picture, track to track, from the canvas provided by Haynesy. The knowledge that he displays across the album when speaking on subjects from Racism to work life and Paedophiles to the failure of government show a deep connection with the subjects that affect us all in our daily lives and for me all this and the competence of his overall delivery makes him one of the UK’s most top emcees at this time.

I can’t go any further without mentioning Jabbathakut, who has crafted just what is needed for this album. In fact you could go so far as to say that it so good he seems to have an almost telepathic when it comes to producing exactly what is needed for each track and no Hip Hop album would be complete without a good measure of turntable trickery.

This album has so much to offer and it was such a pleasure to listen to. Just how well this has come together is a credit to all involved.  There were times I was feeling it so much it was hard to pull what I needed from it and at other times what I was getting on a deep level was so intense, I simply had to be careful not to allow my feelings to run away with themselves and that is definitely a credit to the quality of the album. You put this on in the car and bang it while you are driving and enjoy the sound or you can it back with your headphones on and really feel every aspect of every track.

Did I mention the artwork! No, well you gotta check that cos the man Digital Dyer has done a fine job here and, following some good advice, you have to look real close at it, that's all i'm gonna say.

Due for release very soon there is a Quates crowd fund coming out to get this on vinyl. I highly recommend you support getting this on vinyl because if you are an old skool vinyl head, like me, the extra dimension of having your needle drop on this one is gonna be the ultimate experience. So, keep watch for links and so on coming real soon...

I’m gonna leave it there as I’m not even sure I’ve done the album justice, phew...

Peace out,


Thursday 16 July 2020

Single Review - That Feel Good (ft Sir Burbia, Costi, One Oz & Es) By Pandamonium

That Feel Good (ft Sir Burbia, Costi, One Oz & Es)
Single Review

As the craziness around the pandemic eases and we look to the challenges of the future, it is important that we keep ourselves sane and moving forward in a positive way and we need some good music to help us achieve that.

So, who better that the South West’s own DJ/Producer and occasional Emcee extraordinaire to bring us just what we are searching for? Not just that but, he takes a funky dope beat, a mellow horn section and four dope emcees and creates That Feel Good, just for us.

 From the get go those mellow jazzy horns and that funky beat really gives you that upbeat fresh feeling that just makes you wanna move whether it’s your whole body or just your head that’s nodding. When you mix in those four Emcees you get this real eclectic mash-up of feel good vibes from both sides of the pond and the border. Sir Burbia and Costi hail from London, One Oz from Edinburgh and Es from Ontario Canada, those four directions of feel good vibes really gives the whole track an extra dimension as each emcee puts there individual stamp on to that Pandamonium beat and all that combined puts you in mind of those warm sunny days, BBQs, dope tunes and anything that gives you a feel good vibe.

What is there left to say about this one? Well, sometimes it's not about how much you say but, what you say (Sure I've heard that somewhere before...). That Feel Good gets its premier via Wordplay tomorrow 17th, so keep watch right here for all the links.

Wordplay video:

All streaning and download links:

On that note,

I’m out, Peace,


Wednesday 15 July 2020

Single Review - OVERFLOW Pt 3 (ft A-F-R-O) by Cut Beetles

Overflow Pt 3 ft A-F-R-O
Cut Beetlez
Single Review

So, the culmination of the Overflow series is finally upon us and this collaboration between the Cut Beetlez and A-F-R-O has already taken us on fairly amazing ride into the storm and then through the eye of the storm. Having little idea of what comes next gives me a clean slate on which to give you my thoughts.

Overflow Pt 3 sees Cut Beetlez and A-F-R-O taking us beyond the storm to its aftermath. As with the passing of any storm there is a sense that it has passed but, still you can feel the energy in the air. With this track you have that sense of calm with the laid back orchestral notes floating through your awareness. Even the heavy bass that completes the track has a chilled out feel about it. Then comes that feeling of latent energy in the wake of the storm, A-F-R-O’s slick delivery and the Beetlez razor sharp scratching, build that energy to final high before finally allowing you to be at rest.

 Overflow Pt 3 is the perfect way to round off this trio of single releases. It just gives another diverse dimension to Hip Hop through the Cut Beetles vision of where next to take the music and bringing one of the cultures most exciting and talented Emcees to provide his lyrical prowess is nothing short of inspired. A-F-R-O has shown impressive skill and taken that musical vision of the Cut Beetlez and given further facets to the dimensional diamond that is the Cut Beetlez creation.

The Artwork comes from Teppo Sara
Design by Mr Krum

Qverflow Pt 3 is available from today via Bandcamp here:

If you have not checked Pts 1 & 2, check my reviews and go grab those two and listen to the full experience, also from the Cut Beetlez Bandcamp page.

On that note, I’m out.



Tuesday 14 July 2020

Album Review - BACK2BURN by Fireball Flingaz

Fireball Flingaz
Album Review

The recently released debut LP from Fireball Flingaz (aka Remark & Exile) was hotly anticipated and the first run of CD’s sold out in around 24 hours. So, a second run was produced for those who missed out first time around.

So what made this album so highly prized by Hip Hop fans out there? Was it the pedigree and respect these two legends of the UK scene always get or was it the promise of some hardcore, no fucks given, Hip Hop flava that so attracted those of us that know?
For those of you who have heard this one already or for those of you that haven’t, here is my take on Back2Burn...

The Intro immediately hits you hard with its pounding beat, frantic cuts and a verbal message that we will no longer stand idly by but, will expose injustice, pain, suffering and those who seek to control the masses. So, with the tone of the album well and truly set into the musical frequencies, we are next treated to the banging string heavy 100% Proof. The frustration and anger at the powers that be is clear here in this frantic, undiluted opening salvo. Next the Flingaz turn their focus to Psywar and the many ways psychological warfare is used to infiltrate and influence the minds of everyone on the planet. Well those who have access to mass media that is. The production is a drum heavy assault with the kind of scratches that tear into your soul. Lockdown 2020 finds the subject turns to the current situation with covid and the failings of our government and the promotion of fear and the lies told as truths to keep us in the place they want us. The production is dark and has an orchestral feel that takes you deep into what could be the new normal.

The perfect follow up to the lockdown is Circus of Fools, a guitar laced pounding track that examines the fact that so many people live day to day not giving a damn and becoming the ‘sheeple’ the powers want us to be. But, just how does this happen? Mind Out drags you kicking and screaming through the subject of Fake News and how it seeks to dampen your mind to what is really going on and all the while you are accompanied by a hard heavy beat with a nerve tingling piano and dagger like cuts. There is hope as not all of us are taken in by the lies. The Sheep They Lay Low (skit) is a short almost eerie track that features David Icke. The message here is so on point, don’t get taken in by the lies, speak out, because the minute to sit back and allow all the crap in your mind is no longer yours, think about that. Stop Scheming takes us on an orchestral heavy, banging, hardcore trip (for me this one put me in mind of the great Killa Instinct) as the Flingaz open up on the scheming that goes on behind the scenes to take hold of humanity and remove our freedom. 

Pillars of Hate, is a hard and pounding track which is heavy on the brass. This one is all about the perceived hierarchy in society and how so many of those in places of power and wealth are involved in secret societies, darkness, protecting paedophiles and more, abusing their positions for their own gains. Now initially when I heard Exit it put me in mind of a purely Anti Government message but, the more you listen the more it’s deeper than that. The track itself feels more relaxed than previous but, the weight of the message is no less intense in its impact. If you are wondering where we might be headed as a race then Extinction (skit) gives you a short dark vision of just that, SO WAKE UP! Two Fingaz of Fire takes us back the hardcore beats with the Flingaz flipping the only salute necessary to the establishment. We will not be controlled and our voices will be heard. We are the free and we are the many. 

As we move into the final quarter of the album the relentless assault continues with The Burning, a full on head nod track that will have you punching the air. This one really has the feel of a modern day Gunpowder Plot as the Fireball Flingaz light the touch paper on the government. Alone in the Dark has a strange feel as the track itself has a more upbeat feel whilst the title suggests something else. Exile and Remark craft a full on hellfire track that shows who they are what they are capable of and the hat when you are alone in the dark, the mind is the superior weapon. As we move into the penultimate track Contagious Rage, the piano heavy beat is the calm over which the Flingaz mirror our rage at the powers that be and that rage is a contagious one as more awaken to the lies and will seek to turn the tables. The Outro does not ease us out of the album on a high but, leaves us with the message that we need to look at who truly holds the strings and who are the puppets and that there is a way out and that way is together, as one, we will win.

Sometimes when I’m feeling an album I find it hard to grasp the message as musically the album is so powerful it can almost over power the message that is being giving lyrically. On Back2Burn, as you might note from reading through, there were times when the sheer power of the combined musical and verbal message caused me to nearly lose sight of the music but, not in a bad way. The powerful way the lyrics and music combined was able to grab me and move me on a deep level.
I found this album to be flawless. It is hardcore from beginning to end and hits hard on all levels. There is anger here at those who seek to control us and treat us like sheep or ants, to either be led or stepped on. However, the anger is channelled through the music in a way that the message comes across to help you open your eyes and help you see the truth and to invite you to step away from the mass media and to see things from a new perspective. Production has that hard uncut Hip Hop vibe non-stop and cut’s and lyrical content scream underground Hip Hop at its most potent. The wealth of samples from the likes of George Carlin, David Icke and from movies such as The Crow, The Warriors and Network add perfectly to the whole ambiance of the album. This might not be one you can play the whole family but, sometimes you need to let go of the anger in a constructive adrenaline fuelled way.

For me this album is like taking the hardcore musical vision of what some call britcore, mixing that with political strength of Public Enemy and adding a dash of deep awareness that allows you to look beyond the bullshit and see the facts for what they are. It is not to everyone’s taste but, I feel that everyone who listens to this will be touched in some way because this album is born of a collective outpouring of anger and disgust at the repulsive treatment of ourselves and others. Many of us have been feeling this way long before the Covid Pandemic but, recent events around the pandemic, the BLM movement, race, equality and paedophilia etc have triggered so many to say no longer will we stand for this and now Fireball Flingaz have added their powerful voice to the cry for change. 

If there are any of these still available, grab out while you can.

Back2Burn is released through Inflamer Records.

Peace Out,


Buy CD/Digital/T-Shirts from the Inflamer Store:

Fireball Flingaz Bandcamp: 

PSYWAR - Official Video