Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Video: Grillade "Remain The Same" live @ The Fix

The lovely Kenny Fresh of Fresh Selects just shot this video over of the extremely talented band Grillade, fronted by singer Ragen Fykes, with Keelay and The Park performing at his night The Fix. After dipping a toe in to the world of live performance video production lately I've realised just how much rehearsal must have gone in to a performance like this and how well mixed the audio is (live you'll often get a really loud vocal when you record a feed from the desk). Anyway, enough geeky talk, this song gives me goosebumps every time, enjoy.

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

PMOI Exclusive: Olivier Daysoul "Finer Things" [Music by Eric Lau] MP3


Our dear friend  Olivier Daysoul wanted to share some more of the music he's working on in the lead up to his next album, the Mr Saint Louis LP. This track is something he created with another good friend Eric Lau - I don't know if it will be on the album yet but it has got that classic soul with a modern twist feel to it so who knows.

     Olivier Daysoul "Finer Things In Life" (music by Eric Lau) www.putmeonit.com by ameliaideh

Click to Download: "Finer Things" by Olivier Daysoul, Music by Eric Lau

If you haven't checked out our video of Olivier performing at our showcase in NY or the brilliant Mr Saint Louis EP produced by Oddisee please do!

Sunday, 19 December 2010

WE LOVE... VOL 25 [PT 1 & 2]


Download We Love Vol. 25.1 here [Mediafire]
Download We Love Vol. 25.2 here [Mediafire]

This is the last full We Love of 2010 (I'm thinking about making a Best Of), and it still amazes me the amount of brilliant music artists make available for free, which I'm eternally grateful for, and really hope I've managed to introduce one or two people to something they might not have otherwise heard through these compilations. They're not meant to be like DJ mixes where they flow from one track to the next, they're zip folders full of a selection of some of the best free downloads I could find online - not everyone will like every track (I do!) but if there are a couple you enjoy on each I'm happy. This month I've also added relevant links to a few free download mixtapes/ EPs etc you might enjoy...

Part 1 Tracklist
To:Love - Ahu [Label Love Vol 2]
Sun (Kidstreet Remix) - Caribou
Amazing Dave - cocknbullkid
Son - Danay
Go Harder - Erik L (Feat. Frank n Dank) [Erik L "On Display" Mixtape]
No Other Love - Estelle & John Legend [Estelle & John Legend Duets EP]
Frame of Mind - Evidence [Evidence - "I Don't Need Love" EP]
fOnkRocker - Georgia Anne Muldrow
Good One - Glenn Lewis
Cost Me A Lot - J. Cole [J.Cole "Fridy Night Lights Mixtape"]
All Comes Back To One - Jahdan Blakkamoore
Tomorrow - Jono McCleery
The Joy - Kanye West (feat. Pete Rock, Jay-Z, Charlie Wilson, Curtis Mayfield & Kid Cudi)
the alter - Keziah (prod.!illmind) [Keziah EP]
They Found Him A Gun - Maverick Sabre [The Travelling Man Mixtape]
Swat Dat Fly - Missy Elliott (Prod. by Timbaland)
Get Choze - Mr. Brady f. Blu & Diamond D
Happiness is a Warm Gun - Quartetto Fantastico
Snow (Remix) - Roc Marciano Feat. Sean Price
Bucket - Stik Figa prod. By Oddisee [From The Top EP]
Wow 2011 (Main) - Sway
BAD ONE (Dirty) - Swizz Beatz & Busta Rhymes
Tell A Vision - Wes Felton ft. Sy Smith

Part 2 Tracklist
The Dark End Of The Street - Aloe Blacc & The Grand Scheme
Break Bread (Dirty) - Asher Roth x Nottz
Think It Over (Exile Remix) - Bilal
KeepItGoing - Blu feat U-God
A Loan For The Lonely - DTMD
Come Over f. Sean Paul - Estelle & John Legend
Together Baby - Ghostface Killah
Freefire [produced by Kwes.] - Ghostpoet and DELS
Stylin' Free - Hundred Strong ft. Amp Fiddler
Shape of Things to Come - Janelle Monae
The Announcement (feat. John F. Kennnedy) - Jay Electronica
That's My Bitch - Kanye West & Jay-Z (Ft. Elly Jackson)
Get Some (Remix by Beck) - Lykke Li
Running - Mainey Wilson
Far Away - Marsha Ambrosius
Buzzcut (3:30 Edit) - Seiji
Done It Again - Space Invadas
Back It Up - Talib Kweli
Takin' The Mick - Tor Cesay [Different Place Mixtape]
Still Sound - Toro Y Moi
Lookin For Love - Vikter Duplaix [For Players Only Mixtape]
Philly Shit (Remix) - Young Chris Ft. Eve, Meek Mill & Black Thought
This Is It Ft.yU (Prod. SlimKat 78)

Saturday, 18 December 2010

PMOI LIVE: Olivier Daysoul @ Southpaw Brooklyn (CMJ 2010)

PMOI had the honour of dropping Olivier Daysoul's brilliant "Mr Saint Louis" EP (produced by Oddisee) here back in October, and shortly afterwards Olivier came out to Brooklyn with us for our joint CMJ showcase with Homebase NYC. You can check out some footage from that show above, (we have more to follow shortly featuring DTMD, Hezekiah and Tranqill). We also have a new track of Olivier's produced by Eric Lau dropping early next week, but until then re-familiarize yourself with the Mr Saint Louis EP...

Mr Saint Louis Artwork

Friday, 17 December 2010

Download/ Stream: Jamie Woon "Blue Truth"

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Apart from desperately needing new press shots, Woony is the golden boy who can do no wrong at the moment. There is very little info floating around about this track although it seems it probably won't be on the album and everyone seems to think it was produced by Burial. Everyone thought that about Night Air however, and Jamie actually produced that with some additional bits by Burial, so I have the feeling this may be the along similar lines (Jamie's mum is a Celtic singer, not sure if that's a clue or not...).

Apologies for that completely unhelpful post, listen & download below whilst I go and harass Jamie for some answers. 

   Blue Truth by woon

Download: Jamie Woon "Blue Truth"

Video: Tribute to Alexander McQueen By Nick Knight (Music by Björk)

Tribute to Alexander McQueen By Nick Knight (Music by Björk) from Mathieu Forestier on Vimeo.

Beautiful, dramatic and heartwrenching. Such a fitting tribute. 

#CurrentlyListeningTo: Cody ChesnuTT "Black Skin No Value"


I should probably substitute #CurrentlyListeningTo for #Can'tStopListeningTo Cody ChesnuTT "Black Skin No Value" in the above title. There wasn't a big campaign or fanfare in the lead up to this release, but I trust that the most powerful thing of all - word of mouth - will spread it far and wide. I read an article with Mr ChesnuTT in the Fader and was intrigued by this part in particular -

So how does that new energy sound in your new work? Why make a new EP now?
I made Black Skin No Value as an alarm. We’re still dealing with issues of our value as human beings even in this generation. I think the stock value of dignity is low right now, people are caught up in a lot of illusions and I feel that’s an emergency. I wanted to make something alarming that spoke to the culture of the last 10 or 20 years and what we’ve faced as a people in that time. The title is ironic, but it can be mapped on literally to actions of presidents we’ve had, our legal system, and what happens in media and pop culture. What we watch on TV shapes our imaginations, affects our personal values and personal perceptions. Hopefully this music and these thoughts will help people find a moment of pause. I don’t know if all the men out there with who have a platform for communicating with an audience realize that they’re shaping their communities. People define manhood in different ways, but I think first and foremost it’s taking care of yourself, protecting your family and trying to make your social environment as healthy as possible. I hope in the next decade men are really on guard, watching to make sure that a healthy way of living is being protected and prioritized. I would like to think that people are starting to think about more things right now other than clubbing all the time. So I’m trying to touch on all that and our education system, police brutality, but I’m trying to frame that whole experience, this whole moment, in less than 12 minutes

Read more
Whilst I have the feeling this EP will be preaching such a message to the converted, I love the sentiment of honesty and personal responsibility both in the interview and in the EP. Cody Chesnutt's vocals are so intensely beautiful that even if you believe in the exact opposite to his values I can imagine he could woo you, but that is beside the point. This EP is a stunning, and of course characteristically quirky, addition to the very best kind of soulful, heartfelt and political music. 

I'm not putting up a link to download a snippet of a song, it's £4.49 on iTunes (just buy it).

Video: Matthew Herbert "Dublin"

Dublin - Matthew Herbert from accidental records on Vimeo. 

Write the theme tune, sing the theme tune...

"Dublin" is taken from "One One" an album Matthew wrote, played, sang, recorded, mixed and mastered entirely alone. He didn't make the video though, director Margaret Salmon did that.

Video: Amanda Diva "Manchild"

TECHNICOLOR LOVER EPISODE 9 from Creative Control on Vimeo.

I wasn't expecting to say it about an Amanda Diva video but I love this. I respect her accomplishments as a broadcaster, and the lovely down to earth (to the point of goofy) energy she gives off, but hadn't seen or heard anything artistically I could sink my teeth in to until now.

Video: Adele "Rolling In The Deep"

I have a horrible feeling no one saw my telepathic post with this magnificent song/ video in it. Oops! The single comes out on Jan 16th...

Download: The Gospel According to Budgie


It's so rare I put mixes up because I'm usually looking for something a little bit different - and this is definitely it. The lovely Budgie (Livin Proof, Honest Jon's etc) sent over this awesome gospel mix and it is easily one of my favourites of the year. I'm just as much of a heathen as Budgie, but church gets all the best singers and as the man puts it - 

"If you're Christian and thinking "what does this secular fool think he's doin makin a Gospel mix?", my appreciation and respect for the music and people who made it couldn't be any higher!!"

It's up as a stream on Spine TV  but you can download it here.


1 Little Abrahams Praise - Phil Brown And God's Earth With Love
2 Togetherness (Instrumental) - The Sensational Sunset Jubilaires
3 Judgement Day (Budgie's Condensation Edit) -  The New York Community Choir
4 Love So Great - William Hudson III
5 You Just Don't Wanna Be Loved (Budgie's No BS Edit) - The Winans
6 Who Will Open The Book Of The Seven Seals - Doris Ann Allen And The Church Hill Urban Ministry Choir of Richmond, VA.
7 Love Brought Me Back -  Rev. Issac Whittmon And The Greater Metropolitan Church of Christ Choir of Chicago, Illinois
8 Easy Livin (Under The Sun) (Budgie's Jam Edit) - Steve Camp
9 He Is So Good To Me (Budgie's Resolution Edit) - Glenn Jones And The Modulations
10 Hand In The Hand 1 - The Excello Gospel Singers
1 Willing Heart - Teddy Grover And Joy
12 He Saved Me - The Unity Gospel Experience
13 Lord Bless Your People - entecostal Assemblies of the World International: Pentecostal Young People's Union
14 In The Name Of Jesus - Donald Watkins
15 He Won't Leave You - Edwin Hawkins & The Edwin Hawkins Singers
16 Everybody Wants To Go To H... - The Meadowlarks
17 Someday -  Mattie Moss Clark Presents The Greater Williams Temple Choir (C.O.G.I.C.)
18 Make Me Over Again -  James Cleveland With The Voices Of Tabernacle
19 God Has Smiled On Me - Brother Vernard Johnson
20 He Still Loves me - Phillip Brooks & Adoration
21 Bonus Tracks

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Hoya:Hoya Secret Series

Hoya:Hoya Secret Series Trailer from Hoya Hoya on Vimeo.

When the shiny ball of light that is Illum Sphere told me about this series earlier on this year I must say I was a little awestruck. You have a night that is so good people will just show up even if they don't know what the line up is and it could just be your Mum DJing? Wow. I have the feeling Hoya: Hoya is not just popular because of the people they book, but because of the people who run it (they are pretty special), and I pledge to stop being such a Londoner, and go to Manchester at some point to see Mummy Sphere or whoever throw down.

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

News: Orchestre Poly-Rhythmo de Cotonou New Album "Cotonou Club"


So excited to hear that the brilliant Orchestre Poly-Rhythmo de Cotonou will be releasing a new album on 29th March 2011 via Strut Records. It's their first studio album for 20 years, entitled "Cotonou Club". If you have no idea who I'm talking about check out the video below...

Valerie June


I stumbled across the photo above this week and was more than a little surprised to discover the subject is a country music (or 'organic moonshine roots music' as she calls it) singer called Valerie June. She recently completed a successful Kickstarter project so hopefully a new album will be out at some point soon. My palate for country music is admittedly limited but I'm totally in love and may have to do some more digging...

Friday, 10 December 2010

Video: Hundred Strong featuring Amp Fiddler "Stylin' Free"

*Repeat, repeat repeat*

This is quite an intro to Bristol based producer Hundred Strong (or at least he's new to me). The lyrics are actually pretty funny but on first listen it's a real leg crosser, only Amp Fiddler could make a song about being sent home to fix up and get clean but refusing to because he's "stylin free" sound this sexy?!  Hundred Strong has an album of the same title as the single coming out in Feb, featuring Amp Fiddler, Serocee, Pete Simpson, Holly Backler and more.

NB// We Love #25 is coming very soon - this song will be on there...

Video: Flying Lotus "Infinitum" ft Andreya Triana - Gilles Peterson Maida Vale Session

∞ Flying Lotus presents INFINITY "Infinitum" Gilles Peterson BBC Sessions  
Theo Jemison on Vimeo.

I cannot wait to see the live footage the ridiculously lovely and talented Theo Jemison shot of the ∞ live show, I couldn't stop peering over his shoulder at all of the amazing footage he was shooting (I think I saw him filming through Rebekah Raff's harp at one point), whilst on the beautiful Infinity tour earlier this year. Enjoy a taster, and if you haven't heard the Maida Vale sessions yet enjoy.

   Flying Lotus BBC Radio 1 Maida Vale Session by Some Kind of Awesome

Thursday, 9 December 2010

LDN Event Listings: December/ January

Andreya Triana,Lost Where I Belong,Album Launch,Put Me On It
Andreya Triana performs with full live band @ The Tabernacle on 13th Dec

Wed 1st Dec
>Red Bull BPM w/ Sinden, Drop The Lime, Riton [invite only] @ East Village  

Thu 2nd Dec
>Aesthetic Sounds Presents Glenn Lewis @ Vibe Bar

Fri 3rd Dec
>Portico Quartet @ The ICA

Sat 4th Dec
>Portico Quartet @ The ICA

Sun 5th Dec
>Janelle Monae @ Shepherds Bush Empire

Mon 6th Dec 
>Melanie Fiona + Nathan Watson @ The Luminaire
>Cocknbull Kid @ XOYO

Tue 7th Dec
>Dirty Projectors @ Koko
>Jessie J @ The Scala *Postponed
>The Heavy + Skinny Machines @ Dingwalls

Wed 8th Dec
>Faith Evans & SWV @ The Indigo2

Thu 9th Dec
>Gonjasufi w/ full live Band @ Rhythm Factory
>jazz re:freshed presents... Spavens 5ive LIVE Launch Party @ Bar Mau Mau
>Alice Russell @ The Forum

Fri 10th Dec
>The Doctor's Orders present On The Real, Extended Players Xmas Party w/ Mr Thing, Harry Love, DJ MK & Spin Doctor @ Plan B, Brixton
>Talking At Me w/ gt;Rita Maia, Kobe1, NoOneSpecial + guests Kamikaze DJs, Ray Nulds, Dodger Man and Illum Sphere @ Nottinghill Arts Club

Sat 11th Dec
>Ty's Something Big Xmas Special hosted by Charlie Dark, w/ Conrad the Scoundral, Debris, AKS, & Obenewa @ The Albany
>Groove Gumbo w/ Jesse Boykins III, Terri Walker, Shakka & Himal @ Bloomsbury Ballroom
>Black Rebel Motorcycle Club @ Brixton Academy
>Jimmy Edgar (live AV), + L-Vis 1990, Bok Bok, Illum Sphere (live) @ Hoxton Bar

Sun 12th Dec
>Pete Rock & CL Smooth w/ Jehst & Sarah Love @ The Forum
>OneTaste 6th Birthday w/ Kate Tempest, Bear, Tanya Auclair, Inua Ellams, OneTaste Choir and A Very Special Guest @ The Bedford
>CDR w/ Soundspecies & Kay Suzuki @ Plastic People

Mon 13th Dec
>Andreya Triana with full live band @ The Tabernacle
>Lissie @ Shepherds Bush Empire
>Das Racist @ Cargo

Tue 14th Dec
>Martha Reeves & The Vandellas @ The Jazz Cafe 

Wed 15th Dec
>Professor Green @ Shepherds Bush Empire
>Martha Reeves & The Vandellas @ The Jazz Cafe 

Thu 16th Dec
>Martha Reeves & The Vandellas @ The Jazz Cafe 
>7s Under The Stairs, Nonsense vs Shook @ 3 Blind Mice

Fri 17th Dec
>The Doctors Orders Xmas party w/ Spin Doctor, DJ 279, Mr Thing, Kidkanevil, Chris P Cuts, Hosted by Jehst @ Fabric 

Sat 18th Dec
>The Brownswood Christmas Party w/ Gilles Peterson, Mosca, Simbad, Ghostpoet, The 2 Bears, The Simonsound, Brownswood Allstar DJs @ XOYO  
>Fela! Open Mic Night + workshop w/ Inua Ellams @ The National Theatre
>Nonsense Xmas Party w/ Ahu, Josey Rebelle, Moxie & Cherrie Flava @Plastic People 
>Classic Material (1989) w/Strictly Kev @ The CAMP

Sun 26th Dec
>FWD>> Rinse Xmas party w/ Skream + Benga, Katy B, Boy Better Know, Geeneus, Roll Deep, Heartless Crew, Marcus Nasty + Rankin, Newham Generals, Spyro, Plastician, P Money, Roska, N-Type, Zinc, Alexander Nut, Jay Diamond & more @ Fabric 

Mon 27th Dec
 >Marsha Ambrosius + Obenewa + Nadine Charles @ Dingwalls  

Wed 29th Dec 
>Peter & The Wolf Live w/ The Philharmonia Orchestra @ The Royal Festival Hall

Thu 30th Dec
>Peter & The Wolf Live w/ The Philharmonia Orchestra @ The Royal Festival Hall

**Fri 31st Dec NYE**

>Trouble Vision & Deadly Rhythm w/ Four Tet, James Holden, Nathan Fake, Jamie XX @ Corsica Studios
>Urban Nerds x ATG w/ Mala, Toddla T, Serocee etc etc @ Secret Warehouse in Shoreditch
>Good Times NYE w/ Norman Jay, Gilles Peterson, LadyBugz & Crate Diggers @ Relentless Garage Islington
>Together NYE - Katy B, Mark Ronson, Annie Mac, Herve, Zinc, Krafty Kuts & more @ Brixton Academy 
>The Nextmen & DJ Vadim @ The Westbury
>The Doctor's Orders Brighton w/ DJ Format, DJ Vadim, JFB, & Rusty Ryan @ Jam


Thu 6th Jan
>soulBeautiful Presents The Foreign Exchange + Marc Mac + DJ Devastate @ Cargo  

Fri 7th Jan
>Drake + J.Cole @ Hammersmith Apollo 

Sat 8th Jan 
>Drake + J.Cole @ Hammersmith Apollo 

Sun 9th Jan
>J. Cole @ Koko 

Mon 10th Jan
>Drake + J.Cole @ Hammersmith Apollo 

Wed 12th Jan 
>soulBeautiful Presents The Foreign Exchange w.Live Band + DJ Barry King + DJ Devastate @ Cargo  

Thu 13th Jan 
>Cheikh Lo @ Scala 

Fri 14th Jan 
>James Blake Live @ Plan B 

Sat 15th Jan 
>Fela! Open Mic Night + workshop w/ Inua Ellams @ The National Theatre

Fri 21st Jan

Sat 22nd Jan 
>Gilles Peterson's Worldwide Awards w/ Mount Kimbie, James Blake, Rocket Number Nine + Fourtet, Scuba, Brandt Brauer Frick, Lefto, Nihal, Michel Cleis @ Koko

Sun 23rd Jan
Beat Junkies (J-Rocc, DJ Babu, Rhettmatic and Rakaa Iriscience) @ Jazz Cafe

Wed 26th Jan 
>Saul Williams @ Hoxton Bar & Kitchen [Sold Out] 

Thu 27th Jan 
>Carleen Anderson @ Ronnie Scotts 

Fri 28th Jan 
>Trouble Vision Presents Double Trouble w/ David Rodigan, Toddla T + Redlight, The 2 Bears, Shy FX, Roska, Mosca, Breach @ Corsica Studios 
>Carleen Anderson @ Ronnie Scotts 

Sat 29th Jan
> Trouble Vision Presents Double Trouble w/ Theo Parrish, Motor City Drum Ensemble, Will Saul, Ramadanman @ Corsica Studios
>Carleen Anderson @ Ronnie Scotts


*Heads Up* 

10th Feb
>AGMP Presents Grandmaster Flash @ Scala 

16th Feb
>Mark Ronson & The Business International @ The Roundhouse 

19th Feb 
>Doctors Orders Present: EPMD w/ Skitz & Rodney P @ The Forum 

24th Feb 
>Jamie Woon @ Scala 

25th & 26th Feb 
>Teena Marie @ The Indigo2

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Review: Matthew Herbert & The London Sinfonietta "One Day" Live at the Royal Festival Hall


I work with Accidental Records and wasn't at all surprised to hear Matthew had decided to take on another slightly bonkers sounding project - to turn a copy of The Guardian newspaper in to a musical score with the London Sinfonietta as part of the London Jazz Festival. In six weeks. What I was surprised by was the extent to which he pulled it off.

From the very start the audience became an integral part of the performance, as we were all given a copy of September 25th's paper and had to quickly familiarize ourselves with various sections in order to follow the action and help provide the sound. The lights even remained up, which was strangely disorientating. Matthew's uncannily provocative ability to make you extremely uncomfortable whilst overwhelming you with beauty, yet never losing a sense of humour about the whole thing set the tone for the night...

We smelled the recipes from the food section being cooked live on stage whilst reading an article on global food shortages and launching paper airplanes from adverts for the foods with the highest number of airmiles in to the rest of the crowd (all cheered when one landed on stage). Matthew & co played a cover of Status Quo's "We're In the Army Now" from The Guide, as we watched a house complete with garden being built live on stage with people inside it watching music videos from the Review section, whilst we read an article about illegal settlements in Gaza, and jingled our own house keys when the conductor instructed us. Eska made several incredible appearances and broke every heart in the house singing an obituary poem, jazz musician John Taylor made a special video appearance as his birthday was listed in the paper, and a particularly irreverent jazz quartet containing Finn Peters showered us with their music and superior paper planes from a box above.

What left me so impressed with the event was the layers. Every song, every moment, felt carefully planned to evoke a personal and active response. It was political without losing humour or humanity, it transformed the newspaper from something informative to read in to a collection of stories from around the world that we are all a part of, and it did so without sacrificing the stunning musicality that would stand up as a beautiful recorded album without all of the live spectacle. Matthew Herbert is truly a tightrope master.

Download: DTMD "Loan For The Lonely" x "The Struggle Is Real"

Remember this?

DTMD - A Loan For The Lonely from dunc & toine makin' dollas on Vimeo.

Well, it has just been released as a free download with another track called The Struggle Is Real, from the hottest (ridiculously) young group out of Washington DC, DTMD. I've got some footage coming very soon from their NYC debut at the CMJ showcase I put on with Homebase at Southpaw in Brooklyn this October, they did such a great job. In the meantime, enjoy!

Image Source,Photobucket Uploader Firefox Extension

Stream: Jagga "Modern Day Romance"/ "Keep On the Light"

Image Source,Photobucket Uploader Firefox Extension

It's a small world online, so when the lovely Speeakz from Pinboard Blog sent me a link to his post about Jagga a couple days ago, I was thrilled I could finally stop listening to the guy's Myspace (or just sitting there waiting for it to load). The single Modern Day Romance comes out on Monday 6th December, but it's actually the B-side Keep On The Light I would really recommend. The subtly mesmeric vocal has got me hitting repeat, though I can see the more commercial appeal of Modern Day Romance. One to watch for sure.

   Keep On The Light by Jaggamusic

Modern Day Romance by Jaggamusic

Video: Andreya Triana 'Far Closer' Live at Cafe Oto

Andreya Triana from Steve Glashier on Vimeo.

Oof, what is there to say other than this is just gorgeous (as always from Drey). The next single to be released from Andreya's debut album Lost Where I Belong, "Far Closer" comes out in February.

Free Download & Video: Stik Figa "From The Top" EP [prod. by Oddisee]

"I'm in the bucket with the bucket low/ nappy head, busted clothes / ain't shaved in a couple yo/ but the ladies love it though..." I do love it, can't get it out of my head, but truth be told I had to ask a friend about the lyrics because I had no idea what a Cutty was etc etc (apparently "Cutty" is an Oldsmobile Cutlass car, which they paint two tone).

I also found the mini doc really enlightening, I'm currently reading Jay Z's book "Decoded", and the more he breaks down what he actually means in his music, the more I realise I probably understood less than 50% - so to see Stik Figa walking around his home town of Topeka, Kansas brings to life the lyrics in a way that makes a lot more sense. Oddisee did it again, the EP features Dunc of DTMD, Ralph Real and Olivier Daysoul, and the first 1000 downloads are free - go go go.

Friday, 3 December 2010

Beats, Rhymes and Fights?

I've had numerous requests to screen this documentary at MF Social Club*, but I have to say I don't think it's going to happen.

Reason #1


Reason #2

For me this is a question of legacy, who is responsible for telling this particular story and why - not just the story of A Tribe Called Quest, but a part of the story of hip hop.

When I first started working in music, I had to begin to make a distinction between the artist and the person. I don't expect visual artist Chris Ofili to smear his bedroom walls with cow dung and glitter, or dancer Sylvie Guillem to go to sleep with her legs at a 180 degree angle in pointe shoes every night. So I had to stop being surprised when I heard stories about my adolescent heroes. "Conscious" rappers (an imposed label, generally not their own) in "real life", being rude and arrogant, treating women like a tongue in cheek Common skit, listening to Gucci Mane and Jeezy, fighting with each other, blowing all their money on cars, and generally being human - fallible.

"Beats, Rhymes and Fights", which I imagine is a joke title, is ironic since it alludes to the album where apparently things began to fall apart for Tribe, or certainly Phife was starting to speak publicly about disagreements. However Beats, Rhymes and Life goes beyond being a Tribe album, and to a certain extent as a phrase it represents the best aspects of hip hop to many of us. "Life" was something ATCQ talked about in such an articulate, intelligent, honest and artistic fashion in a way so few have done successfully since, for that word to be replaced by "Fights" does them somewhat of a disservice.

Phife Dawg has regularly aired his views publicly over the last 10 years, so Tribe fighting is not news to most fans - he even released a Q-Tip diss record (which no one bought and Q-Tip forgave). The point is the music was more important, almost no groups last forever, it's their legacy that lasts. I hope this documentary isn't a superficial sensationalist gossip vehicle, rather than an opportunity to focus on the true importance and impact of one of the greatest music groups of all time.    

*The MF Social Club is on hiatus at the moment.


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