Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Unmissable: Kayo

As you have probably ascertained by now, I don't deal with the UK scene much at all - frankly I'm really not all too enamoured with the direction it is taking. That being said, one UK artist that I am really impressed by in terms of lyricism and style is Kayo aka KoKEN. Just to get a taster, take a listen to the track below and as usual any feedback is more than welcome.

   Latest tracks by Kayo Music

You can keep up with Kayo on Twitter (@LinesOfKoKEN)


"I hear my breathing. It’s loud, hard and fast. I don’t know why I’m doing this, but I have to go through with it. I’ve summoned every entertainment reporter and photographer to the Ritz Carlton this morning for a news conference. Hell, every media outlet across the country received the press release..."
There are few situations left that would send shockwaves through the urban music industry. The death of a legendary artist? Nope! Sorry, Tupac. Sorry, Biggie. I mean, you’re both sorely missed but we handled. The retirement of a superstar? C’mon Jay-Z, precisely who you thought you were kidding I do not know. No, there is only one scenario that could shake the rap world to its very core: the public announcement of one of the hip-hop elite’s homosexuality....

To read the full special edition review, just go to MTV UK's The Wrap Up now. 

The E-book version of 'MOGUL' is currently available for purchase and hard copies can be pre-ordered in the UK from August 25.

Wednesday, 2 March 2011



“This is Lieutenant Gaviston of Bravo Command second division, thirteenth brigade. While on a recon mission in Kabul, Afghanistan, I have discovered classified information that changes everything that I believe about this WAR. I’m gonna upload this information of great importance to Horus, a military satellite, which has the technology to transmit information through time. If you are hearing this, you have been genetically predisposed to receive this information. What you are hearing is a warning!”

Introduced by an intriguing concept piece delivered by Idris Elba, the latest offering from one of the game’s best wordsmiths Pharoahe Monch, ‘W.A.R (We Are Renegades)’ has the impact of a 50-megaton warhead...

To read more, got to the full review of 'W.A.R (We Are Renegades)' on MTV UK's The Wrap Up!

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Joell Ortiz Show: London, Cargo

Is anybody else extremely excited about the Joell Ortiz show at London's Cargo next week? I must admit that it's been a while since I've been looking forward to an event this much. Not only a fantastic solo artist but also having recently made major moves as a part of Slaughterhouse, Mr Yaowa is one of the most exciting figures in the scene at the moment. Plus, just when you thought it couldn't get any better, support will be offered up by one of my favourite UK hip-hop artists Stylah! This will be a good day for hip-hop in Britain...

Be sure to get your tickets to see Joell Ortiz do what he does best at Cargo, London on March 10th 2011 NOW because this is one event that is not to be missed.

Friday, 25 February 2011

Kanye West - All Of The Lights ft. Rihanna, Kid Cudi

I don't what's best about this video: the relatively impressive use of graphics, the oh-so-subtle label marketing, Rihanna's very tiny outfit or the fact that it now has to come with an Epilepsy Action disclaimer? That being said, surely the latest Kanye West single could have warranted something a tad more powerful and a little less mainstream. After 'Power' and Ye's claims about creativity in his XXL cover piece - that I naturally had a thought or two on myself - I must admit that I was somewhat disappointed with the video for 'All of the Lights'....again, Rihanna's outfit aside, which certainly warrented a refresh or two.

Danny Boyle's Frankenstein

I did vow when I agreed to take up my blog again (despite having funding applications up to my eyeballs, a paper to deliver and several dissertation chapters to go) that I would also be integrating my academic research, as well as my freelance journalism work. I surely need not outline the relationship between my two areas of interest or explain my opinions on the academic merit of hip hop again, although if unsure you can read up HERE. Being perhaps one of the darker genres out there in terms on lyricism and the issues raised, I have often felt that hip hop had a close relationship with the conventions of the gothic. I know I have used them as prime examples of the relationship between the genre and Shakespeare before, but you only have to listen to the words of Chino XL or Immortal Technique for example to see the influence - let alone the Horrorcore sub-genre!

Anyway, the success of the award-winning director Danny Boyle's staging of the classic novel 'Frankenstein,' which will be screened live in cinemas worldwide in March, has also provided some great evidence for the relevancy of the gothic in mainstream culture. Whilst I appreciate that literature and theatre are not for everyone, this re-adaptation is a great way to take in this thrilling story, which poses so many questions that remain relevant in our everyday life today. With a 5-star review from The Times newspaper - a rarity in itself - this is not to be missed!

'Frankenstein' will be screened in UK and US cinemas on March 17th and 24th.

Thursday, 24 February 2011

New Music: Donny Goines - Ich!ban prod by F.R.E.A.K.

Officially loving the latest single from Donny Goines! Delivered with style and precision 'Ich!ban' is yet another convincing argument as to why the New York emcee is one of the key players on the independent scene. Building on an already impressive anthology of tracks, his forthcoming album 'Success Served Cold,' which coincidentally drops on my birthday (March 22nd 2011) is certainly worth some spins. Kudos Donny...this is going to be in heavy rotation on my workout playlist for some time!

Be sure to support the artist and purchase 'Ich!ban' on iTunes NOW!