Music: Five of the best artists you’ve never heard of (the Hip Hop edition)

Hip Hop by Tom NashIt’s about time I finished the trilogy I started last year with the Instrumental Hip Hop Edition and continued with an introduction to the most criminally underrated and underappreciated Hip Hop groups of our time; CunninLynguists.

This time around, I’m going to share a selection of songs from more artists I feel don’t get the praise they deserve. Those artists are, in no particular order:

Sean Price
The king of ignorance. If you like Hip Hop that’s cynically formulated to moisten teenage girl panties (I’m looking at you, Drizzy), Sean P is not for you. If you like whiplash-inducing boom-bap and your rhymes full of witty punchlines and wordplay, you might just have found your new favourite rapper.
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Offence: When did everyone get so precious?

Offence by Tom NashDespite what many of my blog posts may suggest, I try to make the journeys where I climb up onto my pedestal and proclaim something bullshit rare. When I do, I try to make it worthwhile. I consider this piece one of those. The ease at which people take offence to things these days is fucking ridiculous. Feel free to disagree- that’s what the comment section is for.

Now don’t go thinking I’m one of those “it’s Political Correctness gone mad” pee-narses, this is nothing to do with deluded excuses for racist/xenophobic/racist and xenophobic language/behaviour/language and behaviour, as those of you who make to the end will see.

Now, cleverer people than me have explained why ‘Political Correctness’ is a good thing and they’ve done it in a much more entertaining and eloquent way than I ever could, so I’m going to let one of them do it for me now. If you think ‘Political Correctness’ has ‘gone mad’, watch this clip of comedian Stewart Lee and join the rest of us in a bit, OK?

No, my beef is with the sense of privilege that people are increasingly displaying. The sense of privilege that seems to believe that we are all unique and delicate porcelain dolls that must be handled carefully in case something upsets us. And god-forbid anyone or anything that does.
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Music: When rappers sample songs you know (Part Two)

Hip Hop by Tom NashIf you didn’t catch Part One when it went up (there’s less pointing and laughing… About the same amount of Phil Collins though), or you fancy refreshing your memory, click here.

This post has caused me issues. It seemed so easy at first; think of some horrendous rap songs that sample a well-known track in the backing beat. What could be easier, right?

Wrong.

The first three choices blooooooow, of that there can be no doubt. And there was no chance I was putting a link to anything featuring Professor Green’s strange nasal accent on my website (when he says ‘ahhhhh’, he means ‘eye’, apparently- I know, mind= blown, right?) so his decimation of Where is My Mind by The Pixies is something you are going to have seek out and be outraged by on your time. But if I’m completely honest, it got tough quick, as the majority of songs I remembered as being terrrrrrrible, actually had a weird novelty value upon revisiting.

You try playing that X-to-tha-Zee track below and not cracking a smile when he starts dropping knowledge over that loop. Go on. It can’t be done, unless you’re dead inside.

Who knew Toto’s Africa would work as a rap track? And how awesome is DJ Premier for including the ‘biff, baff, POW’ Batman sound effects in that beat for Snoop Dogg? All the awesome, that’s what. You know what I mean.
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Music: When rappers sample songs you know (Part One)

Hip Hop by Tom NashThe sample. Nothing in music is more divisive. Some say categorically that anyone that uses samples is not producing art and cannot be considered a musician. These people tend to anger quickly, which is ironic considering the reputation of the genres they look to belittle and demonise. The rest of us, I don’t know, get worked up over more important issues, hopefully…

The most famous genre for sampling is, of course, Hip Hop. Without sampling, Hip Hop simply wouldn’t be a thing, making it as integral a part of the music and culture as ridiculous slang, big-ass bass and weird hand movements to accentuate rhymes… *Rap hands*

Think nothing good has ever come from sampling? I raise you a Paul’s Boutique by The Beastie Boys, a Three Feet High and Rising by De La Soul and an Entroducing by DJ Shadow… Never heard of any of these? Do yourself a favour and go catch up, as the ‘well-known’ samples below will probably be a mystery too. Run along, youngblood. Shoo; go learn.

Let’s face it, unless you know the source material, most of the time you wouldn’t even know you were listening to a chunk of some other song, unless someone pointed it out to you. Did you know the Arctic Monkeys have sampled Ennio Morricone (seriously- Google him)? What about Royksopp sampling Parliament/Funkadelic? Even bastions of whiny dad-rock U2 have sampled other artists (Harold Budd and Brian Eno, if you’re wondering).

When it comes to sampling, I guess ignorance really is bliss.
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