Friday 21 October 2022

Single Review: Fake Friends / Hip Hop Saved My Life


Fake Friends / Hip Hop Saved My Life


Holly Flo and Crease


The double single release Fake Friends / Hip Hop Saved My Life is the debut release from Holly Flo and Crease. It features Holly Flo on vocals, Crease on production with SIR Beans OBE on the cuts and mixed and mastered by Rola @ Khameleon 107.

For those of you who might not be familiar with these two, then here is a little background for you.

Crease is a DJ, Producer and Graff artist from Bournemouth. Part of the Legendary Outkastz Crew (O.K.S.T), he has been closely associated with the B-Line Recordings family for many years and has been in the sound and production game for some 30 years, recording under various names and across various genres of music. Among his recent releases was the awesome Anything You Want single, alongside Chrome and Specifik, which was released on B-Line Recordings in May 2021 and which I featured in a review.

Holly Flo (formerly Holly Flo Lightly) is an underground emcee and singer from London who released her debut single Tryin’ back in 2014. The Northeast of England is now her home, where she collaborates on both music and radio projects, plus studying a BA in Music and Sound. She has close connections with Bristol’s Hip Hop community, releasing her Aperitif EP through Sika Records in 2016.  Following a few appearances at the B-Line Recordings Rope-A-Dope events in Bristol, she linked up with Crease which led to this latest release. Holly Flo’s most recent releases include the Get Lit Not Gaslit EP (Coming Soon with GasLit out now), produced by Konchis, and a collaboration with Beyonders (Metalheadz/HeadzState) on the soulful jazzy vibes of the Moves Like Water single. She also has several underground collabs and EPs on the way.

The two have been working together on material for two and a half years now and have recently performed together at 2021’s Rope-A-Dope 6 and this year’s Lindisfarne festival.

Fake Friends drops with a solid boom bap beat with a classic drum sample, bass and piano with horns featuring on the chorus and more, creating this lively sound that just makes you wanna bounce around. Holly Flo mixes her rap vocals with a soulful sung chorus and speaks openly and unashamedly on those people who are only there for you while things are going well and you are in a good place, because it is to their advantage. But the minute things are not going so well, and you find yourself in a tough spot, they drop you or turn on you, being among the first to stick the knife in your back and twist it.

Hip Hop Saved My Life sees Crease dropping a laid-back drumbeat, over which is a jazzy piano and guitar, which brings this chilled Jazz Hop fusion sound, that is a proper uplifting head nod vibe. Holly Flo once more brings her rap vocals and sung chorus to bear on a track that sees her open her heart on how she discovered Hip Hop music from the US to the UK artists. She tells how making her first track about Hip Hop truly helped her at a time she was at her lowest point. Then from living in Barcelona and back to the UK it’s all about having Hip Hop in your soul so “put your fucking hands up”.


Here are two tracks that are drastically different, in as much as they cover topics that display the yin and the yang of life. One person’s experiences of life that are joined by one common element, the love of real Hip Hop music.

Crease brings two solid real Hip Hop tracks that show his pedigree when it comes to music production. On Fake Friends his boom bap vibe brings the kinda vibe that brings light to the shadowy nature of tracks subject matter, while on Hip Hop Saved My Life, he brings a Jazzy-tinged vibe that carries the track along while giving room for you to focus on the lyrics from Holly Flo. You just get this sense that he understands, on a deep level, exactly what is needed from the music to fully compliment the vocals, masterful production…

Holly Flo demonstrates why she is more that one of the UK’s finest upcoming emcees. With these two tracks she shows her solid lyrical wordplay, of which you can hear every word, alongside some stunning soulful sung choruses and if you have ever seen her live performances, then you will have an even better insight into her vocal range and prowess. I am sure that with this release she is going to absolutely cement her place on the UK Hip Hop scene and probably beyond. With some guest appearances out now and some exciting in coming releases with Crease, Holly Flo is most certainly one to watch.

Make sure you keep watch for future releases from Crease and Holly Flo as there is, I’m reliably informed, at least one album scheduled for future release.

So, there is not much more I can say now except that I hope you have you orders in for this one as its out today and is gonna be on fire, for sure.

On that note,

I’ll see ya next time,

Peace Out,



Get the Single from Holly Flo on Bandcamp:

Holly Flo on the Web:

Holly Flo on Spotify:

Holly Flo on YouTube:

Holly Flo on Instagram:

Crease on Bandcamp:

Crease on Instagram:




Saturday 1 October 2022

EP Review: The Totem Trilogy Part 2 by The Scribes Produced by Vice Beats


The Totem Trilogy Vol. 2


The Scribes

Produced by Vice Beats


It was way back in April of 2020 that I reviewed the first part in the Totem Trilogy. September 30th saw the release of part 2 of that trilogy. This time The Scribes have teamed up with Bristol based producer Vice Beats to bring us eight tracks of Hip Hop goodness.

The guys have also drafted in some top-notch artists to feature alongside them in Dizzy Dustin (Ugly Duckling), Akil The MC (Jurassic 5), Donnie Numeric and Thalassic. The EP also features Mac Lloyd providing bass and guitars.

As with the first instalment, the Totem Part 2 features artwork from Chris Malbon, who also provided artwork for the recent picture disk release for the Shipwreck single. When the trilogy is complete, all three pieces of artwork combine to give you a stunning Totem image.

Hopefully I have now whetted your appetite enough, so let’s get into the EP…


Immediately you feel like you are falling down the rabbit hole into some weird late 1800’s or early 1900’s travelling carnival as you listen to Joviality Commences (Intro). The spoken intro and big drums have you wondering what’s about to happen as your only link to reality are razor sharp cuts but, even those don’t seem to stop you falling into this weird, alternate reality…

As you stumble around in a half darkness, you find yourself in a tattered tent with battered wooden seating. Suddenly you are sat in a front row seat staring at faded and thread bare curtains, which suddenly part to reveal Ill Literate and Jonny Steele on stage with Vice Beats. The stage comes alive as the beat hits with horns blaring and you’re on the Hype train. You realise that The Scribes aren’t alone, and the one Dizzy Dustin stands alongside them. The horns ease for each verse and we are treated to three emcees’ delivering a dazzling display of wisecracking wordplay with pinpoint accuracy to properly hype the crowd. Vice Beats production fires up the adrenaline and you suddenly wonder what you were freaked out about as this is shaping up to be a travelling fair you’ll be wanting to come back to again and again, especially as there is a nice bit of beatbox thrown for good measure. The music does not let up and the lights dim briefly, when the lights come up Dizzy Dustin is replaced by Donnie Numeric. The drums come to the forefront, accompanied by xylophone and orchestral notes, from the Birmingham Symphony Youth Orchestra, on a more chilled vibe to help us Focus. With your head swaying from side to side you realise that this one is all about bringing your attention to those things that are important to you and giving a nod to all those artists that played a part in being an inspiration to you as you found your way to where you are, without those paving the way, where would you be…

Following another dimming of the lights, just the Scribes and Vice Beats remain on stage. Drums and guitars with some horns bring a funk fuelled vibe that gives us a soul of the Sixties. The guys take us on body moving trip through what happened when The Scribes went back to the sixties. You can’t help but, get lost on this trip as the guys guide us through some of the key moments of the era while floating away on some crazy LSD induced moments. Their vocals seem to merge into vibrant colours, and nothing sucks because its all-cool man. As you begin to come back down from your trip, some horns and drums bring back to reality where Vice Beats tells you its Just Rock using the 1’s and 2’s on this Hip Hop DJ Just Rock (Skit), would it be Hip Hop without the DJ…

With that short DJ interlude over, The Scribes are back on stage with Mac Lloyd on bass for All I Can Say. Vice Beats production keeps it proper funky to keep you moving as The Scribes keep you entertained with slick bars and dope rhymes as they school the crowd on what it is to do what they do and to thank them for coming and enjoying their crap, but, by now the crowd is so lost in the moment they realise there is no crap here just damn good Hip Hop vibes and they want more. Not wanting to disappoint The Scribes drop an encore with Akil The MC, Thalassic and Mac Lloyd (on bass and guitars). The Get Down (refix) is a new, more soulful, take on the original from the Quill Equipped Villainy album. Organ notes and cuts guide us into the track which is chilled and laid-back in its funky musical sound scape. This one has you nodding ya head as you understand, once again, that in order to get on up, you gotta get down. This is the way you really enjoy what’s coming your way and this one definitely has that J5 vibe mixed with that Scribes and Vice beat feel.

As the music fades you are suddenly gripped by the feeling you will be back in that tattered tent and sat in the battered seat but, no, orchestral notes fill you ears and a more easy going voice asks that he hopes you had What A Pleasant Evening (Outro) and you feel like you’re now in a 1950’s concert hall But, blink again, you right where you are now, just sat there having just finished listening to the Totem Trilogy Part 2…

OK, so weird stories vibes aside, the Totem Trilogy Part 2 is cracking release from The Scribes and Vice Beats. It really draws you into the music and makes you a part of the whole experience. This allows you to properly get lost into the music, coming out the other side knowing you just enjoyed every second of it.

Vice Beats does a fantastic job on production, every track is skillfully produced to bring you just the right amount of energy to perfectly match the vocal delivery and the mood of the tracks. There is some solid Hip Hop production here that displays the quality of his work and shows why he has worked with the likes of A-Plus and Blu and that support from Chuck D and DJ Premier is helping him get recognition worldwide, with a number of upcoming releases on the cards. Vice Beats already has the accolade of having the only official J Dilla tribute to date.

The Scribes, just seem to go from strength to strength delivering solid Hip Hop that delivers on every level.  Regardless of whether they are dropping some straight up Hip Hop or hitting us with a concept EP, everything is always produced with polished and precise attention to detail. This is matched only by their insane live touring schedule; these guys just don’t stop. The Scribes truly are one of those defining elements of what real Hip Hop is all about and not just in the UK.

It would not right of me not to mention the guest artist either. Everyone fits precisely into place preforming with aplomb. Dizzy Dustin drops the kinda verse that shows exactly why he so sought after and still delivering solid Hip Hop. Akil The MC has a verse that shows the diversity of his work and the fact that a rework of the track does not lessen the impact of his vocals. Donnie Numeric (who is a long-time collaborator with Vice Beats) and Thalassic show some slick wordplay and the give the kind of performances that show these are names to look for in the future.

Totem Part 2 shows that this trilogy is likely to grow into a must have for all those who love real Hip Hop.

The EP is out now on digital and Limited CD release through HHV/EQ Music.

Time for me to be Out,

See ya next time,



Get the Totem EP Part 2 on Vice Beats Bandcamp:

Streaming Links for The Totem Trilogy Part 2:

The Scribes on Bandcamp:

Follow The Scribes on Social Media:

Follow Vice Beats on Social Media:


"All I Can Say" Official Video

FOCUS Official Video -- Premier 25th Aug 2023