Haynesy aka Cue Tips was a DJ and producer in London in the late 80’s and early 90’s. He worked closely with MC Dashy D and featured on some notable releases at the time under the alias SLR. The pair featured on the Britcore compilation ‘Hardcore One’ and eventually signed to Kold Sweat Records as Drunken Master, releasing ‘The Drunken EP’ in 1993.
More recently Haynesy has joined forces with UKHH legend Scorzayzee and Dweller, dropping his debut solo album ‘Hip Hop Advocate’ on OSBC Recordings. This is a 10 track love letter to 90’s golden era Hip Hop and was born from a desire to ‘dust off the headphones and make some proper Hip Hop’, after becoming discontent with the way the music had evolved.
Scorzayzee has already earned his place in the UK Hip Hop hall of fame, bursting onto the scene with the likes of Lee Ramsey and the rest of Out Da Ville in the mid nineties. He had a successful music career and even starred in the Shane Meadows directed mock musical documentary Le Donk & Scor-zay-zee. Greater Manchester based Dweller has also had an interesting music career, from drumming in bands, performing as hip hop bass-heavy house duo MojoFluxx, to becoming the focus of the 2017 documentary ‘Rock, Raves & Rap Music‘. This pairing of rappers with Haynesy has produced a finely honed piece of art that will revive and remind us why we all love Hip Hop in the first place.
The album opens to a nostalgic offering aptly named ‘1995’, where Scorz walks us through the year and why this was the heart of the golden era. You are reminded about the masses of great albums that were released in ’95; Only Built 4 Cuban Links, Livin’ Proof, Tha Infamous, Liquid Swords and Lifestylez ov da poor & Dangerous just to name a few. This brief history of rap is layered on top of a juicy funk break that gets split with a satisfying horn lick, and is a great opening track to the album. Scorz also mentions Bone Thugs-n-Harmony and how he “couldn’t spit the words to any of the songs” which made me laugh as I remember this clearly when ‘Creepin on ah Come Up‘ came out, and everyone had the same problem. If anything, this is a lesson to some of our younger subscribers. If you haven’t listened to any or all of the referenced albums on this opening track, go and download them now, listen and only then will you understand how they influenced and shaped the music we love today.
‘On & On’ is an upbeat funk injected addition, with Scorz dropping lyrics like “I’m half English, quarter Italian, quarter Ukrainian, to other planets I’m an ugly alien, so they will never know if I’m Jewish or Arabian. Plus I’m a Muslim all wrapped in one big fat rapper right here, I’m Donald Trump’s worst nightmare..”, with plenty more scathing and playful lyrics throughout. I feel like this is a nod to Wu-Tang’s Shyheim who released a single of the same name in ’94, so it’s clear that there is a running theme here.
The album is split into what feels like two halves, between Scorz and Dweller (with Scorz appearing on the lions share of the tracks), sadly with no collaboration between the two artists. Even so, both halves of the album carry weight and the switch between them is divided by ‘B-Boy Showdown’ an instrumental dance track for breakers featuring high energy cuts by Jabbathakut, his cuts also feature on ‘Dusty Vinyl’ and ‘The Limits’. Dweller’s gravelly tones on ‘The Limits’ sit perfectly over the snappy, moody beat and he projects with lyrics like “Maybe I should’ve got a trade when I was younger, I could’ve been a joiner, a painter decorator, a plumber, a lawyer, a doctor or professor, instead I chose a life that’s like scrabble cos I’m putting words together”, before passing the torch back to Scorz on the penultimate ‘Portraits’, who then finishes the album with ‘Brain Tour’, a slamming track with a definite DJ Format flavour. The final breakdown of this track is a few minutes of instrumental funk that suddenly stops dead and you are left savoring that sound, wanting more, definitely one to reload.
Haynesy is truly old school, a producer that clearly loves making music for heads to listen to and b-boys to break to, with deep roots in the scene leading all the way back to the 80’s, he is a purist, something that needs to be acknowledged and celebrated. Haynesy is also responsible for all of the track concepts, production, arrangement and engineering on the album.
This is a meticulously crafted piece of work and an impressive debut solo offering. I would recommend it to anyone who likes their Hip Hop funky enough to pop and lock, full of energy and boom bap as fk.
Words by Theo Specone