Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Wale vs Afrikan Boy

Everyone was talking about Wale's UK Freestyle this week (clk to download, care of Always Hustle). Well...I'd rather talk about a different freestyle that's been doing the rounds for a while - by Afrikan Boy (Olushola Ajose). It's rare that I beat my drum about representing where you're from, but most of us Nigerians have precious few people who've really made it that we can truly be proud of so it's a big deal. Olubowale Folarin Victor Akintimehin (Wale), seems to be very concerned with the DMV (although you wouldn't know it from his accent?) and yet I haven't heard him talk about Naija. Fair enough he was born in the States, so maybe he doesn't feel very connected - but if your entire family is Nigerian I find that hard to envision.
All of that aside, I find African Boy extremely entertaining (you may have heard him with M.I.A. on this track - Hussel featured on her most recent album Kala), and I will be heading to Bardens Boudoir in Dalston on Jan 30th to catch his show. Definitely going to hit Suya Express first - who's in?

Monday, 29 December 2008

Spending the night with Lizz Fields...

I somehow forgot all about this lady. Lizz Fields is a beautiful jazz singer (/hustler!) from Philly - selling her debut album By Day By Night through word of mouth and creating a serious underground buzz on the soul scene world over. The follow up Pleasureville has gone on to solidify her as one of the artists to you need to keep an eye out for.

You might remember the classic When I See Love (below), or this track All My Mistakes (clk to download) from By Day By Night. I'm about to put her on repeat for the evening, later...

Saturday, 27 December 2008

10 New Years parties you should know about...

If you're a promoter don't read this - it's for the people and we keep it real when it comes to recommending events.

URBAN NERDS @ Cordy House, Curtain Rd Shoreditch (£25 adv)
Reggae, crunk, hip hop, jungle, dub, D&B etc; The Bug & FlowDan, Drums of Death, Oneman, Thunderclaps, A1 Bassline, Cotti & Cluekid. Snowbombing are hosting the roof 'smoking' terrace with a Caribbean BBQ...
Sounds good but a bit expensive? Line up looks quite dubstep-heavy too fyi

FWD>> vs RINSE FM @ Plastic People, Shoreditch (£20 adv)
Grime, dubstep, funky and bassline house; Kode 9, Zinc, Marcus Nasty, Chef, Luke Envoy, Crazy D, Geeneus...
If you like dubstep ain't nowhere else to be

WORK IT @ Visions Video Bar, Kingsland Rd Dalston (£10 adv)
90s party music; Think Twice, Tina Turnover, Johnny Dett, WAH Girls, Maxwell Jaye, Max Volume, Skamrok
Will probably be loads of fun as long as you don't mind being in a scene-kid sardine sandwich.

GASH! vs SKILL WIZARD @ Efes Snooker Hall Kingsland Road, Dalston (£10 adv, £12 on the door)
Mr Moneybags, Tapedeck, Feeding Time, Team Mega Mix, Florence and the Machine (Dj Set), MAGS, Trencher (Dj Set), Cocadisco, Prancehall, Rockwell (Real Gold), Will Tang Clan, Lovvers (Dj Set), Tiger (This is Music), Str8necklin Crew, Pure Filth, kill Wizard, Snish (Dj set), Run Tings (GOD Squad)
Yep, I'm going to this one because I can walk home. Joke. Gash is a grimy, anything goes affair with so many DJs you can't fail to hear something you like and it's in a snooker hall. OK there's lots of trendies but they're thin & frail - push them out the way. Pass through & say hello.

EAST VILLAGE & AFRONAUGHT @ East Village, Shoreditch (£20 adv)
Phil Asher, Stuart Patterson, Benji B, Orin (Bugz In the Attic), Version Excursion etc
The door fee also includes a free drink - should be a great night for all you broken beat, deepness galore types - nice sound system too.

DJ DEREK & HOODOO HUSTLE
@ Nottinghill Arts Club (£15 adv)
DJ Derek, the patois speaking pensioner is always such good value, especially if you love reggae - but even if you don't (like me). Only thing is the advance ticket only guarantees your entry until 10pm?!

STACKED @ The Elbow Rooms, Angel (£20 adv, £30 on the door)
Hip hop/R&B/bashment & soul; DJ 279, DJ MK and the Doctor's Orders team DJ Lok & D.Bo. Apparently there's a VIP room, with drinks and table service, DVD player and a plasma screen, and a dress code - no caps, hoods or tracksuits. I imagine the venue thinks these are bonuses.

SOULBREW @ The Horse & Grooms, Curtain Road, Shoreditch (£15 adv)
Downstairs is hip hop, soul & funk; Spin Doctor, Mr Thing, Geto
Upstairs 'The Disco Loft'; Andy Bird, Yam Who?, Kyri From R2 Records
Should be good vibes but the Doctors Orders party with Jehst & Kashmere the following night looks wicked...

CRATES @ Juno, Shoreditch (£ FREE)
Nu soul, funk, boogie, jazz, rares and a touch of broken.
The ad said "Fun loving, funky, mature people, this one is for you, you will not be disappointed." - In other words this one's for the grown & sexy crowd (and the poor)?

THE BIG ONE

WU YEARS EVE @ Sonar, Baltimore MD ($55 adv + flights...)
Yes you heard - the entire Wu Tang Clan in Baltimore. Baltimore is the STD capital of the US (maybe something to do with having sex on the dance floor instead of dancing?) and it's where they film The Wire so we recommend you get travel insurance if you go.


*I'm aware of loads of other parties but have put this together for our readers in particular - if you think something else should be on here or you think your night will be better than I think it will be feel free to leave a comment below.

Friday, 26 December 2008

Karma Stewart EP - free download

I love Christmas, everyone's putting out amazing free music! Karma Stewart is the girl on PPP's Dancing on a Cloud, (don't have it? Well it was on this mix) - amazing set of lungs and I really cannot wait for her album! This lady is a proper soul singer, with serious guts & passion, and the EP features production & song writing from Waajeed, Saadiq & Coultrain. Download and enjoy here!

Nikki Jean had a very merry christmas...

Gwan.

Brittany Bosco 'Spectrum EP' - Free Download

I know you know about Brittany Bosco, the electro-soul lady Pinboard and others have been repping hard throughout '08. I've been listening to a couple of tunes but was holding back for the EP. Well, it's here - many thanks to her crew for sending this little gem over to spread to you lovely people. Click HERE to download it, and feel free to comment here or hit Brittany up yourself on her myspace.

Photobucket

Thursday, 25 December 2008

A little present for you - the PMOI Xmas CD download

I'm not really in to Christmas but I am in to food so to celebrate an excuse to gorge myself senseless, I've put together a download which should fit nice and neatly on to a CD you can play wherever you are for dinner. I've been really careful to avoid bad language so the one song you shouldn't play in front of your Gran is highlighted below in red. It's a combination of tunes I love from 07/08 that make me feel fuzzy and festive, and a few older tracks I can't do without at Christmas. Click hurrr to download it. I know there are a million of mixes floating about but this one has been painstakingly put together in order as a CD especially for youuuuu.

01. A.M - Muhsinah
02. Just Ain't Gonna Work Out - Mayer Hawthorne and The County
03. Visions of Violet - José James Prod. By Flying Lotus
04. As - Miles Bonny / Madlib
05. The Hop (Hudson Mohawke Mix) - Radio Citizen
06. If I Ever Feel Better - Phoenix
07. Too Much (rmx) - Rich Medina
08. Everywhere - Common (ft. Martina Topley Bird)
09. MILF - Bilal & 88 Keys
10. On a Cloud - Platinum Pied Pipers (feat. Karma)
11. Where Would You Be - Yaw
12. All That You Give - The Cinematic Orchestra ft Fontella Bass
13. 100 days, 100 nights - Sharon Jones and the Daptones
14. Mushallah (NYC) - Hypnotic Brass Ensemble
15. Tell The Truth - Oddisee feat. Nikki Jean
16. If We Were (bonus) - Arthur Lewis
17. Wayfaring Stranger - Jamie Woon
18. It's Not Up To You - Björk
19. Happiness - The Foreign Exchange
20. Peace - Stacy Epps

If I have time I'll put together a 'golden oldies' CD later.

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Is Youtube really the new MTV?

I am no legal expert on copyright issues, but the latest instalment of You Tube vs Warner Brothers has led me to dig around what kind of money we’re talking here and who’s actually to blame for what. Forgive the length of this post.

2 years ago You Tube (now owned by Google), struck a deal with all of the major record companies. The deal was that when Google bought You Tube, record companies would just get a cut of the ads people saw when their content was watched instead of trying to sue You Tube. Lawsuits against You Tube are really hard to win anyway, since they’re protected by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. This act protects people who run websites containing copyrighted content (including us bloggers) – it means the burden is on the owner of the copyright to tell the website owner the material is copyrighted and to take it down - which You Tube has reporting facilities for. The law around this only gets hazy when the whole point of the website is providing copyrighted material or the website owner has been asked to take down such links and they don't, or keep offending.

I can’t blame record labels for struggling to deal with the internet beast which is evolving so much faster than they are. Warner rushed in and were the first to strike a deal with You Tube so they don’t get great rates, and You Tube generates less than 1% of their annual income, (so last year it generated less than $6 million). That doesn’t sound too bad – until you look at what other people are making.

Universal 9,087 Videos; 3,025,854,115 Views
Sony BMG 1,782 Videos; 491,923,395 Views
ChrisBrownTV 17 Videos; 301,332,272
SouljaBoy 311 Videos; 268,283,129
Warnerbrosrecords are coming in 11th with 1,127 videos & 250,331,650 views

Universal indicates that its revenues run into the tens of millions, and it expects to make about $100 million from various video websites, (much of it from You Tube), this year. Chris Browns’ stats are the most impressive – and that must hurt.

What gets me is the constant comparisons between You Tube and MTV – and the inference that You Tube is the new MTV. It’s not.

To summarize; Youtube was founded in Feb 2005 by 3 former Paypal employees. It’s the third most popular website on the net, and in 2007 it used up more bandwidth in 2007 than the entire internet did in 2001 (ten hours of video is uploaded every minute, and over 100m Americans visited it last year). In case you don’t know bandwidth and high traffic cost a lot of money to host so they’re not just raking it in from advertising with no outlay – but it’s estimated they’ll make between $1-200m this year. 6 of its 10 most popular channels are music based.

MTV started in 1981, with the sole aim of being a music television channel (a visual version of radio), and the first music video shown on MTV was "Video Killed the Radio Star" by The Buggles. It originally started with a rock focus and, prior to 1983 didn’t really play much pop music or music by black artists (Michael Jackson’s Billie Jean changed the face of their programming almost overnight). It was widely used as a promotional tool for the music industry and was highly criticized for detracting from the quality of music and accused of creating a single-led, visual-based music culture, although it did also launch the careers or many alternative and underground acts through dedicated shows. As early as 1997 the channel came under fire for not playing as many music videos as it had in the past – by 2000 it was down to 8 hours a day, and currently it’s just 3 hours.

Here my gripe. MTV has always been through phases of having a narrow musical remit in terms of programming. On You Tube Warner has over 1,000 videos they are gaining revenue from – and some of them are just behind the scenes or old concert footage, which cost nothing to make. I’ve heard many claims that the internet is the reason for MTV reducing the number of music videos it plays – but they were down to 8 hours a day by 2000 and You Tube wasn’t created until 5 years later, so really companies should think themselves lucky that You Tube was created and earns them revenue because regardless they wouldn’t be getting much out of MTV anymore. Maybe MTV shot themselves in the foot by narrowing their programming too far – who wants to watch the new Beyonce video 3 times an hour?.

Look at the MTV Music Video awards (The VMAs) and the categories they’ve lost: Most Experimental Video (1984-1987), Best Concept Video (1984-1988), Best Post-Modern Video (1989-1990), Best Alternative Video (1991-1998), International Viewer's Choice (1990-2003). Gone gone gone. The winner of the Youtube music video award this year was Tay Zonday with the weird & hilarious Chocolate Rain (32,454,737 views to date). The first ever MTV VMA best video award winner was the weird & futuristic You Might Think, by The Cars in 1984. This year it was Britney Spears – Piece of me. Need I say more?

Sunday, 21 December 2008

I am Clutchy Hopkins!

OK, no I'm not, but how would you have known if I hadn't told you?! The enigma that is Clutchy Hopkins apparently lives in the Mojave Desert and studied with yoga masters, Zen Monks and Nigerian Freedom Fighters (perhaps these contacts are the reason he's now keeping a low profile?*), etc etc. Others believe this is just yet another one of Madlibs' aliases, or perhaps DJ Shadow, Cut Chemist or the Beastie Boys.
I have my own theory. I think it's Swizz Beatz, Rick Rubin or Scott Storch. One too many backpackers slagged them off online and they decided to play them at their own game - thus Clutchy Hopkins was born. Why do you think MF Doom really wears a mask? Because it's actually Jermaine Dupri under there! He sent out one of Dem Franchize Boyz as him to help him out when he was having a hard time with Janet and everybody got upset, saying he was a fraud.
OK I'm talking complete and utter crap but it'd be so funny if it were true...Whoever he is, Clutchys' music is great.

3:02 - Clutchy Hopkins


*I am Nigerian so I can make those jokes. En hen.

Saturday, 20 December 2008

Shystie, New Style?

This is the new tune 'New Style' from Shystie, set for release in Jan 09. It's produced by DJ Deekline and Ed Solo, going for that UK grimy-electro vibe that cynical people might say M.I.A. did so well four years ago...anyway, I'm as yet undecided on this tune but check it out.

Friday, 19 December 2008

We like to party...

Photos by Shan Phearon...more to follow...





Huge thank yous, love and props to everyone involved. This was a one off so if you missed it you really missed! For the rest of the photos click here.

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Worst lyrics of 2008?

I saw one of those end of year round ups in the Village Voice today for the worst lyrics of 2008 today - r&b and hip hop seemed to come out real winners, with rock not far behind. Some of my personal favourites from their list are include:

I won’t attend your pity party /
I’d rather go have calamari.
Ne-Yo “So You Can Cry”

Skip dinner and gon’ rent a movie /
You order Chinese food right
before you do me.
Usher “Trading Places”

She ain’t a politician /
Honey’s a pole-i-tician.
Nas on Young Jeezy’s “My President Is Black”

Swagger tighter than a yeast infection /
Fly go hard like geese erection.
Lil Wayne “Dr. Carter”

There is obviously a glib smugness to be gained from cherry picking lines from songs and alienating them from their original context so that they instantly become meaningless (and, in this case, ridiculous) - but perhaps lyrics should stand up to such scrutiny. I'll confess - a lot of hip hop lyrics pass me by but the reaction a lot of people I know have had to much of Commons' Universal Mind Control has been real disappointment and incredulity. In the context of his career this album feels the least personal to most I've spoken to - coming from a hip hop poet who has such a talent for touching on the most universal of human emotions and story telling. The only song I actually like on the album, the stunning Everywhere (click to download) - largely featuring Martina Topley-Bird, he drops the second verse that begins "No pop, no pop, no pop, no pop/ We gon' do this thing/ Til the sky just drop"...to be honest I'd love to hear a version of the song without him on it.

I wouldn't normally post something from a mainstream press source ridiculing r&b and hip hop but there was a good measure of other music thrown in and er, 'pity party - calamari' is just inspired. I think this year has been really interesting musically, I've heard a lot of fantastic production but to be honest I think there is room for artists to really step up to the plate lyrically. Making music for endless mixtapes or the club doesn't mean you don't have to bother saying anything meaningful. I really hope someone will take up the challenge in '09 and realise the cheapening of music leaves many of us wide open and craving for something more substantial...

Monday, 15 December 2008

TONY ALLEN + HYPNOTIC BRASS ENSEMBLE - CARGO 29TH JAN = GIG OF THE YEAR 09

I'm trying to calm down after seeing this gig appear on Cargo's website - huge props to Karen P for putting this together. If you know me you know that I'm one of HBEs biggest fans - click here to check out a video & my take on their gig at the ICA this July, one of the high points of my life. To be honest I don't know if anything could top that experience, so many things came together at once to make it incredible, but the missing element from last time (my sister) will be there this time. Not to mention - TONY ALLEN!!! If you're reading this blog you know who he is. The only time I've had the pleasure of seeing him perform live was at The Good, The Bad and The Queen's first performance at the Roundhouse and I can't wait to see what happens at the gig in January. I'll be there the second the doors open holding my spot at the front - come find me.
Here's why:

*This song, Sankofa is taken from Tony Allens' Losun. It's also that amazing tune Alexander Nut often plays when DJing and everyone asks me "who's this again?!" - come shock out with me to this in the dark tomorrow night.

This is a clip of them performing Brass In Africa (re-work of the Shaft in Africa theme tune!)


Here they are in Lagos, Nigeria (me & Tony Allens' endz) as part of Africa Express...



Little treat, for those of you who feel the way I do about Outkasts' Spottiottiedopalicious click right here to see HBE do the chorus...

Q Tip and Prince. At the same time.



53 seconds in - Tip realises that Prince has just walked on stage and he starts backing away briefly, I imagine to stop himself exploding/forgetting the words/ screaming etc etc. Very impressive - I would have lost my shit completely. If you were in the audience I officially hate you.

Props to Dean for sending me this one!

Sunday, 14 December 2008

Saturday, 13 December 2008

FLOATING POINTS DOWNLOAD

We've been telling you and telling you, but just in case you were unconvinced - here's the proof FPS is the truth mayne!

LOVE ME LIKE THIS
(would have been in my top 5 party tunes of the year)
SHANGRILA (don't sleep on this one)
*These links were re-upped on 28/12/08

These are promo tracks so if you're feeling it then leave a comment fools! He's a big boy he can take it.

Oh, and one more reason FPS is very very cool. He took this photo, apparently it only took 6 weeks.


*The green stringy bits are single neurons, the green blobs with red around them are the cell bodies which contain the nucleus...

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Minnie

Just had a minnie moment this morning. Did you know that she was the first black female to serve as spokesperson for the American Cancer Society and to receive the Society's Courage Award from President Jimmy Carter.



Wednesday, 10 December 2008

The biggest party bangers for the biggest party of 2008 (er, we hope!)

I normally find these round ups boring unless you get something out of it - so here's the deal.
  • Pick your top 5 party tunes of the year in comments below this post
  • If you're anonymous write a name in the comment so you can enter the competiton
  • If you can't choose & there were a couple by the same artist you can put them as an either/or
  • The best gets their name + 1 on the (extremely limited) guest list for the Put Me On It party.
  • I'll forward the whole list on to the DJs and if they can fit them in they will (I did pick these guys because they're amazing though so regardless this is going to be off the hook - bring kicks, a sweat rag, fan, change of clothes, deodorant - whatever you need).
  • This competition closes on Tuesday 16th December

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

The McFerrins

I'm a little slow on the uptake occasionally (especially when it comes to jazz unfortunately), but I came across this clip of Bobby McFerrin today. I knew he was an amazing singer but didn't know quite how unique & pioneering he is (he didn't only make Don't Worry Be Happy & The Cosby show theme tune...). In 1984 he made The Voice, the first solo acapella jazz album with no overdubbing. The child of opera singers, he has a vocal range of four octaves, can switch between normal and falsetto registers to create polyphonic effects, is an expert in vocal percussion, he can "throat sing"a practice common in central Asian regions such as Tuva and Tibet in which the singer excites the natural overtones from the fundamental vocal pitch, producing a two-or three-part chord of notes from one voice. "Scatting" often makes me cringe - personal thing - but this clip is just amazing.



This is just beautiful - Richard Bona with Bobby McFerrin. I'm a little watery after watching it.


He's touring throughout Europe this Spring, I didn't see any London dates but I'm down to travel.

I'd heard about Taylor McFerrin too but never put two and two together (he's Bobby's son) - doh. If you haven't already please check out his myspace - he's one of the most exciting artists I've heard about all year. Every song on there is innovative, soulful, magical and a real pleasure. Here is Taylor performing with our very own Ty - I hate that I wasn't at this gig!

Sunday, 7 December 2008

I finally popped my cherry at The Roots

Yes people - I am no longer the only person in the world who hasn't seen The Roots live. I don't know how I've managed not to see them live yet but it was worth the wait. Right on time too, before they start working as the house band on Late Night and stop touring for a while...the full line up last night was ?uestlove & Black Thought, Kamal (keyboard), F Knuckles (percussion/hype man/choreographer), Captain Kirk (guitar/sax/BVs), Damon "Tuba Gooding Jr." Bryson (sousaphone/ running around like a madman), and Owen Biddle (bass/ trying very hard to dance).

?uestlove & Frankie Knuckles go at it


You Got Me


As soon as I find a video with one of the many awesome Tops/ Temps style routines I'll add it. Shout outs to my partners in crime & losing our minds & voices completely - Katy, Tanya & Justice.

Thursday, 4 December 2008

SCRAP THE 696!!!

I've just received an email about Form 696 - and it's really worrying if you love live music. It's a form that means licensees have to give the police the names, aliases, private addresses and phone numbers of all musicians and other performers appearing at their venue, and the ethnic background of the likely audience. Failure to comply could mean the loss of a licence or even a fine and imprisonment. WTF?!
Sign the petition against it here: http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/Scrapthe696/
Click here to join the Facebook group & tell your friends.

For more info & an interesting insight in to the narrow minded, judgmental, stigmatic and unrepresentative argument being put forward by the police force for the form read the article below.

Reverend and the Makers frontman Jon McClure has set up a petition aiming to get the Metropolitan Police to scrap the use of Form 696.

Form 696 is a risk assessment form for gigs and requires details of the performers and asks licence owners to predict the "target audience".

The singer claimed the form targets black music fans and is in place to "stop black kids from having gigs".

The Met police say the form is voluntary, and "not discriminatory".

The form has been in use in 21 London boroughs since October 2005, and requires names, addresses and phone numbers of performers 14 days in advance.

McClure claims Form 696 is racially discriminatory and has set up a petition on the Prime Minister's Office website.

McClure told BBC 6 Music: "For me, it is an attack on local promoters because it makes their job increasingly difficult, but also, it's a bit of a racist tool used by the London Met and other boroughs. For what purpose does the ethnicity of an audience matter in modern day society? Nothing."

David Isles, a detective superintendent with the Met Police Clubs and Vice Unit, explained: "I think that that's naive in the extreme because this is about black kids being shot and stabbed."

The Form 696 scheme was introduced when police became concerned about gun crime at clubs.

Detective Superintendent Isles said: "You have particular gangs aligned to particular types of music and that obviously created an environment where rival gangs would target them.

"It wasn't about the music, it wasn't about the venue, it wasn't about the promotion, it was because gangs were associated with those particular events."

He said the aim of Form 696 was not to shut events down.

"That is the last resort and we would only ever do that when the threat level is so high that no means of intervention could prevent someone from becoming a victim of violence."

Jon McClure is not the only musician to react against Form 696.

Head of UK Music and the former Undertones singer, Feargal Sharkey, has reported the use of the form to the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

"UK Music is currently looking at the process of judicial review and that would involve all 21 local boroughs that we believe are involved in this," he said.

"We are already aware of a number of pubs that have had this now attached as a mandatory condition to their licence, which means if the landlord of that pub does not give that information, he is then in breach of his licence."

By Georgie Rogers
6 Music news reporter

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Brooklyn We Go Hard...but Santogold went harder

The new video from Jay Z (why does he sound like the smaller Carter doing a weird Jamaican impression on this?) ft Santogold for the Notorious soundtrack...amazing video by Evan Roth of Graffiti Research Labs.

Jay-Z on iLike - Get updates inside iTunes


I think the "Brooklyn We Go Hard" chorus sounded hotter as the opening bars to Santogolds' Shove It - (click the link to download the Switch remix) - which I haven't been able to stop listening to for ages.

WE THINK YOU'RE A JOKE
SHOVE YOUR HOPE
WHERE IT DON'T SHINE


*It's not often I'll post something straight from Nah Right but I'd been planning on making sure you had Shove It anyway...

Tunes of the day for me



Monday, 1 December 2008

Black Milk - the big question...

What moisturiser does this guy use?! I'm sorry, this in depth profile video is all very interesting etc but that was what I was thinking all the way through.


Out Da Box TV Episode 4 from Cril on Vimeo.

Envy

I checked out the new video from Tor for Going Home the other day & it was featuring two female MCs - Envy & Pariz 1. I really rate Tor - wicked MC, she's great live & a really nice person but something just hit me about Envy when I heard this tune and I keep coming back to it.

From her look & style I imagine she's going to have to deal with the Lady Sov. comparisons but to be honest I don't think that's such a bad thing. I wasn't a huge fan of Lady Sovereigns' music myself but I thought she had talent & could definitely see her appeal - pity she was shoved in to the US market with loads of marketing and no preparation then left to drown. Envy comes from a battle background so I can't imagine she's easily fazed - this is her winning the most recent Hip Hop Connection freestyle battle against Mickey Negro. Pause it & let it buffer, then scroll through to 3:30 unless you enjoy talentless people humiliating each other with their own wackness.



To be honest I'm not really feeling the quality of production on a lot of her stuff but you get a picture of her lyrical prowess and talent on Tongue Twister (below), and if you go to her myspace www.myspace.com/envy06 check out Sometimes I Think Deep which is a tune - wonder if she'll live to regret the "Fuck T4" lyric though...

Sunday, 30 November 2008

Incredible Fly Lo mix

Star your Sunday right and listen to it here.

Alice Coltrane ‘Galaxy In Turiya’
Charlie Hayden+ Egberto Gisomonti / Gonjasufi ‘Testament’
Flying Lotus ‘Massage Situation (Stripped)’
Dimlite ‘Sun Sized Twinkles’
Flying Lotus ‘Robertaflack Ft. Dolly’
Flying Lotus ‘Robertaflack (Mike Slott Reflunk)’
Ahu ‘I Know All The Bitches (Bullion Remix)’
Heralds Of Change ‘Amuse’
Carlos Y Gaby ‘Happy Summer Solstice’
Pudge ‘Yung Infamous’
Dorothy Ashby ‘Myself When Young’
Nosaj Thing ‘Bach’
LL ‘Turf Day’
Flying Lotus ‘Infinitum (Dimlite Remix)’
Clark ‘Springtime Epigram’
Burial ‘Shutta’
Blank Blue ‘Blank Blue (Flying Lotus Remix)’
Daedelus ‘I’m String Struck’
MHE ‘Untitled’
Daedelus / Madvillain ‘Experience/Accordion (Flying Lotus Live
Remix)’
Hudson Mohawke ‘Zoo0000oom’
Rustie ‘Black Block Remix’
Teebs+Jackhigh ‘Idea 1 (Clutch)’
Matthewdavid ‘Tallahassee Tapes’
Martyn / Flying Lotus ‘Vancouver+Pet Monster Shotglass’
Fulgeance ‘Chico (Dorian Concept Remix)’
Joker ‘Solid State’
Rusko ‘Moanerz’
Daddy Kev ‘Invite8’
Ras G ‘Star Messenger’
Madlib ‘Unreleased Gem’
SAMIYAM ‘Cheesecake Backslap’
Knowledge ‘Dawn’
Flyamsam ‘Princess Toadstool’
Sa-Ra ‘Hollywood’
Muhsinah / Flying Lotus ‘With Me/ Melt’
Flying Lotus ‘Dissecto’
Flying Lotus ‘Breathe’
Mike Slott ‘Home’
Flying Lotus ‘Sangria Spin Cycles (Ambient Mix)’
Danny Breaks ‘Cosmic Dust’
Flying Lotus ‘Beginners Falafel (Free The Robots Remix)’
SAMIYAM ‘Falafel Cannon’
Flying Lotus ‘Beginners Falafel’
Slum Village ‘Players (Instrumental)’
Flying Lotus ‘Cackle’
Flying Lotus ‘Raise It Up’
Osborne ‘Definition Of A Breakdown’
Baron Zen ‘Burn Rubber (Dam-Funk Remix)’
Mono/Poly ‘Needsdeodorantbitch’
Chocolate Star / Nelly Furtado ‘Stay With Me/Promiscuous’
Gonjasufi ‘Suzie Q’
Kiing Midas ‘Lost (Flying Lotus Live Remix)’
Rusko / Flying Lotus ‘Terminal3’ / ‘Tea Leaf (Dancers Live Remix)’
Daedelus ‘Hours Minutes Seconds (Beat Invitational Version)’
Kode9+Flying Lotus ‘Kryon’
Zomby ‘Spliff Dub (Rustie Remix)’
Busta Rhymes ‘What Up’
SAMIYAM ‘Crystal Lake’
Weather Report ‘River People’
SAMIYAM ‘Flintstone Car’
Flying Lotus ‘Backpack Caviar’
Radiohead ‘Reckoner (Flying Lotus Remix)’
Bjork ‘All Is Full Of Love’
Broadcast ‘Winter Now’
Portishead ‘Elysium’
Linda Perhacks ‘Hey Now Who Really Cares’
Flying Lotus ‘Infinitum (Exile Remix)’
Flying Lotus ‘Live Set Practice Run’

Saturday, 29 November 2008

SoundSpecies @ Gramaphone


Last night I headed down to a night featuring an insane line up put together by Loud Minority - Ahu, Bullion, Paul White, Alexander Nut, Alex Chase, Mr Beatnick, Floating Points and Sound Species (who I kicked myself for missing at Plastic People last month & were my main reason for heading down).
I haven't been to Gramaphone for anything but Deviation for a while so wasn't quite sure what to expect...it was refreshing to see a really different crowd and the raised platform at the back once again transformed in to the red light special stage (you might remember Eric Lau & the crew's legendary Deviation session earlier this year). It makes for a very intimate atmosphere (*NB if you are going out straight from work on a Friday please pack some deodorant in your back pack, that was intense).
I arrived late as per usual, with far too many hellos to say & full of far too much amazing food cooked by Stac & Abi - not just two of the most exciting soulstresses around but damn fine chefs as well - and I was unfocused on the first part of SS's set. Floating Points informed me I'd missed some amazing beats but I was lucky enough to catch the tail end of what I felt was a beautifully put together yet organic and diverse live session. If you walked past the guys from SoundSpecies in the street you really wouldn't guess at the serious talent they're working with. I've been listening to bits online but nothing's ever going to jump out of your computer and enchant your ears like live sax & flute (and what seemed to be a veritable arsenal of instruments lurking in the depths) - I was really torn between head down absorption and awed scrutiny...most excellent. Yah.
This was followed up later by a mesmerising performance from Ahu with Mr Beatnick on the decks. She has this ability to make me feel sad, curious & a need to shock out all at the same time. By the time she got to I Know All The Bitches I managed to refrain from killing the loud Irish bird at the back and realised just how long I'll want to sing along to that song - a modern classic. Just wish she'd done the spoken part at the end...and all the remix versions...but at least she kicked off rapping most of Lost Ones by Lauryn Hill!

All of this made it much easier when I bumped in to Will & Ray (*two of the most discerning party rockers I know) at the bus stop who claimed the Room 4 Movement 2000Black "A Next Set A Rockers" album launch party (Dego + Kaidi holding it down on the decks all night apparently) was the party they'd been searching for all year. Ouch. I need to mutate.


*If anyone has photos of last night let me know, I was too busy dancing.

Thursday, 27 November 2008

NOTORIOUS


I just watched this trailer 3 times & still have goosebumps. Set for release on 16th Jan in the US & 13th Feb 2009 in the UK. Thanks to Alex for the link.

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

BIG Tune...

I've always found it a bit wierd bumpin great tunes on the mp3 whilst i'm commuting and knowing people can't hear what i'm listening to means i can bump the most random songs and however i feel or think towards that song is hidden behind my earphones and in my mind....it's always hard to not even flinch when a great song comes on for fear of feeling like a donut...

Currently bumpin' this tune on my mp3 and i thought i'd share...




John 'Illa J' Yancey....I'm sure you all know who he's following from.....
R.I.P Dilla. *salute*

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

THIS FRIDAY AT THE BFI

This Friday my good friend Winstan 'Winstyles' Whitter is showing his new film LEGACY IN THE DUST .....doors 7pm BFI South Bank, Belvedere Road, South Bank Waterloo, London, SE1 8XT Box Office: 44 (0)20 7928 3232.


This is the story of 'The Four Aces Club', founded in the 60s and which for 33 years was home to the most influential black music and musicians to date. It showcased new musical genres like Reggae and Ska, also a home for Jazz and Soul. Artists like Desmond Decker, Jimmy Cliff, Count Shelly, Ann Peebles, Percy Sledge, Ben E King and Billy Ocean performed here. Includes an introduction by the filmmaker Winstan Whitter, a Q&A session with one of the original 'Aces' Newton Dunbar and a display of associated memorabilia.
Photobucket

Roger Riley & Teddy Troutman - Death of Autotune

Perfect. This is for all the people I've spoken to in the last week who just don't get it. Even if you like auto tune* you can't help but laugh at this.


Download it here

Tracklist
1. Heartbreak Intro
2. Buck Em Down
3. Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Can See
4. Ante Up
5. Breathe And Stop
6. Elevators
7. Nothin’ But A G Thang
8. One More Chance
9. Electric Relaxation
10. Shook Ones
11. Simon Says
12. You Got Me

*Auto tune is aural marmite, I don't advocate hating on personal music preference for fear of turning in to a jazz beard stroking backpack toting music-nazi nerd. Not a good look.

Sunday, 23 November 2008

Currently Listening to....

Who's Looking For The Put Me On It Party?! I sure as hell am....perfect party to end the year...mad props to Amelia on this one!
On another note....I've recently been listening to 1xtra in the office....i think i'm like a few years late on jumping on the 1xtra bandwagon...Anyhoo back to the whole point of the post...
I thought i'd share a few tracks that are keeping me....floating in amidst these cold temperatures....



Hill St Soul- Wash Away



Raphael Saadiq- 'Skyy, Can you feel me?'

-Had the pleasure of seeing him live on the 12th, Once i steal the live rendition from Chocolate Bear who captured it...i shall upload! Absolutely mesmerised me seeing him live singing this song *floats away*

Next song....



Can- Vitamin C

Courtesy of Gilles Peterson dropping the track on his show and reminding me how much i LOVE this song.....I hope you guys do too!

Last but not least....this always makes me start smiling....really bad sound on the video.....sowwy!



Raymun-Do you feel like i feel

I'm afraid i'm not as technologically advanced as most on this blog so now idea how to upload downloads n stuff....so all i could give you was the videos i'm afraid!

Hope those tracks have warmed up you up as much as it has done to me in these temperatures!

Saturday, 22 November 2008

Last ever Freesoul Sessions? :(

So I think I'm gonna have to admit that I'm officially crap at blogging. lol... I'm actually pretty crap at posting up pics anywhere to be honest... so in an effort to fix that... here's some shots of Mark de Clive Lowe's last ever Freesoul Sessions gig which had the most insanely sick collection of talent crammed onto the stage at Cargo - Bembe Segue, Tawiah, Vanessa Freeman, Mystro, Sharlene Hector, Richard Spaven, Dynamite MC, Lady Chann, Michelle Escoffery, Richard Baker.....

































More pics here

The dangers of getting lost up your own ass.

I feel like I'm sitting outside the gates of pop music and can't work out how to get in sometimes. I've been sent both 808s & Heartbreak and I am Sasha Fierce from various sources this week and I can't listen to either of them (yet).

I read a painstakingly thorough and in depth review of 808s by Shan Phearon on Pinboard Blog - and spent more time on that than I did skipping through the album. I just can't get down with this auto-tune thing. This is my personal taste speaking, it's not a review, I just feel completely disconnected when I hear what to me sounds like a sad robot who can't sing but is doing his best. Another friend had a go at me for about an hour (& is still sending me messages about it) because I don't like Chopped and Screwed by T Pain & Luda. I don't like cough syrup either, sorry. I heard a very interesting take on 808s by another friend which in summary was - he's about to drop a hip hop record really soon which will send everyone crazy, but if you keep doing the same thing people won't be so eager for it, so he made this album on purpose - like Common's Electric Circus. Who knows what he's about to do next. I have so much respect for Kanye despite never having been a big fan of his music (see the vid below). I think he has a brilliant mind, an amazing attitude and rare passion...but if this album is real it's a very personal 'I don't give a fuck what you think' statement.


Beyonce, on the other hand, is just worrying. Some things you keep to yourself - and surely your diva alter ego should be one of them (or you're entering Mariah/Mimi territory)?! I wasn't really feeling B'Day (apart from Ring the Alarm), but this new album is just waste. I really don't understand her If I Were a Boy single - didn't Ciara do this last year - much better?

That Put a Ring On It song for someone else would be acceptable, but for the woman who made Crazy In Love it's undeniably below par.

In summary - sometimes you need people around to tell you when something is 'fun to do, not to watch'. (See how many times you can apply this phrase to things you see today!). I imagine you may start with this article...

Friday, 21 November 2008

Partaaaaayyyyy!




Nuff said. See you there.

I used to love H.I.M.

Ahhh Common. It's been a while since he's done anything I could say I was really feeling (apart from I Want You). Bit sad that it's come in the form of a website. Still, I hold out hope - maybe people will use his new blog to ask him to stop making songs that pass us by like Universal Mind Control and tell us some more stories about something real...
Anyway, head to THINKCOMMON.COM - it's really rather nice.

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Chris 'Daddy' Dave & the Texas Hip Hop Movement


Had the pleasure of catching Robert Glasper ft Chris 'Daddy' Dave last night at Cargo last night. Words can't really describe how sick they were which leads me on to Mr Dave. There is a lot of info on Robert Glasper already with his album 'In my Element' (which is an essential for any music lover) so I thought I would highlight Chris Dave and his music. Chris is known for his incredible drum work, playing for the likes of Mint Condition, Meshell Ndegeocello, Robert Glasper, Mos Def, Bilal, Erykah Badu and many more. However the man is as you expect a dope hip hop producer too. He is part of the a group called 'The Foundation' and also produces for fellow texan mc's Kay and D.Rose. Here's a link to one of many video's of Chris tearing it up! For more info check the links at the bottom. Hope you enjoy his music as much as I do!

Peace

LAU<1

Chris Dave & Friends Live in NYC






In His Element - Robert Glasper on fire


Last night at Cargo we prayed at the altar of the Robert Glasper Trio – a holy triumvate if ever I saw one. I’ve had that twinkly-eyed ‘I’ve-seen-wonders’ look ever since.

I don’t do church and I hate to make the churchy references but theres no other way to describe the reverence the crowd had for them and the supernatural finesse, eleMENTAL power and prowess of their playing. We gasped at switches that could only have been realised through ESP, we swayed to the lush lyrical soul-full melodies of Glasper’s Fender Rhodes, screwface at heartfelt clustered chords, we were eyes full of incredulous bliss as drummer Chris Dave defied all laws of physics busting time, space and sound. From the pensive and mesmerising to the humourous (banter and diversion into a Bette Midler homage ‘The Rose’ – leaving the drummer just shaking his head) to downright funky and glitchy beats that’d make most hip hop producers weep.

His music is challenging enough to get your teeth into yet accessible enough to resonate long after listening. Its music that’s unafraid and to me that’s where the magic happens. A gorgeous example came in his Herbie Hancock/Radiohead mash-up of “Maiden Voyage/Everything in Its Right Place”. The whole set was so instinctive and fluid that thinking in terms of genres like jazz, soul, hip hop(to name a few) seemed obsolete - they play like its music from nowhere but the heart.

With an all-star roster of collaborations that includes the likes of Dilla, Meshell Ndegeocello, Common, Q-Tip, Jay-Z, Erykah Badu and Carmen Lundy under the belt before he even hit 30 (does the man sleep?!) and his 4th album due out in Spring 08 – he’s on fire. It doesn’t matter what kind of ‘head’ you are: In My Element on Blue Note – get it, got it, good!

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

The Other Neighbourhood

Did anyone see the London Paper review of Dido's new album today (17.11.08)?

I know it's not entirely in the character of this blog to discuss such artists, and I'm fully aware that the London Paper is cheap trite but I just can't resist the urge to share with you one of the most scathing /
slash/ entertaining reviews I have come across.

I very rarely read music reviews because I find them impersonal, confusing and sometimes not specific to the record in question. Malcolm Mackenzie's
article is so harsh it's funny (and dare I say NOT a lie). I'm assuming that the only remedy he could find to combat the deep sleep he felt he was being lulled into by having to endure 'Safe Trip Home' was to create a piece of writing with more life than the record in question.

I have highlighted my favourite bits in italics. The man is on fire.


---

Safe Trip Home

Dido

TWO STARS

Slagging off Dido is about as boring as Dido herself. I used to wish Dido would make like the dodo and do one, but after a spate of decent releases from usual snore bores Coldplay and Keane, I was optimistic the London girl could pull it out of the bag for her third album.

Don’t let the fact Brian Eno had a hand in this record confuse you, like it did me. Very possibly, he can’t say “no” to anyone, even Jason Donovan.

The cool Bowie collaborator and Roxy Music musician has not done for her what he did for Coldplay. He weaves his magic on one track, Grafton Street – unsurprisingly a bit of a highlight – but if you didn’t know, you would never have guessed.

At 36, Dido is still as bland as edam, and you may be stunned to discover she’s even worse than before. You’ll need an ear trumpet and divining rods to locate any radio-friendly tunes equal to Thank You, Here With Me or White Flag.

To her credit, Dido was shining a dim torch on the beauty of the mundane long before Lily Allen, with lines about tea going cold and getting out of bed. She has an undeniable gift for words – not that you’ll be able to suffer the instrument of torture used to deliver them, namely her flat, featureless voice.

The music isn’t much ­better: inoffensive orchestral washes, sleepy beats and subtle electronica, all safe and sickly serene. Apart from a triumphant swell of recorders on aforementioned Grafton Street it’s predictable, forgettable terrain.

At its best, Safe Trip Home has distant echoes of Everything But The Girl singer Tracey Thorn, who also does the glitchy ballad thing, making the humdrum seem faintly tragic. Don’t Believe In Love and Never Want To Say It’s Love are best, but to borrow an old Dorothy Parker put-down: “She runs the gamut of emotions from A-B.” Unrequited love, fading love, loving too much – pretty soon you’re longing for a tune about her tax returns, anything but the malnourished musings on failed relationships.

We love an underdog in this country, and it would have been a lovely surprise if Dido had proven us wrong and made an essential album of 2008. She hasn’t. I think it would be best for all concerned if we say no more about it.

Saturday, 15 November 2008

Carl Craig - Cité de la Musique

This is incredible.
Carl Craig - electronics 
François Xavier Roth - MD & Conductor
Siècles Orchestra
Cité de la Musique, Paris 18/10/08


cheers beane for this!
(goto the grandcrew website for more controls) 



on another entirely unrelated note....

The nobel prize for chemistry was awarded to three scientists in America this month for their contribution to research into a special protein that glows (first found in jelly fish!)...This is one of the most important discoveries in biological science over the past 20 years for reasons i wont bore you with. But you can basically do this:








A Man named Douglas Prasher was the first to clone this glowing protein... but he lost his funding  basically because no one saw a future in it....
3 other guys asked him for the clone... Prasher agreed, glad that others were actually interested....
these 3 went on to win the nobel prize for chemistry 2008

Prasher now drives a shuttle bus for a Toyota dealership in Huntsville, Alabama.

Do for self.

I went to a debate that was entitled "20 years of the UK Hip Hop Connection, so what's next" last night, held by the Urban Enterprise Network. I don't really want to get in to that debate right now but but the title of this post was the best point I heard all night.

One thing I notice the more of these events I go to....For some reason a lot of UK artists feel doors are closed to them before they've actually thought about what they need to do before they even get to the door, let alone how to make it open. Having a good look and finding the right doors would be a start. All of the most successful UK artists I know have one thing in common - and it's not the kind of music they're making. It's their mentality. It's the - doing for self, work hard, hustle hard, if you don't know find out, if you can't do it find someone who can, invest in yourself if no one else is, build and open your own doors, never stop mentality. Business acumen and artistry don't often go hand in hand - but if you only do the things you like doing and are really good at and ignore the boring admin or hard stuff in any line of work you're not going to get far. The fact you've decided to make an album does not then mean it's automatically someone else's responsibility to come and find you, then market, promote & distribute it for you. If you can find someone who will great, but you still might be better off doing it yourself.

With the advent of the internet I've lost patience for anyone who hasn't at least tried to work out how other people are becoming successful and then tried to make it happen for themselves. Online you can find contact details for top radio & club DJs, promoters of great nights, magazine editors, blogs that promote new music, web and graphic designers, music distributors, sites that give you legal advice, photographers - I could go on. Failing that you can get a booking agent & music PR company. Sadly, gone are the days where MCs could rely on talent, not marketing and promotion. Now - if you want to make some money you need both, it's a competitive market, and you need to speculate to accumulate.

If you look at the biggest earners in US hip hop they are all business men. Kanye West is a fairly middle class guy, English professor mother, Black Panther/ Christian counselor father, he went to art school & Uni (but dropped out). He is not a traditional hip hop story. He had to fund his own early videos because he was seen as a producer not a rapper, everyone said When Jesus Walks would fail, he came out and said "George Bush doesn't care about black people", he wrote about diamonds in Sierra Leone, and now he's singing even though he can't sing. This is a man who does whatever the hell he wants to do - he doesn't take no for an answer, he believes in himself, and he invests in himself. He never sat at home complaining Jay Z just used him as a producer, no one thought his ideas would work and no doors were opening - he made them open. I really hope the UK artists who have that mentality don't become discouraged and continue to push, and for everyone else - you better raise your game.

Friday, 14 November 2008

THE ALBUM HAS LANDED


If you weren't at Elova's sold out album launch party at The Luminaire last Friday OH DEAR. Sweetbox is a refreshing and heady mix of music it's too hard to put a real finger on. All I can say is it works live - all of them have insane amounts of talent and every song was a pleasure. The band clearly put a huge amount of effort in turning the show in to much more than just an album launch - it was an experience of epic proportions. Check out the photos (taken by the amazing photographer Stephanie Sian Smith)... I'll expand on this later but for those of you who missed it, they're playing the last Wah Wah 45s at Cargo tonight - I'm going back for more.

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Makeba



I knew about Miriam Makeba before I even heard her music.

She was one of those people whose names found their way into my early vocabulary (like 'Marley'). Her image occupied the same place in my young mind as Nkrumah proclaiming Ghana's independence, Martin telling his dream to a sea of Washington spectators or Malcolm looking out of a window, gun in hand.

She was, and will remain, genuinely iconic.

I once thought I was unfamiliar with her music until someone pointed out to me that the 'Malaika' I was familiar with was not Boney M's version, and that 'Pata Pata' - a song as familiar to me as a nursery rhyme - was hers too. I explored her and found out that there were other songs too. It was like rediscovering a childhood friend.

Unlike so many artists today, there was a depth to Makeba. Some deeply inherent cool. She was an interesting person in interesting times. The first African woman to win a Grammy, she warmed up the crowds before Ali's Rumble in the Zairean Jungle, starred in Sarafina! and appeared on the Cosby Show. She was a Harry Belafonte's protege; exiled from Apartheid South Africa; linked at a point to Kwame Nkrumah, then married, first to Hugh Masekela and then to the Black Panther, Stokely Carmichael. The latter association cost her her American music contract and concerts and the couple moved to Sekou Toure's Guinea.

She survived discrimination, divorces, bankruptcy and the death of her daughter, and somehow remained such an image of hope and positivity that she came to embody the image and idea of 'Mama Africa'; a title that became (and remains) hers to keep. It is not for just anybody that Madiba himself comes out to mourn.

Goodnight, Mama.

Monday, 10 November 2008

HEADS TALKING

The best thing about Saturday nights, favourite selectas and music all combined is waking up on Sunday morning. The Best thing about living in a block with all old ladies is that no one complaines when my lounge turns into Plastic People for 2 hours. As I watch my son loose his innocence every day of his perfect little life, I know that the Sunday morning moments we share (whilst I drink coffee) dancing around, will never die. We danced with Theo and Walked through the sky We went on a Talking Heads trip too. He liked the sounds, I'm talking about full star jumps here. I felt that the lyrics in 'America is waiting' were so poignant:

America is waiting for a message of some sort or another.
Takin it again. again! again! takin it again.
Well now... no, no... now, we ought to be mad at the government not mad at the people.
Takin it again. again! again! takin it again.
I mean, yeah, well... wha-whatre ya gonna do?
America is waiting for a message of some sort or another.
No will whatsoever. no will whatsoever! absolutely no honor.No will whatsoever. no will whatsoever! absolutely no integrity.
No will whatsoever. no will whatsoever!
I havent seen any any any citizen over there stand up and say hey, just a second.No will whatsoever. no will whatsoever! I mean, yeah, so... wha-whatre ya gonna do?America is waiting for a message of some sort or another.

It sems like thats all changed now. Last night I was hanging out with my good freind the BCC IPLAYER. I noticed that Brian Eno was on the show (coincidence, i know) alongside Jack Straw and Bonnie Greer. Wicked show. The points that Greer makes are great. Will she ever age?
The highlight was Jack Straw lost for words after Eno killed him. http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00fd16s

Goodbye Mama Africa...

Miriam Makeba died of a heart attack this morning, after a concert against organised crime in Italy, aged 76. A huge champion of the anti-apartheid fight, in 1960 after taking part in an anti-Apartheid documentary she tried to return to South Africa for her mothers funeral and found her passport had been revoked. She was exiled for 30 years. Much of the rest of the world embraced her (apart from when she married Stokely Carmichael and all of her American tours & record deals were cancelled) and Miriam traveled the world, singing beautiful freedom songs English and Xhosa, wearing gorgeous African garments and her hair in traditional styles. She was an inspiration to so many...many people might know her for her role in Sarafina! (1992), but I first encountered her on my parents' Graceland video from 1987 (we still have it somewhere). We used to march around the house with my father singing 'Bring back Nelson Mandela!', and would dance around to the all star line up of Paul Simon, Hugh Masekela, Ladysmith Black Mambazo and Miriam Makeba...


Goodbye Mama Africa, you will be sorely missed.

Sunday, 9 November 2008

On Dizzee vs. Paxman

So I'm here in Accra basking in Obamania, simultaneously getting a little tired of all things American-election related (after all, we have our own in a month's time), and I came across this:



Interesting.

I'm a part-time fan of Dizzee's music - the guy's half-Ghanaian: how could I not be? - and I like the fact that he experiments with his sound and shows some growth from album to album: something rare in the British charts. I even think that he made a valid point or two, although I reckon Ty, Roots Manuva or Soweto Kinch, for example, might have made those points better.

The whole thing reminded me of this Dave Chappelle sketch though:



No?

That said, it's a little unfair to disparage Dizzee over this. He's a musician who (looking at his some of his recent videos) has recently taken on the additional mantle of 'entertainer' and he did exactly that: entertained.

Or tried to.

It's not his fault the BBC chose him over, say, Henry Bonsu... who is also Ghanaian.

I'm just saying.

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