Tag Archives: Flukebeat Music

G.A.W.D. Album Stream – Joker Starr

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The irrepressible Joker Starr makes a welcome return with another quality collection of unrestrained lyricism, at times sounding about ready to burst out of the speakers like a Hip-Hop Hulk. Largely produced by Micall Parknsun (with input from Anyway Tha God and OphQi), the UK wordsmith mixes social commentary and Black pride with larger-than-life emcee bravado throughout this entertaining showcase of raw hardcore talent.

100 Best Albums & EPs Of 2017 (Part Three) – Raekwon / Ded Tebiase / Tesla’s Ghost etc.

Check Part One and Part Two.

Jones Brothers – “Roughs With The Smooth” (FlukebeatMusic.BandCamp.Com) – UK emcees Joker Starr and AnyWay Tha God came with that “street knowledge and supreme wisdom” on this dope collaborative project. Striving to protect Hip-Hop from culture vultures, whilst annihilating anyone claiming to be lyrical competition in the process, the pair stood tall, backed by the loose, funky production of Manchester’s El Ay.

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Fly Anakin & Koncept Jack$on – “Chapel Drive” (FxckRxp.BandCamp.Com) – Representing Richmond, Virginia to the fullest, Anakin and Jackson involved every member of their Mutant Academy camp on this well-crafted album. Spontaneous rhymes and straight-out-the-basement beats were combined here to memorable effect, with “Chapel Drive” boasting a fluid, natural vibe that ensured it was high in replay value.

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Son Of Sam – “Cinder Hill” (SonOfSamMusic.BandCamp.Com) – The idea of a live band playing Hip-Hop is nothing new, just ask Stetsasonic, Brand New Heavies or The Roots. But whilst the concept may not raise the eyebrows it once did, the execution of said concept still takes a huge amount of skill. UK-based musical collective Son Of Sam rose to the challenge on their debut album, with the likes of J-Live, Large Professor and Prince Po all shining on the project’s lively, organic soundscapes.

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True God – “Inception” (TrueGodImmortal.BandCamp.Com) – Reporting live and direct from inner-city Baltimore, the talented True God delivered vivid, emotionally-charged street-corner sermons with skill, insight and sensitivity throughout this project.

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Roughneck Jihad – “The Wretched Of The Verse” (JihadTheRoughneckMC.BandCamp.Com) – Veteran West Coast emcee and Third Sight member Roughneck Jihad delivered a non-stop barrage of heavy-mental wordplay throughout this well-crafted collection of underground gems.

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DJ Manipulator & Louie Gonz – “The Loops” (DJManipulatorLouiGonz.BandCamp.Com) – This Massachusetts producer / emcee duo dropped an accomplished project in the form of “The Loops”, an album packed with cocky, street-smart rhymes and dusty, stripped-down beats, with the pair displaying a musical chemistry that gave this release a vibe reminiscent of a lost 90s-era demo tape.

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Dell-P – “4 Da Art” (Dell-P.BandCamp.Com) – Philly emcee Dell-P continued to build his reputation as one of the nicest lyricists to have emerged from the 215 in recent years with this release. A ‘total package’ wordsmith who sounded just as comfortable delivering heartfelt social commentary as he did spitting claims of microphone dominance, this Illadelph artist quite rightly demanded to be heard with “4 Da Art”.

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Your Old Droog – “PACKS” (FatBeatsRecords.BandCamp.Com) – With the Nas comparisons well and truly behind him, NYC’s Droog stood as his own man throughout this sophomore effort, blending humour, street smarts and razor-sharp wit throughout his verses, backed by production from The Alchemist, El RTNC and 88 Keys.

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Hus Kingpin & Big Ghost Ltd – “Cocaine Beach” (GourmetDeluxxx.BandCamp.Com) – Epic fly ish from the NY-raised Kingpin, with the likes of Milano Constantine, Vinnie Paz and Planet Asia all passing through to bless the impeccable production of Big Ghost Ltd, resulting in one of 2017’s ‘event’ albums which appeared to grab the attention of nearly all underground Hip-Hop heads upon its release.

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Justo – “Black Ops” (Black Jewel Entertainment)Brooklyn’s Justo picked some choice beats from D.I.T.C. legend Showbiz’s “Rare Breaks” series for this collection of traditional, lyrically-impressive Rotten Apple Hip-Hop.

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Raekwon – “The Wild” (Ice H20 Records) – Almost twenty-five years since his debut as a member of Staten Island’s mighty Wu-Tang Clan, the Chef proved that his Shaolin sword was as sharp as ever with the release of this solid album. Full of cinematic verses and strong production, “The Wild” was a worthy addition to Raekwon’s discography, with only a couple of unnecessary guest-spots (Lil Wayne / G-Eazy) slowing the project’s momentum.

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Tristate & Oh No – “3 Dimensional Prescriptions” (HieroglyphicsImperium.BandCamp.Com) – Backed by the eclectic, sample-driven beats of  infamous crate-digger Oh No, Gold Chain Music’s Tristate remained consistently impressive throughout this album, with his razor-sharp microphone techniques effortlessly keeping the listener engaged at all times.

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Ded Tebiase – “Landspeed” (VillageLive.BandCamp.Com) – Talented Bristol producer Ded Tebiase served up more of his drum-heavy, sample-based musical mastery on his latest album, featuring Da Flyy Hooligan, Ash The Author and Benaddict, with all proceeds from the release being donated to Pancreatic Cancer UK.

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DoamPeace – “Sidetrack” (DoesBros.BandCamp.Com) – The NYC-based DXA crew member educated listeners with pure true-school science on this eight-track EP.

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Big Toast & Ill Move Sporadic – “You Are Not Special” (StarchMusic.BandCamp.Com) – Tired of self-obsessed social media posts, shallow celebrity culture and rampant consumerism? This UK duo had the remedy for all of the above and then some with this sonic reality check. Toast’s blunt delivery and dry wit blended perfectly with Ill Move’s hefty beats, resulting in an album that was guaranteed to bring anyone with delusions of grandeur down to earth with a serious bump.

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Tesla’s Ghost – “Stretch Lincolns” (TeslasGhost.BandCamp.Com) – Late in 2017, gruff-voiced London lyricist Tesla’s Ghost dropped the perfect soundtrack for the cold, dark wintery nights ahead with this brilliantly-crafted album. Full of ominous, minimalist soundscapes and vivid, uncompromising verses, “Stretch Lincolns” was a strong example of pure, uncut mood music.

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El Camino – “El Camino” (Griselda Records) – The next chamber in the Griselda Records takeover came in the form of this self-titled EP from Buffalo’s El Camino; eight tracks of raw, gritty beats and rhymes, with the younger member of the GxFR camp being joined, of course, by Westside Gunn and Conway, plus the late, great Prodigy.

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Big Twins & DJ Skizz – “Billy Ocean” (DJSkizz.BandCamp.Com) – The Infamous Mobb emcee dropped some typically direct Queensbridge dunn language over old-school R&B grooves on this rugged-but-smooth EP.

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Figub Brazlevic – “4×4 Palestine Jeep Beats” (FigubBrazlevic.BandCamp.Com) – The nod factor was high on this quality collection of sample-based beats laced with live instrumentation from the German producer.

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Soul King – “The Diaspora” (SoulKingSK.BandCamp.Com) – Likwit Crew affiliate Soul King represented the Cali underground to the fullest throughout “The Diaspora”, with the project also featuring Montage One, Phil The Agony, Born Allah and more blessing beats from DirtyDiggs, DJ Breeze and Default.

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Part Four coming soon.

New Joint – Jones Brothers

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Jones Brothers – “Soul Power” (@FlukebeatMusic / 2017)

UK duo Joker Starr and AnyWay Tha God drop jewels over the funky, rolling, loop-based production of El Ay on this cut from their forthcoming album “Roughs With The Smooth”.

 

New Joint – Jones Brothers

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Jones Brothers – “Black Lives Matter” (@FlukebeatMusic / 2017)

Joker Starr and Anyway Tha God show the culture some tough love on this El Ay-produced cut from the duo’s “Roughs With The Smooth” project.

New Joint – Jones Brothers

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Jones Brothers – “Blue Glass” (@FlukebeatMusic / 2017)

UK emcees Joker Starr and AnyWay Tha God trade rhymes over a soulful, string-laden backdrop courtesy of El Ay for this cut off their upcoming album “Rough With The Smooth”.

New Joint – Joker Starr

Joker Starr – “She’s Looking At Him” (@FlukeBeatMusic / 2017)

Produced by Micall Parknsun.

New Joint – Joker Starr / Sonnyjim

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Ryan Proctor

Part Three coming soon – check Part One here.

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

 

New Joint – Joker Starr

Joker Starr – “What A Pleasure It Is” (Flukebeat Music / 2012)

Apatight-produced track from the UK emcee’s forthcoming album “Blood-Ren”.

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.