The Urban Hour Part One

on Friday, March 21, 2008
It's Good (arguably!) Friday and hence I have a bit of an easter egg special type thing going on here. I've rarely featured "urban music" (to me that encompasses hip hop, rap, r'n'b, drum and bass etc but obviously it shouldn't really be used to pigeonhole artists doing very different things) so I've decided to pretty much dedicate a couple of posts to urban music. Today's one is a bit mainstream orientated but the next one has some exciting, new "urban" acts.

But for a brief venture into the underground, a few urban artists have been adding my blog MySpace [link] as a friend. Which is cool. Unfortunately, they don't have their tracks up for download so I'll just do a quick shout out to a couple of them. Firstly, French hip hop collective P.o.s.Style who use orchestral samples, which already makes them better than 99% of their peers in my eyes. Then we've got Its Jus David, or Its Jus David...I'm In Lov Wiv Her, or Dem Kingshold Boiz. I honestly can't tell. I'm hearing a bit of Kano in the tracks, although it's predominantly an r'n'b vibe.

Now onto GTA, a couple of rappers from the Oxford area. Neill's (aka Ineffable) an accountant and Chima's a doctor. Middle class hip hop! They rather amusingly opened their email with the words, "Your site discusses the kind of thing we do....", which is pretty much the biggest lie ever but nonetheless, better late than never. 'Wanna Be Myself' is a poppy track, sounding a bit like a mash-up between Akon and Estelle and is out digitally (iTunes etc) on 14/04/08, before their debut album 'The Way' drops.

GTA - Wanna Be Myself [Yourfilehost download]

Speaking of Estelle, apparently she's on her way to the UK number one single this week, which is quite unexpected. Although 'American Boy' does feature an appearance by Kanye West so perhaps not so surprising. And one of her earlier singles, '1980' (which I still thoroughly enjoy) did well in the charts. I've got a BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge cover, which will probably horrify most people reading this post but I do actually enjoy the original. Estelle even called it "dope". I think that means good. It's the unashamedly pop, 'She's So Lovely' by Scouting For Girls.

Estelle - 1980 [Yourfilehost]
Estelle - American Boy (BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge) [Yourfilehost]//[Sendspace mirror]
Estelle - She's So Lovely (BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge Cover) [Yourfilehost]//[Sendspace]

We'll finish with another potentially massive faux-pas, a cover by The Feeling. Another guilty pleasure of mine (and hideously out of place in a post about urban music), they did a cover of Kelly Rowland's 'Work (Put It In)' recently. 'Work' is probably my favourite r'n'b track this year, although the Freemasons remix trumps the original mix and is utterly, utterly brilliant. And she is looking pretty sexy these days too (see vid below). Anyways, The Feeling did a good job and even made it extra sordid. Give it a chance.

The Feeling - Work (BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge Cover) [Yourfilehost]//[Sendspace]


The next post will feature more credible acts, like The Riff Raff and Riz MC. And maybe some other people if you're lucky.

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