2012So, preparing to say goodbye 2012 and hello to 2013 as ukhh.com enters its’ 14th year. I confess I’m getting older and firmly on the edge of the scene nowadays but to me 2012 looked to be a marked step up in events, output and overall quality of the UK hiphop scene than recent years. Rather than give my own opinion I worked my way through my inbox and fired off some questions to the scene’s great and good. The one’s that weren’t too spliffed up to reply are included here so prepare for the thoughts from Aspects, Associated Minds, Caxton Press, Chemo, Disorda, Donnie Propa and Itch FM. Part two of the article coming tomorrow will have King Underground, Mystro, Rapshack, Rarekind, Ryan Proctor, Tom Caruana, Wyt Fang and the guys from Hoochinoo given the task of taking ukhh.com forward into 2013….


Aspectsfor those alien visitors who won’t know give us a quick resume up to now

beelziBubber– Aint many aliens that don’t know, you know. 3 Rappin goons that met a long time ago in a county with no name. Went off, done some living and are back once more with more raw in store.

how was 2012 for you and what were the release highlights that might have been missed

El Eye– We just dropped a limited 7″ of Beattape with Evil Ed and Format just a gritty little warm up.
beelziBubber– My wife is regretting pulling my finger just now. That release was the lowlight of 2012 for her.
Mantis– Been a productive year. We made our best album yet. Also sneaked out a number called ‘Trouble in Town’, plus a club heater early in the year called ‘Yes Please’.

what are your planned releases for 2013?

El Eye– First up will be our King’s English mixtape, proper raw business, recorded in one take on handheld mics, Roland Space Echo and the wheels of steel. Limited cassette and download. Following that will be our third album, I think it’s our most Hip Hop album since Correct English but with very mixed flavours, beatwise we got the legendary DJ Format, Evil Ed, 7stu7, futurists Awkward, Akira Kiteshi, Memotone and the godfather of Bristol Rap Scoutleader Deed!

what other music hit the spot in 2012?

El Eye– The Underachievers, Ratking, Death Grips, Killer Mike, Jam Baxter, Freestyle Fellowship, El-P, Sinoptic, Strange-U, Shabazz Palaces, Anham All Asylum, Taskforce.. Phew!
beelziBubber– I also enjoyed listening to them lot. You can add Homeboy Sandman and Aesop Rock as well. Veekay’s new free album is bad.. With Sammy Otis and Joey Chats Chattabox on there. YEP
Mantis– Heck yes. I’m into Ka, Wiki, JJ DOOM, The Coup, Roc Marciano, Joey Bada$$ and definitely Homeboy Sandman, for sure.

how do you see the health of the uk scene at the moment?

El Eye– It’s doing great in terms of rappers and beatmakers it’s just desperately in need of more professional labels, promoters, bloggers, managers…
beelziBubber– I concur…

any thoughts on the future of the industry? are physical formats dead? are you worried about piracy/filesharing?

El Eye– Streaming is the future but people will always want the simple joy of buying a real record!
beelziBubber– I like stealing and then buying seedys. I do worry about piracy but only when my fleet of supertankers are navigating hostile waters. Nahmean?
Mantis– Records, and even tapes, will be on the up next year. CDs are on the way out, in the mainstream at least. Generation Y seem to want everything for free. I now except filesharing is how the majority want to experience their music. Many listen to it off of a laptop, or a telephone. Sad really. When our LP arrives, do us a favour: listen to it, all of it, in a dimly lit room through a stereo system.

shoutouts/thanks/christmas wishes

El Eye– I’d like to holla at Rola who is currently working harder than anyone to help Hip Hop in Bristol city right now!
beelziBubber– Shoutout Vahter Khristmas and his pungent green suit. We gonna be waiting for that goon to come down the chimney in the Loucifur household. Gehme?
Mantis– Word! Big thanks to UKHH!

any final blatent self-promotion, twitter, links etc.


Associated Minds

associatedmindsfor those alien visitors who won’t know give us a quick resume up to now

I’m Mayor. I run the AssociatedMinds label along with a few other. We’re blessed to be home to a collection of emcees and producers that are truly talented one offs. Metabeats, Willo Wispa, Ralph Rip Sh!t, P.L.O., Ruffstylz, Mudmowth, Beatbox Fozzy and now Jid Sames. We don’t do sound alikes. Just focussed on bringing original and talented artistic voices to the table. So far we’ve done pretty well off that standard.

how was 2012 for you and what were the release highlights that might have been missed

2012 was great for us. We released a lot of music but I’d say the personal highlights are we dropped Metabeats featuring Dubbledge – ‘EyeSeeYou’ and that had an amazing response all over as well as the likes of people like Blak Twang and Goldie hailing it as one of the best videos of the year. We also dropped another Metabeats single ft. Action Bronson called ‘Hookers’ and that got us coverage on pretty much every major hip-hop website in the US after it got exclusively debuted on The Fader. We dropped Ralph Rip Sh!t’s Post Crisis EP with Dutch producer Lemon Face and again that got some great radio play all over the globe so it’s been a great year. There was a lot more too but go visit www.associatedminds.com to catch up on the rest.

what are your planned releases for 2013?

We have a lot of releases planned for 2013. Again too many to list here but the first one big one is gonna be the new Metabeats ‘Caviar Crackle’ LP. It’s a powerhouse of an album that’s been a long time coming. It’s hip-hop music rooted in the essence we all love but it’s also looking forward and keeps moving. The guest list of artists on that is insane too. Bronson, Oddisee, Quelle, Marvwon, Dubbledge, Elucid, Von Pea, P.L.O., Ralph, Zeroh and a whole lot more too.
We got a sick one from P.L.O. coming too featuring Sonnyjim & Ralph Rip Sh!t called ‘Bongproof’. We’ll hopefully also introduce the world to an artist called Jid Sames. Those in the know will know about him from a few years back but his new stuff is just truly original sounding music that will probably spin a few people out. But hopefully people with an ear for personality and originality will love it.
And who knows what will happen with the great enigma Willo Wispa. We have been sat on his ‘Wot’s Willo On!?!’ LP of his for a while now. Many things happening in the background with that. Truly truly love it though and it’s a personal mission that one so really do hope we can get it out finally. Somehow. It must happen. Crime for it not too.

what other music hit the spot for you in 2012?

Whewf – way to much good stuff this year to be honest. Think 2012 has been amazing year for hip-hop. Anyone who says differently just isn’t paying attention to the insane range of good sh!t coming out everywhere. Elucid’s brandnew LP, Sene’s LP, Kendrick, The Wrecking Crew’s Wu-Tang Pulp, El-P, The Quakers, Typical Cats, Roc Marciano, Aesop Rock, Nas, Action Bronson & Alchemist the list could basically go on and on.

how do you see the health of the uk scene at the moment?

We’ve always worked on the principal is you can’t change the world, but you can change your immediate surrounding. And the sames for ‘scenes’. We don’t worry about what the scene is doing but instead we worry about our own output. That turning of a critical eye on ourselves and and our music should help the scene in a healthier natural way.
If we all do that we’ll have a strong ‘UK scene’ and there is a lot of good people out there doing that – Eatgood, High Focus, YNR, Dented and more.

any thoughts on the future of the industry? are physical formats dead? are you worried about piracy/filesharing?

Honestly, it’s an evolving landscape – I don’t believe anyone’s really sure of the actual future but everyone has an opinion. So I don’t let it worry me. I lose no sleep over file sharing. Really. My girl would see me as less of a man if I cared about file sharing. Haha.
The one thing I will say, as a label who truly give a shit about our artwork I really wish vinyl was in a healthier place. That format is beautiful for creating artwork to accompany. So that’s a loss. But times change.

shoutouts/thanks/christmas wishes

Shouts to the director of ‘The Imposter’ for making the most crazy ass story into the film of the year. And biggup to everyone out there who’s gonna work hard to bring some good music and beautiful artwork to the table in 2013. May the year be good to you all.

any final blatent self-promotion, twitter, links etc.

Visit www.associatedminds.com at least weekly to get your recommended dosage of minerals and vitamins for 2013. Or follow on @AssociatedMinds

Caxton Press

caxtonpressfor those alien visitors who won’t know give us a quick resume up to now

Well we are Caxton Press (Amy True, eMCee Killa, Kingpin and Manage), a relatively new group which is London based. All members have enjoyed solo careers prior to forming the group as well.
We released our first video “The Press” in November 2011 and followed up with 6-7 other videos from the LP “Shame the Devil”. The album title, which in penmans terms simply means “To Tell the Truth” is what we have focused on and tried to get across to the listeners as we feel this has lacked a lot in Hip Hop over the recent years with too many artists and acts focused on their image and a portrayal of a life they do not live.

how was 2012 for you and what were the release highlights that people might have been missed

2012 has been very productive for us, as previously mentioned we are a new group so we created a particular work ethic to be able to bring our name to people as much as we could and then let the music do the talking following that. There has been a lot of highlights for us, we’ve managed to hit up a lot of shows since we began performing together around September 2011 and performed with the likes of Jedi Mind Tricks, Immortal Technique, People Under the Stairs, the Pharcyde, Logic, Sons Phonetic, Rodney P and Skitz and lots more. We have to give special thanks to Global Faction for really putting us on a visual level as our videos have been particularly pleasing with the quality work they do and the amount of buzz they have created, “The Press” was our first video and also our self titled entrance onto the scene and with the help of the Global Faction team it really help put us on the map.

what have you got planned for 2013?

Album number 2 is the main focus as a group and we are very close to finishing that which we are all excited about as you will begin to see/ hear us develop as a group a lot more. As solo artists we will be looking to drop ep’s and albums as well.
We have done tracks with several cats overseas from France, Spain, Russia and Turkey – some which are out already and others which will be coming soon, artists include Grim Reaperz from France and Ultimo Aviso from Spain. Kingpin also has a short film he is close to finishing which is in conjunction with Global Faction.
We’re also looking at touring the UK and Europe and more if its possible.

what other music hit the spot in 2012?

There have been a lot of good releases over the year so for us as a group we were particularly feeling:
Logic – True Talk
Phoenix Da Icefire – Quantam Leap
Kingpin – The Initiative
Sons Phonetic – Twelve Labours
Prose – Return of the Boom-Bap
Nanci and Phoebe – Notorious
Theme – Toys Get Smoked
To name a few!

how do you see the health of the uk scene at the moment?

Very good on different angles. You’ve got Don’t flop reppin the battle scene, People’s Army on the conscious tip and lots of great crews and emcees coming through or releasing quality material. SBTV, Charlie Sloth all doing their thing too.

any thoughts on the future of the industry? are physical formats dead? are you worried about piracy/filesharing?

Hip Hop has been around for years so will never disappear whatever country we look at. The infrastructure is now independent so the future depends on us (us meaning the UKHH scene), the world is watching us now with wide eyes open so its time to capitalise on that and move further forward. The UK Hip Hop scene abroad is sometimes stronger than it is in the UK and with the help of the internet there are a lot of possibilities to spread your music out there amongst fans who really want to hear it and support.
The physical format will not die altogether, it is a lot more practical for a artist to only go with digital because of the costs of pressing up some hard copies, but having a cd, reading the inlay and checking out the artwork whilst you listen to the album is an old school listening ritual and no we’re not worried about file-sharing and piracy in the slightest. Spread the good sounds you hear.

shoutouts/thanks/christmas wishes

Big shouts to all the EOW fam around the world, Speakers corner, People’s Army and most importantly the fans.
Those who are fam to us know who they are so we salute you all. UKHH.com for still being here through all sorts of difficult times within the scene and anyone who is doing their thing for the right reasons.

any final blatent self-promotion, twitter, links etc.

Vote for Shame the Devil as UK Hip Hop album of 2012 here


chemofor those alien visitors who won’t know give us a quick resume up to now

Hi! My name is Chemo. I have been releasing records and engineering sounds for some of the most gifted protagonists of UK Hip Hop for the last decade.

how was 2012 for you and what were the release highlights that might have been missed

Was a vintage year in my book. I worked very closely with Fliptrix and the High Focus gang this year, just making sure everything that came out sounded splendid. My label (Kilamanjaro.co.uk) started to come together nicely, and I also dropped the beat compilation ‘My Mate Does Beats Vol 1’. Was also a year of attempting to build some anticipation for my releases as ‘Telemachus’ and the latest single ‘The Sheltering Sky’ featuring Jehst was pretty well received.

what are your planned releases for 2013?

So we have the Telemachus album “in the Evening coming on YNR in early March, which should be followed by Telemachus in North Africa (an album I made on the beach in Morrocco). On Kilamanjaro I have ‘My Mate Does Beats Vol. 2’ along with an instrumental EP from my dude ‘Lamplighter’ who produced Scissortongues Album. Also a banging new EP with my grime protegee Jae Mann, and album with Dubbledge, and a project with Onoe Caponoe. All of which I am very proud.

what other music hit the spot in 2012?

Today I have been listening to Timber Timbre. But I think that came out 2 years ago… Oops.

how do you see the health of the uk scene at the moment?

A touch over-saturated, but theres some really good stuff out there.

any thoughts on the future of the industry? are physical formats dead? are you worried about piracy/filesharing?

Vinyl Up. Cd’s Down. This is a good thing.

shoutouts/thanks/christmas wishes

Happy birthday to baby Jesus and shout out to everyone who enjoys quality cheeses.

any final blatent self-promotion, twitter, links etc.

Check out my foray into Grime with a young artist called Jae Mann. Its free! ( http://www.kilamanjaro.co.uk/kmj21008-jae-mann-ava-word-free-download/ )


disordaplug your shop in a few short words and explain why people should use you

www.suspect-packages.com ‘backing british beats since 1996’, we’re the biggest online record store for UK Hip Hop, same day despatch on every order made, and all orders come with free stickers and flyers. Upfront releases and out of print titles, cd, vinyl, mp3, clothing and more. Nuff said really, check us out…

what have been the big sellers this year

Kingdom Of Fear ‘Kingdom Of Fear’album, Jam Baxter ‘Gruesome Features’, Fliptrix ‘Third Eye Of The Storm’, Ramson Badbonez ‘Bad Influence’, Mystro ‘Mystrogen’, Inja ‘Bass Music/Escapism’ to name a few…

what personally has hit the spot for you in 2012?

The output from High Focus Records, I really liked every single release. Top quality. And Mystro’s ‘Mystrogen’ is dope too. Oh, and Kingdom Of Fear too. There’s lots tho to be honest, I pretty much rate everything we sell, otherwise I wouldn’t be selling it. Simple.

how do you see the health of the uk hiphop scene at the moment?

Very healthy, it’s always had it’s peaks and troughs, we’re in a bit of a peak at the moment, going up, a lot more unity going on and events like the Boom Bap Festival bringing the scene together, wicked stuff. Overally tho, just a lot better products coming thru.

give us a tip for 2013

Split Prophets outta Bristol

any thoughts on the future of the industry? are physical formats dead?

Onwards and upwards, the answer to the above questions prove that. And physical ain’t dead, it’s slowed down a little but its always maintained. Vinyl sales are also picking up after a brief nose dive. Our main market is CD sales, and has been for the last 6-7 years. Before that it was vinyl. I think most people want a physical item to have in their hands of a decent album, I know I do.

shoutouts/thanks/christmas wishes

Big every customer that’s ever used Suspect Packages, thank you very much. The radio show, the blog, the main retail site, you keep that moving, without your support we’d have died years ago.

any final blatent self promotion, twitter, links etc.

Watch for a new Suspect Packages site coming, in the meantime keep checking the site and blog, also our facebook www.facebook.com/suspectpackages, my facebook www.facebook.com/disordasuspectpackages also www.twitter.com/suspectpackages and www.mixcloud.com/suspectpackages

Donnie Propa

donniepropaI’m Donnie Propa – DJ for Heavy Links and make mixtapes with other artists. So far I have done mixtapes with / of peeps like Cappo, Scorzayzee, SonnyJim, Supa T, Jehst, MF DOOM vs Ghostface, Verb T and Lee Ramsay. Got plenty more coming soon. Also did a mixtape for Son Records as well as The Official Boom Bap Festival mixtape.
Heavy Links is me alongside Habitat and El Tel The Dopeness. We have put out 3 EPs, all free download and a limited run on 12 inch of the last one, The Essence, which featured DPF and Efeks of Prose. We also put Rap Ambassadors on the vinyl as a bonus track, which was from our second ep, the track features Cappo, SonnyJim and Chrome of Def Tex. Its dope!
Were recording our next EP at the minute which will be dropping in the new year, again a limited run on vinyl. I think it will be 7 or 8 tracks, and features Cappo, The Book Thieves and Verb T.
Over the last year we have all been checking anyone that makes proper hip hop – good samples, drums, loops, scratches and lyrics. As far as releases from 2012 go, we have been into The Book Thieves, The Doppelgangaz, Bumpy Knuckles and Premo – Kolexxxion album, Masta Ace MA DOOM, Dirt Platoon Start Ya Bids EP, Gensu Dean and Large Professor – Forever is one of the best tracks Iv heard this year. Verb Ts new album is don, Action Bronson is heavy, George Fields From The Sticks is dope, Prose Back In The Habit and Kill The Noise EPs were both don, the Luv NY album is stupidly good….too many to mention yo! shout out anyone making proper hip hop!
As far as shows go I got to say Premo and Bumpy in Manchester was the best hip hop show I’ve ever seen. They absolutely smashed it, really showed how a live set should be done. We opened up for Lord Finesse in Norwich, he was next level as well. Action Bronson tore the roof off when we saw him. But the best event had to be The Boom Bap Festival….it was such a dope weekend and proper good to perform at. Shout Out Ivan and Jack the SheepSkin DJ for that one! cant wait for next years! The scene in our country is in a healthy place yo! Keep it underground.
We have had a good year as Heavy Links, getting out and about doing as many shows as possible, including one in Budapest, so big up all the promoters that have booked us, keep the sets coming. And if anyone wants a DJ to open up a show, I’ll bring bags of vinyls and get the vibe right for you! Not one of these DJs thats too cool to enjoy it and turns up with no set planned, just a bag of CDs and dont know how to mix.
Be sure to check the new EP when we drop it. The last vinyl sold out which was dope so make sure you get a copy when we drop it coz once they are gone, they are gone!
Big up everyone who checks our material and the mixtapes, its massively appreciated. Shouting Out Boom Bap Festival, Beat Juice, Showtime, Holdin Court, Justgot, Suspect Packages, Rare Kind Records, UndergroundHipHop.com, RapandSoulmailorder.com and ukhh.com!

Itch FM

itchfmintroduce yourselves and what you do

Internet radio station that’s dedicated to Hip Hop, Baby!!!!!

what have been your albums/singles of the year (max 5)

Mystro (Mystrogen) Melanin 9 (Magna Carta) Harry Shotta (Midnight Hustle), Blade Brown (Bags & Boxes 2)
Kendrick Lamar (good kid, m.A.A.d city)

which artists impressed you most during the year?

Mic Righteous … Smashed his Fire in The Booth, Shotty Horroh has lots of potential. And English Frank’s “Hip Hop Is Not Dead” event certainly cemented the notion that UK Hip Hop is certainly not dead.

what are your plans for 2013?

To get the best radio DJ’s and hosts streaming 24/7 Hip Hop music live!!!!

how do you see the health of the uk scene at the moment?

It seems that more artists are finding it more easier to practice and expose their passion with or without major label backing due to technology. Technology has lowered the barriers to entry, so “The World Is Their Oyster”, as they say!!! UK Hip Hop has embraced this opportunity and has strengthened its prominence.

give us a tip for 2013

Watch out for Itch.FM!!!

shoutouts/thanks/christmas wishes

Shout out to Harry Shotta, Mike GLC, Stig of the Dump, Mystro, Shay D, Ti2bs, SuparNovar, J Sunz, Oconnor, Melanin 9, Thad Boogle, Wriggly Scott – Big shout out to all our Twitter followers, Facebook fans, VIP list subscribers that are patiently waiting for us to go live. To the team members and volunteers and to the people that wish us ill-will. They only make us push harder. And we can’t forget a massive shout to the legendary ukhh.com crew.

any final blatent self promotion, twitter, links etc.

DJ’s/Hosts looking for a platform go to: http://www.itch.fm/submissions/ Get on the VIP list: http://www.itch.fm. Google us “itch fm”.

Thanks to all of the guys above for their thoughts and responses and check back soon for part 2…