Welcome to Volume 4 of Strictly Reading and Leeds Hip Hop and Grime feature! We kick things off this week with a news section jam packed with information about upcoming shows.
This week saw the first announcement of Sonisphere Festival and nestled in between the rock bands were Californian hip hop legends Cypress Hill. The group will be a fantastic booking for the festival and will really add a different dimension to the music. Their huge cross over appeal and top notch live performances have won them a huge fan base and recent UK performances have included headlining Boardmasters festival in 2009 and playing the Main stage at Reading and Leeds Festivals in 2010. Tickets Available now.
Also being announced this week is that two of hip hops most prominent figures will be coming to the UK for what is sure to be a hotly anticipated set of shows. Jay-Z and Kanye West teamed up for last years album ‘Watch The Throne’ and now have decided to take it on tour making three stops in the UK. The duo will play Londons O2 Arena on May 20th, Manchesters Evening News Arena on June 11th and Birminghams LG Arena on June 13th.
And finally. Dot Rotten, our featured artist from Volume 1 has just announced his first London headline show. The MC has been working tirelessly and thoroughly deserves the success he is beginning to see. Dot plays Cargo on the 1st of May, with tickets also being released on the 24th of February.
Odd Future – ‘Rella’
The controversial rappers are back with their new single ‘Rella’. Well, I say new single but in reality this offers nothing that we haven’t already seen from the Wolf Gang collective. Honestly, you could play music bingo with their latest release with the only problem being that everyone would shout ‘house’. It’s like the guys work from a check list and no single is complete without all points included, they just seem to talk a lot without actually saying much. The beat produced by Tara Razavi is also tiresome. In short, I hate it.
Joe Black – ‘Medicine’
One of north London’s finest Joe Black was on par with a valentines release this month. A single of high quality showing his sensitive side, he was accompanied by Barry Knight on the chorus and Show n Prove on production. Show n Prove really did prove their talent with a fantastic beat expressing droplets of early 90′s U.S hip hop with a melodic saxophone on the hook. Joe is equally as impressive with his bars, ‘introduced myself, I’m blacks from the north side and I’d like a little bit of your time‘. Who said love is dead? An excellent track with crisp production and a real statement of love from the British hood.
Mac Miller Ft. Cam’ron – ‘Dig That’
A man making real movements in the scene lately, Mac Miller. From nothing to something, he seems to be the success story of 2011. Linking up with him in this new one leaked earlier this month is the legendary Cam’ron. Without Mac coming in for the second verse you’d think you were listening to a new release by the veteran Harlem rapper. Cam’ron delivers and without a doubt makes the track, that’s not to say Mac isn’t impressive, but his bars lack substance is this one, he seems to be boasting more than using intelligent lyricism which is what exactly the prior verse was made up of. A catchy track and worth a listen but you get the feeling Mac could have tried harder on this one.
Killer Mike ft Bun B, TI & Trouble – ‘Big Beast’
Atlantas Killer Mike is back and this time he’s bought some top notch company to add vocals to his new single ‘Big Beast’. The track is hard hitting and the electro sounding complexity that producer El-P has cooked up is brain frying. Throw in vocals from some of the coolest MCs around and you have yourself a well crafted record designed to be played extra loud from any sound system.
Turn to page two to undercover this week featured artist and new album reviews, featuring: Tyga, Maverick Sabre and Kendrick Lamar.