Tag Archives: hip hop

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Jar Jar Jr.DIY beats from Cork

What you may need to know…

01. Jar Jar Jr (or jar jar jr, to use the proper nomenclature) is the nom-de-plume of Cork beatmaker Robert O’Halloran.

02. He’s amassed quite the cult following for himself, particularly in the last year, where fan-made videos of his tracks have racked up massive views, including over 300,000 for fan visuals for his track ambitions.

03. The wider music internet has taken notice, with playlist site/aggregator Indie Shuffle placing him in their hip-hop best-of for 2016, alongside DJ Shadow, Chance the Rapper and Jurassic 5. As you do.

04. Streaming above is the video for ah well, released last month via his own Soundcloud, and featuring UK rapper/poet Looms. Visuals directed by Aleks Podhorowska.

Thoughts: Progressing from jazzier beatmaking to lo-fi compositions and collaborations in recent times, Jar Jar Jr.’s 2016 surely serves as a portent for bigger things this year.

Jar Jar Jr.


StrangefishIrish hip-hop superteam from the archives

What you may need to know…

01. Strangefish was/is a collaborative effort between Northern emcee Jee4ce, Belfast beatmaker SertOne, and Limrock cutman(s) Deviant & Naive Ted, operational between 2012 and 2013.

02. This self-titled E.P. was assembled inbetween shiftwork and fits of existential crisis in bedrooms in Liverpool, Dublin and Edinburgh, with ideas and bits flung back and forth over the interwebs.

03. It’s streaming and available for download in the widget above, releasing via Liverpudlian label Fly High Society.

04. The blurb/copy accompanying this record states that this is the “first compilation” from the outfit, implying either more archive material or fresh cuts down the road.

Thoughts: With the recognisable sonic fingerprint of each participant evident, this extended-player provides plenty for Irish hip-hop heads to dig into, while the EP’s digs into psychedelia and playfulness ought to appeal to first-timers.



Naive TedLimerick weirdo beat don returns

What you may need to know…

01. Co-founder of the Community Skratch Games festival, and founder of the Unscene label/collective (see yesterday’s YMLT), Naive Ted is arguably one of the cornerstones of independent music in Ireland, in addition to his own ever-expanding body of increasingly experimental beat-tapes and production credits.

02. We’re reliably informed the follow-up to 2015 magnum opus The Inevitable Heel Turn is on the way.

03. Streaming above is a video released on the quiet over the post-Xmas/pre-New Year fug, for single Post-Factual (That Old Chestnut).

04. Appearing next at Quarter Block Party on North Main Street, Cork, from February 5th to 7th, where he’ll be performing all-new material which may or may not be new-LP-related. More info here.

Thoughts: More oddball beats and pieces with a reliably lo-fi feel, albeit a tad more ’90s-feeling in places. Looking forward to hearing where this might lead.

Naive Ted


MankyyClare beatmaker gets in with the first new release of the year

What you may need to know…

01. Mankyy is the beatmaking pseudonym of Clareman Daithí MacCrúitin. At a tender eighteen years of age, he’s already been up and down the country, sharing stages with This Side Up and the Cuttin’ Heads Collective.

02. Debut extended-player Character Development guest appearances from a litany of Irish hip-hop leaders, including Limerick trio Same D4ence, fellow prodigy Jonen Dekay, and Spekulativ Fiktion.

03. The E.P. is available for streaming and download in the widget above.

04. Technically the first release of the year in Ireland, the E.P. dropped in the early hours of New Year’s Day, via Limrock beatgods The Unscene.

Thoughts: Some absolutely scorching guest bars are the cherry on top of a well-developed, dense and eclectic collection of beats.



2016 has has been a pivotal year for Irish music.

sheet music editor Mike McGrath Bryan writes:

This year has been the strongest in recent memory for Irish music, managing so despite the dissolutions of a great many leading outfits in the community in times of yore, among them this year Fight Like Apes, Enemies and Funeral Suits.

In the eight months your writer has been doing daily explainers on Irish independent music, there’s never been a morning where we’ve been without content, a story to tell, something that’s exciting to put in post and press ‘publish’ on.

What a lot of us figured would be a passing golden era a few years back has become the foundation for something far more sustained – without so much as a look from daytime radio or television, and with minimal coverage from our country’s mainstream media (all this despite good people in each, fighting the good fight, might I add).

Ireland’s music scene is easily the equal of any other offering, anywhere in the world, and arguably, pound-for-pound, the best in terms of quality of releases.

With that being said, let’s dig in to the list.

The divisively-named Top Ten Irish Records of 2016 does come with a caveat, though – joint winners (both ranked #1, with the #2 spot vacated, for the pedants among you).

It’s been that good of a year. Enjoy.

Continue reading


Run the Jukescollaborative beats via The Unscene

What you may need to know…

01. Galway beatmaker and high-ranking Street Fighter competitor Jimmy Penguin teams up with Mikey B-Side, a.k.a Michael Fallon of Cork’s Cuttin’ Heads Collective. By their powers combined, they are Run the Jukes.

02. The Kralbum is the result of their collaborative labours, dropped by surprise last night via Limerick weirdo music propagation magnates The Unscene.

03. The twelve-minute, one-track mix can be streamed above, and downloaded for free from the project’s Bandcamp.

04. Other than telling us that apparently “Jukes reign supreme over nearly everyone“, there is literally zero other information on this particular project. This was an intentional move, according to the Unscene’s crack PR team.

Verdict: More handy, weirdy, noisy beats from the sweet spot of Irish hip-hop.

Run the Jukes


William Streethip-hop from Cork

What you may need to know…

01. A relatively new name and face to Cork’s slowly renaissant hip-hop scene, is MC Shane Kavanagh, aka William Street.

02. Quietly getting around Cork with gigs, and garnering community radio play around the country, he’s picked his time well to horse into formally releasing music.

03. Streaming above is Move E.P.: Part One, available for download from his Bandcamp now. A pair of tracks featuring production from Irish beatmakers Gerryboy and G.I.

04. Part two of the extended-player is due in early 2017, according to the man himself.

Verdict: A Cork-accented voice, with a way for verbal broadsides that’s complemented by the accent itself.

William Street


For your consideration

A forty-minute mix of tracks from Limerick’s ever-incredible The Unscene label, featuring the cream of current Irish beats and pieces, including Nylon Primate, T-Woc, Spekulativ Fiktion, RíRá, and Naive Ted.

All hand-picked by DJ JusMe, founder of Cork hip-hop co-op Cuttin’ Heads Collective, and hosted by up-and-comer Lil’ Johnny.

Vince Mack Mongrul – Thinking Heavy Bout Bass
Mikey Fingers – Boundaries Inside The Circle
Spekulativ Fiktion X Deviant & Naive Ted ft. Clerk 5 – Slave Labour
Nylon Primate ft. RíRá – Matador
Naive Ted X King Pallas – Hard Times ***exclusive (previously unreleased)***
Same D4ence – Pretentious
Flying Buttresses – God Laws
Nylon Primate – Late Hours
Vince Mack Mongrul ft. Chinch 33 – Sneak Quite
Nylon Primate – Build & Destroy
t-woc – sweaty fonk
Mikey Fingers – Glass Beads
Spekulativ Fiktion X Deviant & Naive Ted – Intro
Naive Ted X Same D4ence – Patience
Naive Ted w/ t-woc – Hard Breaking
Naive Ted – Sinking
Post-punk Podge & the Technohippies – Post-punk Election Party
Spekulativ Fiktion X Deviant & Naive Ted – Butterflies
Flying Buttresses – Honeysuckle Pussy

The Unscene


This Side Up – Sligo hip-hop

What you may need to know…

01. Myster E, Shaol and DJ Noone are This Side Up, a Sligo hip-hop collective.

02. Emerging from a live rap cypher at a regular vinyl night of the same name, in the town’s McGarrigle’s pub, the trio have been quietly gaining momentum in Irish hip-hop the past few years.

03. Streaming above is the trio’s debut album, Full Fat, the follow up to last year’s 3075 EP. Featuring appearances from Spekulativ Fiktion, MC Muipéad and Verb T and Moreone.

04. Catch them tomorrow evening at Liquid Lounge in Cork for the Cuttin’ Heads Collective’s birthday, and on the 26th at the Grand Social in Dublin.

Verdict: A big, boisterous offering that not so much touches on, but lands a big elbow drop on, everything from mental health in Ireland, to world politics.

This Side Up


T-Wocnew album Sentinelas due soon on Rudimentary

What you may need to know…

01. Last we checked in with T-Woc, aka beatmaker Mick Donohoe, he’d just released his Jetstar E.P. on Limerick label The Unscene.

02. His follow-up is the first ever long-player released on Belfast hip-hop label Rudimentary, and comes from a trip to Brazil. Happening across Sao Paulo’s Feirão de Uma Milhao LPs market, Donohoe went digging, and among the stacks were some children’s comics that boasted of soundtrack 7″s that had long gone missing. A soundtrack for a lost kid’s comic, then, is Sentinelas, named for the comic’s villains.

03. Pre-orders are available now via Rudimentary‘s Bandcamp. Streaming above is a two-song preview, including lead-off tune O Tronco.

04. The album launches on November 19th in the Triskel in Cork, joined by Cholera House, Diamond Dagger and Automatic Tasty.

Verdict: Warm, bright, and vibrant music that’ll go down equally with math-rock and post-rock nerds as with beat hounds.