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Craig David - The Story Goes...

Published by Warren Dell under on Wednesday, August 31, 2005

In his absence of the last couple years it’s been a Bo Selecta caricature of Craig David that has been getting more attention than the man himself, but that’s about to change with the release of his latest and third album, The Story Goes…

While anticipation for the album hasn’t been as great as when his first two were released, this isn’t an album to be overlooked and whether you’re a straight up Urban music fan or prefer something with a more crossover appeal, you’ll find there’s something for everyone on here.

For the Urban crowd you’ll have by now heard the first single ‘All The Way’, which went in the charts a credible number three. This is backed up by another one tailor made for the clubs ‘Just Chillin’ and the mid-tempo cut ‘Hypnotic’. As well as working with long time collaborator Mark Hill on the majority of the album, Craig gets behind the boards himself, co-producing the excellent ‘Thief In The Night’, a track about his girl cheating on him with his friend. The slow jam is as good, if not better than anything you’ll hear this year from an American or UK artist.

While the first two albums were about a young Craig looking for love, The Story Goes is a much more personal account of relationships and heartbreak, as depicted on ‘Don’t Love You No More’ and ‘Separate Ways’. Both have crossover appeal and the former looks set to be the next single. Other tracks of note are ‘Take Em Off’, which sees Craig in a more seductive tone and the song writing of the tracks ‘Unbelievable’ and ‘One Last Dance’. But the most personal of them all is ‘Johnny’, another track with crossover appeal dealing with bullying and if you listen to the lyrics it’s clear that it’s something Craig had to deal with as a youngster.

Since the release of his first album ‘Born To Do It’, Craig hasn’t stopped promoting, touring and then recording his second album but his absence away from the public eye in the last two years has enabled him to grow as a person and an artist, something which benefits this album. One of the true great talents in this country.

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Published by Warren Dell under on Wednesday, August 31, 2005
The stars came out in style for this years MTV Video Music Awards held in Miami, but the weekend didn’t go with out controversy from Urban acts as rivals continued their war of words and Suge Knight was shot in the leg at a party.

Knight was attending a Kanye West sponsored party when a shot was fired in the Shore Club’s red room. The shooter escaped according to some sources but chaos ensued as clubbers tried to exit the club. Knight was in good condition and will undergo surgery to remove the bullet.

The ongoing feud between 50 Cent and Fat Joe continued with each artist using their allotted time slots to throw a few words of discontent each others way. Staying with Fiddy, before the show he appeared with Mase and announced that he would be the next artist to sign with G-Unit.

Winners on the night included two awards for Missy Elliott's ‘Lose Control’ (Best Dance & Hip-Hop), Alicia Keys walked away with best R’n’B for ‘Karma’ , best Rap went to Ludacris (No.1Spot) and Kanye West took the prize for best male. He also performed alongside Jamie Foxx amongst other acts to bless the mic, Snoop Dogg, 50 Cent, R Kelly, Mariah Carey and a Reggaeton showcase.

Female MC Finals...

Published by Warren Dell under on Wednesday, August 31, 2005
Phuturehype are holding their second annual Female MC/Rapping finals on the 17th September at Oxford House, East London. Last years finals were featured on Channel 4’s ‘Chancers’ programme and included Lady Sovereign, who performed for Jay-Z, Usher and L.A Reid recently in New York and could soon sign a deal with the Def Jam head honcho. The finals this year will be judged by an expert panel including female MC and Choice FM presenter Phoebe One. Sponsors backing the event include US urban clothing label South Pole, Kedoworld, Patrick Kevin Clothing, Brokensouls and UrbanMags.

The finals kick off at 7.30pm and tickets are £5.00. For more info please check

Mobo Nominations 2005

Published by Warren Dell under on Friday, August 26, 2005
After the previous few years controversy and seemingly American bias towards the awards the organisers of this years Mobos look to have rectified the problem with this years nominations.

Lemar, Kano, Lemar, Roll Deep, Nate James, Sway, Lethal B, Estelle, Terri Walker and Joss Stone have all been nominated in the catagories announced so far for the awards taking place on the 22nd September.

Best Album:

Common - Be
Kano - Home Sweet Home
Lemar - Time To Grow
John Legend - Get Lifted
Mariah Carey - Emancipation of Mimi

Best R'n'B act

John Legend
Mariah Carey
Terri Walker
Nate James

Best Single

Amerie - 1 Thing
Lemar - If There's Any Justice
Lethal B - Forward (Pow)
Mario - Let Me Love You
Snoop - Feat. Pharrell - Drop It Like It's Hot

Best UK Newcomer

Lethal B
Nate James
Roll Deep

UK Act Of The Year

Joss Stone
Roll Deep

Kanye West - Late Registration Preview

Published by Warren Dell under on Friday, August 26, 2005
Release Date 29th August

Track listing

1. Wake Up Mr. West
2. Heard ‘Em Say Feat. Adam Levine
3. Touch The Sky
4. Gold Digger Feat. Jamie Foxx
5. Drive Slow Feat. Paul Wall & GLC
6. My Way Home Feat. Common
7. Crack Music Feat. The Game and Charlie Wilson
8. Roses
9. Bring Me Down Feat. Brandy
10. Additcion
11. Skit
12. Diamonds Remix Feat. Jay-Z
13. We Major Feat. Nas and Really Doe
14. Skit
15. Hey Mama
16. Celebration
17. Skit
18. Gone
19. Diamonds
20. Late

The ego is back! Music reviewers be prepared for the sharp tongue of Kanye if your reviews don’t end with top marks for what he calls ‘a perfect album’. After five beats a day for three summers, Kanye’s career has been on an upward spiral since crafting those soulful high pitched productions on arguably Jay-Z’s finest album ‘The Blueprint’ in 2001. Since then he has treaded the line as the go to guy for the hottest beats in the game and as a top recording artist with his debut last year ‘The College Dropout’.

The album was a classic and crossed the line between baller and backpacker, rapping about money one minute and then touching on the subject of religion the next. He may have rapped about being self-conscious on All falls Down but he certainty had plenty of belief in his ability and would criticise magazines for downgrading their integrity when they didn’t give his album five mics, or a perfect ten.

There certainly is no doubting the mans talent or track record but he didn’t do himself any favours when being quoted as saying he should get a cut for the sales of magazine that would feature himself on the cover. One of those magazines who didn’t give him full marks were Vibe, who not wanting to perhaps catch any flack from his way this time around were quick to rectify it by putting him on a recent cover.

I’m sure many would like to see him fail but if the first single Diamonds is anything to go by, then we are looking at another great album. Kanye uses the Shirley Bassey Diamonds Are Forever sample as the backdrop to great affect and despite it being such a familiar song, the track still sounds like nothing else on the radio at the moment. As a bonus the remix featuring Jay-Z is included, who despite retirement and being the boss at Def Jam, manages to drop a hot rap.

To coincide with the albums release, the next single Golddigger has started to get rotation and features Jamie Foxx and a Ray Charles sample. Foxx isn’t the only guest though as you can expect to hear though, Snoops buddy; Gap band singer Charlie Wilson joins in on Crack Music, which also features The Game. Camron and Consequence (Gone), GLC and Paul Wall (Drive Slow) all feature alongside singers Brandy, John Legend and Adam Levine from Maroon 5.

With a knack for taking a sample to a whole other level, look forward to the Just Blaze assisted Touch The Sky, which uses Curtis Mayfield’s Move On Up. Other samples include Etta James My Funny Valentine (Addiction) and Donal Leace’s Today Wont Come Again (Hey Mama).

The track Celebration uses a 20-piece Orchestra and shows Kanye steering in a whole different direction, while still maintaining his excellence. Something reflected with the inclusion of composer and co-producer for the album Jon Brion, who has worked with Evan Dando, Fiona Apple and Aimme Mann while adding composition to several film soundtracks including Magnolia.

Not afraid to blow his own trumpet, after a playback for his album he said “Seriously, how many perfect albums is that under my belt? I’m sorry,” before adding, “Actually, no, I don’t apologize.” And he will probably be right, as The Late Registration looks set to further cement his position as one of the best at the moment, certainly no one has a hold on the music industry like he does.

Nas Pays $2million for Neptunes Beat!!...

Published by Warren Dell under on Thursday, August 18, 2005
According to sources on the trusted world wide web Nas recently paid $2million dollars for a Neptunes beat that he was after, a beat which Busta Rhymes commented was "Ah shit, thats the craziest beat, I ever heard! Those drums man, Those drums are fire! If Nas is gonna rap to this beat, its going to be over. This will be the biggest hit in the history of hiphop!" Puff Daddy, or P.Diddy as he is now called, sorry bit late here 'Diddy' as he is now called was also after the beat but lost out in the bidding war. Now I know the Neptunes come out with some good stuff but $2million? The next ten tracks after it will probably sound similar so shouldn't he just wait? Try making a profit on your album now Nas.

Eminem Cancels Anger Management...

Published by Warren Dell under on Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Eminem has cancelled his tour dates for the European leg of the Anger Management Tour, after suffering from exhaustion and other medical issues. According to a statement released by his management the cancelled dates aren’t expected to be re-scheduled. The tour was due to start in Germany on the 1st September and close in Ireland the 17th. The tour in America has been a success but not without it’s problems. Em’s DJ, Alchemist and recording artist Stat Quo were injured when their tour bus collided with tractor-trailers and G-Unit members Lloyd Banks and Young Buck were both arrested after being in possession of a gun after the show in New York.

The Essential Purchase...

Published by Warren Dell under on Wednesday, August 17, 2005
Metropolis – The Voyage

If you feel that there isn’t enough soul music out there for your liking at the moment, then point your attention to a group called Metropolis. Hailing from Atlanta, this four piece group have had people waiting in anticipation for their full album after their sampler went down a treat in soul circles earlier this year.

The Voyage is a delightful mixture of R’n’B and Soul and has been picking up critical acclaim from all corners. With 20 sublime mid-tempo cuts the listener is spoilt for choice when it comes to picking out a favourite and can happily play from start to finish without the need to reach for the skip button. Now how many albums can you say that about these days.

Favourites Hit The Door and Soul Train still sound as fresh as ever and Summertime is the perfect soundtrack for a lazy summer day. Information on the CD sleeve is sparse but you’ll hear a hint of Marvin Gaye and Curtis Mayfield while listening.

I’ll find it hard to not mention this in my favourite five albums of the year, it really is that good. This has limited availability and you’ll have to check out for a copy.

Standout Tracks

Hit The Door, Soul Train, Play Ya Game, Found You, Summertime

New Music...

Published by Warren Dell under on Thursday, August 11, 2005


It’s a jam packed month ahead as far as album releases are concerned as a returning hero comes back on the scene, a bright UK talent delivers his debut and the ego returns.

Nate James has created a massive buzz about him, with the singles Set The Tone and Universal, whilst wooing listeners with a sell out show at the Jazz Café. His debut album (Set The Tone) is out on Monday (8th Aug) and hopefully will show that the talk has been worthwhile.

Following on from debut sets from Roll Deep and Kano comes Lethal B with Against All Odds. After the smash hit POW Lethal has put the disappointment of More Fire behind him and the album is just rewards for his grind over the last couple of years. The lead single is Uh Oh produced by Sticky and the album is out on the 15th.


Back in 2002 Mike Skinner delivered his ground breaking album Original Pirate Material and since followed it up with last years A Grand Don’t Come For Free. Taking a break from releasing his own material he has got together his own label and his first signing The Mitchell Brothers release their debut A Breath Of Fresh Attire on Aug 22nd. Already they have created a bit of a buzz with the singles Routine Check and Harvey Nicks and despite not reaping chart success they have been picking up very good reviews from publications such as Hip-Hop Connection to less the Hip-Hop orientated NME.

Sticking with the UK and Craig David returns with his 3rd solo set, The Story Goes On. The lead single All The Way has been making all the right moves in club land and in the media and is a welcome return after being away for a couple of years. The album also sees Craig working more with producer Mark Hill (Artful Dodger & The Stix) once again. He produced just the track Hidden Agenda on his last album Slicker Than Your Average but will now take a more prominent role in shaping this album, out on August 22nd.

On the 22nd Kanye West drops the hotly-anticipated follow up to the College Dropout, with The Late Registration. The first single Diamonds, proves that Kanye has not lost his touch and has even improved his skills. Guests on the album include, Brandy, The Game and Maroon 5’s Adam Levine amongst others. Kanye being the quietly confident kind of guy has already stated that it’s another classic, and who’s to argue with him. The Late Registration is the second of his projected four albums, the next two will be Graduation and A Good Ass Job. Watch this space for a special preview of this hotly anticipated album.

One of Jay-Z’s first signings Teairra Mari makes her debut with Roc-Fella Presents, the first single Make Her Feel Good has just started to receive airplay over here and the album is released this week.

Watch out over the coming weeks as there will be reviews on all these albums…

Time for a rant...

Published by Warren Dell under on Monday, August 08, 2005
It’s always been a very typical thing of the British tabloids when we have a rising talent on our hands - to build them up and then knock them down. Whether it’s a musician or a footballer, movie star or politician there have been many cases over the last few years from David Beckham to Mariah Carey where the papers have celebrated their talent and then swiftly brought them down. It seems the writers would much rather slag someone off than write about someone doing well.

There was a piece in yesterdays Sun newspaper by their Bizarre columnist Victoria Newton about our very own Craig David and a photo with his latest female companion. The basis of the piece was basically saying she was only on his arms as he has a new album and single out and included pictures of pervious girlfriends in the months where he had material to promote.

Now it’s understandable for the paper a year ago to not publish any pictures with him and a girl (and I’m sure there were opportunities to do so) as he wasn’t in the public eye and the reader would have preferred to read about a member of Blue’s latest female conquest. Now it makes sense as yes he has his album coming out but to start saying that he has only been going out with these woman because he has something to promote is intrusive in his private life and an unfair assessment of his character.

Although I have never met the guy, whenever I’ve read, seen or heard interviews with him he doesn’t come across as some womaniser a la Calum Best but a genuine down to earth guy, who has done well with the talent he has. If his job enables him to meet these beautiful woman then you can only say fair play to him, us fella’s would be exactly the same.

When he burst on the scene five years back, everyone from the tabloids to magazines like Smash Hits were hailing him as a great British talent, now everyone one associated to the Urban scene will know that nothing has changed and he is still very talented and has a much anticipated album out soon, yet it seems that as an established act it’s time for the tabloids to pick fault and bring him down.

Hopefully the next time he is in the paper it’ll be on a more positive note.

Mercury Music Prize...

Published by Warren Dell under on Wednesday, August 03, 2005

A bit late on this but the list of this years Mercury Music Prize nominees have been announced with M.I.A’s long player Arular getting the nod from the panel as the only Urban offering in this years list. Her mix of Dancehall, Hip-Hop, Reggae and Electro will be up against the likes of Coldplay, Kaiser Chiefs and Bloc Party. In recent years Amy Winehouse, Jamelia, The Streets, Beverley Knight and Ty have all been short listed while both Ms Dynamite and Dizzee Rascal have walked away with the prize in 2002 and 2003 respectively. The awards take place on Tuesday 6th September.

G-Unit gets hardcore...

Published by Warren Dell under on Tuesday, August 02, 2005
Already one of the most destructive labels around with the ongoing feud between 50-Cent and The Game, G-Unit have announced the signing of M.O.P to their ever growing roster, but how long will we have to wait until we see any material released? The Brownsville duo had a massive hit in the UK with Cold as Ice in 2001 and released one of Hip-Hops all time anthems in Ante Up, but little has been heard of them either side of the pond since they signed to Roc-A-Fella, apart from a side project under the name The Marxmen. When Jay-Z and Dame Dash went their separate ways M.O.P found themselves with the latter under the Dame Dash Music Group moniker, but with no sign of ever releasing an album in the not to distant future, they were snapped up by G-Unit. Despite the possibility of some big name collaborations, this could easily go down the same route as the deal with the Roc, as G-Unit have just signed Mobb Deep, and have albums from Tony Yayo and Olivia to support.

Sway - Up Your Speed

Published by Warren Dell under on Monday, August 01, 2005

After selling his mixtapes by the bucket load Sway continues his rise to the top with the release of Up Your Speed, featuring Pyrelli on September 5th. Sampling the Formula 1 tune, this was featured as the B-side to Flo-Fashion but now gets a release on its own. There is also a remix floating around with Skinnyman, Bruza and Triple. The video has just been added to the Channel U play list and sees Sway joined by 1Xtra’s Ace and Invisible and The Mitchell Brothers amongst others. Sway is destined for big things and never has an artist created such a buzz on the underground scene in the UK as he has. He is still unsigned, by his own choice, but has a distribution deal with Dan Greenpeace’s All City label, has sold thousands of copies of his successful This Is My Promo series and now you can follow his hustle in his monthly column for Hip Hop Connection. Remember 5th September, SUPPORT THIS!

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