Tag Archives: hip hop

From top: Hot Press 2019 Annual; instagram post from 2017


…Yesterday, I read many powerful testimonies about the impact of racism, both overt and casual. It is something that has no place in any civilised society and I have no hesitation in condemning it in every respect. Unequivocally, black lives, and how they are lived, whether in Ireland or across the world, matter deeply. Never for a second, in my entire life, have I felt anything different.

However, on the basis of the feelings of genuine hurt it has aroused, then I clearly got it wrong in the original opinion piece – for which I apologise.

In particular, the article – and the Hot Press cover story on [Ringsend rap duo] Versatile back in 2018 – were both published long before a photo was brought to our attention of a member of Versatile at a party dressed in blackface, alongside someone clearly posing as Eazy-E of NWA – the photo was taken before they started to become a phenomenon.

Whatever way you look at it, the photograph puts accusations of racism in Versatile’s lyrics into a very different light. Clearly they do have a case to answer.

If we been aware of that photograph, would my opinion piece have been written in the same way in 2019? No.

Stuart Clark, deputy editor of Hot Press [more at link below]

Versatile: An Apology by Stuart Clark (Hot Press)

Versatile: Are They Racist And Misogynistic? (Hot Press, August 9, 2019)

Previously: Straight Outta Conleth’s


‘Dropping’ tonight.

Johnny Keenan writes:

At some point this evening, RiRa the undisputed King of Irish hip hop will release what is sure to be another belter…

Following on his creative collaboration with life long friend Cras Cass this is the second video the lads worked on, on location in TTown aka Tullamore.

In a week where Offaly celebrated local legend Shane Lowry we still had to wake up to the reality of more jobs being culled and none look likely to be created.

It’s good to be brought back to earth with a little bit of Offaly levity. Thanks to RiRa and Crass Cass.

In the meantime feel free to check out RiRa’s YouTube channel where 110 packages of pure passion and serious talent await the curious and creative…

Previously: RiRa on Broadsheet


File under: Decent Irish hip-hop.

Dublin rapper Kojaque drops a low-key banger with new single Wificode, thru his own label, Soft Boy Recs.

And also, an early contender for Irish music video of the year, streaming above.

Camcorder tape, frail-looking caravan, drinking, general foolishness. A distinctly lo-fi take on a few important touchstones of the Irish domestic holiday experience.



Sons PhoneticDéise hip-hop collective

What you may need to know…

01. Acting as both a name for their collective creative endeavours and an umbrella for their solo work, Waterford beats co-op Sons Phonetic is comprised of Rabiah “Mook” Zaruq (aka Nylon Primate), Sammy Dozens, Tommy Tyler, Ian Kav, Mouse Hughes and DJ/cutman Tom Dunne.

02. This past weekend, the collective’s first collaborative release since 2011 debut album Twelve Labours was released, entitled Deloreans.

03. The self-produced LP features cuts from UK skratchologist Moschops and Corkonian hip-hop godfather JusMe.

04. The album is streaming in the widget above, and available for download via their Bandcamp, along with several of the members’ solo releases.

Thoughts: Proper, boom-bap production and clinical, precision wordplay. Decent Irish hip-hop™, indeed.

Sons Phonetic


Outsider Y.P.conceptual hip-hop

What you may need to know…

01. He’s been a regular feature of these posts, and for good reason: the Cork-based artist formerly known as Young Phantom continues to set out his stall.

02. After throwing an album listening party at the Glucksman last weekend, Mark Mavambu announced his debut album “proper”, Alone/Insane/Alive would drop that night at midnight on Soundcloud and his website.

03. That LP is streaming above. A concept piece exploring isolation, masculinity and depression.

04. Due today on Spotify, Apple Music and the like if Soundcloud isn’t your bag. Expect live activity to follow.

Thoughts: It’s one thing for an artist to outline their ambitions as much as Mavambu has, and quite another to see that passion and grandeur being realised.

Outsider Y.P.


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.



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.


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.

Screenshot (180)

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.


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