“O.J like ‘I’m not black, I’m O.J’…okay”
THE seeds of the record of the year 2017 can be found in the seven months leading up to last January.
In May 2016 US cable sports channel ESPN released its five-part documentary O.J: Made in America. That August American football player Colin Kaepernick, while a member of the San Francisco 49ers – OJ’s hometown team where he brought his famed playing career to an end – remained seated on the bench as his teammates stood for the US national anthem ahead of a pre-season game. Continue reading
AS the original house band of the legendary Jamaican recording studio, record label and soundsystem, Studio One, The Skatalites have long since ensured their legacy.
The ‘grandfathers of reggae music’ – or perhaps as they are best known – the creators of ska, The Skatalites are a band that lives on through their music. Drum beats, bass licks and all powerful horns that signalled the birth of the mighty Jamaican recording industry and morphed into rocksteady and reggae. Continue reading
IF the year was 1986 then perhaps the synth rock of The Final Countdown by Europe, the Swedes with big hair, would be the record of the year. When trying to decide the record that captures what 2016 was all about it is those songs inspired by big European dreams that make the final countdown.
2016 has been a year of political shocks and upheavals and it also took one of the greatest artists of all time when Prince died in April. Other icons, from music, sport and politics, have all passed away throughout the past 12 months, seemingly abnormally so, leading to some to claim the past year has been one of the worst ever. Continue reading
“This the motherfucking thanks I get from this scene?/Ten years deep, a thousand 16s”
IS any rapper ever satisfied their position in hip hop has been properly recognised and respected? Striving for acceptance, and resentment at any perceived lack of acknowledgment, still fuels so many MCs.
Kano is already recognised as one of the central figures in the emergence of the UK grime scene but that yearning for props is still evident.
2016 has however delivered a Mercury Music Prize nomination for Kano’s fifth LP, Made in the Manor, and a nationwide tour which brought him to Cardiff – and left the 31-year-old veteran in no doubt as to the esteem he is held in the capital. Continue reading
“I’m an anarchist and an angry academic activist”
THIS July marked the return of UK MC Lowkey from his apparent retirement with the surprise release of hard-hitting single Ahmed.
Within weeks the rapper, who in 2012 said he was hanging up his mic for good, announced a tour including a September 17 date in Cardiff. Continue reading
“Most crews are post-current while we’re forever”
“We go by the name of De La Soul and we’ve been doing this for quite some time,” explains Dave, aka Trugoy, unnecessarily as everyone in the Newport Centre appears familiar with the Long Island trio and their contribution to hip hop.
Dave, aka Trugoy, of De La Soul
2016 marks 20 years since De La released ‘Stakes Is High’ – their response to the ghetto fabulous state of hip hop at the time and considered a re-introduction from some of the game’s elder statesmen. “Man every word I say should be a hip hop quotable,” raps Pos during that title track – and the crowd do know every line. Continue reading
“Hey DJ can you play that song?/Set the mood for me to hold a different energy”
BILLED as Tarrus Riley and the Blak Soil Band this show centred around the interplay between the rich-toned vocalist and band leader Dean Fraser.
The acclaimed saxophonist welcomed the headliner to the stage with a funky rendition which indicated for all Riley’s catalogue of love songs – and female admirers jammed into the 02 – there would be no letting up for the May Day Bank Holiday crowd.