Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Han's Hip-Hop Report: Introducing Rieces Pieces!

Everybody is a producer these days, right? Wrong, they just think they are! After all, it takes more than a laptop, Pro-Tools and some imitation Timbaland beats to make good music. Fresh from the success of his official remix of ‘XXXO’ for M.I.A, eclectic urban producer extraordinaire Rieces Pieces is already back in the lab cooking up some exciting new projects for some of the biggest artists around. He speaks with The Wrap Up’s resident hip-hop specialist, Han O’Connor...

Continuing reading right HERE on the MTV UK Site...

In the mean time, check out this unmissable Remix from RP himself!

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Get Superhan Super Fit (Again) Blog Campaign!

My Goal...wishful thinking perhaps?

Surely everybody knows that horrible moment when you come to the realisation that you have let yourself go a little...not to epic proportions (no pun intended) but rather just become a little out of shape.
Sadly that dawning realisation recently came to me, when I had to admit defeat woth my best trousers - the super fly ones I always used to rock at major events, that can sadly no longer put in an appearance because my ass has ceased to co-operate with them and decided to expand somewhat. So, instead of wallowing in self-pity at the prospect of purchasing a size larger, I figured the best bet was to be pro-active and aim to get back in shape. 
The goal is to get my BMI back down to 18 and be able to bench 45kgs again - and of course be able to wear the aforementioned trousers once more - before the start of 2011, a pre-New Year resolution so to speak...and document every step of the way right here on my Superhan Says blog (just for the fun of it).
So, please feel free to join me or show your support in my very public attempt at triumph (or possibly humiliation...though I try to be optimistic) by reading the entries and dropping a comment with your own personal suggestions, mp3 playlist ideas or even just words of encouragement if you are feeling particularly nice.
There may be tears, there will definitely be sweat, with my injury track-record it is highly likely that there will be blood and if you are really lucky, there may be video!
So, here goes...

An Open Letter to the Indie Emcees...

Somebody has to just come out and say it: working within the music industry can be totally soul-destroying the vast majority of the time. You invest all that time, energy, hard-earned paper and  - arguably most importantly - passion into the sole career that you have envisaged for yourself since way back when. You feel it's both your destiny and indeed obligation to move the world through your craft and are prepared to let nothing deter nor hinder you in doing so...despite the setbacks, which unfortunatley seem never to be in short supply.

It does beg the question, why exactly you bother continuing down this treacherous path. In fact, I've often asked myself that very same question on countless occasions; primarily the ones where you feel that nobody is taking the time to listen to the fruits of all that effort or support an authentic, creative and honest hustle.

Put simply, I respect you and frankly I empathise with your struggle. In all honesty, our jobs (and of course the aforementioned obstacles that plague them) aren't all that different and furthermore I know what it's like to invest every penny you earn from your work straight back into your career only to be overlooked by somebody that can shout their own praises louder or had 'the image.' I've even lost that opportunity or two due to an unwillingness to conform or bown-nose, just like you undoubtedly have along the way too. Most importantly, however, having had those less than favourable experiences that we almost certainly share, just like you I can't help but go back for more every damn time, and why?

Metaphorically speaking of course, I'd rather be a Donny Goines than a Soulja Boy any day. I refuse swap my integrity for a payola job or the promise of a VIP room and a few free drinks like many of my peers and urge you to do the same. Why write this piece? Well, today I was sorely tempted to leave it all behind - as I admittedly have been numerous time in past - but instead decided to leave behind the mainstream and its B.S. for a moment to immerse myself in your music (top-quality indie music, uncorrupted by the influence of the majors or first-week sales).

I listened to The Redland. I listened to Ras Kass, I listened to some Rieces Pieces productions and of course I listened to the very talented Mr Goines; I then thought well if they haven't called it the proverbial 24, then why should I? Moreover, how dare I have the audacity to consider removing one of the few platforms they have to make themselves heard (without signing a cheque first...not that I believe they ever would). Instead, I figured I should to take this moment firstly to thank you for providing endless inspiration through your lyrics and reminding me precisely why I continue to write in this business and secondly to offer you my undying support and encouragement. On a final note, I just hope that my words can inspire you in the same way.

Frankly, we are the future of Hip-Hop and try as they may nobody can take that from us.

Yours sincerely,

Han O'Connor

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Journalistic laziness...

...or have we just ceased to give a s**t?

Following a quick glance at the cover of XXL recently, like many Hip-Hop heads that are undecided about our feelings toward Kanye West I was certainly intruiged. Whilst part of me did want to see exactly what "the man himself" had to say, especially as interviews and therefore insights into his thought processes - heated rants aside of course - are generally few, I couldn't help but feel conflicted about the piece itself and its journalistic merit.

Whilst it is one thing to provide an in-depth and insightful feature interview with 'Ye, it is another entirely to just let him provide any editorially undestilled features himself, no matter how interesting or articulate. First we let the artists dictate what we write by way of press releases and the promise of 'no-go' topics and then we just let them write it themselves first as last? Now if that does not constitute journalistic laziness, I do not know what does.

As writers, surely we should be able to make our own statements, provide our own commentaries on the culture and cause a stir in our own right, rather than merely taking the proverbial leap onto the Kanye controversy bandwagon. That is not to say, however, that the XXL piece was uninteresting or unispiring but rather that Mr West already lays claim to several job-titles - producer, rapper, blogger, Fendi intern, award show MC...albeit unofficially - does he really need mine as well?

Alize Party at 411 Nightclub, Cardiff

Having worked pretty much incessantly for the last week or two on various features and interview transcripts, an invitation from 411 Nightclub for their Alize Party last night was naturally extremely well-received. Not only was it particularly nice to go in a relatively non-business capacity and take a rare opportunity to unwind and enjoy the atmosphere, but also to catch up with general manager Leigh and owner/ DJ extraordinaire Moniz...and be told I dance very well "for a white girl" apparently - a rare phenomenon in itself, seriously just ask anyone that has seen me dance!

Discovering 411 on my return to C-Town was like a rebirth; no more commercial shite and better still, a rare touch of class and vibrancy in an otherwise rather monochromatic scene. The Alize Party was of course no exception, providing a blend of the Dancehall riddims du jour and a mix of Hip-Hop and R'n'B that certainly hit the right spot. With a music selection spanning from Akon to Vybz Kartel, an atmosphere that remains unmatched and a successful combination of nostalgic throwbacks and current offerings, it was yet another great night from the club, which is fast-becoming my favourite place to be in the city.

If you happen to be find yourself in Cardiff next weekend, be sure to stop by (arguably) the city's premier urban club for what is undoutedbly going to be hottest urban Halloween event in town - in my humble opinion that is. Plus I'm not usually this nice in reviews, so that alone should speak volumes...

Photo: Han O'Connor, Flyers: 411 Nightclub

Throwback: NFA - Cause An Effect

Fresh from my little hiatus - long story involving A&E, German translations and dissertation research, upon which I'd rather not dwell  - I had to return with a little something special, which a friend of mine brought to my attention during a conversation about  ├╝ber hot indie music that people NEED in their life but inevitably overlook due to the readily available packaged shite that is often pushed forward by the majors.

The track in question is an infectious offering from N.F.A. (No Fixed Abode), which not only features some refreshing wordplay from figurehead emcee N'FA but also a delightfully gritty yet extremely addictive beat. Furthermore, the particularly artistic video for this overall excellent composition, which carries an ever so politically correct "Epileptic Seizure Warning," was interestingly directed by actor Heath Ledger - a childhood friend of N'FA - shortly before his tragic death in 2008. 'Cause An Effect' is certainly worth a listen/watch...

For more info or to hear more from N.F.A, just go to

Sunday, 10 October 2010

New Music: Me'Mo 'My Boom Box'

Following the success of his 2008 mixtape Tha Epidemic, Nigerian emcee Me'Mo is back once again with his latest - and much-anticipated - offering My Boom Box. The project serves to solidify not only his presence within the international rap game but also his marketability and commercial potential. Distinctly Naija, whilst not out of touch with the US scene (even boasting a little Southern flavour), his delivery is precise yet a little rough around the edges, which perfectly reflects the grittiness of the genre in question and is therefore no disadvantage whatsoever.

Having had the pleasure to watch this talented young emcee grow as an artist over the past few years, I for one cannot wait to see his career flourish and develop further in the near future. My Boom Box is sure to mark a successful new chapter in his already noteworthy story.

To download the mixtape, just go to or click HERE
For more information about Me'Mo and his music, go to

Saturday, 9 October 2010

Terrance Dean: A True Inspiration (The Prequel)

Prior to writing my next column, I had to pay tribute to somebody that has been such a great inspiration to me and in many ways paved the way for young LGBT people, such as myself, to truly make a difference...

I love my job! A simple declaration perhaps, side-stepping all the tremendously tedious and frustratingly brutal baggage that tends to come attached, but frankly all industry BS aside I genuinely do enjoy my work. That being said, however, perhaps one of the best parts is when I'm able to throw aside all expectations and explore the two conflicting sides of my identity. In my humble opinion Hip-Hop has always been about fearless self-expression....unless you're gay apparently (that's right, I said it)! One of the best things, however about being known for your big mouth, is the ability to speak the unspoken and shatter taboos with relatively little consequence - or at least not give a proverbial f*** about said repercussions.

With that in mind, it is understandable that a conversation with best-selling author Terrance Dean is always something to look forward to. Having not long put the phone down from an extremely inspiring and insightful conversation, I couldn't help but reflect on what he has done for not only the culture but also for many young LGBT people within the Hip-Hop community - myself included. I will freely admit that 'Hiding in Hip-Hop' changed my life and I know I am not alone in that admission; it not only broke down barriers and misconceptions, it shattered them and ever since Terrance has worked tirelessly to help build bridges and challenge preconceptions about LGBT identity. The main struggle for many young people, however, is not the social injustice but rather the internal conflict they face - and most notably the shame that sadly often comes attached. It is therefore perhaps worth mentioning that he has also worked extremely hard to reassure young people in that position today, such as my interview today, his 'I Love My Gay Best Friend Forever' contest and videos like this PSA:

Furthermore, it is also worth adding that he was so passionate about tackling this very difficult and incredibly important issue that throughout the duration of our interview, he did NOT once mention that he has just released a new book, which is very commendable indeed!

Look out for my next column on the subject of LGBT identity in Hip-Hop, complete with some very special insights from the talented Mr Dean (and of course be sure to look out for his new book 'Straight From Your Gay Best Friend'). After all, if we can't educate the culture then who can?!

To hear more about Terrance's new book or his 'I Love My Gay Best Friend Forever' Contest, you can go to his blog

 'Straight From Your Gay Best Friend' is out NOW!

Friday, 8 October 2010

New Music: Marvell 'We Know'

 If you are a fan of good music, based in the UK and haven't heard of Marvell, then now is your cue to hang your head in shame! Having had the pleasure of catching up with the guys in London a few days back, I had to show some love and spread the word on the new Superhan blog.

Injecting the usual UK sound with some much needed soul and character, along with a healthy dose of their signature charisma, the talented trio comprised of Double S, Shocka and Vertex are already making a fair bit of noise within the scene. The release of their single 'We Know,' however, is sure to solidify Marvell as a name to watch out for in 2011.

'We Know' is due to drop on Monday 10/10/10, be sure to go and buy it - just be prepared to be singing the hook for, it will happen!

 Image: Marvell Music

New Music: Stylah

Just about to jump on an interview with UK emcee Stylah. A long time in the making, his album Treading Water is now available for download on iTunes and is definitely worth a listen in my humble opinion...after all it's not often I touch on the UK scene, so it must be something else!

In the meantime be sure to check out his incredible interpretation of 'As We Enter:'

   SMILER & STYLAH - AS WE ENTER [REMIX] by djsemtex

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Rieces Pieces: New Music!

It's not often in Hip-Hop that you come across a producer that continually challenges you as a listener and transgresses the boundaries of genre. On such an occaision, it is even rarer that said producer radiates an air of humility, focus and a genuine passion for music. Rieces Pieces embodies each of these qualities and more, which is more than evident in his eclectic production anthology. Be sure to look out for my forthcoming interview with the hottest upcoming producer in the game and his EP b.e.a.t.s + PIECES, scheduled to drop in the coming few weeks.

Check out RP's latest music HERE and see what the fuss is about for yourself.

The Redland on NBA 2K11 Soundtrack

Be sure to check out The Redland's fantastic single 'So Far' on NBA 2K11, which is available in US stores now and drops tomorrow (October 8th 2010) in Europe! These guys are seriously talented - real grown and sexy hip-hop - and are not to be overlooked. They undoubtedly will be a problem for less-talented emcess in 2011! The single is also available on iTunes now, so please buy it and in doing so, support real music.

Han's Hip-Hop Report: Does Rap Need A Detox?

In case you missed the last edition of Han's Hip-Hop Report on The Wrap Up:

With hip-hop veteran Dr. Dre’s latest announcement that his previously leaked material, including the track ‘Under Pressure,’ would not feature on his elusive project ‘Detox,’ it does beg the question whether the album will ever actually materialise. Was Pac right, however, when he claimed it was “no longer Dre day,” or is the game still in desperate need of a detox?

Read more on MTV UK's The Wrap Up site!