British broadcaster, DJ, producer and author, DJ Semtex, has launched the trailer for a new podcast entitled Hip Hop Raised Me, featuring “exclusive, no-holds-barred conversations with the artists that define the culture”.
Hip Hop Raised Me is produced by Nikita Chauhan and is available on all major podcast platforms, including Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Stitcher.
Chauhan produced BBC 1xtra radio shows including The Friday night Hip Hop show with DJ Semtex and Destination Africa, hosted by DJ Edu.
The weekly series starts on January 11 with the legendary Chuck D of Public Enemy, who joins DJ Semtex for a conversation about Public Enemy and the group’s contributions to hip hop music and to the larger community.
They also discuss the making of the 2020 remix to their hit Fight The Power. Upcoming episodes feature Busta Rhymes, French Montana, Jeezy, Sheff G, and more.
Semtex has played a key role in breaking some of the biggest hip-hop acts on both sides of the Atlantic.
He joined the Global-owned UK radio station Capital XTRA in October 2018 after leaving BBC Radio 1 after 15 years, where he hosted the 1Xtra hip-hop show. He’s also the host of the popular UK-focused Spotify podcast, Who We Be Talks.
The broadcaster’s relationship with, and history in, the hip-hop community is detailed in his 2016 bestselling book, Hip Hop Raised Me.
“THESE ARE IN DEPTH CONVERSATIONS WITH ARTISTS ACROSS THE GLOBE, NO AGENDA.”
DJ Semtex said: “These are in depth conversations with artists across the globe, no agenda. New cutting-edge artists. A-list artists. Architects of sound. Moguls. Icons.”
“Hip Hop is now the biggest art form of this generation. It is the Rock and Roll of the youth, a genre that transcends race and culture, this it isn’t going to stop anytime soon.”
In anticipation of Ghetts forthcoming album which I expect to be released towards the end of 2020, Ghetts released eye-catching new visuals to the bumping single ‘Mozambique’ in July, alongside fellow grime lyricist Jaykae, and singer Moonchild Sanelly.
Ghetts speaks his truth alongside UK heavyweight, Skepta for his new single ‘IC3’. Going smoothly back and forth between each other, over a stripped back hip hop beat Ghetts and Skepta explore what it means to be a Black man in Britain today. From their early experiences and perceptions whilst they were emerging in the music scene, to their feelings now that they are more successful and famous.
Listen to the single below, and let us know what you think:
Leon Sylvers IV aka VIRTRA is an American songwriter and producer. The son of legendary singer, songwriter and producer Leon Sylvers III from family group The Sylvers, Leon IV naturally gravitated to singing, writing and making music at an early age. His first songwriting credit came at just 7 years old for the group Men of Vision, who were signed to Michael Jackson’s label MJJ. Since then he’s worked with A-listers including Gladys Knight, Teddy Riley, Dâm-Funk, Danjahandz and N’Dambi.
VRITRA shares the video for ‘AIR RAID’, directed by Enkrypt Los Angeles. Taken from his new album SONAR, out today on Bad Taste and produced entirely by Leon Sylvers IV. It follows the album’s first single WHAT’S THAT – an energetic bop that serves as the album’s theme tune. An infectious soul loop underpins Vritra’s liquid flow, whilst 808s add low end weight. Impossible to pigeon-hole as merely a rapper, his output across multiple genres is prolific – also listing production, singing and even visual arts on his resume.
Describing the project in his own words, Vritra says, “for me this was one of the most fun to execute. Most of my self-produced music falls closer to the experimental spectrum, but I feel like I’ve never focused on a solid ‘rap’ album. This is that. I feel like fans of my music wanted that. Leon has been one of my favourite producers for a long time. With him taking control of the production it freed me to focus on flow, style, and rhythm pockets. The name Sonar is fitting as well. Makes me think of beams. What made rap interesting to me in the first place was style. This is me beaming that style and putting it on the radar”.
Check out the video below, and let us know what you think:
8-piece Canadian soul collective, The Busty and The Bass and this is their new single featuring Macy Gray collective Busty and the Bassare back with ’Out of Love’ their new single featuring the legendary Macy Gray. It’s taken from their upcoming album, which also features George Clinton, along production from GRAMMY® Award-winning producer Neal Pogue (Earth, Wind & Fire, Outkast, Tyler the Creator)
Radiating rich summer groove, ‘Out Of Love’ incorporates a swell of glistening funk and neo-soul guided by Macy Gray’s distinctive and effortlessly smooth vocal.
“‘Out of Love’ started as a remix that Chris, our trombone player, was working on. It was never supposed to be an original tune but the song’s vocal idea quickly took form and became its own thing. It’s sometimes a treat writing vocals after most of the beat is made, you can really feel the energy and play with the instrumental. I was getting a lot of hot and cold communication from someone and this song is me airing out a bit of that frustration.”
Busty’s Nick Ferraro:
Check out their video below, and let us know what you think:
Fast rising Parisian artist Hendrix Harris enlists renowned Cuban superstar Cimafunk and rising Latin rapper Barbaro ‘El Urbano‘ Vargas for their emphatic new single “Caliente En El Frio”.
Harris’ distinctly rich vocals meeting Barbaro’s raw grit and Cimafunk’s blended flavour tying it all together; the new single leans on bold trap elements, with a soulful edge as each artist speaks to vivid realities and a unique Caribbean identity in their very own way.
Linking up in La Habana for the new video, as they tread the streets and show love to the locals of Marianao, “Caliente En El Frio” is a celebration of all things real in Cuba and the beauty that lies within it.
You can watch the video below, let us know what you think:
Amidst the chaotic and perilous events currently shaking the globe, Cambatta presents “Bones of Osiris” an unapologetic, epigrammatic, street dissertation over a sinister composition Produced by New York beatsmith Chup” and the 2nd single to the upcoming album LSD dropping 7.21.2020.
Speaking on the track, he writes – “When I wrote this song, the moment I heard the beat I was inspired to write something that was wickedly witty yet motivational in a revolutionary sense. This song represents frustration and aggression but also knowledge of self and eagerness to nullify in the burning hunger in my soul.”
Have a listen to his new single below, and let us know what you think:
Joell Ortiz & KXNG Crooked met the year they both wonXXL’s coveted Freshmen of the Year Award. The two’s careers are as legendary as any in the rap game. Joell Ortiz started by signing to Dr. Dre’s Aftermath label, then moving to Shady records as part of the Super group Slaughterhouse with Joe Budden, Royce Da 5’9 and KXNG Crooked. Add to that a fresh feature on Eminem’s newest album “Music To Be Murdered By.” Meanwhile, KXNG Crooked was signed to Virgin Records at just 17 before joining Death Row Records. He’s had a flourishing solo career including collaborations along the way with TechN9ne, 2Pac, Benny The Butcher, Raekwon, Akon, Ray J and more. The West Coast LBC representer KXNG Crooked and Brooklyn’s Joell Ortiz have finally come together for the new joint project “H.A.R.D.” out today!
Speaking on the project, Joell Ortiz writes:“This “H.A.R.D” project is an audio painting from me and my brother Crook. We share similar stories in both life and the music business. The common denominator being the struggle. We take u on a ride over production from Heatmakerz, ILL Mind, J.U.S.T.I.C.E League, Apollo Brown, Erick Sermon and more!! I suggest you put on your headphones and close your eyes for this one.”
Preview the album below, and let us know what you think:
Last November marked Jake Milliner’s introduction to the world with his debut album “Bernie Says”. Working with the likes of Alfa Mist, Joe Armon-Jones and Bubblerap, with stand out releases such as ‘Reminisce‘, and Subject Seven. Jake entered 2020 with the deeply moving sentimental single, “Morning Matters” with UK singer, Yazmin Lacey leading the vocals.
Now, for his latest single, “Freddie’s Winning Hand” he has teamed up once again with US jazz keyboarder Howard McNair. The pair take you on a splendid wistful journey with a traditional boom bap drum pattern, the pair show off their skills behind the keyboard
Have a listen to the single below, and let us know what you think
Australian native but LA based music producer, MWXXLL, fresh from the release of his debut album titled – SHEEESH which featuring the likes of SiR, Aloe Blacc, and Guapdad 4000. MWXXLL took some time to join our Q&A series:
Having being born and raised in Sydney, Australia, what made you want to relocate to LA?
Being a producer sometimes creating within the G Funk world, it was really important to me to connect not only sonically but also physically and emotionally. Travelling to LA felt like the next logical step, a place where this music thrived, although G funk is not isolated only to LA, it feels intrinsically connected with the culture there and I wanted to experience and learn and connect with people who also share that love of the sound, which is not too common to find in Sydney. Just as a bucket list tick too, like when I was younger, I’d daydream about being in LA one day driving down palm lined streets in a fly ass car. I guess it’s always been part of my vision of where I saw myself, even if I didn’t know exactly why at the time.
How has your mindset changed for previous singles, in comparison to bringing out your debut album?
When I’ve made singles, it’s mostly for other people’s projects so although you’re creating within your style and adding your creative elements to the project, ultimately its someone else’s vision you’re creating within. I also think you have a lot of freedom when it’s a standalone track. With this album Sheeesh, It definitely changed my mindset and my approach to creating music. It was about telling a story, finding that through-line something to be listened to as whole and not just picked around the individual tracks. I wanted to find a balance between a beat tape and an album, as a producer with features I knew I wanted to tread carefully so as not to become a “compilation” album, and I still wanted the unpredictability of a beat tape, short tracks that step you through a journey.
What is the biggest lesson you have learnt from your time being in the industry?
One big one is that you yourself have the power to make shit happen, nobody else really, sure someone with a big social media following can post about you, but that won’t happen UNLESS you make the music for that person to wanna talk about and share. Make the best shit you can make and let the universe do the rest.
What is special about Los Angeles, what is the creative culture like?
I love that there’s such a short and sweet approach to organizing sessions, You can be working on some beats one day and a rapper you’ve always wanted to work with can hit u up and say “hey lets cook today”, and then you’re on! The impulsive nature of that side of things definitely keeps you on your feet too having fresh material ready to go and constantly creating and being prepared for when sessions pop up out of the blue.
What do you miss most about living in Sydney?
When I’m in LA I miss the fam and day ones back in Sydney for sure.. But I also really miss the food we got back home, Sydney got some good ishh!
You have had some amazing features on your forthcoming album, when do you feel like you’ve ‘made it’, or do you feel like you have?
I don’t think I’ll ever feel like I’ve “made it”.. It’s just a cool journey to be on and to meet and create with dope likeminded people… Although I will say working with or even just getting props from artists I’ve looked up to for years is as close as I’ve come to having that feeling.
You have worked with countless names in the business ranging from big names to up and comers; are there any producers/artists coming up in LA or Sydney that we should be paying attention to?
LA, Leven Kaliand John Givez are crazy with both the vocals as well as production.. Sydney, Bustter, 18yoman and Uno Stereo are all dope.
How has covid-19 affected you, has been mostly positive or negative transition?
This time has been really strange for everyone, I don’t think there’s any person on Earth not feeling the shift in peoples energies, everyone seems to be doing their bit and pulling together and that’s true in music too. I think we’ve all felt the need to step up and keep putting it out, music has always healed and I think there’s almost more music and content coming out because we all feel a need for it.
Prior to Covid, I was working from my home studio so not much had changed in a practical sense and lockdown hasn’t much changed my workflow. A positive thing is that its forced us to adjust to make sessions work over the net which opens up more opportunities for sessions from country to country and will be something positive we can take with us post- covid.
What is one of your go-to pieces of equipment you use to produce your work?
It’s an obvious one but I wanna say my laptop… you can get just about any sound, any instrument, any synth from just using plugins. As a follow up answer, I’d say the moog sub37 is dope and I love making sounds on it but even a lot of those sounds can be made pretty accurately on plugins.
What would you do if you were not making music or in the music industry of some sort, do you have other aspirations?
I’m interested in a bunch of other stuff, I’d love to learn more about graphic design, animation, game development etc. I don’t really have any aspirations to say I “want” to be successful in those fields at this point though.
Finally, describe your debut album in three words?
Sydney. LA. Vibes
You can listen to MXXWL new album, ‘Sheesh!’, let us kno what you think and support:
Austrian born and raised music producer, and composer Mr Kafer steps up to join our Q&A series so we can learn a bit more about him beyond his music,. Having earlier this month released his latest LP, ‘Orientations‘ through German label, Melting Pot.
Where are you from?
I was born and raised in Salzburg, Austria – a small and quiet town which has a beautiful nature & surroundings. I always appreciated the fact to have so many possibilities to just go out into the nature to find some rest. I think in general it’s a town which offers good circumstances to develop as an artist cause you don’t have a lot of distractions there.
Describe the kind of creative culture within the city you were raised in?
The creative culture has many farcettes there but in general it is best known for Mozart and classical music. Most people go there to consume it („Festspiele“) or to study classical music. But also acting & dancing is a big part of it. Because classical music is such a big focus there, sometimes it seems that everything else is a bit stagnating from time to time – it doesn’t seem really easy to build a constant alternative scene there from my experience. The Hip Hop there is kind of a small scene with stuff going on but not too much happening collectively from my experience so everyone is more like „cooking up his own soup“.
What made you get into music, who were the people around you who influenced you?
That’s hard to tell. One of the first things I was listening to at a very young age was a tape from Cheb Khaled, a singer from Oran in Algeria. I’ve played that over and over again. Later when I was about 10/11 years old I got into Hip Hop and from there on was in love with this music. I also visited a music school at that time where I was in the choir and had classes in music theory. I guess things just took their course and I kind of always had a surrounding & people to share this music with. I remember a good friend of mine and me making mixtapes with our favorite rap songs all the time back in the days and exchanging them from time to time. I think first stuff I was listening to was artists like „The Roots“, „The Pharcyde“, „Pete Rock & CL Smooth“, „Eminem“, „Mobb Deep“.
How has your Algerian heritage in music effected your style? From the instruments you choose and how you structure your tracks?
To be honest, I don’t know in which way or if it has affected my own style concretely. I just always could identify with the music from there and liked listening to it. I think maybe I just naturally developed a certain fondness for certain sounds, rhythms & instruments. Besides that it is hard to tell – I think a lot of influences in that sense are more unconscious and subtle.
How does Austrian and Algerian musical styles differ?
When I think about the music culture, my experience is that growing up in Austria doesn’t necessarily mean to be in contact with the traditional music a lot, except you grow up on the countryside. In Algeria I personally always had the feeling that (regional) music somehow is lived out more actively by the people (no matter if they live on the countryside or in the city) and it also feels like it has a different social value somehow. But that’s only my point of view. And of course the obvious such as the use of instruments, music scales, rhythms, style of singing etc. is a big difference.
Are there any producers/artists you work with really well, what makes your relationship work?
Yeah there are a lot of artists I love to work with. Collaborating is always fun. To name a few – Flitz &S uppe, DDob (the 3 of us also made an album called „Sandals“ last year), Devaloop who is also from Salzburg, Gavin Lord and of course the instrumentalists from the current release „Orientation“, Christian Höll, Makkako and Ruff I. It’s always interesting to collaborate cause everyone hears things differently and brings different skills. I think what makes it work well is just that you get along very well on a personal level. So a friendship is kind of the basis and everything happens quite naturally – you spend some good times together and the music is more like an outcome of it.
What were early experiences in music, did you start with playing instruments or go straight in to making beats?
As I said I visited a music school for four years where I was singing in the choir and had some music theory classes. Music was always around but I never learned playing an instrument during my childhood – always liked to play percussions with friends and just jam. But yeah, I went straight into making beats somewhere around 2012 I think.
Are there any other musicians, and DJs we should be paying attention to?
There are so many great musicians out there and so much nice music is released almost every day. I’d probably be sitting here half a day just writing down names
If you mean the Austrian music scene I can name just a few that come to my mind here:
Mono: Massive Brenk Sinatra Flip Devaloop Moby Stick Raptoar & Windshadow and many more!
What equipment did you use for your recent produce your forthcoming album?
(Pictures of your set up would be great to include) I used my laptop, keyboard, Mpd to make the beats and we used different mics to record the instruments. Big part of this project was the live recorded instruments saxophone, guitar and double bass which were played by Christian Höll, Makkako and Ruff I.
How did you relationship come about with Melting Pot because you’ve released music with them before this?
I studied audio design in Salzburg. There you have to do an internship in the fourth semester. I did that at MPM in Cologne from September 2018 till December 2018. They searched for interns at that time which was a nice coincidence. During that time I also finished and released a project called „Lost Reflections“, which I made togehter with Gavin Lord who is a saxophone player. „Lost Reflections“ was then released on tape on their sub-label KO-OP and is now part of the split LP „Lost Reflections/Orientation“ which came out May 8th this year.
How have you changed your approach from your previous album, to your recent album, Orientations in June ?
My idea was to incorporate oriental sounds and rhythms into jazz, which always has been a great influence & inspiration for my beats. A new approach was to make a record that sounds more organic. I didn’t really have the ambition to make a beattape in the „conventional sense“. To achieve that, I worked with Christian Höll, who co-produced the EP with me and played saxophone on the project & Makkako and Ruff I who played guitar and bass. Shoutouts to the guys! So I guess what really has changed from my approach was to try to create a project that sounds more organic and to work more concept orientated than I did before.
What was your favourite track to produce on the album and why?
I think „Dawn at the Souk“ just because it felt most different from the songs I’ve made till then. It was fun creating something a bit more uptempo with new rhythms. And I just personally like the mood of the song.
Check out his recently released EP below, and let us know what you think and give him your support: