March 21, 2013

Notts Graffiti

When I was in my very early twenties me and a few fellows would periodically take a trip down the road to Nottingham on a record buying mission to the famous Arcade records. One of my mates already knew where it was and this knowledge came as a surprise to me as he barely left the house - still doesn't - and to this very day he still hasn't learned to drive. On one particular trip we got a little lost as there was a diversion in place and I only knew one way as sat navs weren't invented and we ended up spotting a community centre type building with a perimeter wall that was bombed to hell. The building itself was also shrouded in graffiti and there wasn't a space left that wasn't 'written' on. I parked up, got the camera out - I always carried it, just in case - and snapped away. We'd already discovered the Cifton Youth Centre as we'd been to a graffiti competition/exhibition before - it was there that I'd heard 'The Magic Number' by De La Soul for the first time having already been down to Warp records to try and get it that very morning only to be told that 'it wasn't out yet'. - hence the reason for the out of town buying trips. This place, we later learned, was St. Anns. We went back once more with a mate who worked at the Kodak shop in the city - can't think why I invited him - and took loads more between us and swapped when he'd developed them. The very last time we returned was about a year later and we were disappointed to find it all nicely painted in neutral, bland colours with no sign of the colourful and vibrant artwork that took us by surprise the first time we happened to drive by. A shame really as that's what Clifton looked like after we went back there too a few years later. Good job I always traveled with the trusty, non-digital camera that was really hard to load.
I've chosen a few pics for you to download and have a look at and labelled them as best I can remember. If you are a native of the area or traveled around a bit like we did well. you never know, they might trigger a few fond memories.

UPDATE July 13 - If you want to see more graffiti from Nottingham's well respected past, there's a facebook group dedicated to its history. Its an active group with hundreds of old school photos. You can find it here: -

March 17, 2013

SBX - Holding Down The Tradition

Classic mini documentary from the D.I.T.C crew.  Featuring clips from the infamous freestyle battle between Lord Finesse and Percy P (the whole battle is on YouTube so check it out), and the friendly rematch that was made specifically for this DVD.  R.I.P. to Party Arty.

Also features performance of the tracks:
1. A.G. - Inspiration
2. D-Flow - Don't Know Me
3. Party Arty - Everyday
4. G.D. - Ghetto Dwellas
5. A.G. - Little Big Man

March 14, 2013

Warren Mills - Sunshine

 I was watching football focus the other week and Ledley King was on with some local kids at some kind of get-the-kids-off-the-streets-through-sport type project and they described him as 'Spurs legend, Ledley King'. He was an excellent player but legend he ain't. I think Masterscratch, however, deserves legendary status. His tapes were the best around and he was pretty darned good. If you had one it was your prized possession and other people who heard it instantly asked for it too.
 He played the break from this record, if you can call it a break, on quite a lot of his tapes and I wanted it so badly but never knew what it was called. I was browsing in a used record shop we used to visit once a fortnight on a trip with a few mates. One of them saw it and told me it was 'that record Masterscratch used on all his tapes' and proceeded to describe it to me human beatbox style. I didn't believe him at first; how the hell did he know what it was?. It was 50p so I got it anyway, played it and was most pleased with my purchase.
 I searched around for some info on Warren Mills but no-one appears to know where he is or what he's doing now. The record on the whole is pretty lame and I'm sure Jive thought little Warren would be the next Michael Jackson but there's only ever one of anyone and there's certainly only one Masterscratch. Legend.

March 12, 2013

Ed Piskor Revisited

Almost a year ago, I recommended that you take a look at a hip hop comic strip that had been created by cartoonist Ed Piskor.  Even more intriguing than the creation of a credible hip hop comic, was Ed's 'family tree' format that really helped you to piece together the jigsaw pieces of hip hop history.

Well the comic strip is still going strong with more pieces of the puzzle being added all the time.  But now we get an in depth interview with the man behind it all.  Ed let's us in on how the idea came to fruition, where he intends to take it, and the publication of his first hop hop comic book later this year.  If you've enjoyed the comics, then you'll need to read his interview.

In depth interview:

Hip Hop Family Tree Comic:

March 4, 2013

28 Days Later

There may only be 28 days in Feb (excluding leap years of course!), but the internet has been a busy place.  Here the latest crop of stuff that grabbed my attention over the last 4 weeks.  Follow the jump link after the first item for much more.

The People's Champ

R.A. The Rugged Man has begun promoting his new album (due April 30th) with this blistering track which sets expectations pretty high.  Despite his own Demigodz album about to drop, Apathy still finds time to get on the production boards and conjure up this perfect backdrop for R.A.'s tongue tying, verb flipping style.  
Its been 9 years since R.A.'s last official release, so he's had plenty of time to work on this long overdue (and long promised) follow up.  Let's hope this is a sign of things to come.