Tag Archives: Blood-Ren

New Joint – Joker Starr / Sonnyjim

fluke beat music cover

Joker Starr ft. Sonnyjim – “Caramel Fudge – Scratch Professor Re-Twist” (Flukebeat Music / 2013)

Remix of this dedication to around-the-way-girls everywhere from the UK emcee’s 2012 album “Blood-Ren”.

52 Best Albums & EPs Of 2012 (Part Two) – Vinnie Paz / Ka / GrindHouse Project etc.

Luv NY – “Luv NY” (Ascetic / Red Apples 45) – Enlisting a crew of iconic Rotten Apple emcees that most producers could only dream of working with, Bronx-bred music man Ray West blessed AG, Kool Keith, Kurious etc with a hypnotic selection of his minimalist, piano-driven production, allowing each of the featured lyricists plenty of room to breathe as they celebrated the bright lights and shadowy back-streets of New York City.

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Joker Starr – “Blood-Ren” (Flukebeat Music) – Not afraid to standout from the pack, UK emcee Joker Starr ensured every track on this project was packed with personality, utilising his individual rhyme style to pay homage to Michael Jackson, impress the ladies and show the British rap scene some tough love.

joker starr album cover

Vinnie Paz – “God Of The Serengeti” (Enemy Soil) – Picking up where his brilliant 2010 solo album left-off, Philly rhyme animal Paz’s second shot for delf upped the hardcore ante even further than its predecessor, with the Jedi Mind Tricks frontman collaborating with heavyweights such as Scarface and Tragedy Khadafi over thunderous production that could rattle the gates of hell.

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Beat Bop Scholar – “Authentic Minded” (BeatBopScholar.BandCamp.Com) – Proving the old saying that age really ain’t nothing but a number, Los Angeles-based teenage producer Beat Bop Scholar lived up to his name on this mainly instrumenal project, channelling his love of golden-era Hip-Hop into a nice selection of drum-heavy, sample-laden head-nodders with legends Percee P, Sadat X and Craig G on-hand to offer vocal support.

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Ka – “Grief Pedigree” (Iron Works) – Achieving a nearly impossible balance between rugged street rhetoric and elegant sonic sophistication, veteran Brooklyn lyricist Ka cast a watchful eye over his Brownsville neighbourhood on this self-produced album, delivering pearls of hard-knock wisdom with an understated been-there-done-that flow which only made his observations of the world around him hit home even harder.

grief pedigree album cover

GrindHouse Project – “GHP Is Like…” (GrindHouseProject.BandCamp.Com) – Comprised of producers Futurewave and Astro Mega with emcees Trace Motivate and 360, this Toronto-based quartet’s debut project sounded like it had been recorded by a crew who’d locked themselves in a dark basement for six months with nothing but a sampler, some broken mics and a stack of old vinyl. Uncompromisingly hardcore, “GHP Is Like…” was all about the essential foundations of quality Hip-Hop; sharp verbal skills and quality beats with instant-rewind appeal. Music to stomp your Timberlands to.

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Phoenix Da Icefire – “The Quantum Leap” (PhoenixDaIcefire.Com) – An affiliate of London’s Triple Darkness camp, this labour of love from Phoenix Da Icefire took nearly five years to complete, but judging by the quality of the beats and rhymes heard here it was definitely time well spent. Almost entirely produced by the talented Chemo, the UK emcee covered all the lyrical bases here, from intense self-reflection and intelligent social commentary to competition-crushing verses.

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Visioneers – “Hipology” (BBE) – Multi-talented London-based producer Marc Mac returned this year under his Visioneers guise, with this brilliantly executed concept album encapsulating a variety of musical styles to highlight the many influences that have shaped the 4hero member’s own personal relationship with Hip-Hop culture, from the Incredible Bongo Band to J Dilla.

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Large Professor – “Professor @ Large” (Fat Beats) – The legendary live guy with glasses and former Main Source member continued to demonstrate his loyalty to the 90s NY golden-era sound he helped influence with this no-frills collection of five-borough flavour featuring the likes of Busta Rhymes, Grand Daddy I.U. and Action Bronson.

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Blacastan – “The Master Builder Part II” (Brick) – The Demigodz / Army Of The Pharaohs wordsmith’s latest release contained plenty of the gruff Connecticut emcee’s cautionary street tales and conspiracy-laced wordplay over longtime collaborator ColomBeyond’s hard-edged production.

blacastan cover

Ryan Proctor

Part Three coming soon – check Part One here.

New Joint – Joker Starr

Joker Starr – “The Place Called Slough Town – Wizard Remix” (FlukeBeatMusic.BandCamp.Com / 2012)

Bass-heavy remix of a track from the UK emcee’s impressive debut album “Blood-Ren”.

New Joint – JokerStarr

JokerStarr – “Too Many Not Enough” (FlukeBeatMusic.BandCamp.Com / 2012)

The charismatic UK emcee gives his constructive opinion on the current state of Hip-Hop on this Apatight-produced track from his recently-released album “Blood-Ren”.

Album Review – Joker Starr

Joker Starr

“Blood-Ren”

(Flukebeat Music)

Hailing from Slough, England, inimitable emcee Joker Starr has flown on and off the Hip-Hop radar over the last decade or so having worked with the likes of Blak Twang-affiliate Seanie T, DJ Blufoot, Keith Lawrence and homegrown heavyweight Ty. Finally, after getting a handful of solo releases and guest appearances under his belt, the entertaining lyricist finally drops his official debut album, a unique mix of sample-heavy beats, memorable verses and engaging concept-driven tracks.

Unlike many of today’s artists, one of Joker Starr’s main strengths is that he possesses personality in abundance and isn’t afraid to inject his music with both humour and his own individual worldview, ensuring that he immediately stands-out from the crowd and providing “Blood-Ren” with an organic feel and unpredictable quality.

Whether rhyming over gritty boom-bap beats or smoother soundscapes, spitting playful punchlines or dealing with day-to-day pressures, there’s a constant energy and authenticity to Joker’s delivery that draws the listener in, making him an easy artist to relate to. So by the time the final track on this album fades away, you genuinely feel as though you’ve been allowed to enter into Starr’s life and have gotten to know him as a person as well as a rapper.

The Miss Tofelees-produced “Celebration” opens the project with Joker Starr patting himself on the back for enduring the up-and-downs of his music career and actually getting “Blood-Ren” out to the masses, claiming “Back in the days too many devilish snakes around me, Turned mongoose in the booth, now there’s no snakes to be found.”

The dope, disjointed production supplied by Diversion Tactics’ Zygote and Jazz T on “Lost Tribe Of The Leng” provides a solid backdrop for Joker’s dark, cautionary tale of street life, whilst “Mic Jack” is an upbeat dedication to the King Of Pop himself, Michael Jackson, with Starr cleverly incorporating numerous MJ song titles into his rhymes as he describes the artist with “one glove sparkling with the socks to match” over sporadic guitar stabs and restless drums rolls.

The previously-released “Hip Hop Transition” is also included here, with the “Sierra Leone African” looking to claim his place on the rap map with passionate rhymes over Jehst’s shimmering funk-fuelled loops, whilst the Apatight-produced “Too Many Not Enough” is a sparse critique of the present-day music game and UK Hip-Hop scene (“The music industry is a mess, Uniqueness ain’t embraced just formulas for success”).

The bass-heavy “Caramel Fudge” finds Joker Starr joining forces with Eat Good Records’ Sonny Jim to chase ladies of all flavours over Apatight’s warm, soulful production, and the nimble “All I Need” shows another side to the emcee’s character as he mixes social commentary with his brand of ironic humour (“World ain’t been the same since the search for Osama, We all broke pocket just trying to make change like Obama”).

With guest appearances kept to a minimum (aside from the aforementioned Sonny Jim only Micall Parknsun and Genesis Elijah share the mic here), “Blood-Ren is very much Joker Starr’s album, making for a much stronger project than the feature-heavy albums of some of his peers.

Succeeding in crafting a full-length debut that is as true to himself as it is true to the art and culture of Hip-Hop, Joker Starr’s latest effort provides a breath of fresh air amidst the smog of blandness and conformity that pollutes so much music today.

Ryan Proctor

“Blood-Ren” Album Sampler

 

Blood-Ren Album Sampler – Joker Starr

Sampler for the forthcoming “Blood-Ren” album from UK emcee Joker Starr featuring appearances from Genesis Elijah, Sonny Jim, Micall Parknsun and production from Jehst, Apatight. Jazz T and Zygote.

New Joint – Joker Starr

Joker Starr – “The Placed Called Slough Town” (FlukeBeat.Co.UK / 2011)

The UK emcee offers a musical snapshot of his hometown on this Apatight-produced track from his upcoming album “Blood-Ren”.