Friday, May 31, 2013

Cashtastic: In My Zone

Recently signed to Universal, Cashtastic is flying the flag for emerging british rappers having a crack at the mainstream.

His debut single is produced by the Splurgeboys ( G FrSH, Skepta) and sets the rhymer firmly in the Team Uptempo.

Joel Compass: F'ed Up

It's the morning after the night before and Black Butter signed singer/ songwriter Joel Compass has been a bad boy.

Love he self-taught Compass' take on the Frank Ocean/ Weeknd sound; trippy, off kilter, futuristic and full of emo atmos. Not surprising to find out then that the south Londoner is inspired by space.

"I love science and I love experimenting, so that’s a major influence on me, musically," Joel told us. "I see it as blank canvas when I start and then I visually experiment. I like to start a note and then go from there, adding on things that might work with each other. The sound is current, I think. I’m trying to make my music ahead of where I think music will be in the future. I don’t want to be making music that people are already making. That doesn’t make much sense to me."

Fabolous Ft. 2 Chainz: When I Feel Like It

We have a feeling that the old guard of New York is about to come back strong; A$AP Mob, Pro Era and Action Bronson might rule the roost right now, but we have a sneaking suspicion that the likes of Cam'Ron, Ja Rule and this young (ish) man are about to make their presence felt once again.

F.A.B.O drops Loso's Way 2 this summer.

Share A Coke

They've done the personalised bottle and now Coke continues to innovate with thier new share can.

The ad is about two minutes too long, so just watch the first 30 seconds to get the idea.

Pretty smart. Taking a classic and keeping it relevant.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Katy B: What Love Is Made Of

We posted the track a little while ago (Wretch was a fan), and now Ms. B has dropped the video for her  'comeback' single.

Shot in the land of boy-racers and customised cars, this is a slick little vid.

Miguel: Adorn (Jools Holland)

He's not drop-kicking anyone today, but we do love his Prince inspired super-extra opening pose.

One of our favourite albums of 2013, we have much love for Miguel

Odd Future: New Line

Seems like their merch sells more than their albums, but that's no bad thing. The rise of OFWGKTA's streetwear side hustle heads into S/S 2013 with a Free Earl face, a Jasper Dolphin and 'High' and 'Wolf' logos in their trademark crazy colours.

Head here to get yours as modelled by Tyler, Earl and the various and numerous other members whose names we mostly forget!

Three Sneaks For Summer

 With the weather forecast (allegedly) dry and warm(ish) this weekend, what better reason do you need than sunnyish weather to cop some new creps?

Nike have just dropped three beauties in seasonly summer colourways: The Air Max 90 EM, the Roshe Run 'Safai' Pack and the Nike Air Pegasus '92, a silhouette that hasn't been available for well over a year.

The blue/ grey '90s will no doubt be popular, especially with the laydeez who like to rock a 90 with a cropped jean. These guys drop next month.

The Pegasusmaylook similar to the 90s, above, but they're built for the casual runner (aka those who might sprint for the 242 to take them to Dalston). You can cop these from here for 105Euros (approx £90)

The Roshe safaris look kind of amazing in every colour, though we particularly love the black on black. Available now at select retailers.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Joey Bada$$: Word Is Bond

Produced by Statik Selectah, the Pro Era alumni and Edward R. Murrow graduate drops another 90s influenced tune that harks back to the days of Nas and AZ. Taken from the forthcoming Summer Knights EP, Joey's album, B4 Da $$ is due later this year.

Tim Knoll: Bike Tricks

We'll let this video do the talking for itself, sufffice to say, imagine BMX and gymnasics and this is what you might get.

Tim Knoll is a badman!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Professor Green Ft. Miles Kane: Are You Getting Enough

He's back, gammy leg and all!

The Professor of Green teams up with Shadow Puppet's Kane and producer Kid Harpoon on a straight banging, dirty, angry hip hop record.

On the new track, Green talks about society's craving for more and more material goods, regardless of the cost (literally, spiritually and metaphorically we'd venture). Here's three of our favourite bars (we had to type fast to keep up, believe); we like these because of the wordplay, the internal rhyme-schemes, the flow and the punchlines. Things Mr. Green is pretty darned good at.

"You're born for it, built for it/ Rob for it, steal for it/  Shot for it, deal for it it/ Rob for it, kill for it/ Some are born with it/ Some are born without/ Can hardly afford what they're forking out..."

"Piggishness, audacity, poverty-born depravity/ Gluttony over luxuries all ravenous voracity/ Insanity  avidity/ Salacity lust/ Anything I want I need for me to have is a must."

"I spend money I ain't got/ Anything I want, I get/  I buy what i want period/ I don't mind if I'm in the red..."

Pre-order Green's third album, Growing Up In Public, due later this year, from here.

Amplify Dot: Paperwerk

New one from A-Dot, who skips nicely all over the Missy-esqe beat.

Dotty releases her debut single and album later this year.

Nicki Minaj X Peter Rosenberg

This starts out so frosty but the pair get through things as Rosenberg and Nicki talk over the Hot 97 Summer Jam show fall-out last year when Rosenberg dissed Starships.

Nicki also talks about returning to rap and the double standards that exist for male and female rappers.

Mac Miller: Goosebumpz

Produced by Wez Pentz AKA Diplo, Miller's trademarks witticisms and skippy flow are underpinned to perfection by the Major Lazar's ubiquitous weird blips and off-kilter beats.

Taken from Miller's forthcoming album, Watch Movies With The Sound Off, it's due for release on 10 June and features ScHoolboy Q, Tyler The Creator and Jay Electronica.

MNEK: Waiting For Tonight

MNEK takes the J-Lo classic and mixes it with the Garage classic SFA's Flowers.

Look forward to the producer and writer's inevitable solo release.

Check our recent chat with the 18 year-old here.

Raekwon Belt

Rappers. And. Belts. Who knew such a collab could exist?

The Wu-Tang ma has joined forces with streetwear brand Akomplice on the Pelican belt, a black and brown leather beauty with brass clasp which, if Rae is to be believed, could catch itself a fish. Or at least some fishscales. Boom boom!

The belt will be available from Akomplice on 1 June and comes with a wooden cigar box.

Sold: 12.8 Million Dollar Car

Only the third most expensive car ever, this Ferrari reached a tidy $12.8 dollars recently. The V-12 had been driven by Mike Hawthorn and Nino Farina at Le Mans in 1953.

The hammer went down in just 20 minutes to an unidentified buyer. The most expensive car sold to date, by the way, is a 1975 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa which went for $16, 390 million in 2011.

Bit gutted we didn't know this guy was up for sale. We would have been interested in putting a bid in.

Kendrick Ft. Emeli: Bitch Don't Kill My Vibe [remix]

He bought her out onstage in Brooklyn and also jumped on Next To Me and now Sande returns the favour by popping up on the remix of Lamar's standout track from his good kid album.

Can't wait to see K Dot perform this at various festivals over the summer.

Friday, May 24, 2013

RiFF RaFF: Hot 97 Freestyle

Our obsession grows.

Here's the Spring Break inspiring rhymer drop some sort of rhymeage.

We heart this dude so much.

Turns out the host, Ebro, isn't perhaps as much of a fan. See the full confrontation post-freestyle below.

Disclosure: When A Fire Starts To Burn

Easily one of 2013's most anticipated albums, here's another taster from Disclosure's forthcoming debut, Settle.

Fire adds to the canon of Latch and White Noise making us incredibly excited to buy that album when it drops on 3 June.

Sinead Harnett: You Got Me

We've been big fans of the Black Butter signed Harnett since she popped up on Wiley's Walk Away and more recently on Baby by the chart slapping Rudimental.

Produced by EEL, seems like the North Londoner singer and writer is about to give the charts a little nudge herself.

Check out our recent brief but sweet chat with Sinead here.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Pharrell Williams: Happy

Taken from the soundtrack to Despicable Me 2, Skateboard P hooks up with Back Lot Music (Justin Antonius) on this handclap led track designed to inspire a lot of grinning.

Looks like the world is dancing to Pharrell's beat once more...

Travi$ Scott: Owl Pharaoh

Featuring Meek Mill, Toyo Y Moi, Paul Wall and A$AP Ferg, this is definitely a mixtape worth copping. Download right here, right now.

The Texas newcomer is a creative young chap - not only rhyming but directing his own videos too.

We predict huge things for Mr. Scott.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Action Bronson: Strictly For My Jeeps

We do love a bit of Queens rapper Action Bronson and we really love this new video starring himself and Riff Raff.

As an accomplished cook, we particularly enjoyed the scenes where he prepares lamb cutlets. Greg and John would mos def approve of the technique.

Beyonce: New Music

Two new tunes from the Queen Bee. Grown Woman is produced by Timbaland and is very 'Serengeti' in feel. Standing On The Sun (sounds painful) meanwhile is written by Sia and Greg Kurstin.

We're team Standing On The Sun.

Ricky Powell Exhibition

If you, like us right now, are in the New York area, then head down to this exhibition by the amazing Ricky Powell.

As a photographer and author and a specialist of the 'environmental portrait', Powell's pictures ahve appeared everywhere from the New York Times to Vibe. He rose to fame initially via his Beastie Boys portraits, but had already been snapping for years by then, after hanging out with the likes of Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat.

This exhibition covers New York 1985 to Bushwick 2013 and the changes that the city has seen over those years. Powell's fly on the wall access creates an incredible intimacy with his subjects, whether with the downtown art scene of the 80s or today in Bushwick. Check David Kesting for more details or just roll down to the gallery, located at 257 Boerum Street, Brooklyn, NY 11206

Monday, May 20, 2013

fragment X G-Shock

Japanese design firm fragment teams up with G-Shock for this understated new timepiece.

Using just two colours (not counting the grey on the outer edge!), the black and white DW-6900 is simple yet incredibly effective.

You can get yours via Ron Herman from the 25 May.

Price: Live at Billboards

21351224452 by YardieGoals

Look at that fro!

Ah Prince, he's stilll got it.

The legend that was formerally known as something unpronoucable (aka 'squiggle) rightly picked up the Icon award at the Billboard awards. Prince treated attendees (and, by proxy,'the internet) to a funked out versoin of Lets Go Crazy as well as his new song Fix Ur Life Up.

Looking forward to seeing if the rumoured UK tour of small venues is going to happen.

Friday, May 17, 2013

TGIF: Stylo G

Ok so it's grey and miserable outside but WHATEVER. It's Friday!

If you still feel a bit miserable (what is WRONG with you) then just listen to Sounbwoy by Stylo G and you will be sad no more (probably).

Already a uge club hit, this is predited to hit the top 5 when its released..

Time For: Funny Tummy

He's one of the most exciting talents working in art today; Funny Tummy has created mixtape covers for most of the UK Rap and Grime scene and recently created Angels' cover art. Not only that, but he's already painted Rihanna, Tinie and Ed Sheeran, and, with an exhibition at the Royal Albert Hall this month, we predict things are only going to get a lot more, ahem, colourful (Ed: groan) for this 27 year-old painter, photographer, artist and producer.

When did you first develop an interest in art and when did you decide that you wanted to make a career out of it?
I first developed an interest in art at about three of four years old. A lot of people in my family do art so as a child it was always around me. My brother did art, my mother is a designer, and my parents used to take me to art galleries from about the age of 5. When I realised I was good at art, I wanted to pursue it as a career.

Who are some of your influences?
When I was a kid, I was influenced by comic book art but right now I tend not to look at other's art so the only things that influence me is what I see around me and not what other artists create.

How would you describe your style?

What was your 'big break'?
When Rihanna requested the painting I did of her; that's when a lot of people came to know about my art. 

Can you give us a list of your highpoints so far? How have those moments changed your career?
So far, the highpoints have been... Rihanna requesting the portrait I did of her, the Royal Albert Hall solo exhibition, the Tate Modern hyperlink.

Who do you want to paint next?
I'm no longer focusing on portraits unless they have been commissioned. So the next portrait I do will depend on whom ever orders the portrait.  

You're known for your mixtape art and now your portraits, yet you're also a photographer and producer. Is there an overall Funny Tummy aesthetic?
No matter what I'm doing, whether it be photography, art or music the overall ethos is be different and always deliver quality.

You're part of the Renowned team with Wretch, Jacob and George. What are you offering to contemporary culture as a team? What do you all have in common, artistically/ creatively?
I think what I offer is my versatility. I'm able to create an album cover for Wretch or Jacob and then also able to do photography for the above at their live performances and all this while still producing art for future exhibitions and sales. 

You showed at the Tate and now you have a show upcoming at the RAH, which is amazing. Congrats. Black artists are severely underrepresented in art, but do you feel like that's changing?
Because I don't view others work, I'm not sure what other artists are doing or how many black artists are currently getting the recognition they deserve.

What are your ambitions? 
The goal is to do solo exhibitions in the USA and over Europe and Asia. I also plan to release an art book and furniture. 

What's the toughest part of your job? What's been the toughest decision you've had to make so far?
Luckily I don't have any challenges and I've never had to make a tough decision.

Where can people catch you next?
People can catch my artwork at the Royal Albert Hall from 1 June, and it runs for 6 weeks.

Look at Funny Tummy
Follow Funny Tummy

Roll Deep Ft. Camille: All Or Nothing

Our boys from Bow E3 are back.

Wiley, J2K, Manga, and Brazen are the four MC's while Rymez (Tinie, Wretch) takes care of the beatz.

The single is out in June on Relentless - the first label the crew first signed to over 10 years ago.

"All or Nothing is a song for the summer and Roll Deep is my history, it’s where it all started for me and I feel most comfortable when I'm making music with my brothers and that's Roll Deep,” said Big Will.

The Weeknd: Kiss Land

Finally, brand brand new music from the mysterious Canadian man named after everyone's favourite time of the week.

You may notice this is some 7 minutes long. That's because halfway through it goes from some kind of sex moan to the ladies to a whole other track entirely.

Oh, he's a strange one that Weeknd int he.

Kanye: SNL Promo

This weekend, West and his plastered head will appear on SNL alongside Ben Affleck and, well, we're not too sure who the other dude it. Oh well.

With Kanye debuting new music this past week, sure it own't be too long before his next album hits shelves. We predict angry Kanye is on his way. Angry and maybe baby-minded.

Time will tell....

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Kelly Rowland: Dirty Laundry

Well, Kelly. We don't know what to say.

Fair play to Rowland who has decided to address all types of thangs on this The-Dream produced track.

As well as inevitable jealousy towards Beyonce, she also talks about an abusive ex-boyfriend.

"When my sister was onstage / killing it like a motherf****er/ I was enraged / feeling it like a  motherf****er/ Went our separate ways but I was happy that she was killing it / Bittersweet, she was up and I was down / No lie, I feel good for her but what do I do now?"

Looks like someone had stuff to get off her chest.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Time For: Kitchen Party [Mixtape]

New female three-piece Kitchen Party have jsut dropped a rather ace mixtape called 11th Floor. Featuring covers of Aaliyah, Brandy and Diana Ross, they also have some of their own tracks on there and what gems they are. Produced by the likes of Cameron McVey (Neneh Cherry, Massive Attack), the girls just signed to Island and we predict big things for them...!

Download here.

Competition Time: Bass Buds

We've got some good friends here at RWD.

Our buddies over at Bass Buds have kindly given us a pair of their ace headphones to give away.

Detailed with SWAROVSKI on the earpiece, these in-ears with (here comes the science) advanced Crystaltronics sound technology take personal audio experience to the next level.

Not only HD sound, anti-tangle cable and gold-plated jack, there's integrated HQ microphone with call and MP3 controller - perfect for when Momzie hollars while you're listening to the last Skepta album.

Available in a range of colours, we have the Platinum pair up for grabs.

To win, just head to our twitter account - @GShockUK - and tweet us the answer to the following question:

Who invented headphones (according to 'Google' anyway!)?

For more info, check Bass Buds.

Saucony X Playclothes

Hailed in the Sunday Times Style this weekend as the sneaker to rock right now, we're certainly open to this unique collaboration.

Known as the 'Cotton Candy Pack', streetwear gurus Play Cloths update the Saucony Shadow 5000 with pastels colourways in suede. Inside, the sneaks are lined with leather.

Might be worth waiting for our 'summer' to actually come before rocking these guys out on the streets of London. Or maybe we should all just emigrate on mass to somewhere, anywhere, warm...!

No word on release date yet, but they will be available from select stockists soon.

Born Sinner: Kendrick Lamar

Put together to support his forthcoming album, in the second of J. Cole's Born Sinner series he asks Kendrick Lamar to talk through his journey through music.

Despite the visuals being 'just' a series of photographs this is an incredibly engaging thing to watch and, more importantly, to listen to. Not only does Kendrick have an amazingly warm talking voice, what he's talking about - figuring out why he makes music - is most interesting.

Fantastic idea also to promo an album. Well done J. Cole!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

A$AP Ferg: Work (Remix)

He sounds so.... barky, doesn't he old Ferg?

We say 'old'. He's like 19 or something.

Anyway, the rise of Ferg continues with this all-star remix featuring everyone from his boy Rocky to French Montana, Trinidad James and ScHoolboy Q

Solange Ft. Kendrick: Looks Good With Trouble

Revisting her Dev Hynes produced True EP, Bee's sister breathes life into Looks Good with a guest by the one and only K.Dot.

"I wrote and recorded 'Look Good With Trouble' as a prelude to 'Bad Girls,'" said Solange. "But decided to create it as a full song and add the brilliant storytelling of Kendrick Lamar."

Kendrick Lamar: Bitch Don't Kill My Vibe

Ummm, well. We love Kendrick. And he rocks white VERY well.

We're not sure this video adds much to what is essentially an incredible song. We like the laughing in the limo bits but we're a bit confused about what the concept of this video is.

Whatever, Kendrick is amazing so we forgive him everything.

Time For: Skepta

He's been making music since the days of Jungle, but it's as the King of Grime that Skepta's most famous. As both a producer and MC, he's created some of the scene's most classic moments, from Too Many Man and Nokia Charger Wire, to Duppy (Doin' It Again), infamous freestyles with Wiley and JME on Westwood to Rolex Sweep, Cross My Heart and Rescue Me. Thanks in part to the latter three, he's cracked the charts, travelled the world and had millions of views on YouTube. 

His last mixtape, Blacklisted, was perhaps his most accomplished yet, displaying both mind-blowing lyricism, distinguished flow and pretty excellent beats. And introduced us all to new ad-libs including #MEEEENTALLLL. 

Now, 'Young Shabba' is ready to drop an album proper. Titled Konnichiwa and featuring 8-bit beats, the recently released summer jam Lay Her Down featuring Kano, (above), is intended to bridge the gap between the two projects. We caught up with the 'St Paul soldier, Northumberland Park next door neighbour/ Eskimo raver' to find out about Grime's descent, his dad, hightops, Jessie Ware and being misunderstood.

Joseph Junior Adenuga. How are you?
I’m cool man. I’m really settled with what I’m doing. I feel like I’m in control again. I felt like I lost control a little bit when I was working with labels and stuff. The stuff that I was used to doing and overseeing, I didn’t have that anymore and that p*ssed me off for a little while. That was the whole turning point for me. I was like ’Hold on, this is not all it’s cracked up to be. I don’t like this'. I see myself as someone who can adapt to my surroundings but still be myself... Like when there was all 'Grime Time' and everyone was super-lyrical and fast, I was like ‘Do you know who I am? I’m Skepta and I can smash raves to bits’ (laughs). I just played that position and then when everybody started going commercial...  But yeah, I felt like I lost control a bit. Like, the scene was so shit.  I stopped making music pretty much the whole of 2011, 2012. I stopped and I listened to a lot of Theophilus London and Dev Hynes and Jessie Ware. I just felt like the whole scene was so shit.

I felt like I lost control a bit. Like, the scene was so sh*t. I stopped making music pretty much the whole of 2011, 2012

Nothing was going on here. It all became too YouTube based; it became more of a look than about the music. It went from music and was taken to being a fashion show. Not to say I don’t get dressed in mad clothes myself, but it became about what you looked like and what you wore, rather than the music. I didn’t do no music for the end of 2011 through 2012. I did a few features but I wanted to look at the music a little bit and that’s when I made Blacklisted.

So what were you listening to?
I took a look at what was going one. Like, back in the day, no one knew what an MC looked like. Whatever came out of the pirate radio, that was what you loved. That’s why people like D Double E were so sick cos he took the microphone away from his mouth and said ‘Ohh (Uhh)' and made it sound like an echo. Like, ’This is f**king beautiful’. People put effort into the sound that was coming out, rather than what they looked like. It sounded like a load of noise. Plus there was no adult. See when I was 30, I had a whole midlife crisis. Like ‘Where’s the adult in grime that I can look to?’ In rap, everyone looks to Jay-Z and says ‘Yeah, maybe one day I can hang round with Obama’. But me, I didn’t see anything. I thought I might have to stop doing music soon. I can’t be 30 years old prancing round like an idiot. So I thought about the people who I thought looked like cool adults when I was a kid. I’d think of cool songs and then I’d ring my dad at like 3am on a random one like ‘Dad, who sang that song’ and he’d be like ‘Cameo’. I’d sit and smoke and listen to Cameo, Michael McDonald, Shabba. That’s how I found Theophilus London and Dev Hynes. By going back. Taking it all back. Solange, Jessie Ware.

Grime became more of a look than about the music. It went from music and was taken to being a fashion show. 

Have Dev Hynes and Jessie Ware heard the lyric?
Yeah, he DM’d me today saying he loves it. Like, Jessie Ware is following me now. I don’t know what Jessie Ware thinks. I hope she hasn’t taken it in a rude way, because it isn’t meant that way. I meant it like ‘Pharrell and the Clipse’ type thing. 

So they were a big inspiration for Blacklisted?
Yeah. If anyone looked at my playlist I looked like a old man. It became a challenge to go as far, far back as I could, thinking of sick old ones and phoning my dad to ask him what it was. At my age, my dad was in this country with two kids. What do I have to show? I know that I’m a musician and I live a crazy life of drugs and partying but I have to remember I have to be a man one day. I just started wanting to be a cool man.  I thought of Shabba Ranks and those kind of brears. So that’s the difference.

Lets talk ad-libs. Like 'Sold out Wembley - sexxxxxy'.
(Laughs). Yeah, but when I do my ad-libs, they might not have anything to do with what I’ve just said, but it’s about how it’s made me feel. Like ‘Man are selling out Wembley’. If I think of myself selling out Wembley, I imagine a picture of me that would be from selling out Wembley and I’d probably look quite sexy, so that’s how It makes me feel (laughs).

I’ve always been weird in my dress. I think from young I’ve just loved clothes.

The Fuchsia pink suit in the video – it’s a strong look.
I think that all the Americans have all started dressing quirky, so when I upload a picture it’s like ‘Oh, he’s trying to dress like Kanye, he’s trying to dress like A$AP’. If you ever knew how long I’d been wearing furry hats, long jackets and crazy… I used to get kicked out of school for wearing my off-key Moschino jackets. I’ve always been mad. I think from young I’ve just loved clothes. I think that’s probably the reason I went mad on Ed Hardy. When I first got money from music, I wished that I could teleport myself back to my youth and buy every Moschino garment out. The only thing that I saw that remotely resembled Moschino was Ed Hardy. I think me going mad on it was payback for myself, a pat on my back to say ‘Well done’. 

Remember when you wore the Ed Hardy dressing gown onstage at the RWD/ Kano adizones Indigo 02 show?

(Laughs) Oh, the Ed Hardy bathrobe, yeah. That’s what I’m saying. I’ve always been weird in my dress. I don’t want to be Shabba, I don’t even know what he’s doing now, but… My dad is the reason for all of us when I think about it. And my mum, with her love of music. When my dad DJ’d he played all of that 70, 80s stuff; Michael McDonald, Cameo, classic reggae. He was that guy.

The song namedrops Dev Hynes and Jessie Ware. Have you heard from them? 
Yeah, he DM’d me today saying he’s loves it and Jessie Ware is following me now. I don’t know what Jessie Ware thinks cos I hope she hasn’t taken it in a rude way, because it isn’t meant that way. I meant it like ‘Pharrell and the Clipse’ type thing.

It was a skit on Blacklisted, but now it’s a full single?
Yeah it’s not even a single, it’s more of a bridge tune. I got to the English summer, if you can call it that, so I was like, What’s my summer tune? I wanted something to bridge the gap between the two albums and I thought ‘Yeah man, Lay Her Down’. I was wracking my brain as to what rapper could go on there. I thought of Wretch, Big Snoop could have been sick on there. Wiz Khalifa could have smashed it and then I thought of Kano. And then being practical and with the timescale I had... Wiz would have been a myth cos I would have had to go through the proper channels, Snoop I know his PA and Wretch is a mate and obviously Kano is a good friend. So I thought ‘Let me shout Kano’.

Why Kane?
I don’t know. Any of those guys would have been sick but Kano heard it and was like ‘Yeah , I get what you’re trying to do Skep’. I took kind of a left turn after I released Underdog Psychosis where I was just speaking to the camera for like 25 minutes. After that, I took a diversion with my music and I didn’t think people would get it. But Kano heard it and he sent me the verse back. That verse you hear on there is the first take. First take… Guy is a legend man. He’s got… flamboyance.

I love music so much, it doesn’t let me sleep at night.  

What was the most shocking thing that happened on the video shoot?
The car that we had yeah, it was an old-skool BMW. The license plate was K285 KNO. Kano was born in 1985. I got there before him and I’m looking at the car like ‘What’s going on here’. He turned up like ‘Bruv, look at this license plate’. It was just a random car they got for the shoot. That was so weird.

What can you tell us about Konnichiwa?
Why did I call my album Konnichiwa? Oh yeah. My little brother Jason is proper into the old-skool anime and Japanese music. He’s always been saying ‘Junior, why don’t you do some 8-bit sounds, some computer sounding music?’ I was like ‘Yeah I want to do it, but I don’t want to force it’. Blacklisted was my thing to the media to let them know that, whether you lot slander me or block me out or ignore me, I’m going to make noise regardless. When I released it, it was all over the radio, two songs got playlisted, and I didn’t do no press, no radio interviews. That was  my statement; I’m going to be dong this whether anybody likes it or not. That was my outlook. If I did that again for this album, it would be a bit cutting my nose off to spite my face. You can’t do an album properly without media. So I want to go into the 8-bit sound, and also like the Japanese fashion, I love how they style themselves. Lay Me Down is a bridge track, that will be on the album too and the first street single is called Konnichiwa.

It sounds quite experimental?
Yeah, it’s like Super Mario brothers. JME’s done it before, Devlin sampled an Japanese computer sample on London City. You’ve got producers like Joker... it’s just a different approach. It’s a different angle. I can’t do Blacklisted again. Obviously, I want to talk about deep subjects again, but I want it to be more lively and fiery.

I need someone to represent what we’re about; I don’t think anyone’s doing that. 

Who’s on it?
NASTY Crew, Roll Deep.. Nah, I'm joking. I’ve got Kano on there. I asked Jammer about it and he said get loads of old-skool people on there. So I’ve got Kano and I want to get D Double on there, I’m going in with Giggs. Just the greats really. I need someone to represent what we’re about; I don’t think anyone’s doing that. I mean, I don’t fault anyone, everyone’s got different things in their lives. Sometimes you can’t tell people to not go pop or not go commercial cos that’s what they want to do. If one day they want to stop, that’s their problem. With this album, I want it to represent the UK; the rappers, how we sound. Those wishy-washy commercial tunes that aren’t about the artist, they’re about making songs to get on radio, that’s what I don’t feel. I believe that longevity is the key for me. I don’t music so people can take pictures of me or for money or for any of that shit. I couldn’t stop making music, it would be impossible. If I said to myself ‘I’m going to quit, this is my last album,’ I’d be lying to myself and everyone. I love music so much, it doesn’t let me sleep at night.  Every sound I hear I think, 'How can I sample that'? Every person I see, I think, what story can I tell them about my life? I just want to set myself where when I’m 45, Jay-Z’s age, I need to still be rapping. So rather than go for a quick buck now, and kill myself, I’m going to set myself in stone and be like ‘You know what, Skepta’s in his own lane, he does his own shit, he enjoys himself, don’t bother him. If you don’t like it, leave him alone, if you do, go party with him and that’s it’.

I believe that longevity is the key for me. I don’t music so people can take pictures of me or for money or for any of that shit.

What's the toughest thing about being Skepta?
The toughest thing about being me is this f**king hair (laughs). When I come out the barber shop my hair looked MENTAL. It was all up high, it looked sick! The day I went to bed, I woke up the next morning I’ve got lean to the side! I’ve got to wear a hat until I next get a haircut!

That’s the price you pay young Shabba…
I know. It's so crap.

Nike Blazer 77 Zig Zag

You know when you just know? Like, that feeling in the pit of your stomach? Butterflies. Blushes. Deep, deep desire.

Yes, we're in love. Deep in love with these beautiful guys. White leather uppers, thick suede inserts, orange logo on the heel and tongue and there, right there at the heart of the shoe, a multicoloured zig zag print.

77 Zig Zag we love you. And we want you. NOW.

Follow us to SNKRS to get your pair.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Sam Smith: Latch [Acoustic]

Readying his own solo debut no doubt, Sam Smith joins the John Newman's of this world as emerging talent who have found success as vocalists for massive chart-stompers. Like Newman, Smith also has some crazy-ass hair.

As well as Disclosure, Smith can also be heard on Naughyt Boy's new banger La La La.

Here, he drops an acoustic version of Disclosure's Latch.

Lamborghini Egoista

 Oh lawd, this is one arrogant cut of a car.

Look how rude this bad boy is? There's not even a windscreen per se; just a stunting shutter for admiring passers by to attempt to glimpse through. And how many people does it fit? Just the one, giving true meaning to 'riding solo.

Inspired by the design of the Apache helicopter and made from super-light carbon fibre, apparently this V10 engine creation is just a concept and won't be seen on the streets for real. Regardless, this is a breath-taking piece of design by head of Volkswagen, Walter de Silva.

CamRon: Golden Friends

Not ashamed of sampling a TV show, Killa Cam returns after a legthy hiatus with this nod to Rose, Blanche, Sophia and Dorothy with this Golden Girls sampling smasher.

We have NO PROBLEM with the Diplomat's use of this sample. None at all.

1967 Toyota 2000GT

If you've ever wondered what a $1.2million car looked like, puzzle ye no more.

This quite gorgeous if not hugely costly 1967 Toyota 2000GT was one of just 351 made back in the late '60s, 62 of which were left-hand made models.

Thanks to being rather rare, one of these guys just sold for 1.2m at an auction in Ontario, making it the world's most expensive Asian made car.

We'd swap it for a swanky Phantom any day. This is a car with pure class.

Katy B: What Love Is Made Of

Before Jessie Ware there was... Katy B!

Looking forward to seeing both of those girls performm this year at Wireless.

And, after quitte a long hiatus minus the Danger EP back in December, we're looking forward to hearing Katy's forthcoming album, due this July.

A$AP Ferg: Hypetrack TV

Hypetrack hooks up with Rocky's forerunner Ferg, who recently signed his own deal to Polo Grounds/ RCA.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Nike Friday Frenzy

Nike Air Max 90 EM “Fluro Grey”

Well, ok, maybe not a frenzy, but here's three new sneaks from the trainer kings.

The Jordan's are beyond nuts and the SB's an example of pristine design, but our faves are the fluro grey Air Max 90's.

If you wish to cop, head to a store or go online and shop Nike.

Air Jordan XX8 Black/Bright Citrus-Cool Grey-Deep Royal

8FIVE2SHOP x Nike SB Stefan Janoski “Never in the Club"

Daft Punk Teaser

The very shy Daft Punk aren't one's for a chat. They're not likely to pop up on Sunday Brunch to promote their new single while eating Simon's lemon chicken, for instance.

However a concession of sorts to promotion, they've hooked up with the amazingly talented video director Nabil Elderkin, a young chap who has lensed videos for Kanye, James Blake and Frank Ocean, to promote what looks to be a Pitchfork cover story. Who knows.

Either way, we're sure it will be most interesting.

Mariah Ft. Miguel: #Beautiful

Here's the new #video for #Mariah's new #single featuring #Miguel.

We're not sure who we're in love with more; Mariah or Miguel. Swoon...!

Solange: Locked In Closets

Directed by the Alan Del Rio Ortiz, the ace creative behind Losing You, this is less a video, more a 'mini music video'. Over 1.5 minutes we follow the always incredible stylish Solange as she hangs out in her incredibly stylish homeland of Brooklyn.

Not only cool but her sister is Beyonce and her bro-in-law is Hova.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Pusha T: Numbers On The Boards

The G.O.O.D music affiliate drops a tune that harks back beautifully to Lord Willin. Ice, ice cold. With Hov drops and cameos from Chief Keef and Kanye, the dark visuals perfectly compliments this stark song.

John Newman: Love Me Again

That bloke off of the Rudimental tunes isn't just some hook for hire, oh no.

John Newman, who is from the Yorkshire Dales (TRUTH) is signed to Island and the bequiffed one has a smash all of his own up his sleeve.

Despite a DARK ending to the video, we rather love this track.

Time For: M.M Green [Artist]

 D'Wayne by M.M. Green

There's nothing we love more at G-Shock than a bit of art. And Hip Hop. So when the two combine, well, it makes our tiny minds explode.

When a press release plonked itself into our inbox with an oil painting of Lil Wayne and a tagline of 'The Under-Representation of African-Americans in Fine Art', our interest was piqued. So much so that we immediately hollered at the woman behind the paintings, M.M. Green, ahead of her exhibition launch in LA tomorrow evening. Here's what Ms. Green, pic below, had to say about meeting and painting Weezy. 

There's clearly a huge under-representation of African American (and Black British, and so on) within the art world. Was there a defining or meaningful moment that inspired this collection or is something that you've wanted to do for years?
I'd say it was a bit of both. For me, I've always felt a strong admiration and affection for the subject matter. I hadn't painted for some time and was suddenly struck with this inexplicable urge to paint again. As I was considering the series I began scanning the history of art, past and present and concluded that there was there was a gaping hole as far as I was concerned. So everything converged, right time/place.

The black experience is woefully underrepresented in the art world, within the history of art in particular. But is this changing? How do you hope exhibitions like your own will chance the art world itself?
I wouldn't feel qualified to speak to that. I can say that there are some really interesting and fantastic contemporary artists (Kehinde Wiley, Kara Walker) who are making waves with their distinctive viewpoints and work. I certainly am happy to contribute in some small way to what I feel is an historical issue in art. In any case, the art world (like the world) is shifting constantly, both in positive and negative ways. Trying to push it a little more positive.

How did you meet initially Wayne? And how was the experience of doing his portrait? 
I met Wayne at The Berrics - Steve Berra and Eric Koston's skate park in Downtown LA. He was charismatic and kind. I took his photo at 1am, just before a late night skate session. 

He's not known for his love of interviews and photo shoots. How did you manage to pique his interest so that he would sit for you? 
I asked and he obliged. I happen to be a fan of his and found him to be an interesting subject to paint, so it was simply good fortune.

Why were you interested in painting Wayne? He has upset some people in the past because of his occasional misogynist lyrics, and the recent line about Emmet Hill, for which he has since apologised?Did it present any problems for you from your own political or social point of view?
I'm also a Wayne fan although I'm not sure if I can explain exactly why. There's something transcendent about the individual which has less to do with artifice and technique and is more about what's essential and underlying. Whether one is a rap superstar or a janitor or a college professor, there's still an essentially good person at the center. I like admiring the "what's good" in people. When I met and spoke with Wayne he told me about his old neighborhood, he'd caused the kids with guns to carry skateboards instead. Anyhow, this particular series doesn't enter in social or political judgement. It's not in its DNA. It suggests neutrality and admiration. So that will have to conclude in another conversation.

There are of course another 19 portraits in the series. How long has this exhibition taken you to do? 
 Approximately a year. 

Who else is featured in the exhibition? Is there a link between your subjects?
 Not much more than an incidentally similar age group. It's a slice of social life, from artists to businessmen and between. They all happened to be very gracious people.

'Wallace' by M.M. Greene

What's been the toughest aspect of putting the show together?
The funny part is that, literally, "putting the show together" is the most difficult aspect of the process. Painting the series was fun and easy and really therapeutic. It can be difficult to "pomp up," get out there and say, "look at me, look at my art!" But it feels good to show the work and the process isn't complete without it. You can't/don't just paint for yourself. 

The challenge in the arts is to be able to have self-determined thought, coupled with the courage to keep it in tact and to carry it through. 

What's the toughest thing about being an artist in the art world today? What challenges have you overcome/ are you yet to overcome?
Everyone has a voice inside them that is their viewpoint. With all the world noise out there in media, advertising and social interaction, that voice is constantly being knocked down and drowned out. The challenge in the arts is to be able to have self-determined thought, coupled with the courage to keep it in tact and to carry it through. I'm doing what I want so I think I'm on the right path.

What's Good opens tomorrow at the Dilettante studio, 120, N. Santa Fe Ave, CA 90012. But if you're not from LA, don't worry, you can check more of M.M's work right here.