GHOSTFACE KILLAH LIVE @O2 ACADEMY, BIRMINGHAM SEPT 22, 2017!

REVIEW WRITTEN BY MICHAEL GRANT, C.E.O. of RePPiN4U

I WAS GONE FOR 28 SEASONS.

The reason I say that, is because somewhere between July 2010 when I witnessed (in my mind) the greatest show ever in Nas & Damian Marley in the O2 Academy, I return to the same venue, and things have changed.

Ghostface Killah Bham

The first time, I saw my favourite artist of all time with MF DOOM. The Theodore Unit, Killah Priest and MF DOOM himself recited a verse each of Triumph.

The second time, I saw my favourite artist of all time with Sheek Louch of The Lox, it was great to hear a combination of Wu-Block hits, before that unthinkable moment when I took a pic with the Supreme Clientele Champion himself.

This is the third time. This time closer to home, to enjoy the show with my peoples. This time I had no idea what to expect apart from – it would be different from the past two shows I had been to, AND IT WAS. In some ways, not in the way that I would have liked.

My initial arrival to the O2 Academy had me in disbelief, two hours before doors opening and there was already a queue. Initial thoughts were – this could be history right here, until I looked up at the display…’Ghostface Killah & Machine Gun Kelly’. Prior to this the flyer read ‘Ghostface Killah & special guests’… so imagine my horror thinking we had to go through a set with him, not saying he’s not a great artist but rather not a fan of and what RePPiN4U doesn’t necessarily support.

Fast forward three hours later, it turns out there were two separate shows so I could remember Machine Gun Kelly the way I want to remember him… Observe…

GRANT BODY-P!

I was also stunned at the security for taking my HD video camcorder away from me at the doors, which explains this article’s use of video footage from other uploaders. Locked away in a safe, RePPiN4U were unable to bring you highlights on this rare occasion, and also may be a lesson learned.

The real special guests were in fact Joe Young, who opened the show. A very humble dude and great guy, he knew he was very new to the scene, he gave the crowd a heads up that tunes performed from his Invincible Armour album feature his fellow Wu-Brethen, and the crowd accepted that fact.

Next up was an artist from Liverpool named MC Nels0n (Nelson Idama), a good artist, great rhymes, great selection of beats, but there were a few problems – the main one being his mic – the crowd couldn’t get the clarity of his rhymes like the beat overpowered his voice, but the sound engineers quickly rectified that. What we heard was a guy who concentrated hard to remember every line, but he sounded stoic and needed to work on his stage presence. The Birmingham crowd were lenient, because London crowd would have booed him off stage. I have seen artists better than him booed of stage in London viciously.

After a great 90s Hip Hop set with some recent hits thrown in to keep the crowd hype, a few short performances from other artists including a hot looking female MC whose name we couldn’t catch because of the noise made by guys and catching snaps of the hot pants wearing chick on their phones…

The plate throwing clan member finally jumped on stage with Killah Priest at 9:20pm and started his rollercoaster set with hits like Mighty Healthy, We Made It, Ice Cream before jumping into ‘Eye For An Eye’ in tribute to Prodigy.

 

The rollercoaster continued into the classic 1993/1995 cuts such as Chessboxing, 4th Chamber, and an alternate and interesting version of Knowledge God.

Ghost continues the tradition of remembering ODB, and inviting two people on stage to recite Method Man’s verse and ODB’s verse of Protect Ya Neck. Yes I admit to bottling the opportunity, but if Ghost invited me to recite Raekwon’s verse of Apollo Kids then not only would it be a different story, I’m sure Ghost would be even more impressed…but I digress…

One dude stepped up as you will see in the video below, but unknown to us – Ghost had a secret weapon – Numi Sic’Nis – who went IN on Method Man’s verse! Not just that – she singlehandedly performed the whole Triumph track (minus Ghost verse) – she just kept on going and Ghost himself became her hype man! Simply another example of how humble Ghost is – he could have told the DJ to stop the track but nope!

Just before the show closed out with Triumph, Ghost asked the fans what track they wanna hear him perform, after mad confusion from different requests – my friend requested any track from ‘BadBadNotGood’ (which would have been a unique pick) and there I was screaming ‘Apollo Kids’ – but ultimately Gravel Pit, Run and Daytona 500 got the win.

40 minutes later – just like that – it was all over. So unexpected, disappointing knowingGhostface Bhams (2) the last two shows I was at – he went a lot longer… only defense was that Ghost does like to embrace his fans and that he did – signed autographs on T-Shirts for a good hour. Maybe it was a decision made to comply with the possible curfew of 11pm…

THE SAGA CONTINUES

Now this is what I mean – I was gone for 28 Seasons. In 2010, Nas & Damian Marley – they were on at least 90 minutes and they finished at midnight. 2017, Ghost finished at 10pm – something happened in between that time for O2 Academy to change their policies…

Make no mistake – Ghostface Killah & Killah Priest (with help from Numi) rocked the joint for 40 minutes straight – no slow down, it was one after the other. It was a crash course in big tune.

Onwards and Upwards to October 13 – to normal jabronies, that’s a day the need to watch where they walk if they believe in superstition. For Hip Hop fans and especially Wu-Tang fans, its sword swinging season once again and it will be curtains for their mumble rhyming enemies.

 

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BUSTA RHYMES – When Disaster Strikes… 20th Anniversary

Released: September 16, 1997 on Elektra Records

Don’t you miss the countdown to the millennium? Can’t lie, it was an exciting time. Either two things were gonna happen as it hit January 1, 2000… either everything instantly turned futuristic on some Back To The Future style, cars would be flying, that sort of thing, or the world was going to blow up after ‘spinning around in space 2000 times’. But Busta Rhymes When Disaster StrikesBusta Rhymes took a double meaning to this approach. To him it also meant at the time 2 and half years left until he and the Flipmode Squad took over the rap game… well at least that was the plan.

I cannot pinpoint the actual time I purchased this album but I know it wasn’t on day of release. I do remember it was sometime between September and November of 1997. The days of Ruby Red Records were near its end, me and my people had discovered Birmingham. Those journeys from Wolverhampton to Birmingham and back again on the 126 bus…oh boy, there were untold stories. When the Gravediggaz album dropped (Pick, Sickle & Shovel) We gave that 126 bus a new name, but maybe that’s another article waiting to happen…

A lot of us hail E.L.E. Extinction Level Event as Busta Rhymes most well-rounded and overall best album, but for me personally it was a toss-up between Anarchy and When Disaster Strikes… 20 years later, THIS IS MY STORY.

INTRO

I wanna give a big shout out to my long time friend @imfootballmad on twitter, doing major things now on United Peoples TV. You gonna hear about @imfootballmad throughout this story. Back then we used this intro for every journey we made, every female orientated mission we had… “ALRIGHT BUSTA, LET’S GO!!”

THE WHOLE WORLD LOOKING AT ME

I FEEL SO SUPREME!!! This was my anthem when I got my NVQ in Accounting from the Chamber of Commerce. At 17, I was hoping to become the next great accountant… er… that didn’t turn out too well…

But now? As a proud member of the Wu Worldwide DJ Coalition and the GGO (Ghetto Government Officials) and host of the Best Damn Show In Wild1 Radio… Take a look at me, take a look… HA!

SURVIVAL HUNGRY

“I refuse to lose, look at the news and read the interviews… FLIPMODE IZ DA SQUAD!” I live by that line!

Here I’m not addressing the bandwagon jabronies who purchased the album after Turn It Up Remix (Fire It Up) came out… because they may not know about this tune which was cruelly taken off the album in favor for that Knight Rider sampled hit. I know which tune I would have taken off the album but more on that later. But hey, I gotta big up the bandwagon jabronies who supported Busta after Knight Rider. It may have been his most defining moment breaking into mainstream.

Just know this – Survival Hungry got a REEEEWWWWIINNNNNND!!!! On my way back from Birmingham on the 126 bus the day I brought this album.

WHEN DISASTER STRIKES…

…YOU WILL SEE!!!! Already by this time my concerns about Busta Rhymes evolving rhyming style had already been eradicated. Initially I didn’t think Busta could top ‘The Coming’ judging by ‘Put Your Hands….’ but I’ll talk about that later… the feisty, full-blown in your face dungeon dragon Busta Rhymes was here in full effect in the first three tracks… that’s the Busta I like! But if you followed Busta from Leaders Of The New School, and each year you took a recording of him, over a period of time you would hear his voice change, and change, and adapt and evolve…

SO HARDCORE

“I walk through brick walls, f**k around hijack your whole shopping mall!” Busta’s animated persona made me really think he was really capable of walking through brick walls! You could imagine it in a music video, especially when he had his dreads! This was an early favourite of mine! If your headpiece is not banging at this point, your local GP is open from 8am til around 7pm Monday to Friday. Make that appointment.

GET HIGH TONIGHT

Everybody who knows me well knows I’m not that guy, I don’t do drugs… but tune like this – that’s how I get my high… If there was anyone else outside of De La Soul & Redman who were kings of the skits, it’s Busta & Flipmode. So if you don’t smoke weed or anything like that, don’t think this is not for you – IT IS!

TURN IT UP/FIRE IT UP

I seriously think the original Turn It Up was so underrated. Imagine this at house parties on some Kid N Play style and the bass pumping and there you are grabbing a female’s thigh and wrapping it round your ribs while you’re killing the full set of teet like your name is Eddie Murphy! That’s the vibe this tune gave to me…

Now my favourite story of Fire It Up… it was 1998, May Bank Holiday. Atlantis nightclub was the place to be… if you loved dance and house music that is! But this time, everything changed! There was me, my cousin Clint, @imfootballmad, and a few others, we all got in the club after strategies of going in separately, or pairing up with women we were hoping to score with later in the night, walking round with our birth certificate, passport, whatever…because you know bouncers don’t like a bunch of brothers trying to get in the club!

Anyway, the DJ did something at the time was unimaginable. He suddenly switched from dance music and played Busta Rhymes – Fire It Up. Unknown to us at the time, this track blew up the pop charts and suddenly, black people rushed the dancefloor. Sampling Knight Rider was never done before, and the way Busta took us back to our youth while keeping it Hip Hop was incredible. Atlantis Nightclub and every nightclub in the UK was never the same again.

PUT YOUR HANDS WHERE MY EYES COULD SEE

Now this is the track that had me nervous… it was his first single and Busta dropped this new calmer style to kick off the second album… but as mentioned earlier my doubts went out the window and as that happened, I warmed into this, best memory of this was the Lick Party with Trevor Nelson at the Mezzanine Nightclub 2000 I think it was…holy smokes this blew up the party! Once again there was me at @imfootballmad dropping two foot and being dutty with the women around us – I have only been to two MTV Lick Parties… good lord the females!!! Ok enough of all that – Keep it moving…

IT’S ALL GOOD

This is one of my all time favourite skits… and I have always wanted to do this – it WAS on my bucket list… let’s just say I never did it, but if you’re talking about two guys dancing with one girl in the club, and hollering the word ‘FLIPMODE!!!!’ in great joy, then YES! It’s all good!!!

The only thing I couldn’t understand was – how this track was initially banned… after you had 2 Live Crew and all their shocking lyrical content….

THERE’S NOT A PROBLEM MY SQUAD CAN’T FIX F/ JAMAL

Big tribute to the classic disco track ‘Last Night a DJ Saved My Life’ – see we have to teach the youth about foundation and Busta knows about foundation! So this is why I can never knock Busta for working with today’s mainstream artists – bottom line – dude knows his foundation. Some hip hop fans think if artists work with people they don’t like – it makes them a sellout or something. NONSENSE. Look at Raekwon for instance. dude worked with the likes of Lil Wayne and Justin Bieber – then turns around and makes a great album in The Wild.

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WE CAN TAKE IT OUTSIDE

This is one of my all time favourite Flipmode Squad tracks! First time I heard this – it was on Tim Westwood Radio 1… remember him?

I was told that recently Tim Westwood was trying to flirt with Cardi B – do you know this guy is about to hit 60 this year? Cardi B as I understand, has not hit her 25th Birthday, or has just turned 25. Let that sink in…

Anyway I digress… THIS TUNE!!! Damn it was intense! But my favourite story revolves around my good friend Steven Downie, because the skit before this reminded him of himself back in school days… I mean, when Lord Have Mercy is beating down the jabroni down the stairs in a house party and with each punch he exclaims ‘HAAH!’ ‘HAAH!’ move move move move – HAAAH!!! That is straight comedy to a serious situation!

Talking of  a ‘serious situation’… whatever happened to ‘SERIOUS’? Remember him?

RHYMES GALORE

I still haven’t done it! It shall be done! I mean I know my dude @imfootballmad knows what I’m talking about! Acting a fool in the car when this tune drop just like Busta & Spliff! I’ve always wanted to learn the words to this… and never got round to it…

THINGS WE BE DOING FOR MONEY PART 1

I could be wrong – I feel like this turned out to be more filler than a great 2-part story highlight…  the other tracks on the album were just too strong!!!!

THINGS WE BE DOING FOR MONEY PART 2 F/ RAMPAGE/ANTHONY HAMILTON/THE CHOSEN GENERATION

…then after all that it turned out to be a bad dream, and Rampage has to cuss Busta for phoning him up at ungodly hours! I’ll keep it 100 – I don’t like guys running up my FB inbox talking nonsense at those breed of hours, that’s the perfect recipe to being blocked!

ONE F/ ERYKAH BADU

I swore blind there was a video to this… I mean this is the portion of the album where Busta tries to let us know that there is a serious side to him, which was hard to digest at the time given his past music videos. But see this tune here? It’s still relevant and perhaps even more needed now, given all this terrorist business going on, North Korea acting a fool, Mr Trump pulling funny faces…

DANGEROUS

Aaaaah sheeeeeeeeeeet!!!! This was a mad favourite – back in the day me and my people used to hang in a little area called Lanesfield… once again – untold stories… there was this one dude who (for legal reasons shall not be named) we all used to hang round his house… we treated it like a playground, his moms was never around… we used to blast tunes, get drunk, act a fool the lot. When this tune dropped, it was party time – until we broke his moms coffee table! Up til now the breakages have not been paid in full…

THE BODY ROCK F/ RAMPAGE/PUFF DADDY/MA$E

I didn’t like this track… I thought it was dull. 20 years later, I STILL don’t like it. You know what happened? When RZA & GZA called out guys turning hip hop into rap & bullsh!t and all this playa dressing up acting like it was some fashion show… it was Puff Daddy & Ma$e they were referring to! They were mumble rap BEFORE mumble rap. Busta should have taken this track off in favor for Fire It Up (Knight Rider) but obviously I know why he didn’t…

GET OFF MY BLOCK F/ LORD HAVE MERCY

I call this the heartbreaking part of the album you know why? Busta was showcasing Spliff Star and Lord Have Mercy… both were next to blow according to this album… and they never came out. Instead The Flipmode Imperial album came out. As much as I love the Flipmode album, I thought it was a good chess move before Spliff and Lord Have Mercy dropped their projects but then suddenly Extinction Level Event dropped like a month later… I’m glad it didn’t deter Rah Digga from dropping her solo…it was meant to be my mission there after to purchase every Flipmode album as I became a big fan but the movement never really took off…

OUTRO – PREPARATION FOR THE FINAL WORLD FRONT

That’s actually the original title of the third album: Extinction Level Event – The Final World Front… but people are acting like that’s about to happen now! Maybe it is about that time for Busta to finally drop that new album… he got that new tune featuring Vybz Kartel, a next one featuring Swizz Beatz… Eight years Busta… don’t do a Dr. Dre, keep the fans waiting after like 15 years, then finally drop an album that’s not really up to par!

Take a bow Busta… they call you the Woo-Hah! man, the dungeon dragon and all that, but this album defined you, and E.L.E. just added on. SALUTE

bustarhymes_finger

KOOL G RAP LIVE @ 2Funky Music Cafe, Leicester UK June 28, 2017

REVIEW BY MICHAEL GRANT, C.E.O. of RePPiN4U

1992: I was but a 12-year-old. Missed an entire year of secondary education. The stories about my cousin’s cassette tapes, are legendary. To my knowledge he still has them. A lot of tunes I used to rock to but never knew who the artists were and it wasn’t all the time I was exposed to Yo! MTV Raps. Ill Street Blues was one of those tunes. The man responsible was in the UK in 1992, rocked every crowd possible, left, and was not seen in the UK again….

UNTIL NOW.

Kool G Rap Live2017: ‘Mumble Rap’ reigned supreme. Grime is misunderstood in America as UK Hip Hop, some fans just couldn’t give a DAMN despite Kendrick’s continuous effects to push boundaries, while others were stuck in 2001 playing Ether while sleeping at 4:44am. This has called for the Don himself to return, your rapper’s favourite rapper, the man who Nas said wrote the Hip Hop bible. The people of Leicester and surrounding areas came together to witness history. Kool G Rap, new album in tow, rocking the UK for the first time in 25 years.

The 2Funky Music Cafe’s strategy of exposing as much local talent as possible are a bit hit & miss. The show started with a Polish Hip Hop group whose name I didn’t quite catch unfortunately, A lot of what they performed was in their respective language and whatever they were saying in their lyrics – they meant it. Massive props go out to them as the UK continues to become more multi cultural and those who support Brexit for the wrong reasons cannot stop the power of Hip Hop.

Trademark Blud followed alongside DJ Tricksta and dropped an impressive 20 minute set. His ferocious delivery over tongue in cheek like beats and political subject matter left the crowd wishing he could have been on a little longer. If an opening act gives you that feeling, you are going places.

Leicester’s own Shakezpeare & DJ Roll Blunt were determined to top Trademark Blud’s performance, and They did. Even with sound check problems which Shakezpeare easily overcame by dropping hot freestyles like a professional, and that is what Hip Hop is about, to be able to adapt in any situation. His mission was a simple one – make sure his performance was so on point that no one apart from G Rap could follow him. Were Galaxy High from Sweden up for the challenge?

This is the part where I shed sympathy for Galaxy High, what I saw were two talented emcees who struggled to keep the crowd rocking which brings me to my point earlier: Too many opening acts may have been hit or miss, or maybe Galaxy High were positioned wrong in the line up sequence, or maybe the crowd were just ready for G Rap, it was the middle of the week, some may have had to commute the following morning, maybe 4 opening acts might be overkill. It is understandable in one aspect, keeping the crowd waiting for the main event for too long can also be a disadvantage.

15 minutes before G Rap took the stage, it was up to DJ Anthony Mace to set it, and it doesn’t start any better with a series of Mobb Deep tracks to remember Prodigy. The time when G Rap finally jumped on stage was the time the show was scheduled to finish according to Facebook which proves when it comes to gigs you cannot believe what Facebook says by gospel.

Performing the biggest tracks like ‘Take Em to War’, ‘Ill Street Blues’, ‘Streets Of New York’ & ‘Fast Life,’ the Don showed he never lost it. He takes time out to remember Prodigy in his own way by performing ‘The Realest’, in which Prodigy featured, and G Rap reveals a true story on stage of how Prodigy impacted him.

 

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Photo courtesy of @Kip1979_kipp on twitter

An interesting moment was when G Rap performed ‘First N!&&@’. Many of us know the DJ Premier produced version but on this night the Dr.Dre version was blasting through 2Funky Music Cafe’s airwaves before a capacity crowd.

 

The Don closes out his 45 minute set with one of his newest singles from the Return Of the Don album – Wise Guys which features Freeway and Lil Fame of M.O.P. The crowd response was greater than I imagined, as usually a predominately 90s Hip Hop orientated crowd look a bit confused and unfamiliar, but that was not the case here.

Admittedly Kool G Rap was not on my essential ‘see live’ list but looking at it in

IMG-20170703-WA0003

Photo courtesy of @Kip1979_kipp on twitter

retrospect, I’m glad I did see him live. Leicester saw history before their very eyes on this night, and G Rap’s time was yours – he embraced his fans and engaged in full conversation after the show, taking pictures and signing memorabilia, even with Prodigy’s memorial service which took place the following day.

 

Massive respect and salutations to The NGE (New Golden Era) massive and crew for looking out for a brother. They are some good dudes right there, just don’t front on them! Last person who did that got BLAOW! In their mouth corner! Others talk about it while they live it and that’s the Hip Hop we support over here.

Take a bow Kool G Rap! He’s Out For That Life!

 

RAEKWON – THE WILD

RELEASE DATE: March 24, 2017, ICEH2O RECORDS/EMPIRE

Written by Michael Grant, C.E.O. of RePPiN4U, member of GGO – Ghetto Government Officials and Wu Worldwide DJ Coalition

IN THE LAST EPISODE…

“Usually, the chef will tell their customers, what is in the dish that they prepared for them in detail. Raekwon has done no different in many interviews prior to this album coming out months in advance. So why didn’t Rae’s loyal heads not take heed? While this album has been received well by casual hip hop fans, the hardcore fan base are not so pleased, especially in a time when Raekwon most notably trashed the Wu album – A Better Tomorrow…”

Raekwon The wildThis basically summed up F.I.L.A. Fly International Luxurious Art. I saw what Rae was trying to do. We all did, but I stand by what I said last time. He let his fans know before hand and as a result, the fans let themselves down with their expectations. Rae’s most hardcore fans want the Wu-Tang sound and nothing less. But with RZA’s production sounding more left field as of late, this has led our Wu generals looking elsewhere for beats that will appeal to their fan base.

RZA has handed the Wu keys over to Ghostface Killah if we are to see a new Wu Album, and who is Ghost’s longtime tag team partner? The Chef himself, who has heard the constructive criticism regarding F.I.L.A. and so this is another attempt to fine tune his sound to appeal to loyal fans and new fans. We recently learned that Justice League will be producing on the new Wu Album, and they are featured here on this new project – The Wild, which has no Wu features at all, and dedicated to Mel Carter. With all this in mind, is this an early inkling to what the new Wu Album could sound like?

No messing about, straight into the first single. ‘This Is What It Comes Too’ right? Raekwon is bringing the ferocious flow back over classic drums brought into 2017. A remix has recently surfaced featuring that man who had been gone for 36 Seasons. Now not for ‘Nothing’, Rae comes through with sonics which resemble the Wu-sound. You will not find Kung Fu skits here, but instead you hear parodies based on the real in the form of a guy singing about shorties getting their head right…

Talking of stories based on the real, Rae takes you back to April 2, 1939 with a sure-fire album highlight, sending a tribute to ‘Marvin’ Gaye. The track is a soul drenching winner thanks to the hook supplied by Cee Lo Green. The soulful flow continues on into ‘Can’t You See’. If the listener is not zoned out at this point with a tear in their eye… I don’t think this album is for them.

This is the ‘controversial’ track of the album. Wu-fans worst nightmare has come true in ‘My Corner’. All the Lil’ Wayne hating memes, all the pictures of his album in the toilet or set on fire, has all come to bite Wu-Fans in their backside. The chief hip hop villain joins the Chef here and to make matters even more disturbing, Mr Carter Jr brings his A-Game in his rhymes over a vicious frantic beat because he knew he had no choice against a hostile Wu-audience.

Rae shows a bit of a comedic side to him which you don’t see very often, introducing the ‘F**k You Up Card’, a young kid (whose voice sounds suspiciously like Rae but switched up and we have seen Rae do this sort of thing before – remember Clyde Smith?) puts Rae on to a service where he can get his enemies taken out for a small fee. 02-Andra-Day-wim-crop-bb31-kdln3-billboard-1548

In ‘M&N’, Rae and P.U.R.E. go bar for bar on some Grid Iron Rap style. Then Andra Day provides her vocals on the 2017 dedication to the incarcerated in ‘Visiting Hour’.

‘The Reign’ is Raekwon’s new victory championship belt anthem. the production on this is epic and sounds like Rae raided the Maybach Music studios and put the beats to good use. Then Rae brings more soul and that feel good factor as he puts the ‘Crown of Thorns’ on his head.

G-Eazy looks like a fan whose wish of rhyming with his long time idol come true. He’s on point in ‘Purple Brick Road’ when he states that 20 years from now he would be still rock the purple tape. Go back a bit into the track and the production intensifies in glorious fashion.

However was the Chef being a bit too experimental here? ‘You Hear Me’ sounds out-of-place, could have passed as a bonus track, or a track where Rae edited out the trap artists that may have featured with him. Granted Rae rhymed over the trap sounding beat with ease, it’s not something he should do often, or better still, kept off this album – it really doesn’t suit the body of work which is presented here.

That’s the only mis-step on The Wild, otherwise this is a massive improvement over the last offering. If you imagined Raekwon as a stand alone artist and Wu-Tang did not exist, this is the album that reflects that imagination. Even Lil Wayne’s appearance is not a factor (remember Nas & Damian Marley’s Distant Relatives?) Raekwon has finally hit his stride as far as a non-Wu endorsed offering.

The time is still running on Cuban Linx 3, but for now, this is a nice album to take minds away from the WWE-like nonsense they call ‘beef’ that’s happening currently.

 

 

DE LA SOUL LIVE @O2 Insitute, BIRMINGHAM – MARCH 3, 2017!

WRITTEN BY MICHAEL GRANT, C.E.O. OF RePPiN4U

HISTORY IN THE MAKING.

At this time, I feel bad for the people who did not make this show. I shouldn’t, but I do. In the early part of this decade, De La Soul were teasing signs of a long-awaited return to give fans that well needed fresh air… first the Dilla EP, then they had their ‘tribute’ to the Wu-Tang Clan, which I had to put in quotes because it was the true tribute, but was overshadowed by a certain Canadian light-skinned, high-pitched voice artist whose unnamedso-called tribute was about checking a girl in a club (??????) and wanted to ‘controller’ from the ‘Hotline Bling’. Then they proved that they still ‘God It’ with Nas. South Park poked fun at the Kickstarter concept, but one good thing came out of it – De La Soul’s new album ‘And The Anonymous Nobody’. What do you think was going to come next? An impending tour.

The news broke about the tour in the later months of 2016… yeah you know, that year which was ridden with celebrity deaths, the UK’s decision to leave the EU, and the end of the Obama era going into the Trump era. So many people caught up in all of that, and De La Soul were more concerned about coming to the UK. I rephrase the opening statement. a part of me feels bad for those who did not make the show…

De La Soul arrived on British shores, and met a woman with bad wind whose name was ‘Doris’. They are used to hurricanes, rain hail snow and earthquakes… they were not about to be fazed by someone named DORIS????

Entering the sold out O2 institute a little before 8:15pm and Jungle Brown took the stage for a lengthy 45 minute set, which was well deserved because these guys had an impressive track record of artist openings. The likes of Big Daddy Kane and Ghostface Killah to name a few is more of a who’s who. Performing their big tunes including H.I.S.T.O.R.Y, their style complemented the main attraction and the audience without having to pull out the secret weapon of the crowd cheering along to the disapproval of mumble rap.

In between sets was very unusual, there was no DJ in between to keep the crowd hype for 30 minutes while waiting on the arrival of the trio. The weird thing about that was the 30 minutes flew by, well at least in my mind.

Not a second after 9:30pm, DJ Strike takes the turntables and announces that DJ Maseo was not in effect which was a shame, but Posdnous and Dave jumped on stage!

NOTE TO SELF: ALWAYS BUY A STANDING TICKET. EVEN IF YOU HAVE PHYSICAL DIFFICULTIES.

Performing their signature hits such as ‘Oooh’, ‘Much More’ and ‘Stakes Is High’, they took a moment to stop and acknowledge the six people sitting upstairs and ridiculed them all in good fun. Now while I found this entertaining and hilarious as did everybody else, I seem to recall a certain ‘college dropout’ who was associated with a woman who engaged in carnal activity and put it out for the world to see, getting cursed out by social media for doing the same thing.  Just goes to show what we are like behind our devices.

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Photo courtesy of Mr Keyes

Another great highlight was Pos & Dave acknowledging J Dilla, Phife Dawg and Sean Price, but they feel the same way as Busta Rhymes when they proclaim why we as people appreciate people more after they gone rather than while they are here. Busta said that and I agree 100-1000! Unless I’m a true fan of someone I’m not quick to throw YouTube videos all over my timeline when somebody returns to the essence!

HISTORY ABOUT TO UNFOLD…

However Birmingham was not ready for the element of surprise and maybe the biggest highlight of the night. Just after performing a verse or two of ‘Buddy’, Pos & Dave big up all their fellow Native Tongues. Unknowing to most, Black Sheep Dres was lying in wait! Birmingham is not used to surprise guests coming through to blaze the stage. Usually that honor goes to London or Manchester. In a capacity crowd full of people of all ages, it was the 40 and over portion of the crowd in complete disbelief and comprehending who they are witnessing on stage performing their favourite hits. When it came to ‘The Choice is Yours’ however…the younger portion of the audience were about to be schooled…

For 20 years, I had been clubbing, and the DJs would always play the same tired songs, particularly that Faith Evans/FatMan Scoop track. Easily top 5 all-time club classic yet annoying track. On this day, I was proud to see the younger audience finally realising that the voice behind ‘Engine Engine #9’ was standing in front of them and bringing the true essence. Yes it might have took them a moment to realise the part with FatMan Scoop asks

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Photo courtesy of Mr Keyes

‘who’s f**k!n tonight’ was not coming! Dres & De La had the whole capacity crowd laying low anticipating to jump up after ‘pick it up, pick it up!’ during said portion of the song apart from one person with a glaring white coat on who De La single-handedly pointed out in ridicule! This is an old school jam! Not your usual show where all the stars can see on stage were your phones! (Even though that happened too…standard procedure!)

Usually the surprise guest will leave the stage after their moment but not Dres, and De La wouldn’t want it any other way. He became their unofficial hype man for the remainder of the night, but at 10:15pm I don’t know who De La were fooling trying to say goodbye and peace to the crowd after performing ‘Saturday’ and leaving the stage…  nobody budged. De La realised the crowd were not taking the bait and came back out. Finally finishing on ‘Me Myself & I’ and ‘Name & Number’, De La & Dres closed their hour set…

MEMORY OF…(US)

As I constantly hum the track featuring Estelle while gathering my closing thoughts, even if the show went on for another 30 minutes, it would not be enough to cover three decades of great innovative music from De La Soul, so yes, I’m guessing everyone left the O2 Institute with a bittersweet feeling of what track they wanted De La to perform. In my case, being the current purist I am, I wanted to hear at least ‘Pain’ or ‘Royalty Capes’ from the new album. Or ‘I C Y’all’ from AOI. Being as it was a sold out event, I was surprised, disappointed and almost remorseless towards those who couldn’t make it. Yes I feel bad for them but as I write this, the remorse level decreases. On this night, I witnessed history. Two acts for the price of one, and I knew of this show in the closing months of 2016… so to that I say this to quote a De La Soul hook: “If money makes a man strange, we have to re-arrange that…”

 

IRON WIND & PRIMORDIAL EMCEE – PRIMAL WINDS

RELEASE: FEBRUARY 10, 2017, WRITTEN BY MICHAEL GRANT – C.E.O. of RePPiN4U

Eric B & Rakim. EPMD. Havoc & Prodigy. Method Man & Redman. Raekwon & Ghostface. M.O.P. Capone ‘N’ Noreaga. Skyzoo & Torae. Conway & Westside Gunn. Some of the Hip Hop duos that have stood the test of time through the annuls of Hip Hop history.

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CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE ALBUM

Iron Wind, more known for his detailed stories of Feudal Japan in his albums, has once again entered the battlefield, this time bringing along Primordial  a.k.a. District Prime who  won’t hesitate to engage in battle rap and explore the sciences. Having both appeared on each others separate projects, it was only right that the next logical step was to come together for a collaborative album.

2017 sees the pair come together  and become ‘PRIMAL WINDS’ in ‘T.Dot Stand Up’ which takes them both away from their comfort zone, and they are kind enough to bless RePPiN4U with an exclusive advanced copy of the album before it touches down to an iTunes store near you.

The album kicks off with ‘T.Dot Stand Up’ and  it’s their anthem praising the capital of the Maple Leaf country and how the city embraces the true essence of hip hop, and letting the world know that Toronto has been on the map way before he who just wanted ‘One Dance’ and a ‘controller’…

…so with that in mind they turn their attention to those who are ‘trapped in the 90s’ with ‘Bring It Back’, and then bless their ears into 2017 by flipping the sample Pete Rock used for ‘Straighten It Out’ in ‘Our Generation’. My guess is their first track will wind up being a video but this should get the visual treatment too. I believe with this, not only do they have a highlight on their hands, they will attract a wider audience instantly.

The pair remind us that they are just like us normal folk, no different, we gotta pay those ‘Bills’. Four tracks in and I strongly suggest that you go out and support this project. I give these guys props because their track sequence is on point in terms of track titles. Bills

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LUCY LOVESICK

need to be paid so they must go ‘On The Grind’ complete with classic scratches used as the hook which are so relevant., and of course, if you are on your grind, and the bills are paid, you can approach the opposite sex with confidence and let her know how she is ‘So Sexy’ over a nice Motown like beat you would hear somebody like the Temptations harmonize over.

Seven tracks in and the realization sets in that this project could be up there with the best of underground projects this year. It’s not easy in the ‘Concrete Jungle’ though. Here you see Primal Winds flowing effortlessly over a sonic which sounds like it should only be played at night while cruising in a convertible.

Primal Winds are very proud of their home of Toronto…however they make it painfully clear that Toronto is not all roses and  green pastures.

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PRIMORDIAL

They align themselves with Cuban Pete on the track – ‘City Pulse’, with a backdrop sounding like an episode of CSI giving vivid storytelling on what happens when the sun goes down in Canada’s capital. This is complemented by ‘The Stakes’, where we see the two hit the casino and do just that – raise the stakes on their rhyming skills against any challenger.

‘Tonight’ features the sultry vocals of model Lucy Lovesick who presumably takes the role of ‘Hip Hop’ (as we like to refer to the culture as ‘H.E.R.’) but can also be seen as a double meaning as this sees the two take a slightly smoother approach in the music.

In ‘Making Moves’, the duo will do what it takes to get great reviews. (well almost… they won’t pay you to play their records or threaten to chop your head off or anything like that!) If you are not convinced then see the last review of Iron Wind’s The Warrior Inside on this site. Heads would have realised that this was the next logical chess move for the two emcees.

Die-hard Wu-trainspotters will recognize the beat that’s flipped here in ‘Afterparty’. This is some feel good vibe compared to the grim and awareness the Sunz of Man portrayed in ‘Israeli News’. The album closes out so soulful as the duo give their ‘Ode To Hip Hop’, as they tell their heartfelt stories of their hip hop journey, you cannot help but nod to it in celebration. These guys have a great ear for beats and this project is sure to get regular spins.

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THIS IS SWIFT JUSTICE RESTORED TO TORONTO.

This is quality music that shows versatility and a different side to the emcees that we have known to love over the past decade, which is always good because you don’t want 10 albums from the same artist saying the same things and no growth. Stay tuned on RePPiN4U later this year and on our show on www.wild1radio.com as we are sure to be playing these tracks and hearing in more depth from Iron Wind and Primordial.

PURCHASE ALBUM ON BANDCAMP HERE

FOLLOW PRIMORDIAL EMCEE ON TWITTER HERE

FOLLOW IRON WIND ON TWITTER HERE

DOM PACHINO LIVE @2Funky Music Cafe, January 29, 2017!

REVIEW WRITTEN BY MICHAEL GRANT,  C.E.O. of RePPiN4U

August 5, 1997. The day Wu-Tang fans around the world was about to experience the flood RZA was talking about on a Tim Westwood show. We had come to an end of the Abbott’s five-year plan. What was coming next from Hip Hop’s most influential collective? A six-man SWAT team called Killarmy. Their debut album Silent Weapons For Quiet Wars, dom-pachino-leicestercontinued the signature Wu-Tang Sound but instead of Shaolin Kung Fu film samples, it was war movie quotes headed by producer 4th Disciple. Along with Sunz Of Man & Shyheim, Killarmy remain one of the most well-known of Wu-Tang affiliates.

Fast Forward 20 years later, and we see Killarmy’ Voltron break down into the lions and have become their own generals in their own right. Dom Pachino a.k.a. P.R. Terrorist in particular has learned from his Wu-Tang brethren, spawned a clothing line, launched Napalm recordings and has his own array of ammunition in artists including Bugzy Da God who performed with him live in the 2Funky Music Cafe in Leicester.

Massive shout out to PC The Producer of FATP (From Across The Pond UK Hip Hop Show) and part of the RePPiN4U administration for opening the night with a unique twist – instead of the usual 90s Hip Hop classics played by most DJs (which is appreciated, by the way) he played a selection of UK Hip Hop and Wu-affiliate cuts which was a true testament to the heads in attendance who travelled from the likes of Nottingham, Wales, all the way from Sweden, and all showed their love to the man who has put UK Hip Hop on his back.

PC would then be joined by DJ Roll Blunt who rallied the fans in attendance as the opening act – Shakezpeare stormed the stage with his high-octane energy and ferocious delivery on the mic performing his set including the Bronze Nazareth produced ‘Train Of Thought’

Half an hour later Bugzy Da God comes through and keeps the momentum going. It wasn’t necessary to use this technique, but Bugzy hit the crowd with his disdain for mumble dps-2rap/trap music by performing ‘Nail In the Coffin’ which is his switch up of Common’s ‘Sweet’. That secret weapon always works. Bugzy was firing on all cylinders with requested 4th Disciple produced tracks, and just in case a few people started to rub their eyes or hide their yawns with their hands, Dom Pachino came out all blazing saddles, telling people to Wake the f- up. Terrorizing his way through his hits, most notably ‘Problem Child’, which he explains is a very personal record, and ‘Napalm’, which is a single with a sure-fire video waiting to dps-1happen from his P.R. Terrorist Vs Dom Pachino project. With the crowd reluctant to go home and even management caught up in the vibe, the 11pm curfew was thrown out the window but Dom ended the set with the track which put Killarmy on the map in the first place – Wu-Renegades.

There were a few hiccups along the way with the decks not playing certain tracks but the professionalism of the performers knew when it was time to drop killer a capella freestyles, which is the backbone to a real emcee. The crowd turnout was also less than anticipated, but maybe it was for the better. After all – like Raekwon says – this show was ‘Only Built 4 Cuban Linx’ and with that in mind Dom, Bugzy and Shakespeare performed like it was a capacity crowd in Glastonbury. That has to be respected.

Look for the coming RePPiN4U Exclusive interview with myself, Dom & Bugzy elsewhere in this blog!

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All photographs taken courtesy of KULVADER PHOTOGRAPHY