Saturday 20 April 2024

Single Review: I Luv Her But She Does My Fuckin' Ed In by Cigarettes and Scratchcards

 

I Luv Her But She Does My Fuckin’ Ed In.

By

Cigarettes and Scratchcards


 


It was way back in April last year that I featured Manchester MC, Cigarettes and Scratchcards with his single 1984. That review, see link below, included some bio on the man, so this time I’m just gonna take you straight into the review.

So, let’s go…

 

Now, the title of this one leaves little to the imagination and conjures up a lot of thoughts and images of what this one could be about but, before we go judging the title and what we might hear, lets just take a listen.

As the heavy guitar kicks in, it’s immediately that this one is not my usual Hip Hop sound, this one has a heavy punk sound that is courtesy of live instruments. The vibe is high energy and the sound mixed with Cig’s rapped vocals brings some interesting images to the mind, that will probably appeal to some of the older Hip Hop crowd who, like myself, grew up in the 70’s and 80’s where punk rock was still a huge scene.

So, what does Cig’s have to say one this one? The first thing that you realise is that this single is not focused on an individual but, just like the original punk records, this one is a look at our country and the society we live in. So, the ‘Her’ in the title is Britannia, Great Britain or how ever you chose to see it. This one is, as you might expect, a proper political statement, in parts, with shots taken at the government, the banks, and a lot more. The main message here is that, you might well love the country in which you live but, the way that it is run by those who the people have placed in the highest position of power, plays with that affection; you may have been born here and have so much love for the family and friends that surround you, feel so much connection with countryside and the ancient sites of historical significance however, the struggles placed upon you by government, the banking system, and the things outside of your control, really push you to the point where you question the balance of love for the country over the stress caused by the powers that be.

Overall, you might call this a fusion of Rap and Punk and it is one of those tracks that might appeal to one camp or the other but, there will be a number of listeners that will enjoy that crossover sound and understand exactly where Cig’s is coming from in delivering a message in this way, as it reaches out beyond the rap or punk fans. But the real test for you the listener, is to give this one a go, have a listen and feel what is being said and then decide if it is for you.

For me it was not my normal sound but, that vibe mixed with the strong statements within, really had me feeling this one. OK, so it might not be something I’ll have on repeat necessarily but, it is one of those that you can come back to when you need an escape from the norm or a bit of a rant at the establishment, something that is needed right now, if we’re honest right!

I Luv Her but She Does My Fuckin’ Ed In by Cigarettes and Scratchcards is out now on all the usual streaming platforms.

Big up to Cigs for sending me something a little different to get my head into.

Till next time,

I’m Out.

Steve


LINKS

All the links for streaming this single and more can be found Here:

https://linktr.ee/cigarettes.scratchcards


Cigarettes and Scratchcards Social Links:

https://www.facebook.com/cigarettesxscratchcards

https://www.instagram.com/cigssssss/

https://www.youtube.com/@cigssssss


VIDEO



Friday 19 April 2024

Album Review : Times Like These by Steg G and Freestyle Master

 

Times Like These

By

Steg G and Freestyle Master

 


Both Steg G and Freestyle Master are no strangers to the blog with Freestyle Master featuring on Steg G’s Demons album back in June last year, they also contributed to the album No Justice No Peace by the Scottish Hip Hop Artists For Equality back in 2020. With Freestyle Master being a major contributor to the recent releases by Steg G, Times Like These comes as a hotly anticipated follow-up to their last full release together The Freedom Frequency (2017).

Conceptually, Times Like These see’s the Glaswegian duo exploring abstractions based around the nature of time itself. The album was released through Powercut Productions at the end of February this year, so there is a good chance that some of you have already heard the album and might have an idea of what to expect but, there will be those of you who have yet to open your ears to this album or even to the music of Steg G and Freestyle Master, so I hope you’ll all join me as I take you through the ten tracks of Times Like These from top to bottom…

 

The guy’s kick things off with Welcome 2 My World which features a pounding drum beat with some piano vibes that have an almost eerie quality to them, creating a heavy head nod sound with dark edge to it. This one is set in the present moment and looks at the harsh realities of life and society in the current world we live in. Although, its not all harsh as Leafdog and High Focus, from my neck of the woods, get a mention, which casts your mind to the work of one of UK Hip Hops dopest, dragging your mind away, albeit briefly, from the dark times around you. The eerie piano vibes continue on Between The Lines, which mixes with other keys, a melodic drum beat and a sprinkling of that more modern cymbal tapping sound, giving this one a heavy sound that seems to weigh heavy on your mind. Here we have a sobering story of how time gets away from you and how drugs and alcohol can also taint your view of how you spent that time. To you the experience may have been fun and enjoyable, when in reality, it was far from that. Next, we move to the albums title track Times Like These. A heavy drumbeat, cymbals and nerve stretching keys combine to infiltrate your mind to put your focus on the lyrics. The mind and how we fight our own inner demons, seems to be the focus of this track; I mean, how many of us have sat in a tough spot we have been in before and thought to our selves ‘how many times is this gonna happen to me’? It’s less about the passage of time here and more about the repetitive nature of the struggles we all face, and yet still we forge forward, no matter the adversity…

All We Got has a sound that brings to mind a nightmarish vision with a sparce beat, keys and nerve shredding electronic sounds on the bridge, all combining to bring a sound that has you questioning the nature of reality. What you get from this one is the imbalance and inequality in social standing. This is an issue that is almost as old as time itself, where the few appear to hold all the balance of power, when in reality it is Us, the many, those looked on as the lower classes that possess the real power and in our current reality we need to look to each other for the strength to use that power in the most positive way. More pounding drums and electronic notes bring a sound that has elements of the electro sound. What this does is to raise the mood slightly to give you a more open mind for Cause And Effect. This might be a shorter track but, the impact of the words are not dumbed down in any way. This is a deep look at the fact that ‘what you give is what you get’ and ‘every action has a reaction’, what you realise here is that things that happen in our past have an impact on our futures. People mistreated in their youth often perpetuate similar behaviours in their adult life, that’s just one example but, leaves you feeling that there is a lot to be said for the saying ‘treat others as you would have them treat you’, it leaves you with much to contemplate. The electronic notes on Spitefully Grimey has a very John Carpenter soundtrack vibe, in fact the whole track has that vibe, making you feel that you are not just listening to something but, being a part of it too; or it that it’s a part of you? That feeling is well placed as this track could be about anyone of us, the good and bad aspects of life and the things we have all done. As you look back at your life, can you honestly say that these words do not describe you too, think about it…!

The Poison is the only track on the album to have a feature as CCTV joins Freestyle Master on vocals. Steg G’s sound here is piano heavy alongside the heavy beat. The cymbal sound and switch up on the drum beat serves to tweak your nerves keeping you focused on the vocals. This one looks at all those individual moments where the negative words and judgements of others impacted on our desire or motivation to reach or achieve something. Although, there are also times when those same derogatory words may even have spurned us to go that extra mile just to prove them wrong. It’s all about who we are and how we chose to take the words and opinions of others, they can nock us back or push us forward, we decide the outcome. Our minds and nerves are once more tested with the electronic sounds and notes that such a part of the sound on She’s A Psycho. The drumbeat is still there and keeps you nodding as you listen to this tale of a moment in time where beauty hid the beast. This could just be a story but, just as easily this is a cautionary tale to be aware that not everyone is who they appear to be on the outside, something that might have happened to anyone of us, it has certainly happened to me in the past. The piano and horns on Rewind, mix with the boom bap drum beat to get the energy pumping and the head nodding with a real uplifting sound. Sometimes you can hear a track that doesn’t just take you back to a moment but, to many moments dotted throughout your life and this is one of those. Speaking on those good friends we meet along the way; the kind of friends we think we’ll always be together. Sometimes we loose touch or those people pass away but, they always hold a special place in our hearts and this one really reminds you of and rewinds you to those moments and those friends. Before you realise it, you’re at the final track of the album Sunset, where organ notes serenade you ears for nearly half the track before the beats drops in bringing more energy but not overshadowing the emotive nature of the sound. That emotive feeling is reflected in the lyrics which look at aspects of human nature But, more than that there is a sunrise and a sunset in all our lives, and it is what we do with the time we have that defines us so, remember to seize each moment and be the greatest expression of who you truly are and create a magnificent sunset…

We measure the passing of each moment we experience under the veil of construct we call time but, this helps us create reference points we can use to remember specific events, things that have happened that have a deep or life changing impact of our lives as we move along the path of life, and Times Like These puts some of these impressions into our awareness in a way that is enjoyable but, at the same time emotive, doing it in such a way as to create something that is easily relatable by anyone listening and who choses to really listen and feel between the lines.

Both Steg G and Freestyle master, in their own way, perfectly emulate this feeling of the passing of time, reflection, everything in-between and beyond. Steg G uses his production skills to craft these stunning musical backdrops that bring these musical triggers for our own emotions. Alongside this Freestyle Master brings his lyrical prowess, flows and emotive story telling that uses his own lived experience to bring our own personal experiences to the surface; together they create this etheric link with the listener, where the individual experiences feel like one shared experience and the essence of time become more than a linear measure and more of place where we all live, separate but, inexorably linked.

Now, all that deep thought aside, Steg G is on fire here with production that captures the essence of each track. The sound has one huge foot planted firmly on the side of Hip Hop but, along the way, there are many other influences that come in, adding extra depth to the sound. I have never been a fan of this this more modern sound that includes this high paced cymbal sound, its just a personal thing however, it does not take anything away from this album, what it does do is to broaden the listener base because Hip Hop heads will love it and the younger generation who like the trap, grime and other vibes, will also get something out of this one too. It has a good cross genre sound and there is nothing wrong with having that because music is more than just one genre. Freestyle Master does a superb job here by bringing his A-game and mixing up the flows, wordplay and using lived experiences to bring a deep level of relatability to every track. He also displays flows that show influences from other sounds too, adding that aspect which will make listeners of other genre’s enjoy what he has to say. What is plainly obvious though is that Steg G and Freestyle Master have this rapport that allows them to work perfectly together, and you get this feeling that each knows exactly what the other is thinking, in a musical context. 

Times Like These is a very deep but, expressive album that really invites the listener to listen, feel and remember what happens over the passage of time and that every experience in any one moment can have far reaching implications but, what is most important is that every moment we experience makes us who we are so, live those moments to the fullest.

Times Like These is out now on Powercut Productions and available on streaming, digital and limited-edition vinyl.

My thanks to both Steg G and Freestyle Master for the chance to bring my impressions to you.

I’m Out,

See ya next time.

Steve.   

LINKS

Times Like These is available from the following links:

https://www.steg-g.com/product-page/steg-g-the-freestyle-master-times-like-these 

https://steg-gandthefreestylemaster.bandcamp.com/album/times-like-these


Social Links:

https://www.instagram.com/freestylemasterpcp/

https://www.instagram.com/steg.g

https://www.facebook.com/Steg3000

https://www.facebook.com/frzamza


VIDEOS

ALL WE GOT


REWIND



 

Friday 12 April 2024

EP Review: Down The Rabbit Hole by 4Dee

 

Down The Rabbit Hole

By

4DEE


 

Cardiff emcee/producer 4Dee is back with his latest release, Down The Rabbit Hole, on his own Veteran Records imprint. I have featured his releases a couple of times on the blog, first with the album ‘Shots Fired’ and with the singles 40 Years and The WOW Signal. Released at the end of March this year, this is a six track EP that promises some straight up Hip Hop combined with 4Dee’s penchant for not shying away from controversial and maybe a little esoteric subject matter.

So, let’s not hang around here and dive straight Down The Rabbit Hole

We dive straight into it with Microphone Savage, where a heavy pounding boom bap beat provides the backdrop. In fact, this hits so heavy, it brings enough energy to vibrate every bone in your body. Like so kind of modern-day pied piper, 4Dee uses slick lyricism and a vocal tone infused with more than enough assertiveness, to create a vibe that grips you and sends you down the rabbit hole before you know what’s happening. Spinning lines on why he is savage on the mic, you forget what is going on beyond that sound and you become lost in the Hip Hop music. Now that you are well on your way into the music, drums hit with some nerve shedding organ notes and a hint of guitar too, its time for some Verbal Shadow Boxing. Produced by Acko and featuring DJ Jaffa on the cut, this one ramps up the energy levels, drawing you deeper into the music. 4Dee’s flow and insane lyrical fury takes hold of your awareness and spins you out of control as he pummels your mind with hit after hit of verbal intensity, punching a hole between one universe and the next. With your mind reeling from the intensity, things take a sudden U-turn with Strike Lightning and Thunder. The beat is still heavy but more subdued with a chilled acoustic guitar vibe. Delisha joins 4Dee to take you on a trip that takes you deep into the rabbit hole as they look at a post pandemic country where negativity and despair are the new norms; this is a place where conspiracies and control of the masses abound, a dark place, reflecting what just might be going on beyond the doors, walls and deep in the halls of government. Believe it or not this is where the rabbit hole takes you and it is only some brief moments of soulful vocals on the bridge that give you a glimpse of a more positive future.

Datrilshit sees a return to that pounding boom bap sound where the drumbeat takes the forefront, raising the energy levels once more as DJ Jaffa brings the cuts once more, cutting deep into your soul. Here, we find 4Dee bringing the one thing we all love about Hip Hop, that real shit. It’s all about what makes an emcee who they are, the lyrics, the flows, and their individuality; alongside that is their ability bring the kind of music that makes the crowd go crazy, that’s it, plain and simple. Before you realise it, you’re in the realms of the penultimate track, wondering what’s next and where you might end up. DJ Jaffa is back on the cut once more as Mind Over Matter hits with heavy drums and eerie keys. The beat has you looking this way and that while 4Dee spins bars and verses around one simple message that sinks deep into your awareness subliminally. That message is that you are the architect of your own destiny, you are the one who can make your dreams become reality, you just have to keep those dreams in the forefront of your mind and don’t lose sight of what is most important. Do that, and the only thing that is impossible, is that anything is impossible! The final track drops with a realisation that you’re not lost in the rabbit hole at all, you’re just waking up to the truth of reality. It is the heavy guitar vibes and sparse drums of Acko’s production on Putting In Work that help bring that realisation to life by creating a sound that tightens the frayed nerves and, with the help of DJ Jaffa on the cut, awakens you, bringing you back into the room. 4Dee spits the kind of lyrics that bring focus to your fogged mind. In fact, he continues to allude to message from the previous track, with more vigour, he tells you that by putting in the work, you make yourself who you are, you craft yourself into the true expression of the self.

 

Down The Rabbit Hole takes you on a journey that might seem a lot longer than it is. Within those six tracks and Twenty-Two minutes 4Dee takes you places and opens your mind to thoughts you might never have conceived of had you not exposed yourself to this EP. The Rabbit Hole is a place where you can cast out any thoughts of what you thought reality was. Here nothing is taboo and all the things you thought were just conspiracy theories or someone’s tainted view of the world, now seem to be far more plausible.

There is some great work here that keeps you guessing as to exactly what you’re listening to, in terms of its message, and you can easily just enjoy the whole experience without thinking too much but, then if, like me, you want to give it the time, it can take you to different ways of seeing the world around you and that’s the power of the music and the words contained within.

The production on Down The Rabbit Hole is top notch from both 4Dee and Acko, bringing you Hip Hop vibes that you can really feel the energy of, and also help to bend and merge reality at the same time, which is all ably assisted by the cuts from DJ Jaffa, for me these cuts don’t just scream Hip Hop on this one but, really give that edge to the tweaking of reality. I also have to give props to Delisha who I have not heard before but, who makes a great appearance here with both her rap skills and those soulful sung elements too.

4Dee shows us, once more, that he really is a solid emcee by switching flows and displaying a range of lyricism that has he can switch from being lyrically fun to suddenly being far more complex and intellectual. I also like the fact that he is not afraid to tackle those esoteric subjects and be completely open and honest about his thoughts on the world around him.

For me it’s a no brainer to recommend this one to you, so if you’ve not heard it already, I suggest you give it a listen as soon as possible.

Time for me to be out,

See ya next time.

Steve.


LINKS

Get the EP on Bandcamp Here:

https://4dee1.bandcamp.com/album/down-the-rabbit-hole

Streaming Links and more for the EP Here:

https://songwhip.com/4dee/down-the-rabbit-hole

Veteran Records Website:

https://veteranrecords.co.uk/

4Dee on Instagram:

https://www.instagram.com/mr4deee/



 

  

 

 

 

 

 

Wednesday 3 April 2024

Single Review: All The Way Live by Seek The Northerner

 

All The Way Live

By

Seek The Northerner


 

Now, it’s not often that a single drops in front of you that generates the kind of excitement as a full album but, the latest release by Seek The Northerner on Northentic Records is one such example.

All The Way Live is a posse cut that is produced by Seek and features a stunning line up of emcees along side him, and not only that but, it also features DJ Robert Smith (2016 DMC Germany Champion, Dusty Donuts 45s, Smith & Smart), which really raises the bat when it come to the anticipation stakes…

So, before I really get into this track, just who is lining up on this track? In order of how they appear there is Sublingual, Lomax, Seek, Farma G, Eskar, Hinesy, Assa, Ill Sykes, Ken Masters, Micky Swags, Benny Diction and Doberman, I mean, what more do I need to say here, let’s face it, nothing, I’ll say no more and just take you on a ride through this track…

The beat is comprised of a solid head nod drum beat with Harpsichord style keys creating a melody that carries you along, the only change is on the bridge which brings cuts from DJ Robert Smith and a brief switch from keys to Flute notes. Across the next five and a half minutes or so, you get six verses, each featuring two emcess dropping around twenty seconds or so of their finest bars. This is not a track with a theme or a particular message, what you get here is akin to a live freestyle, where each emcee steps up to the mic and throws down for your listening pleasure.

When most of you think of a posse cut, you’re probably thinking of heavy hardcore beats with furious in your face style lyrics but, Seek seems to approach it from a different angle with the type of beat you can nod and move along to, without launching you into the atmosphere, and the lyrics from each emcee have that grown man Hip Hop quality to them and, because the beat bangs but never loses you, you are still able to concentrate on the words, giving them and by default, the emcee, the time and recognition they deserve.

I don’t need to interpret every line here because this is a track that needs to be heard and enjoyed by the listener as it keeps to engaged from top to bottom. That is exactly what I did, enjoy every minute of it, and that is exactly what I suggest you do.

All The Way Live is probably one of the best posse style cuts I’ve heard so far this year and sets the bar pretty high for anyone who wants to follow suit. This is some of the cream of UK talent out there right now, there might be a few names you are not that familiar with but, by the time this one is over, you are gonna know every one of them and what they have to offer and Seek shows that he is quickly becoming one of the driving forces on the UK scene as both emcee and producer.

All The Way Live drops on 5th April and is one of those tracks that has the quality to keep you going back to it over and over but, don’t take my word for it, check it for yourself.

Oh! Did I forget to mention you can get it for free...

My thanks to Seek The Northerner for giving me the chance to bring this one to you.

Time for me to be out, gotta give this one another listen.

See Ya,

Steve


LINKS

All The Way Live is available from Northentic Records Bandcamp Here:

https://northenticrecords.bandcamp.com/artists


Northentic Records Socials:

https://www.instagram.com/northenticrecords_hiphop/

https://www.facebook.com/NorthenticRecords

https://www.youtube.com/@NORTHENTICRECORDS


Seek The Northerner Socials:

https://www.instagram.com/seek_the_northerner101/

https://www.facebook.com/SeekTheNortherner


Saturday 30 March 2024

Album Review: Invest In Your Ears by Can't Be Copied

 

Invest In Your Ears

By

Can’t Be Copied

 


I reviewed the debut release Real Art Real Experiences by Can’t Be Copied back in January of this year, and I was so impressed by what K.A.O.$ Da Rowdy MC (vocals), Mr Roka (production) with Stanton Miles (cuts) had achieved with that release, that when they recently dropped their sophomore album, Invest In Your Ears; I had to invite them back to the blog.

Once again, you will find that Invest In Your Ears is not available on any streaming platforms and the only place you can find it is via the crews website. The only difference this time around is that Invest In Your Ears features just K.A.O.$ Da Rowdy MC and Mr Roka, who also handles the cuts on this one.

If you read my review of Real Art Real Experiences, you will know what to expect from these guys. However, if you are new to Can’t Be Copied, I can tell you right now to expect nothing less than real Hip Hop vibes without the profanity, and a sound that crosses all boundaries and bring a real sound mixed with all the realness of true-life experiences.

So, I’m not gonna keep you hanging around no more but, help you to Invest In Your Ears

 

CBC gets your head nodding from the get-go with a solid boom bap beat and a plethora of sounds that combine to get you moving and smiling for the Future Of Hip Hop. Here, K.A.O.$ Da Rowdy MC lays it all on the table, showing not only what is at the core of Can’t Be Copied but, also what the focus has to be for Hip Hop artists as we look to the future of the scene. It’s all about keeping it real, speaking from the heart with the truth and staying faithful to roots of the culture. You might well be listening to this now but, this is the blueprint for what’s to come. The drumbeat takes the forefront on I’m Just Saying but, Mr Roka mixes in some bells, guitar, and other sounds to keep the vibe going and the heads nodding. This one really takes the core of what CBC are about and lays it out in one track. CBC are about real Hip Hop that can be listened to be all ages, they take the old skool foundations of the sound and bring them into the present, delivering the realness in a way that speaks to new and young alike, setting standards for the future while giving the older Hip Hop generation no cause for concern. Heavy drums and horns form the basis for the sound on What Do You Bring, where we find CBC asking a question of all those other Hip Hop acts out there. That question is what do you bring to the game that adds authenticity and is not just a clone of those who walked the stage before you? This is as much a statement as a question because, in order to make it, you need to have an element about your sound that is authentic and relatable, don’t speak on things you have no knowledge of and don’t lie to your audience because you think you know what they want to hear.

Life Support finds drums, bass, and horns as the foundation but, the electronic beeping and cuts give this one a vibe that has a sound mimicking a pulse monitor, which might be lost on you as your too busy bouncing. Listen to this one and you get the impression that it is the real Hip Hop vibe and sound that is the life support of all real Hip Hop artists out there; There are many fake emcees out there masquerading as real Hip Hop with beats and lyrics that have no foundation in the culture. Those who are true to the game have Hip Hop running through their veins and don’t need to step outside that sound by dipping into other genes just make more money. With that thought running through you head K.A.O.$ Da Rowdy MC steps up as the Flowologist as Mr Roka brings a heavy bass sound with electronic elements that toy with your nerves. This one is all about K.A.O.$ showing exactly why he is the flowologist. There is no need for me to elaborate any further here as K.A.O.$ speaks for himself here so, tune in, soak it up and enjoy. Mr Roka switches it up once more with the drum beat almost taking a back seat at times as bass, guitar takes over on Different. The vibe might be different on this one but, it is the perfect canvas for K.A.O.$ to flow over and give you a demonstration of his rhyming skills, showing just what he can do when he feels like it.

Time to funk things up a bit on Much More but, that funk vibe has some elements that take you back to the electro sound, creating a vibe you can’t help but groove to. K.A.O.$ brings us a track that takes a look into the mind, body and soul of an emcee. There is that air of braggadocio at times that was a big element of the early rap days as emcee’s were out to show who was the best with rhymes and flows. Mr Roka’s heavy drumbeat, bass sound and horns take the forefront on Beatastic as K.A.O.$ slows things down a bit. This one really makes the beat the focus of the track both in sound and in the lyrics. That is only right because what would Hip Hop be without the beat; Well, it wouldn’t be Hip Hop for a start, and here we see just how important the beat is, just as important as the vocals. Pen & Pad finds Mr Roka dropping a solid boom bap sound on us, mix that with those multi-element sounds, and this one has the speakers blowing up. What I like about this one is that it shows that an emcee has to be two things; they have to be a freestyler and able to write rhymes down and that is really where this one took me, reminding me that an emcee is always writing; yes, they might be out there on the street corner, or deep in freestyle battle mode but, behind that the emcee is always writing creating bars and verses that are the core of their craft.

Before you know it, you are listening to the penultimate track, Pet Peave, which starts with a bassline sound before the beat really kicks in and that bassline vibe fades into the background. The sound gets you up and jumping around, wanting the take the roof of this sucka. K.A.O.$ Da Rowdy MC takes on a journey through some of the things that are his pet peave’s, the things that upset his equilibrium and might throw his day into disarray. This is not him complaining, its just life, these things happen to us all. Suddenly you realise that you’re at the last track and wishing there was more to come but, all good things come to an end and here it’s with They Sold Us A Story. Mr Roka brings a nice funky beat with piano vibes and cuts, getting the head nodding along. K.A.O.$ takes us to the streets with some stories about just how brutal life is out on the streets. With everything that has gone before now, this is a sobering note on which to end the album but, it is no less real that all the fun and games out there. We don’t always get to hear the stories of real people’s experiences but, here we are reminded that the tough stores we see going on internationally also have a shadow side that goes on in the alley ways and on the street corners of the towns and cites in which we live, and it's no less painful for those caught up in it…

 

What Can’t Be Copied have done with Invest In Your Ears is to give us something that is not just a musical album to be put on an enjoyed, it is so much more than that. Invest In Your Ears is a statement that says to each and every one of us that if you really want to here the truth, in many different ways, then switch of the TV, turn off the news and Invest In Your Ears by switching on this album because, as this album creatively displays, music can speak the truth to you on many different levels. Music, in this case that real Hip Hop music, can bring you the truth on what’s going on outside your door but, also bring you uplifting vibes that show that there are silver linings to those storm clouds, it can all be brought to you in a way that does scream of frustration and anger at what is going on in the world. Sometimes you just have to hear it in a way that echoes the family sitting round a table and talking openly about things, things that might be tough but, can just as easily bring smiles and laughter.

Invest In Your Ears displays all the qualities that go into creating a solid Hip Hop album, that has one foot rooted deep in the foundations of real Hip Hop, while demonstrating that you can bring in other influences to the sound which do not take away that homage to the original sound and vibe.

Mr Roka perfectly crafts these Hip Hop soundscapes in such a way as to show that they are unashamedly Hip Hop but, at the same time, have these additional elements and influences that make the Can’t Be Copied sound unique, which is exactly what it needs to be, because Can’t Be Copied are not anyone else and they sure can’t be copied in any way…

K.A.O.$ Da Rowdy MC once more delivers a wealth of flows and rhyme styles to suit exactly what needs to be said and in a way that is authentically his own. There is no copycat flows or styles here just one emcee with his own style created from years of constantly honing his craft.

I really don’t want to say too much here because Can’t Be Copied are not individuals but, a collective, a crew, who work together to create a sound that and style that make many of us reminisce back to the eighties and early nineties but, at the same time they also set a standard to those up and coming artists out there that says ‘this might be a blueprint for the sound or the vibe of what is Hip Hop but, be unique and authentic in all you do, because that is the mark of a true artist’.

All I can say is that if you really want to know what I’m talking about here then Invest In Your Ears and grab the album direct from Can’t Be Copied and see exactly what all the fuss is about and rest assured, this is one you don’t have to worry about playing in front of anyone.

Invest In Your Ears is out now exclusively available from the Can’t Be Copied Website.

 

Time for me to be out,

I’ll See you next time.

Steve.


LINKS

Get your copy of the Album exclusively here:

https://cantbecopiedhiphop.com/home

Can't Be Copied Socials:

https://cantbecopied.bandcamp.com/

https://www.instagram.com/cantbecopiedhiphop/

https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=61553637398444

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCeXOLyeS1iQkOErAt0vENRQ

 

VIDEO

Invest In Your Ears - Promo



 

Friday 22 March 2024

ALBUM Review: DEF CULT by Junior Disprol

 

DEF CULT

By

Junior Disprol

 


I think its fair to say that in the last five years the man from Cardiff, Junior Disprol has been on something of a roll. First came DEFVALLEY in 2019 followed by two huge releases in 2022, Hung Drawn and Slaughta’d with Krash Slaughta and DEF II; then in 2023 came Uber Magnetic alongsideRoughneck Jihad, the build up to which was something truly inspired and introduced us to the Hidden Content Club from the label Plague.

Well, now in 2024 the Hidden Content Club is back and treated us to a bonus pack and single release that featured a non-album track, The Fun and The Horror, and a remix of the track Hawk Ghost. This was all as the precursor to the third outing in Junior Disprol’s Def Series, DEF CULT. Once more brought to us on the Plague label and, as with both previous DEF releases, Produced by Cool Edit Chud. It features appearances from DJ Jaffa, Krash Slaughta, Stepchild and his Uber Magnetic partner in rhyme Roughneck Jihad. The album also features some stunning artwork from John Stark, just to put the icing on the cake.

Now, Junior Disprol is no stranger to this blog and as such, needs no introduction, so let’s not beat around the bush here and get straight into the DEF CULT…

There is no hanging around here as DJ Jaffa joins JD on the opening track Marvelous, which perfectly sets the tone of the album with a nice head nod drum beat which is surrounded by this eerie mix of bells and nature sounds that all comes together to give you the impression you’ve been drawn into some weird nightmarish world. This is Junior Disprol’s world, a place where expecting the unexpected is the norm and it is hard for the neurotypical mind to even conceive of what now put in front of it. Here he shows you exactly why he is so marvellous in what he does by taking words, phrases and more, mixing and weaving them into something you would never think possible, and when you mix all that with the music, reality is thrown out of a window, a window that doesn’t exist or does it? With all expectation cast aside the sound move to slick funk vibe with drums and guitar taking the forefront for The Fly Most, if you know your Hip Hop then you will know that being ‘fly’ was all about being the best, dressing the best and so on. So, is JD speaking on being the best here or is about a fly or being a fly on the wall? You decided because this is one of those that seems open to interpretation, and after a number of listens I wanted to go with the traditional Hip Hop view and that JD here is just showing what it is the be the fly most on the mic. Up next is A Murmur Forms, which has recently seen a video release, and has more of a jazz vibe with the horns, bass, and drums, which loop and switch creating a sound which tests your nerves as it progresses. JD’s words seem to tear at every brain cell, threatening to turn your awareness inside out. The world around is what seems to form into a murmur as Junior Disprols words and flows form into a dazzling murmuration of their own, mimicking that of a flock of starlings over the somerset levels…



Can We Live finds the drum beat almost softened into the background as a nerve tweaking electric guitar loop grabs your awareness, threatening not to let go. JD takes a look at the state of society and Britain, a place you can no longer call great. How can a person or a family truly live in this society when we are constantly being priced out of everything we need to survive, while the 1% flourish and stand, not on the shoulders of giants but, on the desperate figures of the working class, the infirm, the disabled and corpses of the fallen. It’s a bleak look at life but, that’s life right now. With your mind reeling from what it has just had to comprehend, it’s time for DJ Jaffa to join Junior Disprol once more and to punch and slice a hole in those dark storm clouds with Ready Rock. The head nod beat takes us on a more upbeat vibe while the eerie xylophone sounds keep us in that weird twilight world but, this one creates a seed inside you that blooms almost immediately and bears fruit that you can only taste with your soul because this is what the energy of the music can do for you if you allow it in. There is this sense that the creation and the feeling of the music is able to clear the darkness from most recesses of the mind. So, when you’re ready, feel the music, let it in and get ready to rock. Now feeling a bit more upbeat it’s time for the albums title track to be unleashed, DEF CULT.  The drums and guitar that forms the main element of the beat here has a melodic quality that has you quietly nodding along, focusing on the words, while every now and again there is a burst of guitar that stops you relaxing to far into that sound. Having given you the foundations, JD now hypnotises you, taking control of your mind, he delivers words that infiltrate every corner of your mind and making you a newly ordained follower of the DEF CULT.



It’s perfect timing that you are now in the cult and your mind is focused on this one thing because, if you are listening on the vinyl, it’s now time to flip to the B-Side, something you now do in an almost trance like state. I Got It Going Awwn takes you into a TRON like world with solid boom bap beat alongside electronic sounds that digitize your every thought from this moment on. If it can rhyme with Awwn then its Awwn, that’s what its all about here; well almost. There is a moment, where JD emulates the Ruler Slick Rick, that brings an almighty grin that comes out from within. Suddenly you begin to realise that this cult is not something to fear but, something to revere. That sense of living in a digital world now takes on an eerie twist as the electronic and other sounds whirl around the head nod beat like a plethora of spirits released from purgatory. Krash Slaughta joins JD to help slice through the ghostly fog allowing your body to soak up the vibes. Here you find Junior Disprol speaking on being a Magus Of Phrase. But what does that mean? Well, the definition of Magus is a conjurer, sorcerer, or a magician; so, what he is saying here is that he is a magician when comes to creating something with words and you simply can’t argue with that the more you listen. The vibe switches once more as drums, guitars and keys combine for a sound that would not be out of place an album from the Doors, it has that kinda Hip Hop psychedelic feel. Hawk Ghost dispels any last vestige of dark clouds that might have remained as its energy raises you up to a new level, while keeping you in that altered state of reality. This time Junior Disprol switches from speaking through a ghostly haze to taking on the essence of a spiritual form, soaring high above and looking down on what’s around and channelling that into words and phrases that boggle the mind as you search for the source but find only words that seem to appear from nowhere…



Your eardrums vibrate with the power of the beat, bass and horns as Def At Behest explodes into your awareness. Soon, strings are introduced that have you looking over your shoulder, looking for what’s coming with a sense of foreboding like a movie soundtrack vibe. Listening to this one might make you wonder just what this is all about but, try listening a few times and that think of the title and what it means? Def is all about being the best and by doing that at behest means you are doing it by instruction or by command; so here maybe, its all about JD showing how good his skills are by his own instruction? Being an emcee is all about honing your skills from life, from what you see about you day by day, you are literally teaching or instructing yourself, that’s how you learn. Think about that as you listen and if it speaks to you. Now, time is ticking by and as you move into the album’s penultimate track the Domesday Clock. Drums, bells, bass, and horns form a huge sound that has that that soundtrack vibe about it, one that makes you feel you have stepped into a pool of shade among the sunlight. With that air of foreboding setting around you once more you find that you are stood in an equilateral triangle with an emcee at each apex; perhaps it’s a circle not the triangle you first thought but, anyway, Junior Disprol is followed by Roughneck Jihad and finally Stepchild, each one displaying their individual rhyme skills as the doomsday clock ticks another second but, that second feels like a minute or a whole day as the words float through you awareness; you realise there is so much around us that signifies we are headed towards a doomsday but, you also realise that we are the ones who can also reverse that and stop the clock ticking down to its ultimate conclusion. As you contemplate that thought you realise that the album is about to reach its own conclusion and you have reached Def Not, the final track. Keys, guitars, and drums create a reflective vibe and one that feels you about to enter something deeper than has gone before. The intro makes you feel this one needed time to get going, like it needs a few deep breaths first and as JD begins to speak you realise why those feels occurred to you; not everything is DEF in life and this one finds Junior Disprol speaking on the loss of his mother. This one is by far the deepest track on the album, and I could feel every word, deep in my own heart having lived this same story with the loss of my own mum back in 1995. What can you say, treasure every moment with those you love and enjoy those moments to the fullest. The track ends with an upbeat, high energy guitar solo, just get the adrenaline pumping once more and leaving you with much to think about…

 

Just take a breath because that was some ride. In fact, there is this feeling that DEF CULT is an album of two halves, as seems to have two different vibes running across the two sides of the album, if you have the vinyl, or between the first six tracks and second six. The first half appears to have a slightly darker air about it, laying out the foundations and showing you what’s going on around you or inviting you to see it. But the second half has this far more upbeat vibe to it raising you up most of the time and giving you a reason to feel that its not all bad out there and it ends with a touching ode to his mother that is such an awesome way to end the album, with such an emotional sentiment. It’s just breath taking from start to finish.

I may have said this before but, what the heck, I’m gonna say it again, for me, Junior Disprol is one of the most underrated emcees on the UK scene, if not the entire Hip Hop scene, at this time. I don’t know of anyone who can take words that seemingly have no place together and spin them into something that is entertaining and speaks to you on some strange unconscious level. He just has a masterful way with words, like the title of the track Magus Of Phrase, he truly is a master sorcerer of words and rhyme.

I couldn’t wrap up this review in any way without mentioning the work of Cool Edit Chud on this one. As with JD being a wizard with words, Chud is a wizard of the beats. He is perfectly able to emulate the vibe of JD’s words and together they just craft something where the music and words vibe so well together. It is almost like these two are an extension of each other, they work so well together. The different vibes and sounds created by Chud work so well with JD’s vision for his lyrical content and mood.

Having appearances by DJ Jaffa and Krash Slaughta on the cuts, along with Roughneck Jihad and Stepchild adds flavour to the whole project while taking nothing away from Junior Disprol and Cool Edit Chud.

DEF CULT is the kind of release that Hip Hop needs to carry it forward. It has that nod to the real Hip Hop sound but, draws on a lot of different inspirations along the way. It also has a sound that has definite mass appeal and is not likely to get old very quickly. This has to be another contender for album of the year, in my humble opinion. It’s a perfect fit with the two previous Def albums and might just be the icing on the cake…

My thanks go to Junior Disprol and Plague’s Danny Boyes for putting this one in front of me and letting me do my thing.

My final thought on DEF CULT is simply “Go get this it”.

DEF CULT is available now and comes in a range of formats including some stunning physical versions too.

I’ll see ya next time.

Steve.


LINKS

Get your copy of DEF CULT Here:

plague.co

Junior Disprol Socials:

https://www.facebook.com/DeadResidents

https://www.instagram.com/juniordisprol/

Plague Socials:

https://www.facebook.com/plague11

https://www.instagram.com/plague_11/

https://twitter.com/Plague218

https://www.youtube.com/@plague_11/featured


VIDEOS

A Murmur Forms



 The Fun and The Horror (Taken from the Limited Hidden Content Club 7" Single)



      

 

 

Friday 15 March 2024

Album Review: Over The Iron Bridge by Kaos Krew

 

Over The Iron Bridge

By

KAOS Krew

 


Over The Iron Bridge is the brand-new album from veteran London, UK Hip Hop trio the KAOS Krew. The album was released on 9th March through Original Rockerz Records.

KAOS Krew were formed back in 1985 and consist of Jonie D, TJ Chill and Peek-A-Boo. They would release their first album titled Mind Revolution in 2020, which was closely followed by the sophomore release, Ignorance Is No Defence in 2021. They also have the distinction of being the first Hip Hop group to record at the fabled Abbey Road Studios. Now, almost three years later they are back with their third album and, unlike the previous releases which saw varied production, Over The Iron Bridge is produced solely by Jonie D.

With all three of the albums receiving radio play, it speaks volumes for the creativity and longevity of the London group.

So, join me as I take you through album…

Nilton Hornz starts things of in style with pounding drums, horns and strings giving something raise your energy and get your head nodding. It is something to open the album with its longest track, and there is so much packed in here it is almost beyond interpretation as you just want to listen but, there is much here that shows the foundations of the group and why they have remained, doing what they do for so long. From the struggles of life to the power of words and the family bond, if you really want to get it then live in the moment with the words of the KAOS Krew. From such a powerful opening statement we move on to Wall Street Greed, more boom bap drums mix with strings and more to keep that uplifting Hip Hop sound booming. The title of the track says a lot and it gives you a idea of what is coming. Her the focus is on the greed of the rich and powerful, the bankers and the corporations, at a time when people are struggling to heat their homes, pay the bills and food banks are at an all time high, there is still money to finance wars and line the pockets of the rich with bonus payments. There is no balance in the country, and we are the ones who pay the price. A heavy drum beat pounds along with a mariachi style guitar to create a reflective vibe on Quiet KAOS. This one finds the guys focusing words, the words that you say. Everything you say has the potential to say more than simple words can say, so it’s all about choosing your words carefully and always speak from the heart, when you do this, you show your authentic self and everything you say is the truth.

Love (is the foundation) grabs your attention with drums, strings and a heavy bass vibe that periodically vibrates your whole body. The message in this one is simple really, living in a society, a world as we experience every day, there is a lot that can test us and push us to places and states of mind that are not who we truly are but, when we change are focus and bring it back to love and remember that love is the foundation of all we do, then the darkness can never win out. Drums pound your ears with a hint of guitars and cuts, get you head nodding on Nice and Decent. Here we have the guys bouncing off each other with a slick display of their vocal talents. With all the deep messages, it is nice to have the odd track that just screams fun-loving upbeat Hip Hop and the guys lay it down hard on this one. The drums and keys of Serious Times have an element of a ragga vibe that flips things a little while keeping you moving. The guys reflect that ragga vibe in their lyrical style, all the time looking at the times we live in. The 2020’s have given rise to some serious subject matter getting more focus, from inequality, hate crimes, poverty and seen governments turn their backs on what is clearly genocidal wars. This is what we see around us everyday and the Kaos Krew open up on what it is to live in the here and now.

Look At My Face has a mix of drums, bass and keys that brings a deep vibe that seems to seep into your very soul. The added dimension of the added soulful vocal adds an almost dreamy element. I get a real feeling, with this one, of how each experience we go through in life, as individuals, shapes who we are and can take its toll on our facial features. It feels like, if you really want to know what someone has been through, then you just need to look at their face, as this will tell you a thousand words of the path they have walked, what they have seen and what they feel. Motoscaf, seems to be all about the bassline, with the drums and strings there to add to the atmosphere. This brings a vibe that fires up the adrenaline in a different way and doesn’t necessarily get your head nodding straight away but definitely gets you moving. Not gonna lie that this one took me a while but, it made me feel that this one of those that will get the crowds jumping at shows and is all about the KAOS Krew doing just that, lighting up the shows, the airwaves, and the speakers. I might have missed the mark here but, you get my thinking right…

Soul Style gives us a dope sound that takes us back to early days of Hip Hop with a drumbeat, bass, guitars and slick cuts, it really took me back to the eighties sound. KAOS Krew really reflect that eighties vibe in their lyrics that have that display that uplifting, just for fun style of rapping. This is one of those you can put on and really nod along to and reminds you of that feel-good sound that got the party rocking. The penultimate track is Drop It Like Last Time, another head nod vibe with a sound that almost has a middle eastern vibe to it. There is also a throw back element to this track too, like the eighty’s vibe has filtered in and crossed over into the present. That comes from the fact that this one looks at how things are now and how they were, all the things that inspire and influence the words of the KAOS Krew. Life brings a lot of experiences that we draw on as we grow, and the guys really pepper this one with how things have changed over the years. We are now into the final track of the album, Magic Number, which keeps the energy going with a heavy drum beat alongside bass, horns, and hand drums, all this brings a vibe that has elements of that Soundsystem sound. As you listen to this one you get the sense that, reading between the lines, this one is all about lifting people up, giving the listener something to grab on to help them lift themselves up. The magic number just happens to be three, because there are three of the KAOS Krew and the magic is what the music can do, and the Krew are the conduit to bring it too you… 



I have to say that Over The Iron Bridge is an album that not only speaks on important issues and entertains the listener but, it also gives the listener something else that might not be immediately understood. This is an album that is infused with an underlying tone of positive energy and uplifting vibes. To uplift you have to show people why they need that energy and so you open their eyes to the world around them and what is going on, and then you interspace that with words that create the fun and plant the seed of that uplifting nature; then, by wrapping it all in a sound that keeps the energy flowing and the body moving, you create a whole that leaves the listener feeling positive and uplifted. I get this as I was struggling today to get motivated but, the sound kept me going and helped me get through.

I feel grateful for the music of KAOS Krew planning that seed in me. There were times when I struggled to interpret their word but, the more I listened, the more I relaxed and just allowed my impressions to flow, not saying I nailed every track but, I did what I always do and brought you my interpretation of what ach track made me feel. The flows, styles and the intelligent nature of the rhymes really stand out here and are the kind of tracks you will need to listen to again and again. Jonie D has done a superb job with the production by creating something that is rooted in the foundations of real Hip Hop but, also has elements other sounds that have inspired him along the way, much the same vibe you get from the lyrics as well.

What you do come away with from this album is a sense of being uplifted and those positive vibes. Yes, these guys pull no punched in laying out their experiences but, that is what gives this that air of authenticity and relatability. In fact, in the press release for this one TJ Chill says, “You need this in your life” and I have to say that I am not gonna argue with him on that point. This is UK Hip Hop at its best but, more than that, this is what Hip Hop is about…

Over The Iron Bridge is available now from Original Rockerz Records on digital outlets and a limited CD run too.

My thanks to the KAOS Krew for the chance to review this one.

See ya next time,

Steve.


LINKS

Get Over The Iron Bridge on Bandcamp Here:

https://kaoskrewldn.bandcamp.com/album/over-the-iron-bridge-3

KAOS Krew Socials and streaming:

https://www.instagram.com/kaoskrewldn/

https://soundcloud.com/originalrockerzenq

https://open.spotify.com/artist/7HjWi9LQEZsEQ0GNw4lNFT

https://twitter.com/KAOSKrewLDN


Original Rockerz YouTube:

https://www.youtube.com/@originalrockerzuk/featured

 

Sunday 10 March 2024

Single Review: Mic Check, Mic Check by Planky ft Dynamite MC and Harry Shotta

 

MIC CHECK, MIC CHECK

By

PLANKY

Feat. Dynamite MC & Harry Shotta

 


Back in April of last year I featured Planky with his single Rescue Me which featured 2nd Generation Wu on vocals. So, it is a pleasure to once again feature the Hampshire based Beat Maker/Producer with his latest offering MIC CHECK, MIC CHECK featuring two huge UK rap artists in Dynamite MC and Harry Shotta, plus Andreas Millns on keys, which was released on 23rd February.

Without further ado, let’s get into it…

Planky uses a mix of drums, guitar vibes and those live keys to create this instantly infectious sound that is upbeat, funky, and full of energy. Dynamite MC and Harry Shotta bounce off each other with slick, seamless flows and bars that show these two were the perfect choice for this track. MIC CHECK, MIC CHECK is really all about two MC’s demonstrating their lyrical prowess over dope Hip Hop beat, no more no less but, you know, sometimes you don’t need any more than that.

MIC CHECK, MIC CHECK is a solid, banger of a track that is sure to be one of those that is a certified floor filler in the clubs and one of those you gotta turn way up when it on the speakers, regardless of where you are.

Planky once more proves he is a standout producer on the UK Scene with a track that has its roots in that real Hip Hop sound, while keeping the sound fresh and packed with adrenaline for those who like to move, as well as those who like to groove. The added dimension of the live keys helps elevate this one for sure, I love hearing live instruments on a track, and he caps it all off by drafting in two UK powerhouse MCs to get you bouncing, and let’s be real here, Dynamite MC and Harry Shotta are off the hook on this one…

This might seem like a short one by my standards but, I don’t think I need to say anymore here, except may be that you just need to get online, grab a copy, and get that volume way up.

Huge Thanks to Planky for sending this one my way.

On that note,

I’m Out…

See Ya.

Steve


LINKS

Streaming links for Mic Check, Mic Check Here:

https://cygnusmusic.link/74zojpa

Planky on Instagram Here:

https://www.instagram.com/planky/


VIDEO

MIC CHECK, MIC CHECK



Single Review: Pressure by Skunkadelic and Abstract Soundz

 

Pressure

By

Skunkadelic and Abstract Soundz


 

Pressure is the new single from UK Producer Abstract Soundz and Cardiff emcee Skunkadelic. Both Skunkadelic and Abstract Soundz have featured on the blog previously, with Abstract Soundz on the Ill Natured EP as part of the Ill Natured crew back in July 2022 and Skunkadelic in 2022 on the Hung, Drawn NSlaughta’d album by Junior Disprol and Krash Slaughta, and in 2023 on Red andBlue by Unity.

Pressure is sure to be a unique single with the classic boom bap hip hop sound of Abstract Soundz production, mixed with the vocals from Skunkadelic who’s sound is inspired both by the Jazz Rap  and the sound of his own ancestral Nigerian music. However, there is only one way to truly get the feel of this one and that is to immerse ourselves in it. So, join me as I take you into the sound of Pressure

 

Organ notes and bass open this one as the faint sounds of bells steadily grows, then, just as we hear Skunkadelic for the first time, the drum beat kicks in and giving us this nice head nod beat mixed with a mellow vibe that really seems to draw on the classic Jazz Rap sound of the likes of ATCQ etc. Skunkadelic skilfully takes us into what it is to live in the stressful reality that is our current society. He looks at what it is to live with one of life’s silent killers, stress, and also looks at self-loathing, another aspect of the self that many of us can associate with in these tough times. There is a deeper element to this too as he is open about some of his own recent life experiences. There is also a hint of there being a brighter future to whatever is currently going on in life, like you might be finding all that pressure hard to deal with but, in the end it will all be worth it and the sun will shine on you once again.

Overall, Pressure is a track that takes an honest look at life in our current society in a way that the listener can easily associate with and puts it to a classic sounding jazz rap vibe that can either bump in your car or sit back and chill to, if I’m honest I can also easily see this one pumping out the speakers in the clubs.

Skunkadelic and Abstract Sounds have really nailed this one and you definitely need to get on this if you’ve not heard it already.

My thanks to Abstract Soundz for sending this one my way and letting me bring you my honest opinion.

On that note,

See Ya,

Steve.


LINKS

Stream the single on Spotify Here:

https://open.spotify.com/album/

Skunkadelic on Spotify Here:

https://open.spotify.com/artist/2yQw986UYgDIdTqruTHija

Absract Soundz on Spotify Here:

https://open.spotify.com/artist/4HUyyP4DyIu0n3mkoI93HB?si=4hxlOWFTTYqAuHpMdQsvKQ&nd=1&dlsi=30f79352e9ce4b65

Abstract Sounds on Instagram:

https://www.instagram.com/abstractsoundz/

Skunkadelic on Instagram:

https://www.instagram.com/skunkadelic/


VIDEO

PRESSURE



Friday 8 March 2024

Album Review: Giants Of Defiance by Fireball Flingaz

 

Giants Of Defiance

By

Fireball Flingaz

 


Back in 2020 Remark and Exile returned as the Fireball Flingaz dropped powerful album, Back 2 Burn. That release tore into the establishment and the powers that be, making a firm and incendiary statement about what they saw happening in the world around them.

Now, almost four years later, there has been little change; in fact, you could say that the powers that be, have continued to chisel away at the heart of democracy. We see people suffer when governments flourish, they rage war in the name of their people even though the people do not support their actions and we even see nations supporting and refusing to even recognise when genocide is perpetrated on an entire nation of people right in front of their faces.

So, with a world in turmoil, the Fireball Flingaz have returned with the Giants Of Defiance, fourteen tracks that promise to unload their frustrations at the state of society. Remark and Exile handle the vocals with Exile on production, cuts, artwork and more. It is all wrapped up in a stunning package with all lyrics and a wealth of AI infused artwork to interest and terrify.

With that said, expect controversial language, subjects and opinions throughout but, now its time to open your eyes, ears and minds to the Giants Of Defiance…

The G.O.D Intro sets the stage for what’s about to be unleashed, with pounding drums, guitars, and frantic cuts. The energy and power sinks deep into you psyche with such force it threatens to tear your mind to pieces. There is no priming yourself for what's to come as the albums title track, Giants Of Defiance continues to pull at your awareness with a heavy pounding sound with an eerie twist and electronic elements keeping you focused. The Flingaz words explode with a rage born of the fire that is in the hearts of all of us, feeding on that fire they take aim and stand in defiance of those who use misdirection and fake facts in order to control us and make us all look the other way from what their true intentions. Standing in defiance and not in silence is the Fireball Flingaz way and they have much to say…

Now you know where the Flingaz stand, its time for them to Wake ‘Em Up and they do that with a pounding drum beat mixed with bass and orchestral strings creating the kind of sound that opens the eyes and fuels the fire in the belly. This one is aimed at those who either choose not to wake up, or are so brainwashed by the system that they are unable to wake up and see what is truly going on around them. It takes strength of will and an unrelenting force to wake these people, especially those who do the bidding of the powers that be, and still refuse to see the pain and suffering they inflict, which is particularly true of those who are supposed to be there to protect us. Here the Flingaz show that there is often only one way to wake the blind, and that is to force them to see the truth. Chokehold brings a head nod, boom bap sound of drums and more that injects energy into your body causing the adrenaline to be released, fuelling you to move and pump your fist in the air. Now that the Flingaz have filtered into your awareness and cleared the way to open your third eye, it’s time to start showing you what is going on around you and how you have been kept in a chokehold by the media and the governments; keeping you living in a false, safe view of the world while the truth undermines and destroyed everything you thought was good, paving the way for a new world that makes 1984 look like a child’s story. Now they have your head nodding and your fist pumping, it’s time to keep that energy going with drums, horns, bass, and more deadly cuts. Strike sees the Flingaz keeping the fires burning with one that seems to be more of an anthem or a call to arms. This is the Flingaz getting the listener fired up but, in way that is once more showing who they are and how they do it. This is a statement of facts for all those who stand in the way of defiance or those who look for a cause to fight for. So, jump around and have fun with this one because things are not gona be this way for long…

Run 4 It sees the drums and strings heavy but, with BPM knocked back a bit, just to allow the vocals to come to the forefront, while keeping you moving. Here the Flingaz bring more focus to the corrupt government and how they seek to run everything, control everything. They want you in this perpetual state of fear, wrapped in a cloak of darkness, from where they can keep you where they want you. If you wake up and see the truth and look towards the light then you will break their hold on you, and this is what the Flingaz do here, is to invite you, no scream at you, to run for it, run for the light or even fight for the light because, in the light is where you can stand tall and fight against the demons who seek to control you life and every thought. Pounding drums and horns provide and main elements of Enuf Iz Enuf. This one ramps up the adrenaline levels once more as the Flingaz show their exasperation at the way the world is headed, all of the snakes, the lies and the alibies. Enough is enough, and now and its time let all that frustration and pent-up anger out, for all to see. There is no way to sugarcoat things, you have to be real and pull no punches if people are to see past all the BS that is being perpetrated in the world. Guitars and a pounding drumbeat finds the Flingaz questioning our very existence. Fuck The Matrix questions the very foundations of the reality we are living in. Could we be living in a reality that is fabricated by the powers that be or could it be we are living in a reality that was never truly real and has always been under some outside control? Whatever the answer is, we are coming to realise that the very lives we lead seem to be something where we the many exist to make money for and serve the few. Now is a time not to be woke but, to simply wake up and see the true reality of the world in which we live and to say fuck it, I’m not living this way anymore...




Its heavy boom bap all the way with One Dead Body as the Flingaz look at the way our mental health can and is affected by what is around us every day. The media delivers news stories that are designed to mislead and keep us in a state of fear, smart devices are all around us and spy on all we do, listening to our conversations and even mapping everywhere we go and what we do, using algorithms to filter us adverts and suggestions to keep us from using our own minds and intuition. They want us to be dead inside, mindless zombies to their control and when we truly die, there will be one more dead body to replace the last. Drums, keys, and strings are all apparent as our ears are pounded by the sound, while our lives are pounded by Unfriendly Fire. While the music ignites the fire in our souls, the Flingaz hold their middle fingers in the air and take aim at the government once more. Here the focus is on a different type of fire, one that has been burning unseen by us since we created any type of class system. Governments or anyone who seeks to control or rule over others has been stoking these flames, flames which threaten to engulf us all unless we stand up and show the few just who has the true power. The fire that burns deep within us has the potential to consume all in its way but, with the power of truth and light, we just have to know it and the Fireball Flingaz are helping to ignite that friendly fire within. Choose Ya Weapon pound our ears once more with drums and orchestral strings, ensuring we do no loose focus. What the Flingaz are doing here is not asking you to go out and pick up a physical weapon to use, no; they are inviting you to think and find a different kind of weapon. When the attacks are coming at you from the media, your smart devices and more, you have to use your mind and soul to fight back with the same weapons. One of the most powerful weapons is music, whether you make music or just listen, if you chose that weapon, choose wisely and make sure it speaks the truth and opens you up to a way to fight back.

N.M.K Not My King hits with heavy sound of drums, strings, and cuts, as the Fireball Flingaz direct their anger at the monarchy. Many in the UK and across the world celebrate the British monarchy but, fail to realise just what that monarchy and bloodline is built on. We did not ask for these people to be our figureheads but, we fund them and celebrate all they do, unless one chooses a different path. The British monarchy is one of the richest landowners in the world and built a legacy that was based on invading and taking from others across the globe, stealing, enslaving, and murdering. There is also much more that could be said but, this is the Flingaz stating what many of us feel, we did not ask or vote for you to be our king, you have no power over us, and we will not bow our heads to you. Some might find this a little too powerful but, sometimes frustration is a powerful things and the words follow. The penultimate track of the album is the final full track, Among Us has a powerful beat with some eerie elements that have us looking over our shoulders. Just what are the Flingaz referring to here? Who is it that walks among us? Well, think of those who are looking to sell you something or the ones who make the decisions that effect so many, the ones who do the bidding of those in charge. The sort of people who appear to be a friend but, who are really only looking to forge their own career path. They will draw you in and gain your trust but, throw you under the bus the minute anything goes wrong. They may also be the person that draws you in, making you sign your name on the dotted line, not fully explaining the small print, just getting your signature is the aim. You could go on wondering just who these people are but, they are far more dangerous than any alien that might walk among us. The final track is the Outro, taking us out of the album with a pounding drum and cut infused sound that gets us bouncing once more, easing the weight of all we have just assimilated from the Fireball Flingaz but, wait just a second because the guys still have a couple of verses left just in case you thought you might forget what has got before, the Flingaz seal you minds in the open position. You are now awake and part of the revolution…

 


What you have just been exposed to is 50 minutes of hardcore Hip Hop that takes a stand against everything and any person that seeks to undermine your true self or looks to control you from a place of power by putting you in a place of fear.

 Giants Of Defiance is an unrelenting and unapologetic shot across the bow of all the powers that be. This is not an album that seeks to bring light but, by being outspoken and allowing all that frustration and anger to come out, it actually makes you realise that there is a silver lining out there, you just have to wake up and see it because it is the star in the night sky, the blue beyond the thunder clouds, the calm after the storm; that positive aspect is there, it is many things and to see it, sometimes you just have to vent all that is stopping you from seeing it.

Let’s be real here, there is subject matter here that not everyone will agree with but, there is nothing here that is not the truth, there is nothing false here. These are not the ramblings of a couple of angry rappers who are pissed off at the establishment. Exile and Remark have been in the game for years and know their stuff and what they see around them builds up, like a pressure cooker, and sometimes they just need to vent it all because sometimes there is a place for anger, a place for frustration, you just have to channel it all into the music. The Fireball Flingaz have some stunning flows and lyrical prowess that is intense and deeply powerful, it does leave you breathless by the end. Putting this much strength into their vocals really reminds me of the likes of Killa Instinct in its delivery. The production from Exile is just as powerful and unrelenting as the lyrics, with every track being hardcore but, still keeping you buzzing, and when you add his frantic and razor sharp cuts it just has this air about it that is uniquely UK Hip Hop, or what some would call Britcore.

Overall, Giants Of Defiance is a UK hardcore Hip Hop explosion of an album. The Fireball Flingaz are full on for the entire album, standing strong in the face of adversity and holding up their middle fingers to all who make life hell for the common people. Giants Of Defiance is a statement, the voice of the masses channelled through two guys who are not afraid voice their feelings over some of the hardest Hip Hop beats you are likely to hear this year.

Giants Of Defiance is out now and I suggest you grab it while you can because the Fireball Flingaz are not finished, so keep watch for what’s coming…

Huge thanks to my good friend Remark for letting me loose on this one.

Time for me to be outta here,

See ya next time,

Steve  


LINKS

Get your copy at the Inflamer website Here:

https://www.inflamer.uk/

Fireball Flingaz on Bandcamp:

https://fireballflingaz.bandcamp.com/

Fireball Flingaz on Facebook Here:

https://www.facebook.com/fireballflingaz


VIDEOS


Fuck The Matrix


Strike


N.M.K - Not My King