8 March 2006

New and exiting music

I realised I haven’t been writing about the music in a while but now there is no more holding back. Many great albums have either been released recently, or I have just found them lately. British urban music is well represented and one can only ask why the local urban radio is not supporting more of its own talent. I am not saying payola… I am just insinuating that there is some stuff happening between corporate music industry and corporate radio that may or or may not be right.

But the first quarter of 2006 starts to be in its end and I must say that there are some masterpieces out there waiting for you to find them. Or at least me, but then again I found them already.

C-Mone is not a new artist as such but she as just released her first solo album The Butterfly Effect and quite frankly I had never heard of her before. But she is an exiting artist. We are living early March and I feel confident that this one might be on my list in the end of the year. It is hard at times, it is deep most of the time, poetic and generally the lyrics are just spot on. I have not been so exited about many albums this much lately.

Okay I lied. I have been that exited about few other records. Sway is the biggest rap name in UK at the moment. His This Is My Demo and the mixtapes before that are great. It would be impossible to say if he is very funny or very serious, supposedly both depending on the track, but in short, he does what Eminem tries but a thousand times better.

Skinnyman’s album Council Estate of Mind has been released few years ago but I only got it now. This whole article starts getting really boring as I am just praising everything but the truth to be told, it is not very easy to get on this list. I am not saying it is a big deal but I suppose it is the fact that most music out there make me sick to my stomach at the moment so the ones that move me, move me big style… you get the point. Council Estate of Mind is one of those records.

I only recently got Public Enemy’s New Whirl Odor and it is a solid album. The beats are the quality that one would expect from the legends and lyrically album is sharp. It is not as sharp as some of the classics such as It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back but once again, much sharper than anything else out there at the moment. I like this but then again I am a fan so of course I would. The latest album, Paris produced, Rebirth of a Nation is good as well. I got the actual copy this week as soon as it was released, but I am afraid that I have had this album on MP3s since last June or July when it leaked online.

Besides C-Mone, the hardest hitting album for me in recent weeks has been Ceasefire by Emmanuel Jal and Abdel Gadir Salim. This is collaboration between north and south of Sudan which have been in conflict for long enough. Hence the name of the album. This record is fantastic organic rap with a lot of local traditional music influences.

As I am making the Welfare State of Mind show for Bush Radio every week, I have been listening to lot of African rap. That sort of comes with the whole deal which is beautiful thing as the music generally is good, but as I am writing this, I am actually listening to Zola’s Ibutho and besides the language barrier I wonder whether Kwaito could ever become mainstream outside of Southern Africa. I like it quite a lot. It is so rhythmic and the fact that it is in local languages makes it only better. Maybe the recent triumphant success of the film Tsotsi can do that if anything. I think to myself that something beautiful might disappear if everyone starts liking it. I doubt they will.

So these records touch me at the moment. Every now and then new album that I fall in love with is released or I find some older album that I slept on, but I must say that I do not remember when I would have been so exited with so much music. There is indeed plenty of hope left. You just have to find it as it is well hidden .

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