The release of Tical O: The Prequel is one that doesn’t sit very well within Method Man’s discography. He’s the first to admit it, quoted “On the third LP, it was suggested to bring in Harve Pierre and P Diddy. Who am I to argue? Puff knows how to sell some records. But that wasn’t the direction to go in, and I know that now.” The statement is probably a relief to most Wu-Tang and Method Man fans who clearly agree with his retrospective views.
In 2004 we saw Tical O: The Prequel hit shelves which ultimately reached number two on the Billboard 200 chart and reached a certified “Gold” status for it’s sales. Nobody faults Method Man for the release but the bitter disappointment was shared, as fans were expecting a better, more polished “Tical 2000: Judgement Day” which boasted an incredible 28 tracks (including skits) and had production mostly by RZA and Wu-Tang Clan members. That rule was only broken for Prince Paul, Havoc (Mobb Deep) and Erick Sermon so nobody complained about that decision either.
Two years later we quickly had a new album titled 4:21: The Day After, which went back to basics (production from RZA, Havoc, Erick Sermon and Scott Storch among others) and guest appearances from Fat Joe, Styles P, Redman and other Wu-Tang affiliates. For true fans you’ll remember the bonus U.K track “O.D”, but although the album didn’t reach the same commercial success (number 8 on the Billboard 200), it was a much preferred album for Method Man fans.
We’re more likely to see Method Man in a movie or a guest feature in 2014, but rumours of an upcoming album (Crystal Meth) this year continue to surface, and of course his work on the one-copy Wu-Tang Clan album “Once Upon a Time in Shaolin” give fans continual hope of more excellent music from one of the most lyrically and technically astute MC’s in our generation. Look out for Method Man and Redman performing in Croatia at the 2014 Fresh Island Festival in July.
PRE-ORDER | Copper Gone – Sage Francis
Following in true tradition for our “25 Facts” series, here is Strange Famous Records’ Sage Francis giving fans 25 Facts about the upcoming album “Copper Gone”.
1. The title for “Copper Gone”, though based on graffiti that’s painted on abandoned buildings in my area, came to me in a dream. In my dream my Grandmother asked me how “Copper Gone” was coming along. I liked the way it sounded when she said it.
2. “Make Em Purr” was written and recorded in on the same night I received the beat. I thought the album was finished before I received that music and it immediately became clear that the album would be incomplete without it.
3. I own two cats. The mom and son. The momma cat is the last thing my dad ever gave to me. He found her on the street but he couldn’t keep her so he asked if I would take her in. Turns out she was pregnant. I ended up keeping the runt but we had to give the rest of the litter away. These two cats have been my life force for the past few years and I wish they were cool with traveling because it really sucks to be away from them.
4. “Grace” is a song that contains lyrics and concepts I’ve collected over the past 10 years. The subject is a conglomerate of many people I’ve known and taken shit from in the past decade. I repeat “This is not a love ballad” a few times throughout the song. That phrasing is in reference to the intro of “Shakiyla” by the Poor Righteous Teachers. Wise Intelligent of PRT says “THIS…is not a love ballad” at the beginning of the song and I’ve always wanted to sample it. A few years ago I asked him if I could sample it and he gave me permission, but once I recorded the song I decided it sounded better being delivered in an understated kind of way.
5. The video for “Grace” was inspired by a Japanese film called “Survive Style 5+.” In the music video there’s a part where a woman straddles me and then slaps/chokes/scratches/punches me. We did about 20 takes. Acting is fun.
6. I basically freestyled the chorus to “Pressure Cooker.” I knew where the words were supposed to be and in which cadence, but I had no idea what I wanted to say. Eventually I found out the phrase “I’ve been busy…doing stuff” to be one of the unintentionally funny things I’ve ever said. And I didn’t even know it was funny until I saw every single one of my friends laugh at that part.
7. A couple of the beats I use on this album were discovered from remix contests we’ve held at Strange Famous Records over the past several years. In fact, a lot of the beat producers on this album were originally discovered through SFR remix contests. Although they’re tedious as all hell, I’ve found remix contests to be a great way of discovering production talent.
8. The entire album was recorded in my house in a studio held together by duct tape and strings. There’s no way of explaining how impossible it was for all of this to get recorded in the time frame that it needed to get done on the equipment that I had at my disposal. But I got it done, goddammit.
9. My original plan was to record this album at the end of 2013. However, I ended up touring Australia in December and then I returned home with pneumonia. Most of the album was recorded with a chest infection which was a painful and difficult process. I had to re-record the vocals many times because of this, but I only had one month to do everything which means I haven’t slept much since February.
10. Reanimator and Alias are the only two producers on this album who also made contributions to my first album, “Personal Journals.” They’re both married, they both have one daughter, they both have office jobs, they both like to cook, they’re both incredibly nice, and they both make me wonder where I went wrong in life. Haha. No, they rule and I’m just realizing right now how similar their lives are.
11. I’ve never had an emcee feature on any of my official albums. The first studio album I recorded was in 1998, so I’ve gone 16 years without having Busta Rhymes feature on any chorus.
12. B. Dolan and Prolyphic are both Rhode Island emcees who are on Strange Famous Records and their vocals are sampled on Copper Gone. It may appear to be self-serving to sample people on my own label, but the only hip-hop I tend to listen these days are SFR songs. When I hear lyrics, a lot of lines stick in my head and I can’t get them out. And then sometimes they work perfectly in the chorus of a song.
13. “Say Uncle” originally had entirely different lyrics. I couldn’t figure out how to be cryptic enough to the point where I wouldn’t be putting someone else on blast, so I decided I’d rather have the song be mainly about me. That way I wouldn’t have to answer questions about the person for the rest of my life. Also, in the second verse, I give a head nod to Eyedea by referencing “Shadows have Shadows” and “Oliver Heart.” When those lyrics came out of the pen I thought it was adequately subtle yet obvious at the same time in a way that he might appreciate. Miss him.
14. “Once Upon a Blood Moon” is about a woman I was with for 6 years. A bulk of that song probably sounds like playful symbolism or use of metaphor, but the lyrics reference literal situations. Some shit you just can’t make up. It took me an incredibly long time to record that song due to my inability to actually say a lot of the lines. I had to separate myself quite a bit from the material in order to deliver it. Now when I play it live it feels like I’m telling someone else’s story which makes things a whole lot easier. That’s the power of putting your life onto page sometimes. I’m not sure if that qualifies as healing or simply numbing oneself, but I’ll take it.
15. When I listen to music for leisure I tend to just listen to piano or ambient stuff. It’s usually material with very simply lyrics or no lyrics at all. Stuff that makes me calm. Something to fall asleep to.
16. The album illustrations were done by Inkymole, the same person who held the “When A Girl Writes Off the World” art gallery show for me in London back in 2006. She also did the illustrations for my Human the Death Dance album.
17. “The Place She Feared Most” was originally titled “Space.” However, since I already had a song called “Grace,” I decided to change the name of the song because I didn’t want to have two songs on the same album with titles that rhymed.
18. The part from “The Place She Feared Most” that made me laugh after writing it is the section where I explain what a phonebook is. I referenced a phonebook and then I realized that some people might not even know what the hell a phonebook is. For the record, it’s basically “a black book for fat fucks who can’t cook.” Which begs the question to the younger generation…”what the fuck is a black book?”
19. My mother was a life guard for a majority of my childhood so she got me swimming at a very young age. The title for “Dead Man’s Float” is based on an actual style of swimming that people are taught to do to conserve energy if they are ever in trouble while in a vast body of water. I wasn’t sure if this was an actual term until I just Googled it right now. Turns out it’s not something I incorrectly remember from my early days (*Phew*).
20. The title for “Over Under” and the inspiration behind it was based on a girl who told me (among many things) to “get over myself.” I’m willing to bet that she has no idea how over myself I actually am.
21. Irena Girlbot did the art design and layout for “Copper Gone.” She laser engraved Inkymole’s “Copper Gone” illustrations into a plexiglass plate and then made a copper relief out of that plate. The album cover is a photo of that copper relief. We then used the plexiglass cliche to do monoprint posters in the kitchen of my home. We’re still trying to perfect that process before making them available to the public. I’ve been working with her on various albums, shirts and website designs since 2004. However, as she lives in Croatia, I only met her briefly while touring through Europe. We’re now touring the world together with her as my VJ. She projects videos that correlate with each song onto the stage. Trying to figure out how to keep her on US soil has proven to be insanely difficult and costly thanks to arbitrary US immigration laws, so I might just have to spend more time in Europe moving forward.
22. Originally I wanted to connect every song in a way where the end of one song would be the beginning of the next song. On some of the songs you’ll notice that the last line of one song rhymes with the first line of the next song. This became a bit messy when I needed to switch the arrangement for the sake of pacing, but I’d like to execute that shit properly one day. And it’ll probably be a in way no one notices so I’m not sure why I obsess over little things like that. Haha. It’s just for me.
23. A song called “Brick by Brick” (prod. by Buddy Peace) was recorded for the album, but we eventually had to leave it off because of a weird clicking sound in the drums that were sampled. It’s a really fun story-style song, but I think it will probably work best on another album or mixtape if I can ever figure out how to recreate it without the weird clicky sound in the drums.
24. Recently a fan from Sweden complained about the song title for “MAINT REQD.” He didn’t understand why I would spell the song in all caps and with weird abbreviations. The song title came from the warning signal on my car’s dashboard that says “MAINT REQD.” It never goes away and every time I drive the car I see it. “MAINT REQD”….that’s how it’s spelled and that’s how I say it in my head.
25. The adlib at the end of “ID Thieves” is 100% authentic and off-the-cuff. Once I was done delivering the verse the extra words just came out of my mouth as I was walking away from the mic. I’m guessing this how ugly my accent always sounds when I’m talking to myself.
Following the success of our “25 Facts” series, we’re delighted to share our second in the series from an American artist, this time from Kid Vishis for his upcoming album “Timing is Everything”. Kid Vishis gives fans 25 facts about the album (kind of) which fans won’t find out about in interviews or online. You can check the previous 25 facts articles on the links above, and look out for plenty of more promotion from Kid Vishis as we lead up to the release of Timing is Everything, which will be available to download from the 22nd July through Seven 13 Entertainment.
1. This album is the beginning of many to come *hint hint* Another album this year
2. Kid Vishis is a big boxing and MMA fan
3. This album is the start of my momentum and the growth of Kid Vishis as a Mc
4. Kid Vishis writes All of Royces lyrics lol!
5. The artwork for T.I.E was done by a genius named Bambo Slice
6. My favorite producer in the rap game gave me two beats for this project (Mr Porter)
7. Chase Moore did like half the album because he is a machine and kept sending heat so I kept killin em
8. I don’t have a best friend, I only hang with my brothers. Mad associates tho lol.
9. The character “Billy Hoyle” from the movie “White Men Cant Jump” is really Toy B from Seven13 Music
10. My brother Royce da 5’9″ is my only feature for the album
11. I think Monster energy should sponsor me
12. My favorite rappers to spar with besides my brother is Horseshoe Gang
13. Nick Zervos from Toronto sent over a few beats but I never got past the first and my intro was born
14. The producer Nemisis is not a person, he is a machine that is programmed to make beats
15. Jon Jones is my favorite MMA fighter and Floyd Mayweather is my favorite boxer even tho Tony B hates on him
16. The only other vocal besides Royce on my album is my wife Lulu Dahl doing background vocals
17. I was liquor free the whole album, I only drank Monster energy drink
18. I thought I would make it to the NBA before I ever picked up a pen
19. I believe Tony B is the young Albert Einstein of our generation
20. I will not be dropping a mixtape, I will be droppin a mix-album, all originals
21. I went to the studio with my brother about two months ago, I saw Eminem and he shook my hand and I have not been able to stop writing since. Smh. I think the big homey gave me power
22. Message to the Mcs ” All you sons of bitches is sons of Vishis”
23. I was and still am to this day addicted to the carrot cake from the restaurant J Alexander
24. If you press play on the first track of my album, you wont skip a track unless youre a chump that is..
25. Without the producers on this album, Royce and Tony B, oh yeah and Eminem’s handshake lol, my powers might not have been heightened to the levels that they are today
DOWNLOAD | The Theremin – Edward Scissortongue
Following the release of Edward Scissortongue’s “Theremin E.P”. Hip-Hop Kings presents the exclusive series “25 Facts about Edward Scissortongue – Theremin E.P”. Enjoy.
1 – There is not a single ‘Theremin’ sampled or played on the EP.
2 – The tooth I pull out of my mouth in ‘Theremin Trailer II’ is not real. It was made with a 3D printer.
3 – The entire design/artwork process was done via Skype calls at 7AM with my designer Joni who lives in Melbourne, Australia.
4 – I sing on ‘The Wipeout Soundtrack’ (listen very carefully).
5 – New York based producer Eon Ra contributed the instrumental for ‘Teeth’. I have never met him but he is flying over from NYC for the official launch party.
6 – Dirty Dike has produced a shit ton of beats in the past 2-3 years. He flagged the instrumental as ‘Theremin’ as one for me to write to, so I did. The original plan was to write a song about androids invading earth but ending in a massive android x human orgy on the top of a hill. However, I never got that far with it.
7 – I commissioned my dear friend Miles Courtney to produce a piece of music that would ‘propel the listener into the future’. Track one (Take Readings) is that piece of music.
8 – I always wanted to write a song which used a frisbee throw as a metaphor for life and death. The throw representing being ‘born’, the flight representing ‘life’ and the frisbee hitting the floor representing ‘death’. The final verse on ‘The Calculator’ is that verse.
9 – ‘Teeth’ has got so different responses from people I have played it to. It is the most dextrous track on the album in terms of interpretation, but from where I am sat, it is about donating your teeth to the government.
10 – I christened a new pair of Grey marl Huaraches in one of the videos I shot for a project. They got scuffed up in a field. I was pissed.
11 – The guy responsible for the official video for ‘Theremin’ also directed the recent Asda Easter breakdancing chick television advert. Watch this space.
12 – The number of people who told me to turn ‘The Theremin EP’ into a fully fledged album was countless. I told them all to fuck off.
13 – Dj Sammy B-Side’s favourite track on the EP is ‘The Calculator’. Why? Because there are long sections he can scratch over when we play live shows.
14 – I wrote all the lyrics for ‘Theremin PT II’ in the B-Bar in Cambridge city centre in one sitting. It is my favourite writing spot in my home town. I was extremely pissed by the end of the writing process.
15 – Dike once told me that ‘Theremin’ was his proudest moment as a producer. This will never change.
16 – I first met Toyface (the vocalist on ‘The Wipeout Soundtrack’) at a filthy rave in Bristol, way back in 2009. She was dressed as a bumblebee.
17 – Johannes Schaff recorded the SOS call on ‘Theremin PT II’ in a tapas bar in Covent Garden. He got emotional, which I liked.
18 – The co-ordinates that Johannes Schaff cites in his SOS call are the exact co-ordinates for the anchor at the top of Deptford Market. The anchor is no longer there.
19 – Given the choice of all the possible ways that mankind might become extinct that I address on the record, I would personally choose massive tsunami.
20 – I am a huge fan of Rammstein.
21 – Writing an EP so full of doom and gloom has inspired me to write a completely different album with Lamplighter on the buttons as my next solo adventure. This time around we are writing an LP full of love songs.
22 – I met Bryan Adams once. I had lunch with him. He wasn’t very nice.
23 – I successfully got a crowd of 400 people to sit down when I played ‘Theremin’ live in Sydney late last year. Everyone sat down, including myself, it was fucking epic.
24 – The pantone colour on the cover of ‘The Theremin EP’ is extremely hard to distinguish for printing purposes.
25 – I am extremely proud of the project and hope you like it as much as I do.
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PREVIOUS | Grieves – Serpents (Video)
Here is the brand new Grieves interview we conducted at Hip-Hop Kings during his UK tour in Manchester. Grieves has recently released his album “Winter and the Wolves” which commercially, has been his most successful album to date. We caught up with Grieves at the Soup Kitchen in Manchester and talked about his UK experience, along with the new Winter and the Wolves album and the rest of Grieves’ plans for 2014. Make sure you download Grieves – Winter and the Wolves from the iTunes link listed above, and you can also watch the exclusive Hip-Hop Kings Grieves Interview on the YouTube player below.
Fourteen hundred years ago, a tormented soul walked the earth that was neither man nor God. Hercules was the powerful son of the god king Zeus, for this he received nothing but suffering his entire life. After twelve arduous labours and the loss of his family, this dark, world-weary soul turned his back on the gods finding his only solace in bloody battle. Over the years he warmed to the company of six similar souls, their only bond being their love of fighting and presence of death. These men and women never question where they go to fight or why or whom, just how much they will be paid. Now the King of Thrace has hired these mercenaries to train his men to become the greatest army of all time. It is time for this bunch of lost souls to finally have their eyes opened to how far they have fallen when they must train an army to become as ruthless and blood thirsty as their reputation has become. You can watch the Hercules – Official Teaser Trailer on the YouTube player below.
Thanks to ABC and Marvel Entertainment, we have some great concept pictures from the upcoming movies Avengers: Age of Ultron and Guardians of the Galaxy. Anticipation for both movies is incredibly high, particularly the sequel to the Avengers movie which became the third highest grossed film ever at $1.51 billion. Avengers: Age of Ultron will be released on the 1st of May 2015, and Guardians of the Galaxy will be in cinemas on the 1st August 2014. You can take a look at the Artwork from Avengers: Age of Ultron and Guardians of the Galaxy below.
RELATED | Guardians of the Galaxy Trailer
In a near future in which a hive-like alien race, called Mimics, have hit the Earth in an unrelenting assault, shredding great cities to rubble and leaving millions of human casualties in their wake. No army in the world can match the speed, brutality or seeming prescience of the weaponized Mimic fighters or their telepathic commanders. But now the worlds armies have joined forces for a last stand offensive against the alien horde, with no second chances.
Lt. Col. Bill Cage is an officer who has never seen a day of combat when he is unceremoniously demoted and then dropped untrained and ill-equipped into what amounts to little more than a suicide mission. Cage is killed within minutes, managing to take an Alpha down with him. But, impossibly, he awakens back at the beginning of the same hellish day, and is forced to fight and die again and again. Direct physical contact with the alien has thrown him into a time loop dooming him to live out the same brutal combat over and over.
by David Bosworth @boz_worth
Since the success of break-out series Breaking Bad, Aaron Paul has been an ever increasing name on people’s lips(much like the crystal meth in Breaking bad). Amassing a huge online following rivalling the likes of Justin(Cry) Beiby, Aaron has managed to ride the crest of this fame with a smile and a personality that seems to win everyone over.
Need for Speed is the movie-ish loosely based hit game series adaptation of the same name. If you haven’t played or heard of Need for Speed, you need to go outside and get some daylight as you’ve been living under a rock too damn long.
Be the Batman.
In the explosive finale to the Arkham series, Batman faces the ultimate threat against the city he is sworn to protect. The Scarecrow returns to unite an impressive roster of super villains, including Penguin, Two-Face and Harley Quinn, to destroy The Dark Knight forever. Batman: Arkham Knight introduces Rocksteady’s uniquely designed version of the Batmobile, which is drivable for the first time in the franchise. The addition of this legendary vehicle, combined with the acclaimed gameplay of the Batman Arkham series, offers gamers the ultimate and complete Batman experience as they tear through the streets and soar across the skyline of the entirety of Gotham City.