WORDPLAY EXCLUSIVE PRE-RELEASE STREAM – Granville Sessions – Monument

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Granville Sessions – Monument WORDPLAY EXCLUSIVE PRE-RELEASE STREAM

THE MIGHTY GRANVILLE SESSIONS ARE BACK!!!!
With their third album taking a route that feels at points more like an etherial soundscape, Monument shows just how talented the London based eight piece actually are. Having torn up stages for years, and supported the like of Oddisee, Chali 2na, Pharoah Monch and many more, they’re distinctive, lyrical and diverse sound has become a trademark, a stamp of quality to which many others aspire to achieve.

With both previous albums being nominated for prestigious awards (including Wordplay Magazine Album of The Year in 2013 for Forward) the band, headed up by Mnsr Frites, Archetype, and Luca Brazi have etched out a place within the live Hip-Hop scene which deserves some serious respect. If you haven’t seen these guys live be sure to book it in, especially with the incredible new material they’re unleashing on Monument!

The album drops via Bandcamp on the 17th February. To find out more, be sure to visit:
http://granvillesessions.bandcamp.com
http://www.granville-sessions.com/

And here it is!!! The official Wordplay Magazine Exclusive Pre-release stream of Granville Sessions – Monument!
Enjoy!

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RELOAD – Stormzy, Ghetts, Jammz, Davinche, Devlin, Stefflon Don, AJ Tracey, Solo 45 + more

Yes, yes peeps.  It’s time for another dose of reload-worthy releases from the world of 140bpm. If you’re after something a little different from our usual output, we’ve rounded up a selection of what we feel needs another spin. Check it…

Stormzy – Big For Your Boots

Big Mike’s back. The world’s been waiting on his debut album forever and suddenly, it’s on the horizon. He’s announced that Gang Signs & Prayer will be released on the 24th and to celebrate that, he’s released the first single. Featuring a heap of cameos, Big For Your Boots is a triumphant return to the scene.

Jammz – Know Yourself

This tune’s been getting rinsed over the last week or so. Jammz takes Westy’s hypnotic beat and goes fully in; pure, unadulterated fire! Enjoy

Ghetts ft Shakka – Know My Ting

Ghetts seems to have the innate ability to effortlessly switch styles and sounds and never sound out of place. Couple him with one of the country’s most versatile vocalists and you’re guaranteed a banger…

AJ Tracey – Luke Cage

One of the best things to have hit Netflix last year, Luke Cage was dripping in hip hop culture and would naturally inspire a range of artists.  My personal favourite from his recent Lil Tracey EP, AJ’s made the trip across the pond to give his track the NY treatment.

Capo Lee & Sir Spyro – Stop Talk

Another star of the current wave, Capo & Spyro build on their recent monster Mud by dropping the lead single from their upcoming Stop Talk EP, which is due to land at the end of the month. The glitchy, raw vibe is matched by the equally sharp visuals and has us looking forward to catching the rest of the project

Solo 45 ft Stormzy – 5ive

It’s hard to best describe this one – it’s a bit erratic but that’s what seems to make it work. Solo’s on energy overdrive and the chorus chanting is nothing short of frantic. Throw in a big 16-bar ‘interlude’ from Stormzy and you’re sort of left thinking ‘what’s just happened..?’

Davinche, Big Tobz, TE dness, Blitz & Izzie Gibbs – Ring Ring

Alongside the brilliant New Gen compilation, the recently released #POWERS project has showcased how fruitful the scene is at the moment. Produced entirely by Davinche and featuring a whole host of names, the latest to get the visual treatment is bouncy Ring Ring. You’ll want to turn this up…

Lorenzo BITW ft Kwam – Goo

This one’s a complete mash-up of styles and sounds. Italian producer Lorenzo BITW has teamed up with Kwam for the infectious Goo. It ticks so many different boxes and Kwam’s skippy flow matches the multiple switches bar-for-bar…

Devlin ft Maverick Sabre – Blow Your Mind

After a lengthy absence, Devlin’s set to drop his new album The Devil In tomorrow.  He’s recently dropped visuals for the second single. Featuring a haunting chorus from Maverick Sabre, Devz shows his trigger-tongue hasn’t lost it’s edge; just check the second verse…

Mic Ty – Wots Bars?

The Newham native’s back with a bang. Big beat, even bigger bars; Ty goes in…

A2 – Lowest Key

Taken from his More Sleep 2 EP, we’re feeling the kick-back mood of Lowest Key. A2’s flow floats over the beat nicely and creates a stellar track to just vibe-out to.

Stefflon Don ft Giggs – Real Ting (Remix)

The title track from her recent project’s been given the remix treatment. Wrapping things up this time around, Stefflon Don’s enlisted Mr SN1 to bless Rymez’ head nodder with his trademark greaze. Ooooff

 

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Greg Blackman Interview


Greg Blackman is a prolific musician and illustrator who has been fusing his love of Hip-Hop with his Soulful vibes for a good few years now. Having worked with BBE, Eat Good, Agogo Records and whole host of collaborations, we catch up with one of the most renowned Soul Singers the UK has to offer.

Greetings GB! How’s life treating you?
I’m hale and hearty my friend. Fat and sleek and happy as a house cat.

You’ve recently kicked off your monthly #GBRevived project. Tell us a bit about it for those not in the know.
I spent a lot of 2015 struggling to find a place for myself in the legit Music Industry rather than embracing the advantages of being a small scale independent artist who doesn’t have to answer to anyone but himself. #GBRevived is my response to that.

The tagline is “10 months, 10 new singles, no fixed genre, no more holding back” and we’re gonna do exactly what it says on the tin. On the first of every month for ten months straight I release a brand new single completely different from the last one.

There’s genre mashups, straight up hip hop joints, a soul number, a hard edged swamp funk tune, a trad reggae number, couple of totally indescribable one offs. A whole truckload of amazing featured artists and musicians. Loads of great stuff that no label would be brave enough to release on one album.

I’m just putting it all together for the first time and saying “This is what I am, this is what I do.”  The time to worry about genre is over. I’m just gonna lay out all the great music made by me and Nathan Wacey (the producer of my “solo” work and the other half of The Paragons Of Goodness) over the years and let people hear it. I figure the folks who will dig it will dig it and the folks who won’t won’t.

Is this strictly a stream of downloads or will we get a physical album at any point?
The downloads come first for ten months straight. Then once that’s run it’s course I’ll be releasing all ten singles as well as about 6 other tracks as a full album on CD and Vinyl. The release is fully independent and will be available only from me.

You publicly addressed your own bisexuality on Pyro Radio recently, I think I’m right in saying for the first time on record? Was this something you felt you needed to do?
Not really. It’s not really something I make any great secret about but you’re right in saying it’s the first time I’d mentioned it publicly. And even the only reason I mentioned it at all was in response to a homophobic diss aimed at me by an inferior talent that I was asked to address during the interview.

The reason I haven’t historically made an issue out of my bisexuality is very simple: I’m %100 faithful to whoever I’m in a relationship with and for the last 7 years I’ve been married to a wonderful woman. Despite who I am underneath and my personal history, what this means is that I effectively live as a straight man and don’t have to face or engage with any of the struggle for equity and respect that gay or trans people have to. In that context banging on about my bisexuality seems like redundant point scoring off of a struggle other people have to deal with a lot more often than I do. Seems a bit crass, gnomesaying?

On this occasion I was asked to address it live on radio so I did. Even though I’m a confident bloke with a big personality I still felt that fear of ridicule everyone does.
But while you’re imagining these kinds of things you also ask yourself: what if someone who was young and certain they would be rejected socially if they came out as non-straight heard that interview, heard me talk about being bisexual as the completely normal and commonplace thing that it is, heard how I was accepted and respected by my peers regardless and thought “Fuck it. If he can do it then why can’t I?” The possibility of that scenario made me push through any personal discomfort.

Plus I have some pretty legendary LGBT friends who’s insistence on being accepted for who they are is something I love and admire about them. Shoutout to my boy Todd Dahn in particular for his no bullshit bravery about being Out And Proud in the hip hop community. His large cojones were a beacon.

You seem to be investing more time in spreading information as well as great music this year, notably in your recent interview on Pyro Radio and your ongoing #TalkingAboutTheGame series. Is this a deliberate move or has it evolved naturally?
A bit of both really. Entering the music game I always found it impossible to get any clear specifics about how and why things work the way they do. I’m not talking about the kind of stuff you can read on the Musician’s Union Website, I’m talking about the real unspoken everyday back room stuff that nobody ever talks about that actually dictates why decisions get made. The few people in the game who took a bit of time out of their day to actually explain how things work were hugely helpful to me so I decided to try and be one of those people for some of the younger musicians coming up.

Plus, to be perfectly honest, people were starting to inbox me a lot asking for feedback and advice about stuff simply because they knew I had a strong opinion about it based on practical experience. I thought I may as well just make some of this stuff public and save them the trouble.

Image by The Old House Photography by Andre Kimche

Okay so, with that in mind, if you could eliminate one thing from the music industry to make it better what would it be?

Oh that’s easy. With one ungodly sweep of my hand I would eliminate all micro genre specialist and genre police marketing “Experts” from the A&R departments of all labels.

I would wind the clocks back to the days of old men with deep pockets who knew absolutely fuck all about music and released stuff in the spirit of “Well I don’t understand it but the kids seem to like it so let’s press some on wax and put it in the shops!”. The kind of men who gave us Zappa.

Modern Big Labels are full of super cool Tarquins who are completely absorbed in their own bubble of super specific genre specialisation. The kind of people who will tell you with a straight face that your song is not the right genre for their label because your tune is 139 bpm and they “only release 140”. The kind of people who can back up their nonsensical prejudices with articles from Vice but have never played a fucking instrument in their lives.

(If you’re reading this going “I can play an instrument: I’m GREAT with an MPC.”? I love you to bits but I’m rolling my eyes heavily at you right now.)

People who sign their mates and their mates bands and their mates girlfriends and call it a “Scene” actually run the major labels. Talent has fuck all to do with it – it’s a giant lazy nepotistic circle wank and always has been.

These people choke the creativity of their label’s output down to the intellectual and spiritual level of a rich 19 year old white boy trying to pull in a shoreditch club to some suitably ethnic sounds in order to look a bit less like the future bank manager he fucking is and I hate them with all my heart. They are the gatekeepers of all the money, they control every last resource artists need and they make damn sure only the most lightweight combinations of Dim and Pretty ever get their hands on them.

They are the reason every time I see someone dressed like a soho hipster I just want to dick punch them into The Dark Dimension. They are the reason I can’t walk about Brighton any more without ending up shouting like some raging incoherent marxist tramp.

I personally loathe what micro genre experts have done to mainstream modern music; accounting every last emotion into ever smaller boxes like librarians of the soul, making sure everything in the world is hushed down to the minimum level of intensity and relevance.

Fuck them for turning the major label industry into a massive day glow toilet where (as in all toilets) gold sinks to the bottom unseen and shit floats to the top.

Bring back the clueless old men who pressed your shit and waited to see what happened instead of doing a bad impersonation of all knowing prophets of a completely unpredictable industry. The blandness, heartlessness and nepotism of the major label scene proves again and again that these “Experts” wouldn’t know shit if they had a mouthful of it.

Big up MY people: the weirdos, the freaks, the unclassifiable ones. The unmarketable and unglamorous types who care too much. The ones with fierce political views and zero chances of being the next Robin Thicke. The indie kids, the nerds, the punks, the troubled ones and the ugly ones. Big yourself for even surviving this long in such a ghastly strip lit neon catwalk of a world: next time you see one of life’s eternal Cool Kids slap them for me and set fire to their trainers. They can afford new ones.

(For those delightful people who regularly ask me: “You’re so good! Why aren’t you signed to a big label??” By now it must be pretty clear: you wouldn’t put a hungry old lion in a room full of tender young gazelles and expect anything other than a gory outcome. And neither would the gazelle. )

What are your personal musical highlights of 2016?
For me the most rewarding moments are when I hear someone who’s been in the game a long time, who’s worked with the best and who really knows what they are talking about compliment my voice or my writing. I had one of those moments BIG time this year with the living legend that is Tom Moulton.

If you don’t know who Tom is just check his wikipedia page but basically the guy invented the remix. He produced the first 3 Grace Jones albums and he’s worked with pretty much everyone in the soul music scene. He’s a living legend. This year he voluntarily remixed the opening song from the album Low Fi Classics which I co wrote with producer Mr Bird saying that when he first heard my vocals he just pretty much played the song on a loop for ten hours and had to work on it. That alone was a pretty big stamp of recognition.

During a subsequent interview he spoke at length about the sincerity, heart and real world grit missing from modern vocalists and how my vocals had those in spades.

Imagine one of your paintings being praised in detail by Van Gough. Imagine Chester P talking in an interview about what a sick MC he thinks you are. That’s what it was like for me.

Not just because it was a lovely compliment but because it was coming from someone who’s worked with some of the best voices around and knows whereof he speaks. That was the year’s real highlight for me personally. Shoutouts to Ash Beedle, John Oliver and my very own Fairy Godmother Jo Wallace for helping to make that happen. Love you guys to bits, you’re amazing.

You’re known for a love of collaborating with other talented musicians. Looking forward to 2017, who can we look forward to seeing you work with?
Oh all sorts of wonderful people. I feature on a track from Ty’s next album which I’m very proud of. I’ve got a dark as fuck tune in the pipeline with Strange U who I’m a massive panzu of so that’s gonna be ridiculous. I got roped in to do a heartbreaking hook on a tune by Mongo, which was huge for me as someone who used to rock “itchy town” in their car as a youth. I’m planning on some more original music for french label Radio Krimi Records.

There’s also the possibility of me and a couple of other well known independent rappers on the scene linking up for a completely unique group project but I can’t confirm anything yet or talk names. I’m just going to subtly drop the hashtag #RRDY before anyone else does and leave the tease there.

Plus on my own songs I’ve roped in a LOT of independent producers, rappers and musicians who I’m really excited to work with. Keep your eyes on #GBRevived is all I’m saying. The best is yet to come.

Which other artists are inspiring you right now?
As always the independent music scene gives me life on an untold level. I’m really looking forward to hearing Eva Lazarus album now that her crowdfunded is complete. She’s hugely talented and a versatile songwriter with great hooks. I look forward to seeing her shine.

Children Of Zeus have only just begun to show us what they can do. I’m looking forward to hearing their vocalist Tyler Daley’s collabs on the new Goldie project as well as anything new they turn out. Much respected and admired contemporaries and I hope they continue to get a light shone on what they do.

The names are too numerous to mention but basically if I big you up on Facebook at any point this means you. There’s so many people out there right now putting in amazing work I can barely keep up. It’s a great time to be a music lover with your ear to the ground.

You’ve talked a lot about quitting music in 2016, and yet it seems like we’re getting more great music from you than ever? Are you still quitting?
I can understand why you ask that so let me clear it up. The answer is Yes I am basically quitting my “Career” in music, but not yet.

I plan several years in advance of the stuff you actually see released, when you have as many projects across different disciplines in the air as I do that’s just how it has to be. The music I’m now releasing as part of #GBRevived was mostly created between 2012 and 2015 and this is just how long it’s taken to see the light of day. So even if I wanted to quit tomorrow I couldn’t. It’s just not an option. I’ve got whole albums I still need to find homes for and release first.

BUT it is true that I’ve decided to change my “Main Career” from music to illustration once all my current backlog is released. Barring any massive changes in circumstance by 2020 I no longer want music to be my main full time career. Obviously if the big leagues come a knocking or something alligns correctly that lets me take a step up I’m not going to turn it down. But it’s more likely I’ll downgrade music to a profitable hobby I do for love in my spare time and put my professional collab prices up so high that the only time I work for anyone else is on the rare occasion they can afford me.

Music is a great way to feed your soul but it’s no way to feed your kids, your self esteem or your mortage. Drawing dope pictures for lots of cash is the sustainable way to do that. But there’s more than 6 album’s worth of great music to come before that point. You haven’t seen the last of GB yet by a long stretch.

Thanks Greg, and best of luck for 2017 and beyond.
Blessings homeslice, and big ups Wordplay!

Words by James Kennaby 
Images by Andre Kimche

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10 Questions: The Outerclass (Detax & Loop Faction)


What’s good lovely people! We’re back at it again with another round of 10 Questions, keeping the questions light and loose to allow the contestants to get creative and expand with their answers. So! This time round we have Cornwall based duo The Outerclass…

1) Contestant, what’s your name, chosen craft and where are you based?
We are The Outerclass – Detax rants and Loop Faction makes beats. Hailing from the darkest depths of the Southwest; Cornwall and Devon.

2) How would you describe your sound?
Loop –
My sound is basic and rugged. I get all my samples and sounds from records, nowadays I’ve built up a good drum library and stuff. Use strictly hardware to make the beats – an MPC2500 and tape deck. I’ve also got an SP303, which I love. Oh and my Moog synth! Generally, I got an ear for ethereal sounding samples. I love that dream like sound, whether it’s a piano or vocal or whatever. That definitely helps shape my sound. I keep it lo-fi…

Detax – When I write bars I put most effort into delivering what I wanna say through rhyme/concept schemes combined with wordplay, and I like to write tracks that carry a message, whether that’s trivial stuff or something mad deep. I wouldn’t say I’m a particularly style/technical flow rapper though. My bars go from political, humorous, deep to dark shit, I like to cover all sorts of subjects and concepts and challenge myself to come up with new ideas I haven’t heard before. I critique hiphop for what it is, which has gotta be done if you’re conscious.. I don’t rap that fast and I’m not really on the double time flex.

3) Who / what do you consider to be the biggest influence on your music?
Detax – When I was in college aged about 16 I started going to the raves and free parties that used to happen really regularly before everyone started (for some reason) paying to go to parties on beaches and fields! It was seeing the oldscool djs and mcs smashing it at these raves that started making me wanna do this music ish! When I was a teenager, a lot of hiphop heads in Cornwall didn’t know UK hiphop was even a thing! No facebook, so free parties were pretty much the only place where I’d meet other heads that spat bars or made beats or that were into music like I was so I’d always come away from a good mash up inspired after meeting some mad characters. So the party scene was probably the biggest thing that made me wanna make music! It’s the vibes that music creates in those moments, nothing like it. Musically I was inspired most by Task Force, Jehst, Non Phixion, Homeboy Sandman. They’re all completely different but I’ve learnt a lot listening to these guys, in my opinion they all pioneer their own sounds and I’ve grown up on this ish! Task Force blew my mind with how deep you can go with lyrics and were the first ever UKHipHop I discovered, Jehst is a master of wordplays and concept flows…, NonPhixion just make the haaaardest rap tracks and bounce off each other so well, real hiphop group! And Homeboy Sandman is unbelievably clever and versatile as a rapper; his lyricism never stops failing to surprise, he literally could rap about anything and on any track and make it dope! Always been a huge fan of the incredible Bustaaaa Rhymes, him and Flipmode was the first stuff I got proper into when I was in my school years.

Loop – As well as obviously getting inspired by listening to good music/beats, the biggest influence on my music is day to day stuff, my surroundings, my pets. Stuff like that, and of course i just get inspired when Im going through records and find a nice sample, that certain sound that catches my ear. I got so many records, most of them your average crate digger wouldn’t look twice at. Country records, classical, compilations, dance records, 45’s, folk, French records, old military records… All sorts. I’ve never spent more than a couple of quid on a record to sample. I like limiting myself in this way, it would be too easy to rip up some soul from the internet and chop that up. Also, I think would lose my sound if I gave myself access to any sample like that, so I’m kind of oldskool I spose.

4) What’s the proudest moment to date for you as an artist?
Detax – Getting all nostalgic.. Playing a set mainstage last year with Mr Grey, Trix and DJ XoneRanger (with zero hours sleep) at a sick little festival called Holifair in Cornwall we been going to since we were young! Huge Vibes!

Loop – Don’t really have a proudest moment. It’s an ongoing thing. I’m just happy that I’m still doing it and will continue. I’m not actively trying to get a bigger name, meet people or do shows so don’t really have a proudest moment in that sense.

5) Do you have any advice for our readers who maybe trying to play the mad game of music?
Detax – Don’t look to replicate the style/sound that’s big right now. Stick to your guns and be fresh!


6) Name 3 people you would love to work with and why?
Loop –  People I would like to work with…… Like minded easy going people. That’s where the good shit comes from. When you can get a vibe going easily, even if it’s just sending files back and forth over the internet. You can’t force music, the vibe’s gotta come naturally! There’s some people I got in mind, hopefully one day we will put something out.

Detax – My favourite US rapper Homeboy Sandman, and I’d love to work on a US collab, I consider him one of the greats.. Not a realistic option but it would be big haha! We’d love to keep working with our homie Joe Burn in the future too, we recently put together something nice which is dropping on the album… I’ve also got a few peeps from Cornwall that are dope artists that I’ve been meaning to work with but been caught up in my own projects, that would be Mr Grey, Bamboo and Lauren Martin (formerly Ladele)! Us lot used to get involved and play gigs and that in Cornwall when it had its own little scene from around 2012-2015, we like to refer to it as the golden age, it’s gone pretty quiet in recent years though, someone’s gotta step up and start something soon! Look out for collabs there in the future tho!

7) What have you got planned for the not so distant future?
Our new album POST-REAL is releasing early-ish 2017 and before then a collab music video we’ll be dropping pretty soon. We are also working on a small project that we’ll be donating all sales towards a charity, something a little different and as relevant as we can make it, but we will say no more on this! Possibly a collaborative project… And Loop is sitting on a few different projects that are coming together including a new instrumental album, so lots more music to come in future!

8) What’s the album you’ve played more than any other?
Loop – Quasimoto, The Unseen
Detax – Task Force, MFTC3

9) What’s the best concert you’ve ever been to? And where?
Loop –  When I was a kid saw Jamiriqui at the Plymouth Pavillions in the early 90’s, they let me dance on the stage :D. That and Massive Attack in Bristol last year are my two best gigs.

Detax – First UK hip hop gig I ever saw when I was 18/19. It was Jehst, Micall Parknsun, Sir Smurf and DJ IQ with LG and Biscuit at the Sandsifter in Cornwall, 2008/09. Blew my mind! We ended up playing our first ever gig there as well, great venue.

10) Name 3 things you can’t live without?
Loop – My dog Lord Bobz and the Cats Tina n Trish.
Detax – Aside from all the obvious answers you’d expect.. That would be Rum, Coke and Limes.

Lastly, can you nominate another contestant and provide us with a question for them on your behalf?
Our nomination is the OG – DJ Jabbathakut and our question is – What is the strangest/weirdest moment of your hip hop voyage?

Any last words/shoutouts?
Look out for our new album POST-REAL, we’re looking to release in digital and various physical forms around March! Big up everyone from the Kernow homelands that’ve rolled with us and supported since day 1 and all the new supporters too, muucho love! J

Check out the Outerclass here –
https://www.facebook.com/theouterclass/
https://soundcloud.com/loop-faction

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A day to buy music

The good folk at Bandcamp made an announcement earlier this week to say they will be donating 100% of their profits to the American Civil Liberties Union this Friday, to help contribute to those who are currently working to oppose last week’s Executive Order barring immigrants and refugees from seven Middle Eastern countries from entering the United States.

Why not use this opportunity to do your bit whislt stocking up your music collection, by checking out Wordplay’s top 5 hip-hop albums we think deserve a place in your music collection.

5. Fliptrix – Patterns of Escapism (£7)

If you’ve not already got your hands on Fliptrix’s latest album then now’s your chance. Featuring fellow High Focus artists, including Ocean Wisdom, Verb T, Dabbla and The Four Owls collective, this album offers up some of Fliptrix’s finest verses to date.

4. Split Prophets – Scribbled Thoughts (£5)

This 2011 release by Split Prophets is a game changer. Grabbing the attention with tracks like ‘Drop of Poison’ and ‘Ain’t Amused’, this highly regarded album should have pride of place in your music selection.

3. Jehst – The Return of the Drifter (£7.49)

The first full length LP from hip-hop veteran Jehst, should be a staple part of every UK hip-hop fans diet. Featuring hailed classics like ‘1979’, ‘High Plains Anthem’ and ‘Alcoholic Author’, this is an oldie, but a goodie.

2. Phil N’ The Dotz – Phil N’ The Dotz (£7)

Hip-hop duo Phil N’ The Dotz debut feature length did not disappoint when it first dropped back in 2014, and you can still get your hands on it today. Featuring some of the UK’s biggest rappers and producers, including Klashnekoff, Black Twang, Leaf Dog and Pete Cannon.

1. DJ Sammy B-Side – Wordplay Sessions Vol 1 (£2.50)

Finally, it wouldn’t be a full top 5 without Wordplay’s very own mix tape. Take a trip down memory lane and wrap your ears around Sammy B-Side’s first of the Wordplay Sessions series. Whilst you’re there, be sure to check out the rest.

For more inspiration on purchases, check out Bandcamp’s very own compilation of albums made in solidarity, featuring artists from the affected Middle Eastern countries.

https://daily.bandcamp.com/2017/01/31/bandcamp-human-rights

Abi Lewis

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Yo! – Oddisee, Ivan Ave, Royce 5’9″, Thundercat, O.C., Gatecrasherz, SiR + more…

YO! Welcome back to Yo! – Your go to spot for a bi-monthly fix of the latest releases, videos, news and vibes gathered up neatly in a Yo! sized bundle!

Oddisee – Like Really

Kicking things off this edition, it’s the second single to be taken from Oddisee’s upcoming album The Iceberg. Due to land towards the end of February, don’t let the mellow backdrop of Like Really mislead you – this is political commentary at it’s very finest. 

Ivan Ave – Also

Co-produced by Kaytranada and Kiefer, the Norwegian MC’s latest offering is a bass-laden, melodic affair. Few do stripped-back, chill out Hip Hop better than Ivan Ave…

Strange U ft Cappo – Zuul

We’re a couple of weeks away from the release of #LP4080 and to further whet your appetite, the duo have enlisted the talents of the Grand Imperial for Zuul; a percussion heavy head-nodder with a definite Neptunes/ Clipse vibe. This one bumps…

Stik Figa – Central Standard Time

Last time around we told you to check out the Nottz produced Down Payment. Figa’s now released the project in full and with production from the likes of Apollo Brown, Black Milk, Exile, L’Orange and !llmind, he’s been blessed with a rich tapestry to showcase his verbal talents.

Thundercat ft Michael McDonald & Kenny Loggins – Show You The Way

This one’s got the team rather excited. Thundercat’s set to drop his third album Drunk on the 24th of February and boasting guests the likes of Kendrick Lamar, Pharrell and Flying Lotus to name but a few, it’s bound to impress. The first track to be released is Show You The Way; a woozy, soulful and hypnotic affair…

O.C – Same Moon, Same Sun

The D.I.T.C OG O.C. is back with a new solo LP, Same Moon Same Sun. It’s personal, politically charge and pretty damn special. Check the sampler below for a taster and when common sense prevails, download it for FREE!!!! here

Royce 5’9″ – Let’s Take Them To War (Freestyle)

Time for a bit of a lyrical overdose. PRhyme 2’s supposedly in the pipeline and in-between time, Royce is dropping gems. This time around, he lends from Big Sean and absolutely terrorises the beat…

Rye Shabby – Arthur Lager

The latest release from Verb T’s In The Balance imprint, Rye Shabby’s Arthur Lager project is set to drop on Thursday. We’re feeling the first couple of tracks on offer and if they’re anything to go by, the rest of the EP should be well worth a spin.

Gatecrasherz – 2, 3 Break

The first track to be taken from their collective debut Uninvited; Gee Bag, Oli Sudds, Big Toast and Jack Diggs exchange verses over a selection of their own instrumentations and absolutely smash it. It’s the perfect showcase for their seeming expansive arsenal and definitely entices us in for the release of their impending full-length outing.

Dave East – It Was Written

Taken from his Kairi Chanel LP that dropped towards the end of last year, the Nas-approved Dave East has gifted visuals to one of the album’s highlights, It Was Written. Carrying that classic NY aura, East delves into his life and experiences along the way.

Jonwayne – Out Of Sight

With Rap Album Two due in a couple of weeks, Jonwayne’s released the first single Out Of Sight as a precursor. It’s relaxed and reflective and definitely has us looking forward to catching the project in its entirety…

Daryl Donald – Solitude

Time for an instrumental interlude via Edinburgh courtesy of Daryl Donald.  Having previously released a project with Cutta Chase, Solitude is Donald’s first solo feature length and it’s epic. Make sure you check out the wide range of soundscapes; it’s the ideal soundtrack for kicking back to…

Leddie MC – A Piece Of Cake

As distinctive a voice as they come, Middlesbrough MC Leddie has released her debut full length project A Piece Of Cake. She’s been on the scene for years and it’s crazy to think this is her first long player but for her fans, it’s no doubt worth the wait.

Trademark Blud – The Invisible Man (T.I.M)

Produced entirely by Micall Parknsun, Blud’s latest EP is a concise dose of that raw, boombap sound we all love. Sharp lyrics and dope beats: what more could you ask for?

SiR ft Masego – Ooh Nah Nah

Wrapping things up this week, it’s the latest release from TDE’s most recent acquisition. SiR firmly hit our radars with his brilliant HER EP towards the end of last year and now the Inglewood-native’s set to release the follow-up HER TOO a week on Friday. The latest track follows in the same steps of the last project and we’re really itching to catch more of it.

https://open.spotify.com/embed/album/4RmDIqdJ2mgmOuEvtnu8fl

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Loyle Carner interview

Loyle Carner by Jack Cullis for Wordplay Magazine

Loyle Carner is one of the UK’s most promising talents. Summoning a new era of forward thinking, positive and seriously focused artists, we’ve been following Loyle for a good few years now, and it’s been amazing his rise to notoriety. We caught up with the man of the hour on his Cantona tour to find out a little more about his plans for this year.

So what you been up to?
Well, quite a lot. Trying to finish up this album I’ve been working on it for 2 years I guess. Also touring, just a UK tour, It’s been the biggest one we’ve done so far, it’s been a bit overwhelming, I played at Coco, and it was sold out!!

So is that your favourite venue to date?
Yeah I think so man because I’ve seen a lot of my hero’s play there, so it’s been a super surreal experience being there, because I’ve been in the crowd so many times as well.

So how long have you been planning the tour for?
We were coming off the spring tour we did in Easter time, so since then really. We kind off put in promotion before we went off on that tour, but an autumn tours always been in the back of my head but it got properly put down on paper just before they announced it.

So calling it the Cantona tour, holding your dad’s shirt on stage and stuff, is it a tribute tour to him, is that the idea?
I guess so in essence. It’s more of a farewell to all the songs that have served us well over the last 2/3 years because I put them out, and we’ve been touring, but I haven’t put any new tunes out. I haven’t put a big project of work out for a while and with the album coming out next year I think it was the last time I’d be able to play them in a whole. So it was like a tribute to the entirety of my work.

Starting a new chapter…
Yeah exactly!

So what can you tell us about that album?
I’ve been working on it for a long time, it kind of came out of nowhere. It wasn’t like I was working on tunes like album, I was just writing stuff to get it out of my head. A couple of months ago I sat down and was like, oh I’ve actually got a body of work here, let’s make this coherent. There were a few tunes that didn’t really fit in to that story, but might fit in later down the line. I think it’s just an evolution of me. My last EP was like a snapshot of being nineteen. This is I guess a snapshot of being twenty-one; I suppose it’s a little bit more mature. It’s the same themes, family life, but just the different struggles that have come to get to the next step.

Have you got any favourite tracks on the album?
Yeah a couple.  A tune I play live with Tom is a favourite of mine just because it came up out of nowhere. I just kind of free styled it while he made a beat and I was trying to write something but I couldn’t write anything, so I was like, cool let me just get a freestyle down just so I can go back and write to it and have a feel for it. In the end the freestyle stuck because it was just a one off thing. But for me it was kind of the purest form of the music I’ve found today. It just feels like it wasn’t forced at all.

Loyle Carner by Jack Cullis for Wordplay Magazine

You’ve been working with Tom a fair bit, is there anyone that feels like your favourite producer to date?
A lot of the people I’ve wanted to work with I’ve worked with in England. I’ve been working with Jehst a lot. As far as production goes I love his beats but I also think he’s the best rapper of all time from the UK, so working with him has been surreal. I can phone him up and chat to him! And Kleff of course, working with your best friend is a beautiful thing.

So what are you two doing together at the moment?
Just messing around, playing Fifa! Nah we’re working on a couple of tunes together, touring. Kleff DJ’s all my shows so we’re working on stuff when we’re away, but really just whatever friends do really. Spending too much time with each other and winding each other up. Like a proper married couple!

How did the cooking school with Goma come about?
I’ve always loved cooking. When I was younger I found this unparalleled peace when I was cooking and I figured if it worked for me it might work for kids in a similar situation. A guy i know hooked up with me and asked if I wanted to come and rep his skate brand. I hadn’t skated for a few years so I said you don’t need me you need someone else. But he asked if I wanted to put on a project myself and I’ll help you run it. Off the top of my head I said I wanted to open a cooking school and we put it in to motion. The first course was Summer 2016 with kids aged 14-16. It went really well, and we’ve just got funding to put it in to place properly. We’re gonna do a Christmas dinner, and put the course in to yearly rotation. Mad, but very rewarding! It’s kind of second nature to me because my mum teaches kids with special education needs, so for me, I couldn’t really see myself doing anything else.

Have you taught before or done anything like this?
I’ve done bits and bobs, running little workshops and stuff, helping out my mum in her classes at Croydon Literary Centre. That’s the only real experience.

So where did the idea for the package come from? It’s a different way of approaching a cookbook!
It was more just a way of documenting for us and for the kids. Get some photos done, get some recipes down; it was more for them to have something to take away and remember. As we got further with it, it just made sense to sell them and get them out there so more people could be drawn in to it. But it was never a thing about making it big and making loads of money, it was more lets get a nice thing you can flick through quickly, and remember it instead of getting bored off it.

World’s smallest cookbook!
Yeah exactly, three recipes! Good recipes though!

Chilli con Carner is the one!
Haha, thanks man.


So other than the album, the cookery school, and Fifa have you got any plans for the rest of the year?
More touring, launching this album. I guess it’s kind of what’s been sucking up a lot of my time. That and sorting out the mortgage! Really just grown, boring old man stuff!

Yesterday’s Gone is out now on AMF Records on digital, vinyl, CD and streaming platforms:

There’s another single before the year is out. Just finished storyboarding the video, and hopefully gonna co-direct it with someone I’m a big fan of.

Words by James “Vice” Kennaby
Images by Jack Cullis
Transcribed by Joe Laflin

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Zedo – Point of view (review)

A UK artist with a genuinely effortless flow and interesting take on the world around him, Zedo’s latest release Point of View was a welcome addition to the list of album’s to stick on the headphones this week.

Having released the Coffeeshop mixtape back in January 2015, Zedo returns with a more polished project, produced entirely by E.Hill, that should send some recognition his way.

 “I’m on the grind and I’m finding I’m doing fine now.”

The Bedford-based MC sounds like a man at ease with himself and the music that he’s making, and that combined with some catchy hooks, such as Orin’s feature on Under the Sun, makes for an album that’s both captivating and easy on the ear.

But it’s more than just an easy listening hip hop album with a heavy jazz influence. As the project progresses, Zedo tackles some deeper, more political topics in ‘Soulful Nightmares’, expressing frustrations that many of us share, while offering an alternative to letting it get to you.

This is followed by T.O.P, where the production hits a head-banging peak. It would definitely be interesting to hear some more of Zedo spitting over higher tempo beats in the future, but the album mellows out with one of my favourite tracks on the album Rise & the Fall, Pt. 1, before finishing strongly with Light ‘em Up.

Zedo assures us he intends to be more prolific with his releases from now on, and with his next project already in the works, he’s an artist well worth keeping track of. Give Point of View a listen below.

Words by Freddie Harding

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YO! – J.Cole, Strange U, Mysdiggi, Loyle Carner, BLVK BLVD, Leaf Dog, Micall Parknsun, Corners + more

Yes peeps! After an extended festive break, we’re back in the mix with our fortnightly round up of tracks we feel you should be checking. Naturally, we’re kicking off with a bumper edition to make up for the delay…

Elz x Kevin Jazz x Coops – We Don’t Play

We’re starting off with something really smooth. Produced by Talos, Elz has teamed up with Swedish MC Kevin Jazz and album of the year nominee Coops for a vintage boom-bap head nodder. We’re certainly keeping our ears on Elz and if you’re got a minute or two, we suggest you check some of his other offerings…

J. Cole – High For Hours

Fresh from catching everyone off-guard with his 4 Your Eyez Only, Cole’s starting off 2017 with more new music. His recent addition to his Soundcloud finds him as deep and reflective as ever – discussing homeland affairs, social injustices and conversations with the President.


Strange U – Shots

The first of two tracks from the HF camp. Lifted from the forthcoming #LP4080, the trippy video compliments the distorted, off-kilter drum loops as King Kash lyrically tears the beat a new one.

Loyle Carner ft Tom Misch – Damselfly

Ahead of his highly anticipated debut album Yesterday’s Gone which arrives on Friday, Loyle’s given us the final teaser in the shape of the Tom Misch assisted Damselfly. It doesn’t stray too far from what you’d expected from the duo – sharp lyrics, mellow vibes and the perfect precursor to the album’s release.

Stik Figa ft Elzhi – Down Payment

You should know by now that anything dropping via Mello Music Group is guaranteed to be big. The final track from to be released ahead of the release of Central Standard Time in a couple of weeks, Stik Figa teams up with the ever-impressive Elzhi over an absolute monster of a beat from Nottz…

Mystro – MMA Rap Up 2016

He might have wrapped-up doing the annual re-caps of what went down but his passion for mixed martial arts has enticed MysDiggi back. It’ll definitely mean more if you’re a fan of the sport but you’ve got to give props to the man as he highlights the big movements of last year.

Micall Parknsun – Practicing Tag Team Moves

One of the hardest working in the scene, Parky’s been self-promoting the shit out this EP for the past few weeks and months and now it’s finally landed. Featuring cameos from long-term collaborater and friend Jehst and underground legend Durrty Goodz, this is can’t be missed.

Black The Ripper ft Coops – London Zoo

Another Coops feature, another heavy throwback beat courtesy of Talos. On this occasion, Black The Ripper hosts as both artists deliberate about their hometown habitats and extra curricular herbal activities.

Sleaze & Sonnyjim – Paranoid City

This is the second collaborative effort between the duo. Boasting production from the likes of Illinformed, Reklews, Sumgii, Sam Zircon and more; it’s gritty, it’s raw and it’d pretty dope!

Leaf Dog – Intro

Dose number two from the High Focus gang and this time it’s one of the highest. Leafy’s back with a new solo LP and to gear up for the release, he’s dropped the intro for Dystopian Dialect. There’s no further release info as of yet but if this is anything to go by, it’s going to be big!

Tha 4orce & Confucius MC – More To It

Let’s get a bit funky. Tha 4orce flips some old-school jazzy loops for Confucius to wax lyrical over. One beat. One mic. One DJ – there’s very little better.

Mattic, Yago & Pitch – We Left With No Expectations EP

The Mouse Outfit’s Pitch once again teams up with Mattic for an EP outside of the usual Outfit vibe. This time Mattic’s fellow Charlotte native Yago’s along for the ride as the duo trade bars over Pitch’s crisp production.

BLVK BLVD – BrappTV

We first became aware of the project when Gearrzz & Remus featured alongside Theme and Chester P a couple of issues back. Since then, we’ve been keeping an eye on the duo as they’ve worked on their album and even been privileged to hear a few tracks. Now featuring as the latest episode of BrappTV, BLVK BLVD showcase why they’re some of the fiercest lyricists around and we’re excited to hear more from them!

Da Flyy Hooligan – FLPM

Following on from his recent Ray Winstone project, the artist formally know as Iron Braydz has dropped a new addition to his repetoire in the shape of Fucc Ya Life Praise Mine. It’s dark, moody and 100% pure and uncut.

L’Orange & Mr. Lif – The Gentle End

Lifted from their eccentric joint effort The Life & Death Of Scenery that dropped back in October, L’Orange & Mr. Lif have recently dropped an equally obscure set of visuals for The Gentle End. Visually bizarre but somewhat hypnotic, L’Orange’s floaty melody and crisp drums contrast Lif’s gruff tones perfectly.

SK Invitational ft John Robinson & J.Hoard – Golden Crown

Feel good vibes from the SK Invitational camp. The first track to be taken from their impending third LP Golden Crown, it’s a nod to the old school, NY boombap sound. We’re feeling it and think you guys will too.

Corners ft Jester Jacobs, eMCee Killa, Gee Bag, Oliver Sudden, MNSR Frites, Cheech & Louis Cypher – Perfect 10

Monster posse-cut alert! Lifted from the upcoming self-titled Corners LP, Beit Nun, Benny Diction & Deeflux assemble under their collaborative moniker and call-on a host of heads to trade 8-bars.  The album’s been brought forward to the end of this week and if you can’t wait until then, go and check our exclusive stream now.

Roughcut Collective – Individual

Another new group effort to keep an eye on. Twizzy and Ambush Tactics have linked up under their new namesake to drop visuals for the first track to be taken from their soon to be released Lions EP.

Dream Mclean & The Last Skeptik – Doing Bits

Wrapping things up, it’s a little bit of a wild card. Regular collaborators, Mclean & Skeptik release the first track to be taken from their Cheese On Brown Bread EP (which is due out on the 23rd), the bouncy and brash Doing Bits.

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WORDPLAY EXCLUSIVE PRE-RELEASE STREAM: Corners – Corners

 

Corners – Corners WORDPLAY MAGAZINE EXCLUSIVE STREAM

Wordplay are always very proud of the exclusive streams we are able to give you. Believe us when we say we carefully select the music we support to ensure we consisting provide you the dopeness you need!

So, 2017 has begun, and to start our exclusive streams as we mean to go on, we are excited to present to you Corners with their self-titled debut album Corners. An album crafted by a trio consisting of Beit Nun, Benny Diction and Deeflux. The name represents the crew’s geographical distance, with Benny in London, Dee in Farnborough and Beit in Macclesfield, alongside their musical careers intertwining at the right time, thus creating Corners. This isn’t the first time the guys have collaborated. There’s a string of releases over time that unified the rhymers, including Beit Nun & Able8’s Expansion:

In 2014, after sourcing the right beats, the group started work on the tracks, finally recording in 2015 over the course of one weekend. Corners features a fine selection of production, that’s very much a who’s who of the UK scene, with production credits including Beat Butcha, Bambu Hands, Brother Beatbox, Downstroke, Chris Leese and Krang. There’s only two tracks featuring guest vocals, one from Dan Bull, and a traditional crew track featuring Jester Jacobs, eMCee Killa, Gee Bag, Oliver Sudden, MNSR Frites, Cheech & Louis Cypher. The project is mixed and mastered by the legendary Chemo, and features artwork from the vastly talented, longtime Wordplay collaborator, Kid Acne.

It will be available to download from the usual digital channels on Friday 20th January, with an official vinyl release on the same day. You can preorder all formats now at:
https://cornersuk.bandcamp.com/album/corners 

And so, with no more words needed! Let’s do this. Wordplay Magazine are very proud to present – Corners with their debut project – Corners. Enjoy!….

EDIT – 21-01-17 – THIS ALBUM IS NOW AVAILABLE FROM BANDCAMP:

 

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#1 – Wordplay Meets…. Eothen ‘Egon’ Alapatt (Stones Throw / Now Again Records)

Wordplay Magazine is 15!
To celebrate, and summon the beginning of a year long selection of amazing, as ever high quality content, including interviews, mixes, competitions, AND Issue 16s’ imminent release.

To kick things off, we are very proud to introduce our new series Wordplay Meets. A series of in depth interviews with Vice, digging deep into artists motivation, inspiration and creative process.

What better way to start than an emotive interview with Eothen ‘Egon’ Alapatt. As a key member of Stones Throw, a key part of J Dilla’s success, and the leading light in the J Dilla Foundation and the Pay Jay Records. Alongside his tireless work for Ma Dukes and the Yancey family, Eothen also runs Now Again Records, and works alongside Madlib.

The interview was recorded during the massively long awaiting release / listening party for J Dilla’s The Diary (check out Vice’s review of the event here). An album that Eothen fought to see released for over a decade, Vice captures a moment of celebration, tinged with sadness.

••TRACKLIST••

J Dilla – Life (instrumental)
J Dilla – The Ex f. Bilal
J Dilla – Make ‘em NV (Instrumental)
J Dilla – Flowers (instrumental)
J Dilla – Trucks
J Dilla – Lightworks
J Dilla – The $ (instrumental)
Madlib – Fallin (Instrumental)
J Dilla – The Sickness f. Nas (Produced by Madlib)
P.R. Q.  – Tell Me
Jaylib – The Red (instrumental)

Words by James “Vice beats” Kennaby
Graphics by Nev

AND here it is….

 

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Rhythm And Alps Festival 2016

Rhythm and Alps Festival NYE 2016

Happy new year from the other side of the world!  This year we decided to switch it up and do something a bit different to the usual house party or club in bristol for a change, so we headed to one of new Zealand’s biggest New Year’s parties, Rhythm and Alps festival. Held at Robrosa Station in Wanaka’s majestic rolling Cardrona Valley. The festival site was made up of three innovative stages featuring a jaw dropping amount of insane visual effects and orchestrated lighting specially designed by R&A’s own experts as well as 60 acts comprised of the best home grown talent and top artists from around the world.

The music officially kicked off on the 30th of December, giving festival goers an extra night for the new years celebrations. The sun was shining and the music was blaring by the afternoon bringing in everybody from the campsite in high spirits. Ocean Alley were the first act to catch our attention on the huge Alpine Arena Stage (Main Stage) and swung the crowd into action. Playing a bunch of mellow track from there debut album Lost Tropics. A few hours after came on our main highlight, Los Angeles- based rapper and founding member of the legendary hip hop group Jurassic 5, Akil the MC followed suit accompanied by his DJ who spun a few records by the likes of NAO and Wu Tang. Rearing in a massive crowd, Akil jumped off stage and over the barrier mid set and got everyone to form a cypher circle for him. He called out for 4 fellow mc’s to join him and take turns on the mic setting everyone off cheering and screaming whilst clambering onto each others shoulders to get a better look. He finished off the set performing a few Jurassic 5 classics and back on stage without a scratch on him.

Taking on the stage the Australian hip hop, reggae and d&b beatboxer Dub FX warmed up his set alone before bringing on his band, playing an array of genres from hip hop to d&b turning up the crowds energy as the sun began to set. Across the festival site laid the impressive Where the Wild Things Are stage which was most likely the best stage we have ever seen at a festival, with three epic pyramid platforms featuring a technical mix of state of the art projection mapping this stage set the bar high. As well as that, the festival provided a giant buddha head covered in projections and lighting displays all night which made out to be a great photo opportunity for the punters. Ending the night off with a bang was the reggae/dub group Weird Together. Bursting with energy and keeping everyone on their toes with their mixed genres, the bands roots run deep from all over the world.

Starting off the second day of the festival and most importantly New Years Eve, New Zealand native group The Settlers announced their presence by providing a soulful hip hop set to mellow out everyones hangovers from the night before. With the sun not out as much as the day before and everyone recovering from the previous nights blowout the celebrations got off to a slower start and the bands vibe went hand in hand with the relaxing ambience and set the day off to the perfect start. With ticket sales up for NYE the festival site was clearly a lot busier already. We headed over to WTWTA stage to catch a set from Young Tapz, an american rapper recently signed to G.O.O.D Music. Drawing in an extensive crowd who seemed to know every one of his tracks word for word, Young Tapz clearly had his fans in the palm of his hand though out his performance.

When midnight struck at the Alpine Area an incredible firework display shot out behind the elevated stage and fire dancers emerged out on top of a fire truck and blasted the crowd into 2017 in true R&A style. The overall atmosphere throughout the whole festival was truly something special, from the upbeat and friendly festival goers to the enthusiastic Rhythm and Alps team. We have never before come across a more uplifting festival. If your ever in New Zealand and stuck for a way to celebrate new years we would highly recommend getting yourselves here!

Thank you to the whole R&A team for having us and thank you Alex.

Words: Katie Pill

Photos: Anis Ali

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London: from a Street Art perspective

street-art-london-tour

Since hosting the Summer Olympics in 2012, London has welcomed an unprecedented influx of tourists and all sorts of travellers from across the globe. Whilst the city has it’s well known monuments, it’s managed to preserve some of its most well admired street art elements that set it apart from every other city in the world.

From Buckingham Palace and Big Ben, to Trafalgar Square and Hyde Park, to Madame Tussaud’s and London Eye, England’s capital offers more reasons to love it even more. So much so that CNN complied a detailed list of why it’s the greatest city on Earth!. However, behind all the usual destinations and popular attractions, there’s a certain mystique about London that represents a progressive, an avant-garde, not to mention, a distinct form of fascination. We’re talking about the city’s glorious street art scene.

London is brimming with an urban art scene that’s full of life. It’s become sort of a portal to a different side of the capital, one that takes us away from typical spots and into the vast unknown of modern day street artists. Best of all, it’s similar to some museums and parks in such a way that it’s free for everyone to enjoy, ultimately returning Art to the people.

banksy_-_sweep_at_hoxton

Arguably, one of the most well admired urban artists in the last decade is Banksy. His infamous reputation has seen him work across the World (whilst remaining rooted in London and Bristol), and since working on the Capoeira Twins cover in in 1998, he’s collaborated with (or approved graphic use) for bands such as Blur, One Cut and Talib Kweli, and sold pieces to Diddy, Drake, Swiss Beatz and Angelina Jolie (according to Bronte Dawson of Hex Jam). His signature style features stencilled images of people and animals involved in unexpected behaviour. Some pieces highlight exceptionally political points of view, while others plainly underline a comical theme. One of the greatest examples of course being Weston-Super-Mare’s Dismaland temporary theme park, created as an incredibly dark and twisted version of Disneyland which saw the coastal town inundated with visitors from around the World.

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Another recognisable street artist is Stik. Unlike his more mainstream counterparts, he works a bit under the radar, yet his finest pieces can be seen in grandiose areas of London. One of Stik’s creations brings to light something that tugs on the heartstrings of people from all walks of life. Airline passengers who are coming in to land at Heathrow Airport can see his famous Mother and Child piece in Acton, West London. In essence, Stik, along with the likes of Space Invader, Lily Mixe, and Conor Harrington, represent a more underground scene, and ethically minded scene.

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Lastly, there’s 3D graff Joe and Max, two innovative urban artists who are known for their huge three-dimension art installation of the Wall from Game of Thrones. Located at Liverpool Street in London, this piece was commissioned by HBO and was released in conjunction with the hit show’s season 3 Blu-Ray and DVD release back in 2014. The cable TV series, as most of us know, is considered one of the best, most influential programs of this generation. It even spawned a board game by Fantasy Flight Games, as well as slot title Game of Thrones 243 Ways to Win which is hosted on digital platform Slingo. Although the realistic street painting lasted for just a day, it remains as a significant piece in London’s street art history.

There will always be more to love about London than just it’s popular tourist hotspots. The key to all of these is to appreciate the city beyond the typical newspaper-worthy destinations and activities. And with a captivating urban art scene to boot, the famous British capital definitely covers and offers everyone the best of both worlds.

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#WPAOTY 2016 – Panel & Results

It’s that time!
We went from 14 seriously dope albums, to five, and NOW is the time to announce the winner. It’s hard to create a sense of tension on a written piece, BUT we have been so hyped to see how much everyone (as ever) has got behind #WPAOTY in 2016. It’s been an incredible year for UK hip-hop, with some brilliant music being created. Check out below how we worked out the decision from our panel of amazing DJs, promoters, apps and developers plus you and us!

SO….Wordplay Magazine’s Album Of The Year for 2016 is –

OCEAN WISDOM – CHAOS ’93!!!!

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A massive congratulations to all of the finalists and nominees. It’s a seriously tough competition to be part of, and we love all of the albums. We’d pick 14 winners if we could! That said, all 14 are winners to us!

Ocean Wisdom will be receiving a laser cut Trophy at the start of 2017, alongside a bunch of merch, and of course a WHOLE bunch of well deserved love from the scene!

We’ll see you next year!!!!!

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SO! Team Wordplay (the various individuals behind the magazine & site) put their heads together and debated for weeks over their favourite hip-hop albums from the UK. We have presented this list to you over the course of seven days and now it’s up to our panel to reduce the numbers further.

It’s time people!
HERE’S THE FIVE FINALISTS!!!! The winner will be announced at 8pm on Monday 19th December. A massive congratulations to all of our finalists, and to all of the artists who got selected as nominees. The UK has created some incredible albums this year, and it was a seriously hard choice.
They are…
Dabbla – Year Of The Monkey
Jungle Brown – Flight 314
Shay D – A Figure Of Speech
Coops – God Complex
Ocean Wisdom – Chaos ’93


How the decision was made:
This is the clever bit! Each of our panelists were asked for their top three albums. The albums were given points (5 for 1st, 3 for 2nd, 1 for 3rd). We added these together from Brapp, THTC, Boombap and Suspect Packages. Team Wordplay’s 28 members each did the same thing and their collective results were collated. The final element is YOU! We have been watching and logging how much support and buzz artists have been receiving. Now, this isn’t something that requires an army of PR teams and promoters, and this has been massively proven by the amount of support the artists have been getting across the board on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Our panel:
After a few years of public voting to determine the winner of our Album Of The Year, we decided to do things slightly differently for 2016. We listened to the artists and our own heads and agreed the best way to honour the music would be to have some well respected and knowledgeable individuals help us.

panel

 

Raad & Pavan (Brapp TV)brapps

Brapp’s rapid rise to fame has been astounding. WIth a music collaboration platform offering vocalists and producer a like the opportunity to connect and build, these guys have been getting support across the globe, and have a really strong understanding of the UK scene, especially with the added fact that one of them is a member of Foreign Beggars! Get involved with Brapp TV here

Ivan & Alana Hepburn (Boombap Festival)bb-banner

Two crucial members of the crew behind BoomBap Festival. WIth both working tirelessly with artists to bring us the only hip-hop festival in the UK, when it comes to live music and crowd response nobody is placed better. Plus Boombap are responsible for taking many artists overseas as part of Outlook Festival, Amsterdam and several others, so they have a broad understanding of our scene beyond UK shores. We eagerly await their 2017 plans, keep locked to boombapfestival.co.uk

Gav (THTC)

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The Hemp Trading Company started nearly 18 years ago, bringing ethical clothing to the UK. Starting back in 1999, THTC has a great tradition of supporting artists such as Rodney P, Sarah Love, Si Phili and recently BeatFox not to mention countless others. THTC has been immersed in hip hop culture since their origination. Check out their latest range here

Disorda (Suspect Packages/Kane FM)sp-banner

When considering our panel, Disorda was top of our list. Nobody has supported hip-hop in the UK more than this DJ, creator of Suspect Packages, and all round good egg! He is undoubtedly one of the UK’s finest. His knowledge of the scene and the music itself over the last 20 years is rivalled by none! Catch his regular Suspect Packages show here

 

Bookmark this page because over the next few days we will announce the final three and then the winner.

For the full list of all our nominees visit here

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EXCLUSIVE PREMIERE: Wilson Miles – Gun Runnin’

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Wilson Miles are dope. It’s that simple. Hector Miles and Tony Wilson are two incredibly talented musicians, making timeless hip-hop with poignant lyrics and diverse soundscapes that are inventive and beautifully constructed boom-bap. That’s why we made them Amplify Artists of the Month for November, and why we will happily support anything they put out. Call it a “Wordplay Stamp Of Approval”!

Following on from Handle Your Business, the duo’s debut single, Gun Runnin’ is the second video release from The Golden Handshake EP, which was recently released digitally via i-Tunes and many more platforms (cop it HERE!)

Lock me up for some marijuana…so he can stamp me…9 double 1…another nigga wit a gun…nigga betta not run…target practice just for fun…I hope I never have a son…I fuckin lost em before they one

Is just one of the many examples of hard hitting and elaquent lyricism that perfectly defines the incredibly concerning current political and policing climate in the US and beyond. Gun Runnin’ is edited by Nathan Greenwood and features some pretty tough to handle footage. Well, that’s all from us. Watch, enjoy, share, and be sure to watch Wilson Miles develop in their journey. We sure will be!

Social Media Links
www.Facebook.com/wilsonmilesmusic
Instagram/wilsonmilesmusic
Twitter/ wilsonmilesmuzk
www.Soundcloud.com/wilsonmilesmusic
Booking: wilsonmilesmusic@gmail.com

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