Tag Archives: Guilty Simpson

CHOI feat. GUILTY SIMPSON: Hip Hop Saved My Life (Vinyl 7″)

CHOI feat. GUILTY SIMPSON: Hip Hop Saved My LifeRating: ★★★★★ It’s probably been a while since mainstream hip-hop saved anyone’s life but there’s still potential in the underground, it seems. Step forward Ivan ‘Choi’ Khatchoyan, sometime drummer for Oz-funkers Cookin’ On 3 Burners, drummer and producer for funky covers outfit The Traffic, head of Choi Records and now, it seems, hip-hop producer – with new 45 banger Hip Hop

QUAKERS feat. GUILTY SIMPSON & MED: Fitta Happier (2012) video

It says here that Quakers are a 35 person hip-hop collective with a 41 track album out now on Stones Throw. 35 person?! Are they taking the piss? Imagine that lot on tour – they’ll wish they fucking stuck to making oats. As for 41 tracks – I don’t even have time to preview something that long. Luckily, I’m only required to comment on the video for Fitta Happier which features

FOREIGN BEGGARS: United Colours Of Beggattron – 2009 – Album review

Rating: ★★★☆☆

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, this autumn has had a mad crazy release schedule as labels everywhere make up for the fact that they could barely be arsed to release anything in the spring. As a consequence, review turnaround times have been shorter than an old-schooler’s come back. Given that the UK hip-hop underground’s ‘most-likely-to’ (that’ll be the FBs) have new album United Colours Of Beggattron out on Monday that left only one option. That’s right – it’s time for a ‘byron’. You must know the drill…

Upbeat intro – topical – bit of Obama – yeah, I’m feeling this…

MOVE HIGHER (Audra Nishita)
Sounds like the slow intro-bit to a mid-nineties Goldie/ Metalheadz track. All the way through. With rapping on. Apparently FBs have been around for ages but haven’t got the recognition they deserve. A fresh topic you’ll agree.

KEEP IT COMIN’ (feat. Jehst, Kyza & Dr Syntax)
This one’s ok – bit of scratchin’ and Kidulthoodie ‘ya brer’s beeyatch gat a rass claat’ rhymes. Plus a lame male vocal rnb hook.

BREAK FREE (feat. Audra & Kai Nishita)
The third track with a positive mental attitude title, yet another rnb hook and a kick drum I can barely hear. I went to switch the kettle on during this one.

DON’T DHOOW IT (Feat. King Knut)
Sounds like a Cool Kids beat but Foreign Beggars rapping – first one that makes my ears perk up. Mainly because it reminded me of Cool Kids.

The promo cd sleeve tells you this one’s a skit in case it’s playing and you’re deaf. Inexplicably imagines a vaguely Asian sounding hospital radio DJ announcing a performance by Foreign Beggars. I’ve had funnier colds.

SEVEN FIGURE SWAGGER (Feat. Dubbledge, Badness & Rednaz)
A chorus that won’t leave your head all day, this is P.R.O.P.E.R.

CONTACT (feat. Noisia)
…as is this. Deserves to be as big as Root’s Witness. Huge beat by Dutch dnb heads Noisia. Some twat on a site called monkeyboxing only gave the single 3.5 out of 5.

SHAKE IT (feat. Noisia)
The one where the boys get a bit ‘naughty’. Contains cerebral rhymes like, “Love to take you out on a date if I could/ Maybe let me give you a taste of my wood.” On reflection, makes me think of filthy bumping and grinding so not that bad.

The synth-keyboards one.

This one’s a skit too. Well – more of a 30 second beat really.

ASYLUM BOUND (feat. Ben Sharpa)
Starts with a voice like that Asian Fonejacker character who works for an ‘internet service providings’ call centre. But set in an asylum. About going mad or something. Probably sounds better if you’ve been at the green.

BIG N’BLACK (Phat Kat)
Starts off with a Chicago sample making you think it’s about to turn into a M.O.P. style banger. Then goes a bit tinny – probably so it sounds good on the kids’ mobile phone speakers. Not the best beat for Phat Kat’s 50 second phoned-in rhyme – he sounded much better on DJ Design’s last LP…

PROVE IT (Guilty Simpson)
…as did Guilty Simpson funnily enough. How’m I supposed to get amped off something that permanently sounds like it’s going to kick off but never does?

Scratching at the start wakes you up but it turns out it’s a skit.

NO MORE (Kashmere, Jehst & DJ 2Tall)
Arguably the best lyrics on the LP but sounds like it was made during a mad ketamine binge at the Dented studios. Could have done with being a bit faster and having more bass.

KEEPING THE LINE FAT (feat. Graziella)
Mid-nineties female garage vocal hook, a beat that sounds like late-era disco ramming grime at the lights and FBs rock up about a third of the way through. The sound of arriving at some sort of ‘Grime-fest’ in Michael Knight’s K.I.T. In a good way.

NO HOLDS BARRED (feat. Devlin, Noisia & DJ 2Tall)
Noisia again. Not unlike a digital earthquake.

Instrumental. Sounds like a last track. Mind you, so do quite a lot on this.

COMMENTS: Props to the FBs for attempting to craft an album that aims to maintain underground credibility while giving the pop charts a sly grope but United Colours of Beggattron basically revolves around a three track centrepiece with satellites of largely decreasing interest either side, despite a slew of heavyweight UK and US guests. As an LP this has the same sense of anti-climax that I got from Roots’ Run Come Save Me where nothing else on the LP approached the magnitude of Witness. Still, good enough singles potential to merk the competition and in any case how many whole albums do you listen to on a regular basis these days anyway? Tasteful cover too.

Listen to Foreign Beggars – United Colours of Beggatron

Foreign Beggars – Myspace


RECORDKINGZ: Heavyweight – 2009 – Album review

Rating: ★★★★½

Heavyweight piles into the hip-hop fray in a very similar way to Jake One’s White Van Music last year. By this I mean that it finds a talented producer hooking up with a host of talented MCs and dropping dope phatness. It’s even possible that Juliano (formerly one half of 90s duo The Creators), arguably has the edge on Jake One and that this has the potential to give a kick up the arse to a few flagging careers, proving once again that the music industry (and to some extent the public’s) obsession with rapper-cult-of-personality is forgetting one vital thing. It doesn’t matter how good the lyrics, nobody ever danced to poetry. When was the last time you heard a proper jump-up hip hop track anyway? The underground has been plagued by masturbatory production for too long – even if there has been some lyrical insanity. On the other hand, the mainstream shits out club beats like its got diarrhoea – but is plagued by lyrical inanity. This isn’t to say that everything on here will light fires under people’s feet – simply that Juliano remembers one of the key original premises of hip-hop. Move the crowd.
One of two promo singles for Heavyweight, Beatnuts’ vehicle Rock Ya Shoulders is exactly what I’m talking about – the best thing the Beatnuts have done since Watch Out Now and about the best thing for hip-hop dance floors since then too. Sampling an old funk 45 by New Orleans act Salt, the drums get a steroid injection and The Beatnuts cap it with effortless flow, “Keep on spitting that ‘me so fly shit’ and end up missing on some CSI shit’” and a classic vocal hook. The other big club banger on the LP is actually the one that brings it to a close – Keep On which finds Chalice and Ruk riding high on a chunky slice of funk with a “Hey, ho,” chorus that recalls Naughty By Nature’s Hip Hop Hooray. First track on the LP is so-so collab I Cried with Tragedy Khadafi and brings to mind nothing so much as an early Dilated Peoples track – Joell Ortiz fares rather better on the rather more dynamic beat of Take A Walk With Me, which is next up. Stones’ Throws much-vaunted secret weapon, Guilty Simpson delivers tight rhymes on Hip Hop Throwback on a beat that features punishing snares and latin brass while uncharacteristically, Little Brother fail to make much impact on Playin To Lose. Aasim does a turn on You Been Warned near the end of the LP that doesn’t hold up too badly and West coaster Evidence appears on the very 90s flavoured This Is For My Peoples and (if Dilated Peoples floated your boat before they went really boring and shit) you might get on with this – it does at least take away the bland aftertaste of Evidence’s last EP. The ‘other’ promo single Heat probably got more press a while back because of the presence of Mobb Deep and, while it’s moody strings are a grower, it’s far from the best track here. Phil Da Agony, Montage and Mo Money’s consideration of unsavoury characters “Who the hell is out the front of my house/ If they knew that I was watching with a blunt in my mouth…“ on Bad Cats (hot female vocal hook, menacing clavinet loops) is far and away better, as is Da Money featuring Glasses Malone (strings and another wicked female vocal loop). Posse cut Keep It Coming is another one with a big brass sound and the combined talents of Craig G, Will Pack and K Major.
It would be foolish to expect less than superb production on this and Juliano does not disappoint. The most noticeable feature is the percussion (particularly the snares) which is stupidly heavyweight and DJs need to beware that any track from this will make whatever precedes or follows it sound pathetically wimpy. Granted Heavyweight doesn’t break new ground stylistically – much (if not all) of it could have appeared between ‘98 and now – mostly in a good way, occasionally in a not-so-good way and at times in an excellent way. What it does do is remind anyone who still gives a shit about quality hip-hop that if a job’s worth doing it’s worth doing properly.
Out now digitally on Recordkingz, CD soon and on vinyl…god knows…maybe when someone remembers that SOME people still play wax. Hint.

Listen to Recordkingz – Heavyweight

Recordkingz/ julinao Creator – Myspace


MONKEYBOXING.COM – Top 10 Tracks – 2008

Sounds you hear that linger in your ear…
N.B. Chart includes re-releases but NOT unreleased tracks
See Monkeyboxing.com’s – Top 10 Albums – 2008 HERE)

1. THE SNUGS (feat. Little Hannah Collins) – Trying (Freestyle)
Laid-back vintage ska horns, clattering breakbeat and proper soul vocals from the gorgeous ‘Little’ Hannah Collins.
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2. JIMMY HICKS – Mr Big Stuff (New Orleans Funk Vol 2 LP) (Soul Jazz)
Mad funky strut – takes Jean Knight’s track and throws it straight back.
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3. DJ DESIGN (feat. Guilty Simpson) – Ferocious (Jetlag LP) (Look Records)
Mental sci-fi boom-bap battle rhyme!
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4. BETTY MOORER – It’s My Thing (Andy Smith: Diggin The BGP Crates LP) (BGP)
Funky soul is the sexiest music ever. Betty Moorer tells it like it is.
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5. AIM (feat. Q-Ball & Curt Cazal) – Before (Birchwood EP) (ATIC)
Q Ball and Curt Cazal hook up again to trade effortless rhymes over an Aim beat and orchestral soul horn loop about how “Everything was whips and chains” back in the day. Genius.
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6. THE COOL KIDS – What It Is (The Bake Sale LP) (Chocolate Industries)
Breaaakkkkkks! Old school heat in an Eric B and Rakim style.
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7. ALL NATURAL – Back Slap (Elements: Fire LP) (All Natural)
Capital D returns with super dope rhymes while Tone B Nimble pulls out all his best cuts.
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8. THE NEW MASTERSOUNDS – All We Can Do (Plug & Play LP) (One Note)
Ultra itchy break, squelchy wah-wah and bass like an eel hitting the side of a dustbin.
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9. THE BAMBOOS (feat. Ty) – I Can’t Help Myself (Side Stepper LP) (Tru Thoughts)
Jump-up funk that heads straight for the dancefloor.
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10. THE BLACK KEYS – Same Old Thing (Attack & Release LP) (V2)
Still got game! More planet-sized blues-rock groove.
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DJ DESIGN – Jetlag – 2008 – Album review

Rating: ★★★★☆

Like underground hip-hop but take guilty pleasure in the beats from producers like The Neptunes? Wish that those beats were teamed with credible MCs? Jetlag is that rare thing – an underground hip-hop LP that doesn’t seek to emulate a bygone era and for the few faults it does have – this is a good thing. Instead Design drops modern sounding beats that sound like they were created to move a dancefloor unlike – say – the clankiness of stuff from the Def Jux stable. As such it recalls Q Tip’s 1999 LP Amplified (wicked beats – even if the lyrics were a bit wack) and Foreign Legion’s 2003 LP Playtight – coincidentally a band whose former DJ was someone called…DJ Design. Jetlag is the product of four or so years work and contains the variety that you might expect from being made over such a length of time and a whole host of underground MCs.

Things kick off with Phat Cat and Grip Grand spitting battle rhymes over the sparse beats and Ofra Haza sounding chant of Wild Ones before Oh No and Roc C take over for the Play. What sounds like a loop jacked from a sixties psychedelic track prepares the ground for super-heavy cut and paste beats, and a portrait of a femme fatale gangster, “She a thoroughbred raised by the hustlers/ never been a customer, always on the come up”. This brace of tracks constitute a dope opening to an LP though the smooth blandness of the next two tracks – the B Lloyd featuring All A Dream and the Dudley Perkins/ Oh No showcase Better Days sees the pace slacken somewhat. Not that you need worry overly as next up is the album highlight – an utter bomb-track with Guilty Simpson coming correct over some phat sci fi boom bap shit. Synths shimmer in the background, piano stabs punctuate the foreground, the beat is kick drum heavy and Simpson’s battle flows set to shut down all rivals – so it’ll come as no surprise that it’s titled Ferocious. Unfortunately it’s one of those tracks that no matter how good what follows is – you just want to listen to it again. Unfortunate because a lot of what follows is pretty damn good. Grip Grand rocks up again on the fuzzed out guitar riff heavy B-side Too and B Lloyd’s second track Major is cousin to DJ Shadow’s Q Tip/ Lateef collab. Enuff. Get On The Floor will have people stepping up to do just that and is a synth-rich wig-out that recalls the Knight Rider theme. Ace Hustle and Foreign Legion also turn up on quality tracks towards the end of the LP. Overall Jetlag contains numerous good tracks and at least one all-time classic (Ferocious) but if I have any complaint at all it’s that the LP could be more consistent in terms of pace and quality and could have been pruned of one or two pieces of filler. Clearly a man with a sense of humour, Design closes the LP with the horrible tech-house of Gates Of Steel. I probably should keep an open mind about this track or something but fuck that.
Out now on Look Records.

Download DJ Design – Jetlag (get your skates on it’s limited free offer!)

DJ Design – Myspace