UK rapper Skepta returns with his mixtape entitled Blacklisted, bringing a whole new vibe and feel to his ever growing fan base. The mixtape has a much more chilled out and mellow feel to it than what fans would’ve come accustomed to. Skepta, like many UK rappers, had fallen down the dance/pop route and many critics felt like this was the future for him. Despite relative success in the charts Skepta’s routes had always been in grime/rap music and with this mixtape he returns to this… but bigger, better and stronger than ever. The mixtape really feels like Skepta has matured and evolved as an artist, touching on political, social and cultural matters. The beats of the songs are slower and deeper-sounding, with his vocals sounding much more edgy and cold, allowing the lyrics to really hit you. The mixtape has 12 songs on it, which vary from upbeat like Tour Bus Massacre (feat. Krept & Konan), to reflective like Castles, but all-in-all each track brings something different to the table. It’s this variety and audience retention which makes the mixtape extremely durable and well worth the buy. The new Skepta is a colder more reflective one and has had many fans screaming ‘praise The Lord, he’s back!’
First published: January 26, 2013
London born rapper Chip returns with his free mixtape entitled ‘London Boy.’ The mixtape comes on the back of a recent trip across the pond to America, rejuvenating and refreshing his passion for music. Whilst in America Chip linked up with artists such as TI, Meek Mill and Young Jeezy who all feature. The highly anticipated mixtape doesn’t fail to deliver and boasting collaborations with some of Americas and the UKs top artists Chip has plenty of firepower. My personal favourite tracks are ‘On The Scene’ (featuring T.I and Young Jeezy) and My Crew (featuring Skepta), although the mixtape is consistently good throughout its 20 songs. With the help of top American producers the mixtape dose have an American feel to it with a more deeper sound to the beats and vocals, but Chips distinctive flow is still there, he doesn’t lose his way in that respect. The mixtape is a hugely promising start to an exciting few years coming up for Chip and UK rap as they try to bridge the gap between the British and American hip-hop scenes.
First published: January 24, 2013
Jonathan Levine’s ’50/50′ tells the story of a 27 year old male who is diagnosed with a rare cancer in his back, leaving his life in turmoil. His seemingly perfect lifestyle is left in tatters. He is sent to a theropist to help him psychology get over these sudden turn of events, although cynical about her theories and methods a bond is formed between them. Dealing with his over-caring mother, party animal best friend and a strained relationship with his girlfriend the film is extremely touching and thought-provoking, taking you through a variety of emotions along the way. Well worth a watch.
First published: December 12, 2012
The album tells the story of Kendrick Lamar. We go through his life and how he has ended up how he is today through the experiences of his youth and the environment in which he has grown up in. Each song in the album is linked through numerous skits, something which is extremely effective as it gives the listener a deeper vision and meaning to each song, whilst allowing us to follow the story.
‘Good Kid, M.A.A.D City’ talks about Kendrick growing up in a rough and poor area of Compton in the USA. He raps about how he was influenced by this environment and his friends to commit crime, take drugs and drink excessive amounts of alcohol. The song ‘The Art Of Peer Pressure’ talks directly about these problems and how he would be pressured into doing things. A quote from the song ‘usually I’m drug-free, but shit I’m with the homies’ summing this up.
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