Thursday, 28 May 2015

My Thoughts on Speedom by Tech N9ne (Feat Krizz Kaliko & Eminem)

Anyone who is a fan of both Tech N9ne and Eminem have long awaited a collaboration between the two artists. In many ways, and to many people, they are seen as two of the top lyrical artists in Hip Hop today. They are also two of the most experienced and respected artists right now.

So when  Tech N9ne announced there would be an Eminem collab on his new album, Special Effects, you can imagine the hype that arose from this. But did it live up to it?

The song is called Speedom (WWC2) and is the newest addition in Tech's chopper series. If you haven't heard the song, you can play the clip below:


The Good

Hearing these three artists spit incredibly fast-paced lyrical verses over, in my opinion, good production is just absurd. The song starts and finishes with Tech N9ne rapping a typical Tech N9ne verse, with his unique flow. It is what you would expect from him which makes it no less impressive. We then hear a Krizz Kaliko verse which, to those who have never heard of him, will be a very pleasant surprise. Then, right in the middle, is the Eminem verse which is just insane. We definitely hear remnants of his 'Rap God' flow here. You can tell Tech N9ne gave a lot of respect to Eminem on this track, almost allowing him to be the star.

The Bad

You know when you just feel like something is missing? That's how I feel when listening to this song. These two artists have been in the game for such a long time and have so much to talk about that I am disappointed they didn't do something a little bit more creative with the song. I feel, besides the lyrics, the strengths of Tech N9ne and Eminem lies in their story-telling abilities. Just listening to songs like 'Stan', 'Cleaning Out My Closet' by Eminem and 'This Ring', 'Fear' by Tech N9ne makes you feel that something truly special could have happened here. Also, putting this as part of the choppers series (which also includes World Wide Choppers 1, Midwest Choppers 1&2) seems like an odd decision.

Conclusion

Overall, I really do enjoy this song and it definitely takes a few listens and maybe a trip to RapGenius to catch everything they are saying. It's a great song but it could have been special. 

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

David Cameron's quest to repeal the fox hunting ban reflects how little he represents the people of the United Kingdom

Since the run up to the election, there has been a lot of talk about the possibility of the conservative government legalising fox hunting via a free commons vote. This has resulted in a large number of people and activists expressing their outrage, the most notable being Ricky Gervais (which you can find on his twitter account: @rickygervais). The idea of legalising something which the majority of the population are seemingly against is a great demonstration of how our Prime Minister fails to represent the British people. 


Why fox hunting should stay illegal

 

If you're not familiar with fox hunting, it is a blood sport where foxes are chased by dogs, under the command of men on horseback, and eventually ripped to pieces by said dogs. It is a cruel and inhumane sport which inflicts unnecessary pain on animals for the amusement of sadists.

Personally, I have never understood hunting and despise the very concept of it. However, fox hunting is particularly barbaric due to how the foxes are killed and the potential amount of pain they can be put through before they die. Not only this, but it is also cruel to the dogs involuntarily participating in the sport. They are essentially trained to kill which can lead to many other problems for them including the possibility of being euthanized due to viciousness.

In order for us to move forward as humans, barbaric practises like this need to be stopped. It is no different than dog fighting. It is no different than cockfighting. Why don't we legalise those too? Because we all know how barbaric and torturous they are.


How this reflects on David Cameron


The very concept of legalising something like this shows just how little David Cameron represents the people of the United Kingdom. I don't have the statistics for this but clearly fox hunting is something that the majority of the population would be opposed to. If this is the case, then what political reason could he possibly have for attempting legalising such a thing? Who does it benefit? How does this help our country? In this case, It seems as though David Cameron is using his power for his own selfish gain. 


I, for one, will always be against the torture of other living things for my own amusement. 



If you woud like to find out more about this, feel free to look at some of the following links:

Free Vote Definition: http://www.parliament.uk/site-information/glossary/free-vote/
Fox hunting Wikipedia page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fox_hunting
Independent article: http://ind.pn/1zNm5qs
Shropshirestar article: http://bit.ly/1FN3XOj

Saturday, 31 January 2015

Does Hip Hop Need To Grow Up?

Last year I had a job interview in which I was asked about my hobbies and interests. When I mentioned my passion for the hip hop genre, I was given a surprised look by the interviewer followed by their thoughts on the archetypal hip hop listener. Unsurprisingly, two words they mentioned were 'Gangster' and 'Bling'. This got me thinking, is the genre unfairly subjected to these kinds of stereotypes or do these arise from its own genuine immaturity? 

Hip Hop Artists 

The first place I looked regarding immaturity in the genre was the artists themselves. The problem I found was that many popular artists were, themselves, young and immature. There are many artists who are seen as 'hip hop' in the media (although I hesitate to call them that) who encompass immaturity. These particular artists are the ones who cannot stay out of prison, promote questionable morals and have quite a bad grip of the English language. One artist which springs to mind is Chief Keef. Although I don't see this person as a hip hop artist, that does not change the fact that the media will continue to promote him as such. There is always a lawsuit tied to him and his music is..., let's just say, easy to listen to. In this particular case, I would say this is an example of the genre being unfairly subjected to certain stereotypes because of mainstream record labels and media promoting these kind of artists.

On the other hand, even some of the most respected hip hop artists make songs which have been criticized due to their immature subject matter, which brings me on to...
  

Subject Matter

So one of the biggest issues I have is that, often, hip hop is seen as this genre which only talks about gun violence, drugs, gangster culture, etc. To anyone that genuinely listens to hip hop, they know this is not true. Again, this is a case of the genre being exploited by record labels and the media. Hip hop covers a broad variety of topics and I would argue, much more so than the genres who seem to keep to the whole 'love song' theme.

However, there are respected artists who make songs which lyrics including things like extreme violence and sexual jokes. In most cases I don't see this as an issue when their subject matter covers a variety of topics. Yes they may make some controversial references here and there but it doesn't encompass them as an artist. Take R.A The Rugged Man for example. You'll often see him make sexual references in songs but then in other songs hear him rap about his relationship with his father. Unfortunately, these little things can be taken and blown up in a bad way by the media. For example, Eminem's use of the word 'faggot' on 'Rap God' was heavily criticized by some communities regardless of the fact that was not actually references homoesexuals but, instead using it as a general derogatory term.

Having said this, there are many hip hop artists out there who DO actually make constant references to things like drugs and the objectification of women. These are the things which need to stop to help push hip hop out from these negative connotations.


In summary, most of these immature connotations stem from the exploitation of the genre by record labels and the media. Whilst I think hip hop artists should do their best not to fall into the trap of being that 'typical' rapper, it is very likely that these stereotypes will continue for a while to come.


Saturday, 20 December 2014

My Top 10 Favourite Hip Hop Albums Of 2014

These are my FAVOURITE hip hop albums of 2014. This list will not include mixtapes, EPs or anything else not listed as an album. Favourite songs will be marked by an asterisk.


10. Common - Nobody's Smiling

Tracklist:

1. The Neighborhood (Feat Lil Herb & Cocaine 80s)
2. No Fear *
3. Diamonds (Feat Big Sean)
4. Black Majik (Feat Jhené Aiko) *
5. Speak My Piece *
6. Hustle Harder (Feat Snoh Aalegra & Dreezy)
7. Nobody's Smiling *
8. Real (Feat Elijah Blake)
9. Kingdom (Feat Vince Staples)
10. Rewind That
11. Out On Bond (Feat Vince Staples) (Bonus track)
12. 7 Deadly Sins (Bonus Track) *
13. Young Hearts Run Free (Feat Cocaine 80s) (Bonus Track)

9. Big K.R.I.T - Cadillactica

Tracklist:

1. Kreation (Intro)
2. Life
3. My Sub PT.3 (Big Bang)
4. Cadillactica
5. Soul Food (Feat Raphael Saadiq)
6. Pay Attention (Feat Rico Love)
7. King Of The South *
8. Mind Control (Feat E-40, Wiz Khalifa)
9. Standby (Interlude)
10. Do You Love Me (Feat Mara Hruby)
11. Third Eye *
12. Angels
13. Saturdays=Celebration (Feat Jamie N Commons) *
14. Lost Generation (Feat Lupe Fiasco)
15. MT. Olympus (Reprise) *
16. Lac Lac (Feat A$AP Ferg)

8. Angel Haze - Dirty Gold

(Okay, technically this came out on December 31st 2013)
Tracklist:
1. Sing About Me
2. Echelon (It's My Way)
3. A Tribe Called Red *
4. Deep Sea Diver
5. Black Synagogue *
6. Angels & Airwaves
7. April's Fool *
8. White Lillies/White Lies
9. Battle Cry *
10. Black Dahlia *
11. Planes Fly
12. Dirty Gold *
13. Rose-Tinted Suicide
14. Vinyl
15. Crown
16. New York

7. Shady Records - Shady XV (Double Disc)

Tracklist:

Disc 1:

1. Shady XV (Eminem) *
2. Psychopath Killer (Slaughterhouse, Eminem, Yelawolf) *
3. Die Alone (Eminem, Kobe)
4. Vegas (Bad Meets Evil) *
5. Y'all Ready Know (Slaughterhouse)
6. Guts Over Feat (Eminem, Sia) *
7. Down (Yelawolf)
8. Bane (D12)
9. Fine Line (Eminem)
10. Twisted (Skylar Grey, Eminem, Yelawolf) *
11. Right For Me (Eminem)
12. Detroit Vs Everybody (Eminem, Royce Da 5'9, Big Sean, Danny Brown, Dej Loaf, Trick-Trick) *
13. Till It's Gone (Yelawolf) (Bonus Track)

Disc 2:

1. I Get Money (50 Cent)
 2. Purple Pills (D12)
3. Lose Yourself (Eminem)
4. Cry Now (Eminem Remix) (Obie Trice, Kuniva, Bobby Creekwater, Ca$his, Stat Quo)
5. Let's Roll (Yelawolf)
6. Hammer Dance (Slaughterhouse)
7. P.I.M.P (50 Cent)
8. You Don't Know (50 Cent, Eminem, Ca$his, Lloyd Banks)
9. My Band (D12)
10. Wanna Know (Obie Trice)
11. Wanksta (50 Cent)
12. The Set Up (Obie Trice, Nate Dogg)
13. In Da Club (50 Cent)
14. Fight Music (D12)
15. Pop The Trunk (Yelawolf)
16. Lose Yourself (Original Demo Version) (Eminem)

6. Onyx - Wakedafucup

Tracklist:

1. Wakedafucup Intro
2. Whut Whut
3. We Don't Fuckin' Care (Feat A$AP Ferg & Sean Price) *
4. Hustlin' Hour (Feat Makem Pay) *
5. Buc Buc
6. The Tunnel (Feat Papoose & Cormega) *
7. The Realest *
8. Wakedafucup (Feat Dope D.O.D.) *
9. Dirty Cops (Feat Snak The Ripper)
10. Boom!!
11. Trust No Bitch
12. One 4 Da Team (Feat Reks)
13. Hammers On Deck
14. Turndafucup

5. Joell Ortiz - House Slippers

Tracklist:

1. House Slippers
2. Cold World (Feat Lee Carr)
3. Dream On
4. Music Saved My Life (Feat B.o.B & Mally Stakz) *
5. Brother's Keeper (Feat Joe Budden, Crooked I, Royce Da 5'9) *
6. Q & A *
7. Get Down
8. Say Yes (Feat Sahlance) *
9. Better Than (Feat Maino & Kaydence)
10. Phone
11. Candy (Feat Mally Stakz)
12. Crack Spot

4. J.Cole - 2014 Forest Hills Drive

Tracklist: 
1. Intro
2. January 28th
3. Wet Dreamz
4. 03' Adolescence
5. A Tale Of 2 Citiez
6. Fire Squad *
7. St. Tropez
8. G.O.M.D
9. No Role Modelz *
10. Hello
11. Apparently
12. Love Yourz
13. Note To Self

3. Rittz - Next To Nothing

Tracklist:
1. Intro
2. Explode
3. Turn Down
4. Crown Royal
5. Laf
6. Bounce (Feat Twista)
7. Living A Dream (Feat Tre Tha Truth)
8. In My Zone (Feat Mike Posner & B.o.B)
9. Call 911
10. Basket Case *
11. Profit (Feat Yelawolf & Shawty Fatt) *
12. Going Through Hell (Feat Mike Posner)
13. Wish You Could
14. Blow
15. White Rapper *
16. Turning Up The Bottle *
17. Broke And Famous (Bonus Track)
18. Lonely (Feat Scar) (Bonus Track)

2. Run The Jewels - Run The Jewels 2

Tracklist:
1. Jeopardy *
2.  Oh My Darling Don't Cry
3. Blockbuster Night Part 1
4. Close Your Eyes (And Count To Fuck) (Feat Zack De La Rocha) *
5. All My Life
6. Lie, Cheat, Steal *
7. Early (Feat BOOTS)
8. All Due Respect (Feat Travis Barker) *
9. Love Again (Akinyele Back) (Feat Gangsta Boo)
10. Crown (Feat Diane Coffee) *
11. Angel Duster

1. Pharoah Monch - P.T.S.D

Tracklist:
1. The Recollection Facility
2. Time2
3. Losing My Mind (Feat Denaun) *
4. Heroin Addict
5. Damage *
6. Bad M.F.
7. The Recollection Facility Part 2
8. Rapid Eye Movement (Feat Black Thought)
9. Scream
10. SideFx (Feat Dr. Peter)
11. The Jungle *
12. Broken Again *
13. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
14. D.R.E.A.M (Feat Talib Kweli) *
15. The Recollection Facility Part 3
16. Eht Dnarg Noisulli (Feat The Stepkids)

Thursday, 18 December 2014

My Top 10 Favourite Hip Hop Mixtapes Of 2014

These are my FAVOURITE hip hop mixtapes of 2014. Albums will not be included on this list. Favourite songs will be marked with an asterisk.


10. Talib Kweli - Javotti Media Presents: The Cathedral

Tracklist:

1. Another Day (Feat Talib Kweli)
2. Boomerang (Feat K'Valentine, Cory Mo, NIKO IS, Talib Kweli)
3. Purest Heart (Feat Bottom Feeder, Chris Webby, Joell Ortiz, Talib Kweli) *
4. Cherry Beamer Dreaming (Feat NIKO IS)
5. Everywhere I Go (Feat Talib Kweli, Curren$y, Big K.R.I.T, Kendra Ross) *
6. Manifest Destiny (Feat Russel Gunn, Jessica Care More)
7. Dreams (Feat RES The Piano Tribute Players)
8. D.R.E.A.M (Feat Pharoah Monch, Talib Kweli) *
9. Roll Me Up (Feat Attitude, Cory Mo)
10. What's Real (Live) (Feat, Talib Kweli, RES)
11. Doc Shebeleza Remix (Cassper Nyovest, Talib Kweli)
12. Chriaq (Feat K'Valentine)
13. Hypontized Snakes (Feat NIKO IS)
14. For Who You Are (Feat RES)
15. Ocean Song (Feat Talib Kweli, Male Machinko) *


9. Detroit Che - NOAH 

Tracklist:

1. NOAH
2. Talk My Shit
3. Great Dane
4. Stuck and Sticky
5. FWMN *
6. Messiah Complex
7. Murder Mitten (Feat Slave) *
8. Off The Hen
9. FACE
10. DMTS

8. Curren$y - The Drive In Theatre

Tracklist:

1. Introduction
2. Godfather Four (Feat Action Bronson) *
3. Stove Top
4. Vintage Vineyard
5. Stolen
6. $ Migraine (Feat Le$)
7. ET (Feat B-Real)
8. Grew Up In This (Feat Young Roddie, Freddie Gibbs) *
9. M.P.R
10. 10 Gs
11. El Camino (Feat Mary Gold)
12. Hi Top Whites
13. Fo *
14. The Usual Suspects (Feat Smoke DZA, Fiend, Cornerboy P) *

7. Novi Novak - Hibernation's Over 2

Tracklist:

1. Stick Up *
2. Too Legit
3. I Ain't Trippin'
4. From The Get Go
5. 0-100 Remix
6. All I'm Sayin'
7. They All Tell Me *
8. Intermission
9. The Truth
10. No Time *
11. Change My Fate
12. I Don't Know
13. Here's Ya Song
14. Crimson
15. Thank You (Outro)

6. Jon Connor - #Best In The World: A Tribute To The Notorious B.I.G Vol 1

 Tracklist:

1. DJ Khaled Intro
2. Runnin'
3. Kick In The Door *
4. Everyday Struggle
5. Respect *
6. Biggie (Feat Justin Daye) *
7. Juicy *
8. Who Shot Ya
9. Notorious Thugs (Feat Lyric Da Queen) *
10. Unbelievable
11. Sky's The Limit *
 12. DJ Khaled Outro

5. Jon Connor - The Late Registration Of A College Dropout Who Had A Dark Twisted Fantasy Of 808s And Heartbreak

Tracklist:

1. DJ Drama Intro
2. We Don't Care
3. Power *
4. New Slaves *
5. Barry Bonds (Feat Justin Daye)
6. Workout Plan *
7. Flashing Lights *
8. Black Skinhead *
9. DJ Drama Midtro
10. Can't Tell Me Nothin'
11. Jesus Walks *
12. Doin' My Job
13. Blame Game *
14. 2 Words (Feat Mickey Wallace, Kap Kallous)
15. Trust Freestyle *
16. Touch The Sky (Feat Justin Daye)
17. Big Brother *
18. Bound 2
19. Last Call *
20. DJ Drama Outro

4. Big K.R.I.T - See Me On Top 4

Tracklist

1. Intro (DJ DiBiase)
2. Pay Attention (Snippet) (Feat Rico Love)
3. Somethin' Right (DJ Infamous) (Feat Big K.R.I.T & Yo Gotti) *
4. Mt. Olympus *
5. Just Chill (Slim Thug) (Feat Big K.R.I.T & Big Sant)
6. Big Pimpin' (June) (Feat Big K.R.I.T)
7. On Call (Lloyd) (Feat Big K.R.I.T)
8. Mind F*ck
9. Creep Up
10. Supreme (Remix) (Rick Ross) (Feat Fabolous & Big K.R.I.T)
11. Sunshine (DJ Funky) (Feat Big K.R.I.T)
12. Smoke And Mirrors
13. What's Next *
14. Shook Up
15. Believe Me Freestyle
16. Riding Low
17. Riding Dirty
18. Drinkers Club (Feat Juicy J, Rittz, A$AP Ferg)
19. New Agenda (Feat Rick Ross)
20. Every Other Freckly (alt-j) (Big K.R.I.T Remix)
21. Humble (FatKidsBrotha(Two-9)) (Feat Big K.R.I.T & Key!)
22. Never Going Back *

3. Slaughterhouse - House Rules

Tracklist:

1. House Rules (Intro) *
2. SayDatThen *
3. Illmind Interlude
4. Trade It All *
5. Keep It 100
6. Offshore *
7. Struggle *
8. Life In The City
9. I Ain't Bullshittin'
10. I Don't Know

2. Papoose - Hoodie Season Part 2

Tracklist:

1. DJ Kay Slay Intro
2. The Devil Is A Lie (Freestyle) *
3. Cough Up A Lung
4. The Hope (Freestyle)
5. Rolling Stone (Feat Game, Young Buck)
6. Jive Ass Turkey (Trinidad Jame Diss) *
7. Overpass *
8. Obituary 2013 *
9. VSOP (Remix)
10. Fire
11. Da Haa
12. NY State Of Mind (Freestyle)
13. Hip Hop
14. We Live In Brooklyn
15. Cross My Heart *
16. Last Days Of Hip Hop (Feat Jon Connor) *
17. Eye For An Eye (Freestyle)
18. DJ Kay Slay Outro

1. CyHi The Prynce - Black Hystori Project

Tracklist:

1. Prelude
2. Intro (Black Hystori)
3. Huey (Feat King Louie) *
4. Mandela *
5. Napoleon *
6. Interlude
7. Be Great
8. Basquiat *
9. 3 16 *
10. Barry White
11. Is It Me (Feat Tate Dummonde, Crystal Renee)
12. February 29th (Feat Jon Connor, Zip K) *
13. Cydel Young *
14. Coretta
15. Good Night (Feat Marian Mereba)
16. Guitar Melody
17. Outro Interlude
18.Black Pride (Feat Miloh Smith, Kissielee)