Tag Archives: Yungun

New Joint – Essa

Essa – “JUSTICE” (@Essa529 / 2020)

Talented UK emcee Essa (formerly known as Yungun) delivers a personal look at institutional racism in Britain, police brutality and the “civil rights fight in a digital age” – this is powerful!

Album Review – Micall Parknsun & Mr Thing

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Micall Parknsun & Mr Thing

“Finish What We Started”

(Village Live Records)

Genuine creative chemistry is something that’s hard to come by in any artistic partnership. It’s something magical that can’t really be fully explained by those involved, but it can definitely be felt, heard and seen by those on the outside of the process.

Chemistry doesn’t even just come down to having talent – two of the most gifted individuals in their respective fields may choose to work together, but if they’re not on the same page creatively then the end result is likely to be hollow and underwhelming.

Thankfully, that isn’t a problem UK duo Micall Parknsun and Mr Thing need to worry about, with their brilliant new album “Finish What We Started” pulsating from beginning to end with an energy that can only be achieved when people share the same drive, focus and passion for what they do.

As two of the most consistent figures within the UK Hip-Hop scene, both Parksnun and Thing have spent years building concrete-solid reputations as reliable purveyors of true-school flavour, with the pair deciding to join forces last year for the well-received single “The Raw” (which is included here in all its rugged glory).

The overwhelmingly positive response to “The Raw” inspired the duo to complete “Finish What We Started”, with DMC DJ champ Mr Thing handling all of the production, leaving Micall Parknsun, a talented producer in his own right, to concentrate on delivering lyrically throughout the project.

The anthemic album-opener “Started” sets the tone in no uncertain terms, as London-raised rhymer Park-E drops confident, self-assured bars over full-bodied, sample-driven beats.

The head-nodding “Certain For The Win” showcases some of Thing’s best work behind the boards, with the former Scratch Perverts member blending slow, deliberate drums and a hypnotic piano sample, topping it all off with some deft cuts.

“Don’t You Care” is a relentless, bass-heavy, soul-laced banger, featuring Parknsun showing the rap game some tough love via no-nonsense rhymes which come from a genuine place of love and concern for the culture (“What happened to the emcees? What happened to stage presence over dope beats? How come we keep on forgetting ’bout its history? It seems we never learn our lesson ‘cos we don’t teach…”).

“Klingon Face” is an up-tempo floor-rocker, with MP being joined by fellow UK wordsmith Joker Starr to trade quick-fire lyrics over explosive break-beats, paying tribute to Hip-Hop’s golden-era in the process. All that’s missing here is a multi-syllable late-80s verse from either Big Daddy Kane or Rakim.

The head-nodding “I’m So Glad” signals a shift in the album’s mood, with Essa (pka Yungun) and Parknsun displaying sincere gratitude for their blessings, which include marriage, fatherhood and family bonds, whilst the stirring “Still Struggling” balances the uncertainty of life as an artist with the responsibilities and financial pressures of the wider world.

An album with real replay value, “Finish What We Started” is the sound of both Micall Parknsun and Mr Thing at the top of their game, mixing old-school values with now-school skills.

Let’s hope neither of them have finished just yet.

Ryan Proctor

New Joint – Essa / Kashmere

Essa ft. Kashmere – “LeLeLe” (@Essa529 / 2015)

Flako-produced bass-heavy action from the UK emcee’s recent “Evade & Seek” EP.

New Joint – Essa / Brotherman

Essa ft. Brotherman – “Evade & Seek” (@Essa529 / 2015)

Talk Black Guy-produced title track from the UK emcee’s EP follow-up to last year’s “The Misadventures Of A Middle Man” album.

New Joint – Essa / Doc Brown / D.Ablo

Essa ft. Doc Brown & D.Ablo – “Man Enough” (EssaMusic.BandCamp.Com / 2014)

Live performance of a soulful cut off the UK emcee’s new project “The Misadventures Of A Middle Man” filmed at the album’s recent launch at London’s Jazz Cafe.

New Joint – Essa

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Essa ft. D.Ablo – “Prayers Of A Non-Believer” (First Word Records / 2014)

The UK tackles the topic of faith and religion with his usual lyrical insight on this smooth Eric Lau-produced track from the forthcoming album “The Misadventures Of A Middle Man”.

New Joint – Essa

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Essa – “The World Belongs To You” (@Essa529 / 2014)

The charismatic UK emcee drops the lead single from his long-awaited album “The Misadventures Of A Middle Man”.

#FRMX3 EP Download – Essa

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The UK emcee formerly known as Yungun drops the third in his freestyle / remix EP series featuring input from Mr. Thing, SkinnyMan and Inspectah Deck – download here.

New Joint – Essa

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Essa (formerly Yungun) ft. LSK – “Deep” (@Essa529 / 2013)

Understated lyrical brilliance produced by DJ Snips and taken from the UK emcee’s forthcoming #FRMX3″ project.

New Joint – Essa

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Essa (formerly Yungun) – “Diesel” (@Essa529 / 2013)

The talented UK emcee gives Tall Black Guy’s 2009 “101_Speed” instrumental the lyrical treatment for his forthcoming “#FRMX3” project.

Time For Something New EP Sampler – Essa (a.k.a. Yungun)

The talented UK emcee makes a welcome return to the mic with his new EP “Time For Something New” featuring a variety of musical styles with input from Waajeed, SkinnyMan, Inspectah Deck and more – peep the sampler here.

FRMX2 EP Download – Yungun

Quality free music from the talented London emcee that puts a unique twist on some of his favourite tracks from random artists such as Cody Chestnutt and Hudson Mohawke – download here.

RappertagUK #15 – Yungun / Devise

Talented emcee Yungun is the latest lyricist to drop some potent bars for the “RappertagUK” series live from a London rooftop with a special appearance from Dupa Styles collaborator Devise.

The FRMX EP Download – Yungun & Mr. Thing

Words From Yungun:

“What’s a FRMX?  Well it’s halfway between a freestyle and a remix. Have a listen and it’ll make sense. These are alternative versions of a few tracks from the “Grown Man Business” album and the “Jack The World” mixtape. Me and Mr. Thing did them just for fun – hope you enjoy them too!”

Download here.

Jack The World Mixtape Download – Yungun / Mr. Thing

Talented UK emcee Yungun drops his long-awaited mixtape project “Jack The World” in conjunction with turntable favourite Mr. Thing with input from Doc Brown, Guru, I.G. Culture, Wajeed and more – download here.

New Joint – Yungun

Yungun – “Time To Rearrange” (Yungun.BandCamp.Com / 2011)

Third leak from the UK emcee’s “Jack The World” online mixtape project which drops tomorrow.

Words From Yungun:

“I originally wrote this track for the album of the same name by Aaron Jerome on BBE. After we did the party track “Late Night Mission” I wanted to do something more downtempo and contemplative.  A lot of people these days just focus on instant-gratification sing-along tunes because they think people’s attention spans are short, but I’ve always loved writing things that are a little more thought provoking. For YG fans, this is in the vein of “City Breaks”, “What Eye See” and “Peter Pan Syndrome”. Well anyway, it took me a while to come up with the concept and I didn’t manage to submit the track in time for the mastering deadline. Quite ironic given the subject matter! I think it stands up as a track in its own right so it’s time to let you guys hear it. Enjoy!”

New Joint – Yungun / Mr. Thing

Yungun – “Open Your Eyes – Mr. Thing Remix” (Yungun.BandCamp.Com / 2011)

The UK emcee reinterprets an Organized Konfusion classic for his forthcoming mixtape project “Jack The World”.

Words From Yungun:

“This track started life as a demo for an album project that I was working on with I.G. Culture, legendary West London producer and pioneer of the broken beat sound – and many other sounds too, I might add!  I.G. had the idea of doing a broken beat take on the classic Organized Konfusion track of the same name.  He put together a beat and I laid down some demo verses but then disaster struck – we were about three quarters of the way through the I.G./Y.G. project when I.G.’s hard drive died and we lost all the data.  Lesson learned…back up…back up…back up…then back up your back-up! Luckily, I still had some early demos from sessions I’d done in my own studio.  I took the parts to Mr. Thing and we put together this remix, blending in elements of I.G.’s beat with some of the original breaks that the Organized track was based on (beat-heads, you know what it is … ).  So what you’re hearing now is kind of a phoenix from the flames – I like to think that makes it hot!”


New Joint – Yungun

Colonel Red vs Yungun – “Holla Remix” (Yungun Music / 2010)

Something new from one of the UK’s finest emcees in preparation for the forthcoming release of his mixtape with Mr. Thing entitled “Jack The World”.

Words From Yungun:

“IN THE BLUE CORNER! … international soul heavyweight … future music pioneer … the legendary … Colonel Red! IN THE RED CORNER! … he flows like a lullaby … spits like a cobra … the one and only… Yungun (yup, that’s me … !).
This is my official remix of a track called “Holla” that Colonel Red recently leaked via his bandcamp page . It’s a homage to one of the greatest of all soul records. It takes guts, talent and flair to take on such an iconic track. I think you’ll agree that Colonel Red pulls it off in fine style. I heard his version and just had to … well … “holla” … (sorry, couldn’t resist!). He kindly agreed to let me add a little hollering of my own and we decided to send it out there to see how people react.”

Old To The New Q&A – Mr. Thing

Having gained notoriety in the late-90s as a member of the formidable Scratch Perverts deejay collective, London-based deck-wrecker Mr. Thing has always refused to allow the glare of the industry spotlight to distract him from his musical goals, with the 2000 DMC champ choosing instead to remain true to his passion for playing (and making) good quality Hip-Hop, as well as his addiction to unearthing dusty, often forgotten breaks.

As a producer Thing has worked successfully with homegrown emcees such as Yungun and Life, whilst as a deejay the down-to-earth vinyl junkie’s near-flawless skills have seen him in constant demand at club nights up and down the UK.

It’s the combination of Thing’s ear for great music and technical skill that no doubt encouraged the BBE label to offer him the opportunity to put together his own compilation, the recently released “Strange Breaks & Mr. Thing”. Having already collaborated with the legendary DJ Premier on the label’s 2005 release “The Kings Of Hip-Hop”, it was only right that the imprint should give the respected wax-spinner the chance to helm a solo project.

An eclectic mix of gems discovered during countless hours of digging, bartering and haggling in record stores, charity shops and garage sales across the globe, “Strange Breaks…” is definitely the work of an individual who can hear a back-of-the-stack banger from a mile away.

Here, Mr. Thing momentarily blows the dust off his fingers to give Old To The New a brief insight into the art of looking for the perfect beat.

What was your selection process when it came to choosing the tracks that ended up on “Strange Breaks…”?

When Pete from BBE first put the idea to me about doing the comp I had to go in for a meeting about it, so I decided to make up a compilation CD of the kind of thing I thought would be cool, like some covers of famous breaks, funky reggae tunes, funky rock breaks, all kinds of odd stuff I liked and had found over the years. I gave it to Pete at the meeting, and literally about 75% of what was on that CD made it onto the comp. We had clearance issues with some of the more obscure stuff that’s now owned by major labels so I went back and dug out a few more tracks. I wanted to put a broad mix of stuff on the album so it wasn’t all one kind of thing, so you’ve got some library music, reggae, funk, rock, soul, and even religious music on there! It’s not so much mega rare “trophy” records, but just interesting stuff that you could find if you went out digging and were persistent enough.

You’re an experienced crate digger now – what tips would you offer people who want to start digging themselves?

I would start the way I started out, going through the record collections of your family and friends. I was pretty lucky because three of my uncles had pretty big and diverse collections for me to check out. A lot of it is detective work and you get to learn what labels, musicians and producers to look out for. I’m a cover versions nut, so I always look for versions of tunes that I liked in the first place and sometimes you get results that way. Always take a portable record player with you, although some dealers or shop owners are a bit funny about you listening to stuff (“You either want it or you don’t!”), so it’s good to ask if it’s cool to use them. But if not and the record’s cheap enough, it’s always worth a go!

Yungun & Mr. Thing – “Forget Me Not” (Silent Soundz / 2006)

Do you have any amusing digging stories you could share?

I have a gross story from driving home from digging the other day. I was stopped at a roundabout and I looked over and saw a woman having a dump at the side of the road with a can of super strength in her hand in the middle of the day!

But other than that I always seem to attract nutters on a dig, especially in charity shops, but they’re not really funny, just scary! One guy clocked me in one shop and was really staring at me. I went to the next shop and he was there, same thing again, then the next shop. So I went somewhere else in the town, went to another spot and he was in there too and then he started shouting at me to stop following him around! He was a big f**ker too, so I just left and let him get on with it. The mad thing was that he was buying books not records!

Are there any records out there that you’re still looking for?

I recently got my top want “Moody” by Gentle Rain, or whichever way round it really is as I don’t know two people who can tell me for certain. I was looking for that for maybe fifteen years! But I’ve got a little book I take out with me that’s got my wants list in, but there’s a couple of big records I’m really after which are “Ball Of Eyes” by the 70s Belgian band Placebo, and I’d also love to replace my copy of “Sexy Coffee Pot” by Tony Alvon & The Belairs – I had that but some bastard stole it! They’re both three figure records and I just can’t find them cheap enough and can’t afford the record dealer prices.

Mr Thing In The Mix On DJ MK’s Kiss FM Rap Show

What’s your most treasured piece of vinyl and why?

I think my Gentle Rain LP just because I was looking for it for so long. But other than that, at the total other end of the collecting spectrum is my Al Green “I’m Still In Love With You” LP. That was one of the first things I found when I used to dig at my local indoor market in Sevenoaks. It’s totally battered and someone’s written all over the cover, but it’s one of the first and best break LPs I found before I started to really find good good stuff. I’ve found and sold many copies of it since but I’ve always kept my original one.

Any new production projects coming up?

I’ve just finished up a track for Jehst’s next album which I’m really happy with, and I’ve got two tracks with Life that are next on my to-do list. I’ve got a few other bits on the go that are still only in the demo stage, but my main ongoing project is the mixtape I’m doing with Yungun. We’re just getting the last couple of bits mixed, then I’ll mix it and we’re gonna put it out there for free as a promo thing. It’s basically a bunch of remixes and new versions of songs off our “Grown Man Business” LP and a few exclusives. When we’re done with it you’ll be the first to know!

Ryan Proctor

Quincey Tones Interview (Originally Printed In Hip-Hop Connection Issue 220 / Death Row Cover / March 2008)


In case you hadn’t noticed, the world is becoming an increasingly smaller place thanks to almost daily advances in technology, a situation that west London-based music man Quincey Tones has been very happy to use to his advantage. Introduced to hip-hop in the mid-90s and captivated by the sounds of legendary sample wizards such as DJ Premier and Pete Rock, Tones decided to try turning his beat-making hobby into a viable career in 2003. Unfortunately, Quincey’s sound, which he describes as “very soulful and melodic”, wasn’t exactly met with open arms by the homegrown rap fraternity.

“I was reaching out to a lot of UK rappers,” recalls Tones, “but I felt they weren’t really giving me a chance. Everyone seemed to be working with their own clique and didn’t want to hear what I had to offer. I felt quite downhearted, but then I decided to see if any of the American guys who I’d been listening to were interested. I started sending people my stuff on MySpace and almost straight away artists were coming back saying they liked what I was doing. They didn’t care that I was this British guy they knew nothing about, it was just all about the music.”

The amiable producer soon found himself placing beats on albums from respected stateside acts such as Casual (Hieroglyphics) and Apathy (Demigodz), which led to further interest from the likes of Masta Ace and DITC’s O.C..

“In some ways it can be difficult,” says Quincey when asked about the limitations of working with emcees located halfway around the globe. “I always try to get as involved as I can in the concept of a track and stay in regular contact with whoever I’m working with. When artists send vocals back to me I’ll give them some input in terms of what I might think could be done better. Everyone involved just has to be honest with each other and open to constructive criticism.”

2008 will see Tones release his as-yet-untitled debut album; a project he says will feature US, UK and European artists, including Kidz In The Hall lyricist Naledge and Ghostface protégé Trife, plus some “singer-songwriter types you wouldn’t normally expect to hear on a hip-hop project.”

With contributions to releases from Yungun, Torae and The Arsonists also wrapped up, the coming year definitely looks set to be a busy one for the bespectacled beat junkie. Proving that rap’s favourite gangster Tony Montana was right, the world really is yours.

Ryan Proctor