MF Doom Live @ Brixton Academy, London 14.10.10

Yes, there was a long build up to this event, as we booked our tickets three months before the man in the mask arrived to London town. And it seems we weren't the only ones, as the queues outside Brixton Academy were far bigger than what we imagined...an eccentric mix of bboys, bgirls, honeyz and indie/emo dudes. But that's Doom, he's a character who knows how to create anticipation and intrigue around what he does, his following goes beyond hip hop and of course, he can spit abstract concepts in rhyme like no one else.

The set kicked off with The Herbaliser as the opening act. The guys are talented musicians and they gave a great performance - and that's not easy when you're opening for someone like Doom. But, sound quality was not the best, bit too bassy...but we just thought it was the nature of Herbaliser's music and kept sipping our beers waiting for the big moment.

Eventually a timer appeared on the screen behind the stage with 57:19 on it...we initially thought it had a 'deeper' meaning, but as soon as the mask appeared it became evident that it was a timer for the performance, as it started counting down.

The show was good. Doom was accompanied by a Fat Man Scoop sound a like who worked hard to hype up the crowd at every possible opportunity. The crowd responded, this was a big event afterall and tracks from Madvillain, Operation Doomsday, King Geedorah and Dangerdoom were all present.

However, the bassy problems continued and showed no sign of improvement after Herbaliser. Bit of a shame, as Doom's lyrics are what set him apart, and completely missing them because of a badly tuned sound system defeats the purpose of a live show. Also, the show was cool, but after reading about the impostor from the last gig in London, and this being Doom, we were expecting some sort of stunt or surprise...but nothing unfortunately. The timer reached zero, Doom walked out, Fat Man Scoop clone did his hyping up thing again, crowd shouted, Doom came back, did one more track, and that was that. Not a major criticism, but you come to expect something out of the norm from an emcee that is definitely out of the norm...

So, overall great venue, good performances, but nothing memorable for us to take away with us. We're waiting for the next one...


J Electronica @ Cargo, London 10.08.2010

By Chriiis

So what really is the deal with Jay Electronica...?
I mean, you get Nas, Just Blaze and Erykah Badu raving about him in the US media yet all we know about him's from his myspace page. He's risen to fame for spitting true, appealing to the as yet untapped stereotypical internet-user hip hop demographic while still delivering gangsta enough for a lot of the hardcore heads to keep boppin' to him. What’s more is he comes from the south yet sounds like he's straight out of NYC! Sefton "Big Pappa" Blake and Ruwan DMC went to Cargo in east London's Brick Lane to find out if he really is as sick as an increasing number of unsuspecting people are saying he is or if he should only ever be known and remembered for as the dude that had a chance with Erykah...

We got the word via Ruwan DMC's man on the inside at Cargo that things would be kicking off at 10pm sharpish which was cool as it meant that we had extra long for the standard pre-show rituals. We were literally a couple of seconds walk from Cargo, that close I swear I could throw a cricket ball from the flat lounge and land it in Cargo's beer garden. We rolled in fashionably late to find DJ Semtex on the pots and pans and a few peeps jumping up on stage spitting free's and writtens. All pretty mediocre shizzle until Semtex challenged Loudmouth, present amongst us for the show, to jump up on stage to do likewise. No one really thought he would as he seemed pretty stern in his reluctance despite numerous pleas and crowd shouts. "C'mon Loudmouth, get up here, I been bumpin' your records for time", said Semtex, "Yeah, not recently though!", came the reply. Eventually he bowed to our collective pressure and stepped up with a pretty sick 64 odd bars.

Jay Electronica finally hit the stage at about 10.15pm and dropped one of only two officially released tracks "Exhibit A". This went down proper well with the crowd despite stopping half way through yelling to DJ TJ to stop the track, "I gotta make sure y'all here this, so I'ma drop it acapella". Sincere, heartfelt and deep - the crowd was pumped!

It was wicked standing at the back of the room watching that first track unfold in front of us. It's an awesome venue, a couple of different areas and rooms, serving cans of San Miguel and Red Stripe and a wicked beer garden outside selling jerk chicken amongst other delicacies. Inside, the main room was pretty full at 200-300 people, with the bar and stage at opposite ends and a big projector pull down screen 'ting behind the decks covering part of the exposed red brick work that you can see on all the other walls. The big steel air vent tunnels run the length of the room on either side giving the place a real classic east london industrial warehouse feel whilst simultaneously providing us with some much needed air conditioning (Editor's Note: Welcome to the architectural buzz big pappa).

The second track to drop was "Dimethyltryptamine" off the Star Wars EP which again we were all proper feeling and once again he halted midway through and dropped the second part without music. Next up was "Renaissance Man" which he again stopped half way through and then "Dear Moleskine" which he didnt even start with music. We were swiftly getting treated to all his tracks and given that his discography is about the length of a midget's neck I thought I was going to be disappointed at having to pay the steep £25 ticket price for 6 or 7 tracks (with no music!). To fill the time Jay E started on a Fuck Sonar rant which has become de rigeur at all hip hop shows lately and the subject of many t-shit prints - Jay Electronica himself rocking a "FUCK SONAR" top for the occasion.

The guy then spat the Nas lyrics to "The World is Yours" - wtf dude!?!?!? I swear this boy must've confused Tuesday at Cargo for hip hop karaoke at The Social on Oxford Street the first Thursday of every month! I was fast thinking what a rip off and wishing I was back at Ruwan DMC's place with that cricket ball in my hand taking aim at the dude's head!

Anyway, after another rant, this time about September 11th, he did "The Pledge" but just before doing so he called the crowd up on stage, "I want you to feel what i'm feeling right now, fuck it, get up here!", everybody darted on the stage jostling for position and this was a unique way to check what sorts of people were in attendance. We know that due to his conscious lyrics and mysteriously cunning predominantly internet based marketing techniques he is appealing to a new audience, but that also due to his group of peers past and present (J-Dilla, Nas, Just Blaze) and his NY sound, he makes even seasoned stereotypical hip hop heads bop and indeed there were all these types up there on stage in full view. Each and every one of them I must add spitting effortlessly and intently along with him. This was crowd interaction at its very highest standard. The lone bouncer at the front of the stage didn't know what the to do...

Never before have we seen entire audiences getting invited up on stage, or actually have we ever seen them even allowed to get up there - so this was sick and every one up there was loving it big time - wicked shit to see. It got even more intimately interactive however when, leaving the masses on the stage behind him, he got right amongst it in the middle of the melee and dropped yet another acapella. It was phat seeing all these different types of people up on stage rhyming along to his lyrics - and I mean proper all-sorts - true looking heads, wannabe's, sexy ass hip hop honeyz, internet geeks with glasses thicker than the bottom of milk bottles - anyone and everyone!!!! With Jay Electronica right in the middle of the crowd was indeed how it finished and he stayed there amongst them for a good further half an hour just chatting with people, posing for photographs and signing the odd autograph.

So summing it up I think we have mixed reviews, I'm still not too sure what to make of it all. He was on stage for about 20-30 minutes tops which when you're paying £25 is cheeky. But the half an hour that he was on stage, I was feeling it, I have to say.
Totally not what I expected, this is the only show I've ever been to where whoever we've been to see has done pretty much every track acapella and traded places with the audience. But I suppose we should have expected the unexpected, he is a completely different rapper and artist to all that have come before him in the genre.

Nevertheless, I was still a touch confused and bemused by it all, why drop every track acapella? This is a show, hype us up, get us pumped, I know it's a Tuesday but let's party! Walking home we were thinking - Is he simply so far up his own arse that it has become unrecognizable from his elbow or is he really that intent on getting his message across that he felt he just had to drop every track acapella...? Whatever way you choose to look at it, him spending more of the night amongst the fans than on the stage in front of them and with so many different types in attendance that were feeling him hard Jay Electronica has created a unique connection with his fans – and they have a extraordinary relationship with him.



Jehst Live @ Vibe Bar, London 11.06.2010

By Chrisss

"Police wanna pad me down, but I don't hang around,
bag a ounce, then I bounce,
back to the battle ground."
Jehst - Freestyle

"I'm trapped in this pessimist mind state,
a frozen emotional ice age."
Jehst - Die When You Die

The stream of sick shows is continuing to flow in the Big Smoke this year as it was off to the Vibe Bar in East London's Shoreditch for a Suspect Packages arranged event featuring surely one of the best hip hop artists the UK has ever produced – Jehst, his by no means mediocre counterpart Micall Parknsun and DJ Jazz T on the 1s. Sefton 

It was just after 10pm before needle finally hit wax as the World Cup match between France and Uruguay was shown on the big screen outside before hand. Kicking things of was Micall Parknsun - Previously part of North West London’s crew 2Halves with R.A.M. Now solo he got the ball rolling with Beatz and Rhymez and Holding It Down off his latest musical offering “First Second Time Around”. Micall Parknsun seemed to arrive late on the UK scene as I can never remember really listening to him during the golden era. Nevertheless, the dude is pretty sick and in my opinion underrated - but only slightly. People were feeling these live versions especially Come Again with rawkus shouts of "London City, London City" in place of the chorus we're more familiar with off the CD version. I haven't peeped the whole album yet but was certainly encouraged to do so following this little cameo appearance. Hats off Mr. Parknsun - you played a blinder!

Parky’s album was released on the YNR label that Jehst set up while at university and the two feature on a lot of each other’s tracks which worked well with them both up on stage. The High Plains Drifter aka Billy Brimstone aka J-Star lept on stage for his verse on the track then the two of them launched into Who’s That off the Menghi Bus Mixtape. Jehst then went from the modern Menghi musings to Alcoholic Author – the classic track off The High Plains Drifter album and then onto the more melodic mash up joint People Under the Weather - that absolutely undeniable UK anthem that everyone can't help but sing along to!

"There's about 10 people in this room but we're gonna make it feel like 10,000!" screeched the man like the j-star and for the next 3 mins with everyone singing along with their hands in the air it actually did. This track was backed up by Nuke Proof Suit off the Falling Down album. Its a classic track, we love it and you should definitely check out the video on youtube - a blatant piss take out of 50 cents Bullet Proof Vest. Wicked how British sarcastic humour made its way into to a sickly constructed and colorfully worded couple of verses - nothing but dope! Why, for the love of god, did he not BLOW UP following that track?

Jehst is one of all time favourite rappers. Although many others from TheRapBuzz.com collective will beg to differ, there are very few other english language rappers out there who can touch him lyrically. Jehst has got that easy going, listenable voice, characteristic style and the most incredibly layered and intelligent wordplay that more often than not is beyond all comprehension with his verses all so carefully and thoroughly crafted in such an overwhelming artisanal fashion. 

That's just the thing with Jehst - his voice, wordplay, content and delivery are all instantly recognisable. That being said, it is exactly this that is his downfall when it comes to live performances. TheRapBuzz.com has seen Jehst do shows in Bristol, Bath, Cardiff and several times in London both headlining as well as providing support for some of the more established names from the global scene e.g. Raekwon at Matter last year. Every time we see him on stage we can't help but feel disappointed. The thing is - his style just doesn't translate well live. The power and weight his rhymes carry come from the cleverness of his wordplay and the vivid pictures painted by his content. Stick him on a stage jumping around trying get people hyped doesn't enable him to properly give us what we expect from listening to him on CD though. Part of this has to be put down to the fact that in the UK, the majority of venues where this sort of music happens, the sound systems are always of pretty poor quality - or maybe it's just that we've been spoilt by seeing shows in France where live performances are always delivered thru’ systems with crystal clear audible clarity. Even where you'd expect the sound systems to be a little better (Jazz Cafe, Matter @ O2) we're still faced with the same problem - we can't hear what makes him good.

Not that it's much of a problem, every one of the 10 people present knew all the words just as well as he did. But this could be part of the reason why nothing more ever came from the talent that would/could/should have made him more of a household name perhaps not just in the UK. We were saying before the show how the only way for him to show off this very talent well enough live would be if we were chilling on someone's living room sofa with him stood right in front of us rapping. Funnily enough, this is exactly the set-up at the upstairs of the Vibe Bar, a lounge size room with a few sofas right in front of the slightly raised stage with just enough space in between for a few dozen people. Just a shame that only about 10 people turned up to fill it.

Jehst is a UK veteran and has appeared on practically all the best tracks ever to come out of the British Isles just take Cosmic Gypsies or Riviera Hustle as proof. Pure sickness, and this is why he has spawned a million soundalikes in Britain. His contribution to rap music in this country is undeniable - there are a $hit load of rappers out there who we never would have heard of, who never would have been able to express themselves musically to as many people as they do without Jehst. Though we are often left a bit bamboozled at some of the collaborations and the people he picks for his label, you can't deny that Jehst has intentionally, purposefully and almost single-handedly been responsible for an awful lot of output over the years; and it's fair to say that the scene in the UK probably wouldnt be where it is today without him.

Although popular in some other English-language territories like Australia - Jehst forms part of that elite group of UK rappers who people will always question - could they have made it Stateside (whether or not they'd want to/should do is a topic for another day). There are a few interviews on youtube with him openly saying that possibilities and offers from over the pond did come but that for whatever reasons nothing ever came from it. Did he get offers and turn them down...? If so, why...? Did he even get offers...? If not, why the hell not...? Perhaps one explanation is that he himself didnt want to, didnt think it was necessary to. Fair play to him if he did turn this down to concentrate on pushing rap in the UK. Maybe he should have taken the potential offer though, sold out and just done his best to make sure that somehow, someway UK rap could have benefited from it without being influenced or controlled by the more powerful Yank Machine. Ironically enough, in perhaps putting others ahead of his own personal aspirations, he may have inadvertently had a much wider negative effect on UK rap as a whole...

(For our non UK readers, check out Alcholic Author below, one of Jehst's dopest tracks and beats...and UK people, give us your thoughts, agree with Chrisss??)


Dj Premier Live @ Jazz Cafe, London 17.05.2010

By Chriisss

After a 10 hour wait at Lyon airport last week to come home after the Oxmo Puccino show, the travelling involved for DJ Premier in London was much easier going. 10 minutes on the Number 31 bus and I've arrived outside the Jazz Cafe in Camden with a fully charged camera, a pocket full of Mango Kush and not a single ash cloud in sight to halt the journey.

DJ Premier hit the UK earlier in the year for a March date at Matter at the 02 arena with a load of other DJs and MCs and returned for last night’s show for the first stop of a tour which will see him move on to Norway for 2 nights before heading off to China . This show promised to be all the more poignant with the recent and untimely passing of Guru still fresh in everyone’s minds. As all TheRapBuzz.com members were out of the country on either business or pleasure it was left to resident photographer Sefton "I love it when they call me Big Poppa" Blake to wave the La Cantina flag and properly papp proceedings before reporting back to the masses.

The Jazz CafĂ© is an awesome hip hop venue, spread over two floors with the stage and decks in full view it's a decent size whilst still being intimate enough to really feel the acts. Particularly at home on the stage and with an ever increasing following were the Droppin’ Science DJ collective who provided more than ample support to the big man. Armed with an apple mac and time code vinyls DJ Daredevil threw down some crazy doubles of early 90’s beats, beat juggled with Eric B and Rakim’s 'Don’t Sweat the Technique' and had the crowd going crazy singing along to Cypress Hill’s 'Could Just Kill A Man'. DJ Matman was then standing by taking us though the hip hop ages moving from Pharcyde and KRS-1 to Jay-Z and Nas and then Biggie and Keith Murray. Credit where credit is due – Daredevil and Matman kept the crowd noisy and more than entertained for well over 3 hours with classic beats, killer cuts and doubles on practically every track.

Preemo himself turned up around 10.15 going straight on stage to set-up after what sounded like a nightmare journey which saw his flight from New York get cancelled, none of his crew being able to fly with him, taking a flight alone to Paris and then finally the Eurostar to London.
After this brief explication and introduction DJ Premier made it clear for all present right from the get go that the night was to be a tribute to Guru. In his characteristic velvet gravel voice Preemo blessed the person, the life, the family, the music and the legacy of his former Ganstarr partner with a moving couple of minute’s parlance.

By this time the crowd were gagging for it and when Preemo kicked things off with cuts of Gangstarr tracks from the first few albums they responded with that unique collective sound of “whoa”, “yeah” and “ooh” all rolled into one sound that you only hear at a hip hop show with 'Militia' followed by 'Above the Clouds' getting the loudest cheers and the highest jumps.

The crowd was pumped and Premier, you could say, was already pretty emotionally charged so when some twat in the crowd dressed like a member of Goldie Looking Chain with a fake afro wig and over size necklace shouted out "you're not a gangstar" he went on a realness rant, blaming him for disrespecting Guru's soul and shot the guy down big style shouting, "what the fuck do you know little boy, I'm a G!" - this got the loudest shouts of the night. "You know what you haven't got" screamed a pi$$ed off DJ Premier, "Skills!!!" and with that he dropped the Ownerz album track - the crowd went off all sorts of chains!!!!!

Phat beat was followed by phat beat after phat beat as we moved from the classic Gangstarr catalogue to the Preemo produced tracks by MOP and Group Home which left heads nodding hard. From here we were all treated to some of the classic Biggie tracks 'Machine Gun Funk' and, of course, '10 Crack Commandments' – I couldn’t spot anyone not singing along which is cool considering I saw men, women and children of all ages, races, styles and backgrounds - some seriously unsuspecting DJ Premier fans crawled out of the woodwork for this one - including one old lady who must have been at least 65 who had her hand in the air like she really didnt care all night long - true heads!

Very little actual mixing going on mainly as he had to perform mic duties as well but this was cool as between tracks Preems would tell a little Gangstarr or Guru related story - one about how the group was formed, the stages it went through and one about how much of a ballsy little scrapper Guru used to be back in the day.

Whilst Daredevil and Matman ripped the decks up technically earlier on, DJ Premier was there to show he is more than just a track master - cutting, scratching and juggling with the best of them and there was more to come as we neared the end of the set with some more classics from the likes of Big L and Big Pun as well as some more recent beats he's done for Termanology. The highlight was 'Salute Pt II' at the end of the show with Preems introducing the track with the story of how and why it was made, dropping the track and shouting out Guru's verse through the mic - the look on his face was priceless, he was proper feeling it.

I left more than satisfied having seen a living hip hop legend in action and was impressed how he ran the stage and controlled the crowd for over 2 hours. I went straight home and spun every Chris Martin record I own – DJ Premier that is, not Coldplay.


Oxmo Puccino Live @ La Cigale, Lyon 07.05.10

As you know, TheRapBuzz.com is proud to claim that true International Hip Hop spirit and we wouldn’t be true to ourselves if we didn’t travel across the lands to witness the best emcees from all over the world perform live...

Last week we were in Lyon, France to check out one of the best lyricists and innovators of the French Rap scene, Oxmo Puccino, accompanied by his trusted band, the Jazz Bastards. With live instrumentation providing the musical background throughout the show and an impressive crystal-clear diction close to CD quality, Oxmo took control of the crowd like only the best showmen can.

The highlights of the night were undoubtedly the rendition of classics such as ‘Amour et Jalousie’ (both off ‘Opera Puccino’, his first and possibly best album), ‘J’ai Mal au Mic' (from ‘L’Amour est Mort’), and performing ‘On Danse Pas’ with an almost club-like beat behind it, making the room go wild with each and every one shaking that a$$!

Jumping from one album to another, obviously including ‘365 jours’ and ‘L’Arme de Paix’ from the homonymous full-length release, the show ended with 2 encores, the second of which featured Oxmo’s standout track ‘L’Enfant Seul’ to the pleasure of all present, who’d been demanding it and were finally blessed to witness such a musical masterpiece live.

French rap at its' best.

Check out the full length video of the concert here and some more pics below...


Just Blaze vs The Alchemist - The Sound Clash Live @ East Village, London 06.05.10

The shock of Guru's death put us out of action for sometime, while we re-played every Gang Starr and Guru track that we own (there's many of them). Attending The Sound Clash was therefore a great reminder of all the kick ass talent still alive in hip hop; it took away the sadness we felt after the death of a hip hop icon and brought back the energy (for real, with some of the boomiest bass lines we have ever heard vibrating our rib cages) that drives this culture forward.

It may have been a coincidence that just as we walked in, one of the supporting acts (Spin Doctor, Mr. Thing, Chris P Cuts & Dj Snips) was playing 'Above the Clouds', and damn it sounded good and felt good to see everyone on the dancefloor applauding the choice.

Shortly after, the show began (pics here, thanks Doctor's Orders). Alchemist and Just Blaze took up their positions behind the decks and ignited the crowd with all of their top productions. The beatmakers alternated their bangers in a format, that as beatmakers ourselves, we absolutely love: the original sampled track first, with the beat dropping in after. This creates a beautiful build up, as the crowd immediately recognises the sample and anticipates the drop of the beat, skillfully chopped and skrewed by the beatmaker. No fear here of copyright infringement or unsolicited sample calling, just pure appreciation of the talent of the hip hop beatmaker.

All of this was made even cooler by improvised cuts and scratches by the two, with the highlight probably being Just Blaze beat juggling Rick James's 'Super Freak' and then dropping 'Kingdom Come'.

As the set heated up though, it unfortunately became clear that the venue chosen wasn't ideal for a battle event. Unless you were one of the early arrivers sweating it in the first two rows, seeing the beatmakers in action was near impossible, therefore turning a battle event into what resembled a club night (where seeing the deejay doesn't really matter). A venue with an elevated stage would've made more sense, since a core part of the show was the live entertainment provided by Jus and Al on the mic.

The set lasted for two hours, and while the energy released during the night was unmeasurable, we were surprised not to see (or hear) more of a 'battle' going on between the two. We had read that the same set in the US featured some on the spot improv with the beatmakers responding to each other's beats in clever ways. The London event felt more like a joint deejay set than a battle, still cool, but not really a 'clash'...

And as pointed out by many reviewers, the set really brought to life the difference in styles between the two. Just Blaze is a hip hop hit maker, driving the crowd wild with practically every track he dropped; his beats have a bouncy feel and intricate rhythm patterns that you can't help moving to. Alchemist is instead more of a story teller, cooking up emotional soulful and dark samples into exciting soundbeds; not party tracks but intelligent boom bap bangers. It was therefore not surprising to see a stark difference in the crowd's reaction to the two beatmakers; people recognised and sang Alchemist soul vocal samples, but they broke into wild dancing when Just Blaze spun yet another hit. Not necessarily a bad thing, but in what was supposed to be a 'battle' it kind of automatically favoured one beatmaker over the other based on 'hit count' and not really talent.

The set finished with the instrumental version of Exhibit C at 2 am (great finale track by the way) and we happily exited the club, ears ringing and satisfied at having had yet another session of real head nod hip hop.

But, while outside lighting up a well deserved post club cigarette, to everyone's surprise, Alchemist walked out to hang out. Cool, unpretentious friendly dude, he had his picture taken with everyone (including us) before walking off into the Shoreditch streets with his black back pack. Guess it really is true, 'our boy Al, everybody's pal'

...and to wrap it up in his own words from Twitter:

London has been blessed. I never knew Just Blaze / ALC beats could create such a pungent body aroma ! Salute!

Look forward to more people...

TheRapBuzz.com in house trade union activist Ru1 posing with Al, happy days


RIP Guru - 20th April, 2010

Hip hop lost another one of its' legends today, Guru. We're going to look past the controversy around Solar and the last two months of his life, and just focus on remembering his music and talent.

RIP Guru

[Chorus: Guru]
(Skills) Top rank point blank we vital
Spit flows rip shows peep the recital
(Skills) Now, you feel it when we drop those
Hot beats stop phoes killin shit we got those
(Skills) It's, the music that the street love
Each thug, is now reppin this with deep love
(Skills) Gang Starr duelin again rulin again
Watch as we do it again

Originally reported by DjPremierBlog


Erykah Badu on Gilles Peterson Worldwide

We're big fans of both Erykah and Gilles Peterson here at TheRapBuzz.com, so this is definitely not one to miss. The file is a two hour long mp3, featuring the tracks below...perfect Sunday evening entertainment people.

Thanks to KevinNottingham for the link, download it here

1. Erykah Badu — On & On – Universal Motown
2. Erykah Badu — Turn Me Away (Get Munny) – Universal Motown
3. George Clinton — New Spaceship – 550 Music
4. Ramp — Look Into The Sky – Blue Thumb Records
5. Erykah Badu & J Dilla — Love – Universal Motown
6. Madlib — Ancestors – Stones Throw
7. Madlib — The Legend Of Mankind – Stones Throw
8. Patrice Rushen — Haw-Right Now – Prestige
9. The Voices of East Harlem — Loving You The Way I Do – Vinyl Experience
10. Gary Bartz — Music Is My Sanctuary – Capitol
11. Deniece Williams — How’d I know Love Would Slip Away – Columbia
12. Erykah Badu — Strawberry incense – Universal Motown
13. Alice Coltrane — Huntington Ashram Monastery – Impulse!
14. Flying Lotus — Sultan’s Request – Warp
15. dead prez — Hip Hop – Loud Records
16. Erykah Badu — The Healer – Universal Motown
17. Lil Wayne — Cannon – Gangstagrillz.com
18. Jay Electonica — Untitled – White
19. Mala — Eyes – DMZ
20. Erykah Badu — Agitation – Universal Motown
21. Erykah Badu — Window Seat – Universal Motown
22. Herbie Hancock — Thought It Was You – CBS
23. Edith Funker — Don’t Forget The Hot Sauce – White
24. Erykah Badu — Fall In Love – Your Funeral


Jedi Mind Tricks Live @ Jazz Cafe, London 01.03.10

La Cantina Productions was there...crazy wild sh*t. Literally. The crowd was out of control.

Props to JMT for a great concert, real live hip hop that we hadn't seen in a very long time...

Jus Allah freestyle below, one of the highlights of the evening


10 Things that Shook Hip Hop in the last decade

Image Credit


The last decade has seen a massive shake up for the world of hip hop. In this article KNL looks at how the culture has transformed and what monumental occurrences have changed the way we as fans, and the rest of the world, see hip hop. Deep KNL, deep...(editor's note)

1. Hip Hop Hits the Web - Main Dominator: 50 Cent

This has brewed throughout the decade and is now reaching heights which are quiet frankly – silly. We’re all for hip hop sites and places where we can view and listen to the latest stuff but one has to wonder how far is too far. The last decade has seen hip hop transform itself from more than just music into promotional blogs, videos, articles and websites set up just to promote specific albums. The lateral rise of Twitter, Facebook and MySpace was good news for Stans across the world as they could now synchronise their sleeping, eating and toilet patterns with their favourite rapper.

Furthermore the internet is aptly linked to our other topic, Beef. The internet has made beefing so easy and remote that it has transformed from a lyrical war or words, into a matter of online humiliation and finger pointing. 50 Cent has actively used ‘Thisis50.com’ to destroy many of his rivals, and whilst it’s funny as hell, one has gotta ask why they’re not destroying careers lyrically like they used to.

Finally, Youtube has been a saving grace, providing us all with a way to upload our own or leaked material (I’m not condoning this…!) oh of course not KNL (editor's note) and has also allowed artist’s epic fails to be readily available to millions – who remembers that dude from Pretty Ricky dancing in his underwear?!

2. Beef – Main Dominator: 50 Cent

Since 2000 we have seen more beef than a Maccie Ds in an obese town – off the top of my head, these are just some of the highlights I can remember...

Jay-Z vs Nas
50 Cent vs Ja Rule
Dr Dre vs Jermaine Dupri
Eminem vs Canibus
LL Cool J vs Canibus
Benzino vs Eminem
DMX vs Ja Rule
Kurupt vs Daz
Lil Wayne vs Gillie da Kid
T.I vs Lil Flip
T.I vs Ludacris
T.I vs Alfamega
50 Cent vs Nas
50 Cent vs Fat Joe
50 Cent vs Jadakiss
50 Cent vs Sheek Louch & Styles P
50 Cent vs Cassidy
50 Cent vs Rick Ross
50 Cent vs Jay-Z
50 Cent vs Lil Kim
50 Cent vs The Game
50 Cent vs EVERYONE

Goddamnit – now let us remember that out of these beefs probably 2 or 3 of them actually resulted in hot tracks. The most high profile battles were probably between 50 Cent and Ja Rule, Jay-Z and Nas and Eminem vs Canibus & Benzino. However the rest of this stuff was either a war of words, a war of blank threats and punches and in the case of the last 10 50 Cent beefs – just straight up clowning. I like Fiddy, but this section belongs to him too.

3. Return of the Remix – Main Dominator: Lil Wayne

Damn just about every Radio friendly song that hit our airwaves required some sort of remix to re-release the buzz and capture everyone’s imagination. Whether it was the frenzy created around Touch It or A Millie – or the crazy re-styles of Usher’s Confessions, everybody seemed to want to jump on the remix bandwagon. However the main prize has to go to Lil Wayne, who made it a personal mission to jump on as many tracks as possible – it got to the point where over the last 2 years it was impossible not to hear him remix something!

4. Death of the Super Label – Only Dominator: Aftermath

So it turns out the 90s was the time where Def Jam, Bad Boy, Rocafella and Deathrow to name a few were doing well and providing real music power houses. The last decade however has seen a decline – unfortunately there is probably only one label that lives up to the Music Powerhouse and that’s Dr. Dre’s Aftermath studios, but don’t forget it’s only because they have 3 multi-platinum, now legendary artists.

However, remember the days of a video where you saw more famous cats popping Crystal in a club or by the pool than you thought necessary? They’re gone. No more Lox in shiny suits behind Diddy, no more Dogg Pound, Kurupt, Daz etc. lounging in the club behind Snoop…it looks like merchandising is the way to go. Sad times.

5. ‘So it’s ok to wear white boy clothes now?’ – Main Dominator: Kanye West

People rejoice, for now you can wear a pink Ralph Lauren Polo shirt and not be questioned about your sexuality. You can wear the tightest jeans, with the tightest shirt, and a little red bowtie and no one will question your credibility as an artist. Ever since the arrival of our beloved College Graduate and 10,000 Louis bags later, Mr West has introduced classy attire to an undeniable number of artists who now follow his style.

With the rise of the ‘hipster’ fans it seems mature and sexy is the new way to go. But is this hip hop opening its' doors and becoming more tolerant of the outside world or is it that money and extravagance has taken the main stage in our once gritty genre? I don’t know about you – but the increase in bow ties and suits seems to be directly correlated with a decline of that hard ish...

Part 2 to come, stay tuned people

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