Thursday, 22 May 2014

Melissa Steel ft Popcaan "Kisses For Breakfast" / Kano ft Popcaan "Alien"

Seems like the #TeamUnruly King is in demand amongst English artists. Last year saw him on a track with north London rapper Sincere, this week saw two releases of audio boasting a Popcaan feature.

First up, Atlantic records recent signee, Melissa Steel "Kisses For Breakfast". The Yorkshire lass cut a version of the Wundah-produced should've-been-a-hit single by Lea-Anna in 2012, however, this obviously has more flavour with the unmistakable Popcaan assistance. Check it out below and look out for the video.

The other is on a hip hop-based beat with co-mic controller Kano. As K-A mentions, he's done songs with Kartel, now here he is with a protege.

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Fuse ODG = best black British artist right now*

Yeah I said it. That statement may come as a surprise to narrow-minded folk that believe it's impossible for someone who loves bashment (like me) to give an afrobeats artist that accolade. Maybe that's the case for some, but I have no qualms, mate.

Here's why:

He makes the truest music of any black artist in the UK on a known level right now (no bedroom guys/girls). His music is relevant to what's happening here in the UK - with the proliferation of house music in charts and dance floors - and his home country, Ghana, at the same time. There's very little compromise in what he's doing too. He's still the same guy we first knew to now - both lyrically and musically. And it works across generations. Kids love it, teens do and grown ups too.

See, the reason why what he's doing stands out a whole lot more is mainly due to the rest of these guys out here replicating what goes on in a country we're already exposed to. Not to cuss 90s babies, but criticising 90s babies, they lack understanding of their own identity. Majority aren't offering much different to the regular import we've got in abundance. I often think "Why listen to you when I can listen to the guy you're copying?" when I watch videos.

Fuse is in a lane all by himself. He's the only afrobeats artist in a major label deal over here. I'm sure Wizkid will be signed soon (my money's on Atlantic. Don't ask me why), but as it stands, Fuse is able to offer an accessible version of music that's really popular in certain sections of the country to people none of his peers can.

But let us not get it twisted, he's on par with most of elite as evidenced by his popularity on the continent itself. D'Banj was the first through the door with major label-assisted "Oliver Twist"mainly  because everyone really wanted it to work. It was a popular song, good floor filler but everyone really wanted it to work. The Kanye co-sign and novelty factor really helped push that song. Ministry-assisted Atumpan "The Thing" (equally as massive in clubs) barely scratched the surface.

"Antenna" on the other hand is afrobeats' first genuine smash-hit. I'm not saying this after the fact (it sold over 200,000 copies), I stated it will be the surprise hit of last summer prior to Radio 1 even playlisting it. Partially ignoring "Azonto" (novelty record that charted at #30 because Fearne Cotton hates it), dancehall-inspired and highest charting single "Million Pound Girl" (UK #5) is another genuinely good song and credible pop. A search against the name of any his songs + "dance" brings up videos of amateur dancers having a crack at showcasing their choreographed routines racking up thousands of views. You can't buy those genuine feelings for a song.

Or 6 million views in the case of this video below

Anyway, his new single is out. It's the coming together of two worlds; afrobeats and bashment. You'll find stupid people pitting them against each other all the time just because majority of London's black population are either Caribbean or African so you have that rivalry. Fuse ODG not only features Jamaican artist Sean Paul, Jamaican Stephen "Di Genius" McGregor is on production duties alongside Ghanaian producer Killbeatz. And don't think Sean Paul is washed up; this will be the fourth time he's fronted or featured on a UK top 10 single for the past three years (including The Saturday's only #1).

Fuse is an example of the artist I said people should be like in 2012; dance floor fillers about females that males don't find cheesy. Well, I actually said "gal tunes man dem rate". Infectious melodies, lyrics upgrading females and home-away-from-home inspired music (soca, afrobeats, reggae/dancehall etc.) are always win in my books. And it's always won. And I won't stop banging that drum.

Fuse is encapsulates everything we actually need right now. We don't need a hip hop or r'n'b scene. Trust me. Don't get me wrong, I'm not against it; they can do it if that's how they feel to make music, but we definitely don't need a UK-imitiation of an American scene. What we need is original music. One that (excuse the pun) fuses genres. Like Lovers Rock, 80s UK reggae & UK dancehall, jungle, UK Garage, grime, UK Funky. Contemporary with our traditions. That's what we need.

Get it off iTunes here

p.s. this is the third time Fuse has worked with a Jamaican dancehall artist. Elephant Man features on Azonoto remix and Konshens features on Million Pound Girl

*subject to change when Skepta, Chip and/or Wretch drop some material.