Sunday, 30 August 2015


I curated a mixtape for Complex.

10 rising MCs. 10 classic instrumentals.

The future >>>

Read more about the project here. And thanks to 1Xtra, i-D, and Pigeons & Planes for the early support.

Friday, 24 July 2015

i-D: How I Fell In Love With Grime

I grew up in a strict, Pentecostal household. A real-life son of a preacher man, I knew nothing else but the church. Although we never got to enjoy the "things of the world" like everybody else - which may have caused my rebellion, later on in life - coming from that strong Christian background is something I value to this day, and will continue to value. But when I say strict, I mean S.T.R.I.C.T.

At no time at all were we allowed to listen to "secular" music in the house. Even if we tried tuning our radios to Choice FM to hear Uncle Jigs (my dad's brother) play soul classics, we knew what the consequence would be: "A good clout round the ear," as pops would say. Shit got so real, that, at one point during my childhood, TVs and cinema trips were completely banned as they were deemed prime entry for Satan, "the wicked one", to take over our mind, body, and soul.

I loved the Pentecostal ways of doing church, and still do - I've actually started going back to my dad's one ­- but they had no chill in the 90s with their rules and regulations. That never stopped my big sis, Joy, from sneaking Right On! magazines and R&B cassette tapes into her room, though. I used to kick it with Joy all the time and, on most days, before dad came home from his painting and decorating jobs, we'd listen to the gospel-inflected sounds of Jodeci, Monica, R. Kelly, Aaliyah, Mary J... all the R&B greats—on headphones, of course as mother was still in the vicinity. Joy wasn't too hot on hip hop, but my big bro definitely was. Joel was a rebel. The original roadman. Gold teeth, Moschino, mopeds—he was the guy and I idolised his every move. Any interest I showed in that lifestyle, though, he would shut it down instantly. He wanted better for me.

Joe was also a local rave MC, flowing under the moniker Flego, and was all over the jungle and garage scenes. He was forever spitting double-time bars around the house to the point that mother dearest thought he was losing the plot, bless her. Unbeknownst to me, then, my brother gave me my first glimpse at the future of British music, of what would become a phenomenon that spoke to, and for, millions of young people. He was slick with the rhymes, too, and I know this sounds super-biased cos he's fam and all, but he could've gone through with So Solid, Heartless Crew and them quite easily, had he had some direction. The truth of the matter is, he didn't, and was far too occupied with the street hustle and bustle for that to ever happen.

Music has always played a big part in my life. Everyone in my house could sing; even my rude-boy bro had some soulful runs in him. But a career in music, on that level, was never something any of us ever considered. A month before my 13th birthday, in 2001, that same house got split in two: my parents divorced and my heavily pregnant mother and I relocated to Wellingborough, a small town in Northamptonshire two hours away from Stockwell, South London, where I had previously lived. Upon arrival, WB was as foreign a land to me as Prince Akeem in Coming To America. There were loads of old people, not many black, and I didn't see any kids hanging out on the blocks like I was used to. That was, of course, before I discovered the hood, half-a-mile from where I was living.

A few months passed and we were offered a council house in the Queensway area of the Borough, which was right near my new school: Weavers Secondary. That's where I met cool and the gang. A week or so after joining, I made friends with some of the local lads who just so happened to do bar-for-bar relays at break and lunch times. And it would continue after school: every afternoon, sometimes with our uniforms still intact, we'd all congregate at C2DAO's crib ­- he was the leader of the pack, the equivalent of Wiley to Roll Deep - where grime sets would run until the early hours of the morning. I just used to sit there and listen to the "noise."

I hated grime. It was weird to me; the fast-paced productions, the angry lyrics. Mad strange. I'm not ashamed to say it: I'm a mumma's boy, at heart. Yes, I grew up in a rough part of London, but I never experienced that "black boy anger" I heard in the lyrics. I mean, I was never going to - was I? Until I stepped away from my sheltered past and encountered the real world.

One Saturday night, me and the rest of the crew had planned to head over to Northampton town for an over 18s rave. I was 16. We knew the promoter at Club Teeze, so was able to get in without a check, but I didn't know it was going to be a grime event. I still detested grime, at this point. On the bill were Wiley, D Double E, Flirta D, Desperado, DJ Cameo and a whole host of other spitters my friends were inspired by. It was like a mini Eskimo Dance, come to think of it. As each emcee passed the mic over Creeper, Pulse X and other pounding riddims, it was like I was being taken over by the spirit; a similar feeling to that of catching the Holy one. Gun fingers were thrown profusely, with a scrunched-up boat and Crazy Titch bounce in my skank.

The energy in the room was electric and nothing I had ever experienced before. It sounds a bit nuts to say, but this was a life-changing experience for me; I was never the same after that night. The change was so drastic, that I stopped listening to American music full stop because it didn't speak to me. And, to some degree, it still doesn't.

Two years after that event took place, I saved up my pennies and decided to throw my own party. A grime party. I called it ChockABlock and booked-out the Caribbean Social Club in Northampton to hold it in.

It was a small, dingy venue, holding around 250 people or so, but with Skepta, Tinchy Stryder, and Logan Sama on the line-up, it was easy to fill. Since then, I've become something of a grime missionary, putting on raves in the capital and writing about it for a range of publications. But this young black boy "from the bits"—who got an E in his English GCSEs—was never meant to be a music journalist. Journalism isn't something I grew up wanting to do, and it certainly wasn't the norm for someone like me to be a journo. I never studied the craft in higher education, I just blogged about grime on my blog for fun. But then, things got kinda serious. I honed my skills and worked my way up to be in blessed Music Editor positions; first at MTV, and now at Complex Magazine.

So I owe a lot to grime: my career, my sanity (there's nothing more uplifting than a classic Sidewinder set). And as the scene grew, so did I, as a person. For me, grime has always been more than just a style of music. In the wise words of Skepta on his celebratory Shutdown single: "This ain't a culture, it's my religion."


Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Deal Real Presents: Grind + Shine (Real Talk)

I'm hosting this panel discussion with Hyperfrank at the Deal Real store on Wednesday 22nd April. Pass through!

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Come Correct: 5 Steps For The Unsigned Artist

I get asked for advice a lot. So I thought I'd put it in one place.

Don't Be Too Quick To Sign To A Major  
This is probably the most important point in this list. I've seen too many artists get signed off of street heat who were never able to translate it into record sales. You need to be sure that your stable of fans is secure enough to support you, should you ever need to release a track for 99p on iTunes to keep that ink wet. Getting signed to a major label and then dropped for lack of sales has hurt so many careers. It's actually kinda sad. Of course everyone has to eat, but there are countless different ways to break bread without the pressure of single sales hanging over your head. If you have a good team around you who actually know what they're doing, being an indie artist could in fact be more financially beneficial in the long-run. Touring, merchandise, mixtape sales, EP sales, single sales; there's money to be made as an unsigned act if you have a tight enough plan. Think beyond that quick £80,000 advance! Don't rush to blow; working the unsigned circuit for a few years will gain you more respect in the end too.

Save Some Pennies For A Good PR
The days of the rookie, one-man-PR are over. Even if only one person manages your campaign, go with an established PR company that will collectively buy into your dream with the experience to take you to where you need and want to go. Say for instance your PR is off sick or goes on holiday? You need to know that another member of the team will be on-hand to keep things moving as you do. And no matter how many accounts any one PR deals with, be sure that you know they're trying their utmost best on a daily basis to get those placements. (Asking for a weekly report is standard). If you don't know of any good PRs, ask around, because having one is kinda important these days. Gone are the days when tweeting links and messaging journalists/editors on their PRIVATE Facebook pages was deemed okay to do. In fact, unless you know them personally, never do that. "I'm about to change the music game fam. Watch my nu vid and RT." Okay, nice one. But don't come at me like that. If you can't afford a PR to handle your business, then you should know how to move in a professional manner. Politely ask for an email address, introduce yourself in an email with links to your music and recent press links (if you have any), attach a press release for your current project (a biography, too, if you have one), and just hope for the best. The more professional you come across, the better your chances are for a reply. Or, better still: the coverage you wanted all along.

Act Right Online
No-one likes a talented prick. You can be as boastful as you like in your music, that's why some of you are where you are today, but never let that confidence meet arrogance and spill out online. Everyone loves Azealia Banks again after her emotional hip-hop rant, right? But let's not forger when she was cursing-out fans and artists on Twitter and the bitter taste it left in our mouths. You should want your fans to like and respect you, with no doubt in their minds that you'd greet them in the streets without a prickful bone in your body. Likeability factor is, I'd say, just as important as talent these days; people are buying into you as a person, and not just your music.

Originality Is Key
Don't focus too much on what other artists are doing to the point you get lost in their identity. Lock yourself away, get into your God-given zone, and give the world YOU! (Be consistent with your releases as well).

Don't Just Stay In-Camp
Working with different producers and other artists could never be a bad thing. If you have a strong camp already, that's great. But that shouldn't hinder you from hooking up with people outside of your unit. No one musician is the same, and you could come to find out that working with someone far removed from your circle could in fact bring out something completely different in you and your music that you never knew was there.

Friday, 1 August 2014

iRate: Donae'o vs Youngs Teflon - 'Oi Mate'

This is one unexpected pairing: over a house-inflected grime beat, UK rap's Youngs Teflon draws for his grime flow of yesteryear and spars with UK funky kingpin Donae'o on new track, Oi Mate. And, mate, what a banger it is!

Friday, 25 July 2014

Complex Magazine Is Coming To The UK!

Yo crewdem! I've been slack with updating this blog, I know. But for good reason: I've been focusing energies on the launch of Complex Magazine in the UK, of which I'm the new Music Editor. Having been a fan of Complex for the longest, getting to now join the media giant is truly a blessing. 

We're due to open up shop next month but, in the meantime, I want to hear from all you dope writers and PRs out there. Hit me up with some pitches:

And get ready for the takeover!

iRate: Maverick Sabre Feat. Chip, Devlin & George The Poet - 'Emotion (Ain't Nobody)' (Remix)

MTV IGGY: The 18 Best Music Festivals In The World

By Joseph 'JP' Patterson

April 19-20

DGTL Festival in Amsterdam took place mid-April, 2014, and it was like being in some sort of space-age movie: walking, talking robots randomly walking past you, men in suits waving their lightsabers around — it was bonkers! The NDSM Docklands was transformed into a space fit for a two-day festival, with various spaces catering to the sonic needs of techno, house, and trance-lovers. Sets by Gui Boratto, Soul Clap, Hot Since 82, Jamie Jones, and Amine Edge & DANCE were ones to remember, and even if you were strictly a shuffle-loving deep house head, you still got to appreciate and buzz off sounds you probably never thought you would.


May 27-31

Thought up in 2013 by experienced music business men, Andy Dean and Andy Woodford, Emerging Ibiza was created as an online and club event forum to give up-and-coming DJs and producers a chance at cracking the hard-to-enter dance arena. What makes Dean and Woodford’s concept even more unique to a discerning house and techno ear, is that all the names chosen to play at their curated events are handpicked by Emerging Ibiza’s “experts,” which, this year, included Mixmag Editors, IMS Festival bookers, and big-room dons such as Shaun Reeves, Steve Lawler, and Yousef.

The festival kicked off in a big way at the back end of May, 2014, and thanks to some unforgettable sets from the likes of newbies Andy Baxter, Joe Rolet, Tom Crane, Jamie Trench, Isabella, and Anek, it’s safe to say Emerging Ibiza shut the whole island down! From Sankeys and Ushuaia to Zoo Project and Space, these fresh faces rolled out the freshest underground cuts at top-line events and venues, that you’d be hard pressed to find in sets from a few of the bigger-known acts currently doing the rounds … Which begs the next question: Emerging Ibiza, 2015? Bring it on.

Read more over on MTV IGGY: H E R E

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

iRate: Fekky & Dizzee Rascal - 'Still Sittin' Here'

Heard this track a little over a month ago at Universal HQ. I approved it then. I approve it now. Club hit for days! (Good to hear from ya, Diz.)

Saturday, 28 June 2014

iRate: Benny Banks - #QoQ Freestyle

MTV IGGY: Jess Glynne’s Voice Stays On Top

By Joseph 'JP' Patterson

Name: Jess Glynne

Where She’s From: London, England

When She Started: 2011

Genre: Dance/pop/soul

For Fans Of: Katy B, Sinead Harnett

The UK can't seem to get enough of Jess Glynne's husky pop-soul. With a tone oozing '90s diva-esque qualities, she's saturated the airwaves, clubs, and charts in the shortest space of time—and that's all without touching her own material. At the back-end of 2013, Glynne appeared on Clean Bandit's xylophone-featuring, keys-driven dance track "Rather Be," which spent weeks-on-weeks-on-weeks at number one and saw platinum status in over five countries. Following that—at the top of 2014—Route 94 got ahold of her to slay his big-room house cut, "My Love." It hit the top spot and remained in the top ten at length.

With a load of newly-gained fans now secured in her vault, Jess finally plucked up the courage to introduce "Home" a couple months later; her solo slice of melodic, grime-infused pop produced by East London's Bless Beats. Many thought the track could've easily been her official debut, but in fact, it was all just one big tease for the drop of "Right Here." The Gorgon City-produced deep house track looks set for greatness when it's released on July 16, as it currently sits pretty online with over 300,000 plays and sees regular spins on daytime radio. Everything Jess touches, turns to gold right now, so don't be surprised when her album does the same (or better) when it drops on Atlantic Records later this year.

This also appeared over at MTV IGGY: H E R E

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

XXL: The New New: 15 European Rappers You Should Know

By Joseph 'JP' Patterson

The United Kingdom is known for birthing a few world-renowned spitters, namely Dizzee Rascal and M.I.A. But who outside the borders of North America has the potential to follow in their hit-making footsteps? For our latest New New column, we take a trip overseas to Europe to find out who is bubbling up and rockin’ the mic right on the European continent.

XXL searched the streets of London, Sweden, Germany and France to find out more about some of the up-and-coming spitters lighting Europe on fire. Click through our guide to the hip-hop newbies from across the pond who you need to know now. This is the New New.


Hometown: London, England
Twitter: @TheRealDVS
Notable Song: 'Hometown'
Sounds Like: The soundtrack of the British hoods (it’s not all tea and crumpets!).

Why You Need To Know Him: In Brixton, South London, dwells one of the UK "road rap" team’s strongest players. Armed with a polysyllabic rhyming pattern, DVS is mostly flashy and boastful with it ('Life Of A Real G'), but can also switch it up and give you visceral thoughts on everything from religion ('Back In Jahiliyat') to relationships ('Black Waterfalls') when he’s ready. His fans are die-hard, too, which was further proven when London Boy American Dreaming—the rapper’s third tape and first for-sale project—landed at No. 1 on the iTunes Hip-Hop Chart upon its release in January. Even when there’s been gaps as long as four years between mixtape releases (One In A Million dropped in 2007, One In A Billion in 2011), at the drop of one three-minute freestyle, DVS can have the scene in the palm of his hands all over again.

Piff Gang

Hometown: London, England
Twitter: @PiffGangUK
Notable Song: 'Bow Down'
Sounds Like: A$AP Mob grew up in London's "ends."

Why You Need To Know Them: London Posse, who parted ways nearly two decades ago, is no longer the only UK hip-hop collective to make noise outside of their London postcode; in 2011, the blogosphere was introduced to a ten-man-strong crew from north-west London, whose Brit-rooted "cloud rap" came through strong and filled that gap in the market. With five free buzzworthy mixtapes floating around the 'net, Piff Gang's fervent penchant for women, drugs ("piff" being a slang term for that God-made green smoke), and hazy, trippy beats has led to them performing alongside A$AP Rocky – who, at this point, is pretty much a P.G stan – and entering the pages of high-profile music and style publications. Up next? Global domination.

Little Simz

Hometown: London, England
Twitter: @LittleSimz
Notable Song: 'Mandarin Oranges Part 2'
Sounds Like: Smart rhymes from a young lady determined to defy convention and pre-conceptions.

Why You Need To Know Her: Jay-Z's Life + Times dig her, BBC Radio 1's Zane Lowe spins her, and legendary record exec Sylvia Rhone may one day sign her: Little Simz is that new rap chick everyone wants to know. Last year, this 19-year-old conscious mind with a flawless flow released her Blank Canvas mixtape to rave reviews; it put her on-stage at SXSW and landed her in studios with the likes of Dizzee Rascal, Kelela, and Pro Era's Chuck Strangers, too. On June 16, Simz is dropping a new EP titled E.D.G.E, which will no doubt see her keep winning.

Yung Lean

Hometown: Stockholm, Sweden
Twitter: @YungLeann
Notable Song: 'Ginseng Strip 2002'
Sounds Like: Lil B’s white, Swedish nephew, or the closest you could get to the definition of "sad rap."

Why You Need To Know Him: It’s unclear if he’s a rap prankster or not, but teenager Yung Lean is being consumed by an abundance of online gas right now. The youngster from Stockholm, Sweden, has accumulated millions of views on YouTube for his Lil B-like head-space and camera phone-shot visuals. And where most outspoken, English-rhyming white rappers enter the game with an Eminem comparison attached to their names, RiFF RAFF is probably more fitting where Yung Lean is concerned. Kid’s clearly got something going on, though.

More picks from Hyperfrank, James Walsh and Tobi Oki at XXL: H E R E 

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

iRate: Mumdance Feat. Novelist - 'Take Time'

Novelist is one of the 7 MCs Holding It Up For Grime. And Mumdance, well, he's just a beat-making don gorgon. This track right here? Future grime music >>>  

Monday, 2 June 2014

iRate: Skinz - 'Ready Or Not'

Skinz has got more in store. Don't sleep!

MTV IGGY: Selector: Bok Bok Picks His R&G Classics

By Joseph 'JP' Patterson

So, R&G, the singer-led spin-off borne out of grime’s left rib, lives to see another day. Sparked up in the mid-noughties by grime composers Terror Danjah, Scratch DVA, and DaVinche, R&G (rhythm and grime) took a genre known for its angst and high levels of testosterone, and threw sweet female attitudes in the mix to soften the relentless blows. And the result was nothing short of sonic amazement: soulful powerhouses pouring their riffs and runs out over screwface-inducing rude boy beats fit for the aggiest of mic men, it was a sound that called the fairer sex to the floor without getting caught up in a mosh-pit, a sound that hoodie-wearing guys could bump 'n' grind with their girls in a club to, without the fear of looking like all the other mushy, drunk-in-love messes you typically see during the slow-jam section.

R&G’s romantic, empowering anthems proved that grime could be tamed under the right note, and gave females in the scene who didn’t wanna do it like the "man dem," a voice they could own, and be proud of. Following the release of Scratcha DVA’s The Voice Of Grime album in 2006, however — a now-classic, critic-approved work featuring over twenty vocalists — the once bright spark, that had a good chance of lighting up the charts, fizzled out with no clear warning, and, surprisingly, disgruntled grime nurturers weren’t at the root of its demise. It was a little closer to home. "The singers were just dropping off left, right, and center," said DVA in a 2009 interview with Blackdown. "One minute, Gemma Fox would come in and make a banger, and then she’d disappear … Sadie would come along, and then disappear. No one just stayed there doing that whole sound, and that’s where it fell apart."

After many years of forum discussions and the odd online column mention, the world was finally re-introduced to the short-lived movement in October, 2013, upon the release of Kelela Mizanekristos' debut mixtape-album, Cut 4 Me. The LA-based R&B singer’s sweet-scented, arresting vocals and lyrics of being cocooned in love ('Bank Head') and devastatingly heartbroken by it ('Enemy') captured the true essence of R&G, underpinning synth-laced, Ruff Sqwad-nodding backdrops from new wave experimentalists like Jam City, Nguzunguzu and Girl Unit, in doing so. Kelela added a whole new depth to the R&G concept, striking chords with the electronic and alt-R&B scenes almost immediately, and leaves Cut 4 Me in 2013 among the top five outings from an independent artist — or any artist, for that matter.

One of the heroes behind the seductive 13-tracker, and someone who has been instrumental in this second coming of rhythm and grime, is south-east London graphic designer by trade, producer, and Night Slugs co-founder, Alex Sushon — or, Bok Bok, as he’s widely known.

Alongside Kingdom of Fade To Mind, the US sister label of Night Slugs that distributed Cut 4 Me, Bok Bok’s on-going search for grime’s heart came through strong in the A&Ring of Kelela’s debut, and, he believes that R&G’s return was a long time coming. "I always think pop music could be more exciting and challenging," Bok Bok says, "and R&G is the way to do it. You can give it the rawness, realness, genuine emotion, and human aspects of the grime scene, as well as the polish of radio appeal. If you listen to old Timbaland, when he produced for Aaliyah and Genuine, who’s to say that’s not R&G? They were different beats but there’s that warmth and human emotional element to it. One of the Rodney Jerkins beats for Destiny’s Child had a similar vibe, too. I’m still a big believer R&G is feasible for the charts and the public. The production’s not there on many well-written songs, and that’s where we’re trying to take it with R&G."

Bok Bok’s new 7-track EP, Your Charizmatic Self — his first full effort since 2011’s 8-bar grime-influenced EP, Southside — sees him staying in R&G’s frame, whilst weaving through 80s funk and electro soundscapes, with all but one vocal contribution: Kelela, on the shimmery throwback vibes of 'Melba’s Call' (above). For Sushon, this set cuts deep. "This EP is about being true to yourself,"  he explains. "It’s about figuring out what it is I want to do in music but, at the same time in my life, it was really figuring out who I am, as a person. Those two things went hand-in-hand."

"It’s almost like some producers want to make nice music but have to conform within their genre," he adds. "I decided I didn’t care about any of that stuff, and if I wanted to go for more colorful melodies and express myself differently, I would do just that." In light of the EP release and Night Slugs celebrating six years of its club night, Bok Bok recently set off on a world tour, where he’ll be spreading the UK club music gospel across the States, Oz, and various EU locations. And what will he be bumping on the tour bus? R&G, of course. MTV IGGY got the grime romantic to select his fave R&G cuts, of all time. Tune in below.


"This track has to be in my top five, without a doubt. Katy Pearl made Kano sound like a bit of a dickhead on ‘Leave Me Alone.’ He gets kinda boyed! [Laughs] Most MCs have an ego, and he decided to not come across that way. Katy told him where to go!"

“Sadie’s ‘So Sure’ is such a classic; it was produced by Terror Danjah. I personally think Terror deserved to get a No. 1 with his R&G stuff but probably didn’t because he didn’t have the right infrastructure behind him. Besides that, he is an amazing R&B producer, let alone R&G. Some of his beats are timeless.”


"I love this slow mix of 'I Luv U.' The production’s much sweeter, but still dark, and has an Asian melody and sinogrime feel about it. Although it has a couple of MC features on it, it’s still such an earnest track. No aggression here! When you make tunes for the girls, it can work so well."


"Swiftee had a few sick beats … I don’t know if they ever got vocalled, but he sampled all this Motown stuff. He had a tune called 'Motown Dreams,' which I could not get enough of. There’s another guy called Low Deep, who made 'Straight Passion,' and them two guys had a little instrumental side to R&G; girly tunes but still with that grimey edge."


"This is a bassline/4×4 track, but it used to melt my heart. 'Lifey' shows just how much you can do with bassline, when there’s a nice vocal on top of it. Sweets was only 14 when this came out. She was young, and shouldn’t have even been out in the club [laughs]."

Bok Bok's Your Charizmatic Self EP is out now.

This also appeared over at MTV IGGY: H E R E

Essential Viewing: The Police Vs Grime Music (A Noisey Film)

Noisey UK's grime coverage hasn't always been on point, but their JME-hosted documentary on the whole Just Jam / Barbican / Form 696 debacle, is deserving of a clap or two. Watch on.

Friday, 23 May 2014

MTV IGGY: Get Ready: Blizzard's About To Reign Down

By Joseph 'JP' Patterson

Name: Blizzard

Where He’s From: Manchester, England

When He Started: 2005

Genre: Grime/hip-hop

For Fans Of: Shotty Horroh, Jack Flash, Maxsta

Manchester’s Blizzard can "shower it down," at any given moment. A piano-playing grime MC since the age of 11, who counts Wiley and Pink Floyd, Thom Yorke and The Streets as influences, Blizzard has been on a road to self-discovery with his music for near-on a decade now, making his debut in 2005 as a member of local collective, Mayhem Crew. Even back then he showed a maturity and a confidence in his delivery that had the power to command the attention of any listener passing by.

It hasn’t been all grime for Bradley Green, though. The lyrical firecracker’s widely respected in the battle rap arena, too, appearing on Don’t Flop a plethora of times, as well as Jammer’s (grime-centered) Lord Of The Mics 5. And although some might say more bar-for-bar clashes have been lost than they’ve been won, Blizzard’s freestyling ability, razor-sharp wordplay and hard graft has put him in places OG rhyme-throwers still dream about at night — namely Glastonbury, where he’ll be performing on the Left Field stage later this year.

Green released his much-hyped debut EP, the rowdy Sooner Than Never in 2012, which was followed-up in March, 2014, with the highly introspective set, Testing The Water. With both offerings safely securing him an army of followers (you know the ones who march across the country just to get their picture taken with him at a CD signing? Exactly!) and the British music industry finally taking to him as a potential chart-cracker (MTV UK, BBC Radio 1 are noted supporters), soon, this Blizzard will be one you won’t be able to run from. Get ready.

This also appeared over at MTV IGGY: H E R E

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

iRate: Louis Rei - 'Sing About Me'

Back to put west London on UK rap's map, Louis Rei unveils his nothing-short-of-wavey track and video, Sing About Me

MTV IGGY: Selector: Getting Deep, Dark and Techy with No Artificial Colours

Joseph 'JP' Patterson

Lewis Wright and Ryan Ellis, known to most as No Artificial Colours, are tech-house front-runners who are only three years into their roles. The south-east London producer/DJ outfit, whose name came about after randomly observing a can of fizzy pop (obviously), already count big-room names such as Jamie Jones, Maya Jane Coles, Kerri Chandler and labels like Defected as backers of their rolling, percussion-heavy house works — which, in some cases, can take more than the duo’s whole career span to garner such attention.

Heard all over Shoreditch nightlife and peak-time Ibiza, N.A.C have also released a handful of well-received EPs via underground labels in their time: Street Knowledge on Pet Food Records, Jack & The Beans on Resonance Records, Crying Wolf on MadTech, et al. But following their bumpy-bumpy 2013 remix of Cyril Hahn’s Perfect Girl for PMR Records/Virgin EMI (Disclosure, Jessie Ware), Wright and Ellis now have said major on board to release their next set, Reach For Me, later this year to a largely mainstream audience. Deep house has had a superb run in the UK charts these past couple of years, but now, in all its tinny glory, time is ripe for tech-house to steal some shine.

For our latest Selector column, we hand things over to No Artificial Colours’ Lewis Wright, who gives us a rundown of he and his pal’s techno-infused house faves of the moment. Get cutting those shapes, after the jump.


"We’ve been opening our sets with this, recently. It’s such a great track to bring everything down and start again, and it hasn’t failed us yet! Arabian Sexcapade is a complete percussive workout … Everything you’d expect from Dennis Ferrer, really."


"Always such solid productions from Jakkin Rabbit, Moving, which is out on the 5 Years Of No.19 compilation, is a cool track that bounces along real nice. It fits in absolutely anywhere in a set, and also at any time of the night."


"We love, love, love this track. Rules Of Life is used to pick our sets up. Although the kick is most definitely at the forefront, we like how it stays interesting throughout, leading you into a nice little breakdown. We’ve always been into LEON’s work, and always look forward to thumping this out on a proper system.”


"Although it’s been out for some time, Shelter does the business on the dance floor. Everything Christoph touches right now seems to be working so well that we have to try and limit ourselves to only two of his productions per set [laughs]. We played this track in Amsterdam a few weeks back, when playing in a circus tent out there, and people lost their minds! His style is right up our street."


"Really feeling this remix from Alexis. Proper, lovely stuff. This one is for creeping into the early hours, for sure. And we just love how it keeps bubbling away, with its nasty noises throughout."

This also appeared over at MTV IGGY: H E R E 

Saturday, 17 May 2014

Pigeons & Planes: Premiere: SLOWOLF Feat. Raekwon, Benny Banks & Takura - 'Princess'

By Joseph 'JP' Patterson

Copenhagen, Denmark, may be known for its below-minus temperatures, but that hasn’t stopped the blogosphere from feeling the heat of native SLOWOLF’s fiery, amped-up productions and refixes. A relatively new name, SLOWOLF’s juxtaposition of tripped-out, melodic hip-hop and glitchy electronica has already pricked up the ears of mainstream radio station DJs in his hometown, as well as BBC Radio 1Xtra’s MistaJam and XFM’s Eddy Temple in London, England.

But, that’s not all: based on his skills on the buttons, the rising beatsmith—born Adrian Asingh—has managed to rope in a few slick verses from the most unexpected batch of wordsmiths for his May 26 BOUNTY EP, including UK rap’s Benny Banks, MTA Records grime boy Dream Mclean, and rapping Wu-Tang Clan chef, Raekwon—no less. Featuring the Staten Island vet himself, Banks, and frequent Chase & Status collaborator—vocalist, Takura—stream SLOWOLF’s standout EP track, Princess, right here:

This also appeared over at Pigeons & Planes: H E R E