Friday, August 20, 2010

"Rapper" Joaquin Pheonix to release documentary

Theres been much debate on Joaquin Pheonix. Has he really quit acting to pursue a career in hip-hop? Perhaps we will be closer to knowing the truth when a new documentary about the last year of his life is released in September. To be called 'I'm Still Here: The Lost Year Of Joaquin Pheonix'. The film will feature P Diddy working with the increasingly bizarre celebrity trying to produce an album. Joaquin has been out and about 'performing' some of his new material.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Mellow Orange - Last Resort

"Mellow Orange Music Present "Last Resort" ep. An album inspired by artists staying true to their art form and doing what they do best. This album and its music is last resort in a world that is truly dominated by commercial/radio contemporary music. However it may also be the last resort in an effort to find a place/music that people have been waiting for... "

This recently released project is an all star effort from some of the most respected underground names including Raashan Ahmad and Ohmega Watts.

Pras Speaks Out

Following the news that Wyclef is running for President, fellow ex-Fugees member Pras has come out to say he dosn't support the decision of his one time band mate. Speaking to MTV news, Pras showed his support for Wyclef's rival instead.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Wyclef Jean Runs For President

Hip-hop legend Wyclef Jean has announced he is to run for the presidency of his native Haiti. He has stepped down from his posistion as Haiti ambassador and will run in the countries next election on the 28th of November. His vast wealth plus his popularity with the youth means he is now in a strong posistion to run for office. Wyclef was influential in aid for the country after a terrible earth quake caused havoc. His success in America is a rags to riches tale. Before forming The Fugees, Wyclef couldn't speak a word of English. Yet he built up his career from scratch and his become one of the most popular musicians of his time. In a strange twist, Wyclef's uncle has also decided to run president, yet the two were quick to play down any petty rivalries.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Cut Chemist - Sound Of The Police

Cut Chemist, real name Lucas Mac Fadden, was the man behind the beats for legendary hip-hop groups such as Jurassic 5 & Ozomatli. Yet for quite some time now, the talented producer has branched out as a solo-artist. This week sees the release of an incredible project celebrating African music, Soul, Latin & Funk. It seems Cut Chemist is a master of all forms of music. The album is best described as a throwback to the days when the DJ was the reigning king of hip-hop.

The death of J Dilla coupled with the rise of Madlib has caused a recent surge in the popularity of instrumental hip-hop. Cut Chemist deserves his place alongside those greats for embracing the cultures of various forms of music while putting his own spin on things. “Sound Of The Police” breaks down into two parts. There are small vocal segments yet the album maintains a party feel. Incorporating the sounds of African rhythms is essential to the LP's make up. Horns, drums and scratches are the most prevalent sounds while Cut makes sure to constantly renew energy with plenty of surprises. In a very fitting release for the album Cut Chemist performed it live supporting Ethiopian musician Mulatu Astatke.

Interview With Popular Youtube Fan Bob42jh

With nearly two million upload views and over five thousand subscribers. Bob42jh also known as Rob is becoming a popular source for underground hip-hop music. Bob's music selections are obsucre yet adhere to the highest standards. There is an emphasis on new music and ambient instrumentals with positive, skilful emcees appearing on tracks. Make sure to join his channel and help the underground movement grow. Today he took some time out to talk to Hip-Hop 4 The People:

1 Hey Bob, how did you first get into hip-hop?

Hey, my first memories of hip hop was when I was like 7-8 years old, I remember sitting in my brothers bedroom he was about 14 at the time and he had Biggies 'Ready To Die' album playing whilst we played computer games. He was a huge fan of 2Pac, Biggie, Nas and all those guys that were doing it in the early nineties. As time went on I started listening to Common, The Roots, De La Soul and ATCQ and during my early teen years mainstream music was getting worse and worse (50 cent, Ja Rule and all them other fools) so it was around that time that I started digging deep to find new music that I liked.

2 Your YouTube channel is fast becoming a great source for rare music, how do you find the selections you decide to post, and what is the criteria you use?

Thank you, with each post I take my time selecting each track. I only upload a track if I really like it, sometimes I hear a track I don't like it straight away but eventually I’ll end up uploading it a couple weeks after I first hear it because I often over scrutinise a track! I have an office desk job which is boring so I spend most my day listening to music. The thought process in deciding what to upload is usually when I’d put that track on my mp3 player - if I’d listen to it again time and time again. I think it’s this that has made my channel popular, allot of people on YouTube they upload 1000-2000+ songs, some of them are great others are average. With me I try and only upload songs that I’m really feeling so I know when people log on and they check out what I’ve uploaded hopefully it won't be a average track that doesn’t stand out.

3 What do you believe are the problems of mainstream hip-hop?

There’s so many problems that I couldn't list them all but truth be told it also comes down to the listeners there the ones buying the music, but I honestly believe that if people had a source for better/"real" music then people would realise there’s so much more to Hip Hop then this fake thug r'n'b rap scenarios that are played out on the radio day in day out. The main problems lie with the Radio stations, DJs and Record Labels; they’re the ones who sell us this image of buffoonery! There’s no variety on the radio it’s the same old shit - gangsta man talking about his cars, money and bitches with some average R'N'B singer with his shirt off in the video, it’s played out, its tired.

That’s why now record labels are now turning their attentions to the Drakes and Kid Cudi's to give the peoples something different but in reality there no different it’s just an image change to the 'norm'. These people sell themselves everyday to the record labels they sell out, start rapping over a track sounding like a damn transformer! But the kids love it because they don't know better!

It sounds like I got a lot of hate for the mainstream but in actuality I’m happy that mainstream Hip Hop is garbage because it makes you appreciate people like Atmosphere, Blue Scholars, Cunninlynguists, Substantial, Panacea...etc! It don't anger me that their underground I’m just upset that there underpaid! 12 year old kids isn’t downloading music there buying there Drake albums with their dads credit cards. I feel that people are more inclined to download underground music because it’s harder to get hold of. I understand that I do the same from time to time!

4 What are your top four hip-hop albums of all time?

It’s such a hard question and in all honestly it’s properly something that changes weekly and because my taste has evolved and changed over the years. Here are 4 albums that I’ve probably listened to the most over the years:

Cunninglynguists - A Piece of Strange, Nujabes - Modal Soul, Last Emperor - Palace of the Pretender and Madvillain - Madvillainy

5 Have you ever taught about producing beats or rapping?

I've never really thought about rapping simply because I’m rubbish with words! As for producing I’d love to do that but I’d doubt id be any good that’s why I do what I do at the moment, I promote artists & share good music! A lot of times young aspiring artists send me music to upload and if I don't like it they feel that I’m hating on them! So promoting artists does have its downsides too!

6 The mixtapes you have made are top quality, how long on average do you take to put them together and how do you decide what fits?

Thank you, the compilations take a couple hours what I usually do is select the first and last track which are usually always instrumentals I then select a few of my recent uploads and a few other tracks I know people will like based on what else is on the compilation. I start off with 30 tracks and trim it down to 15-16; I burn them all onto CD and play it at work, home...etc till I decide what to keep. The criteria for my compilations is simply what would I put on a disc if I was going away this weekend if I had to select some tracks that I’ve been listening to recently.

7 Have you ever had any problems with copy-right laws? Do you think artists have a negative perception of their material being used online?

Oh yea, I’ve been in contact with labels, YouTube, Artists, Managers, Legal Staff...etc. 95% of the artists I upload are very appreciative, many of them send me music to upload, others I ask for permission. Sometimes I don't ask for permission but most of the time people are happy for me to upload there music because it then gets a bit of attention.

Some labels send me stuff too! It saddens me when a record label do a DMCA (copyright claim) against a video of mine or they email me asking to remove a video, because all I’m doing in doing their jobs for them! I always fight it, I’ve been in contact with YouTube several times and in the end I’ve had strikes removed. I’m helping spread their artists/labels music to over 5,000 subscribers! In this day and age if you’re an underground hip hop fan without the internet how on earth would you find out that Panacea have a new album? Or Sage Francis is in your town doing a concert? You wouldn't know! The Internet has helped underground Hip Hop reach listeners round the world.

It’s created a scene, a buzz! In regards to the way artists feel about their music being used online I think overall it’s a positive reaction as long as it’s being used correctly. If someone is spreading download links and bootlegs then that’s a can be a negative thing, but if someone is playing your song and providing a couple thousand of people with a link to BUY your album then I really do not see how that is a negative thing!

It’s the whole copyright thing that has made me think about closing my channel because I don't want to wake up one day and see that YouTube have deleted it! I would much rather end things on my own terms then see a year of work go down the drain! If I lost my channel I wouldn’t start it back up I’d quit.

8 Will fresh hip-hop ever make the radio?

I don't think so, you will always get the token track that makes a rare appearance but I don't think I’ll ever turn on the radio and hear CYNE! I don't even know if I want to hear it on the radio either!

9 What are the artists you believe will be the future of hip-hop?

The artists that I’m really excited about are artists like Ian Kamau, Late Bloomers, Marcus D (Marcus D is a producer from Seattle who has a great sound, make sure you all check out his previous release: Revival of the Fittest and be sure to check out his collaborative release with Substantial under the name Bop Alloy! He also has an EP called Shoshin coming out soon!)

I think the future lies with artists like Panacea, Substantial, Reki, Blazo, Day Blues, Exposition, Dem Southernfolkz, Kuroisoul, Know Juander (he dropped the best EP of 09!), Hus / Tha Connection, Berry Weight (check them out Crazy instrumentals!) and I’m loving Shad too! There’s so many to name really it makes me laugh when I hear people say Hip Hop is dead!! Because to me it’s crazy right now! So many dope artists doing these things, taking the music to new levels! I wouldn’t have it any other way!!

10 Have you ever taught about taking the movement further perhaps getting a job on radio or starting an independent label?

I would jump at the chance to do either! If I ever won the lottery I’d start my own label for sure! But I’m a realistic person! I’m happy doing what I’m doing now working with my channel, working with artists, working on my blog. One thing I try and do is stand out from other people who just upload music; I try and bring people new stuff, unique sounds, variety.

One thing that I’m currently looking at possibly doing is releasing a digital download with several artists where the proceeds go to charity. I’m lucky enough to be to have contact with so many dope / humble artists so hopefully that can happen!


I just want to say thanks to all the people who send me messages thanking me for introducing them to new artists - that’s all I want to do. It makes me happy when I find someone like Reki on MySpace and then I upload his music and he then goes on to produce for Digi Crates Records! The amount of appreciation people show me is overwhelming! It keeps me doing what I do, I don't see what I do as anything special but it goes to show the lack of good blogs spreading good music.

Want to say thanks to every artist who has reached out to me who is appreciative that I’ve uploaded there music! Thanks to you for doing this interview with me, I thought it would be pointless, like what do people care what I have to say or do I even have much to say! But after feeling the repetitive strain in my hands I’m guessing I got allot to say! Keep listening to real music people and I don't expect or ask anyone to buy every album they hear! But sometimes just buying a track or two or sending the artist a message and letting them know you’re listening - that goes a long way!

Rob also helps run a popular music blog: Word Is Bond