it's the shiznit

news, reviews and banter on r'n'b, hiphop, garage, grime, bassline, soul, electro and house. standard.

These are The Shiznit...

Published by Warren Dell under on Tuesday, March 28, 2006

1.Statik Grindie Mixtape - Lets push things forward
2. David Banner Live - For the stage diving alone you've got to see this man live
3. Making The Band - It's pure trash TV but you can't deny it's addictive
4. Sway and Kano's UK tours - Good to see the support around the country for UK acts
5. The return of Christina Milian - This conversation has nothing to do with her music

These aren't The Shiznit...

Published by Warren Dell under on Tuesday, March 28, 2006

1. Albums being pushed back with no reason - Pharrell, Rhymefest, Donnell Jones, Joe where are you?
2. Chain pubs with their R'n'B nights - Yes, you're very 'urban' with your top 20 hits
3. Boring Clubgoers - Only want to hear the same 20 songs and front when a new unknown jam comes on
4. Great tracks missing the album cut - Another year full of missed hits left off albums
5. Clubs and bars with V.I.P rooms - No your not famous whether you made it in the top 1000 of Z-factor or not

Random thought of the day...

Published by Warren Dell under on Tuesday, March 28, 2006
While trying to avoid the latest reality TV celebrity career recovery programme I can't help but think that with the success of Jade Jones on the games, could we see Damage get back together and make a comeback? Would it really be such a bad thing? While Corree's single hardly made a noise and the others attempt at any solo music success have fallen on deaf ears, maybe they'll see what may become of Jade's new exposure. Ghetto romance still does it for me in the club and the album was good too. They may be getting on a bit now but Jade still looks as though he's still at college.

Speaking of other groups that seem to have disappeared, what ever happened to Evi-dence. The Crooklyn Clan took their You'll Never Find and made it over with Fatman 'can you hear me' Scoop to create one of those classiv AV8 bangers. But nothing was heard of since...

Kano Live - Old Fire Station...

Published by Warren Dell under on Monday, March 20, 2006
Kano’s first tour ended in Bournemouth Saturday night at the tax dodging haven for students the Old Fire Station and left me very impressed with his performance. Part gig performance, part pirate radio set and 20 minute garage rave both the grime connoisseurs and people who know him just from his album output were left satisfied. And there was David Banner’s 30 minutes of crunk thrown in as well to warm things up!

With crunk often labelled as the US equivalent of grime it will be interesting to see if any collaborations come out with David Banner such was his enthusiasm and praise for Kano and Sway. The former who he’s been opening up for on this tour and the latter who he supported in London last week. The results would certainly be interesting and Banner more than warmed up the crowd running through hits Like A Pimp and Play. For a moment he turned it into a sea of head rockers with Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit and crowd surfing antics. That is one big guy so well done to the people who held him up for like a minute until he dropped to the floor, then appearing all over the venue and standing on the tables. Whether the conscious crunk of Banner is your thing or not, you can’t knock the guys performance and he really does make sure the billed act is on their toes not to be out done by his warming up.

While it would have been great to then hear some grime or garage to fill the time in between acts, apart from the Run The Road cd at the start it was understandable to hear some latest and classic Hip-Hop tracks more accessible to the crowd.

When Kano came out though to the album opener and title cut Home Sweet Home, it began a night where like Dizzee Rascal before him he would display the professionalism of someone who has graduated from pirate stations and raves to entertaining a widely ranging crowd.

P’s & Q’s hit the crowd early before Dangermouse and Demon (Ghetto was M.I.A) came on stage. The three in a nod to where they came from began spitting their well known bars over some of the biggest instrumentals from the past year like it was a pirate radio set. For Kano connoisseurs his own take on Damien Marleys Jamrock from the Beats and Bars mixtape and a new itunes downloadable track Buss That were received well from the first time listeners.

One of the biggest cheers of the night, mostly from the ladies in attendance was for Nite, Nite and new single Brown Eyes. They may not be your cuppa if you’re into your grime but they have attracted a new breed of fan that is needed for the eventual mainstream acceptance of the grime scene, and they’ve certainly helped Kano sell a few more numbers of his record.

The more grime led and favoured tracks of the album Mic Check and Signs In life had the crowd in its most frenzied and rock-like stage by moshing, I almost felt sorry for the flying elbow I gave someone (all in the name of music of course). It was surprising at how many people knew the track Boys Love Girls which was made when Kano was 16 and first put him onto peoples radars. The crowd were certainly going against the grain of what the track Nobody Don't Dance No More stood for with the four to the floor beats having the crowd skanking and perfectly set up for Kano's DJ to drop garage anthem after anthem. Hits from More Fire, Donaeo and even Pay As Go added another twist to the night which saw Kano bring girls up on stage and hold a mini rave, taking a back seat to the other major players in the scenes hits.

As an encore Kano, Dangermouse and Demon all spit bars over Mylo's Doctor Pressure giving it a nice twist. The instrumental has been crying out for some dubplate action. Then the Diplo produced Reload It capped what had been a very polished performance. Kano's constant energy and interaction with the crowd was that of someone who has been performing gigs for longer than he actually has, and he wasn't afraid to take a step back to let his cohorts Demon and Dangermouse take the centre stage, even stepping back while tracks by other artists were played. It's not often you can go to see an artist put on a show that combines tracks suited for live outings while still capturing that club feel of others. At times you felt you were at a Sidewinder rave rather than a gig, which is not a bad thing. Lethal Bizzle is down the Old Fire Station next and the bar was well and truly set on Saturday.

Sway Live - Islington Academy...

Published by Warren Dell under on Monday, March 20, 2006
Fresh off the back of his eagerly awaited debut album Sway headlined his biggest show to date at the Carling Islington Academy. As part of his This Is My Tour schedule this show had a massive buzz around it being staged in North London. The crowd had a nice range of people from the hardcore fans who can count the mixtapes ‘This Is My Promo Vol.1 & 2’ in their collection to the newer fans who may have come across him after his recent MOBO success.

The support was extra special for the night with Jump Off champion Professor Green, conscious crunk man David Banner and Sway’s sidekick Pyrelli all hyping the crowd to full affect. Unfortunately due to the traditional traffic getting through London and walking past the hidden away venue meant missing out on Professor Green’s set. Now this was my first time at the Islington Academy and I was very impressed but you wouldn’t have known it existed with no signs up and being tucked in a mini shopping centre. Thankfully the first person to give us directions and walk us to the venue was none other than DJ Turkish, Sway’s man behind the Technics.

As good as it is to hear the classic Hip-Hop tracks that seem to always be played at any Hip-Hop gig it was refreshing to walk in and be greeted with Tinchy Stryder’s ‘Underground’ which was followed by a selection of grime anthems. Pyrelli came out to a warm reception and ran through a quick set of tracks from his forthcoming mixtape and David Banner spent more time in the crowd than on stage even performing on the bar at one point.

But the night was all about Sway. Nearly three years of hard work and a clever self marketing campaign has got his name on the lips of Hip-Hop heads to the NME crowd, the red-tops to the broadsheet press.

Opening up with the title track ‘This Is My Demo Sway’ came out to rapturous cheers before getting into his next single, the celebration of city life on ‘Products’ - very poignant for this some what homecoming gig. The single that has brought many to the attention of Sway was ‘Flo Fashion’ and it still sounds as funny as ever and had the crowd going word for word.

In between tracks we were treated to various little segments from various acapellas including the infamous and limelight stealing ‘Harvey Knicks’ verse and another quotable onslaught from Taz’s ‘Cowboys and Indians’ remix ‘then I took her to Selfridges/then I found out they don’t sell fridges/brought her a top looked as tight as one of Trevor Nelson’s’. But the best was Sway’s beat box attempt. Known for his comedy element the beat box attempt was more liken to trying to impress your mate by blowing the loudest raspberry, but it didn’t stop there. Sway was ready to take it one step further by rapping and beat boxing at the same time. He had the crowd in stitches when he then gave a delay after his attempted beat making before quickly asking people to buy his album. Making fun at himself he then asked the crowd if he thought he should stick to the rapping.

While the majority of his acclaim comes from his knack of a punch line and not taking himself to seriously the night took a more serious approach as a track which you wouldn’t have expected him to do in ‘Pretty Ugly Husband’ showed his diversity. The shouts for peace in club land ‘Slo Down’ had everyone in attendance singing the chorus with which Sway could only stand back and watch a satisfied man.

The first of the guests was no surprise as the talented Baby Blue came out to assist on ‘Little Derek’ and later under rated soul singer Nate James added to the inspirational ‘Still On My Own’.

The track ‘Download’ followed an encounter with a fan that Sway joked with for not buying but downloading his album. He thanked him for at least paying to come and see him perform but it turned out he hadn’t even done that! Sticking with the World Wide Web he debuted a new track called ‘MySpace’ about his rise to fame.

Sway finished the night by bringing out the Robin to his Batman in Pyrelli for the anthem ‘Up Your Speed’ which had the venues speakers worrying, and just before that it was the man Bigz who came out for the triple threat attack of ‘Loose Woose’ which capped a memorable show.

It was clear from the mixtapes that we have a huge talent on our hands and being the first from the scene to really embrace the do it yourself approach to getting your name out there beyond the underground we could see our first bona fide superstar that can attract the mainstream crowd and appease the heads. You can see the hard work the man has put in and it comes across in his performance from the way he commands the stage and interacts with the crowd to his chemistry with his DJ. A very polished performance from a man who if the structure were in place in the scene would be as massive as the current media favourites the Arctic Monkeys are, he certainly is as talented.

Sway - This Is My Demo review...

Published by Warren Dell under on Monday, March 20, 2006
While everyone from the indie press to even your dad is raving about how the Internet helped Arctic Monkeys go from social clubs to top of the charts, a similar rise to fame has been taking place in the UK from Hip-Hop star Sway De Safo. This Is My Demo is the hotly anticipated debut that comes off the back of a year where the North London mc has created a massive buzz through his self-released mixtapes.

Becoming the first UK artist to really take advantage of the mixtape avenue that has proved so successful for US acts the last few years – none more so than 50 ‘shot 9 times’ Cent, Sway as an unsigned artist has been able to create a fan base that a major label would crave for one of their artists.

At almost every interview the question is raised whether or not he’s really signed because of the professionalism of his output and street marketing campaign.

The Mixtapes which brought him to attention were This Is My Promo Vol 1 & 2, which showed his talent for making party songs - flipping J-Kwon’s “Tipsy” to “Pepsi” and parodying lightweights to even making jokes at the self proclaimed God’s son Nas and America on the “Thief’s Theme” remix. The lyric ‘the pound is stronger than the dollar’ showcased his confidence and swagger just as much as being a true statement of the current exchange rate between two countries.

With as many punch lines as a stand up comic Sway has become a mainstay on video channels and picked up plenty of spins from specialist to national radio. At the tail end of last year he walked away with a MOBO award (like the Vibe awards) for best Hip-Hop ahead of The Game and 50 Cent.

The lead single “Little Derek” takes in what a year it’s been with the beat dashed with a West Coast Hip-Hop feel. Commentary on the hustle of city life makes up the theme for the up beat “Products”. Guys who pretend they run the streets and act the bad man as so often played out in their videos refreshingly get a lyrical beating on “Hype Boys” which sees Sway switch up his style to a garage paced flow.

While those that picked up the aforementioned mix-tapes may feel a little disappointed that they already own six of the 14 tracks they are still an important inclusion letting those newer fans picking up his material for the first time know what he is all about. The track “Flo Fashion” still raises a smile hearing the tales of finding his own identity while trying to impress girls on his credit card budget with the inevitable overdue bills that follow ’10 red letters in my name but it doesn’t mind/if they phone up I’ll just tell them that I’m colour blind’. “Up Your Speed” is still the call to arms it originally was and the grime flavoured track “Download” touches on a serious subject affecting the music industry but with a comical twist ‘blah blah blah some bloke called Kazaa/that must be the guy whose stealing/everyone’s music I’ma go see him’.

But it’s not all jokes and to make sure he’s not pigeon holed to just throwing out one liners he takes on the role of the abusive other half on “Pretty Ugly Husband”, finding it hard to deal with the paranoia of wifey possibly cheating and battling with the promise to change his aggressive manor. The serious theme continues on the reflective and inspirational “Still On My Own” and on “Slo Down” where nightlife troublemakers get an airing ‘you must have a weak bladder/cos the liquor keeps getting to your head’. “Back For You” sees Sway putting his career first but promising to come back for a special girl, with a sad and abrupt ending.

But despite the seriousness it’s the ability to raise a smile and the need to quote a lyric or particular phrase to your friend that appeals so greatly with Sway and this album. For those getting your first taste of Sway you’ll love and find This Is My Demo a pleasurable experience but for those that have heard the mixtapes you’ll find yourself a little disappointed that your excitement hasn’t been matched. But only because you really want the guy to raise the bar further than the high standard he’s already set, which will happen in due course.

As it is This Is My Demo will open the doors for other UK Hip-Hop artists and be an example that it is possible to make it in a market overcrowded with the next big indie band and too many American rap artists dominating the UK charts. An appealing set of songs for fans of both commercial and conscious Hip-Hop.

J Dilla album to get released...

Published by Warren Dell under on Tuesday, March 14, 2006
The untimely death of one of Hip-Hop's greatest producers ever may have left a massive void that won't be filled such was J Dilla's talent, but fans will be able to get their hands on his last solo album. The majority of The Shining was finished before his death and will get a July 11 release in the US with a UK one probably the same week. Guest appearences come in the way of Busta Rhymes, Common, Pharaoh Monch, Madlib and more. A DVD celebrating his life with also accompany the release for the sadly gone but not forgotten man.

The don daddy...

Published by Warren Dell under on Tuesday, March 14, 2006
Got to admit to sleeping on Akira The Don but if you need convincing about the Welshman and Interscope signing then check out the former journalists website,where you can listen to some of his tracks and even read his daily updated blog. Both have some real treats from his own bootlegs (The Game meets French disco's Daft Punk) and his version of Sway's Download to posts of getting J-Kwon and his own political views. Fascinating stuff and good to see more than just an artists viewpoint on record as well.

Some music to check out part 1...

Published by Warren Dell under on Tuesday, March 14, 2006
As Tim 'yes I'm as old as your dad' Westwood would say 'You need these in your life' - Now that didn't sound stupid did it?

Christina Milian returns for her third album on the back of being dumped by the white chick fiend Nick Cannon. The lead single Say I features the bars of Young Jeezy and is produced by Cool and Dre. This upbeat number sounds very similar to one of their biggest hits Hate It Or Love It and should be another hit for Christina. Another track from her doing the rounds currently is the much slower paced Whose Gonna Ride.

The Black Eyed Peas had seemingly left their b-boy routes behind in the pursuit for pop domination but the track Like That is not to be ignored. Featuring a whole heap of talent from Cee-Lo, John Legend, Talib Kweli and Q-Tip and the boys this is much more in the vain of their earlier Joints and Jams days.

Will I Am has been busy and as well as producing and featuring on the Pussycat Dolls single Beep he’s produced this nice smooth head nodder for newcomer Sergio Mendes called The Frog, featuring Q-Tip.

Scenesters, Hipsters and everyone else who follows what’s ‘cool’ or ‘chic has been praising the new track from collaborating duo DangerMouse and Cee-Lo. Under the Alias Gnarls Barkely the track Crazy has a heavy, driving bass line and works well with the eccentric vocals of Cee-Lo. A great track but perhaps has been elevated higher than what it is. Currently the backdrop for the TV adverts to the annoying Zane Lowe’s Radio 1 show.

While Kanye West’s releases one of the main highlights of his album in Touch The Sky, the guest on that track Lupe Fiasco comes crashing into your radar with the tracks Kick, Push and Tilted. One to watch.
Mark Ronson makes Radiohead sound upbeat and interesting on Just, turning it into an eclectic neo soul number as part of a BBE release of remixed Radiohead songs.


Published by Warren Dell under on Tuesday, March 14, 2006
The one and only big panty man MC Hammer has his own blog where you can see him spending quality father and son time and a video of his attempt at crunk, yes Hammer crunk. You can also see what he's been up to since he was making you do the Hammer dance. Don't deny it...

Three 6 Mafia stay fly at the Oscars...

Published by Warren Dell under on Monday, March 06, 2006

Memphis legends Three 6 Mafia recent commercial success over the past year was topped last night with winning an Oscar for Acheivement in music written for motion pictures (original song). The winning song was Its Hard Out Here For A Pimp from the film Hustle & Flow - a film about a DJ who is a small time pimp and drug dealer with dreams of making it in the Hip-Hop world. The guys were ecstatic when accepting their award, something which The Daily Sow star and host for the evening Jon Stewart said was how it should feel like to win an Oscar. The success follows another Hip-Hop song winning an Oscar in recent years when Eminem won for Lose Yourself in 2003 from his auto-biographical 8 Mile.

Two shot at Kanye gig...

Published by Warren Dell under on Wednesday, March 01, 2006
Two security guards were shot at a Kanye West gig at the Birmingham NEC arena last night. They were fired at after walking a group away form the arena who tried to get in without tickets. Both guards were still being treated for gunshot wounds but their injuries aren't deemed life threatening and they are in a stable condition.

The event happened just after 10pm last night on what was the last night of the Touch The Sky tour.

In a statement, West Midlands Police said: "This incident involved individuals who had been ejected from the venue for attempting to try to gain entrance to a pop concert without tickets. Firearms were discharged and two stewards were taken to hospital with gunshot wounds. Their injuries are not believed to be life-threatening."

Police are appelaing for information and anyone who saw the incident or anything unusual during the concert to come forward.

Another gig, another shooting...

Although it's not a great thing to happen these types of incidents are marring peoples opinion of any events that happen in our scene. Regardless of whether it's only a minority of events or not it's still unacceptable for a few idiots to pose the question to promoters on whether it's worth putting on these events and to the police on giving them the go ahead.

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