Lady Leshurr – 3AM in Brum
Lady Leshurr has always made light work of whatever style beat that’s laid down. Here she is murdering some more classicly hip hop instrumentalism produced by Guy Furious. ‘3AM in Brum’ reminds me exactly why I should keep sending Lady Leshurr love letters for her to throw in the bin.
UKHH Summer Sickness Mix by Deejay LoK – FREE DOWNLOAD
Summer is finally here. To kick start your weekend, we’ve got the second in our series of UKHH Summer Sickness Mixes, put together by the don Deejay LoK, tracklist below;
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- Life MC – Fever Dub (special)
- The Nextmen VS Gentleman’s Dub Club – Rudeboy ft Gardna
- Children Of Zeus – Slow Down
- Lunar C – Skwolla
- Shay D – Spit For Me
- Illaman – Geddit
- Jaz Kahina X DJ LoK – Round Ere
- Jehst – Smoke Screen
- Dabbla – Hemisphere
- Leaf Dog – Today
- Sly5thAve – Let Me Ride (Stro Elliot remix)
- Mysdiggi – Lambs Bread
- Evil Ed ft Jehst & Asavior – Weed
- Kyza – Way Out ft Reveal & Cyrus Malachi
- Ramson Badbonez – On A Rampage ft Boot
- Fliptrix – Its Like That
- Micall Parknsun & Mr Thing – Don’t You Care
- Ocean Wisdom ft The Four Owls – Real Smooth
- Lady Leshurr – Black Panther
- TY – Folks Say
- Roast Beatz ft Mysdiggi & Ella Mae – Let It Go
UKHH Summer Sickness: A Hip Hop Guide to Boomtown
UKHH are mad excited to announce the third of our UKHH Summer Sickness festival recommendations… The mighty Boomtown Fair!
Although it officially sold out in February, Limited resale tickets are now available! To grab the last ones while there’s still time… simply click HERE!
Now in its tenth year and tenth chapter of its evolving story line, Boomtown has a history of putting on an impressive array of hip hop talent since its beginnings. Label takeovers by the likes of High Focus and genre bending spectacles (such as 2014’s ‘Original Fever’ UK Hip Hop Reggae Showcase on the Lion’s Den stage with Daddy Skitz, Rodney P and friends) have become the stuff of legend. Talent to have graced their stages over the years (to name but a few not appearing this time round) include everything from international legends like Cypress Hill, Pharoahe Monch and Jungle Brothers, to a diverse spectrum of UK heroes encompassing everything between Ocean Wisdom and Dizraeli and the Small Gods.
For a pretty good summary of what vibe to expect… The bulk of the footage for the above video for ‘Weed & Ale’ featuring Jman, Dr Syntax, Eva Lazarus and Pete Cannon (all of whom are reappearing this year) was shot way back at Boomtown 2013. Boomtown has continued to grow with expanding crowds, districts, stages and hundreds more acts but the rowdy spirit of hedonism and positive vibes have remained the same.
No surprises then that this year’s line-up has an absolute tonne of talent for the discerning hip hop hunter to uncover!
As festivals can be confusing places to navigate for the soberest of brains and pouring over every act on every stage is a tiring process that most probably can’t be arsed with, UKHH have done all that painstaking leg work for you in order to provide our detailed guide to all the hip hop popping off at this year’s Boomtown…
One of the things that makes Boomtown so sick, beyond the debaucherously immersive city that all the madness takes place in, is the sheer diversity of musical styles peppered across the site at any given time. While each district and stage has its own stylistic focus, so mega-fans of a particular genre could be tempted to get settled, it’s a sure fire bet that doing so would result in missing something dope happening somewhere completely unexpected.
Case in point: Whistlers Green (a district renowned for Jazz, Funk, Soul, World Music fusion, talks and a host of chilled out/holistic activities) boasts a surprising array of sick hip hop influences on it’s Windmill Stage. Out of my personal must-see acts at the whole festival, the multi-influenced Ghanaian/Glaswegian producer and lyricist Kobi Onyame is towards the top of the list. Check out his most recent album Gold for an idea of the kind of triumphant afro-rhythm infused hip hop to expect from him. Seriously ill.
Also on the stage for anyone with instrumental leanings… Bilal; the hip hop influenced soul/jazz artist with notable collaborative efforts on releases from the likes of Common and Talib Kweli who scooped a Grammy for his input on seminal Kendrick Lamar album To Pimp a Butterfly, as well as boom bap jazzers Blue Lab Beats, mixing golden era hip hop influences with jazz instrumentalism and samples.
Keeping the curve balls coming, Rocks Foe, the highly charged and lyrically deep MC known to straddle grime and hip hop and informed by a further range of diverse influences is present as part of a takeover by Bristol label Black Acre. Also, embodying a truly international sound that’s impossible to pin down (I thought she was UK when I first heard her) with Zambian and Botswanan roots but now based in Australia, Sampa the Great is well worth a check. If you haven’t already heard her, think African rhythms, jazz, hip hop and a powerful voice phasing between neo soul melodies and conscious lyricism.
The roots-heavy Lion’s Den stage also sees some hip hop vibes blending their way into the mix with UKHH long time favourites Rodney P and Illaman taking the stage as part of the Spragga Benz and Friends set. Other highlights for heads are likely to include live trip-hop/lounge band Morceeba, and genre defying super-group Gorillaz in a headline slot that’s sure to include more than a few meanders into the territory of hip hop bars and beats. Switch districts and head over to Paradise Heights and you’ll find bass-heavy party starters Too Many T’s rocking the Hotel Paradiso venue.
Even hidden amongst the stellar line-up of broader dubby soundsystem hecticness that populates Boomtown’s woodland parties there are a couple of UK names for rap treasure hunters to track down. Prolific with the festival performances this year, Gardna can be found performing as part of the Wonka-Vision Forest Takeover and Skitz and Joe Burn are set to play the Tangled Roots stage where its safe to expect they’ll be providing a stomping soundtrack to the forest setting, fusing hip hop and Jamaican influenced basslines.
All this said… Unsurprisingly, although there are abundant MCs and DJs worth searching Boomtown’s myriad districts for, the bulk of our UKHH recommended acts can be found dominating the Barrio Loco District!
This year’s line up on the flagship stage Poco Loco is something fierce. For fans with a taste for grimier flavours, bill-toppers Ghetts, Lady please-answer-my-fan-mail-and-marry-me-already Leshurr, Foreign Beggars, Nadia Rose and Big Zuu will be providing unrelenting party vibes. Another artist to go heavy on the festival rounds this year is the ever unpigeon-holeable Kojey Radical. With a hard earned and steadily expanding following now aware of his varied and poetically raw body of work, the crowd are likely to go off for this one.
The suplex that the North has applied to the UK Hip Hop game in the last few years is suitably apparent in the presence of its multiple super-crews/collectives taking the stage at this years Boomtown. LEVELZ, The Mouse Outfit (ft Ellis Meade, Dubbul O and Berry Blac for their Poco Loco performance) and Cult of The Damned have all proved themselves to be serious threats. With fluid rosters and cross over between MCs (e.g. Black Josh is affiliated with all three) each entity reflects a distinctly different facet of a stylistically diverse, collaborative community. C.O.T.D. bring a lazy, fuck-everything rawness comparable to being the UK’s answer to Odd Future. In Contrast The Mouse Outfit bring positive, funk infused smooth grooves, with their recent album Jagged Tooth Crook sounding like distilled summertime. LEVELZ bring the rave.
For fans focused on live instrumentation… Poco Loco also provides. Taking it way back, in a salute to one of the all-time undisputed masters of production, the 18 piece Abstract Orchestra will be performing a musical tribute to the late J Dilla. Scene legends (and one of the original trip hop bands) The Herbaliser will also be taking the stage. Producer and MC duo, Makola, have developed their combination of afrobeat hip hop to include a live band and brass section that should have fans of Fela Kuti and UK rap alike moving in unison. It goes without saying that all of the above might be something special.
For a masterclasses on control of the decks: With a list of influences and collaborations as long as a life-size Stretch Armstrong’s arms, DJ Vadim will be tearing things up and no doubt have some surprises up his sleeves. Mixing global influences including hip hop, trip hop and a heavy pinch of sub-dub L’Entourloop will no doubt be providing a marching soundtrack to skank out to when they take the stage with Troy Berkley and N’Zeng. Kicking the party up a gear, festival and rave scene regulars, The Nextmen, will also be supplying the grooves with an extended family of Gentlemans Dub Club, Garnda, Kiko Bun, Eva Lazarus, and Jman.
Also on a hype tip, the infinitely danceable 808INK will be ensuring a steady stream of cleverly infectious bars and vibes to keep the rave moving and Babylon Dead will be capitalising on energetic support for their dissident ragga-meets-hip hop style and tearing the roof clean off. Another act to balance double time spits, basslines and politics, scene veteran and activist/rapper Lowkey will be in attendance to serve up heavy bars with some food for thought on the side.
For sure fire hits with UK hip hop fans, acts bringing that pure UK underground sound include Children of Zeus, Dr Syntax & Pete Cannon and Coops. C.O.Z. have been on a serious rise lately, with mellow, summery vibes aplenty, an RnB edge to their hooks and raps that sound both very Golden Era and very UK. Long-time collaborators Syntax and Cannon have a catalogue of material built up since the beginning of the century and (as probably the funniest lyricist in the UK scene) crowds can expect Syntax to entertain and hype in equal measure. Finally, High Focus Records’ most recent signing Jordan Cooper AKA Coops, will be showcasing his dope new album, No Brainer, and evidencing why he’s currently one of the UK’s fastest risers.
And that’s just the hip hop… For anyone who fancies diversifying, you’ll be able to catch pretty much everything else under the sun at any moment. With a huge array of districts that each sport their own immersive worlds and more hidden side shows, hi-jinks and mini venues than you could shake a stick at, Boomtown ensures an experience that’s likely to fly by in a messy, technicolor blur. Come join us going tits up to our recommended acts, shooting some exclusive on-site bars, rolling round with a boombox on a music video flex and most probably at points getting completely side-tracked and lost amongst the carnage.
The final surge of resale tickets are very limited and will sell out fast, so to get involved with the 10th anniversary celebrations get yours now!
UKHH Summer Sickness: Outlook Festival
We’re hyped to announce Outlook Festival as the second of our UKHH Summer Sickness recommendations! Renowned amongst festival goers for its unique heartbeat centred around sound system culture and all things bass, the four day event also has a long running history of cramming a tonne of UK hip hop talent onto its line-ups. Growing itself and its reputation steadily for over a decade, the combination of bass, Croatian sun, beaches, a giant abandoned fort and legendary boat parties, makes Outlook the obvious way to see off the summer with a bang!
To celebrate the Festival’s continued support of the UK hip hop scene and general reputation for sun-soaked insanity, UKHH will be hosting a bunch of related content leading up to and after Outlook. Expect features, interviews, line-up updates, exclusive on site bars and highlights of the event documented in HD.
No surprise that the line-up so far is already boasting an army of talent. UKHH ones to watch include Levelz and Friends, Ocean Wisdom, Children of Zeus, Peanut Butter Wolf, High Focus Records (Dirty Dike, Fliptrix, Jam Baxter, Coops, Ed Scissor, DJ Sammy B-Side, Molotov, Talos), Lady Leshurr, Nadia Rose, Kojey Radical, Melanin 9, Sonnyjim, Datkid, Pete Cannon, Gardna, Concept of Thought, Jman, LayFullStop, Free Wize Men and KinKai.
The carnage kicks off with an opening concert on the 5th of September followed by 4 days and nights of bass riddled goodness across 10 stages. For full line-up and tickets visit outlookfestival.com.
Lady Leshurr – New Freezer
Lady Leshurr has started 2018 on fire. Just when that whole Paigey Cakey beef was getting proper tired, Lesh dropped the decisive ‘R.I.P.’ and buried the whole thing. Next up, ‘New Freezer’. Beat is savage again and the Birmingham queen is seriously back on form with fierce punch line saturated flows and a hook that’s guaranteed to bounce round the cranium for a while. Video is jokes and she’s looking fine as ever too. Murkage.
Posse Cuts! 10 times that the number of guest spots on a UK Hip Hop Track got seriously out of hand
Just over a month ago, jaws hit the floor when Leaf Dog‘s The Legacy dropped a couple weeks ahead of the release of the rapper’s second full-length album ‘Dyslexic Disciple‘. After a lot of head scratching, discussion and trawling through artists’ back catalogs here in the UKHH camp, we couldn’t think of any examples of UK hip-hop tracks that had as many features as the whopping 19 guest MCs boasted on this (nearly 8 minute long) beast of a tune. Then we discovered Eskar‘s FluteJam which also crams 19 extra heads onto one long-arse song. If we’ve missed an obvious example that packs a bigger crew then please get in touch and correct us but to the best of our knowledge Leaf now holds the joint record for the biggest posse on a tune. This would of course be worth shit all, if The Legacy was a pile of steaming faeces. Fortunately though its sick. In addition to it managing to stay listenable for twice the length of a normal song with one loop, no hooks and 160 bars split into 8 bar segments the line-up of talent assembled is also pretty momentous. Joining half of the High Focus label roster, a handful of UK hip-hop royalty ices the Legacy cake including spots from Jehst, Klashnekoff, Mysdiggi (fka Mystro), Sonnyjim, Chester P, Farma G and a surprise Phi-Life Cypher reunion for good measure.
So hats off and mad props to Leaf Dog for all that and to mark this achievement we’ve put together a list of 10 of our favourite examples (not ranked) of guest appearances getting crowded.
Artist 01: Eskar
Track Name: FluteJam
No. of Guests: 19
Guest Artists: Scorzayzee, Sandy Minto, Tenchoo, Spee 69, Micky Swagz, Spida Lee, Doberman, Junior Disprol, ABD, Krankit, Watson G, Mury P, Kinetik, Jolly Jay, Ciaran Mac, Lego, Obi Joe, Gen, Micall Parknsun.
Seems only fair to start with the joint champ at rounding up a posse. Although it has the feel of something old, on second glance this appeared on YouTube less than a month in front of The Legacy!! In fact a lot about the two tunes surfacing at almost the exact same time feels like a bit of a cruel joke on poor Eskar. To be honest I don’t really rate Eskar’s other material that I’ve heard but this is pretty cool. Firstly, particularly as his name doesn’t have the same clout as Leaf Dog’s, the organisational mission of getting this many artists involved isn’t a small feat. Credit where it’s due as well, while it looks like Eskar only held the record for the most guests for a few weeks before The Legacy popped up and equaled it, he’s still definitely the longest by a huge measure with everyone putting down 16s. Also, considering its gargantuan length it manages to be mostly sick throughout. The majority of rappers involved are more or less unknowns but there’s a good level of variation in style and texture achieved in part by drawing lyricists from all over the country.
It’s not really surprising that this has been eclipsed by The Legacy, mainly because of the calibre of the names involved. While the talent on FluteJam isn’t shit, there are only really 2 MCs out of them who are in the same lane as the rhymers on The Legacy. It’s obviously not a mistake that Scorzayzee opens and Micall Parknsun finishes being the two heaviest hitters involved. This being said, while at the time of writing The Legacy has 115,000 views, FluteJam is barely a blip on the radar with only 120! That works out as 6 views for each rapper involved. It 100% deserves a fuck load more checks than that especially as it’s had its parade pissed on a bit.
Artist 02: Tony Broke
Track Name: 68 Sag
No. of Guests: 6
Guest Artists: Bill Shakes, Lee Scott, King Grubb, Tommy Dockerz, Black Josh, Bang On.
For the sake of coming up with this list, the main rule was that it had to be specifically the number of guest artists not simply the number of people on a tune. E.g. Split Prophets or Cult of the Damned wouldn’t make the cut alone. So this one verges on seeming a bit of a cheat as COTD member Tony Broke has roped in 4 out of 6 of the guest spots here from the Damned talent pool. However, as this track dropped in 2014, at this point Cult of the Damned were still Children of the Damned which didn’t include Black Josh and Tony Broke’s involvement with the crew was minimal with him featuring on only 1 tune on the Brick Pelican album. Also it’s off a solo release. Also its vibes.
Artist 03: 184
Track Name: Posse Cut (Kashmere Remix)
No. of Guests: 7
Guest Artists: Skuff, Koaste, Dr Syntax, Sonny Jim, Rup, Stig of the Dump, Salvo Mifune.
Nice selection of barsmen on this bite sized yet crowded number from 184 off the album When Producers Attack. Possibly the most surprising thing about it in contrast to the rest of the beats in this category is how it manages to bung 7 rappers onto such a short track. The second Kashmere remix posted here runs a modest 3.34 but the harder album version is somehow a full minute shorter. Fucks off the intro, gets down to some savage bars and done. Efficiency points. Cambridge’s Skuff and Brighton’s Koaste start it off strong making way for some heavy hitting verbiage from Syntax, Sonny and Stig. Sick.
Artist 04: Roots Manuva
Track Name: Swords in the Dirt
No. of Guests: 6
Guest Artists: Blackitude, Fallacy, Big P, Skeme, Niara Scarlett, Rodney P.
This list would seem weirdly incomplete without an entry showcasing uk hip-hop’s old guard repping hard. We struggled to think of many UK hip-hop albums from a way back that had high feature numbers but Swords in the Dirt off 2001’s multi-influenced masterpiece Run Come Save Me fits the bill pretty nicely. This spacey yet stompy one is a classic, with an MC line-up that includes the UK scene’s last man standing Rodney P killing it as per usual.
Artist 05: Dirty Dike
Track Name: Future Posse Cut One Thousand
No. of Guests: 10
Guest Artists: Stig Of The Dump, Dr Syntax, BVA, DatKid, Verb T, Jam Baxter, Edward Scissortongue, Mr. Key, Fliptrix, Leaf Dog.
As obscene Posse Cuts have become something of a High Focus trademark its unsurprising that a couple places in this selection have been reserved for HF artists. The Legacy for now is the culmination of a trend amongst label mates of seeing how many rappers its possible to cram on to a track, with this offering by Dike in particular establishing itself as a heavy hitter. While the meagre 10 spitters Dike dragged along might not quite compete with The Legacy on the headcount, it’s definitely funnier. Dr Syntax, Stig and Verb T stand out for jokes with Jam Baxter and Fliptrix bringing some savage bars as well. Also noteworthy, the beat absolutely bangs, the video is dope and each MC comes with a 16 which results in track length being a massive 10.19 mins.
Check out number 6-10 on the next page.