So another year has flown by in the kaleidospic matrix known as the music industry, a full on 12 month calendrical cycle is now complete for 2014, seemingly before the blink of an eye.
I have been privileged to attend many profile events and shows and witness many talented individuals from all sides of the globe.
The year started with a bang and Luc Skyz; lyrical wordsmith and little brother of UK rap and TV personality Doc Brown came to Itch HQ
Dablo, musician, singer, composer to the stars came and dropped new music
UK stalwart heavy weight mc’s Akala and Blak Twang came to shut down the freestyle sessions at Itch HQ, with Tony Rotton managing to secure a surprising Sony Records release of his debut album.
Canadian MC, JD Era who is signed to Raekwon’s H20 record label came to rep lyrical on the BigPromoShow @ Itch HQ
In summer Mobo nominee Little Simz headlined my Camden Crawl #BigPromo event and with fellow female wordsmith Lady Lykez tore the Beatrice a new one
Standout shows from our very own UK artists being Blak Twang, Coops, and Island/Universal’s George The Poet and Nick Brewer along with Ghetts and full band
In summer the excitement and genuine buzz for the Croydon rap collective, Hawk House was genuinely deserved
After programming DJ Abrantee’s Afrobeats LIVE into the Jazz Cafe calendar; it went from strength to strength
From across the pond Dwele, Lalah Hathaway, Dillon Cooper, CNN, Barrel Bros, Talib Kweli, Dead Prez and Common were definitely highlights
My Midlands fam and producer to the stars came thru to our panel for the Youth Been Framed panel in Notts and founding UK rap legends waxes lyrical for Tuned On event bat the Roundhouse in Camden
Great new music was in abundance and supported on my Itch FM BigPromo Show….like PW, Verbal Skillz, EMC, Wretch 32, Larynx & DJ RD, Stormzy, RU1 Fam, Funky DL, Lunar C, Junia T, Essa, Yellows, Shystie, Your Old Droog, PRhyme, Joey Fattz, WuTang Clan, Kemikel Ali; Rhapsody, Marco Polo, Q Tip, J Cole, Nick Brewer, Little Simz, Nick Brewer, Stalley, Ghetts, Joe Buddha, Common, and after a 14 year hiatus D’Angelo is back with a new soul enthused album.
Hip Hop definitely came through to the summer festivals in the form of Wretch 32, Chance The Rapper, Tinie Tempah, Outkast, Nas, which more than compensated for the couple of no shows like Eric Sermon and Camron.
So if music be your Achilles heel then ask Santa to grab any of these projects and you’ll have happy festive ears.
For all your 2015 club/radio promo needs, holla @BigPromo
So I’ve been very privileged to have known and worked with my Detroit homie, Andwele Gardner for over a decade now; I fell in love with his spacey Detroit Hip Hop soul music at the end of the noughties, went to Detroit and got him and the late J Dilla to feature on a few acts I was a&r’ing while working at Universal Music (UK soul group Spacek signed to Mos Def MCA/Universal imprint and L.A rapper and poet T Love signed to Virgin Records).
This is Dwele’s 10 year anniversary of gigs at London’s famous Jazz Cafe; it is now a scaled down 3 nite residency after having performed years of 5 date UK shows. On this occasion he brought his beloved mother; fondly referred to as momma G.
After getting in sync with his excellent UK band members on the debut night; the atmosphere for the second evening’s show was electric.. Having reached the venue just as soul vocalist Alyusha and the homie MC Zani were being applauded for what must have been a very good performance.
The vibes kept flowing with a brief warm up DJ set by the seasoned Calvin Francis, Dwele’s band members embarked unto centre stage; joined by the very soulful and lead bv’s of Detroit’s J Tait..
Immaculately dressed in co-ordinated suits and now a more mature Dwele sporting a hint of grey hair and no longer the signature mass of twisted afro stylee. Typically in a Dwele audience, the female fanbase has always outnumbered the male ratio; this show was no different.
Performing songs from a catalogue birthed from from his 2000 debut entry to present day; included some seasoned favourites like Cheatin, Find A Way. Dwele did his usual performance signature by serenading a young lady on stage and then temporarily jumped into the audience to be close to his fans. Highlights of the evening being when the band showcased their individual skills and when momma G took centre stage for a solo boogie. New York Hip Hop artists came though to show appreciation; Brooklyn’s Talib Kweli and Queensbrige’s Cormega, both fans of the Detroit RnB / musician / rapper.
All three shows were a huge success with many happy audiences; the tour continued to Paris.
Until next time !!!!!!!
S.M.I. (Streets Made Innovators) is a Music Production duo based in London, England. The team consists of Leon Vandol (Vandol) and James Carn (Carnage).S.M.I’s sound is a distinctive mix of stripped- down funk with Soul, Jazz and Rock influences.
In 2012 Vandol and Carnage met by chance through a neutral friend. At the time Vandol was producing under the name S.M.I by himself but always felt that more was needed in order to take the current sound to the next level. Carnage was gigging as a guitarist in and around London Town and also doing some studio work as a session musician.
The pair instantly hit it off and went into the studio that night for a jamming session . After an eventful session many others followed and the new S.M.I was born. S.M.I’s latest release is an EP ‘Back To Earth’ which showcases the duos production sound, it features up and coming artists Rotimo, Kieron Cox and Hipman Junky.
Their lead single from their ‘Back To Earth’ EP is SMI Feat Rotimo ‘Beautiful Place’
Check the write up on S.M.I. in Music Week :-
I think it’s fair to say that it’s been a minute since Common has done a show in the UK, the Chi Town rapper who came into the music game in the boom bap early 90’s as Common Sense. A now seasoned MC who has managed to manoeuvre a career of more than two decades in the ever changing cultural landscape that is Hip Hop. The scenario on Saturday night was a very mild winter’s evening in the heart of Camden Town with a throng of eager music patrons congregating at the Roundhouse (Chalk Farm). The strategy being for me to fit in the Common concert before returning to my usual Saturday night DJ residency in Camden Town, I had seen the supporting artist George The Poet at The Island Records Showcase only a few weeks before.
I arrive at the Roundhouse just past 8.30pm to witness the usual throng of cd sellers and promoters with flyers; I continued to bowl to the VIP ticket collection only to be met by ever so friendly Roundhouse staff who remembered me form DJing there the previous week (Black History Month). With tickets in hand I head upstairs to be seated right at the front of the balcony seating area; I’m then entertained for the next 30 minutes by the skilful dj selection of DJ Mr Thing (Scratch Perverts), embracing classic UK and US boom bap anthems.
The lights go down which leads to a tremendous roar from the full to capacity audience; Common’s very competent tour DJ’s.. DJ Dummy & DJ Aktive warm up with a couple of records then wearing what seems to be like a black and white Christmas jumper, black jeans, and of course rocking that now customary bald head slick Common arrives on stage.
It’s easy to forget the vast array of Hip Hop and cross over hits this Chi Town mc possesses in his repertoire, from Get Em High, Go, Love Of My Life, The Light, Testify, Be etc. He made one lucky girl’s evening by inviting her on stage to serenade her, which was met by many ‘aaahs’ from gushing females. After another classic and dope freestyle he let his Djs shine and flex their skills, at one point Common changed the whole mood and took time to wax lyrically about his long time Detroit producer friend, namely James Dewitt Yancey aka J Dilla. (Perhaps my favourite boom bap producer whom I had the privilege to know and work with over many years).
The performance of Rewind That and the Dilla tribute section was monumental and struck an emotional chord with the audience, all in all the show rocked and stood the testament for ‘Good Music’, with many a fan wanting more.
Common Freestyle (Roundhouse London / Nobody’s Smiling Tour 2014)
Socials :- @common @thadboogie @IMDJDummy @DJAktive
So after knowing the homie PW and his management team Base N Rebulz for a hot minute now, they blessed my inbox a few months ago and asked my company Big Promo to do club /radio PR on ’Blow’ the first joint from PW’s new ‘From London With Love EP’.
PW is a relatively new artist to this rhyming game, although aware of him from his previous releases the content matter and production never tickled my audible ears.. However it’s with great joy and excitement that I announce the kid came back strong. After a lil hiatus to the big Apple (New York City), still only 22 years old and working with producers like Greatness Jones.
This 7 track EP showcases PW’s new found lyricism and wordplay, riding beats in a slightly unorthodox fashion, his collabs on this project include the sultry vocals of Ari Lennox, Hena Gwap & Dymez-A-Duzin.
Favourite and standout tracks on the EP being, If I Die A Martyr, Eat and Blow. The content of PW’s EP is a new refreshing trans Atlantic collab allowing the young mc to wax lyrical without adhering to the pop dance sound of his UK peer group.
Peep my #BigPromo Hip Hop Show on www.itch.fm to hear more PW
Socials :- @THADBOOGIE @PW_ARTIST @BASENREBULZ
Listen to PW – From London With Love EP
On a surprisingly warm October evening in the heart of Camden Town, on the penultimate day of October (30th) was the setting for On Beat at the Roundhouse. The Roundhouse being the historic north London venue which hosts the annual ITunes Festival. The focus of the On Beat/Tuned On team is a series of music business seminars that brings light and discussion on some of the contemporary issues we face within the music business. These sessions offer accessibility and first hand knowledge from some of the most successful and influential figures across the music scene. The event curated between Birmingham independent record label Punch Records and Itch FM as media partners.
Your boy Thadboogie was on DJ duties reppin www.itch.fm and of course waxing lyrical and imparting knowledge on the panel. Holding down the hosting duties in his professional capacity was none other than Fusion.
Panellists included Rodney P, Paul H, Spin Doctor, DJ 279 & Phoebe One (All individuals picked for their long standing contribution to the UK Hip Hop culture)
Topics discussed included;
- The birth of UK Hip Hop
- The Evolvement
- Future Direction
The venue was busy with a knowledgeable music audience interacting and firing intelligent questions to spark conversations, of course some issues were discussed more boisterously and the passion was definitely over flowing in the room. It was a welcoming sight to see many enthusiastic bloggers and emerging new artists both male and female exercising their hunger to gain knowledge from us tastemakers. Much was learned about the rise of the UK Grime scene as a business model and its independency amongst an ever changing volatile music industry. The pioneers applauded today’s business savvy social media pioneers and generally encouraged more unity in an era where the embryonic authentic ‘black music’ artists appear to be sidelined by major record labels. Contrastingly, as many argued ‘it’s just the awakening of black music culture to a wider audience of the internet generation’ who understandably are taking an active role as artists, rappers, singers, producers etc. Fusion did an excellent job curtailing heated and humorous dialogues and kept the whole evening interesting. I’m honest in saying the audience didn’t want the event to end !!!!
Fear not it was both filmed and the audio recorded, the Hip Hop community hopes the event acts as a catalyst for similar future events.
For more info follow @thadboogie @itchfm @itsfusion @Rodney_P @DJ279 @paulhiphop @SpinDoctorUK @PhoebeOneMusic
So in my journey man adventures in the world of Thadboogie and Big Promo I have frequented the legendary Jazz Cafe venue situated in suburban north London several times over the recent fortnight.
The two gigs that jumped out to myself were both seasoned New York City rap duo’s Capone & Noreaga (Monday Oct 20th) and Dead Prez (Wed Oct 29th)
Having worked in record shops and being a Club/Radio DJ for two decades now (yes I have the elixir of youth) it’s with fondness that I remember the east coast of America and in particular New York City for being the prominent force in the culture around the period commonly referred to now as the noughties.
The queue outside had to be around 200 deep and inside the audience for the Capone & Noreaga show were keen to pitch up for priority viewing for one of New York’s seminal rap duos with cult status who seldom grace the UK coast with their presence.
Hosting and DJ duties were duly supplied by a stalwart member of the UK Hip Hop community , namely Kiss Fm’s Shortee Blitz.. He took us on a nostalgic ride from 80’s classics to modern day club bangers.
Working the packed audience and industry tastemakers into a Hip Hop frenzy whilst tastemakers Djs, artists etc congregated upstairs at Jazz Cafe with DJ royalty Tim Westwood interacting on camera duties.
Alas the performance stage time was delayed by 90 minutes, forcing an already hype crowd to become even more boisterous. Finally gracing the stage to a chorus of annoyed boos Capone & Noreaga went through a catalogue of hits from their critically acclaimed War Report & ‘The Re- Union’ albums (‘Superthug’ ‘N.O.R.E’, ‘T.O.N.Y’, Phonetime, L.A.) Literally three songs into the show, the whole audience was won over!
My hunger for lyrical boom bap took me back to the Jazz Cafe on a still surprisingly warm October evening for the Dead Prez show, I was made aware of Dead Prez in my a&r days at Universal Music and their Sony Music debut album ‘Let’s Get Free’ holds a special place in my music collection, I was an immediate fan of their political story telling (ironically I later met and managed UK super producer Baby J who had lived with them during his stay in New York city)
Fortunately for the waiting crowd, my Itch FM colleague DJ Russ Ryan played a dope set and got the crowd amped just before Dead Prez and their DJ hit the stage on time and kicked off the show to thunderous applause and cheers. The stage backdrop to their set being in tune with their African ancestry and messages of political awareness. M1 and Stic Man continued to deliver a frenzy packed energetic performance with mood changes throughout. They embraced songs from their three albums with good storytelling and encouraged the crowd for audience interaction as much as possible, standout moments being when original Saxon Sound member General Levy jumped on stage and performed a song with Dead Prez and of course performances of (‘Mind Sex’, ‘Hip Hop’, Propaganda, ‘I’m An African’)
UK Afrobeats artist Martel B has teamed up with Mr Bigz, Frisco and Young Spray for the huge remix of his single “Badda Dan Dem”, produced by Malawian beatsmith Sean Focus, and set to be released on December 1 via indie label Sagsco. http://www.sagsco.com/
Emerging out of London’s burgeoning UK Afrobeats scene, Martel B is creating his own individual and unique lane, with a very distinctive style, lyrical dexterity and trademark smooth vocals that set him apart, as is evident on “Badda Dan Dem (Remix)”.
Listen to Martel B Feat Mr Bigz, Frisco & Young Spray -“BADDA DAN DEM (REMIX)”
MARTEL B :- @OFFICIALMARTELB
BIGZ :- @MRBIGZOFFICIAL
FRISCO :- @BIGFRIS
YOUNG SPRAY:- (@YOUNG_SPRAY
Later this month, Punch Records bring together pioneers of British hip-hop for a free seminar featuring Rodney P, DJ 279, DJ Phoebe One and Spin Doctor.
DJ ThadBoogie picks his seminal tracks from the UK scene. Read more at http://www.roundhouse.org.uk/blog/2014/10/playlist-the-best-in-uk-hip-hop/