If you are in Brighton or visiting come see us at 104 Trafalgar Street, BN1 4ER or check us out online at
Dr Syntax & The Mouse Outfit ft. Sparkz & Kosyne – “Escape Music”
Juga-Naut ft. Vandal Savage – “Mortar Shells”
K.I.N.E.T.I.K. – “Products Of The City Life”
The event that most impressed me this year has to be the Boom-Bap Festival that happened in September. It felt really good to see so many people turning-up to support a three-day UK-artist only event. There was a good mix of acts from up and down the country with both younger and older heads all mixing together and enjoying the performances. A brilliant weekend and hopefully there’ll be another one in 2013.
I also have to mention the 4our Pillars events in London which happened in 2012 – organised by members of Son Of Noise and featuring performances from MCM, Kamanchi Sly, Rodney P, Killa Instinct etc, 4our Pillars provided a great opportunity to celebrate some homegrown Hip-Hop heritage – make sure you reach the next one if you can in the new year.
Nothing particularly dramatic – to keep looking out for good Hip-Hop and to try and stay in a day job to keep the bills paid.
The scene is very fragmented nowadays which is fairly reflective of Hip-Hop as a whole with so many different styles, artists etc fighting for attention. But overall I think there’s a lot of quality music coming out of the UK scene right now, but then there always has been. I’ve been listening to Hip-Hop since the early-80s and the UK has always had talent, but the positive difference now is that British fans are more willing to support their own rather than always looking to the States for inspiration and validation. The main issue now is about ensuring that support translates into actual sales so quality artists can
continue to fund their music and don’t have to give everything away for free either by choice or because people are getting those unofficial downloads.
George Fields is a UK producer to lookout for who I think will be making some noise in 2013 – check his “From The Sticks” instrumental project for proof.
I’d like to shoutout all the artists out there still putting their heart and soul into Hip-Hop here in the UK to ensure us fans out there still have quality new music to listen to. I’d also like to thank everyone who takes the time to visit my blog on a regular basis – considering how many blogs, websites etc there are online nowadays it’s definitely appreciated.
my name’s Tom Caruana, I’ve been making music for about 15 years. Have worked with some other humans, who mostly do the vocals on my beats.
2012 was a busy year for me, I was working on several albums of which 4 of them were released: Dizraeli’s White Man Moves, Longusto’s Too Big To Play, Dr Syntax’s A Slice of Fried Gold & Professor Elemental’s Father Of Invention, I spent most of my year working of these.
planned releases for 2013, currently untitled instrumental/solo album. Menagerie album which features Tea Sea regulars: Longusto, Elemental, Teej, Koaste, Syntax, Dizraeli, Vecks, Baba Brinkman, Nick Maxwell, Jon Clark and Mole. I’m hopefully going to finish the 3rd and final Bombadeal album too.
Large Pro’s Main Source album was one of the only new albums I bought.
I’m not sure really as I don’t tend to keep up with the scene all that much. It does seem quite healthy though, some pretty good releases still coming out of the UK.
I think it’s a great time for the industry, much more direct artist to fan relationship, which means better experience for the listeners and better profit margins for the artists. Not worried about filesharing, you’ve just got to embrace these things, if people want the music they should be able to get it.
for those alien visitors who won’t know give us a quick resume up to now
Camden based beatmaker, been doin it since 1998 and still going. Part of Underground Alliance (UNDALI) alongside Skrein, Graziella, Doobie (Screaming Soul), Defdfires, Stig, Moodie (Reggae Roast) and that.. Too many heads..
Had tunes with Plan B, Skinnyman, Nomadic Poet (The Planets), Doc Brown, Mr Daktis (Jam Baxter) etc..
I had the pleasure of having a Hip-Hop record in Camden for a while where i started up Filthy Habits (the label), and hanging/fucking around on ukhh.com a lot.
Now I’m just building beats and trying to get shit out. Emcees hit me up, I’m on it on it.
how was 2012 for you and what were the release highlights that might have been missed
2012 was a great year for UK Hip-Hop in general. So many good releases (allot for free too..)
You had that YNR, High Focus, Boot, Killamanjaro, Strange Universe, Flame Griller, Taskforce, Melanin 9, Cappo, Paul White, Defdfires, Skuff type shits… There was soooooo many releases, should be loads more to come too. Keep them peepers peeled.
Been allot of UK/US collab shits too. UK producers on American albums and American Rappers on UK releases. Good shit.
what are your planned releases for 2013?
I wangled an EP with Cappo somehow, it’s called “BEASTS”. 7 tracks of just me and Caps, no features, no fillers.. The deluxe 12″ version comes with a tee, snapback, Download, coloured wax etc we going all out on this release, with Videos, Merchandise etc. all created/printed/molested in the Filthy Habits office by us. It’s not everyday you get to put something out with one of your favourite rappers, so I’m going all out with this shits. I hope you like it.
Early 2013 I’ve got an EP dropping with the Defdfires and a whole album with DDF member Bill Daggs soon after + stuff with Koaste, Longusto, TBear (The Colony), The Chinstrap Penguins (WY), Lucid Mover etc.. Loads.
what other music hit the spot in 2012?
The U.S has got me gripped too. I’m gonna have to get another job just to buy music right now. There’s classic artists banging out shit again, Commons calling women bitches again, iss all good.
Shit that got me this year was Roc Marciano, Sean Price, OHNO, Flying Lotus, Shiwbiz & AG, Joey Bada$$, Hodgy Beats, Domo Genesis, Nas, Termanology, MOP, EL-P, Styles P, Action Bronson, DITC, WU, Luv NY, Danny Brown, Freddie Gibbs, Busta, Meyhem Lauren, Quelle Chris, Radnom Axe, Pete Rock, Mobb Deep and anything Alchemist. Again, too many to mention.
Been a great year for Rap music.
how do you see the health of the uk scene at the moment?
I think the ukhh scene is healthy at the moment. There are allot of good artists/crews about, there’s new clothing labels, Blogs/online shits etc..
Loads of shows about all over the country + stuff like Boom Bap happening. I’m missing out on shit nowdays coz i can’t afford to reach or are too busy/hungover to go.
any thoughts on the future of the industry? are physical formats dead? are you worried about piracy/filesharing?
The industry is evolving so we’ve got to act accordingly. Yes people’s are going to DL your music/film/thing free.. You have to just get your doe elsewhere (merch/shows/barmitzvah’s etc).
Listeners can now buy/listen to pretty much whatever they want from the shitter nowadays. Remember what it was like just trying to find an album before the Internet. Paying £20 (or whatever) for that imported 12″/CD, pain in the arse..
There isnt an HMV/Record shop near you anymore. The days of loads of people (labels/press etc) earned off one artist/band/crew are dead, everything’s allot more streamlined and direct.
Most of my mates buy they music direct from the artist at a show or whatever, the rest gets downloaded.
There isn’t any mags no more, I’m getting all my fresh shit (from fans upping shit, Blogs, Sites like Ukhh, Twitter, the artists themselves etc) a lot quicker then I would 20 years ago.
Because artists can’t make as much money as they usually do on they releases were seeing a lot more honest music. Nas don’t have to get a R. Kelly verse no more, he’s dropping that music he wants. No need to “sell out” no more. You’ve got Corinne Bailey Rae on a Wu album, Little Dragon on a Big Boi album, Plan B/English Frank/Skrein an them doing films/tv, EL-P/Killer Mike album, Cee-Lo still doing his singing shits.
Labels will still press wax/CDs but possibly as a limited product and mainly rely on DLs. Manufacturing costs, a lot. I suppose people are thinking “put out a project in 3 months or a year?”, generally people just make their money back (if they’re lucky) anyways. Might as well bang it online, get your project out.
With so many releases every week, it’s hard to make a splash with your release. Artists are making more of impact with their product/artwork/videos/shows/characters, and putting out tracks/releases more regularly.
As long as musics still coming out, we’re all good.
Huge shout to ukhh for the opportunity & for holding it down for so long. Shout to all the heads that bought/downloaded my shit. There’s loads coming..
Big shout to all the new babies in the family (UNDALI), give it 10 years for Underage Alliance to drop.
Props to all the people out there doing it in HipHop, stay grinding. All the people’s buying stuff and keeping the scene going, stay up.
Lets see what 2013 brings…
any final blatent self-promotion, twitter, links etc.
Make sure you check BEASTS and the rest of my shit when it drops.
As ever, I’m available through the usual avenues:
Go download my shit, it’s pretty much all free.
MCs, hit me up for beats yo.
introduce yourselves and what you do
My name is Theo Specone, i am the manager of ‘Hoochinoo’ the alternative hip hop showcase here in London, the co-creator of Rappertag UK and one of the new managers here at ukhh.com. My partner in crime is Dfacer, we are running all of these projects together currently…
what was your highlight event of the year?
For me it was taking part in and having our own Hoochinoo tent at the Boom Bap Hip Hop Festival in Peterborough.
what have been your albums/singles of the year
i) Stig of the Dump – Cannon fodder
ii) Mystro – Mystrogen
iii) Verb T Morning Process
iiii)Klashnekoff – FTLT
iiiii) Phoenix da Icefire – The Quantum Leap
which artists impressed you most during the year?
Too many to mention really – the workrate at high focus has been second to none – I Think Mystro’s debut LP was sick. Don’t Flop is always growing, Tony D’s been killing that this year, as well as Shotty Horror internationally. Granville sessions at boom bap festival were really impressive There’s so much good stuff coming out of the UK right now
what are your plans for 2013?
We are doing a major overhaul of ukhh.com and bringing it up to speed for the new year, we will be running more Hoochinoo events and hopefully taking part in Boom Bap Hip Hop Festival 2013. As well as this we will continue to film Rappertag UK up and down the country depending on who gets tagged in, we will follow this wherever it goes, so people keep Ibiza in mind!! Don’t rule it out ;0) Finally we will be covering everything that is UK hip hop and making regular updates to the site, so make sure you drop in on ukhh.com and have a look.
how do you see the health of the uk scene at the moment?
I see it better than ever before, I think this is the beginning of what could be the UK golden era. For the first time we have a UK ‘old school’, artists and sounds that have been making music since the late eighties and early nineties. We have different recognised crews and styles popping up all over the UK, we have a hugely popular battle scene, beatboxers and breakers, all of which seem to intertwine within each other. It really feels like the scene is pulling together, promoters are talking to each other and collaborating on various projects and producers are getting more and more inventive. The very fact that 2000 people came down to the Boom Bap Festival shows that there is a strong and renewed interest in what some of us have been doing for years. It’s a great feeling.
give us a tip for 2013
Stockpile food, water and weapons and find some kind of off-road vehicle…. i’m just sayin’.
If you haven’t seen it already go and check out Stig of the Dump’s new Christmas persona, Bad Man Santa – www.merrydissmas.com
Shouts as follows:
Thank you to Smiff and Spoon at ukhh.com for giving us the opportunity to take over this ‘hub’ of uk hip hop, the potential for the site is limitless and 2013 is going to be our year.
Ivan and Jack at Boom Bap Festival for getting us involved this year, they are putting in hard work for the scene.
any final blatent self promotion, twitter, links etc.
If people still don’t know about Rappertag UK, please visit www.rappertag.co.uk
and check out the videos myself and Dfacer have been running around and filming throughout 2011 and 2012, huge amount of talent in the UK and I love this project, peep that ish.
Also follow us:
@ukhhcom, @hoochinoo @RappertagUK @Dfacer1
And that’s it for another year. Thanks to all of the artists, labels, shops and journo’s that took the time to complete my little questionnaire. If you’re reading this and thinking ‘why wasn’t I asked’ then check your DM, inbox or spambox as I hit up a lot of people but didn’t pursue you relentlessly, this scene thrives if people step their games up and take the opportunities that arise. If I genuinely missed you out then my bad, follow us on twitter and go hard into 2013 and we might look you up next year.
Please go back through the links in these articles, follow, join and most of all purchase something.
ukhh.com has gone through a lull the last few years but we’re hoping the new guard of Theo & Dfacer will give it a much needed kick into the 21st century and myself (@spoon_ukhh) and @smiff_ukhh will still be lurking around in the background sticking our oars in.
ukhh.com – Putting Knowledge Into Heads since 1999. At what age do we officially become old school?