Mikill Pane – You Guest It EP – Review


It may not seem that long ago when we were treated to some new material from the Hackney artist, Mikill Pane. So, I was a very pleasant surprise to hear about a new, and importantly, free, EP arriving on Sunday. Not only is it free for anyone to download, it also features other great artists, such as Example, Ed Sheeran and P Money, which can only ever extend a track’s quality.

Kicking off with the Example featuring track, ‘Andy Warhol’, playing on the idea that everyone will be famous at some point, for 15 minutes. “The rich have got the money, but the poor have got the power, what you gonna do with your quarter of an hour?” You can always rely on Elliot giving a great hook on his featured tracks, but it’s rare that we actually get a verse as well, and I could only think back to the ‘What We Made’ days of Example – which I do kind of miss. However, the two together produce a great track in ‘Andy Warhol’, including, in my view, Mikill’s best lyrics in the EP, “I started with a track like a rapping Dwayne Chambers, they said that it was dope, and that’s how I became famous,” being my personal favourite.

Slowing the pace down, is the second track ’25 Tracks’, featuring the exquisite vocals of Ed Sheeran, “You can find me floating sky-bound, when you tell me it’s my time now”. Will there be a review of a Mikill Pane without mentioning Ed? Doubt it. Obviously the two combined their supreme talents to create the alternate version of ‘The A Team’, in ‘Little Lady’, which will always make me stop and listen, and I’m afraid this is another track which will affect my simple levels of concentration.

The third track on the ‘You Guest It’ EP, is ‘Heart & Sole’, detailing sex and shoes, when put simply. And again, has a great hook vocal feature, this time in Paloma Faith. A bit of a surprise this one, but a really effective one, like really effective – the lyric delivery from Mikill really combines with Paloma’s vocals! “Even though Mikill Pane’s not a household name, it kind of rolls off the tongue.” With this level of material, it soon will be.

Moving onto ‘Paper Princess’. “There’s this picture of you and I, and thats the one thing I’ve been left with,” at this point you’ll be thinking this may develop into a heartfelt love track. Er, “On Wednesday, it’ll be gone cause that’s when the dustbins are collected.” Adore that start, and to be honest, the rest of the track too. The guitar strums surround Mikill’s lyrics perfectly, and when added with the always brilliant Yasmin’s chorus, it makes for a fourth great track in a row. On a roll then?

A roll which continues. “Join P Money, Fem Fel and I, on some ignorant shit…” A contender for my favourite track off the EP, ‘Hey Baby’. Featuring Fem Fel and P Money. Oh, and Katie Price. Yeah, you know, Jordan. Yes, Jordan. No, really, Jordan… Yeah. With her providing the loop of ‘Hey Baby’ surrounded by the best hook on the EP, “I’m not your baby, I’m not your man, you’ve had one too many JDs, I don’t think you understand.” This track contains actual ‘laugh-out-loud’ lyrics, beginning with Mikill, “As far as women go, wouldn’t exactly say jigalo,” and so many others I could quote, so so many.

Now for the unfortunate end. ‘Taking Hold’ ft. Jakwob and Rocky NTI. “I hope that when I’m dead and gone, I leave a legacy of songs behind, and my tombstone says ‘Here lies a man who said the shit that was on his mind.” Think this can sum up the EP; “said the shit that was on his mind.” Similar in pace and style to the ’25 Tracks’, but the added works of Jakwob ensure it has it’s own feel.

Every single track on this EP is magnificent. Every feature is meaningful, and not done for effect on drawing people in. Sure, seeing Ed Sheeran and Example on the tracklist will do that, but their respective features are actually very very good. Same goes for Mikill. Such a cliché, but he really is getting better and better with each release, and I cannot wait ’till the debut album drops this year!

For now, you can download You Guest It here, and if you want listen to it on the little Soundcloud box below. Plus make sure you look out for an A64 on SBTV soon!

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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

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!

Introducing: Kings Of The City


‘Wu Tang Clan meets The Beatles’. Big, and unique claims. But claims Kings Of The City Can easily back up.

Kings Of The City, a cross-genre collective from London, are really shaping up to have a big 2012! After a 2011 of positive reviews from RWD, 1xtra, SB.TV and the likes, and supporting the brilliant Maverick Sabre on his UK headline tour, Kings Of The City will be looking to produce a “constant flow of videos, new music and many gigs”.

Their new EP, ‘No Rules To The Game’ showcases perfectly what this lot are all about – that original, yet memorable mix of rap, rock, hip-hop and blues. What other artists could say they’ve packed all that into their recent work?

Make Me Worse – Official Video Coming Soon!

They’ve also previously produced a Covers EP. Which showed the complete versatility, covering tracks from Maverick Sabre (shown below) and Wretch 32, to Bruce Springsteen and Fleetwood Mac! But what I loved about this EP most, was the fact that every track, especially the more recent tracks, sounded like they could just be a Kings Of The City track – they made them their own.

In-between editing videos for their tour diary and singles, they managed to answer a few questions from me… Enjoy.
1) I first came across you lot through Twitter and SB.TV. Just how important have SB.TV been so far – filming for 3 of the covers from the previous EP?

We have a lot of respect for SB.TV as they have given us a platform to showcase the industry what we are about. Without a doubt, they have increased our awareness.

2) How did you all go about choosing the songs for the Covers EP, ‘cos the choices do vary a lot, from Professor Green to The White Stripes – was it like every member chose one, or a group effort?

Originally we wanted to cover classics from the past, our first was actually a live cover we do at shows of ‘I Want You’ by The Beatles. I think that was Danny’s suggestion, and the rest came from future whiskey sessions. The SB.TV covers were more a way to show what we can do with today’sUKhip hop and grime music.

3)  I had a little watch of your biography video, and there’s a lot of great comments from pretty big people, like Charlie Sloth, Marcus Barnes (music journo for The Sun/Daily Mail and others), people at RWD, that must be brilliant getting reactions like that?

We show nothing but honour and respect to those that show it back to us. That is all.

4) I know you’ve got ‘Wu Tang Clan meets The Beatles’ in the info section of your Facebook page, I mean, it must be hard to pin your music down as one genre, right?

Yeah its hard but we kind of like that to be honest, because there is a wide range of music we feel we are capable of making and eventually we want to make it all, so by not having a particular genre that we fall into it allows us that unlimited creative space to experiment musically which is how we started in the first place.

5) There’s 7 of you, so is it easy to stay focused as a group, or are there the occasional little ‘artistic disputes’?

Yeah course, we always have ‘artistic disputes’ its the same for every group or band, or atleast it should be, because we’re all striving for the best possible musical product so any disputes we do have once ironed out, which is easy because we all know each other well, the music is the one that wins in the end.

6) I’ve seen a few highlighs of a few of your shows; which one stands out above the rest?

Off tour, I think Jazz Cafe as its such a prestigious venue all of us feel very honoured to have played there on the same stage as some very talented and big artists, some of our favourite artists even.
On tour, I think for crowd reaction and love its very hard to choose but Brighton probably stands out the most as we’ve never had so many people in one room vibing off our music like that the energy was incredible.

7) The Tour Documentary’s gone up recently:

How was supporting Maverick Sabre – a guy who everyone sane knows is going to have a massive year?

Supporting Maverick Sabre was a weird experience. We never knew whether to expect an audience who adored us or an audience who didnt care at all. We ended up with some hardcore fans though and Mav is a gentleman.

8)  Your new EP, ‘No Rules To The Game’ is out now as a free download, would you say it’s your best work so far?

No rules to the game is some of our best work so far but there is some material we haven’t released yet that we’ve been holding back for future projects

9) What does 2012 have in stall for Kings Of The City?

2012 will be a year of consistency. Constant flow of videos, new music and many gigs up and down the country. Continued support from Charlie Sloth and SB.TV and playing our trademark shows.

Big thanks to Kings Of The City for the interview, sure you’ll smash 2012!

Who Does 2011 Belong To?… Ed Sheeran.


(continued from the post below, I know it may not be continued, as this will appear before the first post, but yeah, read the one below first please…)

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I remember thinking after the BBC released their Sound Of 2011 longlist, ‘Oh, yeah, you’ve really missed someone out from that!’. They really did, didn’t they. Ed Sheeran. What a year he’s had! He stated his musical intentions, maybe indirectly in the charts too – with the release of his No. 5 Collaborations EP in January – featuring the likes of Sway, Random Impulse and Wiley. It shocked everyone, seeing it climb peak at number 2 in the iTunes charts – especially considering he was still an independent artist! Well, he was, but not for much longer, as on January 12th, Ed signed with Atlantic Records and it went from strength to strength from there on in.

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His first move after the record signing, was a good-willed one, as always. The ‘One Take’ EP was released for free, featuring a version of ‘You Need Me, I Don’t Need You’, a Jamie Woon cover of ‘Wayfaring Stranger’, and a version of ‘UNI’. And like anything he’s released, it went down a storm with his ever growing fan base – with over 10,000 downloads in the first 12 hours.

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These were just a few highlights of the year for Ed. There’s so many I could write about. The free Camden Barfly gig being one. It attracted over 1,000 people, and if you’ve never been to the Barfly, you’ll know that, as great a venue as it is, it couldn’t hold 1,000 people. Not letting that stop him, Ed played 3 times inside the venue – until it shut. Then once more outside in the nearby car park for anyone that still hadn’t seen him.

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Also, Sheeran performed ‘Wayfaring Stranger’ and debut single, ‘The A Team’ on ‘Later … With Jools Holland’ in April. With nothing but his vocals, acoustic guitar, and a loop pedal. The performance was stunning, proper goose-bump stuff!

Then the release of ‘The A Team’ just 6 weeks later. Things were moving quick, as his debut single charted at number 3 in the UK – selling 58,000 copies in the first week! It was the lead single from his debut album, ‘+’, released in early September. It showed, not just the progression throughout 2011, but the progressions since Ed started performing, writing, singing, and being around music. ‘+’ went straight in at number 1, the week after Example’s album had done just the same – and both were full of joy for the other one!

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From that last bit, it seems like Ed did nothing between April and September? Very wrong. Notably, he performed a headline set at Glastonbury on the BBC Introducing stage. This was one of many summer festival performances, Bestival and Reading Festival to name a couple others.

He also released his second single in the run up to the album release. ‘You Need Me, I Don’t Need You’, and although it charted lower than ‘The A Team’ (number 4), it still sold more first week copies. But to be frank, this release wasn’t really about chart position. Obviously it was intended to promote the album. But it had much more meaning than that. ‘You Need Me…’ was the first introduction many people had to Ed – due to Jamal Edwards and SBTV. The song has changed through the years, with many new and retracted verses. So to see a final single was brilliant for Ed fans, even if they didn’t like the new beat put in, they understood it had to be done.

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‘Lego House’ was the next single, and the first off the back of ‘+’. I’m proud to say that I was there on Ed’s sell-out Autum Tour, when they filmed the iconic video – at Herts University Forum, with Rupert Grint. It was also my 17th birthday that day. So, yeah, it was a pretty good day really. Anyway, ‘Lego House’ peaked at number 5. Why it didn’t chart higher was because it was available from the album, so people just couldn’t wait to buy the single version. So to peak at number 5 is absolutely massive!

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There’s so much I could write about Ed Sheeran. I am one of the people that knew of him before ‘The A Team’ release, and I’ve actually met him a couple of times. Not that he’d, one; read this, or two; remember me, but even so. However, I don’t think when you discovered his music matters. As long as you support him, go to gigs, buy the singles, watch the videos, then why should it matter who saw him first?

It’s also strange to see an artist break through, and still manage to maintain their backgrounds. He’s kept the same support artists through the year close to him. Ryan Keen, Lester Clayton to name a couple.

It’s also shown by the No. 5 Collaborations EP (talked about earlier) – which came out in January 2011. Many artists would have left it behind. But not Ed. Because, as I’m writing this, I’m preparing to hear the specially recorded Live Lounge for the No. 5 Collaborations, featuring Wretch 32, P Money, Devlin and Mikill Pane for Trevor Nelson’s show on BBC Radio 1xtra. This is around 11/12 months after the release. What more could Ed do to show how committed to his music than this. (Listen and watch the whole sessions here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/1xtra/sessions/2011-12-21_edsheeran)

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I think Ed is the perfect middle ground I mentioned earlier. He’s actually broken through – without having a big backing of influential music people at the start, like Jessie J. He was an independent artist at the start of 2011. He ends 2011, with a number 1 album – which sold over 102,000 copies in it’s first week, and was the most downloaded debut album in history, singles charting 3, 4 and 5, with live festival and TV performances as well. But most importantly, with a religiously following fan base, stronger than anything that could have been imagined. The future looks pretty good for him really.

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