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TY INTERVIEWED (2004): British hip-hop to the people

TY INTERVIEWED (2004): British hip-hop to the people

From this distance, British hip-hop comes down to a few big names: the Streets, Dizzee Rascal and Skinnyman. It takes keen interest -- or a look at the nominees for the highly regarded Mercury Prize -- to come across rapper Ty. But he's not a new name. His debut album Awkward appeared three years ago in 2001 and the Mercury-nominated Upwards...

NU METAL IN 2001: Look at the nu boss, same as the old boss

NU METAL IN 2001: Look at the nu boss, same as the old boss

Heavy metal is for young men without a war of their own, wrote a wag in Creem magazine some time in the early Seventies. At the time Led Zeppelin were stomping across the planet delivering their stolen blues and post-pop at ear-shattering volume. You can catch it in their concert film The Song Remains the Same -- and they look like a bunch of...

Plan B: The Defamation of Strickland Banks (Atlantic)

Plan B: The Defamation of Strickland Banks (Atlantic)

East London 'ard-man rapper Ben Drew -- aka Plan B -- can deliver some bruising rap about utterly nasty characters (and in an uncompromising manner which suggests you shouldn't mess with him). But he also showcases another side on this, his second studio album. That of an aching falsetto-Smokey Robinson/Motown-styled soul singer. He goes...

DEAN HAPETA'S 2002 UPPER HUTT POSSE REMIXES: Say The Word, and you'll be freed

DEAN HAPETA'S 2002 UPPER HUTT POSSE REMIXES: Say The Word, and you'll be freed

Dean Hapeta was the mainman in the Upper Hutt Posse (which also included singer-songwriter Emma Paki), the group which recorded the first New Zealand rap single E Tu in 1988. It was a powerful (if thin-sounding) statement of Maori anger and unashamedly used te reo (the Maori language) to strident effect. See lyrics below. Hapeta - as Te...

dan le sac Vs Scroobius Pip: Angles (2008)

dan le sac Vs Scroobius Pip: Angles (2008)

Hip-hop's global reach was achieved well over two decades ago now, and because "the word" is the most important medium for a message in any culture it's no surprise that just about anywhere on the planet where there are words, so too there are rappers. In a decade -- from the early Eighties -- rap went from an inner-city movement...

Anthrax: Bring the Noise (1991)

Anthrax: Bring the Noise (1991)

It's hard to believe, but a radio station in New Zealand -- which always seemed to be playing car dealer ads and 20 year old Led Zeppelin on the rare occasions I tuned in -- had as its slogan "No crap, no rap". We can guess they weren't actually distinguishing between the two but by implication rap was crap. It must have come...

Various Artists, Tommy Boy Greatest Beats Vol 1. 1981-96

Various Artists, Tommy Boy Greatest Beats Vol 1. 1981-96

Hip-hop is such an integral part of music today that it is hard to believe radio stations once proudly announced "no crap, no rap". With everyone from classical quartets, gospel legend Mavis Staples, alt.country singer Steve Earle and stadium-shakers U2 using scratching and samples, the tools of hip-hop have crossed genres and...

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