fri 28/04/2017

rap

CD: Mary J Blige - Strength of a Woman

Mary J Blige has a voice that was built to age gracefully. Gutsy, churchy, sometimes rough, it was miles away from the over-trained melismatics of the Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston imitators of the Nineties, or the velvet-toned ingenues that...

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The Best Albums of 2017

Disc of the Day reviews new albums, week in, week out, all year. Below are the albums that our writers gave four or five stars, the ones they think are a cut above the rest. Click on any one of them to find out why.Brian Eno: Reflection ★★★★★ Slow-...

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Mobydick: North Africa's outrageous rapper

A couple of years ago I saw an extraordinary outdoor concert where a rapper called Muslim (great name if you want to be hard to find on Google) performed at the Timitar Festival in Agadir in the South of Morocco to 80,000 delirious fans. The song...

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Hip Hop World News, BBC Four

Oh BBC Four, we do love you, but this was an uncomfortable proposition from the start. We watch your pop music documentaries, because – let's face it – nobody else is making any, but so often they are pretty thin gruel. There are gems, of course,...

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CD: De La Soul - and the Anonymous Nobody

De La Soul are the posterboys for creative longevity in hip hop. While some contemporaries have maintained a presence by relying on “heritage” status while going in ever-decreasing circles musically (hello, Public Enemy), the trio – still in their...

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CD: Rae Sremmurd - SremmLife 2

The duo of Swae Lee and Slim Jxmmi – aka 21- and 23-year-old Tupelo Mississippi brothers Khalif and Aaquil Brown – are the epitome of everything that is baffling to ageing hip hop fans. Whisked from obscurity as teenagers by superstar producer Mike...

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CD: Paper Tiger - Blast Off

Around the turn of the millennium, two producers – the Californian Otis Jackson Jr aka Madlib, and the late James Yancey aka J Dilla from Detroit – started a revolution in hip hop: knocking beat patterns off the musical grid, searching further and...

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Sónar Barcelona 2016

A few beers down, in the middle of a crowd listening to music you love, you tend not to think of the latest news story as your highest priority. But Britain's relationship to Europe weighs heavy on the mind these days, and when the news of the...

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CD: Bugzy Malone - Facing Time

In 2016, grime is facing a new test of its ability to operate on its own terms. At the start of this decade the genre was flirting with major label crossover that resulted in a few great pop records, but all too often diluted its musical impact or...

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CD: James Blake - The Colour in Anything / Skepta - Konnichiwa

Skepta (aka Joseph Adenuga Jr) and James Blake provide a fascinating parallel as voices of the UK's “generation bass”. Both are from north London, and both have come from a grounding in the subsonic undercurrents of London's early 21st century ...

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Herbert & Kode 9, Abbey Road Studios

There's a new kind of forum for electronic musicians. Certainly not a rave, and not just a recital to earnest nerds, built on a kind of patronage, but a long way removed from a standard corporate gig where you're just providing the interchangeable...

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Kate Tempest, George the Poet, Brighton Corn Exchange

Kate Tempest's long blonde-brown hair flailed as she prowled the stage, red-faced from exertion, adhering not a jot to the media’s tick-boxes for femininity. She is smaller, by far, than her backing band, dressed down in baggy sweatshirt and jeans....

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