Tag Archives: hip hop

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ROCSTRONGgenre-juggling pop from Dublin

What you may need to know…

01. South Dublin-based performer/songwriter/producer André Bangala, better known to the world as Rocstrong, has made his presence felt in Irish music as of late, featuring on The Thin Air’s 17 for 17 list, among other accolades.

02. Broadsheet Trailer Park regulars may recognise his tune Go Head: used by none other than the Coen Brothers on the trailer for 2015’s Hail Caesar.

03. Streaming above is debut extended-player Show Off What You Got, available for streaming and download from his Bandcamp. Meanwhile, brand-new single I Gotcha is streaming now on Spotify.

04. Catch him this Saturday night at the Civic Theatre in Tallaght, alongside upcoming hip-hop collectives Loud Motive and Craic Appeal.

Thoughts: Ably balancing accessibility with a number of musical reference points and influences, Rocstrong is a beguiling pop proposition.

ROCSTRONG

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It’s been a good work for fans of decent irish hip-hop, with two big live gatherings getting releases over social media this week.

Write the shadowy enmascarado bosses from the Unscene:

Back in January we unleashed Mankyy’s ‘Character Development’ EP, a debut release perhaps most remarkable for its artistic maturity, not only on the production front but also from the assembled cast of young rappers Aswell, Jonen Dekay & Same D4Ence alongside the more grizzled vet Spekulativ Fiktion. A few weeks back we gathered for a post-release get together at Music Generation Limerick City HQ, here’s a taste of what went down. Big ups Stephen Savage on the vid!

Meanwhile, over at 2fm last week, Friday-night beatslinger Mo K. presented the second in his series of live on-air cyphers, featuring multi-man verbal throwdowns featuring Big Siyo, Ger Kellett, Nugget, Linco & Kreo Ghost. Streaming in its entirety above right now.

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Outsider Y.P.The artist formerly known as Young Phantom

What you may need to know…

01. Cork-based rapper/beatmaker/freelancer Mark Mavambu has always been an ambitious sort, and the extent of what he has in mind is starting to make itself apparent.

02. Having both joined the ranks of the Word Up Collective (Dublin) and established Outsiders Entertainment as a catch-all banner for the exploits of himself and collaborators, the former Young Phantom has taken up the A$AP Mob naming convention to get the ball rolling on the latter, rebranding as Outsider Y.P.

03. Streaming above (in a Broadsheet premiere!) is the cinematic video for Saddest Day, the leadoff single for new album Alone.Insane.Alive, releasing on April 30th. On the video, he writes:

The music video is shot in the city of Hong Kong, starring fashion designer and model Sai Wing. The video is shot and edited by 3JBK, a team of videographers and video producers based in Hong Kong.

The collaborative effort was scripted and co-directed by Outsider YP and 3JBK’s Edward Chun. This is the first of a possible many other collaborations between Yp and Asian based creatives. His love of anime and Asian pop culture in general was one of the driving forces behind Yp deciding to attempt to shoot his first music video in Asia.

04. The album launches on April 29th with a special listening party at the Glucksman Museum in UCC, with what’s described as an “unorthodox” listening experience, performance and an ambient DJ set from veteran Leeside beatslinger Stevie G.

Thoughts: This column has sung his praises before, but it bears repeating – Young Phantom is one of the most exciting artists in Irish music of any genre today.

Outsider Y.P.

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Sent to us last week by RTÉ 2XM’s Adam Fogarty, a live cypher, featuring five Irish rappers duking it out on the state broadcaster’s airwaves, presented by 2FM hip-hop jock Mo K.

Rebel P, Jambo, Costello, GI and Mango battle it out verbally, in what’s set to be an ongoing series of live events at the station. Writes Adam:

For more information and submissions for the Cypher Series, please contact demos@rte.ie.

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Rusangano FamilyRTÉ Choice Prize Album of the Year winners

What you may need to know…

01. Honestly? This was the YMLT we were hoping to write this morning – mynameisj0hn, GodKnows and Murli took home the Album of the Year last night at the Choice Awards in Vicar Street.

02. Our thoughts on Let the Dead Bury the Dead, from last year’s year-end list:

“Rusangano Family are more than a critically-acclaimed Irish act that’s threatening to go mainstream. They represent a moment in Irish culture, a turning point, a look at the ever-changing Irish identity, the meeting point of tradition and progress, the emerging Irish multiculture.

Equal parts personal earnestness on the immigrant experience in Ireland and social commentary from the perspective of someone raised latterly in the culture, Let the Dead Bury the Dead is, in their words, “an objective album”.

But as important as the weight it carries, the tunes it bears across its near-40-minute runtime run the gamut, from the mid-paced stepping of Kierkegaard to the flat-out, shirt-waving banger that is Soul Food, there’s not a single doubt of the latter either. A momentous accomplishment.”

03. Streaming above are the album that took home the championship, available for streaming and download, and a Guerrilla Session & interview with Ray Wingnut released this morning.

04. See the champs on tour around the country over the course of the next month, including the National Concert Hall in Dublin, among other dates. See here for the full rundown.

Thoughts: The hardest-working outfit in Irish music today begin to reap the rewards of their grind. Proof that hard work, persistence and dedication always pay off.

Rusangano Family

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Krayb Davidlive techno from Athlone spaaaaaace

What you may need to know…

01. Precious little information exists about the two-headed, seemingly crab-like beast that is Krayb David. According to label pressers, “he drifts through space and time”.

02. Despite the not-inconsiderable logistic problem of being non-committal about on which plane of existence to settle, Earth-bound record company Cut & Paste Records caught the beast long enough to agree to a vinyl release for one of his missives last summer.

03. Streaming above is most recent solo effort, Time Crabs Dream of Electric Egg Ships. Though not to be overlooked is newest effort AcidDavid, a titanic 36-minute live techno jam with fellow astronaut AcidFeen.

04. You can find them on a rare live outing at Community Skratch Games in Galway’s Bierhaus on April 15th and 16th. Ireland’s only live turntablism and skratch festival, no less.

Thoughts: Glitchy hip-hop at the wrong speed? Weird retro-futurist techno? You decide. The crab’s journey will likely wear on through the cosmos regardless.

Krayb David

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Auxiliary PhoenixCarlow beats/jams

What you may need to know…

01. Whether working solo or at the centre of a live trio, James Strain, aka Auxiliary Phoenix, specialises in jazzy, hazy beats.

02. New single Night Light features the vocal talents of hip-hop legend Vast Aire, one-half of Cannibal Ox and former collaborator of Run the Jewels’ El-P, as well as Delaware MC Gentle Jones.

03. Streaming above is the VHS-riffing lyric video, premiered via Nialler9 last week.

04. It’s taken from upcoming EP Power Cosmic, available later in Spring via Dublin tape-based label Little L Recordings.

Thoughts: A polished yet relaxed effort that manages to breathe easy under the weight of the star-power of its featurees.

Auxiliary Phoenix

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RíRáIrish hip-hop legend lasts the test of time

What you may need to know…

01. One of the founding fathers of Irish hip-hop, Tullamore man RíRá helped lay the foundations for our homegrown beat game as part of Scary Éire, alongside DJ Mek, Dada Sloosh and Mr. Browne.

02. He’s been more than active since Scary Éire’s initial album-shelving-induced disbandment, with a string of singles, extended-plays and LPs, all self-released. In addition, he’s had countless features on Irish hip-hop releases, most recently of note, his collab with Waterford’s Nylon Primate.

03. Streaming above is the visual for new single Still Around, released on Monday, created and edited by Cras Cassidy.

04. Available for download and streaming now from Bandcamp and iTunes Music Store, if that’s more your bag.

Thoughts: One of the true “lifers” of Irish independent music affirms his commitment to doing things his way, waxing philosophical in his distinctive gritty tones.

RíRá

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Above: David Axelrod (top); DJ Jus’Me (bottom-right)

Influential composer and producer David Axelrod died (at 83) last week, leaving behind an astounding legacy, including a crucial role in the development of hip-hop via the sampling of many of his works.

Cork cutman Justin O’Donnell, a.k.a DJ Jus’Me, has lovingly assembled a mix for those new to his body of work. He writes:

It’s about 40 minutes worth of classic and massively influential music from the man himself as well as some of his productions for Lou Rawls, David MacCallum, Cannonball Adderly etc. There was a lot more I could have put on here but its a good intro to his music if you’re not familiar. Have a listen… I’m very proud of it.

JusMe on Mixcloud