it's the shiznit

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

Review of the year - Final Thoughts...

Published by Warren Dell under on Tuesday, January 02, 2007
While there are plenty of round-ups covering more depth else where, I’ll just throw a few comments your way on the year 2006 as 07 gets under way and my NYE hangover finally clears.

UK wise there were great albums from Braintax, Yungun & Mr thing and Kyza. Dubstep broke through to more listeners as grime took a bit of a back seat. The Sunday broadsheets were soon dispatched to report on the many aspects of the scene with Skream leading the way with his debut through Tempa –‘Midnight Request Line’ still came strong as the year went on.

There may have been no major releases from Dizzee, Kano, Lethal B, Wiley or Roll Deep but emerging talent was the theme of the year with JME taking poll position with his Boy Better Know Series. His brother Skepta dropped Duppy and a few other hot tracks to shape up nicely for ‘Greatest Hits’ in 07. Wiley released 2nd Phaze with a cover paying more homage to the Fresh Prince high top fade days that included some bangers. With a 2pac like catalogue he then released four versions of Tunnel Vision after early leaks. In truth you could have put the best tracks from the series onto one CD but you couldn’t knock his effort and it paid off with Big Dada signing him to a solo deal. His XL deal may not have gone according to plan but now home to a label with such talented artists as Roots Manuva, Ty and Spank Rock he should reap the credit and sales deserved.

Dizzee rascal and Kano will both have albums dropping in springtime with the latter apparently working with Damon Albarn on a track.

Plastician, Logan Sama, Jammer, Lethal B, Tinchy Stryder are just some of the names who will be releasing an album or mixtape of some sort over the coming months. Regardless of whether it’s Uptown or HMV where you can buy them there should be plenty of choice in 2007 for the grime connoisseur.

I’m predicting a more successful year in output but am still reserved as whether enough support from all areas will get into it. It would be nice to see more live outlets, but we need people to take a chance and cut the stereotypical attitude held towards the scene from those outside.

If Lethal B can play gigs with The Rakes in Camden and groups like Hadouken can throw in grime influences into predominantly indie sounding music aesthetics, then lets hope more promoters and labels will want to invest in putting some more nights on. JME paved the way with a do it yourself attitude and a level head to work, Sway the year before. If more follow then it may just need a major distributor or two to catch the bug and let the artists handle material, while they get the music to a wider level. We know people are listening/wanting somewhere.
It wouldn’t be a bad thing to hear more traditional garage being played either.

On the whole it is clear there is talent in the UK scene, but we are far behind say the indie scene at the moment to be able to have tours and more mainstream radio play. It is a topic worth exploring and there just isn’t the words here at the moment to look into why it hasn’t and what we can do, from the obvious to the not so - but it’s something I will try and put together in the coming weeks from my own opinion.

If you were looking in from the outside it would seem a disaster as far as Hip-Hop is concerned with sales numbers dwindling, although in these Limewire sharing times are constant reports on first week sales really necessary from bloggers?

Although it wasn’t the most stellar year with some disappointments, Pharrel, Lupe Fiasco and Jay-Z my biggest let downs after so much hype – the last two were decent but felt lacking in areas – there were some highlights if you dug deep enough.

If the scene seemed stale then Spank Rock took advantage progressing forward light years with their brand of electro beats, booty bass lines and x-rated lyrics delivered with sick flows. Easily my favourite album of the year.

Late summer and under the radar for a lot of publications were not your average Texans Strange Fruit Project. While the single with Erykah Badu ‘Get Live’ added weight to the name the album evoke memories of back in the day Tribe and new school cats Little Brother.

Staying on the independent tip newly reformed Rawkus released the early acclaimed Kidz in the Hall album, of which a full review will grace these pages soon.

Nas, Ghostface and The Clipse all dropped material to the standards we come to expect from them.

On a more soulful tip John Legend, Donell Jones, Amp Fiddler, Justin Timberlake and Ne-Yo had my speakers on lock for a long time. Although personally that Justin Timberlake album wasn’t as good as the first one.

Terri Walker put behind her label trying to make her another Jamelia by releasing an acclaimed independent outing, while Sadie Ama and Estelle head into 07 ready to drop long players.

Don-E, Omar and Lemar repped the men with different styles, but all still sounding very soulful. Nathan will wonder how big he could have been if major labels and MTV stopped pushing weak pop fodder like Upper Street et al. But then again that could be said for a lot of black music artists in any year. One day the mainstream will wake up, one day.

There is much more I could talk about and even more that I have forgotten, that all said I wish fans, artists, bloggers, writers, ravers and all in between a happy and successful 2007.


Post a Comment


Recent Posts