Tag Archives: The P Brothers

100 Best Albums & EPs Of 2018 (Part Four) – Phonte / O.C. / Ty etc.

Check Part One, Part Two & Part Three.

Phonte – “No News Is Good News” (Phonte.BandCamp.Com) – Whilst the music industry continued trying to reinforce the misconception that rap is only a sport for the young, North Carolina’s ever-impressive Phonte delivered a solid slice of grown-man Hip-Hop that was defiant, honest, realistic and entertaining. Accompanied by producers such as Marco Polo, Tall Black Guy and Nottz, this was the sound of an artist facing his mortality through music that was so good it will guarantee his immortality.

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Sleep Sinatra – “[D]Arkangel” (GourmetDeluxxx.BandCamp.Com) – Sometimes you can just hear the sense of satisfaction an emcee derives from twisting words into verses full of verbal virtuosity. Nebraska’s Sleep Sinatra is one such emcee. This album was a lesson in lyricism that felt like Sinatra was channelling some other-worldly energy, enabling him to craft the non-stop barrage of intricate wordplay found here. As the man himself says, you should study the science more.

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AWAR – “The Spoils Of War” (AWAR.BandCamp.Com) – Calling on production heavy-hitters such as The Alchemist, Lord Finesse and Showbiz, Rotten Apple rhymer AWAR delivered an album that was grounded in golden-era attitude yet managed to avoid sounding like an artist simply trying to relive a time that has passed. “The Spoils Of War” showcased the skills of an emcee clearly passionate about his craft.

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Benaddict – “A New Leaf” (VinDig.BandCamp.Com) – Following up 2017’s impressive “The Garden Of England”, UK artist Benaddict continued to deliver his take on modern-day living in his own inimitable style with “A New Leaf”, a quality collection of mellow, jazz-influenced beats and subtle, insightful wordplay. Sharing production duties with the talented Ded Tebiase, Benaddict carefully crafted his own sonic world here and proudly invited us all in. Sublime mood music.

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The P Brothers – “Mentaltainment” (PBrothers.BandCamp) – Nottingham, England’s DJ Ivory and Paul S have spent years building a strong reputation as suppliers of hardcore beat science. This latest release from the two Notts bombers didn’t disappoint on that front. With Daniel Son, Your Old Droog, Doo Wop and Milano matching the P Brothers’ uncompromising rawness with equally impressive performances, this EP was short yet effective.

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O.C. – “A New Dawn: 2nd Phase” (OmarCredle.BandCamp.Com) – One of the greatest emcees of all-time, Diggin’ In The Crates legend O.C. added to his impressive album catalogue with this sturdy collection of mature, thoughtful Hip-Hop. Backed by the production of Showbiz, Motif Alumni, Dark Keys and Gwop Sullivan, the Rotten Apple rhymer demonstrated that it is possible for veteran artists to give original fans some of what first grabbed their attention in the past whilst still showing growth that reflects the present. Word…life!

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AnyWay Tha God & Micall Parknsun – “Over P’s” (AnyWayThaGod.BandCamp.Com) – UK emcee AnyWay Tha God sought to inspire and motivate on this Micall Parknsun-produced EP, attempting to bring the best out of both himself and his listeners in the process. Mixing intelligent, meditative rhymes with soul-stirring beats, AnyWay continued his journey along the path of mastery. Spiritually minded music.

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Conway The Machine – “Everybody Is F.O.O.D.” (WhoIsConway.Com) – The title of this project from Griselda’s Conway told you everything you needed to know about the Buffalo resident’s attitude as an emcee. If you’re not part of the family then you’re getting rolled over. Largely produced by regular collaborator Daringer (with input from Pete Rock, Green Lantern and Statik Selektah), “Everybody Is…” tightened the Griselda camp’s grip on the underground just that little bit more, with Conway yet again combining street knowledge with natural rhyme skills.

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Mr Slipz – “It Don’t Stop” (Yogocop.BandCamp.Com) – A master at crafting atmospheric, off-kilter soundscapes, Brighton-based producer Mr Slipz delivered a seamless album which made the listener feel like they’d stumbled into an open-mic session in a hazy, smoke-filled basement. With emcees such as Vitamin G, Verbz and Benaddict lending their lyrical talents to the project, “It Don’t Stop” was music to zone out to.

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LEX – “Alex” (LEXNYRE.BandCamp.Com) – The Queens, NY emcee attempted to find meaning in the struggle of the daily grind on this self-produced project. Blending life observations and brotherly advice with personal experience, LEX’s down-to-earth persona endeared him to listeners, making his rhymes all the more relatable.

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Jaz Kahina – “School Run” (JazKahina1.BandCamp.Com) – The London lyricist showcased her versatility on this six-track EP, with the talented emcee stamping her irrepressible personality over a diverse selection of production from DJ LoK, Nutty P, Micall Parknsun and more.

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Roc Marciano – “Behold A Dark Horse” (Marci Enterprises) – Sayings such as ‘less is more’ and ‘quality over quantity’ just don’t apply to Strong Island’s Roc Marci. The second of three full-length Marcberg projects to drop in 2018, “Behold…” offered more macked-out microphone techniques delivered over a smooth selection of minimalist loops, with input from Busta Rhymes, Q-Tip and Black Thought.

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DJ Muggs – “Soul Assassins: Dia Del Asesinato” (SoulAssassins.Com) – Cypress Hill’s DJ Muggs may have sold millions of records, toured the world and won industry awards, but at the end of the day, the NY-raised, LA-based producer is still a fan of that grimy, hardcore Hip-Hop first and foremost. If you needed proof, this project found the likes of Kool G Rap, Meyhem Lauren and Raekwon spitting darts over Muggs’ unapologetically dark and moody beats.

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J-Live – “Lose No Time” (RealJLive.BandCamp.Com) – Since his initial mid-90s releases, NYC’s J-Live has remained one of Hip-Hop’s most consistent emcees. This self-produced EP was another worthy addition to the talented lyricist’s catalogue, with Live dropping clever, witty and entertaining verses over quality beats.

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After Ourz – “After Ourz” (StarvinB.BandCamp.Com) – Starvin B, Foul Monday and Flushing Tek repped for the borough of Queens in no uncertain terms throughout this EP, accompanied by production from Stu Bangas, Fel Sweetenberg, Fifth Element and more.

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Big Cakes – “No Expenses” (BigCakes.BandCamp.Com) – Featuring Cakes’ usual engaging mix of life observations, social commentary and political insight, this eighth album from the talented London-based emcee was heavy with substance and heartfelt sentiments.

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Fraction & Finsta – “Thoughtwork” (Fraction.BandCamp.Com) – Quality collaborative effort from Finsta (of New York 90s favourites Finsta Bundy) and Canadian vet Fraction, this album was all about dope rhymes and dope beats. The pair were clearly determined to deliver some undiluted true-school flavour on this project and they succeeded in no uncertain terms.

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Ty – “A Work Of Heart” (TyMusics.BandCamp.Com) – Known for his observational writing style, sharp wit and progressive musical approach, London’s Ty upped the creative ante once again on his fifth album. Inspiring, forward-thinking and life-affirming, “A Work Of Heart” reminded us all that Ty is an artist in the truest sense of the term; always pushing, always elevating, always growing.

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Precyce Politix & D.R.U.G.S. Beats – “Drug-Politix” (PrecycePolitix.BandCamp.Com) – NY-raised, North Carolina-based emcee Precyce Politix delivered well-crafted, substance-filled verses over quality production from D.R.U.G.S. Beats on this impressive long-player featuring OC From NC, Illpo and Major Green.

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Dell-P – “Wordsmith” (WHOMAG Distribution) – This aptly-titled album offered further evidence that Philadelphia’s Dell-P is one of the most gifted emcees to have entered the rap game in recent years. Forthright, intelligent and always remaining true to his own artistic vision, the 215 representative put his lifetime inbetween the paper’s lines throughout this release,  proving that the name Dell-P deserves to be mentioned alongside the long line of Illadelph greats.

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Fifth and final part coming soon.

New Joint – The P Brothers / Daniel Son

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The P Brothers ft. Daniel Son – “Saltfish” (@ThePBrothers / @DISSBBM / 2018)

Canada’s highly-skilled Daniel Son drops intricate wordplay over some downright nasty production from legendary Nottingham duo DJ Ivory and Paul S off their forthcoming EP “Mentaltainment”.

Mentaltainment EP Sampler – The P Brothers

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Nottingham’s Paul S and DJ Ivory return to burn once again with their forthcoming “Mentaltainment” EP, featuring Daniel Son, Doo Wop, Milano and Your Old Droog getting busy over the UK production duo’s trademark brand of high-quality beat science.

Winter In Notts Mix Stream – DJ Ivory

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DJ Ivory of Nottingham, England’s infamous P Brothers embarks on another fantastic voyage into sound.

 

Drunk And In Charge On The BBC (Part 1) Stream – The P Brothers

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Nottingham’s mighty P Brothers (DJ Ivory and Paul S) have uploaded the first part of their extended 2004 takeover of BBC’s 1Xtra with the duo dropping a typically varied selection of soul, electro, Hip-Hop, breakbeats and more.

New Joint – Eddie Cheeba / The P Brothers

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Eddie Cheeba – “Swim In A Drought” (@ECBMG / 2014)

The UK’s mighty P Brothers have dug into their vault of unreleased material and pulled out this drum-heavy jewel they produced for the Boss Money member.

New Joint – The P Brothers / Boss Money aka Money Boss Inc

The P Brothers ft. Boss Money aka Money Boss Inc – “Blam Blam For Nottingham” (@ThePBrothers / 2014)

NYC’s DJ 250 got together with infamous Bronx emcees Eddie Cheeba and Trey Bag to record some new visuals for this 2006 banger produced by the UK’s mighty P Brothers.

Summer In Notts Mix Download – DJ Ivory

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DJ Ivory of Nottingham’s legendary P Brothers duo drops a varied mix of musical goodness featuring funky breaks, soulful jams and old-school Hip-Hop – check it here.

The Constantine Tape…The Best Of Milano Mixtape Download – Milano

The D.I.T.C. affiliate drops this new mixtape featuring classic collaborations with the likes of Showbiz, The P Brothers and Big Pun plus material from his new crew Barbury’N – download here for a heavy dose of that Rotten Apple rap.

Old To The New Q&A – Cappo

A lot has changed in the UK Hip-Hop world since Nottingham’s Cappo debuted on wax in the late-90s as an enthusiastic teenager with an obvious gift for next-level wordplay. The former graffiti artist’s potential was fully realised a few years later on his well-received 2003 debut album “Spaz The World” which was produced by Notts heavyweights The P Brothers and released via Brighton’s Zebra Traffic imprint.

A handful of further releases solidified Cappo’s reputation as a gifted microphone fiend, but it wouldn’t be until the release of 2008’s “H-Bomb EP” with fellow Nottingham Hip-Hop junkie Styly Cee behind-the-boards that the talented emcee would recapture the brilliance displayed on his debut album.

Following last year’s self-produced “Genghis” project, Cappo has teamed-up with Styly once again for “The Fallout”, a full-length project bristling with the passion and creativity of two individuals who soaked up all that was good about rap’s golden-age but want to do more than simply recreate past musical memories.

Here, Cappo speaks on his early aspirations as a recording artist, the Nottingham Hip-Hop scene and working with Styly Cee on their new album.

So your new album “The Fallout” is the Son label’s fiftieth release. What does it mean for you to be putting out an album that obviously means so much to the label considering Son released your debut EP “Cap 3000” in 1999?

“It’s an honour. I mean, me and Alastair Nicholson at Son have had our ups and downs over the years but it’s an honour for him to want to put this album out as the label’s fiftieth release and for him to consider the music as important as me and Styly do. Al’s always supported everything I’ve ever done and he alway tries his best with the product that he puts out so I’ve gotta pay respect to him for what he’s done and continues to do.”

When that first EP came out on Son did you think that over a decade later you’d still be making music?

“When I put that first EP out I thought I’d be on MTV two weeks later (laughs). I spoke to Al on the phone and told him I’d think about signing the contract. I sat there, thought about it, signed the contract and then thought ‘Right! This is it!’. I really did think I was going to be famous within weeks (laughs). But then I met Styly Cee and he taught me about how the game worked and what was going on in the UK rap industry at the time. But things did move quite fast for me at the beginning of my recording career. I seemed to make a lot of headway quite quickly which is something that doesn’t seem to happen often with new underground artists these days. I was lucky enough to be able to go on shows like Tim Westwood on Radio One and get that exposure, whereas nowadays for an underground artist like I was at the time it would be tough to get that type of mainstream support early on. I managed to get fetaures in a lot of magazines at the time as well, a lot of which came down to Alastair working hard at the label. So as far as me expecting to still be making music ten years later, at the time I probably thought I’d be working on an album with Dr. Dre and Nas in 2011 (laughs).”

That’s an interesting point about not being able to get support today from outlets that perhaps a decade ago would’ve been in your corner…

“It’s a different world in the UK now. I recently read Jay-Z’s “Decoded” book and I liked how he broke down how an emcee can be powerful but he respects those emcees who can harness that same power and turn it into commercial success. I can respect it if it’s done well but there are definitely certain ways of going about it. I think some artists really are very transparent in the way that they’re clearly just out for the money rather than trying to be creative. I don’t think it’s possible to do that without really giving away a lot of your soul as an artist.”

Last year you released the “Genghis” album which saw you producing the whole project yourself…

“”Genghis” was me being at a point in my career where I had to prove to myself that I could make another album as good as “Spaz The World”. I definitely had to record that album to prove to myself that I could do that and I had to break that personal barrier in order for me to be able to see music the way that I see it now. I was also recording “The Fallout” at the same time I was making “Genghis” and both of those records were me trying to prove to myself that I could do it. Now that I’ve proven to myself that I can, I’m looking at the situation that I’m in as an artist and am thinking it might be time for me to regroup on this music thing and be smarter in terms of trying to widen my audience. I can’t go and make a commercial record because that’s just not me, but what I can do is get more involved in the business side and think about it in a way that will allow me to widen my market. I was talking to a friend about this recently and it’s not about me selling out or changing my sound, it’s about me listening to what I did with tracks like “Learn To Be Strong” and “Loyalty” and harness what I did on those tracks where the lyrics aren’t quite so coded and are easier to breakdown. But if I did crossover with a track, I’d still want it to be something that could be respected by those people who already know my music. It’s about getting the balance right. I would never want to alienate my core fanbase.”

So would you say you felt a lot of pressure following the release of “Spaz The World” due to how well it was received and the critical acclaim the project received?

“I just remember it being a time of getting a lot of shows and really enjoying the media attention. That album really just seemed to drop at the right time and a lot of people I speak to seem to remember it for all the right reasons. But as an artist you’re never really satisfied, so I also remember at the time thinking that I could have done certains things differently lyrically, but that wasn’t really pressure. So moving on from “Spaz The World” I told myself that it wasn’t an album that could be done again because my mind would never be in the same place it was then, but that I could try and reproduce something similar in terms of the quality and the vibe of it. I can’t say I felt pressure, but it was immediately after “Spaz The World” that I stopped working with the P Brothers for whatever reasons, and it was at that point when I didn’t have that constant back-up around me of my producers and the label that I then realised how much of a mountain I had to climb on my own. Perhaps at the time of “Spaz The World” I was being too naive and was thinking that I did more of it on my own than I actually did, when really I was standing on the shoulders of a lot of other people. That was part of the reason I wanted to do “Genghis” because it haunted me for awhile that perhaps I couldn’t do it on my own.”

You mentioned that you were recording “Genghis” and “The Fallout” at the same time. To me, those two albums are very different from each other – “Genghis” has more of a mellow vibe to it in places whereas “The Fallout” is much more aggressive. Taking that into consideration, was it difficult to juggle recording both simultaneously?

“I had it in my mind that I wanted to produce “Genghis” on my own completely from start to finish whereas Styly produced “The Fallout”. So because the projects were made in such different ways I think “The Fallout” was my release from all the hardwork I was putting into “Genghis”. I was making beats and then listening to them for a long time to decide which ones I wanted to use for “Genghis” and then writing to them. Sometimes when I make beats and I’ve listened to them over and over they don’t give me the same inspiration because they become old to me very quickly. So “Genghis” was a real uphill struggle because obviously I was doing it all myself and there was a lot of monotonous repition involved in the process of going back over tracks to make sure everything was right. Whereas recording “The Fallout” with Styly, he’d bring an ill beat to the table and I’d just say ‘Yeah! I’m writing to this now!’ and I’d just be able to let go and concentrate on the lyrics. Then after we’d recorded it I’d tell Styly that I didn’t want to hear it again, so some tracks I wouldn’t hear again until months after we’d recorded them. I was working on “Genghis” every day like a job, wheras recording “The Fallout” with Styly was much more of a fun process because I was just able to concentrate on being an emcee.”

You’ve known Styly Cee since the early days of your career so what made you decide to finally record an album together?

“After we released “The H-Bomb EP” we just kept on recording tracks and we were really making music that we wanted to hear and just being really free with it. I mean, if you listen back to “Time Will Tell” off the EP one of the verses on there doesn’t even rhyme. We were just trying to push the boundaries and really drop the craziest verses on the craziest drums we could find. That carried over onto the music we recorded for “The Fallout”. If you listen to a track like “Music Maker’s Revenge” I’m almost barking on the mic. I remember recording that and just zoning out on the beat. I remember feeling my teeth literally snapping together as I was rhyming but I couldn’t really hear what I was saying anymore. There was a part where there was a mistake which meant a slight delay on the drums that created this sort of fading effect but I just kept rhyming. Everytime I hear that part I always think that’s really exactly what we were trying to do with the album – just create absolute musical chaos with crazy multi-syllable rhymes and drums just smashing everywhere.”

“The Fallout” definitely has an old-school feel to itwithout feeling old-school if that makes sense? You can hear the influences of early-80s electro and Zulu Beats radio tapes throughout the album but it doesn’t sound like you and Styly were trying to force the project in that direction… 

“I think that’s it in a nutshell. Styly coined the phrase ‘corethentic’ to describe it and I think that really is what it is. There are influences from that old-school age on the album but it could be from any age. We definitely let our influences shine through but we were also very much looking forward at the same time and trying to create something fresh.”

Having interviewed various Nottingham artists there definitely seems to be a real sense of history of both Hip-Hop as a culture and also the local scene that’s been passed down throughout the years. Would you say that’s still the case?

“Something really serious happened in Nottingham in that early-to-mid 80s time when artists from my generation were obviously too young to be involved. But there was a massive belief in Hip-Hop in Notts and the music really was a life-changing thing for a lot of those involved at the time. That meant that there was real competition between artists in Notts because the culture was such an important thing to so many. It’s still that important and the competition is still there. When I was younger I used to get really jealous when I’d hear conversations between older heads about things that happened back in the day at places like Rock City because I always wished I could’ve been there to be involved in that early scene myself. But hearing those conversations really schooled me on the history of Notts and I think a lot of artists from here have gone through that same process. One of my favourite stories is about there once being a signed copy of Ultramagnetic’s “Critical Beatdown” album cover on a wall in a chip shop in Beeston because apparently around 1988 they performed at some youth club in Clifton which is out in the middle of nowhere (laughs). To be honest though, I don’t know if it’s the same for the next generation of emcees in Notts. I might be out of touch with them perhaps, but I’m not sure who the next emcee is from Nottingham who’s carrying that history with them. A lot of the younger emcees today don’t necessarily consider themselves to be Hip-Hop because they have to be so flexible and rhyme on everything from grime to dub-step etc. I don’t know if they have that strong, direct connection to the culture of Hip-Hop and the heritage of the Nottingham scene that those of us who came before had and still do have.”

So what’s next for you as an artist?

“I’m working on a lot of beats at the moment that I’m planning on getting to some Stateside artists without them actually knowing it’s me (laughs). I’m not really the best person at networking though so if that plan doesn’t work then the beats I’ve already done will go towards a new Cappo album. But whatever happens I’m ready to put all my energy into my music so that I can do the best work I can and put out the best product possible.”

Ryan Proctor

“The Fallout” is out now on Son Records.

The Bronx Is Back – $amhill

GrandGood.Com footage of Bronx emcee $amhill performing tracks from his forthcoming EP (produced by the UK’s P Brothers) at NYC’s Rock Star Bar.

New Joint – The P Brothers / Milano

The P Brothers ft. Milano – “Digital B-Boy” ( Heavy Bronx / 2008 )

Taken from the Nottingham-based production duo’s long-awaited album “The Gas”.

Hip-Hop Single Reviews (Originally Printed In IDJ / Mr Scruff Cover / October 2008)

Hip-Hop Single Reviews By Ryan Proctor

M9 – “Strange Fruit” ( Dark Matter / Kilamanjaro )

Fresh from the recent underground success of Triple Darkness’s ‘Anathema’ album, London word warrior M9 is striking out on his own with this potent example of powerful street reportage from his forthcoming solo offering ‘144,000’. The darkly hypnotic production from Jon Phonics is the perfect match for M9’s raw portrayal of inner-city life, as the gifted lyricist attempts to elevate the council estate of mind of those around him with dense metaphors and a passionate plea to stop the violence. 4 / 5

Skreintax ft. Graziella – “Breathe” ( Dented )

This is one of those tunes that puts a smile on your face and reaffirms your faith in the ability of artists to create truly heartfelt music in today’s stifled creative climate. The first single from Skrein and Dr. Syntax’s forthcoming collaborative long-player, ‘Breathe’ is a mellow head-nodder that delivers on all fronts. Over impeccable production, the pair touch on everything from environmental issues and teenage pregnancies to predictable radio playlists. If you’re not feeling this then you really need to question your sanity. 5 / 5

Million Dan – “Inner City Got Plenty Cases” ( Million Dappa / Hip-Hop Village )

Lifted from his critically-acclaimed album ‘Spektrum’, this latest single from the Dan man finds the former Demon Boyz member abandoning the club vibes of previous releases in favour of a more melodic sound. Utilizing a vintage soul sample, Million warns of the perils of ghetto living in a sincere tone without being overly preachy. Could be big on radio with the right push.  4 / 5

The P Brothers ft. Milano – “Digital B-Boy” ( Heavy Bronx )

As seasoned purveyors of uncut boom-bap bliss, Nottingham’s P Brothers can always be counted on to supply true-school die-hards with their hip-hop vitamins. This sparse collaboration with NYC’s Milano is yet another example of Paul S and DJ Ivory’s ability to create music that’s firmly rooted in rap’s early traditions without sounding dated or cliché. Knocking beats, crashing cymbals, twisted synths and colourfully inventive rhymes make this a certified new-school banger with an old-school twist. Essential.  5 / 5

The Alchemist ft. Evidence – “Calmly Smoke” ( ALC )

Taken from Al’s recent ‘Cutting Room Floor 2’ compilation, this moody tribute to blazing up bags of that sticky icky injects new life into its tried-and-tested subject matter thanks to both the Mobb Deep affiliate’s subtle production touches and some stoned-yet-skilful rhymes from Evidence of Dilated Peoples. Just remember, take two and pass. 3 / 5

The Lox ft. Bully – “Cocaine Music” ( White Label )

When it comes to hard-edged East Coast gangsta rap, few have been as consistent as NY’s Lox crew. Having always maintained a level of lyricism head-and-shoulders above many of their block-huggin’ peers, Jadakiss, Sheek Louch and Styles P might not necessarily be saying anything new, but they do say it with style and flair. ‘Cocaine Music’ continues that trend as the trio drop their usual street-related rhymes with a heavy dose of likeable arrogance over a tense, piano-led track. 3 / 5

Cubbiebear – “The Hulk” ( The Rape )

Sure to appeal to fans of underground acts such as Aesop Rock and El-P, this leftfield cut from rising Baltimore-based MC Cubbiebear is a scathing, sarcasm-packed critique of today’s hip-hop scene, with fake gangstas, unskilled rappers and record labels all taking some serious lyrical blows. The track’s disjointed, chaotic production doesn’t make for easy listening, but this is a definite grower. 3 / 5

Danny Spice – “Down & Out” ( Cog )

A nice jazzy bubbler produced by “the man with the golden sound” Lewis Parker, ‘Down & Out’ finds UK wordsmith Danny Spice encouraging listeners to “take the positive from every situation” as he offers words of wisdom to those caught up in the downward spiral of day-to-day life. Aided by an undeniably catchy hook, Spice’s latest offering shines thanks to its genuine feel-good factor. 3 / 5