Monthly Archives: November 2008

ADIDAS SKATE – Aaron Horkey Superstar Vulc

The latest Superstar skate shoe from Adidas is this fresh little number with a vulcanised sole featuring some artistic flourishes from Burlesque Design-contributing geezer Aaron Horkey on the uppers. It’s got glow-in-the dark elements and everything, too, so that muggers with taste can more accurately gauge when to jump you in poor light. Out – like – whenever. Or next month. Maybe.
Image source and original heads up – Complex Magazine blog

THE BLACK KEYS – Live at Bristol Carling Academy – November 17 2008

I’ve never been asked to take my gum out on the way into a venue before, though I guess there’s a first time for everything – anyway – that is precisely what happened when I got to the doors of this one. I put another piece in on the inside of course – (remember that as it’ll be important later on) and hoped that it didn’t bode badly for the evening – though I had my doubts when the first support act came on. A trio, competent but dull, they were leavened only by the size of the drummer’s beard (about the size of a small raccoon) and guitarist who bore a passing resemblance to Thomas Chong and who looked like he’d just wandered in off the Haight-Ashbury circa nineteen sixty eight. The second support (whose band name again eluded me) were a charismatic, skilled and obviously mental Kiwi/ Aussie combo who bonded well with the crowd but were generally strangers to the conventional song structure which the crowd so clearly wanted.

Still, ‘giving them what they want’ is both Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney’s middle name – arriving as they did with little fanfare and pummelling the crowd with a welter of mammoth blues riffs and feedback. After a couple of tracks Auerbach mumbled “I’m Dan and this is Patrick,” – a man of few words then – though in comparison to Carney (who, as I recall said nothing for the entire gig and is apparently a man of no words) he was a conversational titan. Here are two men, I thought, who believe their music speaks for itself and – as Auerbach riffed the intro of a mighty version of Girl Is On My Mind – I had no grounds for disagreement whatsoever. Tracks from Rubber Factory and first album The Big Come Up were thick on the ground tonight though forthcoming single and standout from current LP Attack & ReleaseSame Old Thing got a pretty thorough seeing to. 10 A.M. Automatic got more heads nodding in a (from my vantage point) fairly static audience and an almost Hendrix-like version of Stackshot Billy’s stomp finally shifted feet. Strange Times finally saw hands in the air and when Auerbach muttered, “Let’s keep things moving,” you knew from your goosebumps that Magic Potion highlight Your Touch was coming next, and that it would be massive. Which it was. Psychotic Girl was in the set list somewhere, as was Have Love Will Travel and a cover – which someone said was Captain Beefheart and may have been I’m Glad. No doubt someone who’s even more of a ‘Keys-spod than I am can confirm that. Their live version of I Got Mine even prompted a mate of mine to comment that tonight the Keys were like a sort of ‘blues Rage Against The Machine’ – though the analogy was a reference to the fury and fire of the band’s playing rather than any involvement in radical politics. As Auerbach said the band’s goodbyes (yeah – like they weren’t coming back from an encore) I headed to the gents. On my way back a heavy hand falls on my shoulder and I turn round to see a large alpha-male (well – physically anyway) thrust a half-pint glass at my face and a split second later I realised that I wasn’t actually being assaulted – it was security. Apparently he wanted my gum as it’s not allowed inside the building. And you can see why – after all it is a dangerous and prohibited substance responsible for the corruption of many a youth as well as a mortal danger to a venue’s licence and in these respects quite unlike the skunk I smell every time I go to a hip-hop gig there.

The ‘Keys did return for a two track encore but I already had good reasons to be on my way by the middle of their final track. I left the building thinking that I do like my bands to have a bit of a banter with the crowd but if I have to choose between the banter and the music – the music wins every time – especially when it’s this good.

The Black Keys – Myspace

Underexposed!…D.J.H + Hip-Hopper From Birth EP – free download exclusive and interview

As Darren Joseph Horgan points out – having the initials D.J.H. meant it was more a case of when rather than if he would wind up as a DJ and, as it turns out, he’s been one since the early 80s – indeed since the early days of hip-hop. Regional DMC mixing finalist, winner of Radio 1’s Fresh Start To The Week, former member of the Nhamzone posse – there’s no doubt he’s in it for the props not the cash box and is a true vinyl warrior. If you want to check his skills on the lightning samplers of death you need go no further than his Hip-Hopper From Birth EP. It’s an instrumental four-tracker packed with samples culled from esoteric sources and fat funk breaks and the fact that it’s downloadable in high quality 320 kbps mp3 on this site is a exclusive! The EP is flames throughout but two tracks stand out in particular: Interstellar Hip-Hop (Download here) – a tripped-out groove centred around the sort of farty old-school synth bass used by the Dust Brothers on the Beasties’ Shake Your Rump and Hip-Hopper From Birth (Download here) – an in-your-face breaks-fest featuring some pyrotechnical scratching that will have you reaching for your beanie, Pumas and a mat. Plus, of course, there’s If Only We Had Ears (Download here) and Listen To The Beat (Download here). Have a read of what happened when D.J.H. caught up with the Monkey:

Monkeyboxing (MB): Exactly how long have you been rocking the wheels of steel?
D.J.H: Well I don’t really wanna give me age away but it’s over 23 years since I got my first pair of 1210’s on HP while still at school! I remember going to get a pair of silver 1200’s because that was the only colour there was at the time and the bloke in the shop said he had just got the first batch of black 1210’s in the country and to come in. So I took those away and never looked back and they are still running strong to this day.
MB: Who do you admire most in the worlds of turntablism and production?
D.J.H: My God that’s really impossible to answer as there’s so many great artists out there and I listen to a wide range of music but I will name a few. As for DJ’S – the main ones that were my era were Cash Money, Jazzy Jeff, and D.J.Cheese. When Cash Money brought out Scratchin’ to the Funk it blew me away. Jazzy Jeff on A Touch Of Jazz that record was ahead of its time and D.J.Cheese with King Kut – awesome! Also Marley Marl for his pioneering production on countless hip hop records,,,The Bomb Squad!!! Rick Rubin, Pete Rock,,,Large Pro – and that’s only the tip of the old-school/ mid-school iceberg.. Love D.J Format’s tracks, he’s got the breaks for sure, also F.S.O.L. – I love their production – the ISDN album is incredible…I love Radiohead – now their production is wicked. Also Qbert – that man is from another planet what a DJ,,,the list could go on and on….
MB: The EP is quality – have you thought about working with any MCs recently?
D.J.H: Thanks for that I’m glad you like it. To be truly honest not really, I’m not in any real contact with any MC’s. I have a lot of very good beat-making friends (ha-ha!) some who do start rapping after a few beers and the local herb. We are always hitting each other with demos and ideas for feedback on tracks, I have a lot of vocal samples in my tracks which are all taken from vinyl which I gather up on my digging trips so they’re my MC’S in a way. Really there’s always a message in there somewhere but that’s not to say it won’t happen because you never know what’s around the corner.
MB: If you could work with any MC you liked – who would it be and why?
D.J.H: It would have to be Rakim,.,that man’s flow is to die for…follow the Leader!
MB: Haha – yeah can’t disagree with that! Tell us about the new website
D.J.H: Yeah been really slow on this as web stuff is not really my bag. I just spend my time doing beats and working on production skills – but it will be ready for Jan. 09 hopefully. I will be uploading lots of tracks for download, also instrumentals for MCs to rhyme over and send back to me with their rhymes on and then post the best couple on the site. I have a lot of ideas but don’t wanna give too much away but you will be the first to know when it’s ready – getting my finger out on this one for sure!!!
MB: I heard you practice Chinese Boxing – what kind? And is it a match for Monkey style?
D.J.H: Ahh yes! it could be! I have practiced Tiger style and Crane,,,and Chinese kickboxing. It’s really good for keeping your SP1200 beats healthy!
MB: Glad to hear it – the last word is yours though – anything you want to say?
D.J.H: Just to say I still have some 12″ EP’s left and they are free! You just need to pay the postage. I have converted the mastered DATS from the EP studio session to mp3 for download as the tracks you hear on the myspace page are unmastered so they will be available soon…..but also keep supporting vinyl it must never die! Peace out..DJH

DJH -Myspace

K-DELIGHT: Audio Revolution

Rating: ★★★★★ I never thought I’d have had to wait until nearly the end of the year to give a hip-hop LP full marks, nor that this year’s most convincing b-boy document so far would have come out of Darlington. Still – I never expected some pikey to try and have my wallet off me as I walked away from the cash machine the other night either – but as my old Lau Gar instructor used to say – you just never know. Boldly titled, featuring co-production from The Voodoo Guru (plus Evil Ed and Royce Rolls on a couple of tracks) Audio Revolution contains twenty-one tracks (including skits) and is, (as one of those skits points out) very fresh. Assembling a motley crew of talents from both sides of the pond (and Japan – in the form of DJ Kentaro) Delight the ‘Scratch Assassin’ spends an hour thoroughly rampaging through hip-hop’s history and sub-genres in a cut and paste, scratch-filled b-boy frenzy.

Things kick off with the aptly titled The Brief sampling George Martin commenting ‘My brief was I could use any sound I wanted to…’ from which point onwards K Delight clearly used pretty much any sound he wanted to. Both sides of his early autumn single are on here – the downtempo Audio Revolution featuring the talents of U.S. MCs Skitz The Gemini and Shinobi Stalin (which is the first track proper, on the LP) and the furious breaks and cuts of Wildstyle Dream which disinters the Incredible Bongo band’s Apache Break for the millionth time yet still manages to reinvigorate it while Chrome reflects (somewhat energetically) on his lengthy involvement in the hip-hop scene. Skitz and Stalin return on Forever Hip Hop where the arrangement finds space for both slide guitar and an electro beat. DJ Kentaro puts in his tuppence on The Real Thing and it turns out to be a healthy instrumental investment as cinematic strings vie with a welter of breaks and scratches. Granted, not every guest on here is British but Audio Revolution certainly finds a sizeable amount of heavyweight UK hip-hop suspects popping by. Two more to add to the list are Lewis Parker on Return of the Jedis and Koaste in triumphant cheeky rhyme-mode on Teenagers From Outer Space where Delight supplies an almost tech-house b-line. Anyone who hasn’t had their fill of turntablism recently may find themselves sated by DJ posse cut Scratch Club while Nomadee vehicle Street Soul will appeal to those who tire of the b-boy pyrotechnics and are looking for their comedown slice of breakbeat action.

Of course that doesn’t cover half the tracks on here in any sort of detail – but that’s why you get audio links right? This has got range and quality that doesn’t falter once during its entire length – for further proof check the eleven minute epic album closer The Life and Times of a Scratch Machine. With Audio Revolution ‘K-Dilla’ is most definitely on the cut. As your funky attorney, I advise you to go and get yourself a copy.
Out now on Playing Around Records.


Those bad boys at Discipull Clothing have released two new t-shirt designs for November and bodyboard DVD House of Cards is also out.

New in Discipull’s t-shirt range are The Experiment (see below, top left) and Taste The Rainbow – (below, top right). Also pictured too are the Good Time Skull and the Discipull Crest. All four designs come in alternative colours.

As if that wasn’t enough, Discipull (core bodyboarders that they are) have recently released the House Of Cards DVD. Two and a bit years in the making, it features both UK and foreign sections – get yourself a sneaky preview via the vid below the t-shirt designs.

All t-shirts and the DVD are available from the Discipull shop online – see links below. So there you have it – a company that provides you with the means to look rad while looking at something rad. Can’t say fairer than that…unless you ride a plank of course – in which case you’re bound to find something to moan about.

ROYCE 5’9 inks solo deal with One Records and preps release of STREET HOP (coming first quarter 2009)

Royce 5’9 and his M.I.C. imprint are teaming up with One Records for the release of Royce’s highly-anticipated forthcoming solo-LP Street Hop, due out in the first quarter of 2009. The album is executively produced by DJ Premier and has generated a major buzz through overwhelming critical praise.

A video for Street Hop’s lead-single, the DJ Premier-produced “Shake This,” will be released later this month. Directed by Rik Cordero (responsible for Nas’ “The N Word”, Snoop Dogg’s “Neva Have 2 Worry” & The Roots “75 Bars”), this video will be the first of two collaborations between Royce and Cordero. “Shake This” will also be accompanied by the Carlos Broady produced B-Side single and video “Part Of Me”.

Street Hop will also feature production from DJ Premier, Nottz, Green Lantern, Carlos Broady, Ski, Kay Gee and Emile, and guest appearances from Bun B, Joe Budden, Joell Ortiz and Crooked I along with a few other surprises that will be unveiled at a later date.

Royce’s mixtapes have built anticipation, becoming a countdown leading up to the day that the actual album is finally available for public consumption. And what the public hears on his wildly-popular mixtapes is just a taste of what Royce has to offer. “This album will definitely show the world why I’m the one to watch right now. I’m happy about my new partnership between M.I.C and One Records, because it’s time to ignite the streets.”

Royce’s unwavering passion for music and hunger for the game keeps him in the studio day and night. This album will be the true beginning of a newly energized Royce, which will start with Street Hop and live through his official forthcoming solo-projects. Knowing that his finest creations are only months away from being heard, Royce exudes a swag of confidence. “I’m ready to show all these other rappers just how wack they really are.”

Royce 5’9 is the newest addition to the upstart One Records imprint, home to the recently released Vast Aire’s latest solo-LP Dueces Wild (2008). Promoting quality over quantity, One Records owner Hanley Halem attests that his motto “One Music, One Record At A Time” is further validated by their alignment with Royce as he laments, “One Records is proud to be in business with Royce. He is an amazing talent and we feel that he has yet to reach his peak as an artist. Street Hop is a breath of fresh air, at a time when the industry really needs it and we are anxiously looking forward to releasing it.”

Royce will be embarking on a tour with D-12 and Joe Budden on November 12th thru the top of 2009, where he will be previewing tracks from Street Hop and new material from his recently released mixtape Bar Exam 2.

Royce da 5’9 – Myspace

One Records

B-REAL of Cypress Hill Preps “SMOKE N MIRRORS” For A February 24th, 2009 Release:

Featuring Snoop Dogg, Damian Marley, Buckshot, Kurupt, Too Short, Sen Dog, & Young De
B-Real, a rapper of Mexican and Afro-Cuban heritage, is best known for being the lead rapper in the hip hop group Cypress Hill. Since the group’s formation in 1988, the pioneering rap-rock quartet Cypress Hill (founders B-Real, DJ Muggs, and Sen Dog, along with newest member Eric Bobo) have come a long way from the streets of South Central L.A. Over the course of its 17-year history, Cypress Hill has sold more than 17 million albums worldwide, including more than 11 million records in the U.S. alone. The group has garnered 15 multi-platinum, platinum and gold certifications from the RIAA; headlined Lollapalooza, Woodstock and the group’s own Smokin’ Grooves tour. B-Real has appeared on “Saturday Night Live,” all the while breaking down the musical and cultural barriers between hip-hop, alternative, metal, rock, reggae, ska and Latin music.
Recently, B-Real, along with Cypress Hill received a VH1 Hip Hop Honors, to celebrate the vision and innovation that the group continues to bring to Hip Hop, strengthening its force around the world. Other artists honored in 2008 were De La Soul, Naughty By Nature, Slick Rick and Too Short.
In B-Real’s first ever solo effort, “SMOKE N MIRRORS”, he wanted to showcase his musical talent over beats produced by Alchemist, Scoop Deville, & Sick Jacken (from Psycho Realm). B-Real produced several songs on the project as well, including the lead track FIRE with Damian Marley. “Smoke N Mirrors” also features tracks with Snoop Dogg, Buckshot, Kurupt, Too Short, Sen Dog, of Cypress Hill, & Young De.
B-Real is confident his fans will appreciate “Smoke N Mirrors” stating: “I am excited to be putting out my first solo project. It’s been in the works for a while now. I want to show my fans a different side to my creative abilities including my own production. I am also excited to have teamed up with Duck Down. They have a strong team and I believe they will push my project to the fullest.”
Two Videos will be filmed off “Smoke N Mirrors” for “Don’t Ya Dare Laugh” featuring Young De and “FIRE” featuring Damian Marley.
SMOKE N MIRRORS is in stores February 24th, 2009, courtesy of Audio Hustlaz/Duck Down Records.
Tracklisting and credits for B-Real’s Smoke N Mirrors:
1.) Children of The Night f/ Bo Roc (produced by Scoop Deville)
2.) Gangsta Music f/Bo Roc (produced by Soopafly)
3.) Don’t Ya Dare Laugh f/Young De (produced by Scoop Deville)
4.) Everything You Want f/Buckshot (produced by Soopafly)
5.) 6 Minutes f/Young De & Tek (produced by Alchemist)
6.) Pyscho Revolution f/ Sick Jacken (produced by Sick Jacken)
7.) Fire f/Damian Marley (produced by B-Real)
8.) 10 Steps Behind f/Young De & Tek (produced by J. Turner)
9). Get That Dough f/Mimi (produced by Fifth)
10.) Dr. Hyphenstein f/Snoop Doog, Young De & Trace Midas (produced by B-Real)
11.) Stack’ N Paper (produced by J. Turner)
12.) 1 Life f/Send Dog and Mal Verde (produced by B-Real)
13.) Dude VS. Homie (produced by J. Turner)
14.) When They Hate You f/Mimi (produced by Salaam Wreck)
15.) When Were F*cking f/Too Short, Kurupt and Young De (produced by J. Turner)

B Real – Myspace

DEL THE FUNKY HOMOSAPIEN – Leak Pack Vol. 2 – Free download

Del’s Leak Pack Vol 2 has just dropped – still not sure about that name – I got a new baby and free downloads is the last thing that springs to mind when I hear the words ‘leak’ and ‘pack’ together. This time round, you get Del, A Plus (Souls Of Mischief) and Bukue One representing the west coast, and the ‘Ol Jersey Bastard himself – Tame One – repping the east. That works out to five free tracks in all – since Del’s generosity knows no bounds and like your friendly local hip-hop peddlers of yore he bungs in an extra one to keep you sweet. Chek!

His Voice – Bukue One by Del The Funky Homosapien

Del The Funky Homosapien – Myspace

Bukue One – Myspace

A Plus – Myspace

Tame One – Myspace

Q TIP – The Renaissance – 2008 – Album review

Rating: ★★★½☆

Finally, former A Tribe Called Quest main man and nasal-voiced legend Q Tip has organised a second solo coming and this time around he’s largely incarnated himself as a neo-soul-hip-hoperator soon to be sound-tracking any wine bars near you that have survived the credit crunch.
As you might expect (if you caught first solo LP Amplified back in ’99), it doesn’t often sound much like ATCQ but don’t go expecting it to serve up quite as many club-bangers as Amplified either – there’s nothing to rival Breathe And Stop or Vivrant Thing beats-wise here. The watchword is basically ‘smoooooth’. That’s not to say there isn’t the odd track that you couldn’t get all stank to. Won’t Trade is built around a soul loop and a simple but serviceable break as is Move while Man/Woman Boogie finds Tip clambering aboard a fat funk b-line and uptempo shuffling beat (not dissimilar to a sped-up version of the break from Vivrant Thing) to consider the interaction between the sexes.
It does have to be said that this is lyrically stronger than Amplified, though admittedly – that wouldn’t be a particularly taxing feat. On Official (one of the few tracks that is a bit of a ringer for ATCQ) Tip announces “Major attraction, trouble distraction/ Scramble up my name and it still come action.” It’s a sentiment I’d be less inclined to argue with if there were a few more bumps like this on the LP and less of the RnB-ish sludge and dodgy celebrity collaborations – which pretty much amount to the same thing here. And since no solo Tip LP would be complete without some sort of dodgy celebrity collaboration he makes sure that on this there are three. What with ‘new’ metal not being quite the thing anymore Tip wisely avoids repeating the mistake of teaming up with miserable Goths like Korn but makes the new ones of hooking up instead with celebrity mates Norah Jones and D’Angelo and Rafael Saadiq – he hooks up with Amanda Diva too but that track isn’t dodgy. Apart from her bit. On all three tracks the guests provide the hooks and in the first two cases it’s gilding the lily – both tracks would have functioned better as straight up raps. Plus Tip manages to sound like he’s using one of those machines that throat cancer patients hold to their vocal chords at one point on Life Is Better and that’s just not right. The track with Saadiq is just plain wack.
The bottom line? The clinical production on this is so effortless Kanye probably breaks into a sweat just contemplating it. B-Boys and ATCQ nostalgists are just going to have to accept that The Renaissance isn’t going to ignite a desire to take up breakdancing or turntablism while on the plus side Tip’s a sly old dog – and I can virtually guarantee that if you put this on you can expect your missus get all pliable. And that’s never a bad thing right?
Out now.
Listen to Q Tip – The Renaissance
Buy Q Tip – The Renaissance

Q Tip – Myspace

UGLY DUCKLING – Audacity – LP update, tracklist and audio samples

READ Ugly Duckling – Audacity review @
Long Beach hip-hoppers Ugly Duckling’s fourth full length studio Audacity looks like it’s going to get a 10 November 2008 release according to UK distributors Boombox (– you so knew that wasn’t going to happen!, MB Ed. 11 Nov. 2008) Suddenly the autumn’s not so depressing after all. It also seems that UD have left Fat Beats – their label this time round is listed as ‘Ugly Duckling’. Well – if you’re gonna do something properly you might as well do it yourself… Hit the link below to cop sound snippets from the first 5 tracks…

01. I won’t let it die
02. The Takedown
03. Audacity (Parts 1 & 2)
04. Falling Again
05. It’s Gone

06. It want to Believe
07. Einstein Do It
08. The Lonely Ones
09. Pay or Quit
10. Right Now
11. It Never Mattered
12. Oh Yeah

Listen to Ugly Duckling – Audacity

Ugly Duckling – Myspace