KEMETSTRY A.K.A. SPIDA LEE – Spirit Vs Ego Freestyle

ARTICLE BY MICHAEL GRANT, C.E.O. of RePPiN4U & International rep for Wu Worldwide DJ Coalition

KemetstrySometimes, classics should be left alone. They are classic for a reason. Not only is it an unwritten rule in film, but the same applies in Hip Hop, unless you are a special kind of talent who can pull it off. Such is the case for Huddersfield MC – Spida Lee, who has taken on a new alias – Kemetstry, and along with it – a new clothing line.

Thankfully this man has a knack of dropping powerful freestyles over classic tracks, and this time it’s the turn of Dr. Dre’s 2001 cut – Ackrite featuring Hittman. King Of Da Hillz TV (KODHTV) invited him on to show us the struggle and comparison between ‘Spirit Vs Ego’, combining conscious mindset with Jamaican humour. Check the video below after the jump…

Firing off the starting blocks with “Spirit Vs My Ego/tryna be Professor X with thoughts of Magneto/you clown fish rappers gonna find you like Nemo/Gangsta like Premo/Like George Bush taking Twin Towers to Ground Zero..” Kemestry goes in, and warns the ignorant ‘never mention banana boat again!’

In an era where people are more aware of logos, symbols, and their meanings, whereas others think they are ‘woke’, Kemetstry breaks down the meaning of his logo in the video below.

 

“REAL KINGS DON’T DIE, CAUSE YOUR SPIRIT LIVES ON…”

If you like what you hear, you can download the freestyle for free on soundcloud. You can also check out the rest of his catalogue on bandcamp, and you can also purchase the Kemetstry gear at his official website.

LIKE KEMETSTRY ON FACEBOOK @kemetstryOfficial

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BLACK PANTHER

RELEASED: FEBRUARY 16, 2018, Director – Ryan Coogler

REVIEW BY MICHAEL GRANT, C.E.O. of RePPiN4U, International Rep for Wu Worldwide DJ Coalition

DISCLAIMER: This review is written from the perspective of a casual fan, and not necessarily that of a Marvel Comic fanatic.

The craze began mid-summer of 2017…after the success of the Netflix hit ‘Luke Cage’ which had hip hop and Marvel fans in a frenzy, it was time for director – Ryan Coogler to pull the trigger and announce Black Panther… not only was it the first superhero movie of its kind (Black director, Black writers, predominately black cast, with the lead role also played by a black person) but it is also a vital piece to the puzzle which coincides with the story to the 2018 blockbuster – The Avengers: Infinity War. The hype leading to this movie has been incredible, to the point where a superhero film has crossed mainstream borders the magnitude of the first Spiderman movie which starred Tobey Maguire back in 2002. I can tell you that I never saw the trailers, yet I got hype. How does that even work? Maybe it was word of mouth, maybe it was the talk of black people dressing up in their Sunday best which was unheard of. It had me contemplating whether to draw for the Infamous Purple Suit… I walked into Cineworld Wolverhampton expecting a total takeover by black people carrying the dutch-pot with fried fish, dumpling, hardo bread, plantain, Guinness punch, bun & cheese, all that good stuff, but instead what I saw was a glorious mixture of my fellow brothers and sisters, with the Marvel Comic fans, with even older people 50+ years old attending this movie. The moment that got me hype however was this video…

Special shout out to Kendrick Lamar who provided the soundtrack to this movie. The lead single ‘All the Stars’ featuring fellow label-mate SZA captured the true essence and vibe, something not seen in a superhero movie since arguably Seal’s ‘Kiss From A Rose’ for Batman Forever. If this feel good track does not get you hype for the film, you’re reading the wrong review.

Black Panther is a story of how the perception of the African nation Wakanda is viewed by the whole world as a third world country, but they couldn’t be further from the truth as Wakanda is the most technology advanced place in the world, with its main source coming from a metal called ‘Vibranium’, which powers all their transport and equipment, and best of all – can heal their people. Well that eliminates the legalisation of cannabis, doesn’t it?

The back story dates back to 1992, when the brother of the King of Wakanda was accused of betraying them and steals a piece of that metal. They send a spy after him to help track him down, and when the King finally caught up with him in Oakland California, he kills his brother after he shows resistance, not realising that his son – a young Erik ‘Killmonger’ Stevens a.k.a. N’Jadaka (played by Michael B Jordan) witnesses what happened from the distance.

Fast forward to present day, and The King of Wakanda has passed away, and passes his throne down to his son T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman), along with the power of the Black Panther.

Killmonger learns of his family history and then devises a plan to overthrow T’Challa. Not just that, but also to use the Vibranium to wage war against the world as revenge for what happened to his people centuries ago.

Let’s take a moment to compliment the movie with its wardrobe outfit designs. they are nothing short of exquisite. I couldn’t help but hear chuckles from some of the younger audiences when they saw what looked like discs embedded in some of the mouths of the tribesmen. As mentioned earlier with regards to Kendrick Lamar, the music treatment really matched those action sequences.

Some of these scenes are straight up epic, such as the ritual combats T’Challa had to engage in to become King or defend his throne against Killmonger. In the former battle, T’Challa was on the brink of defeat when he sees his mother Ramonda (Angela Bassett) cry out to him which prompts him to hail himself “I AM T’CHALLA! SON OF T’CHAKA!” in a similar war cry fashion to Apocalypto when Jaguar Paw declares himself as king of the jungle before making an epic comeback.

Kudos to the film’s sub-villain Ulysess Klaue (Andy Serkis) who has some great one-liners like telling his enemies to ‘check his music on soundcloud’, or the bodyguards led by Okoye (Danai Gurira) who shows no fear in battles, they are sure to inspire the youth of today just as T’Challa’s sister Shuri (Letita Wright) who makes the weapons and what not, or even Killmonger himself, who despite his villainous antics, his heart is in the right place at times because when the film cuts to a scene in London UK you know something is going down when he visits the British museum and puts them on blast about English ancestors robbing Africa for their riches which resulted in gasps heard within the cinema. Yes people Marvel Comics are teaching their fans. And of course, Stan Lee just had to find himself in the film… and rightfully so.

Mike Knoxxx Killmonger meme

Photo art courtesy of Mike Knoxxx of BDSIR NETWORK/SoulNSports

That is a fantastic line by Killmonger in his dying moments in the film’s climax, just as the final scene where the kids in LA are fascinated by T’Challa’s aircraft while one kid takes a step back and notices T’Challa simply standing there. the kid approaches him and asks him if the craft belongs to him. Very powerful moment to close the film.

Without watching any trailers and not knowing what to expect, this is such a great film and worth all the hype which you couldn’t even tell that it was meant to be a connection to Avengers: Infinity War to the casual viewer. If there were any minors about the feature, it might be some of the CGI effects which looked dated in places, maybe it’s budget cuts saved for the infinity war but the casual viewer is already so engaged and BlackPanther_Movie_Poster_MrDesignJunkie_04_1383x2048invested in the action that it’s not even a factor. It’s a real shame about Killmonger going forward, he could have made a great ally in future installments but again, steering away from the comic book adaptation may annoy purists. A personal gripe of mine which is not even to do with the film itself, but people going in and out of the cinema, words from the wise – use the bathroom facilities before you leave!

People are going to the cinema to watch this movie, and leave either wanting to be an engineer or some kind of skilled warrior, or wanting their own necklace hoping it will give them super powers. With box office records already broken, Let’s be real – a sequel is inevitable… you best plan out your next outfit from now…

 

 

SKYZOO: In Celebration Of Us

RELEASED: FEBRUARY 2, 2018 – First Generation Rich/EMPIRE

REVIEW BY MICHAEL GRANT@ C.E.O. of RePPiN4U & International Rep for Wu Worldwide DJ Coalition

“Similar habits, get it on the strength, and I got her eating donuts every February 10th – I’m #AllAboutThat..” – (Skyzoo, #AllAboutThat, 2011)

Let’s be real – February is a month of CELEBRATION. Some of us wanna act all ‘pro black’ on social media and rattle on about how Valentines, Thanksgiving, Christmas etc are pagan holidays but there we are hoping to be showered with gifts, getting our teeth into that succulent turkey, or how we talk about February being ‘Black History Month’ but we should celebrate all year round’ but there we are again dressing up in African garments and the like just to watch a superhero film… down to J Dilla (and Baatin) February has Skyzoo Celebrationmore Dilla social media posts than any other time in the year…Skyzoo is aware of this, and so he’s decided to take full advantage. He was born Gregory Skylar Taylor December 24, 1982, he has paid homage to Dilla in previous joints, Spike Lee is his hero, and so he just wants to celebrate black love and community, not just that but more specifically – himself and his parents in this latest album – IN CELEBRATION OF US – which dropped in FEBRUARY.

When the album starts you quickly realise that the year is 1982 two guys in the conversation are Skyzoo’s (soon to be) father and his friend and how Pops plans to raise his unborn son away from the world he’s been exposed to which is great looking out.

Skyzoo’s lyrical prowess wastes no time in ‘Everybody’s Fine’ over a jazzy backdrop which is a theme which re-occurs throughout the project, and basically that’s what the album ‘Sounds Like’. But here – your head is viciously nodding uncontrollably. This is going to be an instant favourite among boom bap fans and more importantly – concert ready.

This flows relentlessly into the album’s lead single ‘Baker’s Dozen’ featuring The Love King himself – Raheem DeVaughn, which is basically D’Angelo’s Devil’s Pie brought into 2108 and updated. This shuts down critics about Apollo Brown’s production as this is a complete departure from the grainy vinyl soul sound we know and expect from him. In a period where we have gone crazy over the visual presentation of black superheroes, it’s great to see Sky use a clever line  – “Black lives in black 5s, the frame boxing out, 
I’m Luke Caging but more related to Cottonmouth…” Personally – I will always prefer Sky & Raheem’s Dream Deferred outing ‘Drew & Derwin’ which should have blown up on many levels. On the off-chance Sky & Raheem see this, I sincerely hope they still give that track the visual treatment.

An instant album highlight, ‘Crown Holder’, as soon as you hear the sample. !llmind slows down the 1989 Soho Jazz hit while Sky’s head gets a little respectfully big “You can call this my new sh!t, but it ain’t new tho, I done helped raise a couple stars that you know, Know the fans I be attracting is ’bout a loophole, he isn’t lying, through him I discovered the likes of Torae & Rapsody… and oh yeah – that sultry Heather Victoria chick…

Sky continues to play the lyrical show off in ‘Heirlooms & Accessories,’ when halfway through the track, the beat switches and so does his flow and he does it without flinching. Not just that, when the beat was done, Sky wasn’t done! He can go ‘Forever in a Day’ if he wanted to.

kaycola

KAY COLA

The spoken word interlude has Sky turning his attention to the women… or rather, the woman has turned her attention to him. ‘The Purpose’ of it, is to bring out more of the Lucid Dream Queen herself – Kay Cola, another gifted soul artist who features on the track.

In every 4 bars Skyzoo breaks down the definition of the word ‘Love’ and it’s metaphors in this no-hook wordplay assault, and the album’s February celebration theme re-occurs… “Or love me like a purchase on 47th and 6th, And the Russian jeweler knock off $100 off what you pick, 
In the middle of February your sleeves up off your wrist, And you add another $100 when discussing what you spent…” 

The last few bars in ‘Black Sambo’ is the unfortunate reality of our young black youth who could become victims of the racist police brutality and even through live social media Saba abrahaseen by millions (because that sort of thing goes viral quick) there’s still no justice.

Allow for ‘Parks & Recreation’ to zone you out with Saba Abraha providing the chorus, once again Skyzoo referring to his earlier track where he continues to raise new stars. It becomes evident at this point that when it comes to guest appearances for this project, he’s calling on NO MC. He’s going in alone, thus defeating the myth of ‘new album! What’s the line up like?’ The zone out continues in ‘Collateral’ featuring Jake&Papa, and right off the bat makes a snappy Wu-Tang reference “Can It Be All So Simple, Corey & Dennis?” Later you hear what appears to be a Caucasian voice use the ‘List of Jericho’ to state everything black people like… zone out session isn’t over in ‘The Stick Up Tape From Menace’… no prizes for guessing which classic film that is a reference from. Zone out session ends with ‘Hoodie SZN’…the lyrical content in this album will have hip hop fiends deciphering those lyrics for a good while yet.

The album closes out with one of the most epic tracks ever heard since arguably Jay-Z’s American Gangster in ‘Honor Amongst Thieves’, and here Sky has his most ‘4:44’ moment, by that I mean when he talks about his upbringing and personal life in such a vivid picture to the shocking conclusion of what happened at the neighborhood school and why his parents never wanted him there. Sky told us from the jump that this would be his most complex and focused work to date.

Skyzoo has come a long way from being a 9th Wonder protegé to becoming that hip hop superstar he is today and retaining all the credibility he had which a lot of artists would have sacrificed in less than half of that tenure, and the reason this is his most personal work because now Skylar himself is about to be a father and now the cycle starts again.

This IS a celebration. Raise your glasses, Skyzoo has done it again. Best album perhaps since arguably The Salvation…