Forever fans of NomiS, and once again he completely smashes it. Stylistically, lyrically and great cuts and production from DJ Rek. Whether you’re a massive football, or couldn’t care less this should be obligatory listening. C’om now.
The more conscious end of the musical spectrum, preferring reflective observations to aggressive energy – indeed is something that we noted from first listen. Operating on the boundary between urban positive grime based grooves and more straight forward, lyrically orientated hip-hop this is example of how to drop a project.
Addressing the concerns of British urban youth while carefully setting them a good example is never going to be easy but For The Love Of Music it’s done and done well. It’s an archetype bolstered by big drums, stirring string crescendoes and schmaltzy piano melodies seemingly lifted from TV-movie dramas with lyricism.
Music and Hip-Hop isn’t just about the poetry, it’s also about performance, and with a string of forthcoming dates up and down the country it’s no wonder their presence in the scene is increasingly. If you download one mixtape this week make sure this is it.
02. Let It Go
03. Rainy Days
04. Intermission Pt1
06. Took A Chance
07. Intermission Pt2
08. Get Married
09. I Messed Up
11. Thank You
The project is set on a “name your price” giving you all the choice on how you see fit to support our art. Give as little or as much as you like.
FTLOM vol1 advert
FTLOM WEAR – http://www.ftlom.spreadshirt.co.uk
Remember the “Thank You” music video is out right now.
The Short Version
The Extended Version
Sup pups, had a nice weekend? Basked in the glorious weather and took off all your clothes because for at least 45 minutes the sun peaked its big yellow face out from behind the clouds? Well, I guess if you’re not currently jamming on the little rock that is the UK you won’t quite understand the urgency with which the British people are ready to get naked if we see the slightest sign of sun. If it’s not raining it’s BBQ time! Hey I’m not knocking it, I wore only the shortest shorts all weekend.
Anyway. Now I’ve set the scene, imagine all of this was going on whilst myself and our resident beat boxer Matt went down to The Elements Festival in South London. Organised by the Breakin’ KCL crew and most notably Ms Kate Mulligan (if I get any of this wrong feel free to tell me). Due to Mr Ryder coming over from Bristol to see me, and us having a hot date with the science museum (it was fucking ace incase you were wondering) at the beginning of the day we only caught the last act of the day which was The Mouse Outfit, featuring Dr Syntax, Sparkz and a cheeky guest feature of Truthos Mufasa. However considering we only got there for the last 90 minutes or so I can still safely say we had a brilliant time.
I know we bang on about this all the time, but I love the underground hip-hop scene (in all fairness we are a underground hip-hop site, I’m sure none of this is a surprise to any of you). Yes there are a lot of faults within it just like any scene, but I’d like to think that the ratio of dickhead to genuinely nice person is pretty good. I’ll be very happy when the phrase ‘no homo’ is no longer acceptable, and misogyny isn’t still seen as the norm; but on the whole I’d much rather be a gay kid at The Elements Festival then at a Rick Ross show that’s for sure. There are improvements being made, and progression is happening.
The organisers and so too the attendees did a great job of creating a welcoming and inclusive atmosphere, and reminded me why I love the hip-hop scene so much. Everyone there had a giant smile on their face, and Matt and I left with our jaws hurting after spending the whole time grinning like little kids. The Mouse Outfit were a great band and did a fantastic job of mixing classic funk with new school hip-hop to create something that had us doing our best foot-shoulder-skanky-hand-dance thing. Dr Syntax, Sparkz and Truthos were all on top form and I was really impressed with Truthos who I hadn’t heard before. He spat some brilliant double time. The band itself were great musicians (There was a trumpet player! How fucking rad is that? VERY fucking rad) and played as tight live as any recorded track that I’ve heard; they also did a top job (top job? Yeah why not, rhyming is cool) of getting the crowd hyped.
Although that being said they didn’t really need much encouragement; and the impromptu ‘Macarena-style’ dance was both funny and awesome all in one go. Basically, in my humble opinion if you ever hold a party or need something to cheer you up then I suggest you invite your local breakin’ crew to sort you out. Being a graff kid I’d like to think we’re the coolest element of hip-hop (hold tight those of you getting your feathers ruffled this is all light hearted jest) but I think most people will agree that bboys and bgirls can manage to get away with wearing and doing anything just because well, well they’re bboys/bgirls, and the whole day was testament to the skills and talents of these kids.
Talking of graff, it did get a nice feature and it made me happy to see that it had a little shine too. Boxes of paint were on hand for anyone to have a cheeky go and do a few throw ups or maybe just write ‘FE U R SO FIT I AM NOT EVEN JKN DOE. Whatever took your fancy. It would have been nice if the walls had been a bit closer to the main part of the festival so more people had given it more attention, but I have a feeling that wasn’t necessarily the ‘fault’ of the organisers and more so Kings College where the event was being held. Also not forgetting Matthew and I did arrive late, so perhaps it did get a little more love whilst we were busy being impressed with science and dressing up as WW1 fighter pilots (That was so great. SO. GREAT.) Either way the fact that the Elements crew gave it a section made me pleased enough and did a good job of encompassing all aspects of hip-hop which I personally greatly appreciated.
Edit:Earlier on in the day before we arrived they did have more empathises on the different elements. “DJ sections at the other end of the venue where there were DJ cyphers, 7 to smoke dance battle, and a jam session and DJ tutorials. So graffiti was smack in the middle of the event with graffiti tutorials for those who are less knowledgeable about the art form. And there are open mic in the bar too. Tried to make sure all elements were equally covered.” Thanks to Kate for updating us!
This was the first of hopefully many Elements Festivals to come, and I can only encourage more people to get down to and support any event the KCL crew put on, or are involved with in the future because they really know how to hold a party. This really made our weekend, and I haven’t had as good a time at a hip-hop show in ages. Well done to everyone that helped organise such a fun festival!
Side note: If you were ever wondering if drinking enough coffee to keep a horse awake all to yourself was a good idea, the answer is no-well sort of.
(If any of the breakers want their names on the pictures or taken down just hit us up)
In case you haven’t seen, our man Adam recently interviewed Tony D and Locksmyth (he has a much bigger feature on the second part if you’re wondering) recently. It’s going to be first of many video interviews that we’ll be doing. Keep checking back for new interviews and more shots of Adam’s pretty face.
Thanks again to Tony D and Locksmyth!
Hold tight this might be a long one.
This album right here is a serious affair. In the last few months I have seen few releases heralded as much as Philli and Dotz debut release, the cleverly titled Phil n The Dotz. Such is the high quality nature of this album it made me wonder something – what is it that differentiates ‘underground’ and ‘mainstream’ hip hop releases. A person unfamiliar with either might suggest the quality of recording. They might suggest the talent or ability of the artist. They might suggest the presentation of the album as a product. They may even suggest the artistic value of the music. Here lies the conundrum. Phil n The Dotz completely rubbishes these proposed differences with one of the most accomplished releases it’s been my pleasure to be aware of. That I think is really the thing of it that separates the two perceived worlds of hip hop, the attention it gets. If Philli and Dotz were all over the media I have zero doubts of the success they would have. So I urge you all who read this to buy this album and show it to everyone you know. Obviously there are more of this calibre than just this album, but for me it dances with brilliance and shows the level of quality that can be achieved in a scene marked as ‘underground’.
When I first heard of Philli and Dotz my reaction was not one that would lead me to think this would be the debut outcome of the pairing. Given that at the time I’d only just heard of Dotz through battling I wasn’t quite certain how he would fit with such a seasoned veteran of UKHH in Si Philli of the legendary PhiLifeCypher. At the time I’d not even heard music form Dotz. Then I heard Training For Battle Rap, one of their first released tracks that appears on the album. Listening to it and seeing the video for the first time it was wholly apparent that not only could Dotz hold up next to Philli but that the two of them formed a very, very cohesive outfit and I knew that were capable of making some great music.
However these two guys got to the point of deciding to rap together be it luck, coincidence, mutual friends or deals with satan it was indeed a significant occurrence to the scene. They’ve created an album bursting with crazy flows, original concepts, boss level features and some very varied production. “We need everything fucking loud” screams Dotz on the intro track, and this is good advice to the listener as bumping this loud is essential. The energy that seamlessly weaves back and forth between these dudes is undeniable. The way they write off of each other is so natural, showcased perfectly on the track Travel The Globe in which they act like a tag team going scheme for scheme, starting a bar to fit the end of the others last bar, all the while holding a brilliant ‘places of the world’ concept.
Every single song on Phil n The Dotz is killer. I could happily list an essays worth of bars to illustrate this but that would sell short the fluidity of the whole thing.
Let’s be honest here, Si Philli is one of the most regarded artists this country has produced. Yep I said it. PhiLife were brilliant a great loss to ears everywhere. He absolutely goes in on every one of these tracks (apart from one as they each have a solo track) and it’s clear he has done some of his best writing, cementing his stature with personality and individual style. The way his flow sounds stuttered but clear sometimes is crazy, it’s like it just pours out of him without the need of breath. There are sure to be listeners who are new to him that will continue to add to the the loyal fan base he has built up, and they come at a time where he has released something really quite different whilst still keeping his identity.
It’s fair to say there were probably a few jealous rappers when they heard Philli had teamed up with Dotz. A man who a lot of people would’ve heard of through don’t flop. With far less reputation around him the need to step up was obvious, and he jumped up at it with cockiness and snarling ability. With this album under his belt he has for sure graffed his name on the wall of names. Rapidly gaining momentum he doesn’t disappoint on Phil n The Dotz, with each verse drawing you in and making you pull that face that non hip hop heads don’t understand. Bars and flow to match most artists his self belief is evident, and a belief that is shared by a fast growing number of fans including some of your favourite rappers. With a brash and sometimes fierce style it’s pretty hard to ignore Dotz.
Sometimes features on an album can make or break it. With the list of names on here they could’ve reached too far and been owned on their own shit. This is not even close to being the case and in fact only confirms the ability of both Philli and Dotz. Let’s not fuck about now you’ve got Klashnekof, Black Twang, Verb T, Wordsmiff, Phoenix Da Icefire, Flo (who’s e.p with Flotz is also excellent) and Leaf Dog. Now you might understand the threat of self destruction in having this kind of list of amazing artists on your album, but each one adds to the track they feature on rather than eclipsing it, and they solidify the album as a certain contender for album of the year.
Then there’s the production which is drool worthy from names like Passion HiFi, Richy Spitz, Pete Cannon, Bad Habitz, Cystic and Leaf Dog. With a range of styles and levels of complexity, the beats try to steal the show here. When you boom this album out you will not be able to remain still and calm, you will unavoidably skank out. I’ve been given looks on the bus for going off whilst listening to it on headphones. A musical landscape that will inspire a lot of new producers for sure, who aim to replicate the level of class this selection of some of the finest beat makers has set.
If you’re still with me now then this album is for you. It’s for the people who truly love the craft of hip hop. It keeps the ideals we have about this music, but it also represents a move forward. Philli and Dotz have given us something that is head bangable, quotable, innovative and most importantly very very enjoyable. Me personally I know I’ll consider this one of the top albums for a long time and hope to hear a lot more from these two in the future. Don’t miss out, buy this now and support the artists. If you bootleg this, you are a complete prick
Gi3MO – ‘Seat down’, taken from his FREE album ‘Gary Guttersnypes One Point Five’, available to stream and download here
Video Directed by @oldmanpaulio
“Rock You Internally” is the latest single from recently formed Manchester, UK based group Children of Zeus. The hip hop and soul infused song features vocals from Singer/Rapper/Producer Tyler Daley and Rapper/Producer Konny Kon (Broke n English). Its available to stream and download for FREE below and is set to appear on the duo’s forthcoming album, further details are yet to be announced.
So go cop the dopeness here!