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We have 2-pairs of tickets to giveaway for this fabulous event celebrating urban culture and the launch of the Converse Spring 2012 star player footwear range. To be in with a chance name two grime artists that are set to perform at this event and send your name, address and contact number to firstname.lastname@example.org.
WHO: Converse UK, in partnership with JD, announces full details for Converse Block Party, featuring performances from some of the UK’s most respected grime artists including Wiley, Lady Leshurr, Mic Righteous, Skepta, P Money, Clement Marfo & the Frontline and Newham Generals.
WHAT: Converse Block Party is a unique, free-ticketed event that celebrates emerging UK urban talent alongside the launch of Converse’s Spring 2012 Star Player footwear range. Dedicated to celebrating local street culture, Converse Block Party is a global event series that launched in 2011 and has since travelled across Asia Pacific, Europe and Latin America, now hitting the UK for the first time.
Leading up to the big event, Converse hosted a series of JD Sports in-store MC competitions, inviting MCs to battle it out for a chance to perform at Converse Block Party. The four finalists will compete at the Converse Block Party to win the grand prize of recording and releasing their own track on legendary urban label, No Hats No Hoods. Judging the finalists will be some of the most notable names in UK urban culture including DJ Magic and Kozzie from No Hats No Hoods.
The Old Vic Tunnels will be transformed into an underground urban festival featuring live graffiti demonstrations by two of Britain’s most prolific graffiti artists Neas and Vibes and a skate ramp with appearances from Jerome Campbell, Rory Milanes and Harry Lintell from the Converse UK Skateboarding team.
Tickets are free of charge and available online until midday Wednesday 25th April through www.converseblockparty.com
The official Converse Block Party with Converse UK and JD Sports on the 29th April 2012!
The Converse Block Party is a unique, exciting urban culture affair that will take place at London’s Legendary Old Vic Tunnels on Sunday 29th April 2012. This event is in conjunction with launching Converse’s Spring 2012 Star Player foot wear range. Through live performances such as Music battles, live graffiti and skate boarding this event invites emerging MC talent to take part in the action alongside some of the best emerging and established acts in UK Street culture. Wiley, Skepta, Ms Dynamite and P Money will be some of the artist that you will surely see and hear during this event.
Live graffiti demonstrations from by Neas and Vibes who are two of the most well respected spray can artists in the UK. Not forgetting live skate performances from Jerome Campbell, Roy Milanes and Harry Lintell who are all from the UK Converse skateboarding team.
Be sure to be on the lookout near a JD Sports near you as there will be a series of MC Clashes in your local JD. Your local MCs will be invited to battle it out for a chance to perform alongside their music idols at the official Converse Block Party. The in-store competition will take place throughout March 2012 in London, Manchester and Glasgow. Three finalists will compete at the Block Party and by the end of the event there will be an ultimate winner of the Converse Block Partay! The MC clash winner will gain access to recording an exclusive track with one of the UK’s most iconic underground music label, No Hats No Hoods.
Get uploading with your MC videos to JD Sports Facebook page to enter the MC battles and to be in a chance to win some of the fabulous prizes.
Wednesday, March 21 – Glasgow
The MC Clash takes place at JD, 229-249 Buchanan Street on Wednesday, March 21, 7.00 pm – 9.00 pm. Hosting and performing a live PA is Lady Leshurr
Thursday, March 22 – Manchester
The MC Clash takes place at JD, 16-18 Barbarolli Mall Arndale Centre,
Thursday, March 22, 9.00 pm – 11.00 pm. Fresh Scrufizzer will perform, hosting alongside the Murkage Cartel
Thursday, March 29 – London
The MC Clash takes place at JD, 268-269 Oxford Street on Thursday, March 29, 9.00 pm – 11.00 pm. Mic.Rightous is hosting the London clash alongside underground promoters, Urban Nerds.
The Converse Block party takes place at the Old Vic Tunnels, Station Approach, London, Se1 8SW. 2-9pm On Sunday 29th April. Tickets are FREE! @ www.converseblockparty.com
A little while back some friends and I had a debate regarding female emcees. Initially we started to talk about the US and how the female presence has diminished considerably. We then engaged in a game of name that female emcee, as you might have guessed, the usual protagonists were mentioned: Lauryn Hill, Jean Grae, Rah Digga, Queen Latifah (no not Nicki Minaj but I like her) but the problem was that we were having trouble naming more contemporary names that were enjoying success.
This then led me to me ask who are the UK names? If the US scene was suffering then with our smaller pot of talent, purely on a population size, then there was a high likely hood that the UK scene was suffering and indeed the scene is suffering, I think, from a lack of female emcees or femcees as they are sometimes known. Nolay who is one of the names holding up the UK scene indeed agreed that the UK emcee game is rather thin on the ground. Indeed Ladi 6 (check out Future Flavours) a new emcee from New Zealand also felt that the US game was in a rather dire state: is there a deadly global virus affecting female emcees called “I’d rather sing-itus” a deadly strain that stops female emcees from barring?
There are extremely talented UK female lyricists around but they are rare and you need to get all David Attenborough to find them! Quantity does not equal quality and I am not for one second suggesting that I would rather see a massive pool of mediocre female emcees but you do need to have a decent stock to replenish the game and indeed you need a sizable and ever changing pool of emcees to challenge those already there and keep them on their lyrical tongues.
Has the UK ever really had a female emcee presence of any notable size? I would say probably no.
It is funny that say eight years ago mainstream was still ambivalent about people rapping let alone an UK emcee rapping from some urban destination. Indeed it seems it was only the very well known artists from the US and UK that made it into the charts or indeed those that brought rap but in a more acceptable, poppy form. Eight or so years on and the whole “UK rapper” phenomenon has been embraced. The once vilified grime scene has many of its rappers in the mainstream loved by young, old, black and white equally: Wiley, Wretch 32, Tinchy Stryder, Dizzie Rascal, Skepta plus many more have all achieved amazing success.
So is the UK mainstream ready for female emcees to make a big impact and do what they have always done on the underground and that is be on par with their male counterparts because they are lyrically good and not just a circus attraction because they are female emcees barring? Ms. Dynamite and others like Estelle have shown it can be done. Ms. Dynamite and Estelle did have to mix it up a little by singing to make rap more palatable (I would argue) and indeed gain longevity in the business despite initially bursting onto the scene with quintessentially urban music but of course it can happen. While Estelle has delved more into her singing it seems Ms. Dynamite has returned and rekindled that rhyming energy with features on tracks like Fire by Magnetic Man where she goes in.
So if we want to get the female game up then Flavour magazine is asking UK female emcees to stand up tall, pick up the mic and state we are great lyricists. It’s a rallying call, let’s shake up the status quo, you bring your A game, we bring you the coverage because your UK lyrical scene needs you, it’s serious!
Beacons of the UK Female Scene
She has been standing tall in the game for a minute indeed. Some say she was probably one of the pioneers that encouraged the present crop of female emcees to pick up the mic. After a long period out of the game, Dynamite is back like she has never gone with her new brilliant single Neva Soft featuring production from Labrinth and a new album. We can’t wait!
I have always liked Nolay because she does not bar like she is a female trying to take on the guys she bars like she is a lyricist taking on a next lyricist. From the first time I heard sublimely spit over Bars of Truth I recognised her talent. Holding up the game, she is pushing her talent hard. Whilst she has dropped stuff before her EP He Said She Said I’m Bad (1Xtra favourite) tees things off nicely and is a mouth watering teaser for her forth coming material. Incidentally can you imagine Nolay and Dynamite on the same track no need to imagine check Nolay featuring Dynamite on the track Drugs.
Shimmer Baby brings the “s” to swagger and indeed is probably one of the hardest working female emcees featuring on numerous tracks for other artists. A favourite of the grime scene she is all about embracing her female side while still barring for days and taking on the guys and holding her own. With her new album Easy Like Sundae out soon and her new chart show with grime daily, Shimmer baby is standing tall.
I would argue and state that if you come from outside of London that is can be even more difficult to make a name for yourself in the music scene. RoxXxane however is one of the new breeds from outside London (Birmingham) and she has already had a nod in the Guardian paper from the Street’s (Mike Skinner) who highly rates her. Recently at Re: Definition it is her hard no holds barred flow that is making her a growing name. Check this U-tube link to hear how hard she goes in onthe hot track and one to watch.
Tor has been on the scene for a while working with names like Blak Twang and Klash. Her lyrical prowess is never in question and after a little time out she is back with an arsenal of projects: Two new mix-tapes ‘Different Place’ and ‘Lose My Cool’ (1xtra Mix-tape of the week) on a free download www.dynamitevision.com, two albums due for release in October and January and a project with Rashad Smith “Rockers Society” which I am suitably excited about, stay locked for a review. This lady is making a big comeback!
The MOBO award winning Shystie is scary when it comes to talent. The actress/femcee starred in the MTV Base’s Dubplate Drama as well as Noel Clarke’s Adulthood. (2008) She is versatile but don’t ever get it twisted, she can bar. I think back to her response to Lady Fury who decided to send for her: “When you spit I can smell stale semen on your breath.” (All in unison we say- “ohhhhh”). With her new mix-tape “You’re Welcome” out now, Shystie is back!
She is definitely one of the hardest emcees in the London scene right now able to bar to the highest degree each and every time. Having worked with a plethora of other emcees including Shimmer baby we all wait in anticipation for the Lioness to scare dem when she roars. Check out Flavour TV interview with Lioness.
Baby Blue is another female emcee to watch out for and with support coming in the shape of Estelle and work with Ms Dynamite, it’s clear to see that she has the swagger to boot. With further work with big hitters like Wretch 32, Ghetts and J2K to add to her CV she is defo standing tall.
If you know a female emcee worth her salt then holla at your boy email@example.com and maybe we can feature her as a female emcee in our Future Flavours section.
Flavour caught up Charlee Drew to find out a bit more about him
Where did you grow up and what was it like?
I’m from Leicester, technically I still live there although I pretty much never see it these days, If I’m at home I’m in bed or in my studio! I like it there, there’s loads of nice restaurants, just enough shops and it’s small enough to never get lost, but not small enough for everybody to know your business!
How did you get into music?
I can’t say I ever got into music really; I was never not into music. There was never a day I ‘started singing’ and picking up a guitar or sitting at a piano was always just the right thing to do… I never cared about sport, computer games or TV it was always music!
How would you describe your sound? What makes it different to everything else out there?
British- Pop-RnB-Soul-Dubst-Rap-Folk-Metal-Acoustic-Dance with a hint of SouthAmerica-Tamberine-Funky-Disco, no but really though, I’d say its quite a live feel, live instruments is a big thing for me, as for how its different, ill let the music speak for itself…
What does your typical day consist of?
I’ve started eating too much, I wake up thinking about breakfast, so I find breakfast, then It’s usually a nice long drive down the M1 until I find myself at whichever studio I’m working in that day! Then its lunch.
What do you want people to take away from your music?
If anyone can relate to any of the stories I tell and get some strength from it that’s a massive bonus for me. I’m not one to sit around moping if someone’s hurt me; I’m more likely to tell them where to go than to sit around crying about it. I’ve always been more into the way music sounds and makes you feel, than the message its putting across to be honest.
What projects or music are you currently working on?
I’m still working closely with Skepta, I just came back from doing a UK tour with him, I put all the music together for that and performed with him. I’ve been writing so much material for myself recently, working with a lot of really great producers and focusing on getting everything in place for next year.
What would you be doing if you weren’t doing music?
I dunno, I’d definitely have to work with people, the best bit about doing what I do is getting to talk to so many different people all the time, You meet so many interesting people doing this.
What angers you most about society today?
Oh you don’t want to get me started on this. If you followed me on twitter you’d know that isn’t a topic you wanna be bringing up, I could be here alllllllllllll dayyyyyy, so all I’ll say for now is question everything and don’t believe everything your told or made to believe by those that your supposed to
Who would you most like to do a collaboration with?
I would kill to sit in the studio for even an hour with Brian Mcknight. Nuff said!
Any hidden talents?
Is singing, guitar/piano playing song writing not enough for you?! Do you want me to juggle while I’m doing it?! (Laughs)
What artists inspire you and why?
I’m a massive fan of great vocals, going back to Brian Mcknight he has the best male voice I can think of and also plays the guitar and the piano to a crazy level. He’s an alien. Beyonce manages to kill me off every time. But at the minute in the UK I’m really feeling what Dappy is up to, I think he’s got the edge over everybody else at the moment.
On Thursday 20 October I headed to the O2 Academy Islington for UK rapper, you know the one they call S-K-E-P-T-A, for his second headline UK tour this year.
It being Skepta’s last date, I was pretty sure that the UK rapper was going to go out in a bang, especially playing out The Wedding Bells Tour in his home town of London.
With a four-year album deal secured with Universal’s Island Records, and a top 20 studio album ‘Doin’ It Again’ under his wing, Skepta braved the O2 Academy’s hyped up crowd, along with a few friends of his.
Being up in the VIP area was pretty much a case of “Too many man, too many many man”, where most of the “man” happened to be part of Skepta’s entourage. Most of the ladies were thankfully downstairs in the standing area, or shall I groupies! And boy did Kiss FM DJ Logan Sama have these girls impregnated with the latest grime beats. Whether it was the lyrics or the dance moves, the crowd had it all, I had never seen such a hyped up crowd, and this was before the headlining act had come on. Logan Sama admitted how happy he was to be back in town and that he couldn’t understand a word northerners would say whilst up in the north of England, maybe he had come across Cheryl Cole on his travels?
As the floor filled with Skeptamaniac’s (most of them being under 18s), Krept and Konan had the honours in opening the show with Krept performing a track, and also a firm favourite with the crowd, ‘Paranormal Activity 2’. Support acts Krept and Konan, and Marvell, warmed up the crowd and the stage by spitting over famous instrumentals by Kanye West and DMX. Marvell which consisted of three members also done their utmost in making sure everyone knew who they were with “Marvell” printed on their t-shirts. I’m sure that anyone could spot a Marvell member from a mile off, like literally!
At this point, the crowd were still in full swing, but that’s until Talay Riley jumped on stage. It seemed like I was the only one who was in full connection with Talay and his presence. The audience seemed to have took the moment as a break, maybe it was partly because of Talay’s setlist of songs. Talay performed a beautiful rendition of Beyonce’s ‘Halo’ which amazed some and practically put some to sleep. I don’t think the audience was appreciative of the rising star, you could plainly see that the audience were hardcore followers of grime. A mainstream crooner was so not what this crowd needed, we should have brought along the X Factor crowd!
Whilst up in VIP I managed to grab Skepta’s brother JME for a quick round up, unlike his big bro who asked me whether we could do the interview later (and if you’re wondering whether it took place, then no, it didn’t, the main man of the night managed to blag his way out!). JME was on a high expressing his thoughts on his brother’s closing night, admitting to being a “very proud brother”. And to all of those wondering why JME wasn’t under the list of support acts then hear this, straight from the horse’s mouth, JME admitted how Skepta never asked him “because I’m his brother, it would be weird for me to support him as I’m an artist in my own right”. JME also preached “This is real support, me being here tonight”, have to agree with him there, you don’t have to be stuck to someone’s backside in order to show support, brother or not!
I also caught up with Krept and Konan, where I delivered the good news that Tinie Tempah had in fact tweeted about them hours before the show. The duo was “overwhelmed” with the reaction from the crowd and admitted that supporting Skepta on his last night of the tour in their hometown made it even more worthwhile.
Other guests I spotted included magician Dynamo, Shorty, and Jammer, who I caught at the front of the VIP crowd enjoying the show with a little liquor in his possession. The proud Adenuga mama was also in the house, I spotted the proud mum comfortably perched on the couch.
The crowd’s stamina burst back up just as the man himself, Skepta, finally took to the stage wearing a white tuxedo matched with black trousers and a black shirt. Skepta definitely looked the part, and to top it off, his live band was present throughout the entire set. As the rapper belted out “home sweet f**king home” the crowd whipped into an even bigger frenzy. Skepta livened his famous tracks, his not so known tracks and tracks off his third studio album ‘Doin’ It Again’. ‘Rescue Me’ and ‘Bad Boy’ were two of the tracks which went down well with the crowd, seeing as they are the two single’s which widened Skepta’s fan base.
You could tell that the rapper was totally zoned out whilst up on the stage, because once off stage he looked controllable and more “with it” (if you know what I mean). The rapper treated the crowd to a medley of his collaborations including ‘Cross My Heart’ (Preeya Kalidas) and ‘So Alive’ (N-Dubz). With the absence of Preeya Kalidas, it was fair to say that Syed did in fact steal Amira back, doh Skeppy!
Skepta was also joined by special guest Chipmunk on stage, who received a lot of love from the girls whilst the male spectators just stood and observed the talent. The partners in crime performed ‘Big’ and ‘Decorations On My Body’ with Chipmunk wearing his signature “Cmar” tee.
The very controversial track ‘All Over The House’ excited many heads in the house, along with the latest single ‘Hold On’, ‘Do It Like Me’ which had everyone yelling “f**k skepta”, and everyone’s favourite hangover track, ‘Amnesia’. Overall, Skepta made it an hour on stage, and quite frankly got through the whole heights of his career. As the Skepta show came to a close, the man of the moment had his whole crew out (JME, Frisco, Chipmunk, Charlee Drew) on stage with him which caused a bit of a champagne cool down, an encore which will always stick with me!
As my encounter with Skepta was out the window, instead, I took two Skepta fans to the side and quizzed them about the Skepta show. The two very young fans, Lewis and Bailey aged 11, and 9 years old, described the show as “funny”, “good” and “wicked”. Quite the average use of words I know, but I couldn’t get anything better out of them. Maybe it was a slight case of amnesia!
Words by Melek Derebeyli
Celebrating 15 Years Twice as Nice exclusively brings you the perfect experience this summer! Not only are Twice as Nice revolutionising the pan-European club scene, they’re also offering the perfect package for sun-worshipers in the shape of their exclusive holidays
The grime superstar talks to Flavour’s Mary Bello about new album Doin’ It Again, partying like a rock star and the key to understanding women…
A round up of the weeks most flavoursome tweets. Who’s letting it all out and who’s slating who. Let the tweets commence
So I arrived late… it was my fault… could’ve kicked myself and in all honesty I still should… in fact, I just might!! I knew weeks in advance. The biggest UK Hip Hop Event of the year happening in the month of January with the UK’s heaviest
Whilst at the London leg of the MOBOs tour, an event organised by URBAN DEVELOPMENT & the MOBOs which hit six cities across the UK, I grabbed a few members of the audience to get their say on who they believe is a pioneer in the game! Here’s what they had to say:
Next month marks the 15th year of the MOBO awards, with a bigger-than-ever list full of successful UK Urban acts.
Following on from their critically acclaimed debut album “Generally Speaking”, D Double E & Footsie return meaner than ever with eagerly anticipated Bag of Grease EP.
Teaming up with multi-talented rising star S.K.I.T.Z Beatz, responsible for 4 of the 5 productions on the EP… The Generals, Dee and Foots, have put together an uncompromising collection of hard hitting grime anthems including “I’m a General”, “Like It or Not” and the title track “Bag of Grease” featuring Boy Better Know head honcho, Skepta.
Welcome back for another round of Desi Flavour right here on Flavourmag.co.uk. As Autumn kicks in we have even more treats from the heart of the British Asian music scene so let’s get straight down to business.
Tinie Tempah, Alexandra Burke, Rihanna, JLS, Chipmunk and Black Eyed Peas are just a few chart-toppers joining the list of nominees for the Urban Music Awards 2010.
Having smashed the biggest clubs across the UK,
The Leeds Urban Festival presents the Halloween Carnival Weekender 2009.
So where do you go after a club-banger like Too Many Man? You team-up with
When south London music producer DaVinChe walks into the room, with his trendy ghetto-preppy-style it is easy to assume that he has just come from a photo-shoot. ‘I like wearing bright colours, like ‘Notice Me!” he says laughing lightly at his comment ‘and I’ve also got on an exclusive pair of Reeboks but I’m not telling you where they’re from.’
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