Monthly Archives: May 2021

New Joint – Ockz

Ockz – “Burnt Sienna” (ArtImitatingOckz.Com / 2021)

Produced by Raki and taken from the Brooklyn emcee’s forthcoming album “Ahki Manteca”.

New Joint – Strizzy Strauss / Shaka

Strizzy Strauss ft. Shaka – “Spirit Of The Dreamer” (@StrizzyStrauss / 2021)

Leicester’s Strizzy Strauss continues to motivate and inspire with this rousing new TG Sterling Sound-produced single.

Album Review – DJ Nappa

DJ Nappa



DJ Nappa is a name that really should need no introduction. A veteran of the UK Hip-Hop scene, the Luton-based producer first caught the attention of many heads back in the late 90s as the sonic backbone of the mighty Phi-Life Cypher crew, with the group’s debut “Baddest Man EP” release quickly becoming a cult classic, due in part to Nappa’s accomplished, sample-based beats. Just from hearing that initial PLC white label back in 1998 stood at the counter of London’s Deal Real Records (and promptly buying a copy), it was clear to my ears (and to those jostling for room at the same counter) that the tracks thundering from the shop’s speakers had been made by someone who obviously took their craft seriously.

Fast-forward over twenty years later and Nappa’s impressive discography shows exactly how serious he’s remained about his music, with a number of critically-acclaimed Phi-Life Cypher projects under his belt, plus work with the likes of MCM, Inja, Cappo and many more.

The talented crate-digger previously dabbled in the realm of instrumental Hip-Hop back in 2014, releasing two volumes of his “Late Night Beat Tape” cassettes, but his first release for the We Stay True label finds Nappa really upping the creative ante, moving in potentially unexpected directions yet remaining on-point and clear about his artistic vision at all times.

Nappa could quite easily have taken the predictable approach to this project and put together a collection of typical boom-bap beats, all of which, I’m sure, would have been made to a very high standard. But that would have been the easy option. Listening to “Redress” you definitely get the feeling that Nappa wanted to take full advantage of this opportunity, to both challenge himself and also to offer a nod of respect to many of his influences.

The album’s opening track “The Fear” is an immediate attention-grabber, with the ominous combination of rattling drums and threatening synths hinting at what 80s TV show “The Equalizer” may have sounded like had Nappa been asked to provide a musical score for it in a different lifetime.

Any tension that may have been created by that first cut is gently blown away by the soothing pianos, echoing horns and deft scratches of “Speak”, a track that succeeds in its mission to showcase music as not only a means of communication, but also as something that can have a positive impact on our personal well-being. Good vibrations, indeed.

The aptly-titled “Make It Funky” is a loose and lively tribute to the iconic James Brown, whilst the KRS-One-sampling “Get What I’m Saying” is also drenched in old-school vibes, with the blend of slick, repetitive guitar licks and soulful vocal snippets possessing a hypnotic quality which is both relaxing and simultaneously slightly unsettling (in the best possible way).

Arguably my favourite track on the album, the retro drum-machine thump and syncopated handclaps of “Friday Late Night” immediately took me back to being a youngster in the mid-80s tuning in over the weekend to the late, great Mike Allen on London’s Capital Radio and hearing the latest fresh sounds from the likes of Just-Ice, MC Chill and DJ Cheese. So I couldn’t help but smile when right at the very end of this blast of b-boy-influenced nostalgia the warm, inimitable voice of Mr. Allen himself can be heard for a few brief seconds lifted straight from one of his many classic shows. Brilliant.

The melodic head-nodder “Relax Your Mind” ends the album on a mellow note, demonstrating Nappa’s knack for knowing how to let a track breathe, whilst also ensuring there’s enough happening to keep the listener locked on and in the zone.

An album that encapsulates a variety of sounds and styles yet remains cohesive and concise throughout, “Redress” is a body of work Nappa should be proud of, which not only highlights his undeniable technical abilities, but also captures his genuine passion for the art of making music.

Give the man behind the beats some credit.

Ryan Proctor

“Redress” is available here via We Stay True.

New Joint – Shinobi Stalin x Traj P / Wordchemist

Shinobi Stalin x Traj P ft. Wordchemist – “Deadshot” (ShinobiStalin.BandCamp.Com / 2021)

Sharp rhymes and solid, melodic beats from the Florida-based emcee’s new Traj P-produced album “11 Hours To Leicester”.

New Joint – Mikey D / Canibus

Mikey D ft. Canibus – “Back To Back” (@TheReal_MikeyD / 2021)

Queens, NY legend Mikey D teams-up with lyrical machine Canibus for this all-out verbal barrage from his Ligalize-produced album “Day Of D’Struction Returns”.

New Joint – Knowledge The Pirate

Knowledge The Pirate – “Navigating Corners” (@PirateKnowledge / 2021)

Smooth-but-deadly flavour from the Pirate’s E.l.e.m.n.t.-produced album “Hidden Treasure”.

New Joint – Jaz Kahina

Jaz Kahina – “Live Love Laugh” (@JazKahina / 2021)

Talented UK artist Jaz Kahina drops humorous, rewind-worthy rhymes over the funky bounce of producer Curt Cataract on this quality new track.

New Joint – John Robinson

John Robinson – “Martin & Malcolm” (JohnRobinsonMusic.Com / 2021)

One of the rap game’s most consistent emcees, John Robinson flexes his vibrant, timeless flow over piano-laced Blu production from his new album “KING JR”.

New Joint – Left Lane Didon

Left Lane Didon – “4D” (@LeftLaneDidon / 2021)

Delaware’s Left Lane Didon puts a beat from the UK’s Melanin 9 to good use on this new single.

New Joint – Ea$y Money x Fabeyon / Termanology

Ea$y Money & Fabeyon ft. Termanology – “Radio Buried” (STDaSquad.BandCamp.Com / 2021)

Produced by DJ Supa Dave and taken from the Massachusetts-based pair’s recent collabo album “Beyond Ea$y”.

New Joint – Pitch 92 / Jehst

Pitch 92 ft. Jehst – “Live From London” (@HighFocusUK / 2021)

UK Hip-Hop heavyweight Jehst delivers his usual high-standard of wordplay over subtle, melodic production from the talented Pitch 92 on this new single.

New Joint – Truck

Truck – “Elevator Music” (@AEProductionsUK / 2021)

Funky Mr. Fantastic-produced beats and engaging lyricism off UK emcee Truck’s “Food For Thought” album released via Bristol-based label AE Productions.

New Joint – Apollo Brown & O.C.

Apollo Brown & O.C. – “Just Walk” (MelloMusicGroup / 2021)

Diggin’ In The Crates legend (and one of my all-time favourite emcees) O.C. revisits one of the many standout tracks from his brilliant 2012 Apollo Brown-produced album “Trophies”.

New Joint – Dumi Right / Indosakusa The Morning Star

Dumi Right ft. Indosakusa The Morning Star – “No Turning Back”

Lyrical food for thought from the Zimbabwe Legit emcee on this new single.

New Joint – Agallah

Agallah – “Relax” (@AgallahTheDon / 2021)

Taken from the album “Agstalgia”.

New Joint – Planet Asia

Planet Asia – “Truck Jewels” (@PlanetAsia / 2021)

Produced by The Architect and taken from Planet Asia’s forthcoming album “Holy Water”.

The Dust Diary Album Stream – Flashius Clayton x Jster

A naturally gifted emcee, Cali’s Flashius Clayton delivers his usual high-standard of lyrical expertise on this Jster-produced project, which also features appearances from regular collaborators Skunkz and Lisaan’dro – Knuckle Sandwich Deli in full effect!

New Joint – Verbz

Verbz – “Calling Me Back” (@HighFocusUK / 2021)

Talented London-based wordsmith Verbz makes a welcome return on this string-laden Illinformed-produced single via High Focus.

New Joint – Justo The MC x DK

Justo The MC x DK – “Effortless” (JustoTheMC.BandCamp.Com / 2021)

Taken from the Brooklyn emcee’s recent “This Is Me” release produced entirely by Canada’s DK.

New Joint – DJ 2-Tone Jones / Uptown XO / Let The Dirt Say Amen / Kenilworth Katrina

DJ 2-Tone Jones ft. Uptown XO, Let The Dirt Say Amen & Kenilworth Katrina – “The Curry Out” (DJ2ToneJones.BandCamp.Com / 2021)

Some of Washington DC’s finest talents have come together for this Drew Dave-produced track from the forthcoming 2-Tone Jones album “Contraband From India”.