Hip-Hop

New Release: Rashaan Ahmad – Pain On Black

As emotive hip-hop songs go, Raashan Ahmad’s Pain On Black is up there with the best. On a hiatus from rap-group the Crown City Rockers, the New Jersey born rapper has used the time to focus on making jazz-infused Hip-hop. His most recent album, For What You’ve Lost was released rather discreetly last year and Pain On Black is its second single. And what a gem. In Ahmad’s own words it was written as the world was crumbling around him, and you get the sense of his heart and soul being poured into the lyrics. Rapping in one continuous verse, Ahmed barely pauses for breath, so pressing is his desire to tell the listeners about his struggle. But this is no ego-trip and Ahmed seems truly thankful for where he is now. Musically, Pain on Black is made by the triumphant trumpet sample, which compliments the song’s message. The struggle that made the song is the listener’s gain, and by this reckoning Raashan Ahmed’s next release will be a much better-known affair.

New Release: Drake – Dreams Money Can Buy

Following our previous post on Jai Paul, we wanted to express our pride that his brilliant BTSTU has been sampled by Drake in a song leaked this week off his forthcoming album. In terms of composition and sound,Dream Money Can Buy doesn’t differ too much from previous work, but the sample choice indicates a more experimental direction for the Canadian rapper. He has decided not to reproduce the formula that made his debut so successful, but rather form collaborations with UK bass artists that make his music more interesting. He has recently worked with producer SBTRKT and will seek the help of Jamie xx on LP Take Care, due in September. It is an encouraging sign both for a UK music scene going from strength to strength, and also the integrity of an already-successful rapper.

New Release: Ghostpoet – Survive It

Since entering the music scene, Ghostpoet has been showing Hip-hop how to calm down. His debut LP Peanut Butter Blues and Melancholy Jam is so refreshing in its approach you would have to go back as far as Original Pirate Material for an album of similarimpact on UK Hip-hop. Survive It is Ejimiwe’s latest release and acts as a reminder that the 24-year-old is refusing to conform to the blueprint of brash and boastful lyrics. With a lisped voice and storytelling stlyle, Ejimiwe adopts the persona of a modest 44-year old and transforms a tale of a mundane existence into a hopeful tune, aided by Fabiana Palladino’s uplifting chorus. This is a track that will certainly fit various moods, and if you’re interested in hearing a style less conventional, then don’t let Ghostpoet go unnoticed.

New Artist: Sunclef

Toronto-based producer Sunclef released his debut mini-album a few weeks back and it’s slowly but surely taking over the world. The Tesseract is Instrumental Hip-hop at its finest, with throbbing pads, warm fuzzy basslines and MPC groove. This guy really has come out of nowhere and is now fast establishing himself as THE producer to watch. Go and support Sunclef by buying The Tesseract here, so he can make more music (it’s ‘name your price’, so name it high). Below you’ll find the opening track off the record, dripping with swag.

Full Crate and Mar – Conversations With Her

Full Crate (producer) and Mar (singer) are two musicians from Amsterdam, making some of the most blissed out music we’ve ever heard. Their 2010 collaborative release Conversations with Her is a 5 track concept E.P. offering a lush melting pot of Hip-hop, Soul and Dubstep vibes fused with soothing vocals. Think D’Angelo meets Dilla, Dutch style. More recently though, these guys have been working on separate projects. Mar Variation has got Mar reinterpreting old songs with a new impression, accompanied by some very cinematic videos – (check out the video of Last Christmas below). Following on from his and FS Green’s beat tape Hi-hat Club Vol 5: Eggs and Pancakes, Full Crate has released a 7” The Barb on London based Label Kilawattmusic, which we highly recommend! Get a quick taste of it all here first: