April Fools Mix


In no way am I a DJ or producer, no way at all. But I thought, as I had a spare 30 minutes, that I’d do a little mix for the page. It’s done in one go, or ‘one take’ (hence the ending), and was done completely on my iPad, with each track having been purchased for real money off of iTunes, so there’s no real copyright shit to moan about (I think), anyway, try and enjoy it. Little rough around the edges, but the tracks chosen are fucking brilliant. Old, new, but all brilliant. Goes a little shit in the middle, but being honest, I like the beginning and end. Hope it’s alright.

As a sidenote, this is in celebration of reaching 15,000 views! So thank you very much, even if you hated what you read/listened/watched on my page, you count as a view, so thanks I guess. Love to you all… Enjoy this if at all possible, and even download it for free if you fancy:

(If the sound quality is a little awful, I don’t know why, but I’ll try correct or improve it sometime)

TRACKLISTING:
1) Chase & Status ft. Cee Lo Green – Brixton Briefcase (VIP Dub Mix)
2) Wiley – 50/50
3) Labrinth – Last Time (Knife Party Remix)
4) SBTRKT – Wildfire
5) Plan B – ill Manors (The Prodigy Remix)
6) Plan B – No Good (Chase & Status Remix)
7) Example – Midnight Run (Sheldrake Remix)
8) Example – Stay Awake (Moam Remix)
9) Wretch 32 ft. Example – Unorthodox (Moto Blanco Remix)
10) Faithless – Insomnia
11) JME – 96 Fuckries
12) Clement Marfo & The Frontline – Overtime (Royal T Remix)
13) Clement Marfo & The Frontline – Mayhem (Ishi Mix)
14) Professor Green ft. Example – Monster (Camo & Krooked Remix)
15) JME – 96 Fuckries

Flexplicit ft. Royce Da 5’9, Papoose & Professor Green – My Game


Filmed by SBTV’s Lance Penez, this international collaboration is one of the hardest tracks I’ve had the pleasure of hearing in 2012. Reading through the YouTube comments, you begin to get the impression that other people think this too. Obviously, there’s the ‘who’s got the best verse’ argument developing over there, and personally I don’t know, each of them have a game-topper verse. So, I’ll let you choose. All I know is, I’m properly glad Pro’s getting international attention now, this is his second feature along side Royce Da 5’9, after the hauntingly epic ‘Nightmares track from ‘At Your Inconvenience’, and any more collabs between the two would be greatly appreciated.

Not only is each verse exceptional, the visuals are fucking incredible. “We wanted to find a unique way to tell a gripping story without all the artists featuring in it. To inspire, challenge and entertain” is what’s quoted under the video, and well, it’s certainly done that. Give it a watch, and you wont be able to take your eyes and ears off it.

You can download the track for free HERE

“There’s no such thing as broken Britain, we’re just bloody broke in Britain”


At the end of February, Ben Drew, widely known as Plan B, made a return to hip-hop. His new release, ‘ill MANORS‘, sees Ben back in the style he started up in. To many people, it may just sound ‘shouty’, ‘chavy’ or even ‘inflammatory’, but this only highlights much of what Ben tries to convey through his music. Problems in society. The uneducated mess in the UK – either academically or socially.

Obviously, we all know about last summer’s riots in the UK. Like many people, we probably all watched the ‘highlights’ on BBC News 24, somewhere abroad, far away from the smashed windows and excessive looting. Parents probably spoke about their ‘outrage’, then wandered off to get another glass of Sauvignon Blanc, and sit back in the sun. That may be a sweeping generalisation. So, if you read that, and get annoyed by it, then good. Because now you know how it feels. Despite the class divide Ben spoke about in an interview recently, the youth of the UK also got an absolute hammering. It was hard to be young whilst the riots were kicking off – even over here in Middle England. We were looked down on, and slated practically everywhere we went. I work in a near-by shop, and someone actually said to me, “Bet you wouldn’t mind going down there, would you? All you lot want is free shit!” The worst thing about that is that I had to laugh it off, I couldn’t stand up to him, and question why he said it, otherwise I’d have got the sack. Then I’d be playing even further into their hands. Another unemployed youth, eventually leading to being alienated by society. Catch 22.

In the make-believe Waterloo Road recently, you can see this. Yes, it’s Waterloo Road, famous for having a random lottery generator between: Abortion, Pregnancy, Hit & Run or Teacher/Student Relationship, each and every week. But this new series is about ‘tackling gang culture’. Watching Waterloo Road writers deal with a gang culture is exactly the way I’d expect my Hertfordshire school teachers to do so. Pretty badly. Obviously, they will never need to though, will they? But that’s half the problem, we’re so unaffected by the problems the riots exacerbated, that we end up fuelling the fire.

This is one of the many points Ben Drew made in a recent interview with BBC Radio 1xtra’s Mistajam. Speaking for over 40 minutes, it was such an inspirational, honest and raw experience to listen to, and it’s sparked that bit inside of me, that bit which made me decide to write this.

“Its a very delicate process because we are tackling a very delicate subject and we have to get the tone absolutely right. Because Im not trying to condone what happened during in the riots. It disgusted me, it made me sick, but it saddened me more than anything because those kids that were rioting and looting, they’ve just made life ten times harder for themselves. They’ve just played into the hands of what certain sectors of Middle-England think about them, and we have a big issue and prejudice in this country from certain ignorant sectors of middle class people towards the underclass, and an example of this is the word ‘chav’, which in the video I state stands for ‘Council Housed And Violent’… Just because you were lucky enough to be born into a family that can afford to give you a good education, doesnt make you better than anyone, it just makes you lucky, and, again, certain sectors of Middle-England need to wake up and realise that, and stop ridiculing the poor and less fortunate.”

This whole section of the interview was such an eye-opener. I’d imagine a lot of you won’t see anything wrong with using the word ‘chav’ – as it’s so widely using in every form of the media, especially red-top newspapers. So why would you see anything wrong with it? What we need to realise is that, by using words like this, by pushing someone less fortunate than you away, you’re further fuelling the fire. Some of the paper’s coverage of the riots widened that gap between the people taking part, and the rest of society.

Ben finished that point, by saying this, “We are all just, in the simplest form, animals, and when were backed into a corner, we lash out its a primal instinct, and its got nothing to do with class, thats us as human beings. And I guess theres a lot of kids out there in this country that feel like theyve got egg on their face.” And I think that speaks volumes. Remember John Prescott lashing out and punching a member of the general public? “It’s nothing to do with class.”

Why I’m speaking about, and quoting Plan B’s words, then discussing problems many of us will never really understand or come across, and classing it a music article, may be unclear. But I think people need to see the more inspirational side of rap music’s words. As the riots’ wick was still burning, a Daily Mirror ‘journalist’ caused uproar with many artists in Plan B’s genre, which he wrote about. If you missed the article, Paul Routledge blamed the “pernicious culture of hatred around rap music”, and how it “glorifies violence”, and “raves about drugs.” I wouldn’t want to quote anymore of it, because my IQ level may start to drop. Blaming rap music for the riots is such a ridiculous statement to make. Many people saw Paul’s words, and then wondered how he had a job in modern day journalism.

Fellow artist Professor Green spoke out on Twitter about this back then, “Yeah ban rap music, silence our voices even more.” Then following it with, “Surely this isn’t about shifting the blame, but accepting responsibility? Neither my music or that of my peers is to blame for society and its faults. We didn’t create the tiers. If you’re all so smart how is it you’re confusing understanding with justification? I’ve said from the start there’s no justifying it.”

This is then backed up with Ben Drew’s recent words about the understanding of hip-hop, “If you dont understand it, especially after hearing me speak about it now, and youve still got issues with the song, maybe youre not as educated as you think. Maybe youre educated academically, but you need to go out there and get some life experience under your belt. ‘Cause I tell you one thing, if these kids on the streets, on the estates, are so stupid, how come they can understand the outform of hip hop, and the rest of the world cant?”

Ben didn’t just go on about what was wrong with people’s views on society, he also spoke about how to begin to fixing them, notably about how there’s always someone you, as a family member, knows, that is less fortunate, “These people probably come in your house, spend time with your kids and eat at your dinner table, thats that one person that you can take under your wing, and treat as one of your own and kind of help.”  I’m not sure how much we can relate to this in my area, at least, but you’ve got to admit, it does sound like a productive method given to us by a clear-minded person who’s experienced this kind of method in his own house, and with his band members.

The setting up of an ‘umbrella charity’ also stood out as a great idea from Ben. This would allow minor charities, which have been set up by individuals within so-called ‘broken communities’, who have finally had enough of their communities way of life, and possibly through lack of support from the government, have taken it upon themselves to sort out the problems. Ben stated, “A lot of people feel theyre allowed to have an opinion, on the problems and issues we have within society, just because they pay taxes. But we all know the government dont change quite a lot of the things they promise theyre gonna change, but we still expect them to, because they take our money. If we know that, then maybe, we need to start taking responsibility ourselves. Money isnt going to change this issue. Especially when the people in control of our money and where they spend it, are politicians, because they dont understand the world theyre trying to change.”

I don’t think I’ve read or heard a more reasonable view on this subject. Now the riots have passed us, and been swept under the carpet again in the papers, journalists have now got off that high-horse – albeit moving onto another similar one with the next ugly-headed problem, possibly revolving around X-Factor judges. “This is an issue weve had in society for probably longer than 30 years, and its never been front of the queue ’till the riots happened. Thats what this song, and music video, and the film, ill MANORS needs to do, and I, as an artist need to do, because I genuinely want to change things and this is just the first step. Let me raise my point first, let me raise the issue, then if anybody wants to talk to me about how I think we can change these things, Im ready.”

Music can help these problems in society. People like Ben Drew have the ears, have the respect of the ‘hooded youths’ the media banged on about; he can create a positive wave of influence within them. Encourage them to use that spark of talent in the right way.

“Sometimes I think people may find my methods unorthodox, but they have to be unorthodox, because thats the world Im trying to challenge.”

There’s so much more I could say, so much more could’ve been quoted from Ben’s interview. He spoke pure and utter honesty, about topics which so many other artists run away from. For that, we need to congratualte him. The success of Strickland Banks pulled in people, and Ben could’ve run off and taken them with him, created pop songs with no substance. But that wouldn’t be Plan B, would it?

“That’s when I come into my own, when I see injustices happening, and I talk about the unfairness of them”

‘ill MANORS’ is set to be released March 25th, then the album on May 7th, with the film dropping on May 4th.

Emeli Sande: The New Role Model.


Every so often you get to hear a new album which you’ll be completely absorbed in. You won’t be able to leave it alone. But last Monday, we had Maverick Sabre’s ‘Lonely Are The Brave’ come out, so surely we’d have to wait a fair bit for another album of that quality, right? Well, a week is a long time in music, I guess.

As this Monday, just one week after Mav’s debut, we’re treated to the incredible Emeli Sande’s – ‘Our Version Of Events’.

With her number 2 single, ‘Heaven’, and the incredible feature on Professor Green’s ‘Read All About It’, Emeli began to attract a lot of attention, which peaked when she was announced as the BRITS Critics Choice Award Winner, following in the footsteps of Ellie Goulding, Florence & The Machine, Jessie J, oh, and Adele!

But if you were more aware, you’ll know that Emeli has been showing her talents for a bit now. Writing for and with, what seems, every fairly successful X-Factor candidate, but also with Wiley, Tinie Tempah, Tinchy Stryder and Wretch 32, plus featuring on great tracks with the likes of Chipmunk (Diamond Rings) and Wiley (Never Be Your Woman) and Tinie Tempah (Let Go). She’s also be described as, the Dark Lord himself, Simon Cowell’s ‘favourite songwriter’! Oh, 1 more then, she’s recently finished touring with none other than Coldplay… Things going well then?

You could possibly be forgiven for thinking the hype may have outdone the talents she has. But, well, you’d be wrong. Because, ‘Our Version Of Events’ showcases, arguably, the best UK talent out there right now. And, well Adele’s still out there isn’t she. I mean, I know that’s a big thing to say, but well, I certainly stand by it.

Kicking off her debut LP, is her number 2 single, that I mentioned earlier – ‘Heaven’. Sublime production which brings out the strong, majestic vocals of Sande. Pitched by Emeli as a confession that she’s changed so much since she was younger – but that it’s because “of everything that comes with living.” Just one of the many examples of how down to earth she is.

Originally, this post was planned as a track-by-track review of ‘Our Version Of Events’, but then I just thought, who’s really going to go out and buy it purely because of a review of mine? you’re going to buy it anyway. So I thought I’d try and show anyone reading, why Emeli Sande is the perfect role-model to aspire for – not even just for becoming a musician, but an all-round person too.

There are a lot of talented musicians. No doubt. But how many would you describe as intelligent? How many would you describe as humble? How many would you actually describe as a ‘nice person’? I certainly can’t think of that many. But after watching a mini documentary on Emeli, entitled, ‘Her Version Of Events’, you realise you can firmly include Emeli Sande in those previous categories.

She’s always shown the musical promise – learning the piano at the age of 10, and writing at 11, but she was once on course to becoming a neurologist – brain surgery for those who don’t recognise! Her link to this can be seen in her second single, ‘Daddy’. “Everyone is essentially addicted to something.” She says, adding, “I think that’s why I loved studying neurology… We’re all flawed in some way.” She also, when speaking to Q Magazine, said, “I’m really fascinated by mental breakdown.”

Despite being just 16, Emeli won Trevor Nelson’s BBC Urban Music Competition – which, fairly obviously, brought in label interest. In the same Q Magazine article, she said, “I’d sit and play to a line of men behind a glass shield talking about where the music should go… I could feel my control slipping.” This is when she chose to follow the science road for a while, but still maintaining the musical side – in playing as a background jazz pianist in Glasgow – for £40 a night! I think it takes a lot of commitment and loyalty to your talents to turn down record label interest. But if, and when, it pays off, it pays off big – as seen with that guy Ed Sheeran!

You could really pin down why Emeli is doing as well as she is now, by her mum’s actions. Obviously Emeli could have reached this stage at some point, but it was her mum who sent off a sample CD over to BBC Radio 1xtra, which eventually found its way through to Naughty Boy – which formed a very strong musical relationship between the two of them – creating ‘Daddy’ on their first session just over 3 years ago. She seemed blown away by his love of music. “I loved how passionate he was… purely about the music!” And it was in 2010, when she finally got a deal with EMI and Virgin.

What I find most incredible about Emeli is her humbleness. She’s speaks so highly of so many highly deserving artists that she’s worked with, especially the already mentioned Naughty Boy and Tinie Tempah… “He was so on point.” It’s something you don’t often see too much nowadays, artists giving other artists proper heartfelt credit and applause.

Despite this not being a track-by-track review, I thought I had to write a bit about my favourite track on the album. ‘Hope’. Obviouslty every track offers so much, in terms of raw emotion expressed through Sande’s brilliantly worked lyrics, which can sum up the most complicated of feelings into one sentence. ‘My Kind Of Love’, ‘Maybe’, ‘River’, and especially ‘Read All About It (Part III) – [below] all showcase this.

But ‘Hope’ really stood out to me – due it’s message.

So many artists can write perfect songs based on various, let’s face it, depressing emotions. Even some of my favourite artists can’t really get the effect Emeli has managed to achieve with this track. ‘Hope’ is the most inspiring, uplifting track I’ve heard in a very long time. You can see the opportunity the London riots have offered musicians, alongside youth unemployment rates, and just the general decline in views of young people, it’s a topic which can create some great music. But Sande has captured that whole picture, but also included other moments of desperation from far away from the UK – “I have a link to Zambia and places with standards of living that are just horrible.” Written with Alicia Keys, on a rainy day in New York just after the aforementioned riots, they came up with the first line: “I hope that the world stops raining, stops turning its back on the young” – she described it as a “prayer”. It’s 3 minutes of beautiful crafted music, inspiring lyrics, soulfully sung vocals with the brilliant production that is a constant throughout the album.

Emeli Sande is intelligent, talented, and just perfectly humble. A proper winning combination in life – not just music. If you don’t get lost in this album, I feel sorry for you.

Enjoy this cover of Blur’s classic, ‘Country House’, from her recent trip to Radio 1’s Live Lounge below. Really is something!

MTV’s Best Of The Best Results!


This list seems to always cause full-on debate, and again, I’m pretty sure that’s happened. But I don’t think you can argue with the winner of this Best Of The Best.

Wretch 32. 3 top 5 singles. A top 5 debut album. But, snubbed  by the MOBOs. And snubbed by the BRITS. Wretch spoke about the lack of a nomination for the Brit Awards here.

But finally a bit of recognition for the majorly talented guy.

In the deciding of the list, Charlie Sloth (BBC 1Xtra/ Radio 1), Posty (Grime Daily), Joseph ‘JP’ Patterson (MTV), Laura ‘Hyperfrank’ Brosnan (Music Journalist), Morgan Keyz (SB.TV) and Nardene Scott (RWD) were all in talks, along with BBC 1Xtra’s Vis.

So, there’s no question about the people asked to come up with the lists. But as always, opinions will bring out the other opinions.

I can’t really be bothered to do my own list, as I don’t think I’m the right person to do such a thing. But there’s  a few in the list which I’m wondering about.

However, I’m glad Professor Green didn’t get overlooked because of his commercial success – getting the number 3 spot.

And, I’m properly glad Wretch got the number 1 place. And it obviously meant a lot to him, as he tweeted after the announcement,

#MTVBESTOFTHEBEST2011 thanks a lot. This means more than the No. 1, as I believe in the art form. In this country, we have some of the world’s best spitters/artists. 2012, let’s let the world know. God bless team UK. Thanks again.”

Congratulations Wretch!

Eric Turner ft. Kardinall Offishall, Wretch 32, Professor Green – Style Changer | Official Video


Newly released, here’s the official video to one of the biggest tracks so far this year – ‘Style Changer’.

The first release off Eric Turner’s upcoming solo EP – which will apart from these 3 other artists, Lupe Fiasco and Tinie Tempah!

Watch out for the drop of the EP!

Read my original post about the brilliant track here!

Professor Green – How Many Moons (ft. Dream Mclean and Rinse)


(May be a bit quiet, if it is, that’s just how it was taken off this person’s radio – just buy it on Sunday if you want a copy!)

I’ve waited so long to hear a studio version of this track – which was debuted on Pro’s recent At Your Inconvenience UK tour, but finally premiered on national radio on the Monday just gone – as always, nowadays, by 1xtra and Mistajam!

I loved hearing this track on live recordings on YouTube, but the studio version surpassed all my expectations – it’s just absolutely huge! Dream and Rinse just smashed their respective verses!

The first time I heard about Camo & Krooked producing a track for Professor Green, I was excited enough – after their truly brilliant ‘Monster’ remix. And Pro’s verses didn’t let down one bit. But to now hear two other great artists, in Dream Mclean and Rinse, on it, just adds to the already mentally good track. In the words of Pro, himself, “They [Dream and Rinse] absolutely terrorised the ‘How Many Moons’ remix.” Yeah, they did, didn’t they.

I’m writing this while still in the hype of hearing it, but I’ve got to say, this ‘How Many Moons’ remix is the track of 2012 so far, for me!

It’s available for purchase in the ‘Never Be A Right Time’ bundle on iTunes, Amazon etc. on 22nd Jan, i.e, Sunday!