Review Archive
Peyton: 'Peyton'
Album Review - 22-9-2005
Peyton: a man, a voice and songs
!!!: 'Get Up/Take Ecstasy With Me'
Album Review - 25-7-2005
!!!: funky in any tone and super-sized!!!
Michael Jackson: 'The Essential Michael Jackson'
Album Review - 20-7-2005
MJ: Rehabilitation stalls… probably
Missy Elliott: 'The Cookbook'
Album Review - 14-7-2005
Missy Elliott blasts dope recipes
The Juan Maclean: 'Less Than Human'
Album Review - 8-7-2005
The Juan Maclean: diverse and catchy electro-funk…
Various: 'Back To Love'
Album Review - 2-6-2005
‘Back to Love’ and [club] steps in time
Live: John Legend
Shepherds Bush Empire, London

Live Review - 16-5-2005
John Legend provides refuge from blandess
M.I.A.: 'Arular'
Album Review - 19-4-2005
M.I.A.: incinerating rhymes & beats but no sexpression…
Dr John: 'The Best Of The Parlophone Years'
Album Review - 5-4-2005
Dr John: the master's voodoo-compilation
Various: 'Stereo Sushi: Teriyaki'
Album Review - 23-3-2005
Teriyaki is an ace two-course banquet
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Once upon a time - and it does bloody sound like a fairytale as you’ll read in a mo - there was a musical genre that emerged from the disfranchised sewers of American society, the sounds of urban underground, the poetry of unter-classes… During the ‘toddler-period’ of American history, slaves had the rudiments of blues to help them deal with the harsh reality.

Rap originated about the same time as punk (in the US) when NYC ‘hoods started to come alive with ‘spinned’ [segued] discs that by 1977 were ‘rapped’ over, although the first records wouldn’t be for another two years. The Sugrahill Gang, Fatback and Kurtis Blow were the first to have hits in the States and the genre quickly slipped into more popular forms with Blondie, The Clash and Tom Tom Club adding it to their arsenals. We all know the most important crossover, Run-DMC and Aerosmith‘s ‘Walk This Way’ from ‘86.

In those early days rap was rather political - NWA, Public Enemy - but it all deviated into gangsta-rap, a self-glorifying and warning-to-whites about ‘Black planet.’ The capitalist inevitability is that everything gets digested by the ‘machine’ - ever since the suits realised that there are million-selling discs like Dr Dre’s ‘The Chronic’ to exploit - and today’s Hip-hop stars are signed to the major labels… ‘Subverting-from-within’? Yeah, right-on, bro and sis.

There are very few politically-minded and reality-concerned rhymesters, such as Dead Prez or Paris [36-year-old Californian Oscar Jackson, check out his ‘Sonic Jihad’] who once commented that, “It’s easy to put out carefree music that serves the purpose of diversion and escapism. It’s one thing to run away from the problem in the community and another to address them. I prefer to address them, as opposed to pretending they don’t exist.”

Wu-Tang Clan, Eminem, 50 Cent... Shots fired at Nas' London show!