SAMPHA - LIKE THE PIANO

I can't watch this video because the song is so moving and seeing Sampha singing is it is just all too much. Especially because I'm feeling pretty overwhelmed at the moment. But you should definitely watch it. 

Congratulations on your Mercury Music Prize, Sampha. I'm still not over your set at Lovebox and then seeing you come out with Solange. There is no one more deserving <3

QUICKSAND

So hyped for the new Quicksand record! If you've not heard them before, they're a dope band from NYC featuring Walter Schreifels of Youth of Today, Warzone, Gorilla Biscuits, CIV...pretty much every important Youth Crew, Straight Edge band that was integral to the iconic New York sound. 

After these iconic hardcore bands came the post-hardcore wave. Fugazi (one of the earliest), Into Another, Quicksand, so many others. If you listen closely, you'll find exactly where the Deftones drew inspiration from for their sound. In fact, Sergio from Quicksand now plays bass for Deftones (RIP Chi) and his addition has been incredible. Oh, and remember Rival Schools? That was Walt's band too. 

I can't believe I hadn't met Walter until recently. It was for sure awesome to see him play in Youth of Today and his new band, Dead Heavens on the same bill. You know when they say "Never meet your idols" because they'll most likely disappoint you? Well that certainly wasn't the case for Walter. My inner hardcore moshpig was stanning so hard. He was sweet and engaging and seemed sincerely interested in meeting lil ol' me.

I'm aware that these music posts might be sounding mad name-droppy but I can assure you that they're not. Just sharing moments of excitement. We often put music and popular-culture personalities on pedestals but that's not something that I've ever cared to engage in, particularly within the hardcore scene.

I just like meeting real ass people and if i dig your music? Well even better.

Follow the new Quicksand Insta and check out the video for their new song, "Illuminati"

NEXT STEP UP - FALL FROM GRACE

My taste in music is very eclectic. Here is one of my favourite hardcore records from one of my favourite hardcore bands of all time.

One of the coolest things about hardcore that I've found since being a part of the scene as a teenager is the friends and connections that I've made. That, topped with the fact that you're close to the people who make your favourite kind of music makes it that more meaningful.

I've know various members of this band since I was 18 years old but I first met the singer, JR, after my first, real heartbreak. I was at a hardcore festival in Germany, sleeping when I got a call saying that some friends would be coming to our hotel to use the shower. I was in such a state of emotional numbness, mostly drained but beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel, that I didn't even really hear what was being said on the other end of the phone and just muttered "ya sure, whatever. just let me know when they're close so i can put trousers on".

There was a knock at the door. I quickly jumped up, half put the leggings on and hopped to the door. I opened it without looking through the spy-hole and there was my crazy friend, Scotty P (who's band shirt I was wearing). He leapt through the door and hugged me so hard. He was playing drums for Next Step Up on this European tour and I was ecstatic to see him.

Other than Josh (who I knew from Stout), I didn't know any of the real members of NSU so it was nice to meet them, albeit in my dishevelled state. I invited them in, we hung out, caught up and talked about stuff. I remember Scotty and JR being very compassionate, concerned and extending that kind of "you'll be ok kid" reassurance that you get from uncles. 

Later that day, we went to the show together and I watched them play. I was so spaced that I didn't even hear JR dedicate a song to me but I remember feeling really overwhelmed at the sweet gesture from someone who I'd met only hours before.

These days, the shows I choose to go to are few and far between but I still enjoy seeing bands in the same way that I did when I was first getting into hardcore. They've been covered by many bands, my favourite being Dying Fetus' cover of "Bringing Back The Glory"

NISHINGGAAAAA!🤑

THE STORY OF OJ

If you're not familiar with the OJ Simpson story, check out The People vs OJ and then watch OJ: Made In America.

Then, when you've had your head spun, go and check out Jay-Z's new record, "4:44".

Hov's lyrics are always peppered with quips that keep me chuckling but the sombre picture he paints on this track is poignant to say the least & straight facts at the most. I've only just gotten around to watching the animated video for "The Story of OJ" which addresses the absurd spectacle that is the OJ Simpson story, the black experience & also touches on the racial muss that is Disney. i've shared the video on my blog. 

I find 4:44 to be particularly cathartic and an insight into the complex identity of the black male. It's also an example of a mature and creative approach to facing your demons AND a reminder that we're all human.

I'm not sure how anyone could cheat on Beyoncé and I haven't completely forgiven you Jigga Man......................yet but you came correct with this one. 

SKEPTA - I SPY

I just got back from a dolo trip to Wireless festival and Skepta completely blew me away. Here's one of my favourite grime songs ever.

 

Watch this space for some more Wireless orientated content and something else that I have up my sleeve in collaboration with Sab Grey from Iron Cross.

Yeah, das right. I said it.

THE INFAMOUS IN BLOOM

An accurate depiction of where I'm at in my life: Still not over florals. Still not over losing one of the greatest MC's of all time.

I keep randomly bursting into song, reciting a mash-up of Prodigy's verses from every Mobb Deep song that I can remember. My boyfriend looks up, sees me wildin', gives me a nod and a cool "mhm, yes dear".

He often comments on my ability to remember words and lyrics - a skill that I mastered as a blossoming teenager. I was never out super late, getting wasted. OK, maybe I tried it once or twice but, as an only child, I was happy in my own company for the most part. I entertained myself by reading about my favourite musicians, teaching myself to play bass guitar and creating random, inedible concoctions in the kitchen - the latter two giving my mother more of a headache than anything else.

I wasn't angsty. I'd plug my headphones into the stereo that my parents still have today and listen to cassettes and cd's. I'd pick up my bass and jam along to Hole's Celebrity Skin and Nirvana's Nevermind for hours until I got it right. When we eventually got cable tv, I immersed myself in MTV2 (Gonzo with Zane Lowe was my jam), MTV Base (who remembers Trevor Nelson's show, The Lick?) and The Box. When I would eventually go to bed at 1 or 2 am, I listened to XFM to help me fall asleep. 

I consumed music in every which way I possibly could, playing the same songs over and over again for days, weeks, months. By now, you can probably tell that I don't do anything by halves. The future is definitely floral.

This suit is now 50% off, go cop then watch one of my favourite music videos of all time below...

REST IN POWER PRODIGY

The news of Prodigy's passing hit me hard and the grief keeps coming in waves. There's no doubt that early 90's HipHop spurred my obsession with workwear and Mobb Deep c. The Infamous are absolutely are up there in my top 3 biggest influencers when it comes to my personal style.

I'm struggling to articulate exactly how I felt the first time I heard the haunting melodies of Shook Ones Pt IISurvival of The Fittest, Hell On Earth and Quiet Storm. Much like the lyrical content, Mobb Deep visuals and style were gritty, greasy and encapsulated the reality of their experiences growing up in the Queensbridge housing projects - Carhartt, North Face, Timberland, custom Starter jerseys with "HENNESSEY" emblazoned on the front and back. All workwear, all utilitarian, all suitable for life in an in the concrete jungle and, moreover, created a look that Mobb Deep made iconic ***Joanne The Scammer voice***.

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 Peep yung Nas in the cut...

Peep yung Nas in the cut...

My boyfriend has a theory that he shared with me after Prince died: Gifted people like Prince, Biggy & 2Pac, Kurt Cobain, give us so much of their magic in their lifetime. It's as though they're Superhuman and, therefore, we lose them sooner than we could ever imagine because they're supposed to be here, on earth, for shorter periods of time. The idea reminds me of the first time I saw the video for Crossroads by Bone Thugs N Harmony. The way that people suddenly leave earth when their number's up haunted me as a 9 year old, still grasping the concept of life and death. 

Prodigy lived with sickle cell anaemia, a chronic disease that causes people to live in constant pain due to sickle shaped red blood cells causing clots in the bloodstream. He shared his gift with us for over twenty years while living in constant discomfort. I'm honoured to have lived in his lifetime and so happy that I got to see The Mobb a few years back.

As an adult, you learn that death and loss is, in fact, a part of life. Listening to Win Or Lose had be sobbing at my desk. Heartbroken. Personally, for hiphop, for the people close to Prodigy my heart goes out to Havoc. 

RI.P to the HNIC, Bandana P, VI.P, Prodigy.