Interview Feature: Rag’n’Bone Man

A little over two years ago I had the pleasure of interviewing Rag’n’Bone Man at The Joiners in Southampton. He was touring his latest EP, ‘Disfigured’, and was preparing for another sold out show.

As I walked to the venue I remember being very nervous, it was my first ever face-to-face interview and I was unsure what to expect. The interview time was arranged a few hours before the opening of the doors, so my first task was to figure out how to get in… After a few trial and errors I found a fire escape round the back and to the side, this was my opening. Rory and his team were in a meeting, discussing various subjects about the night ahead. After an awkward hello and a brief explanation of what the hell I was doing there, it was established that an interview had been scheduled… Rory abruptly came over with a beaming smile and introduced himself. All the nerves and built up tension that I had been feeling slowly eased away, as we entered into deep conversations about his roots in the hip-hop scene in Brighton with Rum Committee, attending open mics at Slipjam B and forming friendships with local MCs and DJs. Speaking fondly of his time in Brighton, he explained how he quickly became embedded in the hip-hop community.

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Feature: 10 UK hip-hop/grime artists that you need to check out

So, if you’re a fan of hip-hop you’ve probably heard Drake’s new album/playlist ‘More Life’. If you haven’t, then I recommend checking it out. The blend of different musical styles and influences really work, and shows the love Drake has for all kinds of music. It’s a fun project, and should be treated as such. But alas, this is not a review of ‘More Life’.

If you’ve listened to ‘More Life’ then you would’ve noticed that it features UK artists such as Giggs, Jorja Smith, Skepta and Sampha, and has a distinct British feel to it. It’s no secret that Drake has been a huge fan of the UK hip-hop/grime scene for a while now, consistently showing his support for new releases and tours. The likes of aforementioned Skepta and Giggs, and up-and-coming artists such as Dave and AJ Tracey have all benefited from his love and support, allowing thier music to be opened up to a broader audience that Drake has.

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Single Review: Skepta (feat. Young Lord) – It Ain’t Safe

Bringing back those Channel U and Risky Roadz vibes Skepta teams up with A$AP Mobs Young Lord to deliver us his latest single in the build to his much anticipated album Konnichiwa. The second wave of grime is in full effect, but with the instrumentalists taking most of the spotlight this time around, it was time for the MC’s to respond. Wiley’s new album Snakes and Ladders is rising up the charts, and Skepta is ready to follow – it’s a good time to be a fan of grime. The track is a real head-bopper, the 8-bit bouncy beat combined with Skepta’s flow has a very nice old school feel to it. It’s a throwback, anyone who use to listen to Frontlinerz, Choong Family, or P2J Project, will definitely appreciate the sound – check out Giggs collaboration with B.O.B on ‘Don’t Go There’ for similar tracks. Young Lord sings the catchy chorus, with Skepta delivering the heat. Pure fire!

First published: November 10, 2014

Where?: https://noisecannon.com/2014/11/09/noise-of-the-week-031114/

Album Review: The Underachievers – Cellar Door: Terminus Ut Exordium

According to many eminent scholars, authors and theorists of the English language, ‘cellar door’ is a phrase which is beautiful pure in terms of its sound – regardless of its meaning. It’s a weird juxtaposition then that the young and gritty rap duo The Underachievers, hailing from the urban outlaying of Flatbush, Brooklyn have decided to name their latest project after it. The frenetic rhymes, hazy and dark beats; that type of hit-you-in-the-face, hundred mile an hour flow. This is a gnarled and darkened beauty, one which someone may revel in a full moon on a clear, warm summer night, or appreciate the beauty of a graffiti-layered backstreet alley. The rhymes are hard hitting, the rappity-rap ganja-toking archaic style of MCing prominent on all tracks.

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Video: Kid Cudi – Solo Dolo (Fan Video)

Music video I did for a college assignment of Kid Cudi’s song ‘Solo Dolo.’ All filmed on my GoPro camera and edited in Final Cut. I’m a huge of Kid Cudi and this is one of my favourite, if not the darkest, tracks off his first studio album ‘Man On The Moon: The End Of Days.’ Whilst producing the music video I really looked into what the song was about and started to put meaning to the lyrics, here’s my conclusion;

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Single Review: Drake – Days In The East

Whilst the media focused on the release of the controversial track ‘Draft Days’, on the undercurrent was the release of the much more sensual ‘Days In The East’. The day before ‘Days In The East’ was released Drake had openly criticised Chance the Rapper and a number of NBA and NFL players, whilst also expressing his affection for Hunger Games actress Jennifer Lawrence on ‘Draft Days’. Expectedly, this mounted a media fury, but as the dust began to settle the focus shifted, as the beautifully melodic ‘Days In The East’ took over.

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Album Review: Ghetts – Rebel With a Cause

It’s been a couple of years since Ghetts has released any material, and when he announced that a new album was on its way last year, everyone knew that he had been cooking up something special, and after listening to the album several times already, it’s safe say that he has successfully produced one of the finest albums ever by a UK MC. In a recent interview with MTV, Ghetts explained what he wants listeners to take away from the album: “the substance – I want them to listen and relate to it, rather than it just be another CD to listen to.”

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Album Review: Rick Ross – Mastermind

The problem with Rick Ross is that he lacks any star qualities. His flow is good, his lyrical content is good, the beats are good, and that is how the album really plays out – it’s just good. There’s no wow factor where you might listen to a track and immediately have to rewind it and play it again, or a string of lyrical wordplay that makes you sit back and take notice. The album just goes by without any much thought or attention paid to it, like a background soundtrack to a long boring car journey on the M25. Innovation and creativeness isn’t exactly what Ross is about, but in terms of consistency the rapper can take all the plaudits, solidly delivering good album after good album, and Mastermind is no different to previous projects.

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Album Review: Kid Cudi – Satellite Flight: The Journey to Mother Moon

Floating around in space riding a unicycle with no care in the world, looking down at Earth with a beaming smile on my face. This is how Satellite Flight makes you feel. The beautiful synths and atmospheric melodies that play throughout the album are hugely captivating. It is these musical elements combined with Cudi’s iconic hums and distorted singing that really do create the feeling of floating through space on your way to the moon. This encapsulating feeling makes Satellite Flight one of the most intriguing and innovative albums of the 21st century.

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Album Review: ScHoolboy Q – Oxymoron

Dark, heavy bassed-out beats create the kind of atmosphere that you would expect after a glimpse of his album cover art, but behind this eerie feel and often chaotic flow, lies a deep, intellectual rapper who is ready to take the limelight.

Following in the footsteps of fellow TDE and Black Hippy member Kendrick Lamar, the album conveys a level of maturity and skill that has the accessibility and mainstream friendliness to propel him to the top. Q hasn’t lost any of his grit and darkness however from previous albums, instead combining this with the vision of Interscope, he has created a commercially viable rap album while still remaining true to his previous style. The tension that is brought about by these two conflicting aspirations works a treat. Whatever messed up compromises Q has had to make, it’s interesting to hear him break through these boundaries as he constantly explodes into different directions and concepts. Like Lamar, Q has been in the game for a while now slowly building a steady fan base and nurturing his style and technique, this all culminating in this album. The already rapturous reception it has received comes as no surprise, the hype around ‘Collard Greens’ and ‘Man of the Year’, both singles off the album released prior to it dropping, had already made the album highly anticipated, and all in all the LA native lives up to all these expectations and more.

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