E-Dubble brings the Freestyle Friday Feeling

Digital Love/Hate/Indifference, Hip-Hop Isn't Dead

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With tiresome Facebook recommendations and retweets polluting your eyeholes on the daily, it’s always refreshing to find an artist who uses social media in the right way. Of course, it’s usually those looking for a break that do so, because I suppose the big stars have factories full of fingers to update their Twitter feeds and so on.

Baltimore rapper E-Dubble is doing it right, but the chances are – if the quality of his Freestyle Friday series is owt to go by – he may soon be outsourcing his updates.

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“Lyrical Spread” encourages cheap labelling of music (and crumpets)

Forwarding Fodder, Hip-Hop Isn't Dead, Video

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Did you ever have one of these things when you were A Young?

I did. I specifically asked Santa for one, I seem to remember. I needed to assert myself against the haters (i.e., my mischievous little brother), see. So when I got it I printed out labels with “Stuart’s desk” and “Stuart’s Boba Fett” and slapped them on my things.

You can laugh, but nobody had the nerve to steal that desk. I’m pretty sure my brother still got Boba Fett though.

This clever short video, “Lyrical Spread”, makes rather better use of a Dymo (other labelmakers are available), and it’s all kinds of mesmerising. Soundtracked by the hooky, cricket-fixated “Batter, Rapper And The Mad Hatter” by some UK hip-hoppists called 9 Chameleons, it features dollops of lyrics printed out and spread like budda all over a nice English afternoon tea. Yummers!

This came via Radar Music Videos, who showcase cameraloads of talented viditors on the reglear (and offer commissions for filmmakers to pitch for).

Lyrical Spread (feat. The Chameleon) from Ian Robertson on Vimeo.

Guru takes DJ Premier beef to the grave… or does he?

Hip-Hop Isn't Dead, Naughty Rappers, Video

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Gang Starr frontman Guru has sadly passed away after losing his fight against cancer, and in doing so has left a farewell note sure to keep hip-hop conspiracy theorists stocked up with debate material for a good while to come.

In it, Guru alludes pretty directly to his ongoing beefiness with former Gang Starr producer DJ Premier…

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Spank Pops is my new favourite rapper, whichever one he is

Hip-Hop Isn't Dead, Video

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When one receives a fair few emails from folk hawking their musical acts, it sometimes takes something a little extry to get one to open, um, one. The name “Spank Pops” is an example of such extryness. It draws to mind, simultanishly, such possibilliums as:

1. Some of that popping candy you used to put on your tongue and which would supposedly blow your cerebellum out of your eye-holes if you mixed it with Safeways cola, no really, this kid at my cousin’s school died from it

1.1 A slightly disturbing endeavour involving force, a cricket bat and an old man’s bum-bum

Anywonk, it’s a great name and Spank Pops has immediately become my favourite rapper. Or he would be, if I knew which of the three gentlemen in the video he is. Oh sure, I could go back and listen to the lyrics properly because he’s just bound to refer to himself by name, like they all do. But he might be the ugly one, and I want him to be the coolest one. Spank Pops has to be the coolest one.

Spank and his bubs appear to be hipping and hopping about how great San Francisco is, which is a topic not often encountered in The Rap Game (by me, anyway). I can picture lots of Silicon Valley “tech” “entrepreneurs” who have just “received seeding” (ick) empathising with Jern, Spank and J’s sentiments, only they would probably do so while wearing chinos and holding iPhones to their ears.

(If this “parody” video already exists, please do not share it avec moi.)

BLOODY ANYWAY. I like this song a lot, because it’s the kind of thing that gets one’s head nodding in a slightly self-conscious manner, which is my favourite way to feel old about music. Lully hook, too.

Buy “Cali” at iTunes

Tinie Tempah uses his aunt's place as a wardrobe

Hip-Hop Isn't Dead, Up-And-Coming Acts, Video

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Braggage is an accepted part of the rap “game”, but it tends to be much more compelling when it’s done with a subtle sense of humour. Tinie Tempah seems to recognise this, as he shows in his soon-to-be-sizable-if-it-isn’t-already-I-dunno-I-don’t-keep-track-of-the-charts-these-days tune, “Pass Out”.

“I got so many clothes I keep some at my aunt’s house” is probably my favourite bit, but there’s a pleasing rags-to-riches feel to “now I drive past the bus I used to run for”, as well.

Love the track too, although in my ‘umble I think the hook/chorus/whatever – sung by a chap in a fetching checked jacket – interrupts the songs’s momentum a bit. The drum n’ bass outro suggests there should be some decent remixes out there as well…

Read Tinie Tempah’s blog

Buy Tinie Tempah MP3s at 7Digital

Kurtis Blow, Sugarhill Gang feature in 1981 ABC News hip-hop doc

Hip-Hop Isn't Dead, Video

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Several fluffy, candy-coated props to Rap Radar for uncovering this terrific look at hip-hop from 1981, when it was still “the new sound of the 80s”. Even the newsreader guy likes it!

"This Sh!t Is Easy" for Mikey Rocks, Dude Royal and Hollywood Holt

Hip-Hop Isn't Dead, Video

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I heard this on Mark Ronson’s Authentic Shit show the other day, which I never remember to listen to unless my flatmate reminds me of its existence.

Mikey Rocks is one of the Cool Kids, but this is the first time I’ve encountered the other two. Dude Royal and Hollywood Holt sound like they might be interesting ones to watch on a post-Kanye, h*pster r*p tip, though – Dude Royal’s “Vader Ganchos” is worth a listen here, and Hollywood Holt’s MySpace shows he doesn’t take himself too seriously.

Del The Funky Homosapien's funky new album available for funky free funky download

Free Downloads And Streams, Hip-Hop Isn't Dead

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del-the-funky-homosapien-funk-manDel The Funky Homosapien – whose real name I dearly wish was “Derek” – has rather a fine new album out called Funk Man (The Stimulus Package). I’m going to go out on a limb and assume that the latter part of that title was probably added at the last minute, following recent economic events

The album’s available for free download, but just in case you’re thinking that must mean it’s a pile of unlistenable garbage, I can assure you that’s not the case. Just listen to “Land Of Funk”, below – it risks throwing too many things at the wall, but the end result is a vibrant, bouncy delight which will make you want to have a funky barbecue, whatever one of those is.

And… doesn’t it remind you of a certain Justin Timberlake song?

[audio:12 Land of funk.mp3]

Del The Funky Homosapien – Funk Man (Stimulus Package) free download

Kid Cudi's "Day 'N' Nite" gets a new, non-bootylicious video

Hip-Hop Isn't Dead, Video

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This is the original version of Kid Cudi’s recent hit “Day ‘N’ Nite”, which Crookers took and remixed into a club smash. The weird thing about that song was the video took little notice of the lyrics, which talk of a lonely stoner and aren’t necessarily all that happy-clappy. To see the song put alongside Nuts-style booby-babes was a bit odd, and reportedly didn’t please Kid Cudi too much.
The new video for the original version is more in keeping with the lyrical content, showing Mr. Cudi getting all confuzzled by animated beverages in the supermarket, presumably because he has been mashing his mind with DRUGZ.

Rick Ross delights MURS by dissing him

Hip-Hop Isn't Dead, Video

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murs.jpgAs 50 Cent and Rick Ross do their tiresome WWE-style back-and-forth beefing, it’s nice to see an overlooked talent get a bit of exposure as a by-product.
MURS has been going for a good 15 or so years in some form or another, but it might turn out that his biggest break comes as a result of being namechecked by Ross in one of his disses at Fiddy.
“I don’t know MURS,” Ross raps over a MURS beat. What might rile some folk up seems to delight the good-humoured MURS, who goes on to thank Ross for the namecheck on “Who’s The Boss?” – and I love the set-up in the video, which sees MURS go from his desk straight to the recording booth after watching the Ross vid.
Check it out after the jump.

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