SHAKEZPEARE – Troubled

RELEASE: APRIL 20, 2018 NEW GOLDEN ERA/LIMITLESS VISION

REVIEW BY MICHAEL GRANT, C.E.O. of RePPiN4U/INTERNATIONAL REP for WU-WORLDWIDE DJ COALITION

1994: If there was one aspect I hated with a passion at school, it was studying Shakespeare, particularly that Romeo & Juliet. That story used to get on my last nerves. Two people from rival families fall in love with each other and then end up killing themselves…Give me a break. I used to roll my eyes over that all day. That gave me a ‘troubled’ mindset and wound up the English teacher.

1997: Wu-Tang Forever is released. As stated elsewhere in this blogsite, one of my highlights from that was ‘A Better Tomorrow’ imagine my horror when I discovered 4th Front Cover -Troubled - ShakezpeareDisciple used the sample from that same Shakespeare classic I hate.

Fast forward some 20 odd years later, I come across an artist by the name of ‘Shakezpeare’, introduced to me by our radio cousins FATP HIP HOP SHOW UK, this guy is all about the poetry, and not necessarily in the way William himself would have liked. Don’t call him ‘Trouble’, he’s already TROUBLED, as his latest album suggests (shout out to Method Man, heads will know what I did there), this album takes to a more deeper, almost twisted side to the persona, whether intentional or not. RePPiN4U was blessed to receive an advanced copy of this, and we are about to tell you what you can expect. One thing is guaranteed – more BARS OVER BULLSH!T, with the troubled one himself going in for dolo handling all the production going under the alias ‘TSS BEATS’.

It starts off with ‘Who Am I’, which sees Shakezpeare seemingly re-introducing himself to the world who may not know him too well, it just seems so ironic how I used Wu-Tang’s A Better Tomorrow track from Wu-Tang Forever for this review because their hook states “You can’t party your life away, drink your life away………………….because your seeds grow up the same way”, and the evidence shows when Shakespeare mentions his daughter and how she is just like him. He also knows the value of being blessed as he walks through the ‘Shadows Of’…

“If the milk turns out to be sour, I ain’t the kind of pussy to drink it, you nah’mean?”

My suspicions say that is an altered, distorted voice cameo from FATP’s PC The Producer akin to Raekwon in Supreme Clientele’s ‘Clyde Smith’, but I cannot prove it…not yet. ‘Sour Milk’ is a sure-fire album highlight. Three tracks in, and the album has maintained a haunting, deliberate pace, and it has no intention of stopping. In ‘Misguided’, Shakezpeare does not mince his words with his blunt delivery: “Getting sick of false idols, faking the game/pink dreads and lipstick/battyman strange!”

shakezpeare troubled

‘Trouble’ is the first single from this project. Naturally this is the recurring theme throughout, no matter how much Shakezpeare wants to escape, so rather than that, he’s always staying sharp and ahead from backstabbers and will face them head on. Meanwhile, ‘Certy’ sounds like it has the Mobb Deep influence all throughout its sonic production, not to mention it has the stamp of approval from Havoc himself. It’s at this point Shakezpeare decides to turn up the intensity with ‘Looking Glass’, where he sees himself with his ‘inner Blanka’ just begging to be unleashed on the world.

The penultimate skit has a jewel spoken by Dr Malachi Z.York over a SAW theme. It sets the tone for the album’s last track ‘Nah’, where he puts himself on another playing field when it comes to being gutter.

Back Cover - Troubled - Shakezpeare

NOT THAT GUY

Conveniently dropping on 4/20, this project is definitely one for the smokers who can zone out and really feel the intensity here and relate to a troubled mind… that is until the final track where at the end of the journey, Shakezpeare kicks you out of his mind and proclaims you are NOT like him, and the likelihood is – he’s right. The album hits like a shaolin buddah finger (soft strikes but can easily kill when struck at the right power point.) The timing is right as well as he will be performing tracks from this album at the Killah Priest show which is days later (at time of this publish). Even if you are ‘straight edge’ like myself, this is an album you can channel your emotions into.

 

 

 

 

 

 

PHAROAHE MONCH LIVE @2FUNKY MUSIC CAFE, LEICESTER UK – MARCH 24, 2018!

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

Pharoahe Monch scratches my head. Like seriously. I don’t understand. Allow me to elaborate. This is a guy who has four critically acclaimed albums under his belt (five if you include ‘Lost In Translation’), but certain heads have STILL not heard of this guy? Going as far as not even knowing that he’s behind the classic anthem ‘Simon Says’? Like – how is this even possible? It’s not like he’s an obscure artist either! Thank goodness for Pharaohe Monch live Leicester igthose in attendance at the 2Funky Music Cafe in Leicester (My home away from home). For the past two years, I have attended this venue more times than any other venue for music gigs, which says a lot for this country’s so-called ‘second capital’ (Birmingham promoters get it together!!!)

Once again I have to big up Shakezpeare and his catering crew. They really make the events feel right at home with their Caribbean cuisine. Venues across the UK STEP YOUR GAME UP!

Big shout out to the DJs on the ones an twos. KMS & DJ YESS providing the sounds on the outside while heads get their smoke on and what not, but special mention goes out to DJ Ninja Bob, who really impressed me with the way he selects his music. The casual head may not tell the difference, but someone like myself would be able to tell that Ninja Bob was carefully mixing old school with new school hip hop in his set, and I’m not talking mumble rap either. That true to form Hip Hop that is played on RePPiN4U HIP HOP SHOW. We need more DJs like him who isn’t afraid of answering to the higher-ups of what to play.

In past reviews I have criticized the venue for having too many opening acts before the main event, but this time they nailed it. Strizzy Strauss kicked things off when Big Ben struck twelve, Mercz The 1st impressed me coming off all smooth and then backing off his jacket halfway through his set proclaiming ‘That’s the commercial stuff out the way’, going in with harder sounds and then finishing with a Leicester victory anthem, presumably made upon Leicester City’s premiership victory triumph in 2016.

Friend of RePPiN4U – Loaneski was up next and owned the stage with his fierce delivery leaving the stage hot enough for D-Crime to bring the Hip Hop 4x100m relay baton to the finish line. The only drawback was these guys didn’t have enough time on stage to really show off their skills.

Now on this night, the UK were turning their clocks forward, so 1am became 2am. and between 2:15am and 2:20am DJ Boogie Blind introduced the guest of honor to the stage. Fitted with a leather jacket with the anarchy symbol on the back, this is a Renegade ready for War, starting the set with ‘Assassins’. There I was looking around the corner looking for Jean Grae to surprise us but then remembered we are not in London.

Pharoahe blasts through his powerful resume of hits such as ‘Oh No’, ‘Clap’, ‘Desire’, and ‘Got You’, but once again his epic storytelling in ‘Time 2’ was the show stealer, as a ‘drunken Pharoahe’ stumbles in and out of the spotlight, with the chair as the centerpiece, and Pharoahe eventually shoots himself with a water pistol (playing the role of the gun obviously)…

Pharoahe ends his set with the tune he’s best known for, the mosh pit anthem to end all mosh pits. SIMON SAYS. It’s just a real shame the women doesn’t do what Simon Says… and there were quite a number of them on this night!

Pharoahe Monch 2 Funky

PHOTO TAKEN COURTESY OF K PIX PHOTOGRAPHY

With no new album (that we know of) in the works, this was a stellar show which everybody enjoyed, and this has further cemented Leicester as THE place in the Midlands for Hip Hop. In the space of two years, this city has seen Onyx, Lowkey, Kool G Rap, Havoc, Dom Pachino, and now Pharoahe Monch…Birmingham – TALK TO YOUR PROMOTERS. TALK TO EM!!!