Monthly Archives: April 2013

The Treatment Album Download – JL Beatz & Writer Jones

the treatment cover

Virginia-based spoken word artist and Hip-Hop junkie Writer Jones has teamed-up with UK producer JL Beatz for this dope collection of concept-driven tracks dealing with various aspects of the everyday struggle – download here.

Dustworks Album Download – Handbook

dustworks album cover

The Pragmatic Theory camp present this quality free instrumental project from UK-based producer Handbook who has a nice line in soulful, head-nodding beats – download here.

New Joint – Spectac & Amiri / Najee

Spectac & Amiri ft. Najee – “I Grew Up” (HiPNOTT Records / 2013)

Mellow vibes from the duo’s new album “Soul Beautiful”.

New Joint – 9th Prince / Inspectah Deck

9th Prince ft. Inspectah Deck – “Never Never” (@Real9thPrince / 2013)

Soul Professa-produced single from the Killarmy emcee with Rollie Fingers assisting on mic duties.

New Joint – The Last Skeptik

The Last Skeptik – “Be There” (BBE Records / 2013)

Twisted video to accompany this soulful instrumental track from the UK producer’s album “Thanks For Trying”.

New Joint – J-Live

J-Live – “The Fun Razor” (RealJLive.Com / 2013)

Lyric-based visuals for the underground champion’s recently-released single.

Escape Music Album Sampler – The Mouse Outfit

Creative visual / audio sampler for Manchester-based Hip-Hop band The Mouse Outfit’s forthcoming album “Escape Music” featuring the likes of Dr. Syntax, Sparkz and Kosyne dropping rhymes over the crew’s funky, organic grooves.

New Joint – Nature

Nature – “Rock Like This” (Deep Concepts Media / 2013)

Straight head-nod material from the veteran Queensbridge emcee’s EP “Seasons Changed: Spring Edition”.

New Joint – The Other Guys / Substantial

The Other Guys ft. Substantial – “When The Music Stops” (OtherGuysMusic.BandCamp.Com / 2013)

Taken from the DMV duo’s recent project “The Other Album”.

New Joint – R.A. The Rugged Man / Talib Kweli

R.A. The Rugged Man ft. Talib Kweli – “Learn Truth” (Nature Sounds / 2013)

Taken from the album “Legends Never Die”.

Live Review – Big Daddy Kane

big daddy kane pic

Venue: Jazz Cafe, London  Date: 24 April 2013

As one of my top five emcees of all-time, any opportunity to see Juice Crew legend Big Daddy Kane rip the stage is definitely something not to be missed. Having witnessed the Prince Of Darkness live on numerous occassions over the years, it’s safe to say the Brooklyn-bred emcee easily ranks alongside the likes of KRS-One and The Roots as one of Hip-Hop greatest live acts. With a catalogue of classics to choose from combined with a commanding stage presence, Kane never fails to come across as a seasoned, polished performer, with that old-school BK bravado shining through just enough to remind audiences that he was once one of the most feared lyricists in the rap world.

Even if, like myself, you’ve seen Kane live before, his appearance at London’s Jazz Cafe put a new spin on things, with the venue’s intimate setting providing an interesting alternative to the much larger locations BDK has previously been booked at in the UK’s capital city.

Following a quality opening set from Crown City Rockers emcee Raashan Ahmad, King Asiatic Nobody’s Equal calmly descended the Jazz Cafe stairs to the sound of thunderous cheers, his simple outfit of shirt, waistcoat and jeans a million miles away from the custom sweat-suits and gold-chains Kane would have been picking up from Brooklyn’s famous Albee Square Mall back in the 80s.

Opening the show with a back-to-back medley of upbeat classics, the Big Daddy tore through the “Juice” soundtrack favourite “Nuff Respect”, the 1988 party-starter “Set It Off” and the Prince Paul-produced single “It’s Hard Being The Kane”, delivering his fast-paced rhymes with a level of force and aggression that easily matched his verses on the original recordings.

Pausing briefly to catch his breath, the golden-era great then proceeded to run through a near non-stop barrage of timeless tracks, including “Young, Gifted And Black”, “Just Rhymin’ With Biz”, his verse from the mighty posse cut “The Symphony” and the mellow anthem “Smooth Operator”.

Injecting some humour into the performance, when a female audience member called out inbetween songs “Where’s Scoob & Scrap?!” Kane responded without missing a beat, shooting back “I’m 44-years-old! I don’t how much dancing you’re expecting to see…”

Breaking momentarily from his back catalogue, Kane showcased a track from his new album as part of live band Las Supper, making the wise choice not to force too much unfamiliar material on the audience, but ensuring he did just enough to raise awareness of the new project without detracting from the night’s lively throwback atmosphere.

Leading the crowd in an enthusiastic call-and-response routine, Biz Markie’s former running partner also took time out to pay homage to a number of Hip-Hop’s fallen soldiers, including Heavy D, Guru and Biggie, ending the segment with a shout to Big L which then led into Kane performing the track he recorded with the Harlem icon, “Platinum Plus”.

With “Ain’t No Half-Steppin'” and “Warm It Up, Kane” filling in the blanks for anyone who was counting the inclusion of staple Kane cuts, all that was left for BDK to do was drop the track some ageing heads had been calling for all night, closing the show with the Marley Marl-produced “Raw”, which still stands-up as a near perfect display of whirlwind lyricism twenty-five years after its release.

Big Daddy Kane’s stageshow has barely changed in the last ten years, but it really doesn’t need to. Like the R&B greats he once openly admired such as Barry White and Marvin Gaye, Kane has reached a point where the music heard on early albums such as “Long Live The Kane” and “It’s A Big Daddy Thing” has not only aged well, but now represents a period of time for an entire generation of Hip-Hop heads eager to be taken back to our youth, when our main concerns involved keeping our sneakers clean and copping the new Public Enemy album, rather than paying bills and day-job drama.

All Kane has to do to keep fans happy is keep coming back and running through his long-list of crowd favourites with the same level of enjoyment  he displayed throughout this particular show, demonstrating that the man behind the mic cherishes those some classics and their place in Hip-Hop history just as much as those who’ve paid for a ticket.

Kane might now be approaching his mid-forties, but when it comes to putting on a quality show, he’s sure to continue to get the job done for a few years yet.

Ryan Proctor

Footage of Big Daddy Kane performing “Nuff Respect”, “Set It Off” and “It’s Hard Being The Kane” at London’s Jazz Cafe.

New Joint – Dirt Platoon

Dirt Platoon – “Wage War” (Shinigamie Records / 2013)

Kyo Itachi-produced track from the Baltimore-based crew’s forthcoming album “War Face”.

New Joint – Vandal Savage / Juga-Naut

Vandal Savage ft. Juga-Naut – “Club Reunion” (VandalVorhes.BandCamp.Com / 2013)

Taken from the Nottingham emcee’s new EP “Savagery Over Everything”.

New Joint – Finsta Bundy

Finsta Bundy – “Brooklyn Nights” (FinstaBundy.Com / 2013)

The NY duo deliver a horn-laced dedication to the borough of Crooklyn off their EP “via FB”.

Classic Recipes – Marley Marl

Marley Marl remember producing the Biz Markie classic “Make The Music With Your Mouth, Biz” in the latest episode of DubSpot.Com’s “Classic Recipes” series.

Jazz Fusion Beat Tape Download – Bambu Hands

bambu hands cover

UK producer Bambu Hands drops the first in a series of themed instrumental projects, with this initial release featuring a consistent stream of mellow, atmospheric, head-nodding beats – download here.

New Joint – Yu Mamiya / Large Professor

Yu Mamiya ft. Large Professor – “Back & 4th Scrambler” (VRP / 2013)

The Japanese producer takes it back to “a time that was vintage” by teaming-up with the legendary Extra P.

New Joint – Killah Priest

Killah Priest – “Ein Sof (Paradise)” (@KillahPriest / 2013)

Animated visuals from the Wu affiliate’s recent album “The Psychic World Of Walter Reed”.

New Joint – Illa Ghee

Illa Ghee – “Radio Rap Is Not Ill” (@IllaGhee2K / 2013)

Produced by 5th Legend.

New Joint – Jack Diggs

Jack Diggs – “Kill The Sound” (Revorg Records / 2013)

Taken from the TPS Fam producer-on-the-mic’s forthcoming album “Dirty Finger Nails”.