Mike White – XTASY EP

After creating a buzz on the underground with a string of free releases and RED, released on Fracture Recordings, the artist formally known as Realness Mix drops his much anticipated EP, XTASY.

XTASY has a retrofuturistic feel to it. It reminds you of the stuff you wanted to rave to but wasn’t old enough as a kid, contains the drum licks and grooves that inspired your favourite producers, DJs and idols but the icing on the cake is the piercing ecstasy vocal. I’m not into drugs, prescribed or recreational, but this type of XTASY is purely musical. Not only can you step to it on the dance floor, but you can cut the faders to the sharp high hats and snares. I’ve been waiting for this release since Sam Supplier dropped it at Back To 95 earlier in the year.

I’ve witnessed the transformation from Realness Mix to Mike White, from something raw, rugged and untamed, into a sound much more distinguished and refined. The XTASY EP features a new production style which is a shadow of its former alias, in the form of RED which was released on Fracture last year. Rather than have a staggered, laid back, hard hitting, body the rave kinda riddim, XTASY is more get up and go. The basslines are a relentless onslaught of full steam ahead, the high hats keep rolling, the kicks and snares as flawless as Ali or Tyson with the speed bag, and the addition of the British dance vocal -a salute to classic British Dance Music iconography cement this one as a certified banger!

Catch Mike White at the DVR showcase in Bristol, Saturday 23rd July @ Blue Mountain alongside Sam Supplier, Archie B and X5 Dubs.

Mike White XTASY EP out now on DVR, buy here.

Originally published on Up In The Ear.

Ghostface Killah – Nutmeg ft. RZA

I wrote and published this on my short-lived soon to be revived Up In The Ear tumblr in March 2012 and figured I’d repost because I haven’t ever had a chance to put this unsolved mystery to bed. I’ve always loved the flow and this album but I couldn’t help but think…

Is this where Cam/Dipset got the flow from?

I base the question on the fact that the first verse was written in late ’97 and recorded throughout ’98-’99 with the album dropping in 2000 before the whole Dipset situation and waaay before Cam’s flow had changed.

Did ‘Pretty Tony’ provide the blueprint for Dipset or was the Dipset flow a mixture of Jay-Z and the Philly State Prop style on the ROC or has the pages of Wikipedia had me all twisted with my informations?

When I was doing “Nutmeg” I was rhyming with words that people probably never even… said, “It don’t even make no sense.” I wanted to do what I wanted to do. No once could stop me cause I did it how I wanted. Cause yo, if I wanted to write something down that you wouldn’t understand, yo, I’ma do it. I’m the first one that did it and made songs that made no sense to nobody. That’s me. I made history for that one, nahmean? So you know, rap is anything you want to rap about. You can rhyme about your elbow. You rhyme about picking boogers like Biz Mark did, you can rhyme about taking a shit, taking a piss. There ain’t no limits to this shit. -Ghostface (s:Genius)

If you know any rap lyrical wizards please refer them to this because I can’t go to the grave not knowing. Maybe it isn’t exactly where the flow came from but I remember going back to this album in 2012 and thinking rah, this sounds like the Harlem train before digging deeper and wondering who had the flow first. There’s no right and wrong, I’d just like another point of view so if you’ve got some vital leads or evidence hit me up in the comment box below or pass the knowledge on when you see me.

YouTube are taking down all uploaded links so you may have to google the full verse

Originally published on Up In The Ear.

Chiedu Oraka – One Take (Freestyle)

At this point you may have had enough of the One Take freestyle but if you haven’t heard a version where you weren’t saying to yourself “rah… they went in one that one still” [translate as you see fit], I’m pretty sure Chiedu will give you something to think about.

Chiedu_Oraka_One_Take_Audacity_Freestyle

So what’s my favourite line out of the song? Well I’m a sucker for the introspective insight so it has to be

Only black kid in assembly, had a thick skin from when I was young so nothing you say can offend me.

There’s a lot of rage in the track and it makes me wonder what’s happening in Hull and whether there are other artists vying for Chiedu’s throne. Also who has jacked the hook, whoo is Chiedu talking to or firing darts at? So many questions to be answered by without further adieu…

Originally published on Up In The Ear.

Spice Girls vinyl album for $300?!

When I was growing up I was heavily into rap music. I weren’t so much of a lyrical fan, I didn’t to the lyrics of my favourite records until ten years afterwards, but the beats were what I’d ride the bus to on the way to school. Pop music for me was nothing but blasphemy. It was uncool to admit openly that you were a fan of Haddaway’s What Is Love or Wigfield’s Saturday Night for others, but for me they were kinda cool as they had something in them that would catch my ear.

Fast forward to the present day and these tracks remind me of school disco’s and kid’s parties where you’d be obliged dress up in clothes you didn’t normally wear and play musical statues. There’s a particular nostalgia sentiment attached to them because i remember what it was like in the era that these songs were released, it was such a different time growing up; there was no internet, no iPad or mobile phone, just a games console playing the weird ditty sounding music that would go on to become the building blocks of my music creation DNA.

SG LOLLY

The Spice Girls were a different breed of pop music, they came in like a tsunami to wash away everything in their wake as they sailed through with not only catchy songs, which were slightly tongue in cheek but they came with charisma, a culture, and a message that resonated with everyone. Girls loved them, boys fancied them. I didn’t like them at first, musically that is but they weren’t bad to look at. I became accustomed to them as they were everywhere; magazines, postcards, tv, radio, they had the branding and endorsements on everything imaginable but then again ’96/’97 would probably be the last time that could happen before the internet ensured that no one brand could monopolise popular culture ever again. They have to be by far the most iconic and greatest testament of any popular culture case study, as they rose to become Godlike to girls, young women, and parents everywhere as all characters in the group represented a different type of girl in any group of friends group. it’s pretty much why Friends is such a successful show.

So why am I saying FML (Fuck My Life) at the prospect of Spice and Spiceworld going for $300 a pop? Well I tend to collect particular singles or albums on vinyl that have a great cultural significance from a personal observational standpoint. This has also presented an opportunity for me to go on a treasure hunt to acquire these albums, and I will not stop until I have them.

Originally published on Up in The Ear.

Henry Wu – Croydon Depot

This is a certified zoners and pretty much the reason why KG013 went the way it did as there were so many of my favourite elements and iconography across genres that a love which made the collective while. This guy is a talented musician, producer and band leader. I heard him rehearse at work one day last week and figured I’d find out what he’s been up to, as I had heard his name but couldn’t put a track to it until I heard this track, which I must of listened to at least 10 times whilst cruising from East London to Kent and back again.

Purchase the EP on iTunes

Originally published on Up In The Ear.

An Open Letter To My Facebook Feed

There is no gospel more pure than “You are what you eat“, why? Because whatever you eat becomes a part of you so if you’ve been eating and drinking a bunch of fuckry, thou shalt become fuckry. It’s the same with “You are what you speak“, all that self depreciation and holding other people in higher esteems will make you a subordinate loser, so when you wake up and look in the mirror tell yourself how beautiful and strong you are, ensuring you dispel any negative thoughts or words associated with yourself and your life as these negative fuckries have a knack for manifesting. Non directly related introductions aside…

You are what you share

I’ve been spending far too much of my time unfollowing people on the book of face. Why? Because I either have no idea how or why we became ‘friends’, well actually I do (I kinda lowered the threshold from people I actually know and had hung out with, to people I was networking with or those that I had met on occasion and happened to accept their request), or you just post and share some fuckry; bigoted and ignorant stuff from pages with a blame agenda and not so covert supremacist agenda under the guise of patriotism.

It doesn’t offend me, it just makes me think “Oh so that’s what you’re about…”

smh-oprah_zps89b5149b

I feel like these persons obviously don’t read or research the shit they’re sharing, lets be honest here. Just because you work, have a conversation, or have done business with someone it doesn’t mean that you’re best of friends and have the same views. I overstated this but I still can’t help feel disappointed that people think this way. I think it may be post colonial disorder, where their minds have been trained to feel as though a culture that appropriates and takes from others deemed to be subordinate is far more superior, and that goes for people too. We can’t forget that it’s nearly 200 years since the abolition of slavery, sixty years since blacks gained ‘civil rights’ and fifty years since indigenous Australians were classified as ‘flora and fauna’ [plants and animals]…

Dear Facebook Feed

People can do and say whatever they want because it’s their choice, everything else is a matter of opinion… For instance killing folks because of the shade of their skin, their beliefs and where they come from is wrong but at some point in time, place in history or the present day these things are justified and/or lawful by some minds or regimes.

Point is, there’s much mightier and treacherous things to worry about than someone saying they are the living embodiment of Bob Marley or Steve Jobs. What about the people who aren’t being compared to people or what isn’t being mentioned at the moment such as the Dominican Republic’s mistreatment of Haitians, American police and media’s war on black people, the feminisation of the black man, the fact that European nations have invaded, colonialised, looted and enslaved every part of the African continent and beyond, the current state of Palestine and it’s people who face degradation on a daily basis at the hands of a corrupt and immoral regime, or that we currently live under America’s neocon global empire, and when they say a ‘threat to national security’ they really mean that someone someplace is thinking critically is finally aware of their effed up foreign policy. It’s peak, they’re creating a common enemy that mirrors the whole crusade of the medieval era. To the untrained eye, it must all seem terrifying but to a lot of us, it’s seems like a badly executed b-movie. This ‘Islamaphobia’ is nothing new, they’ve been after the region for centuries, besides Islam’s sense of community is the greatest threat to capitalism as we know it, also it plays out like the communist/capitalist/socialist/whateverist cold covert wars of the 21st century. Peep how religion, community and enlightenment have been obliterated in favour of individualism, selfishness and consumerism. Knowledge of self is a great thing because it allows you to find your purpose to serve your environment and seek no material happiness.

Amen Brother

Don’t even get me started on these warped perceptions on immigration, the only reason why we’re here is because we were disturbed whilst at home, had our culture and way of life erased, taught to hate ourselves, force-fed religions that regurgitated, warped and bleached many of our ancient spiritual systems and folk stories, robbed of our history and had many truth buried away from us in an attempt to disempower and keep us subordinate, traumatised us through the transatlantic trade and acts of terroristic barbarism whilst living in lands occupied by invaders and enslavers, forced to work for free and didn’t even receive a passage home nor reparations, but still faced prejudice and discrimination when the overt atrocities ended and continue to operate in a structure that was not built for all but continues to work against and exclude many of us at the point of creating our straw man..

Since you paid the slave owners compensation and left our countries with hefty ‘benefits of colonialisation’ type taxes we find ourselves here, somehow trying to benefit from what was taken away from us in the first place, feeling lost whilst trying to recover a hidden history to complete a jigsaw puzzle of our purpose here on this earth as we have no culture or sense of belonging through century’s of having our identity erased.

So how about discussing and sharing this rather than all that other trivial stuff you’re posting?

I’d love to hear your point of view, in some way I feel like I’ve hit the nail on the head and articulated the black struggle.

Hotep!

[Awaiting replies, preeing reader reactions]

Michael Jackson

Originally published on Up In The Ear.

The “So what do you actually do bro?” convo

An awkward see how far you can piss type of question.

I was doing some work at an event a few weekends ago and I ran into someone I hadn’t seen in quite some years. We got to updating each other about what we are currently doing and I remember being quite thrown when faced with…

So what do you actually do bro?

In my head I remember hearing the countdown clock music ticking away to the internal monologue of “what the actual fuck?”. I was confused because I didn’t know how to reply. Truthfully. I’ve got a lot of skills, I know how to do a lot of things but I have no title. I had no pigeon hole, no box, no category and I was stuck, back to a closed door facing a Terracotta Army of panic. What was I going to do to break the few milliseconds of silence before my reply time had expired…

 

“I do a lot of different things to be honest…”

Take that muthafucker! Yes! A vague but heavily annoying reply, before slipping him a business card which read…

K O., Creative Consultant

At that point I was saved by another one of his distant associates he hadn’t seen in quite some time and made my exit. I remember coming away from the interaction quite thrown, it reminded of the time at uni when I had a tutorial with Mykaell Riley who had asked me the same question. I knew at that point that I had definitely needed to define exactly what I did.

I’ll be real honest, at the time of making the business cards, the title Creative Consultant was something I flirted with because I had always done a bit of that through Up In The Ear and the people around me who asked me for advice and creative guidance. It was also easier than being a ‘slasher‘. You know someone who is a…

DJ, Producer, Designer, Actor, Model, Cook, Reader, Eater, Follower, Brother, Sister, Father, Ancestor…

I had despised ever being in a predicament where I’d list all the things I did, some of those being creative endeavours more than professional pursuits, however within all of that there was always a desire to do the things I was interested in and nothing else. Hence why they are two separate words that describe me independently and in unison. I was even thinking about my salaried job, the best part of it is when I get to sit and have ‘spontaneous’ artist development and consultancy sessions with the artists that come through the building. That for me is the most rewarding.

This week especially, I realised that I had wrote the blueprint a very long time ago in the early days of my degree. I had a spontaneous consultancy session with Wayne Francis, United Vibrations, and I referenced my dissertation “The Deification of Popular Culture: The Cult of Personality“. The day before I had a spontaneous social media consultancy session with Angelina Luzi, and all day at the event in question I was consulting young creatives on what they can do to make the most of of their skill set and get their hustle on.

At this point in life, to pretend that I haven’t found the right path is stupid, the next step is to research avenues which allow me to do what I’m best at; communication, creation and consultation. That being said, if you require any of my creative consultancy services feel free to get in contact…

[Edit 28th March 2015: I actually refer to myself as Creative Etcetera as I got bored of consulting people. Creative Etcetera allows me to generalise all of my different endeavours in one title.]

[Edit 19th Jan 2019: I couldn’t give a fuck about categorising and defining myself tbh. I do what I want to do because I only do what I like. Being yourself is the easiest thing you could ever do.]

Originally published on Up In The Ear.

Deptford KFC Is A Joke!

C’mon Bruv.

I’m not really about the junk food life these days. Fair enough you might find me in the ratchet shop on a late night but since I’ve been banging out workouts in the gym and drinking 2L of water a day, I ain’t been getting jiggy with that nonsense, I’ve opted for the boosjier side of the spectrum instead i.e VQ, Diner, Red Dog, Five Guys, Kitchen 54 etc. Last night I did a wrongun, I left it too late to have anything sensible to eat so I took a trip to the KFC Drive Thru in Deptford. This place is notorious for getting your order wrong, often giving you less than what you actually paid for, with it being far too late to rectify the issue once you’re already at home.

Why would you do me like that?

I asked for a zinger tower fillet burger box. Simple. I got the box, checked the contents at the drive thru to see if my wings were straight and drove on. When I got home I opened my fillet burger and it was a zinger, but not a tower. I was livid because I hadn’t had that hash brown in the burger for years and these wankers didn’t give me the right bumbaclaart burger. This isn’t the first time they’ve fucked up, they fuck up all the time and I am not the only one, they fuck up peoples orders on a regular.

Taking A Stance

From now on I’m boycotting Deptford KFC because they’re a bunch of waste cadets. I also hate the way that people who aren’t driving line up at the window like crackheads outside the traphouse waiting for their fix. Fuck Deptford KFC, I’ll rather spend my money at Old Kent Rd or Deptford McDonalds. Further more fuck eating wasteman junk food because that shit is fucking us all up with their GMOs, e-digits and artificial f*ckries.

Fuck KFC.

(FYI this is a joke ting, I am not angry and I do not intend to cause a riot, it’s all fun and games but not fun and games because I got cheated by a bunch of waste cadets who smell of fried chicken and that ain’t funny but the story is [no] haha)

Originally published on Up In The Ear.

Off with their heads

I am not an election snob in the slightest, I’m just really fed up and tired of their bullsh*t. These politicians haven’t done enough to gain our respect, who are these characters on TV, in the newspapers and on radio spouting truck loads of toxic and confusing political rhetoric, accompanied by bogus, psuedo-factual statistics, and research studies interpreted in all manners, to make their claims seem much more substantial than they actually are.

I can’t take these people seriously, these aren’t guys I’d ever see strolling through Deptford high Street, let alone a Westfield shopping centre, how have they become so important all of a sudden?

Who is this local politician who sends me all these letters bad mouthing the other parties, what do these politicians actually do for a living?

Where have they come from, did they all go to the same school, did you see them working in the local shop or factory, did you ever encounter one on the daily commute?

All I hear on a day to day leading up to this general election is what the party in power or a rival party did or didn’t do, what they will or won’t do, who backstabbed who, but there wasn’t much of what they will do once they get into power. Seriously, what are you going to do to warrant my vote, my respect, my trust?

These characters are not certified nor operate on a level that they can comprehend what you have been though or understand you, nor intend to represent you. They all play their part in trying to correct a system that has been broken since the very beginning and rather than willingly play along, I see this general election for what it really is; a bunch of charismatic clowns taking part in what seems to be a comedic popularity contest but it isn’t a parody, these idiots and their policies created by their policy advisors, which seem to be far removed and detached from us ‘common’ folk in society, actually affect us.

My dilemma is this, why should I vote strategically if my vote warrants my say in this society, why is there no one to represent me and the interests of my community and folks like me, in my predicament?

Sometime soon these politicians will be held accountable for all their actions; the decisions they did or didn’t make on our behalf, the promises they swept under the carpet, the issues they curved and swerved. One day they will face a people united in their frustrations and angst, head secured on the frame of the guillotine, beneath the angled blade, looking into a crowded Parliament Square to chants of…

Off-with-their-heads, off-with-their-heads…

Guillotine_e3367b_4935298

Originally published on Up In The Ear.

Face-Flu (The Curse of Facebook)

What happened to good old-fashioned social interaction?

Do you remember when the only medium for social interaction was the spoken word?

Nowadays it seems all this new technology has made it possible for everyone and their Nan to forge identities in cyberspace in order to escape their arid social life. There are MySpace superstars who have more MySpace plays, friends and views than Tinchy Stryder but somehow no one has heard of them and if they released a single tomorrow, it wouldn’t sell more than three copies (mum+dad+nan=3 copies). Why? Because these punks forge all their plays and views by joining like minded cyber addicts doing exactly the same thing, searching for acceptance in the world of user generated content by joining trains and play generators which ultimately result in them lying to themselves, narcissistic indeed. Ridiculous to say the least I don’t know how some have the time or patience to partake in such mundane activity, I personally don’t think spending in excess of twenty-four hours on MySpace just to get views and add random people healthy nor constructive. How’d you expect to catch a meal when you cast your net into a sea of like-minded fishermen casting their net in the same area of sea? You’ll just end up catching nets of people selling to you rather than consumers. Why not venture into unchartered waters in order to find rare and undiscovered species which require you to employ new methods to catch a meal?

There are so many ways to become noticed and almost all involve getting the fuck outta your dark dungeon.

It seems like since the advent of telephones, which eventually gave birth to the mobile telephones, and sms text messages, which lead to smartphone’s such as Blackberry Curves, BBM, mobile internet and email, which lead to social networking apps on mobile phones and so forth, everyone has become much more accessible. It’s a scary thought to know that if she can’t get me on the phone, she’ll text, if she can’t get me on the text, there’s BBM, if there’s no reply on BBM, there’s MSN (who in their right mind over the age of 16 uses MSN anyway?), no MSN, she’ll email, no email, she’ll poke me on facebook (the intrusive travesty that is the online home of everyone and their Nan. Even the rudebwoys from ‘the ends’ are on there doing the ‘gangsta’ pose in their profile pics), she tweets and finally… If all else fails she may call the Skype. I mean with all this newfound accessibility it’s hard to keep a low profile and stay out of the loop. There’s always someone who knows someone who knows you and if you happen to be on a site like facebook, especially if you get tagged in a picture with someone who everyone knows, you’ll have ten million friend requests within the hour from friends of friends of associates to the people who nod to you and you wonder where you know them from. It all gets a bit much to accept these people you hardly know, let alone add them out of obligation for being audacious enough to request you.

When does it all end?

It doesn’t! You either ignore these people and let them linger in the pending requests inbox, decline their request and continue to do so for eternity in the hope that they get the message or you can just accept these random requests and have millions of people snooping through your information, pictures and friends list adding all the people with nice profile pictures with total disregard for the consequences when the next friends list request victim questions you as to why the ex con whose only claim to fame is having his face on the front page of the Metro a few years ago is adding them. How are you going to explain to them that you added a bunch of random goons that you avoid in every social situation due to their volatile and alcohol induced behavior who all have no courtesy for the unwritten rules of social networking, which clearly state:

Don’t add me if you don’t know me.

I like a lot of others find sites like facebook intrusive. Yes I do post the odd comment and status here and there but some of ya’ll muthafkrs piss me off to the point I feel like deleting you.

Ok so cyberspace is parallel to the world outside xt/html as people take everything personal as everything is based and drawn up using emotive and connective language such as friend, like, love, connect, share, post, join.

People seem to trip over the slightest bullshit i.e. it’s a crime to tell someone not to spam your page. These punks don’t understand that I don’t want to go to that shit rave where everyone acts as if they’re rich but in reality their student loan just got paid into their account. Tell me how she’s going to survive when she spent her rent and food money on a new designer weave which is so technologically advanced that it can even mop your floor and be put in the washing machine or dry cleaned, an over expensive nail job with nails so long that she struggles to use the tiny keys on her blackberry let alone scratch her weave when it’s itching because she’ll either scratch that foreign object off of her head or scratch it out of place, a designer handbag and an outfit that she got on her weekly, I really don’t need no clothes but I think I’m rich, Primark binge that have seen her amass a collection which includes every Atmosphere top in every color way since early 2005.

If it isn’t raves or the spamming shitters promoting some sort of fuckry, it’s people inviting you to play some stupid game. Why the fuck would I want to play a game on facebook? WTF! This site isn’t my fucking life for me to spend all day playing some stupid game or doing fucked up quizzes. I mean WTH! I wonder if you muthafuckers sit on your pc I’m Mac btw glued to facebook. Are you lot fucking junkies!? Loooool

The other annoying thing is group and fan pages. I get so many of the dry requests on a daily and since I get these straight to my berry inbox it fuckin annoys the fuck outta me. The amount I decline on a daily to end up with 50 more re requests. Sometimes I wonder whether ya’ll be so ignorant as to not get the fucking message, my phone pops off and I be thinking it’s a girl and it’s one of your dumb requests. Oh and for the record don’t send me anything in the name of a cause, I don’t want to be depressed reading about starving lil shits in a third world sweatshop, an outbreak of mad cow disease in some third world slum and certainly not anything to do with this:

Let’s sack these social workers because they failed to spot the key signs as the offenders done a bloody good job of covering their tracks.

It’s a waste of my time and yours. I’m sure four people in a group is likely to raise enough awareness for more to be done so keep your lil depressing causes to yourself. Just because the news sucked you in, it doesn’t mean I need to be manipulated in a passive form so fuck off.

Aside from all the bullshit, facebook is quite all right. There’s always the odd encounter with people from your friends list you haven’t seen in years who you happen to bump into in the most random of circumstances. When this happens I always wonder what I’ve done for god to punish me like this. It’s not that I don’t like some of these people but the five minutes of loose, gap-ridden small talk feels like a gruesome five-hour encounter with an estranged aunt I haven’t seen in years. I’m not one to front and act interested but I do engage in pleasantries now and again but as for exchanging contact details, it’s a no no. I hardly answer my phone or reply to telephone messages, why am I going to allow another person to bug me when they already could be lurking on facebook. Weird. Let’s face it, out of two hundred friends, I only speak to ten, not including family (I hardly have any family on there. What’s the point of having them in my list? I don’t want my estranged siblings, aunts and whoever else facebook has spread to see pics of me on the razz with my mates getting up to all sorts. Imagine a family reunion with my aunt saying something like “I see you with all the alcohol and the semi naked girls, I hope you wore protection.” How embarrassing).

If truth be told, I don’t like nor dislike facebook, I simply use it to connect with my friends and share stories. I don’t post ridiculous amounts of pics because I never carry a camera or having anything to show one hundred and ninety people I hardly say a word to. The funniest part of the whole experience is being surprised in a tagged photo that you approved whilst you were out on a tequila fuelled night on the tiles, that’s what I call a stitch up and something to laugh, share and post comments about.

(I think this was written in 2009/10 and I guess I’ll read it back and cringe at how much my outlook has changed in a few hours)