Rapman – What’s The Story

Since the dawn of UK Rap, I can’t recall a time where I’ve heard such a strong, solid, watertight offering from an artist. I heard a few end of year roundups but nothing would prepare me for what I was about to hear when I decided to listen to Rapman’s What’s The Story?.

Captivating from the get go! Don’t get too attached to anyone or get too comfortable!

A master of plot-twists

It began with Shiro’s tale where what I thought the outcome was to be was not, and what I thought it may even be after the twist was not, and then what I thought that twist would be was certainly not. So many twists and turns would follow throughout each tale, getting even more grim for the characters, Rapman leaves you no room to feel comfortable with anyone. Don’t get too attached to anyone! The only way to describe this is twist after twist, your jaw will be wide open!

I have to talk in vauge because as this is an EP filled with stories, I don’t want to be the spoiler, you have to listen yourself. Furthermore I wouldn’t call it an EP/album, I’d say its more like a movie because you see the tale rather than just listen, as if one of your friends is telling you what happened on the way home or at the party that you didn’t attend. Whenever you think you can predict the next steps, Rapman throws a curveball at you. It’s PEAK!!!

A reflection of day to day life

The EP explores the tales we see play out on a day to day and the intricacies within the maintenance of those relationships. Whether it be going into business with a friend, the ups and downs, the backstabbers and plotters, covetous friends who talk behind your back as they’d rather be in your position than beside you, toxic relationships and many others.

Eastenders, Coronation Street, Soap Operas?!… Switch off that TV and press play, because you’d get more action out of a Rapman album!

Don’t be surprised these are everyday stories for some, no matter how far fetched they seem, Rapman takes you beneath the surface and behind the facade alot of people seem to wear publicly and the if like me this your first Rapman album experience, you’d begin planning your itiniary to explore the back catalogue in order to get up to speed with the character.

What’s The Story? is available to STREAM and PURCHASE, here’s the first visual offering from the album, watch The Move 2 below.

Originally published on Up In The Ear.

AW17: Starting from Scratch

You never really start from scratch or at the beginning, each starting point is a milestone where you revisit to reflect; a hindsight checkpoint.

I thought I lost all of my 2017 final drafts but I rediscovered a lot of unpublished trains of thought stretching as far back as this picture.

I vow to never take my crafts for granted, to stay hungry, and maintain an innocence of eye and mind through continuous mental, spiritual, and sensory stimulation.

AW17 has been a weird one but maybe it’s the universe’s way of saying;

Lo Yung Khalid, observe the trees in autumn and how their leaves fall to the ground and decay into soil. These same decaying leaves then become the nutrients for the roots.

A reset is required from time to time so you can realign with yourself. It’s a great way to stop and think, clear your head and adjust the course of action.

Fair enough there was a lot of weird behaviour towards you during the first few weeks of AW17, however if you are to go into the great phase of your life, you need to shake off and sever ties with those who never had your best interests at heart in the first place.

Be productive, be creative, collaborate and exchange energy with new people, disregard the fuccbois and keep it moving.

Remember the guy in the picture, the guy who really didn’t give a fuck about things that really weren’t that deep, the guy who shrugged all that petty shit off whilst saying ‘Whatever Innit’, be that guy again but remix him for AW17 and beyond.

Write, Record, Create and Share like they’ve put a timer on your life, don’t hold back for no one, be you UNAPOLOGETICALLY.

Friday 10th November 2017, 0220-0240am

count khally

Time x Energy = Reward

30 seconds is all it takes to fall in love.

In fact it takes less than a second to detach yourself from your inhibitions and slip into a vacuum where space and time doesn’t exist.

It’s a parallel reality of possibility where you can live out your passing fantasies to escape from the mundane 37.5hr obligation, the daily commute, and the stage of existence between how you envision your life being, what you’re currently doing to get there and where you are right now.

It takes a split second to decide whether you’re going to do something radical to what you’d usually do on a day to day, less than that for your body to complete the command and a lifetime of success once a habits been formed.

Nothing is ever long, it’s people that make it longer, better yet it’s the perception of time which makes it so.

I look at things in terms of energy, how much are you willing to give for the reward, is the reward worth the task, does it reflect how you value yourself?

Is the reward on an upward trajectory of what you forecast for yourself?

25th September 2017

Adidas Originals x Alexander Wang

Spotted this collection in an END. newsletter and thought ‘Rah! these look kinda sick!‘. The Wang BBall Low are a saucy statement in both colourways and probably my fave from the entire collection but with a price tage of £225, which pair should I buy?

The BBall Lows have some really great and distinct features but let’s not sleep on the Hike Lows. The black pair are sleek and unlike the black colourway in the BBall Low, they actually stand out due to the white and cream accents, the perforations, and the text on the tongue beneath the laces.

If you weren’t a fan of the Iniki Runner as I, you’ll be glad to see Wang pay homage to a variety of siloettes to finesse your appetite into buying at least one pair from the collection.

The detail on both styles are INSANE and you can tell that this collaboration focused not only on the style but the substance. Even with a performance payrise at work, I’d probably settle for a pair of UltraBoosts and stay admiring these kicks hence why I opted to publish on the blog.

To join the draw to cop em from END. click here.

What do you think, yay or nay?

Originally published on Up In The Ear.

Cardi B – Bodak Yellow (Ashton McCreight Remix)

Hip Hop hot property and self-made woman who epitomises the ultimate come up story has been remixed by producer Ashton McCreight, who has sprinkled a dash of Future Beat around Cardi’s vocal to create a trip-trap-tastic remix.

Some will recognise the sample in the background as Kendrick’s Bitch Don’t Kill My Vibe but to Quadron/Boomclap Bachelors superfan like myself, I recognise the guitar licks of Robin Hannibal and the filtered Liv Lykke & Coco. O vocals from Tiden Flyver.

Ashton I need this remix for my DJ sets man, bless up my inbox nuh!

Originally published on Up In The Ear.

Desta French – Shame

Oh my gaaaaaard!

No other way to start this post because thats how I felt when I was scrolling through my Facebook timeline and spotted a new Colors performance shared by Desta. I took note because I’d been following her for quite a while and was in constant anticipation to hear something, and when I finally did I was not disappointed.

Was it the chords and the stab on every half a bar, the tight snare going back and forth with the bass drum, the heavy baseline that plays the back to perfection, or the way how Desta French glides over the waves like a windsurfer riding crystal clear waters off the coast of a remote Tahitian beach in French Polenesia.

This is an amazing track and one to easily pick your mood up, I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve restarted it to be honest and it got the coveted instant add to my ‘Ultra Zone‘ playlist on Tidal -also it would of been added to my Melly Mood playlist on Apple Music but I’m waiting for Shame’s arrival to iTunes.

Originally published on Up In The Ear.

Acne Studios Rugby 🏉 Shirt

Acne Studios red/yellow regular fit rugby shirt with a variegated wide stripe print with a vintage effect bleached wash. This style is unisex and is based on mens sizing. [source]

They had me all up in my feelings ready to cop until I ran up on the price tag and re-evaluated my wants and needs. I’ll definitely keep an eye on this to see whether it’s available in a sale at the end of the season.

Fingers crossed 🤞

TC4 – Play Samba

When I get the FATdrop email notifying me of a new Heka Trax release, I know my ears will be enriched. I’ve been listening to a lot of retro Brazilian music lately and wondered why no one had created something for the summer. I put my earphones in, pressed play, and to my delight I was transported to a grime rave at a carnival, that was on a seafront where people wore straw hats and danced around a fire.

For sure that sounds like the most dramatic opener I’ve ever written for a feature, but Tom Calder & Kate Turley, aka TC4, delivered a track with so many different elements that it contains something for everyone. Production wise it’s a cross between Spooky’s unapologetic, dancehall inspired drums, and that TQD type of bounce where all you want to do is scrunch up your face, bob your head, jerk your torso back and forth aggressively, with your hands raised pointed outwards either side of your head, whilst getting absolutely shitfaced in some random nightclub in a remote crevice of the British Isles -who serve cheap renditions of your favourite spirits at Poundland prices.

It’s an unpredictable journey of delight, I really didn’t know what to make of it because I didn’t expect the drop to be that different from the intro or the gunfingers in the air whilst shouting ‘jheeze’ part. What’s even more amazing is that the guitar you think is a sample from some random track, is actually Kate Turley. From what I gathered on the Insta-clip, there might be a lot more of this flavour in store as there was a vague hint at a samba infused ep… #rumourmill [#wishitweretruemourmill]

This track will go down a treat in a DJ set whether that be at a nightclub or a friends bank holiday barbecue, in the car on a long drive or a pass the aux cord soundclash as there’s something for everyone; the crew who like to dance but don’t like to step to tortoise tempos, the people who probably like pineapple with their pizza and collect obscure samba cuts on vinyl, the gunfinger crew who lay in wait for the drop to say their ‘merk up a rave‘ one liner bars, and let’s not forget the squad who don’t really listen or know too much about anything remotely uptempo, bassy or Grimey but like to indulge in edgy, forward thinking, dance music to cater to their eclectic taste from time to time.

I’m not even gassing, nor am I biased because I love Brazilian music and sounds influenced by it, I really like the track. It comes with perfect timing as the suns out and has all the right elements to go down a treat at the next Pull Up Dat Fam club night on 21st July! [Details to be announced]

Listen, comment, share…

PurchaseTwitter / Facebook / Soundcloud / Heka Trax

Originally published on Up In The Ear.

HighRise Theatre – MERRYVILLE

Growing up theatre weren’t the go to destination for anything. My only experience with the stage was the Festive nativity where I may have played a shepherd and a production I starred in at Goldsmith’s University in Year 4 of elementary school where I somehow ended up laying down on the stage playing dead. My point is that the theatre was pretty redundant for me growing up and even the present day. I had not gone to or had no desire to ever go so when Conrad hit me on the Friday eve with an invite to a Grime themed theatre production I couldn’t refuse.

The rendez-vous was Warren Street, a bit of a neverland for me because the only time I had been this far into the purgatory regions of central London was that time when I drove too far up Tottenham Court Road and missed the turning up past Holborn for VQ. After stopping by LEON for a bite to eat, steer clear of the one on TCR because it is maaad grubby, we found Camden People’s Theatre.

I had no idea what to expect. Conrad introduced me to his colleague Emma at Cardboard Citizens, the organisation who funded the production, who began to gauge my thoughts prior to the show. I explained that I was excited due to the inclusion of Grime but more intrigued as theatre didn’t really interest me as some of the other arts -well I wouldn’t necessarily say it didn’t interest me but the stories on stage never really told my story.
MERRYVILLE

#MERRYVILLE!

From a post apocalyptic intro, Merryville begins in the year 2020 after Brexit and at the tail end of a 2nd Conservative term in parliament. It’s a pretty grim view of our future, when the plague of gentrification has wiped out London’s diverse cultural melting pot, creating an environment of soulless concrete, off shore investment new builds, derelict tower blocks and housing estates. Only Dustin Roads and Dr. Greenfingers survive to lead the revolution of 1000 words. Their lives of being multiplatinum selling artists overshadowed by their desire to bring about change by politicising their fans to come together for the revolution.

This production made me think, I left feeling inspired, I hopped on that train and began crafting new material and finishing off projects I had started in the past but didn’t realise their potential until that Friday night a few weeks ago watching Merryville. I couldn’t help but share my delight with Emma and Conrad because for me it was great seeing the story of people who have been through the same struggles as you being told onstage. I really hope Merryville continues to be shown because so many people from the innercity areas need to see it due to it not just being entertaining but educating too. It will school you on your frustrations and in some way raise awareness to a generation of youngsters to open their eyes and pay attention to the rug being pulled right from under their feet.

If you haven’t got a chance to see the production contact HighRise Theatre, and ask them when they’ll be doing another run.

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Originally published on Up In The Ear.

Dips & Gee – Let’s Get Busy (prod. by Rkay)

Rhyme and Reason have got the juice on this track. Takes me back to a time when I was riding the 53 bus to Shooters Hill listening to A Tribe Called Quest’s mid ’90’s classic Beats Rhymes and Life.

Rkay blesses the two Emcees with a backing track that more resembles the fluidity of an esoteric slalom course on white water rapids in the farther unchartered dimensions of outer space than any beat I’ve heard ever.

Dips and Gee tag in and out with smooth flows, as if navigating their way through the markers of an Olympic slalom event, maintaining precise rhythm each time the paddle hits the water as they get busy. Both MCs take a backseat to allow the music to shine, flexing their lyrical prowess ever so subtly; Dips ever so calm, introspective and composed whilst Gee hits you with that Pfife Dawg type abruptness switching ‘Yo!’ for a localised ‘Oi!’, with references to Biker Mice and Pokemon’s Charizard.

This track reminds me of summer ’98 where I cruised through Southern France and the riviera on a kayaking trip. It arrives at the perfect point where summer’s on the cusp of an end to transition to autumn.

I wrote and published this on the bus trip home from dropping my car off for its first MOT annual service. [Irrelevant but relevant that I’m a fucking don when it comes to blogging because I just flow; any time, any place, any where.]