Tag Archives: Magna Carta

New Joint – Jay-Z

Jay-Z – “Picasso Baby” (LifeAndTimes.Com / 2013)

Hate it or love it, S. Carter continues to tighten his grip on unrivalled mainstream cultural dominance, moving into the realms of ‘performance art’ with these “Magna Carta…Holy Grail” visuals – Hip-Hop’s answer to  David Blaine, perhaps?

New Joint – Melanin 9 / Triple Darkness

Melanin 9 ft. Triple Darkness – “Heartless Island” (Melanin9.Com / 2013)

New visuals from the UK emcee for this Jehst-produced track off the excellent 2012 album “Magna Carta”.

52 Best Albums & EPs Of 2012 (Part Three) – Apollo Brown & Guilty Simpson / M9 / Showbiz & AG etc.

Apollo Brown & Guilty Simpson – “Dice Game” (Mello Music Group) – This Motown duo definitely weren’t taking a gamble when they jumped in the studio together to record this sureshot collection of rugged bangers. With Simpson injecting his rhymes with a slightly more personal feel than on previous material, Brown ensured his beats matched the tone of the Detroit emcee’s verses perfectly, whether highlighting their hometown (“Reputation”) or pondering the future (“How Will I Go”).

dice game cover

Grand Papa Tra – “Lost In New York” (GrandPapaTra.BandCamp.Com) – Not one for adhering to today’s digital norm of emailing tracks and verses back and forth to complete a project, Swiss producer Tra wanted a more authentic recording experience, so made the trip to NYC to put together this collection of East Coast-influenced cuts with the likes of Sadat X, Mic Geronimo and Royal Flush.

lost in new york cover

Prose – “Back In The Habit” (Boom Bap Professionals) – Following-up two impressive albums, “Force Of Habit” (2010) and “The Dark Side Of The Boom” (2011), UK emcee / producer partnership Efeks and Steady Rock remained true to their underground roots on this quality EP which featured the witty old-school tribute “The Class Of ’94”.

prose habit cover

Fraction & Fresh Kils – “Extra Science” (Math Music Productions) – This album could easily never have happened considering it was a chance encounter at a Toronto Hip-Hop event that led to this Canadian duo teaming-up for this release. Thankfully, the rap gods were obviously smiling on that fateful day, which in turn led to underground fans being blessed with an accomplished, polished display of musical brilliance steeped in soulful, jazzy vibes and masterful lyricism.

fraction cover

Union – “Analogtronics” (Fat Beats) – A mind-bending mix of 80s-style synths, Dilla-influenced beats and space-age imagery, Paris-based producers OJ and Gold delivered a truly unique sonic experience with this collection of intergalactic funk, taking listeners on an epic musical journey amongst the stars with the likes of Talib Kweli, MF Doom and Roc Marciano on-hand to lyrically moonwalk across their sci-fly soundscapes.

union cover

Casual & J Rawls – “Respect Game Or Expect Flames” (Nature Sounds) – An unexpected but welcome collaboration, the cocky, Oakland drawl of Hiero’s Casual was the perfect fit for veteran Ohio-based producer Rawls’ well-crafted beats on this thoroughly entertaining album.

casual rawls cover

M9 – “Magna Carta” (M9Ether.BandCamp.Com) – Easily one of the most gifted lyricists in the present-day rap game, London’s Melanin 9 filled his heavily-anticpated “Magna Carta” project with intricately woven verses packed with gritty street knowledge, political opinion and social commentary. Edutainment, indeed.

magna carta cover

Gensu Dean – “Lo-Fi Fingahz” (Mello Music Group) – Texas-based producer Dean celebrated his love of his trusty SP 1200 sampler by using it to craft a quality selection of true-school neck-snappers on this album which featured the likes of Brand Nubian, Large Professor and Count Bass D.

gensu dean cover

Heavy Links – “The Essence” (HeavyLinks.BandCamp.Com) – Midlands, UK trio Habitat, El Tel and Donnie Propa released their third EP project which, following a successful appearance at September’s Boom Bap Hip-Hop Festival, raised the crew’s profile and widened the audience for their brand of good ol’ fashioned homegrown rap.

heavy links cover

Showbiz & AG – “Mugshot Music: Preloaded” (DITC Records) – Released as a free warm-up for “Mugshot Music” proper, this might not have been considered an official album by the Bronx duo, but it was definitely much more than just a mixtape. Featuring some of Show’s best production in recent times and typically self-assured bars from Andre The Giant, “Preloaded” probably wouldn’t have left fans unsatisfied even if it had been the pair’s only 2012 release.

Showbiz & AG cover

Ryan Proctor

Part Four coming soon – check Part One and Part Two.

Album Review – Melanin 9 a.k.a. M9

magna carta cover

Melanin 9

“Magna Carta”

(M9Ether.BandCamp.Com)

Although there may be many artists today prepared to sell their soul and dumb down their content in an attempt to appeal to the masses and achieve their fifteen minutes of fame, there are still real emcees out there who aren’t willing to take the easy route, choosing instead to put hours of effort into mastering their craft, keeping their lyrical swords sharp as they walk in the footsteps of the greats that came before them. London-based lyricist Melanin 9 a.k.a. M9 is one such artist.

As both a member of the formidable Triple Darkness camp and a solo artist, the skilled wordsmith has built up an impressive catalogue of work in recent years, with each release further showcasing M9’s natural talent for dropping vivid, thought-provoking rhymes built to invigorate braincells over quality production.

A student of verbal heavyweights such as The GZA and Killah Priest, M9 has always carried his mid-90s / golden-era influences with pride, whilst ensuring his own work has resonated with sincere emotion and individuality, rather than simply sounding like a rapper struggling to find his own identity who spent too much time with Raekwon’s “Only Built 4 Cuban Linx…” album and RZA’s “Wu-Tang Manual”.

Having already set mics alight on releases such as 2007’s “High Fidelity” mixtape and 2008’s “144,000” project, “Magna Carta” stands as M9’s finest musical moment to date. A brilliantly executed display of intelligent hardcore Hip-Hop, the album is packed with memorable tracks that range from the militantly defiant to the soulfully reflective.

The opening title track captures M9’s gift for painting descriptive images in your mind’s eye as he tells how he will “pose for cameras with ex-felons using hands as weapons”, whilst the Anatomy-produced “Landslide” features melodic pianos sprinkled over bass-heavy beats like gentle rain on cold concrete, with the UK microphone fiend mixing mystical wordplay and harsh street imagery in his rhymes.

“The 7 Blues” is a stunning-yet-sombre gem, with the melancholy, string-laden production of Hey!Zeus and Madame Pepper’s pained, heart-wrenching vocals helping to extract every last drop of feeling from M9’s haunting tale of a lost soul murdered in cold blood on the streets of Britain’s capital city, with the sense of tragedy driven home by the grounded emcee’s refusal to glorify the pitfalls of urban life, instead describing the impact of senseless violence on those left behind to live with the loss (“A spirit came to his mum on the night he was killed, Something ain’t right she could feel, Like the steel he was blown with, Hands shaking as she tries to phone him, A seismic myriad of emotion, Like the unremitting vigorous waves in the ocean…”).

The hypnotic Ohbliv-produced “Love’s Stencil” finds the emcee exploring the spiritual journey he’s been on whilst attempting to balance building a successful relationship with life situations and a career in the rap game, whilst Jehst’s huge drums on “Heartless Island” sound like a giant pounding on the gate of a gothic castle, with Triple Darkness comrade Cyrus Malachi on-hand to drop a typically intricate, mind-bending verse that sees the gruff lyricist travelling from inner-city tower blocks to intergalactic stars through the power of words.

“White Russian”, the transatlantic collabo between M9 and current underground favourite Roc Marciano, is another immediate standout, with Anatomy’s dusty, shuffling beats providing a fitting sonic backdrop for Marcberg’s slick, Strong Island stylings and Melanin’s esoteric flows.

The menacing Tony Mahoney-produced “Organized Democracy” finds the forthright homegrown emcee aggressively attacking the illusion of a free society as he journeys deep into the Matrix and offers thoughts on racial profiling, police harassment and political hypocrisy (“It all adds up in statistics, It’s big business to get you shifted, This wretched State, Depends on how many arrests they make…Profits in the pockets of politicians with big properties…”).

Throughout “Magna Carta”, M9 keeps the listener’s attention with a relentless stream of inspired, multi-layered verses that deserve to be heard again and again in order to fully appreciate the energy and thought that’s been invested in them whilst absorbing the message and meaning contained within each poignant line.

Proving that it is possible to deliver street-influenced, hardcore Hip-Hop without having to appeal to the lowest common denominator, with “Magna Carta” M9 has succeeded in his mission to elevate, stimulate and edutain, delivering one of 2012’s most essential albums in the process.

Ryan Proctor

Melanin 9 – “Organized Democracy” (Melanin9.Com / 2012)

New Joint – Melanin 9 / Roc Marciano

Melanin 9 ft. Roc Marciano – “White Russian” (M9Ether.BandCamp.Com / 2012)

Dope Anatomy-produced track from the talented London emcee’s forthcoming album “Magna Carta”.

Edutainment – Melanin 9

BlatantlyBlunt.Com interview with talented UK emcee Melanin 9 discussing his influences and the inspiration behind his forthcoming album “Magna Carta”.

New Joint – Melanin9

Melanin9 – “Pistola Freestyle” (Melanin9.Com / 2012)

The talented UK emcee drops some thought-provoking lyricism over a Jay Electronica instrumental – M9’s new album “Magna Carta” drops December 3rd.