Archive for December, 2010

Lowkey ft Klashnekoff – Blood, Sweat and Tears [video and lyrics]

‘Blood, Sweat and Tears’ sees two UK hip-hop legends, Klashnekoff and Lowkey, reflecting on their careers and their roles within the music industry.

Everybody around the scene knows that these two brothers could be living large off music right now if only they were willing to give up control of their minds and bodies to the major label puppet-masters. Both have opted instead to stay true to what they believe in over the course of their careers.

K-Lash breaks down his role as a cultural leader who has never given in to the industry:

As lightning strikes and thunder pounds
Over the grey skies of London town
Prophesy K returns from the underground
Signified by the people’s trumpet sounds cry
Yeah the system it tried to shut me down
But I’ve been on my ting before Onyx was flinging guns around
Blood, sweat and tears for years
Feels like my career’s been in the dumping ground
Yeah this is how hunger sounds
And I’m the hunter now – Lash the lionheart
AKA the man behind the iron mask
For ten years straight I’ve been raising the iron bar
Trying to breathe the life back into this dying art
So why try and par when you’ll meet the same fate as the lion scar
This game’s fake, full of two-faced lying raas
Who would sell their soul and arse just to climb the charts
But me, I put in too much time in the graft
Refining my craft, for majors to sign me for a minor advance
Picture K-Lash miming on trance
Now picture Dr Dre beats, Lash rhyming with Starks
It’s all fate, and I’ve got mine in my grasp
They’re all snakes, let them die in the past
Who knows what the future holds
These NWO soldiers will probably shoot me cold
All because the truth was told
You should know I did it from the heart

Lowkey’s verse focuses on his mission to give voice to the voiceless:

I don’t do this for the happy ravers or the aggy haters
I do this for the warriors and the gladiators
Do this for those whose lives you never cared about
Can’t pronounce their names, their origins or their whereabouts
Those brought up around tragedy and sadness
Who adjusted and found normality in the madness
Fight the power, til I’m out of breath like Malcolm X
You empower the powerful, I empower the powerless
They’ll play you on the radio if you rap about a Gucci belt
But rap about the government and you might as well shoot yourself
Industry fairies say I rap about conspiracy theories
Just to hide the fact they lyrically fear me
Got the eye of a tiger, the heart of a lion
The mind of a lifer, my stance is defiant
I rise like a phoenix, immediate from the ashes
My existence is inconvenient for the masses
Though we are equal I despise an imitation
I live for my people and die for liberation
I stand as a visionary, some have got plans of killing me
To literally vanish me physically like Aborigines
Hannibal with the mask, an animal with the bars
I’m grappling with my shackles, I channel it through my art
Feel it in the ambience, champion, heavyweight
My life is nothing, but my pride is something you can never take
They think I’m elusive or think I’m a nuisance
I swear these major labels must think that I’m stupid
Keep your 360s you’re convincing these dudes with
Like I’ll give you the blueprint for pimping my music
I say that like K-Lash, he’s another lion
Every hardship from getting scarred to my brother dying
I spit all of it, with or without a big audience
Through the blood, sweat and tears I stand victorious

And the chorus brings it together nicely.

I’m still here, pushing after several years
I’m still here, standing strong, never in fear
I’ll be still here after the dust settles and clears
I’ll be still here after the blood, sweat and the tears

A huge track from these guys. Spread the word!

Follow Klashnekoff on Twitter
Follow Lowkey on Twitter

A few random suggestions for 2011

It’s that time of year when people start to think about new year’s resolutions. Personally I don’t do them any more (if you have an idea for improvement, why wait until next year?), but nonetheless the end of the year is a great time for reflection and planning.

With that in mind, I thought I’d share a few suggestions for 2011.

  • Try to read a book every fortnight.
  • Every book you read, do a short review and post it online. It’s a good way of sharing the knowledge, and it’ll help you process the ideas in the book.
  • Every book you read, write a list of the 10 most useful ideas in it. Again, this is a good way of actively engaging with written material.
  • Meet regularly with friends and discuss how to solve problems that affect you (at family/community/society level). It may seem like nothing, but it’s how meaningful social change starts!
  • Watch a good documentary or lecture every week. This is especially important if you’re not a big reader.
  • Support music that’s worthy of support. Reject bullshit. There are so many artists making phenomenal music out there; let’s carry on supporting and promoting them.
  • Think about finding a way of making money that is socially useful and not destructive.
  • Address your own prejudices. Every single day. We all have prejudices (social conditioning is a powerful thing), and by admitting their existence, giving them a name, we are better placed to deal with them.
  • Get adequate sleep, exercise on the regs, stretch daily, eat sensibly. This basic stuff will help you get everything else done.
  • Drop that bad habit of interrupting people. Listen more than you talk. (And yes, I’m a terrible culprit on this one).
  • Prefer unity. Differences are inevitable. We unite on the basis of a simple common platform for progress. Unity is really difficult, and it requires courage, persistence, vigilance, tolerance, compassion and patience to make it happen.
  • Do some youth work or some mentoring. Break down the generation gap. Young people are the future; learn from them and they will learn from you.
  • Engage with your kids. Give them a moral/cultural base that society can’t destroy.
  • Learn how to touch type! You’ll save time.
  • Don’t let shyness or lack of confidence get in the way of doing the right thing.
  • Learn a musical instrument instrument (I’m thinking about learning trumpet! Am already ok at guitar and keys)
  • Fight the system. Build for the future.

Please add your suggestions in the comments!

Free download: Bobby Whiskers ‘Broken/Dreams’



Be sure to download the brand new EP from Bobby Whiskers, ‘Broken/Dreams’, on Funkatech Records. Bobby will be familiar to those who have seen him perform as part of innovative electro-punk-hip-hop band Where’s Huey? WH? have been stirring up a storm with their performances at various gigs over the last few months (including Hip Hop History and Love Music Hate Racism), and I for one am fully looking forward to their album early next year.

‘Broken/Dreams’ sees Bobby going into deep introspection, painting a painfully real picture of his past, while moving towards an optimistic future. The promo is very accurate: “A dark twisting narrative from prison to protest; broken to dream; journeying back to the melancholy basics, where it all began”. Hardly the typical subject matter for a modern-day hip-hop MC, but most definitely real and relevant.

The lyricism and the dramatic edge are excellent, as anyone familiar with Bobby’s rapping would expect. The production, courtesy of Phil Jones – one half of dubstep/breaks monsters Specimen A – is slick, banging and brutal.

Fully recommended. Download and listen.


Bobby Whiskers on Twitter
Bobby Whiskers on Facebook
Where’s Huey on Twitter

Jasiri X – The Real Huey Newton

Nice freestyle from Jasiri X. The instrumental is from Wiz Khalifa and Curren$y’s recent track ‘Huey Newton’ which has caused a fair bit of controversy, mainly as a result of the fact that the song has absolutely nothing to do with Huey Newton! Jasiri provides a healthy and mature response to Wiz and Curren$y’s record, pointing out that the racism that inspired the birth of the Panthers has not gone away.

Jasiri’s lyrics:

I remember Joshalyn Lawton police put a gun to her head
She was 7, all she could see was the weapon
How could this sweet little girl be threatening
6 witnesses, the cop wasn’t even questioned
Although it sounds simply insane
That officer killed a man who was mentally deranged
6 months later this is my city where the mayor
Fought a cop then got off a half hour later
And I say a prayer for Fredrick Germaine Carter
Found hanging from a tree in Mississippi
And I ain’t talking bout in the 60s
This was last week
They called in a suicide so they can keep the blacks asleep
Keep puffin ya hashish and sippin on champagne
A guarantee that niggas won’t do a damn thang
Demand change my pen comes from a hand grenade
And this ain’t a diss to Wiz and Curren$y
Cos I was burning trees every day to age 23
And look what the lord made me
All praise be to the God that raised me
You don’t crush the seeds you water them
If you wanna see your sons shine, father them
Huey was just 24 when he stared the panthers
F a problem lets start with the answers
One hood

Here’s the Wiz Khalifa and Curren$y track:

And here is more detail from the ever-brilliant Davey D.

Positive Hip-Hop: Saigon ‘Fatherhood’

So happy to see a track about enjoying fatherhood and taking it seriously. Most rappers claim to be about “representing reality”, but all too often they represent the most commercially viable side of reality – a thin reflection of “road life”. Fatherhood on the other hand is something that many of us really deal with, and it’s great to have one of the best rappers talking clearly and positively about it.

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