The long awaited debut album ‘Hastility (H1)’ from the UK/US duo consisting of producer Configa and Queens, NYC emcee HaStyle drops tomorrow (Mon 29th August) and boy it’s been worth the wait!
I’ve been a fan of Configa’s dope Boom Bap production style and repped his music in the past and knew of his love for the Golden Era sound that is evident in his music. Then he hooked up with the like minded creative NYC lyricist and storyteller HaStyle. They introduced themselves swiftly as a duo to watch out for with two well received EP’s during 2015, ‘The Calm Before HaStility’ and the aptly named ‘A Good Combination’
A year later we now have the full length debut album from this talented duo. After previously whetting our appetites with the fore mentioned EP’s, Configa and HaStyle come with deeper content and a darker, heavier vibe with this banger of an LP with features from El Da Sensei, Prince Po, Chino XL, Rashan and dope cuts from UK turntablist DJ Madhandz.
We are living in times of great social injustice, racism is still prevalent, Police act with impunity, the use of propaganda and media manipulation is rife, more and more areas of our world are engulfed in conflict and war and people like you and I are fed up, disillusioned and angry with our governments not just in the States or here in the UK it’s a global issue. ‘Hastility (H1)’ hits on and encompasses those thoughts and feelings as HaStyle draws on that anger and address the issues waxing lyrical with an effortless flow over the musical canvas Configa provides with his characteristic neck snapping beats that come with a grittier, moody edge to them.
There really isn’t a weak joint on this album all the guest features deliver to the standards you’d expect, but Configa and HaStyle are not over shadowed in the slightest and obviously the talent and creativity from the pair of them is what makes this such a DOPE album. Here’s a few joints that caught my attention.
The record starts with the Dr Configa Intro (Configa really is a Doctor on Hip Hop ya know, man has a PhD!) this concept sets the scene for the direction in which ‘Hastility (H1)’ is going to take us.
‘Mind Control’ sees HaStyle address how history can and HAS been manipulated and encourages the listener to seek knowledge for yourself whilst at the same time warning our governments can control, watch and invade citizens privacy at any given moment and features a dope verse from El Da Sensei.
With heavy boom bap drums from Configa ‘Channel Zero’ examines peoples dependency on TV and its ability to brainwash the masses with constant 24 hour news ramming negativity and fear in to our living rooms.
HaStyle examines his dreams in the joint ‘Nightmares’ whether they are his dreams or a reality, accompained by Configa’s head nodding beat and Madhandz dope cuts. The track comes with a newly released visual today, Shot by Peter Clark (Attic Studios) and the Video Edited by Nate Pommer. Check it out here
‘Hastility’ was the first single and title track taken from ‘Hastility (H1)’. Rather than me tell you how dope it is, check out the video directed by Nick Light here
The track ‘Substance Abuse’ speaks for itself there aren’t too many towns and cities across the globe that aren’t touched by the scourge of substance abuse, whether it be alcohol or drugs. I myself still have my own demons that I fight and have lost friends to both drink and drugs. HaStyle doesn’t come across all preachy however, just offering pearls of wisdom to those that may be in that spiral or advising family and friends to look for the signs, this track resonated with me.
‘This World’ featuring Rashan is a more laid back vibe with HaStyle exploring finding your way in life, trying to stay on the right path whilst acknowledging the traps, pitfalls, stereotypes and prejudices that we can encounter on our journeys through this often unpredictable life.
We then jump pace again with the sick joint ‘World War Rap (Remix)’ featuring the legendary Prince Po, i’ll let the music do the talking for itself……
As I previously mentioned there really isn’t a weak joint, if I haven’t mentioned a track it’s not that I didn’t like it, I just didn’t want to bore you with my ramblings! ‘Hastility (H1)’ flows seamlessly with cleverly worked samples and cuts that compliment the music without over powering.
There is also a clear chemistry between both Configa and HaStyle which shines throughout the album. A lot of time and effort of travelling between the UK and New York has gone on to create this great piece of music and I think it’s that personal interaction between the producer and emcee which makes this stand out above a lot of submissions we get.
I have said in the past it’s almost criminal the amount of UK rappers that sleep on Configa’s production, but its their loss, and where many rappers can rap, many can’t story tell like HaStyle so it’s a win win for the pair of them and also for us as fans of Hip Hop.
It’s far too easy these days to buy a selection of beats of a handful of producers and throw a project together, but the real craft and art is building something together from the bottom up and that is what Configa and HaStyle have accomplished with ‘Hastility (H1)’, a record that oozes the Golden Era Sound, whilst commenting on the issues that face us today.
You can Pre-Order Configa and HaStyle’s debut album ‘Hastility (H1)’ digitally and on CD but it is released and available to purchase tomorrow (Mon 29th August)
Physical copies available here https://confighas.bandcamp.com/album/hastility-h1
If you’re a regular follower of HHLAT you will know we’re big fans of Three Headed Beast the talented emcee trio of Twizzy, M.A.B and Jinxsta JX. At the end of July they dropped their highly anticipated debut album ‘Time To Feast’, we had a reviewer in place to get something up in the week building up before release, but we were let down by said reviewer.
However with the help of Adam sharing my FB post looking for reliable reviewers, rapper Intuitive offered his help and Big Ups to him for stepping up and taking on the review and getting it back to me in quick time. Here’s what Intuitive thought about the album…..
When I discovered that my first ever album review was going to be a Three Headed Beast release, I smiled.
I’ve been following these dudes ever since I came across Twizzy’s solo release ‘Done With All The Bull’ (which is fucking excellent, by the way) and discovered that he also operated as part of a neck-snapping super-trio alongside fellow emcees M.A.B and Jinxsta JX. They are all certainly not new to the game – one listen to their practiced flows will tell you that – but recently, they took a 2-year hiatus from their group music to focus on solo work. ‘Time to Feast’ is their latest contribution to the UK hip-hop history books – a 15-track boombap album with features and production from heads that are such household names, if you haven’t heard of them then you have probably reached this site accidentally. Seriously, it’s like a UK bedroom rapper’s wet dream. Features from guys like Genesis Elijah and Task Force associate Remus, and production by man like Farma G, Diligent Fingers, Charlie Mac and Chester P?! Fuck off!
Having respected heads featuring on your shit doesn’t make your tracks good, however. I’ve heard plenty of upcoming artists ruin their own tracks that have big names on (and probably throw away a week’s wage at the same time) because of silly little things like song composition and structure, or by selecting an awkward or shitty concept for your feature to have to try and work around. 3HB (I’m putting that from now on, it’s easier to type and I’m lazy) have circumnavigated this problem excellently in this release and have really made full use of every single feature that they have collated, by creating really inventive musical hooks that break up the monotony of verses and add soul and character – a perfect example is Javeon’s absolutely stellar effort on ‘Control’ – a solid song in its own right, the hook transforms it into a really powerful and truly musical piece. I was also slightly shocked to hear Genesis Elijah on the hook for his feature on ‘Marching’ but actually it works really well – I was just disappointed I didn’t get to hear another of his legendary verses!
I don’t care how weird this sounds. The production is sexy. Crisp drum loops and melancholy samples make for an album of instrumentals that not only make you worry about the structural integrity of your vertebrae, but also have a definite consistent feel, which I think is always a positive thing. It was really hard to pick out any stand-out beats but I think Hutch’s effort on ‘Be Careful’ deserves a special mention – this is definitely one of my favourite beats from the album and also one of my favourite tracks.
Speaking of favourite tracks – I feel as though we need to talk about ‘The Return’ as well. Because it’s fucking great. What a way to kick off an album! I LOVE the wordplay on the hook – a veritable waterfall of ‘3/free’ prefixed language – it takes a couple plays to catch every word, but it’s a really clever way of making a hook sound and flow smoothly. Plus, it takes some brains and musical/lyrical awareness to do it properly, and I always appreciate that kind of technical ability. Another way that this song is really clever is in how each of the 3 verses has the same two adlibs (‘what you REP?’ ‘so break it DOWN!’) in them which structures each verse, gives them some continuity and unifies the song, and sounds ace at the same time. Even as I’m writing this, I’ve got “it’s the return of the three headed BEAST!” going round and round my head, like a baby in a washing machine. Or a wheel, or something.
In conclusion (GCSE English essay style) this is an absolutely solid piece of music that deserves real support and praise from the underground scene. Every single aspect of it has been carefully considered and finished to a high quality – from delivery, to complex doubletime flows, to song structure, to adlibs, to production, even the fucking album artwork is slick! In terms of vibe, the album is quite consistent – it echoes that kind of dark, moody feel that many rappers who excel at multisyllabic lyricism tend to project. The language used is intelligent and spans a wide range of vocabulary, and is arranged around imaginative and creative track concepts. It is charged with emotion in many places, but is also fun – a great example is ‘It’s Abnoxshuz’. I think what differentiates this (and 3HB in general) from most other UKHH rappers is the fantastic chemistry between the 3 emcees and their memorable and musical hooks. Each song had me bobbing in that unconscious way any good hip hop song does. You know the one – the one where your chin jabs in and out like it’s fucking an invisible chin-vagina right in front of you. Pretend you don’t understand because I know you all do.
If I had to make any criticism, and considering this is a review I probably do, I would say that after 15 back to back tracks of solid multisyllabics, the themes and formats can get slightly repetitive. This doesn’t mean anything in regards to the individual quality of each of those tracks – but as a whole, they do follow on from each other in a very similar fashion. If you guys read this (and I hope you do) my only advice would be to try some more unique, experimental crazy stuff. But then what the fuck do I know? I wish I could make an album like this!!
Words by Intuitive
‘Time To Feast’ is out now digitally as a ‘Name Your Price’ download, don’t be a cheap skate and go for the free option this release deserves your money. There are a limited number of CD’s left if you wanna cop a physical copy on the bandcamp page, Stream and download Three Headed Beast ‘Time To Feast’ LP here….
Head to their Bandcamp Page for more dope music and Merch https://threeheadedbeast.bandcamp.com/
Like on FB https://www.facebook.com/threeheadedbeast/
Veteran UK emcee Wordsmiff FLIP and the highly respected Portsmouth, UK underground emcee Spitfire link together to become The Otha Guys in this dope album from the duo released on Sika Records.
It’s been a while since we’ve seen Wordsmiff FLIP drop a fresh release. In the past couple of years we’ve been treated to brief glimpses of this talented emcee with guest features for various artists and this is how the relationship first struck up with Spitfire. The South Coast emcee is a big fan of Wordzy like a lot of us and managed to get him to feature on a couple of his solo projects and once the two of them linked the creation of The Otha Guys began.
A lot of love and hard work went into creating this release they came up with most of the concepts just by trading ideas and selecting beats that suited the mood. The album features dope production from Hozay, Ns1, Towa and the don that is DJ Jabbathakut laying down the cuts.
Spitfire brought most of the recording equipment to Wordsmiff’s house and would stay for a few days at a time, so it was written and recorded in Wordzy’s everyday surroundings, which is something I really respect, it’s not verses flying backwards and forwards via emails. This working relationship adds to the chemistry of the two emcees evident in the hooks and gives the album a natural vibe.
The record begins with an intro of Spitfire pestering Wordsmiff FLIP with the many names/nicknames he’s been known as, with Spitfire finally asking the question which many people have asked “Bout time you put something out bruv innit?” to which Wordzy replies “Alright Fuck it!”……..
The album then slides into one of my favourite joints on the album Wordsmiff FLIP’s solo effort ‘Acid Test’ as he declares from the jump off “Don’t need no introduction” and goes in to the killer flow and lyricism we’ve come to expect with a dope hook over Hozay’s soulful boom bap banger.
Then we jump into the title track ‘T.O.G’ with Spitfire’s opening verse with a message for other emcees “They couldn’t rock a crowd, if we gave them a bag of bricks” as the two trade flawless verses that demonstrate their pencraft and delivery. The track is accompanied by a dope visual directed by Oliver Whitehouse for Sektion Red.
‘Classic Days’ is another Hozay produced banger as Spitfire opens up paying homage to the golden era boom bap sound and reminicising coming up through the scene, again like the other tracks yet another dope hook. Then we get to Wordzy’s verse where he addresses the naming rights issues he had with the US rapper Wordsmith (Fuck that dude), and deals with it with a perfect response. I’m not going into the specifics, but listen to the verse carefully and all is revealed.
The bangers keep coming with the Ns1 produced joint ‘When The Penny Drops’ rather than me writing about how dope it is it take it in for yourselves here with another video again from Sektion Red http://www.SektionRed.com
Moving swiftly on as the pace of the album continues to the track ‘My World Is’, Wordsmiff addresses all the people chatting gas, or people who have said things about him in the past, the Hip Hop rumour mill of beef and general haters that seem common for a lot of artists, but Wordzy soon puts those doubters in their place. Spitfire’s verse comes at a different angle as he talks about trying to juggle music and a 9-5, trying to do things independently and getting himself heard.
‘Self Made Serenade’ is yet another banger this time produced by Spitfire’s Portsmouth homie Towa and yet more dope cuts as featured throughout the album from Jabbathakut and the final track ‘The Last Request’ is Spitfire’s solo effort where he speaks about the battle to be heard and to those that think they are owed something without putting in the work, again with killer cuts from Jabbathakut the album then completes with the Outro, a live audio of these two talented emcees closing out a show.
The Otha Guys was released back in March, so if you’ve slept on this you have no excuse now, as many of you know the site has been out of action for some time, but this has always been one release I’ve fully wanted to rep on the site once we were up and running again. Apologies to Spitfire, Wordsmiff FLIP and the team at Sika Records for the time it’s taken to get this great release up on the site.
The CD has been rinsed in the car since Spitfire hooked me up with it. The only criticism i have and it’s a selfish one, I wish it was longer with more tracks! I cant stress how much I like this whole project. As solo artists I’m a big fan of them both and this is such a dope collaboration. From artwork, production, cuts, graf and videos this album is bursting full of Hip Hop.
Get your copy of The Otha Guys here
Over the last couple of years Dotz has established himself as an artist to look out for, from Battle Rap beginnings as UK Jump Off champion and appearances at Don’t Flop events and International battles the Bedford, UK emcee has followed that up with quality solo music as well as successful, well received releases as one half of Phili’N’Dotz and one half of Filthy Funk.
On Friday (24th June) Dotz will drop his latest EP ‘Bring The Soul Back’, produced solely by Philadelphia based Elbe Kim. It’s a pleasure to welcome back our HHLAT brother Adam to the team after a brief hiatus away focusing on his own music with his first review of 2016 and here’s what he had to say about Dotz’ new EP…….
The sun will always rise and fall, the tides will always come in and out and Dotz will always kill everything he does. Bold statements out the way I’ll just be honest, it’s mad to think Dotz has only been about for a few years when you look at how consistent he’s been.
The freshest addition is the brand new EP ‘Bring The Soul Back’, produced entirely by aptly soulful Elbe Kim. Another 5 tracks that showcase the depth of talent of Dotz, growing again still this is by far the most open and personal release so far.
The effort and care put into this is blatant, rather than just a collection of tracks it plays like an actual fluid project carrying a theme throughout. ‘Bring The Soul Back’ is packed full of reflective content, he speaks candidly about his problems in all aspects of his life and I found myself impressed with just how open he has been, clearly using his art for closure and self therapy. That is in no way to say it’s a downer or something like that, because it is exactly the opposite it does what it says it will, brings the soul back. He also talks on many concepts including standing up for what you believe in and dedicating a track to his true love.
Every track is solid and well constructed, Elbe Kim is a producer who obviously works very, very hard at his craft. Groove heavy production drives this EP effortlessly through speakers, with several appearances from absolute legend DJ JabbaThaKut and his magic carrying it all along perfectly.
Then right, yeah, THEN there is this posse cut. . . . *screwface* . . . featuring Dotz, Skrabl, Blizzard, Tony D, Blak Twang, Wordsmiff Flip, Peterz and DJ JabbaThaKut. . . . look at it, go on, its even better listening.
Pre-Order/Download Dotz’ ‘Bring The Soul Back’ EP for free or buy a limited edition CD, but make sure you check this release out, it is mint.
Available from https://dotzilla.bandcamp.com/album/bring-the-soul-back
Bristol trio The Scribes consisting of lyricist/multi instrumentalist Ill Literate, rapper Jonny Steele and beatbox maestro Lacey have today dropped their latest release ‘The Scribes Present Mr Teatime & The End Of The World’.
The talented trio first came to my attention when Aimee introduced me to their music back in our StandUpUK days and we continued to support and be fans of their music when I set up HHLAT and they were one of the first people to kindly appear in a video on our youtube channel.
Since then the guys have moved on to build a solid fan base, earning rave reviews and renowned for delivering breath taking performances full of energy and off the cuff freestyling guaranteed to move any crowd. Known for their award winning live show The Scribes push the limits of hip hop to almost breaking point, both musically and lyrically, to create the group’s trademark sound featuring a seamless blend of live instrumentation and sampling set against a block rocking backdrop of booming bass and hard hitting breaks, with appeal reaching far beyond traditional hip hop fare.
They continue that mantra with this new release, the group are back with a brand new concept, something a little bit different than you may be use to, lets set the scene for you….
The Scribes received this message “My name is Mr Teatime, I am contacting you from the year 2074. The world is now a very different place. After the bomb dropped the robots took control. Please heed my warning. I am so alone.”
The ever prolific UK label High Focus Records are back with yet more dopeness with the latest release from Dead Players. After their sick self titled debut album the trio are back with another banger with their sophomore album ‘Freshly Skeletal’ and our boy Adam gives us his thoughts and what you can expect from the album…..
A thousand million rappers, that’s what we’re dealing with these days. Maybe we always were and the Internet just gave them all a platform, but either way there’s a vast haystack and a disproportionate number of needles to find. We have two of the sharpest here in Jam Baxter and Dabbla, along with a producer of a rare order in Ghostown, collectively packaged as Dead Players. After a debut album that naysayed the game they return with “Freshly Skeletal”, an album that gives zero fucks for ‘convention’ and goes all the way in, in the hardest sense.
The sheer levels of levels on levels is frankly undeniable to surely even the most hardened ‘purist’, “Freshly Skeletal” finds them again blurring lines of genre with a sort of style of Hip Hop that is a word that doesn’t exist. This is not a 90s throwback affair, it’s not a trap affair, it’s not anything that falls in between, but it’s all of those and its own twist, basically it’s mad original.
Both emcees are unique and have extensive work singularly. Jam Baxter with his seemingly never ending vocabulary of abstract visions is still proving his rep as one of the best lyricists in recent times, with white hot confidence levels that find him writing at a level and rate that is hard to match. The tangents and the imagery, the imagination that he brings here still have me blown away, able to work each track as an individual piece of art whilst keeping a continuing narrative throughout his work .
Then you’ve got Paddy Mashdown a.k.a Dabbla, who has one of the most enjoyable styles to listen to in the scene, with a wit and an ability to turn a phrase with intelligence, while delivering it with conviction and style of his own there’s no one out there quite like him. I find him to be very relatable and honest with it as well, his contribution to this album is his best work in my opinion ( and that’s all that all of this is, my opinion) There’s no one out there quite like any of these three cats. Ghostown is gonna be responsible for many, many neck injuries with this production, back again with pigeon hole shunting melodies and speaker damaging drums, he just has class to his beats where some over do things with less effect. There’s full on bangers here from him,there’s trance inducing vibes outs, there’s a whole mess of creativity from a very well realised producer.
BIG, BIG tracks full of bars and flows to set this apart from the majority of releases, “Freshly Skeletal” is a lesson in what top tier means and there are also dope features from heavyweights Lee Scott, Sox, Illaman, Ocean Wisdom and Orifice Vulgatron to bolster this already impressive album as well. When there’s so much good music coming out this shows the men from the boys and the ones meant to be doing this from the ones who just can, and that’s an important fine line that needs drawing sometimes. High Focus keeps dropping benchmark albums, and though not everyone is going to agree on anything the chatter speaks for itself and Dead Players add to this again, I have no doubt this will be in a lot of people’s top fives this year.
Dead Players ‘Freshly Skeletal’ is available now from
‘FRESHLY SKELETAL’ ON CD: http://bit.ly/1NLOIIW
‘FRESHLY SKELETAL’ ON LIMITED EDITION VINYL: http://bit.ly/1MIwfOC
‘FRESHLY SKELETAL’ DIGITAL: http://bit.ly/1NLPp51
Dead Players – ‘Call Us Now’ [VIDEO]
Dead Players (HF TV EXCLUSIVE BARS)
Dead Players Ft. Sox, Ocean Wisdom, Illaman & Orifice Vulgatron – ‘Infinite Limousine Pile Up’ [AUDIO]
Dead Players – ‘Cooked’ [VIDEO]
Dead Players on Facebook: http://on.fb.me/1x0S9nv
Dabbla on Twitter: https://twitter.com/bigdabbla
Dabbla on Instagram: http://instagram.com/dabblaldz
Dabbla on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mrdabbla
Dabbla on Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/dabbla