Skepta – Konnichiwa review

It’s been hard to miss Skepta’s latest album this year, even if hip hop isn’t your thing. The independent rapper has lead the long-overdue acceptance of grime as one of UK music’s most influential movements, and was also the surprise winner of the 2016 Mercury Prize.

Skepta’s Konnichiwa is a stonker that puts you in the mood to skank and flex like there’s no tomorrow. Continue reading

Kano – Made in the Manor review

Hip hop artist, Kano, is one of the UK grime scene’s godfathers. He’s had hits such as ‘Typical Me’ and ‘This is the Girl’, and has appeared on albums by Chase & Status, Gorillaz and many more. Made in the Manor is his fifth album, and pulls no punches in reaffirming the MC’s greatness. Continue reading

MOBO Awards 2015: uniting with one hand, dividing with the other

MOBO Awards 2015, Section Boyz, by MOBO/PR( 900x506)It’s got moxie, that’s for sure. Because even after 20 years of handing out awards for music of black origin, and taking flak left, right and centre for it, the MOBO Awards are still with us. The MOBOs shouldn’t, and never will, be all things to all people. But, even as it unites its award-winners in celebration, it continues to divide its audience. Continue reading

Jam of the Week: Roots Manuva – Facety 2:11

Roots Manuva - Facety 2:11 artwork (1920x1080)UK hip hop has been getting international attention in the last five years thanks to the popularity of grime. Dizzee, Wiley and Tinie Tempah have played their part, while Krept and Konan and Skepta have the backing of major US rappers. But it’s Roots Manuva – one of the godfathers of UK hip hop, up there with Tricky, Neneh Cherry and Rodney P (London Posse) – who continues to display a tenacity and creativity that younger hip hop artists could learn from. Continue reading

Jam of the Week: The Skints – This Town (ft. Tippa Irie & Horseman)

Skints, The - FM (640x360)It’s a stirring rallying call to hear music representing your town or your neighbourhood especially. Unlike the US, however, we tend to be reserved when it comes to bigging up our roots, humble or not, here in the UK. It’s often dissenting voices – be it the rebellious words of The Clash’s Joe Strummer or Lewisham grime artist Stormzy – who are the first to shout about their home turf, why they love it and why others should respect it.

Yet this is nothing new to punk-ska group The Skints, whose roots lie amid the bustle of the multicultural marketplaces and marshlands of London’s east end. ‘This Town’, the lead single from their forthcoming third album, FM, is a stupendous celebration of London’s vibrancy and people, and of the suburban neighbourhoods at opposite ends of the Victoria line. Continue reading