The half-pint city of Chattanooga, Tennessee has long been overshadowed by Memphis; it’s more prosperous cousin four hours west. In fact Chattown; as some call it, has garnered little attention since locals revelled in the success of city native Usher and the release of Confessions in 2004. A decade on residents of The C prepare to have their vocals amplified once more as twenty two year old Isaiah Rashad gears up for the release of his debut EP the Cilvia Demo later this month. Last year the rap newcomer was scooped up by Top Dawg Entertainment; the latest contingent in a string of independent imprints that have breathed new life into a previously ailing genre. Continue reading
In a bustling East London coffee shop 25 year old Adian Coker sits perched on a coffee brown leather cushion; after spending the last half hour probing several café’s in the cold of Shoreditch he gratefully swarms both hands around a steaming cup of tea. To his left sits his manager Michael, a French national who has found home ten minutes away in Bethnal Green. One month has passed since he aided Adian in the release of second mixtape Young World; a stirring voyage through the galleria of South London. Originally intended as an expansive chronicling of his thoughts, Young World was without warning morphed into a contemporary social depiction of the life and times on Greenwich’s Barnfield Estate.
He takes a sip before starting, “In the end this CD being like a social commentary but I didn’t even realise it. Really and truly it’s an exploration but it’s not glorifying anything, it’s not justifying. I’m just telling you this is what happens.” Continue reading
2013 was no different from 2012, 2012 no different from 2011 and so on; an array of artists made last ditch plays for the realms of pop serenity and the majority failed. This development is no longer bewildering but rather inevitable. However, as we drew closer to the end of this the calendar year, one rapper attempted to play things a tad differently. Continue reading
Whilst many spend decades finding their calling in life, both Andre Villas Boas and Benjamin Ruggiero embarked on their career paths relatively early. The former, born in Portugal’s second city Porto, originated as a covert scout compiling dossiers on the intricacies of local rivals for hometown manager Bobby Robson; the latter arose as a fleet footed street soldier on the pavings of New York; his bond with the Bonnano crime Family moulded by the time his twenties had swung onto the horizon. Continue reading
“Gaston is right up there with the best. His technique, control, use of the ball and understanding of the game is different to anyone else.” – Southampton centre back Jose Fonte
It’s an overcast February afternoon; the scarcity of fans present in a relatively unoccupied DW Stadium belies the importance of the game being played on the field. Southampton trail relegation rivals Wigan Athletic by the solitary goal and with every misdirected pass agitation amongst the away faithful swells. After a notable draw with Everton and a spirited yet ultimately fruitless performance at Old Trafford, defeat here would certainly undermine the impressive start made by new manager Mauricio Pochettino. The clash with Wigan was primed as a fixture in which credible performances manifested themselves into something more palpable; points on the board.
Grime legend Big Narstie is back with his much-anticipated EP ‘Hello High’ alongside True Tiger. A permanent fixture in the ever-changing underground scene – the artist also known asUncle Pain caught up with Aniefiok Ekpoudom to discuss his latest release, the evolution of grime, and why they won’t be changing their sound to win awards…
“We can chart our future clearly and wisely, only when we know the path which has led to the present.” The inspiring words by late American politician Adlai Stevenson II are embezzled on the reception walls of Sony Records London headquarters. Overhead the latest One Direction video ambles on in silence via numerous TV monitors as 80s pop star Sinitta strolls past below, her heels clunking heavily on the wooden floorboards.
In the corner, two employees sit perched on a sofa enjoying a casual session of FIFA during what must be their lunch break. They both briefly break gaze; not for Sinitta; they must be used to seeing her, instead their concentration is breached due to a change of song on the overhead monitors. One Direction have been replaced by rising star Maxsta and his latest single “Wanna go;” the pair watch on in silence as the 21 year old parades through the capital on an open top double decker bus alongside the talented Little Nikki. Coincidentally it is in that moment Maxsta’s publicist arrives and briskly sweeps me through the building into a little room on the edge of one of the main offices, I step inside. Continue reading
A few years ago South London rapper Mynature was living the life many artists fib about in their rhymes. However, life has taken a turn in different direction and it is now music that Mynature piles his time and energy into. New single Louder is his attempt to introduce his music to a wider audience having spent years operating in the underground of the UK Hip Hop scene. Continue reading
If rappers were to feature in the dictionary, Kanye West would fall under ‘Eccentric,’ Jay Z under ‘Savvy’ and perhaps embezzled beneath ‘Sincere,’ the words ‘Ben Ridley’ will stake their claim.
The latter is the stage name of a South London rapper who has taken Benjamin Franklin’s decree of ‘honesty is the best policy,’ and applied it to his music. “I like the songs where I just rap my life as it happened,” he tells me; a refreshing admission in an era where the lines between the art of storytelling and outright fibs have become increasingly blurred. Continue reading
In the lead up to the release of any widely sought after album there are two certainties; one, the artist in question will herald the upcoming body of work as his or hers ‘best to date,’ and two, the album will leak ahead of the official release. The later is as definite as night and day; in addition to this eventuality, unfortunately for artists, instead of leaks springing up days before the scheduled release, it is now weeks. Hip Hop juggernaut Drake is the latest in a string of artists to fall prey to this phenomenon; third album ‘Nothing Was The Same’ hit the web a week and a half before it’s officially release on Monday; prematurely devoured by all who could find a link. Continue reading