Tag Archive: hip hop

  • Interestment’s Top Four: Rappers

    Some big names missed out…

    fresh-prince

    It is with an enormous dollop of joy that we welcome excellent contributor Hip Hop Sam back into the fold. He’s been away for a while, rifling through his rec-rec-records, trying to figure out who the greatest rapper of all time might be. He had this to say…

    Top four rappers? This is a difficult question as rap music, in itself, is terrible, and can barely be described as music – its monotonous beats sound like broken robots having violent sex, and as for those IDIOTS with their so-called hats on backwards talking in childish rhymes about who they’re going to kill, it’s simply… awful. Just kidding, I totally love it, as everyone should. So who is the best of this bad bunch of musicians?

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    1. KRS-One

    krs-one

    KRS-One is a brilliant rapper. He’s released loads of excellent albums, especially with his posse BDP (every good rapper should have a posse). He’s had plenty of club bangers (songs that are popular in nightclubs). He’s been involved in some pretty exciting beefs (disagreements with other rappers) which he’s then squashed (made friends again). He’s pioneered both gangster, and intelligent conscious rap. He’s thrown PM Dawn off a stage. He’s worn some lovely tracksuits. He’s quite simply Mr Hip Hop – the best rapper ever.

    2. Rakim

    rakim

    A long time ago, the pinnacle of lyrical brilliance in hip hop involved matching the word hop with stop. Rakim is credited with introducing complex and intelligent rhyming patterns, alongside articulate metaphors. After Will Smith and, of course, Abs from 5ive, he’s every MCs favourite rapper. He’s also the coolest man ever to have walked the earth in a leather tracksuit, whilst simultaneously carrying a ridiculous amount of gold around his butter smooth neck.

    3. Kool G Rap

    kool-g-rap

    Can you imagine what would happen if you combined the poetry of Keats, Milton, or Roald Dahl with the street savvy and gangster naughtiness of Nick Cotton, Dave Courteney or Danny Dyer? Of course you can’t.  You’d have to borrow Jeff Goldblum’s machine from  The Fly to achieve such a mix.  The result, however, I assume, would be Kool G Rap. A magnificent rapper whose tongue twisting lyrical dexterity and story telling genius made everyone else look rubbish. Completely rubbish.

    4. Nas

    nas

    If you were to ask a posse of hip hop aficionados “hey guys, what’s the  best hip hop album ever?”,  they’d all shout “Illmatic”, and then take their tops off, start high fiving each other, and do that foot kicking dance that Kid n Play used to do in the House Party films. Despite this strange behaviour, they’ve got the album right. Illmatic is as close to hip hop perfection as you can get, and despite never being able to live up to the greatness of his debut, Nas definitely deserves a place in the top four.

  • Happy Birthday Betty Ford, here’s some Welsh rap!

    Genod Droog, Dal Ni Lawr

    Well, Betty Ford turns 91 today, and she’s certainly climbed some of life’s highest mountains, and navigated some stormy seas. Not to mention battling hurricanes, wrestling with crocodiles, dancing with the devil, and looking many a gift horse right in the face. She is, in short, one heck of a woman, and without her famous rehab centres, we’d all still be on drugs. Hence, we thought it fit to get her a gift. After eating a massive pizza, we all lay on the floor gripping our stomachs, deciding what to get, and eventually it boiled down to a toss up between some lovely stuff for her nails, or a Welsh rap video. In the end we got her both. Happy Birthday Betsy!

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  • Second hand bargain: a ghetto blaster

    Hark, it’s the original iPod

    ghetto-blaster

    In this terrifying financial downturn, odd couples are emerging, as once-important businessmen and lowly tea boys morph into best friends, and the notoriously rocky dating scene smooths into an even playing field. Hence, don’t be surprised to find the uber-nerd from IT enjoying some stationary cupboard romance with the fox from accounts. It’s just the way things are now. It’s an unpredictable, exciting time. Which is why we go hysterical with euphoria whenever we hear about bargains. Just this morning we received a call on the communal cell phone from our good friend Joseph. “I found a ghetto blaster in my local charity shop,” he roared, joyfully. “An actual ghetto blaster, like from Do The Right Thing!” Absolutely brilliant news, and great for his local streets, which are probably crying out for some tight hip hop beats. So, come on, Joseph, how much for this beautiful machine? “A tenner.”

    Fantastic sticking-it-to-the-recession!

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  • Great British Band: Babe Ruth

    Babe Ruth, The Mexican

    A rock band from Hertfordshire who were more popular in America than England, their greatness comes down to one track from 1974, The Mexican. A tremendous rock song, a favourite of Kool DJ Herc in the early days of hip hop, it straddles genres. Hence, brilliant.

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  • Happy Birthday Flavor Flav, here’s a vicious fight!

    An amazing fight scene

    Rap legend Flavor Flav turns 50 today. In half a century he’s done it all – turned his teeth silver, bought top hats, seriously worn massive clocks around his neck. We needed to get him a present. Big time. We talked long and hard, and it boiled down to a toss up between eight boxes of Corn Flakes (one for every decade, then three spare), or a clip of a terrifying fight scene from a martial arts film. In the end we got him both. Yeeeeaaaaah, Happy Birthday Flav!

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  • Listen to Interestment on Last FM!

    Anyone fancy a dance?

    dancers

    Last FM, to those who don’t know, is an excellent website where you can design your own radio show playlist. We’ve saved you the trouble by making up one of our own. Simply click here, listen, enjoy, and feel free to recommend any artists you think we might have overlooked.

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  • Happy Birthday Douglas Adams, here’s Big L

    Big L, Put it On

    Were he not so cruelly snatched by the icy hand of death in 2001, Douglas Adams would be turning 57 today – that makes it the great author’s birthday. We thought we should probably buy him a present. We talked long, hard, and angrily until about 2am, when it boiled down to a toss up between a signed copy of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to The Galaxy (signed, incidentally, by us) or a terrific music video from our favourite ever rapper, who also died far too early. In the end we got him both. Happy Birthday Adams!

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  • Thursday Love Song: Method Man

    Method Man feat. Mary J Blige, I’ll Be There For You

    As regulars might have established, we treat every single Thursday like it was made from the most sensual syrups and oils, designed solely to slide you closer towards an evening of smooth jazz, joss sticks, and deep, disgusting, passionate love making. Today, however, we’re veering off piste with a rap love song, here finding tough Wu Tang member Method Man explaining to his woman that she’s the one that really greases his ventricles. So to speak.

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  • Album covers analysed: De La Soul, De La Soul is Dead

    Not just a picture of shattered flowers…

    de-la-soul

    The power of the visual metaphor should never be underestimated. Fans of the film Angel Heart will be familiar with the scene where Robert De Niro is waffling on about eggs being like souls, or some such hocum pocum, before suddenly biting menacingly into a hard boiled one that he had in his pocket. The single bite told you everything you needed to know – this man was evil personified, he ate souls for breakfast. O. M. G. That was scary. Which leads us slightly clumsily onto another visual metaphor – this time a hip hop related one, coming from the rap game’s Beatles, De La Soul. This album was the sublime follow up to the even more excellent 3 Feet High and Rising – a conscious rap classic, which found them not jheri curled and obsessed by guns (as was the fashion), but a little bit nerdy and loved up. And yet the group didn’t take kindly to everyone calling them cute little hippies, so decided to kill off their flowery reputation with a bold album title, and the brutal murder of some innocent looking daisies on the cover. The image is startling, vivid, and raw – even if the reality of the picture would only seriously affect an oversensitive housewife, or an ecologist like Sting. A fine record.

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    Here’s one of the popular cuts…

  • Interestment’s Top Four: White Rappers

    Not including this amazing gentleman

    vanilla-ice

    Regardless of the giant steps towards a universal beigeness, there is still a gigantic racial divide when it comes to making music. You are still unlikely, for example, to find a decent black glam rock band, in the same way that white rappers often struggle with their hip hop swagger. Of course, Parliament could glam it up with the best. And here are Hip Hop Sam‘s white rapping exceptions that prove the rule…

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    1. RA The Rugged Man

    ra-the-rugged-man

    In the glamorous world of hip hop – which revolves around diamond encrusted jewellery, expensive champagne and, of course, massive buttocked women – it’s highly unorthodox for an “ugly white dude with a big gut and shoulder hair” to be any good at rapping. RA The Rugged Man, however, is brilliant. A disgusting man, with incredible MC skills and a fascinating life story, his debut album Die Rugged Man Die is an underrated masterpiece.

    2. Skinnyman

    skinnyman

    If you’re unfortunate enough to have attended a UK Hip Hop night in the past fifteen years, you’ll probably be familiar with scary, sweaty venues where EVERYONE is furiously staring at each other. No one can afford cloakrooms, drinks or deodorant. It smells. You’ll also be familiar with the UK’s finest MC – Skinnyman.

    3. 3rd Bass

    3rd-base

    Although they only released one decent album – The Cactus Album – it was so good that I’ve included it here. Produced by Prince Paul who also did De La Soul’s 3 Feet High and Rising, the cover art reveals the only time in history when a white person has been allowed by hip hop’s governing committee to have a logo shaved into the back of his head.

    4. Eminem

    eminem

    Not much needs to be said about Eminem, other than that the Slim Shady LP was amazing, and everything after was rubbish.

  • Happy Birthday Erykah Badu, here’s Frank Stallone

    Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!

    And so hippy dippy soulstress Badu turns 36 today – good for her! She’s had quite a decent life so far, what with a few great records, plus passionate love affairs with hip hop legends like Andre 3000 and Common. What could she possibly want for? It boiled down to a toss up between a nice leather briefcase, or a clip of Frank Stallone singing a funny song. In the end we got her both. Happy Birthday Erykah-kah-kah!

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  • Happy Birthday Ice T, here’s a classic interview!

    Sly Stone, The Dick Cavett Show

    Rap legend Ice T turns 51 today, and the man literally has it all – marvelous clothes, a curvaceous woman in his bed, gold records. Hence we had no idea what to get him. It boiled down to a toss up between a second hand scarf, or a classic clip of Sly Stone outweirding Joaquin Phoenix on the magnificent Dick Cavett Show. In the end we got him both. Happy Birthday Ice!

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  • Educational children’s song gets the rap treatment

    Head, Shoulders, Knees N Toes

    Educational songs should be played by groups of aging hippies, the men wearing beards, the women unashamedly showing off their hairy armpits. Everyone knows that. And yet, the days of  acoustic songs about maths followed by meaningful acid trips appear to be over. Above are the young hip hoppers telling Rod, Jane and Freddy what time it is.

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  • Interestment’s Top Four: Hip Hop Criminals

    50 Cent not included…

    50cent_01

    There are few jobs where having a long criminal record is advisable. It’s probably important that bodyguard applicants have at least been in a fight, and city bankers have presumably been arrested numerous times during their youth for behaving like hateful little toads. But, of all jobs, a good position in Hip Hop damn near demands that you spend a decent portion of your life sitting thoughtfully in a cell contemplating why you shouldn’t have shot that gang member in the face, or why selling heroin to children mightn’t make the world a better place. Our most divine of contributors, Hip Hop Sam, doffs a slightly sarcastic cap to some of the rap game’s most intriguing criminals. His top four reads like so…

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    1. Slick Rick

    slick3

    For many years now Hip Hop’s wisest philosophers have arksed the question – “does life imitate art, or does art imitate life?” Of course, nobody actually cares, with the exception of Wimbledon’s finest export, Slick Rick. His 1988 classic, Children’s Story, tells a tale of a character getting involved in shootings, before running from the police in a high speed chase. Ironically, Slick was himself involved in a shooting/high speed chase with the police only two years later… with hilarious consequences (jail for five years)!

    Read more…

  • Happy Birthday Axl Rose, here’s some Peanuts!

    Charlie Brown, Hey Ya!

    In his 47 years on the planet, Axl Rose has done a lot. He’s had intimate moments with droves of women, drank a fair few brewskis, and rocked hard with his Heavy Metal buddies in Guns N’ Roses. Today is his birthday. We whispered angrily until around dawn, desperately trying to figure out what to buy the man who’s been there, poked that, squeezed those, and strummed this. It boiled down to a toss up between a Best of The Munsters DVD or a clip of the Peanuts gang dancing around to Outkast. In the end we got him both. Happy Birthday Axl! Hope you and Slash make friends soon!

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  • Album covers analysed: Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, The Message

    Look away sissies, it’s some tough guys!

    flash

    The strangest thing about having a photograph taken is that it never feels like a mistake at the time. You stand there proudly with an electric pink sweatband around your head, your new sneaks resplendent in the mid-morning sun, you feel a million dollars. Then ten years later you’re literally hurling yourself across a room in slow motion to prevent your bed partner from seeing the results. It’s a shame really. Especially for the band members of The Furious Five, who presumably refuse to mention this excellent record to anyone who didn’t buy it when it came out in 1982. The cover somehow features a seven-strong crew (The Furious SIX?) casually loitering on the pavement, some holding hands, others aggressively showing off their studded bracelets, tiaras, and leather trousers – the must-have macho street gear of the time. It’s a strong look. Although, in at least three cases, the outfits would now only be accepted in clubs for consenting adults. A brilliant, brilliant record.

    Listen to one of the cuts after the jump…

    Read more…

  • Second hand bargain: A brilliant film

    Entertainment can be priceless, right guys!

    warriors

    Look around you, doesn’t something feel different? It’s a recession. The only movers and shakers making any bread in this cold financial winter are the entrepreneurs with street smarts – the dodgy DVD sellers, the back of a lorry ebay merchants, the buskers singing upbeat reggae songs. They’re the guys stashing away the millions. Not the idiots still ironing their suits every morning. Hence, we applaud anyone who can trace down a good bargain in these cruel times. So props go out to our pal Tom, who managed to track down one of the greatest New York street gang films ever made. “The cinema is far too expensive now,” he told us, earnestly, “so I was really chuffed when I found The Warriors on video.” Tom, as you can guess, is one of three people in Britain still using VHS. So, tell us Tom, how much was this antique? “50p!”

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    Excellent sticking-it-to-the-recession!

    Enjoy The Warriors trailer after the jump…

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  • Second hand bargain: Some new frames

    As worn by Run DMC

    glasses

    Not only is everyone running out of money, but now it’s snowing. Anyone who saw The Day After Tomorrow will already be on their way to New York to save the planet. For the rest of us, it’s a great time to bargain hunt, because old people will be too afraid to leave the house to rummage around charity shops. Today, we are enormously impressed by our good friend Matthew, who found an excellent set of glasses frames at a car boot sale. “They’re actual Cazal frames, like the ones from the 1980s,” he whooped, to a confused silence. “They’re cool.” Newly educated, we asked him the million dollar question – how much? “I got them for five quid, normally they’d be at least ten times that.”

    Phenomenal sticking-it-to-the-recession!

    Enjoy Run DMC after the jump…

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  • Interestment’s Top Four: Regrettable Rap Names

    Not including Dreddy Kruger (below)

    dreddy

    It’s always a total joy to hear from one of our favourite contributors, Hip Hop Sam. Today, he thought he’d tell us a little bit about misjudged showbiz decisions:

    There’s nothing in the world cooler than a carefully worded rap name. Only a rap name could make a man whose first name is “Tracey” sound as mean and slick as west coast legend ICE-T. However, there are four exceptions to this rule:

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    1. Peedo

    peedo

    In the UK, some words have totally different meanings than they do in the USA. But don’t tell Peedo, because he’d probably kill you. From the evidence of this video, he hangs around with a large and frightening posse, often with his top off and an intimidating dog. He’s also best friends with Bronx legends KRS One and Fat Joe, and he’s quite a good rapper to boot.

    Read more…

  • Happy Birthday Alan Alda, here’s some UK RAP!

    Aspects, Off The Lip

    Alan Alda, the man who was Hawkeye in M*A*S*H, is notoriously hard to shop for, which makes his birthday a total nightmare. We smashed each other repeatedly in the eye until around 3.17am, brutally debating what to get the legendary actor. It boiled down to a toss up between some Smoked Mackerel Pate from Sainsburys, or a UK Rap track from popular West Country hip hoppers, Aspects. In the end, we got him both. Happy 73rd, Alda!

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  • Interestment’s Top Four: Rap Groups

    Some tough guys didn’t make it…

    nwa

    When you break it down, rap groups are little circles of thoughtful poets singing to one another. It’s quite sweet really. Only, in some cases, their ditties tend to be about shooting people in the face and enjoying streetside oral intercourse. Wordsworth, they ain’t. We’re massive rap fans, so coming up with a top four groups was near impossible. In the end we had to toss Gang Starr, A Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul and NWA overboard. The biggest fight of all revolved around Brand Nubian, who sadly just missed the cut as well. Here’s who made it…

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    1. Main Source

    main-source

    An early 90s crew, these guys essentially only made one album, Breaking Atoms, but it might just be the greatest hip hop album of all time. Made up of the legendary Large Professor, K-Cut, Mikey D, and Sir Scratch, Main Source also introduced the world to Nas (greatest ever?) on the track, Live at The Barbeque. Amazing band.

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  • Great British Bands: London Posse

    London Posse, Style

    Contrary to what the kids might tell you, UK rap music has been healthily lurking just beneath the surface for a while now. London Posse, for example, have been keeping it nice and rural since the mid-1980s.

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  • Second hand bargain: An excellent old record

    That’s the weekend sorted, on the cheap

    record

    In these cruel financial winters, we applaud clever shoppers, and you could do a lot worse than pop a clothes peg on your nose and peruse the local second hand bargain basement. These places are awash with hidden gems, and don’t worry, if you ignore the rabid old women for long enough, they soon go away. Just this weekend, an excellent friend of ours, deliciously known as Rob, stumbled across a fantastic old De La Soul record for just 50p. “I’ve been looking for something to do at the weekend for ages,” he wept hysterically, “and now I can just invite my friends over, put this record on, and down some brewskis!” It is, of course, their rap party anthem, A Roller Skating Jam Named Saturday. Listen to it after the jump….

    Top sticking-it-to-the-recession, Robbie!

    Read more…