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Will Smith and DJ Jazzy Jeff Kick Off Their Comeback Tour

• May 23, 2017
Will Smith and DJ Jazzy Jeff

Will Smith and DJ Jazzy Jeff

90s Hip-hop royalty Will Smith and DJ Jazzy Jeff (formerly known to the world as DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince) will take to the stages of the world again, no less than 22 years after their last studio collaboration.

In the early hours of the 24th April 2017, Will Smith shook the world with a surprise Facebook announcement, reaching an audience of 2.1 million, with not just one, but two shows in the pipeline, locked and loaded by his booking agent for the upcoming festival season. MTV Summer Blast in Croatia and Livewire Festival in Blackpool, UK are just the first of many forthcoming gigs for the iconic due, who dropped unforgettable classics such as ‘Summertime’, ‘Boom Shake the Room’, ‘Girls Ain’t Nothing But Trouble’ and ‘Parents Just Don’t Understand’.

Alongside their string of studio successes, their infiltration into the pop-culture sphere began with TV show ‘The Fresh Prince of Bel Air’, which saw the pair star alongside each other in what went on to become a massive cultural cornerstone for American comedy, as well as the audience who grew up with it. By bringing hip-hop to into the mainstream with huge success, Will Smith and DJ Jazzy Jeff’s careers were launched into the stratosphere.

From small screen to big screen, Will Smith landed numerous starring roles in Hollywood blockbusters including ‘The Pursuit of Happyness’, ‘Independence Day’, ‘Men in Black’ and ‘I Am Legend’ to name just a few, juggling acting commitments with solo album productions up until 2005.

In the meantime, DJ Jazzy Jeff was becoming a serious force in the world of music with his production company ‘A Touch of Jazz’, working closely with the likes of Jill Scott, Eminem, Eric Roberson, The Roots, Mac Miller and more. Not to mention, Jeff has been a touring DJ since his career began, showcasing his phenomenal talent behind the decks all around the world.

Now, after many years apart and busy schedules that have seldom coincided, Will Smith and DJ Jazzy Jeff are finally reuniting to give the people what they want! Will Smith’s booking agency is now taking requests and offers for ‘Will Smith and DJ Jazzy Jeff’ appearances for 2017/2018.

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Eskar and Irn Mnky Silent Running Album Breakdown

• May 13, 2017
Eskar and Irn Mnky Silent Runnings Album Breakdown

Eskar and Irn Mnky Silent Running Album Breakdown

You’re in for a treat. In our popular 25 facts series we get some unique and exclusive facts on the rappers themselves. Both Eskar and Irn Mnky have agreed to give us a track-by-track breakdown on the recent album Silent Running. Here is the Eskar and Irn Mnky Silent Running album breakdown.

DOWNLOAD | Eskar and Irn Mnky – Silent Running

Track 01 Remember

Irn Mnky : Built around a section from “Easy as Pie” by the Purify Brothers and Ben Moore. Han’s secret island welcoming from Enter The Dragon opens the album.

Eskar : Remember when Hip Hop was fun and all about the love? When you could say whatever you wanted, without being judged or ridiculed? When cats didn’t have to front like the biggest baddest gangster with a truck load of weaponry to make something of themselves? Me too, they were the day’s. For me, this track embodies Hip Hop’s feeling of youth.

Track 02 Privileged Life

Irn Mnky : Began as an acoustic jam over a raw beat and slowly transformed into this version. A killer hook delivered by Krankit finished the job.

Eskar : Without doubt the deepest and most personal track I have made. I was scared to put this track out into such a judgemental world. It’s worked out in my favour, like therapy.

Track 03  Rock The Auditorium

Irn Mnky : Built around a vocal snippet from “Droppin em” by LL Cool J from the “Walking with a Panther” album. Guitars added last. Great heavy raw sounding track.

Eskar : People keep telling me that I shouldn’t rap so fast, so I decided to speed it up. Some of my best flows conceived  are  on this gem.

Track 04 Jpeg

Irn Mnky : Sax and trumpet samples from a record given to me by Mega Mouth (with a great cover). Shirley on the hook.

Eskar: Keep that 3rd eye open, thats all I’m saying…

Track 05 Missing Peace’s

Irn Mnky : A small section of “Smiling Faces” by The Undisputed Truth. Lowered, looped and filtered on the S2000. See if you can spot it.

Eskar : There is a big difference between arrogance and self believe. A statement on those who deliberately ignore those who go all in for small returns.

 Track 06 Wasabi

Irn Mnky : Oriental samples meet Kes. We liked the clash of broad Yorkshire and the oriental soundscape.

Eskar : I love the intricacy of using one long rhyming scheme throughout this whole song. Serious flows, punchlines and metaphors – it’s clever s**t.

Track 07 Maverick

Irn Mnky : Created from sections of “Whatcha see is whatcha get” by The Dramatics. The track was called “Dramatik” until we changed the name.

Eskar: I have never had a crew, a hype man, or anyone who really stands by me though my musical process. That’s the way it should be… I do it on my own! This is one of those tunes that screams “yeah, I got this”.

Track 08 Outsider

Irn Mnky : Yep it’s Randy Newman. Eskar had the lyrics done and this was made to fit them. There is a special version of it on the vinyl release.

Eskar : After all the controversy with Brexit and the Donald Trump election, I had to make some kind of statement. Migrants are human too, no less worthy to any society than you or me!

Track 09 Malevolent

Irn Mnky : The melody may sound familiar – it’s a 70’s version of “I can sing a Rainbow” – twisted up to sound dark.

Eskar : I have always been attracted to the darker things in life, I think that comes out in this one… I enjoyed watching videos about satanic rituals and exorcisms to get the influence for writing Malevolent. It was in a devilish video where I found the sample for the hook.

Track 10 Sonata

Irn Mnky : The first track we demo’d for Silent Running and the last to be finished. Russian DJ Mr And-7 provided the cuts. Sub bass direct from the S3000XL I recall.

Eskar : An artist who I thought I was cool with was chatting some s**t about me. As a way to vent I implied that the dude looks a certain way. After a few weeks I decided I was not going to release the track with that bar on, I did respect the dude to some extent. Soon after I heard that his crew had been snooping into my files at the studio and heard the bar. Here it is in it’s original form – enjoy!

Track 11 Counting Sheep

Irn Mnky : War – What is it good for?

Eskar : Wake up sheeple!

Track 12 Dreamin

Irn Mnky : I first heard the soul singer “Swamp Dogg” a couple of years ago via a random charity shop find – he’s amazing. Check him out.  The track is built from parts of this gem…

Eskar : Li[f[e is just a li[]e if your not giving an [f]

Track 13 LOL

Irn Mnky : Track built around guitar sounds taken from a few tracks by the same solo artist – I best leave this one at that.

Eskar : Lets all say that we’re laughing even though we’re not… If there is one thing that I hate, it’s this generation built on false online identities. LOL.

Track 14 Lost

Irn Mnky : The cousin of “Privileged Life”. Krankit delivered again after Eskar and myself created a demo vocal (that will never be heard).

Eskar : It must be no surprise that I am one emotional being when it comes to relationships. I originally wanted to sing the hook on this but can’t sing for s**t. Krankit saved the day!

Track 15 Wait

Irn Mnky : I was watching the Columbo episode “Lady in Waiting” and heard the mad strings in the soundtrack. Made the beat shortly after and we recorded it the next day.

Eskar : I heard this beat and got all tingly inside. I could not WAIT to get this one down so it was written and recorded in the time it takes Irn Mnky to tie his shoelace. Bare in mind he’s a velcro kinda guy and can’t tie shoelaces too good…

Track 16 FluteJam

Irn Mnky :  20 MC’s, 1 DJ and over 15 minutes long. A serious amount of work that went into it, I don’t know whether to laugh or cry when I think about it. All the different vibes each person brought to the track made it 100% worthwhile.

Eskar : An official world record breaking track with some of the best rappers in the country, nuff said.

Track 17 Osiris

Irn Mnky : We met up with Marc7 while Jurassic 5 were in Manchester on the last tour. esSDee had a studio reserved and we recorded it all before the gig. The original mix is on the “Soylent Green” album we made last year.

Eskar : A dream come true, not many 21 year old rappers from Huddersfield could say they did a classic single with a true Hip Hop icon they grew up listening too.

We hope you enjoyed the Eskar and Irn Mnky Silent Running album breakdown.

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Mike Melinoe A Night With Hanabi 25 Facts

• May 1, 2017
Mike Melinoe A Night With Hanabi 25 Facts

Mike Melinoe A Night With Hanabi 25 Facts

In our popular and exclusive 25 facts series, we’ve linked with Mike Melinoe ahead of his latest project “A Night With Hanabi” which is released tomorrow. Enjoy Mike Melinoe A Night With Hanabi 25 Facts

1. A Night With, Hanabi really is a collaborative project from Blue Alley Records and Mike Melinoe.
2. Hanabi means ‘fireworks’ in Japanese.
3. Mike Melinoe and Blue Alley Records just turned this album in Sunday.
4. We started working on “A Night With, Hanabi” in October of 2016.
5. Mike Melinoe handled all of the artwork, for the EP. Which is an actual painting, I painted a week before the release date.
6. None of the beats on “A Night With, Hanabi” has samples!
7. This project is mainly about Mike Melinoe, overcoming fears within on acid with a female interests.
8. Lonely Iris is one of my favorites. It’s truly dives into my currently feelings today, with the injustice system and police brutality.
9. In 5.0, when the chorus begins, the rodeo I’m speaking of is an analogy; of the constant discussion of other artists having a similar sound and effort towards creativity. While, I tend to create my lane with the classic effect of a 5.0 mustang.

Mike Melinoe

Mike Melinoe

10. This is an EP, not an album.
11. Originally, the EP had 8 songs. We added Tokyo and was thinking of putting two tracks as one. Instead we gave it, as so.
12. Blue Alley Records executive produced the project.
13. A Night With Hanabi, is a quick listen.
14. A Night With Hanabi, starts off with “Neighborhood Goat”, because I wanted to set the tone for the future.
15. After making “A Night With Hanabi”, meditation began to mean more for my spirit.
16. Videos are coming.
17. This particular project, melodically, was inspired by Kanye West, Pharrell Williams and Andre 3000.
18. Some tracks have a RAW effect on the vocals, for a reason.
19. A Night With Hanabi, will open a load of doors. Mainly, because of the melodic content and stories. I opened up more with a direction, artistically and with the visuals to come.
20. We delayed the EP a few times, due to timing and proper execution on production.

Mike Melinoe - A Night with Hanabi

Mike Melinoe – A Night with Hanabi

21. Moises is a genius.
22. Dead Cellphones is a favorite. It talks about relationships and how the female can expose that she’s disinterested by default and misconceptions, throughout the troubles at hand. Which ultimately will make someone leave.
23. Tokyo was the last song turned in.
24. All of the production was switched at least, two or three times before the final versions.
25. A Night With Hanabi, will change, the people involved, life. I thank them all.

Please make sure you share this article on Twitter. We hope you enjoyed the Mike Melinoe A Night With Hanabi 25 Facts.

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ZotheJerk and Frost Gamble – Black Beach 25 Facts

• March 29, 2017
Black Beach 25 Facts

Black Beach 25 Facts

In our latest 25 facts series, we are honoured to share the thoughts of ZotheJerk and Frost Gamble. This is the Black Beach 25 Facts Hip-Hop Kings exclusive.

PRE-ORDER | ZotheJerk and Frost Gamble – Black Beach

1. The album recording process began at Mr. Porter’s old studio in Detroit – where Eminem’s “Infinite” was first written.

2. The track “Keep Me Safe” was originally intended for Frost Gamble’s “Jackpot EP” with Canadian producer/musician S.One.

3. Frost used a mix of vintage and modern equipment to craft the beats, from the Akai S900 of the 1980s to modern software and plugins from Reaper and Waves.

4. The intro “Welcome to Black Beach” samples an old minstrel show routine, and ironically touches on many of the topics on the album – such as mis-leadership, corruption, systemic racism and fear.

5. Zo and Frost first “met” by speaking on a radio podcast – Zo was the host, and Frost being interviewed, having just dropped his Handpicked album (in 2014).

Frost Gamble - Black Beach 25 Facts

Frost Gamble – Black Beach 25 Facts

6. Zo and Frost have released two commercial singles previously – Family First (2015) and Honey (2016). Black Beach is the duo’s first full album together.

7. Zo met Boldy James almost 13 years ago ironically at a studio on 8 mile in Detroit.

8. During the filming of 8 Mile, Zo was able to connect with Big Proof – R.I.P. – and was asked to work on a mixtape called “a Bunch of Black Folks”.

9. Black Beach was recorded in 3 States: Michigan, Kansas, and Ohio

10. KEM is an acronym for “Kill Everything Moving”

11. Zo and Frost are so similar in lifestyles they call each other twin.

12. It takes Zo 15 minutes to write full songs, concept, verses, and chorus.

Zothejerk - Black Beach 25 Facts

Zothejerk – Black Beach 25 Facts

13. 70% of Black Beach was changed in the last 3 weeks before the album was turned in.

14. Zo freestyled Etch-a-Sketch in one take.

15. Most of the verses on “Black Beach” were recorded in one take.

16. Keep Me Safe features Frost’s son and Zo’s sons.

17. While recording “Black Beach” Zo became a Cisco Certified CCNA.

18. Zo uses a K2, UA Neve, and Apollo MK Twin Quad in his vocal chain.

19. The soundbites on Loyal Victims are never before heard or seen interviews with Von Derrit Myers’ grandmother. These were shot by Zo in Ferguson at the 1 year anniversary of Von Derrit Myers’ death.

ZotheJerk - Black Beach 25 Facts

ZotheJerk – Black Beach 25 Facts

20. Zo earned the nickname Jerk in Detroit due to his straight forward no nonsense attitude and terrible lack of tact!

21. Black Beach was written and recorded as Zo transitioned from Kansas to Ohio, sometimes being recorded in hotels.

22. Zo wrote most of “Black Beach” while working as a Network Engineer.

23. Zo and Frost have only been in the studio together physically in Detroit.

24. Zo took Frost to his block Montrose in Detroit so Frost could experience the beauty of Detroit and fuel their creativity while recording Black Beach.

25. Zo & Frost recorded two albums worth of material preparing for this release – picking only their favorite tracks for the final project.

We hope you enjoyed the Black Beach 25 Facts piece. The official video for Smoke Screen is on the YouTube player below.

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Verbal Skillz Old Man Rapper 25 Facts

• January 21, 2017
Verbal Skillz Old Man Rapper - 25 Facts

Verbal Skillz Old Man Rapper – 25 Facts

In our popular 25 facts series, we have a brand new exclusive to share which is Verbal Skillz Old Man Rapper – 25 facts about the latest project from the UKHH MC.

1. The title concept for the album came from the comic book character Old man Logan. I grew a beard which was full of grey and being an old artist battling through the scene, Old Man Rapper was born.

2. The album was going to be called ‘The Capricious Administration’ but after the beard and me being a massive Marvel fan, Old Man Rapper got the nod. I think we’ll save that title for another day.

3. The search for beats for this album started with me getting a banger from Mr Green. I linked with him at an R.A. The Rugged man show at JazzCafe and we discussed doing another track after he had a beat on VerbalVision. Once I got this beat, I knew we had something dope.

4. I nagged the granny out of Apollo Brown to get some of his production on the album and he finally replied just before he got married. He said I was lucky he had some down time before the wedding and would do me a deal on a couple of beats. I got lucky on the timing for that one.

5. The artwork was done by my man Greg Blackman. He super imposed my head onto his body for the outline image and came through with a sick piece of artwork.

6. Micall Parknsun hit me up about jumping on one of the Apollo Brown beats (who wouldn’t want to get involved with that) and when I explained the concept for N16 6AH, he got involved and came through with a dope 16.

7. I hit up Journalist103 and Reks to feature on N16 6AH with me and Parky as I wanted a UK/US mix and I knew these 2 emcees would come with those gutter bars. I wanted that balance of styles to finish of the album and hit home hard with the message in that song.

8. Originally there were 17 tracks lined up for the album but after discussing the content with Dj Stix, I decided to put out the best music possible and cut that down to the 12 final tracks.

9. The writing process for me can take anything from a few hours to a few months. Sometimes bars come easy like on the 77 and Don’t Try To Tell Me, I did those in 2-3 hours, yet when I wrote Begging by the Station, that took a few months. Sometimes it’s about being in the mood and the words just flow, other times I just get stuck on one line and can’t get through it.

10. I try to always keep the content as real as possible, with subjects that have a message and give the listener something to think about and digest in my songs. Nearly all my tracks have that, though I do sometimes just throw down bars.

Verbal Skillz Old Man Rapper - 25 Facts

Verbal Skillz Old Man Rapper – 25 Facts

11. The inspiration for Dickensian Times came to me after going to a few local shows and seeing the sick talent we have performing to empty crowds and for little or no money. Talking to the peoples who run the events and how they are struggling to keep the local nights alive.

12. Dj Stix does all my mixes and arrangements for nearly everything i do. On this album apart from the Richy Spitz tracks and the 2 Apollo Brown joints, he did the arrangements, mixes and cuts on everything else. The geezer is super talented and deserves massive respect for helping me put out all of my projects.

13. I am working with Hour25 Records to push the promotion and work on videos for this album. Our first idea is to use Dj Stix son to act as me as a kid in the video for 77.

14. The track ‘First Time’ was originally called ‘The Cell’ but after getting the Sultan Mir beat and the sample actually says first time, it linked well with the lyric that ‘the first time I heard it/first time I should of swerved it. I relation to people struggling to deal with mental health issues.

15. Audio Animals mastered to whole album and after getting samples from a bunch of dope heads, their work really stood above the rest and added that heat on the album.

16. Micall Parknsun not only dropped bars on N16 6AH, he also produced 77.

17. I originally wanted to feature a couple more emcee’s through the album and had in mind to get in touch with Vinnie Paz, Dat Kid and KingMagnetic but when I started writing, I couldn’t stop so it never happened. Maybe on future projects.

18. This will be the first album that I put out on vinyl and there will be a limited run of splatter vinyl coming mid February.

Verbal Skillz Old Man Rapper - 25 Facts

Verbal Skillz Old Man Rapper – 25 Facts

19. I originally had a batch of 8 beats to choose from Apollo Brown, but I could only afford 2!

20. Blacastan an american rapper and graff artist, did the artwork for the free sticker you get when you buy the CD or limited splatter Vinyl.

21. This album was nominated for album of the year at Wordplay Magazine. Even though it didn’t win, as an independent artist it was dope to be one of the nominees.

22. ‘Rock Queen’ is dedicated to my beautiful fiancee who constantly puts up with me chatting rubbish about hip hop.

23. Dj Stix was due to come through with some production on the album but with a busy family life and limited time spent doing all the mixes and cuts, we will save those bangers for the next project.

24. The inspiration for ‘Average at Best’ was in response to a so called hip hop friend who said my music was average at best. Talk about trying to knock you down as an independent artist, when it’s tough enough out here.

25. The vocal cut on the hook ‘we in hear with Verbal skillz ya’ll’ on the title track Old Man Rapper, is none other than iLL BiLL. We took that sample from his lyrics my track ‘MurderRap’ from ‘VerbalVision’ and Dj Stix tore that took right up!!

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25 Facts on Snowgoons Goon Bap Album

• January 8, 2017
25 Facts - Snowgoons Goon Bap

25 Facts – Snowgoons Goon Bap

In our on-going exclusive 25 Facts series, we have the latest to share about the recently released Snowgoons Goon Bap album. Make sure you download Snowgoons Goon Bap from iTunes and enjoy the 25 facts below.

01. The album title Goon Bap comes from the term Boom Bap. We replaced the similar sounding Boom with the Goon from our name Snowgoons. This way we created the perfect definition of what the album is about. Boom Bap and Snowgoons sound. Snowgoons Goon Bap.

02. For the 90’s allstar song “The 90’s Are Back” we had a long list of artists to be featured on the song. The 9 artists on the final song are the first 9 to record first. Further artists supposed to be on the song are Smoothe Da Hustler, Billy Danze, Edo G or Chip Fu from the Fu-Schnickens.

03. When we hit up Dan Lish the illustrator for the Artwork he wasn’t available due to a busy schedule. but after explaining him that the album is all about the 90’s Hip Hop era and sending him some of the ruff songs he was finally down.

04. After picking the 12th of December (12.12. a Monday) for the release date our distribution highly recommended to only pick a Friday date. Fridays supposed to be better industry release days but we stay independent and do what we want to do. Release date stayed 12.12.

05. The Pumpkinhead song (R.I.P) was a unreleased song from 2006. Back then when we recorded with PH in Germany we had a great session and recorded both songs. We only picked one song for the 2007 German Lugers and the session simple got forgotten. When PH passed away in 2015 we was looking up the old hard drive for some pictures and came across the lost song. We knew we had to release it on the next album and remixed it with a new beat.

Snowgoons Goon Bap

Snowgoons Goon Bap

06. For the song “Problems” with Locksmith and Skrewtape we wanted to get Rite Hook down to do the hook. Rite Hook was down and liked the song that much he recorded 16 bars as well and then the song was perfect.

07. DJ Kaos of the Artifacts wanted to do the cuts for the “All City Kingz” song by Artifacts but he couldn’t finished it to the deadline. So Snowgoons Dj XRated did the job.

08. Passionate MC supposed to be on the “New Kidz On The Blog” song and even should be the first MC to go including picking the beat. But he decided to do a solo joint and send us back the “Cypher God” song.

09. Originally we wanted to do maximum 15-16 songs for the Goon Bap album. After a while we realised we already got over 20 songs done.

10. Sicknature who is not only a producer but also an MC is featured 3 times on the album. The only other artists with also 2 appearance are Sean Strange & Intell.

11. The Dilated Peoples song was the last song to be added to the album. We had this song in work with the crew for almost 4 years and finally it came together. Shout out to Rakaa.

12. With Aspects, Merkules and Snak The Ripper we got 3 Canadian Artists on the album.

13. 15 years old TJ Brown also known from the Netflix TV Series The Get Down is the youngest artist we ever worked with.

14. Chris Rivers is the son of Big Pun and Intell is the son of Wu Tang’s U God.

15. We got 7 artists from 3 crews / bands spread out on 6 different songs. Ill Bill & Slaine of La Coka Nostra, Fredro Starr, Sticky Fingaz & Sonny Seeza of Onyx, Method Man & Ghostface Killah of Wu Tang Clan.

16. There supposed to be a Snowgoons Djs track but we couldn’t get it done in time. The whole dj team brainstormed some crazy ideas and we don’t want to waste them so we planing on a full Snowgoons Djs album.

Snowgoons Goon Bap

Snowgoons Goon Bap

17. Sicknature of the Snowgoons wanted to release his new solo album around the same time that goon bap dropped so he had to push his album back in order to be focused on the Snowgoons project. Sometimes you have to sacrifice your own plans being in a group.

18. “The Problems” video was filmed within 3 days starting in Philadelphia with Skrewtape, with Rite hook in Boston and last part in New York. Luckily Locksmith, originally from the West was in NYC for some other video shoots.

19. “Solid Gold Guns” with Conway is a very different song and might be the most off topic song on the album. When Banish came up with Conway , Recognize Ali & Supreme Cerebral we was instantly down to add the song to the album.

20. We already got half the album done with videos.

21. All the 5 Snowgoons Djs made it on the album with some cutz.

22. “Know What You’re Facing” was originally for Aspects album Grind Over Matter but we couldn’t finished the song back then. Now we added Slaine and it was perfect for the Goon Bap.

23. We had 3 more songs in work for the Goon Bap album but because of the total lenght of the album we couldn’t add them.

24. None of the Snowgoons members are smoking or taking drugs.

25. Our slogan is We Keep Hip Hop Alive and we will always do that. That’s what the name Snowgoons stands for.

Make sure you download Snowgoons Goon Bap from the iTunes link above.

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Fliptrix – Patterns of Escapism 25 Facts

• November 15, 2016

In our popular 25 facts series, Fliptrix – Patterns of Escapism is the latest feature. Check out the 25 facts from the High Focus general below.

The album was originally going to be called ‘Circadian Rhythms’ until I came up with the name ‘Patterns Of Escapism’ and ran with that instead. (Download here!)

The large majority of the album was recorded by myself in my home studio.

The title track ‘Patterns Of Escapism’ was originally recorded to another beat but I decided to remix it and when I found the beat that we used, the second I heard it, I knew it was the one.

I actually started making the album before I made ‘Polyhymnia’ got sidetracked with that project and came back to this one afterwards, however taking the time with this one really helped me to get all the perfect beats and make a really cohesive album that I’m very proud of.

The ultimate don Chemo mixed and mastered the album all the way from Bangkok.

Ocean Wisdom first rapped me the verse for our collaboration track ‘Burn It’ when myself, him and Molotov were getting high in park in Athens Greece before we had to catch a plane home. The first time I heard the bar I knew it was gonna be a heavy track.

My long time old school homie RunOne played the piano you can hear in the chorus of the track ‘Diamond Tone’.

Often when I was recording in my yard my cats would attack my leg as the headphone cable was flying around whilst I was rapping and they thought it was a fun game. It resulted in me getting scratches on my leg and fucking up takes but it was pretty jokes all the same.

Fliptrix

4 of the tracks were recorded in Chemo’s studio in London before he moved to Bangkok.

Street artist Matt Manson from Bristol designed the patterns you can see on the front of the album cover and Mark Shields put the whole product and package together and did the typography etc.

If you stare at the cover long enough you feel like its resonating and start to trip out.

Old school Hip Hop legend Blade pressed up the CD’s for the project. (Purchase the CD here!)

The CD version of the album contains a 12 page booklet with all of my lyrics from the album so you can rap along on a hype.

The double disc vinyls are going to be different colours with 3 different coloured specks running through them creating a mad effected called ‘Splatter Vinyl’ which means every record will be different and have an original pattern on it. There will only ever be 500 made in this style so get one while you can! (Purchase the vinyl here!)

I sent the beat and my vocal to King Kashmere for the track ‘Smoke Lingers Always’ and 3 days later his killer 32 bar was recorded in my inbox. I was overly gassed when I got it as Kashmere is one of my all time favourite rappers dead or alive and I went out and got waved on a hype that night.

AboveGround filmed the videos for the lead 3 singles ‘The Chronic, The Poltergeist & Patterns Of Escapism’, he is a serious problem, anyone taking photos or making videos needs to keep an eye on this man, he is the future.

I fully location scouted, storyboarded and directed the videos for ‘The Chronic’ & ‘Patterns Of Escapism’ with the concept of ‘The Poltergeist’ being a joint collaboration between myself and AboveGround.

Fliptrix

Whilst shooting the video for ‘The Chronic’ multiple people stopped in the street including traffic and a woman screamed at the top of her lungs when she saw me dressed as Michael Jackson smashing a watermelon in the street and smashing it in to my face. It was a fun day.

I am very proud of this album and feel that Illinformed is without a doubt one of the sickest Boom Bap Hip Hop producers this country has ever produced.

‘Patterns Of Escapism’ is my 6th full length studio album, plus I have another project ‘Out The Box’ available on CD/digital and 2 albums with my crew The Four Owls totalling 9 full length albums I have put out not to mention a crazy amount of feature verses. I also feel like I’m only getting started with this rap shit so watch out!

Graffiti OG ‘Vodka’ painted the piece in ‘The Chronic’ video and also location scouted the scary looking abandoned cement works factory you see in ‘The Poltergeist’ video.

Graffiti OG and long time homie ‘Pow’ painted the ‘Escapism’ piece you see in the ‘Patterns Of Escapism’ video at Stockwell skate park, I specifically chose that location as I spent a lot of time there as a kid growing up.

The Weatherspoon’s pub in the ‘Patterns Of Escapism’ video is Denmark Hill and I spent many years going there with friends growing up, everyone probably got barred from there a good few times over the years and multiple jokes and madnesses happened so it meant a lot to shoot in there/outside there.

The first time I ever performed the title track ‘Patterns Of Escapism’ was at the last High Focus night in Brighton @ Concorde2 before I dropped the video, as soon as I heard the beat drop I knew it was going to be a track that will be in my set list for years to come.

If you cop my album you will enjoy it, I have infinite love for all my supporters, creative heads and High Focus fans world wide! (Order on Bandcamp here!)

‘Patterns Of Escapism’ is the third single and title track from Fliptrix’s upcoming 6th studio album entirely produced by Illinformed. The ‘Patterns Of Escapism’ LP features guest appearances from The Four Owls, Ocean Wisdom, King Kashmere, Verb T, Dabbla, Life MC, DJ Sammy B-Side & Jazz T. The highly anticipated album will be released on High Focus Records on the 25th of November 2016 on CD, limited edition vinyl & digital and is available to pre order now!

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Tone Chop and Frost Gamble – Veteran EP 25 Facts

• October 29, 2016
Tone Chop and Frost Game - Veteran EP 25 Facts

Tone Chop and Frost Game – Veteran EP 25 Facts

Here is the latest in our ongoing exclusive series “25 facts”. We have 25 facts from Tone Chop and Frost Gamble for their Veteran EP.

1. The concept for the “Veteran” EP was based around growing into adulthood, fatherhood, etc. – while experiencing the changes in Hip Hop music over the last 20 years.

2. Honesty is also a main theme in Veteran! We don’t glamorize negativity or materialism.

3. The name “Tone Chop” actually comes from an old Kung Fu classic called “Assassins”. One of the characters was named “Tong Chop” and he was very skilled in martial arts – just as Tone is very skilled at emceeing.

4. The “Gamble” in Frost’s name comes from being a pro poker player for 3 years. He used to travel the tournament circuit and make beats on a laptop in hotel rooms every night.

5. Chop writes his rhymes in pieces and puts them together like a puzzle – there might be one rhyme written across five different pages!

6. Sadly, Chop’s mother and father each passed away at a young age, from cancer – just 3 months apart.

7. When Chop met Frost, he was a rapper and had just started making beats. All he had was a drum machine and a four track.

8. Frost learned how to make beats and use the MPC by watching his neighbor DJ Spinna and others create beats for us to rhyme on.

9. Chop’s favorite rapper of all time is Lord Finesse – because of his crazy punchline style.

10. 5 rappers that Chop feels are very under-rated: Ransom, Fred Da Godson, Conway, Joell Ortiz and Joe Budden.

11. Tone Chop and Frost Gamble are both big fans of battle rap, from URL to KOTD. Frost often acts as a judge at local battle events.

12. We don’t really mess with keyboard beats. To us, sampling = Hip Hop

13. The bassline in “Step Up” was sampled from a 1996 cassette recording of a Tone Chop freestyle performance at Frost’s birthday party.

14. Tone Chop and Frost Gamble both enjoy fatherhood, and often use it as a theme in their music. Chop is a father to two boys – Anthony (age 8) and Vincent (age 5).

15. Frost has a 7 year old son, Thaddeus – named after one of his heroes, the 1800’s era abolitionist and US congressman Thaddeus Stevens.

16. Frost’s favorite producers of all time include Marley Marl, Just Blaze, the Beatnuts, Diamond D, Da Beatminerz and Preemo.

17. Chop’s very first Hip Hop tape was “Criminal Minded” by Boogie Down Productions. His all-time favorite is “Funky Technician” by Lord Finesse and DJ Mike Smooth.

18. Frost learned how to loop drumbreaks with pause tapes and tape splices – manually creating tape loops that could run on a reel-to-reel.

19. Chop is a big fan of graffiti art; he takes pictures anytime he sees something fresh!

20. Chop is also in a group called “Binghamton’s Most Wanted” which consists of Big Drew, Kizzle, Awful P, Weegee, T-Y, Trek, Flow and DJ Waxamillion. Both Awful P and DJ Waxamillion appear on the new EP.

21. Frost frequently collaborates with ZotheJerk (Detroit), White Rhino (Canada) & producer S.One who also appears on the EP.

22. Chop’s top favorite producers besides Frost are The Alchemist, DJ Premier, Pete Rock, Stu Bangas, Jake One and Marley Marl. He has used some of their beats for freestyles on previous mixtapes in the Chopper City series.

23. Frost moved from NY to Minneapolis, then onto Kentucky, Kansas City, Vegas, LA and Arizona before settling in Canada.

24. “Veteran” was completed by emailing audio files back and forth – we were never in the studio together even once.

25. Tone Chop and Frost Gamble can appreciate any style of Hip Hop – so long as the mic controller has skills. But our favorite will always be gritty NY style street rap.

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Epic Beard Men Interview (Sage Francis and B Dolan)

• September 30, 2016
Epic Beard Men Interview (Sage Francis and B Dolan)

Epic Beard Men Interview (Sage Francis and B Dolan)

We are proud to share a Hip-Hop Kings exclusive. Here is the Epic Beard Men Interview (Sage Francis and B Dolan) that we filmed at the Brudenell Social Club in Leeds, as part of the duo’s UK tour.

We have interviewed both B Dolan and Sage Francis individually in the last couple of years, when they’ve stopped by Manchester and Leeds respectively. Following their nine-day date at Ed Fringe, the Epic Beard Men added a string of UK dates to their schedule which saw them perform at the Brudenell Social Club in Leeds. The Epic Beard Men Interview was everything we hoped, and we spoke about the single “You Can’t Win” along with some previous tracks (2 Bad and Heart Failure). Shouts to DJ Focuz who’s now a target.

Hip-Hop Kings blogged the video for You Can’t Win which has seen some great reviews from fans and critiques since it’s release, and also marks the start of an Epic Beard Men project. Sage Francis and B Dolan confirmed they’re working on creating a project but are in the beginning stages, so there was nothing concrete to share at the moment. We’ll of course be keeping an eye on the development of the full length (hopefully an album) record, and will be sharing when the news becomes available. In the meantime, make sure you’ve watch our interviews with Sage Francis and B Dolan and check the back cataloge.

You can watch the Epic Beard Men Interview (Sage Francis and B Dolan) on the YouTube player below.

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Izm White – Wildlife 25 Facts

• September 27, 2016
Izm White - Wildlife (25 Facts)

Izm White – Wildlife (25 Facts)

In our ongoing series, we’re proud to present Izm White – Wildlife 25 Facts.

Izm White made his debut on Hip-Hop Kings with the track “Nod Ya Head” ft Prodigy of Mobb Deep. Check out the 25 facts on his album “Wildlife” which can be downloaded from iTunes. Izm White – Wildlife 25 Facts are below.

1. Wildlife was released on the legendary Tommy Boy Records
2. Wildlife is my official debut album
3. I shot 6 music videos for the album
4. I recorded “Nod Ya Head” feat Prodigy in Queens NY at Mobb Deep’s studio
5. The music video for “Nod Ya Head” feat Prodigy was filmed at The Garden Of The God’s in Colorado Springs and has a cameo from Alchemist
6. Sheek Louch recorded his verse in Denver at Conway Sound (my go to studio) with Ghostface Killah in attendance
7. The music video “Signs Of The Times” feat Sheek Louch, was filmed in Denver and has cameos from Jadakiss and Styles P
8. “Top Level” feat Big Twins of Infamous Mobb Deep was shot in Miami by my brother who is also my DJ
9. I picked up Agallah in Compton the day we shot the music video “Battle Scars” in L.A

Izm White - Wildlife (25 Facts)

Izm White – Wildlife (25 Facts)

10. I recorded and mixed 90% of Wildlife at Conway Sound in Denver, CO
11. Ghostface Killah has been a mentor to me since I was 17 yrs old and is a big reason I got my record deal for Wildlife with Tommy Boy
12. I had the idea and mocked up the original design for the album cover art.
13. The music video for “They Say Yeah” looks like it was filmed in Morocco but was actually filmed in South East Colorado at the Great Sand Dune national park
14. I originally recorded around 30 plus songs for Wildlife before narrowing it down to 15.
15. My original 1st verse for “Nod Ya Head” feat Prodigy was more about partying and women, but after hearing Prodigy lay down his verse, I changed up some of my lyrics to be more aggressive.
16. The lyrics on Wildlife is 95% factual

Izm White - Wildlife (25 Facts)

Izm White – Wildlife (25 Facts)

17. I wrote 100% of all my lyrics on Wildlife with absolutely no in studio help
18. I over saw the mixing of each song in studio.
19. I had to have a few of the original beats re- worked before the Tommy Boy release
20. Wildlife is one of the first albums from a Colorado based MC released by a label with such stature as Tommy Boy.
21. I invested 100% of my own money to fund Wildlife and the music videos
22. I was 32 yrs old when I recorded Wildlife
23. Approximately 1lb of cannabis was consumed during the making of Wildlife
24. The album title can be interpreted in couple different ways, all are true to who I am where I’m from and what the music is about.
25. I passionately put my heart, mind and soul into this record.

You can watch the video for “Nod Ya Head” ft Prodigy below.

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