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The gear change that happens when an artist shifts to the next level of their craft is cause for a celebration. When it arrives in conjunction with a spotlight on their genre, it’s one of fascination. After 13 years, the North London MC Skepta has hit his stride and is bringing a focus and an… Read more »

Posted on May 20th, 2016

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I love Steel band covers. Esso Trinidad Steel Band covering MJ’s ‘I Want You Back’? Check. Trinidad Steel Band covering The Meters’ ‘Cissy Strut’? Check Steel Harmony covering Joy Division’s ‘Transmission’? FUCK YEAH. We have Germany’s Bacao Rhythm & Steel Band to thank for this excellent Calypso steel drum version of 50 Cent’s ‘P.I.M.P’, a… Read more »

Posted on May 11th, 2016

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Simi Crowns is a part of the new breed of Irish/African musicians that includes much of the Word Up Collective and Rusangano Family, the cross polination of Irish experiences and African roots. Simi Crowns, a Lagos-born rapper featured here for his pop-centred rap track ‘Pressure’ in 2014 and ever since he’s been pushing his craft… Read more »

Posted on April 28th, 2016

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letthe dead

MynameisjOhn, MuRli and God Knows first appeared in 2014 with an album called Rusangano / Family , an LP title that laid out where the collective exist and where they’ve come from: Ireland, Zimbabwe and Togo; Clare and Limerick. The title is the same word in two languages. It suggests two heritages, different cultures united… Read more »

Posted on April 8th, 2016

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This Friday, Rusangano Family, who are God Knows, MuRli and MynameisjOhn, the Limerick-based rap trio will cement their status as Ireland’s finest rap group with the release of their second album Let The Dead Bury The Dead, the follow-up to their blistering debut. Here we have the band’s new video for the track ‘Lights On’… Read more »

Posted on April 6th, 2016

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MC Bradshaw and producer Taaffeman make up the Dublin hip-hop duo Dusty Residents. The duo  released a debut album Seabury Heights in 2012 and this year they’ll release a new album entitled Orbits in April. The album’s first single ‘Wanted’ is a low-slung slice of trip-hop-style pristine rap about a girl’s desire for validation and acceptance. It comes… Read more »

Posted on March 22nd, 2016

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As a measure of how next level Kendrick Lamar has become in the last two years, last week’s surprise collection of demos unfinished or displaced is better than most artists’ regular albums. While To Pimp A Butterfly‘s sprawling dense ambition invited much listening and interpretation, untitled unmastered. is unburdened by any grand narrative. Its pleasure… Read more »

Posted on March 11th, 2016

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Cork’s Chris Power and Gunkel are making some “forward thinking experimental hip-hop”

Cork producer of hip-hop beats Chris Power recently teamed up with Cleveland rapper Atari Jones on ‘Tales Of The Terrace’. What’s on offer here via Manmaid, the collaboration with fellow Cork producer Gunkel is decidely more laid-back, a style Power calls “forward thinking experimental hip-hop.” ‘Gum’ is eerie and blunted and drifting out on its… Read more »

Posted on March 9th, 2016

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Reykjavikurdaetur

One of the best things I saw at Iceland Airwaves, and last year in general, was the 15-20 strong female rap group Reykjavíkurdætur (Daughters of Reykjavik) from Iceland. ‘Fanbois’ is rapped by a duo of the group in Icelandic ( there are a few English words) as are their other songs, but even through the… Read more »

Posted on March 9th, 2016

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