The mask we really want to see… now… if only the NBA would allow it.
The word is out. Neneh Cherry is back with some new music.
Yes that’s the same Neneh you might remember from the classics Buffalo Stance and Seven Seconds. Let’s do Seven Seconds this time as we did Buffalo Stance last time around.
Yes that’s Neneh as in “I took my Virgin royalties and helped fund my friends from Bristol called the Wild Bunch .. and that was Blue Lines by Massive Attack”.
And yep that’s Neneh as in I started in Rip Rig & Panic and so making a free jazz record (The Cherry Thing) with Norwegian Art-Jazzers The Thing makes perfect sense. As does covering The Stooges, Suicide and MF Doom for the record. Well, all that made sense anyway as her step-dad Don was one of the greatest names in avant-garde jazz & here’s Neneh and the Thing doing a Don Tribute (which is basically The Thing album live)
Anyway THAT Neneh went and made a record called The Blank Project with some electronic genius type people led by Kieran “Four Tet” Hedben and also including the RocketNumberNine (Ben & Tom Page) team. Which is back to some kind of commercial.
You can hear her talk about it to BBCs Jo Whiley HERE
And listen below to “Out Of The Black” her collab with equally good “alternative” pop star Robyn.
It’s still very edgy. So make you mind up yourself.
But our world seems happier with her back.
On January 9 Dublin based rapper Rejjie Snow (formally known as Lecs Luther) dropped the first single off his highly awaited debut LP Rejovich. The track Lost In Empathy plays on the strange persecution of albinos. The 19 year old up and comer has already supported MF DOOM in Dublin, and more recently did a hometown show opening up for man of the moment Kendrick Lamar. Despite being based in the small market of Dublin, Ireland Snow has received a large amount of attention on the internet with his song Harlem reaching over a hundred thousand views on YouTube proving ‘it ain’t where you’re from it’s where you’re at’
The young rapper has quite an underground vibe to his music with chilled out beats and flow so slick it is like water off a seals back. In fact his so far short career has a little bit of a MF DOOM feel about it (minus the mask). In late 2012 Snow made the announcement to the world that he was in fact the anonymous beat maker and rapper Captain Murphy, only to announce later that day that it was all a media stunt and that he was not actually the mystical man behind the deep voice (Turns out it’s in fact Flying Lotus) For this stunt he received a large amount of news attention, not all of it being positive.
Part of a new generation of rappers Rejjie Snow appears to be set for a long and fruitful career and is most definitely one to keep an eye on this year.
If your step dad looks like this:
And sounds like this:
and your best friends did this:
and your started out spinning early hip hop here:
And your first big hit was as dope as this:
Why wouldn’t you take some time out to have some kids and come back fronting a crazy Swedish funkrockjazz band that plays your stuff and covers some stuff by cool acts like Suicide and MF Doom and make a little scratch video like this?
Just to make us excited & prove you still look amazing (even with a little doom mask action). Maybe one of the best popstars ever is back and she has decided to avoid pimpin’ herself out and calling herself MDNA and instead settled for some ill communication. I feel this will be in some peoples record of the year list so perhaps you should take a chance and check it out. The Cherry Thing is out now through Fuse and available in Title Space stores around the country.
When I was 17 I looked like this -
I loved hip hop and, on a whim, I would buy any tape, record or CD I could find with a black guy rocking a gold chain on the cover – there was only a handful of mags, no internet, no guides – everything was guesswork with a pretty disappointing hit ratio. I wrote my own raps – terribly, skated every single day – terribly, and dreamt of kicking game to the girls in my grade without my head exploding in a crimson blush…
Enter Joey Bada$$. At 17, he looks like this -
At 17 this kid leaves me baffled. I just don’t understand how someone so young can be so, so good. The handful of crisp, no budget videos circulating before his mix tape dropped were dripping with promise and had us throwing around comparisons of a 19 year old ‘Illmatic’ Nas (speaking of Nasir – he may have dropped his finest yet : check it!), weathered and wise way beyond his years.
This week Joey dropped ‘1999’ – a free full length album (mix tape - not mixed, not a tape). It’s outstanding. His beat selection is superb – whether pillaged from the catalogues of some of the masters of dusty boom bap (Lord Finesse, MF Doom, Lewis Parker) or freshly produced for the release, they all jigsaw together in a cohesive style reminiscent of ‘95 – the golden era heyday of hip hop, the year Joey was born (the year after I finished high school).
There is no ‘throwback’ style about this kid – he honestly just exists in a different Era. His dense metaphor and word play are strictly of the standard of today’s finest and reveal themselves further with each repeated listen. His songs bounce around between braggadocio, gritty love songs and cautionary tales, and a surprisingly conscious track about the expected career paths of young black kids in New York.
Aside from the sterling production, aside from the great visuals and the prematurely advanced lyric and flow, the thing that I am finding increasingly confusing are the pop references he chooses. So far I have caught Chaka Khan, Michael Jordan, Color Me Badd, Run DMC and Michael Jackson’s ‘Billie Jean’ – while not exactly obscure, they are definitely not the source material you would expect a 17 year old to find relevance in.
Joey Bada$$ and his Pro Era crew are definitely going to have to weather comparisons to Odd Future. Like OFWGKTA, they are young, grimey and skate – unlike members of that crew though, Joey Bada$$ doesn’t depend on rudimentary shock value to break through and get noticed, it’s all skill here. Sure – his tracks are occasionally peppered with the ignorance of a puff chested teenager trying to be a bigger man than he is, and DO NOT follow him on twitter, but ‘1999’ is one of the finest, true school hip hop releases I have heard in a very, very long time. Don’t Sleep.