Blues and Soul Music Magazine

Issue 1084

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The Beat Genius... Hip Hop Column

The Beat Genius on B&S
The Beat Genius on B&S Git Beats: Say Cheese Moka Only: Carrots and Eggs (Sort this cover OUT!) Capone-N-Noreaga: Channel 10 Bubba Sparxxx DMX Eminem Dre Grandmaster Flash

Ok I kicking off this year with a brand new sub genre. Iâve invented the name for it but I do not claim responsibility for the actual sound or movement itself. âWhatâs new sub genre you speak of?â â I hear you ask. Well my friends it is 'Hype Hop'. A hybrid of Hip Hop and Grime. Iâm of the old guard where I do not regard Grime as Hip Hop â the sounds are more akin to industrial styles of music, the MCâs arenât exactly the tightest and the beats are srawney and all over the place. In my opinion 90% can go in the bin but there are some fine exponents of the musical form who deliver good mic skills, superb production and reprersent no doubt. There have been many CDâs that I refuse to review simply cause I donât check Grime as Hip Hop but the ones that have touched me have been the ones that have kick the Grimes rules out the window and run with more traditional foms of Hip Hop production by sticking to the 4/4 style beats but used elements of the Grime to add to the London vibe.

The first such track that I am gonna dub with this new sub genre isâ¦â¦..

REVIEWS

CLH: Hip Hop

Rapier Records
http://www.myspace.com/chaynes81/
CLH has been knocking around for just over 10 years and has performed at many local South London music festivals and all-dayers along side so top names.

This is his dedication to Hip Hop and how it makes him feel. A very honest and open account of how the music has pulled this man through some of the darkest times in his life. All I can say is you ainât alone there blud!!

Not the best production in the world but certainly a refreshing subject and displays this MCâs storytelling abilities. Iâd say get some guest named producers up on the beats and this ones gonna do some serious tings on 09!! This track is available to but from Rapier records online store 8/10 from me.

Production Tip: the vocal chanting needs to be thickened up by at least 2 or 3 times using harmonies, unisons and double tracking with lots of multiple voices to give it the desired effect. Good idea weâve all been there so take note.

Mastering Tip: this CD was irritatingly over modulated but I weathered it in my studio via some outboard boxes. You need to back the music off by 10% or so itâs TOO LOUD!! A lesser man wouldâve binned it â but I liked the Press Pack so I gave it a bligh.

Git Beats: Say Cheese!

Used Wax
http://www.myspace.com/gitbeats
Reading the bumph that came with this CD I was looking forward to some top flight beats and production. Well Gregg Lorenzo a.k.a. Git Beats doesnât disappoint. His PR sheets bills him as âThe new-millenium Primoâ which is over hyped on the one hand and does him a disservice on the other.

Firsty, Primo is all on his own as far as production is concerned and cannot be touched in the same way that there is only one Dre or 9th Wonder or PUTS productions.

Git however, also deserves props no doubt - for through his productions you can tell that this guy has been not just around the block but heâs been exposed to a Hip Hop existence that many more well known exponents havenât been exposed to and as such his beats are as raw as they come. This is the guy that used to bump beats to RZA on the Staten Island Ferry and also floored the whole staff at Payday Records so his pedigree is as deep as they come.

Now that we have established Gitsâ credentials we can begin to appreciate the choice of artists he uses from the new school MCâs like, Sham, Andyill, Q, Dramadeus and Ice Water to the selection of established MCâs like Gortex from Non Phixion, Rock from Heltah Skeltah, Ark from T-Weaponz, Prince Po from Organised Konfusion, Raewon from Wu Tang and the delectable LadyBug Mecca formerly from Digable Planets. With this array of Hip Hop ammunition in his arsenal you can safely say this CD is packing some heat.

My favorite tracks are 'Bag of Money', 'Just One of Those Days', 'America' 'Under Age' & 'I Donât Think They Heard'. Theyâre on my iPod and are getting bumped regular already. This is definitely a Hip Hop aficionadoâs purchase. This CD is for real true Hip Hoppers so donât expect no âplaya playaâ gun talk here. All productions have a point, a story and a reason for being â they havenât been written to jump on any band wagon or trend, this is a good old fashioned Hip Hop CD. Buy it youâll love it. This is a Beat Genius CD to watchâ¦â¦. A future classic!! 9/10

Carrots and Eggs: Moka Only

Urbnet Records
http://www.urbnet.com/mokaonly
I wasnât too sure what to make of this when it first landed in front of me. Weâre talking about a CD cover whose design looks like some abstract art from a 14 year olds portfolio and VERY Orange!! To be honest I actually though this was a mistake by the editor whoâs slipped in a wind up CD [Editor: Would I do that to you Beat - Dam, next time!? Hee). Nevertheless I gave it the benefit of the doubt and played it.

Glad I did! The first few tracks were good enough that I started to read he press release and to my surprise Moka Only is one of the former members of Swollen Members whom I remember many years back were a promising act with some tight productions.

Hailing from the west coast of Canada Moka has released many CDâs under as many guises and has equally worked with some of the most important independent Hip Hop artists out there like J Dilla, Aceyalone, OH NO, M F Doom, Buck 65 and scores of others as well as being a collaborative member of numerous groups and collectives.

This CD is definitely a indulgence in slick Hip Hop production and with itâs 23 tracks will certainly have something for all tastes. My favourite tracks are Hardly Say, The New Era B-Boy Pockets [feat. Sadat X], Clapsnare, I Mean Biznizz and Put My Work In. I can see this one being sought after in a few years time as it certainly has something timeless about it.

My advice would be to address the packaging, cause I wouldnât have given this a second look in a record shop or online based on itâs CD cover â however Iâd say if you see it you should seriously check it out. This is a slow burner but you wonât regret buying it â 8/10.

Capone-N-Noreaga Feat Busta Rhymes & Ron Browz (CD Single): Rotate On

SMC Recordings
http//:www.myspace.comcaponennore
What can I say on this one? As a single itâs blatantly trying to capitalise on the vocoda double tracked chorus hook that has flooded the more poptastic side of urban club mixes of late. To be honest, itâs quite weak as a single and the chorus seems to be almost put there for the sake of it. Personally Iâd prefer to drop the chorus keep the beats and the eastern style guitar lick and be done. If your looking for a 2009 lick to accompany and match Invincible, Channel 10, Black Gangstas, Capone Bone or Stick. Then youâre not going to find it here. Not even Mista Busta Bus can rescue this one for me.

I donât doubt this will make the gurls wiggle and giggle like gelatine in a club but I wouldnât play it either on air or at any venues I play at as it lacks that low deep end theory for me. Choice and Kiss will like this one but itâs not the normal CNN joint and fans will be disappointed â 6/10.

Capone-N-Noreaga: Channel 10 (LP)

SMC Recordings
http//:www.myspace.comcaponennore
Unlike their questionable choice for a single release the LP instantly oozes with the kind of productions you would expect after a four year drought. There are obvious Diiirty South influences on the production with the drum patterns and choice of sounds so Iâm guessing thereâs again a mixture of guest producers on this joint as CNN have done in the past.

I donât have any details as to why there was such a break between LPâs but when you consider the duo met whilst in Jail back in 1992 and signed their breakthrough deal in 1996. What is interesting is the track that brought them to prominence was the response to Tha Dogg Pound's single 'New York, New York' with their own version 'L.A., L.A.' produced by Marley Marl and this release seeâs Tha Dogg Pound as guest MCâs on the track My Hood alongside The Clipse, Maino & Uckle Murda??

Stand-out tracks for me are Bring It Here, On The Microphone, Wobble feat Mobb Deep & My Hood. This CD will sit nicely in your collection or record box alongside their previous releases and will not disappoint any CNN fan with omission of Rotate which is a real head scratch for me.

Production is tight, beats are heavy and the MC âs can still spit on point, Iâll be playing 3 or 4 tracks when Iâm out and about. Tune in to Channel 10, not to be missed â 9/10.

FUTURE RELEASES

The following are a collection of some of the last months tracks that I have been sent on mp3 anywhere from 3 months to 4 weeks before they get released. I canât tell you how many mixes of Bustaâs Arab Money I have but it must be close to fifteen different versions. I wonât review them all because I have access to approx 30 - 50 tracks a week ranging from wick wick wack to some very serious slices of Hip Hop. Although not necessarily releases these are the latest tracks being promoted by the artistsâ labels. Whether they make it to see the light of day is another story.

B-Real ft. Damian Marley: Fire

B-Real is on form with this lazy Raggatron-esque production. Wouldâve been a nice touch to have Muggs on the beats to add that nostalgic touch that is almost begging to be delivered. Damien Marley provides a more than competent and bona fide Reggae vocal chorus. The spliff heads and old Cyprus fans will love this one â definitely a head banger. 8/10

Bubba Sparxxx: That's What I Do

I dunno why but I have a soft spot for Bubba and when I say that I mean it in such a non-gay way!! The way he swaggers on the MiC is very pleasing it must be that Diirty South thang? Production is what youâd expect from a Bubba track and this one works in a club â got the gurls rocking. 8/10

DMX: Yall Niggaz

This Yonkers native has come a long way since his days beat boxing and DJâing which were his first loves in this Hip Hop culture. Finally settling down as an MC, Earl Simmons soon made a name for himself as Dark Man X, which then became DMX. With over 10 years of consistently releasing LPâs and subsequent singles which have banged clubs radios and jeeps a like, Iâm happy to say that this track is no exception. Itâs what I wanted to hear from DMX. Edgy grimy vox, tough hardcore beats and a tight production. This one is strictly for parties and smaller venues. 9/10

Eminem ft Dr Dre & 50 Cent: Crack A Bottle

Heâs back and with Dre!! I cannot deny the writing and delivery skills this possess and I defy you to too. If Iâm to be honest, I did get fed up with the Shady one as it became a bit same âole same âole . But having been void of any Shadiness for however long itâs been, itâs very refreshing to have the boy back spitting the only way he know how. This one works on Radio and in the Clubs.
10/10

Grandmaster Flash Ft. Busta Rhymes: Bounce Back

Iâm going to get the rating out of the way immediately. 10/10.
What can I say? Dj Scratch, Grandmaster Flash AND Busta Rhymes â thereâs no way this track was going to be shit or weak. Iâm expecting a new release for Flash as Iâm catching several tracks from him right about now. Looking forward to that when it lands.

N.A.S.A. ft. Method Man, E-40 and DJ Swamp: N.A.S.A. Music

N.A.S.A. and their worldwide debut The Spirit of Apollo, is an ongoing creative collaboration between two lifelong music aficionados, Squeak E. Clean and DJ Zegon, and their friends, friends of friends and musical heroes. N.A.S.A. stands for North America/South America and contains a number of superstar artists from both coasts of the U.S., it is about as far from a tension-building geographical showdown as any track can get. All MCâs work nicely on this track and DJ Swamp puts in some nice turntablist FX to help bring the whole production together. 9/10

Renaissance Rap (Remix) - Q-Tip ft. Busta Rhymes, Raekwon and Lil' Wayne

The Midnight Marauder is back!! Itâs had to believe that this ainât a ATCQ track. Itâs almost like Ali Shaheed Muhammad is on the beats himself! I like the Marley Marl sample from âSymphonyâ which is a nice touch for all hip Hop heads to appreciate. This ones getting banged everywhere I go. 10/10

Wu Ooh - Raekwon Ft Ghostface Killah & Method Man

This is as close as weâre going to get to a fresh Wu Tang Production as we can. For me as a Wu Tang deciple itâs good enough. I could get picky and say how Iâd like to hear more of the RZAâs idiosyncratic production touches on this but I donât want kick a gift horse and all that. I love the dirty 12-bit sound that this has, sound like hip Hop from back in the day. 9/10

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