Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Mystro has been dope since fucking forever.
Seriously. You cant question this brers emcee credentials. Even a little.
I can remember when UK Hip Hop had that brief boom in the late 90's and early 00's, where all of the Old Guard came through. Y'know, your Rodney's, your Mud Fam, etc and you'd always see Mys doing the rounds, causing a buzz, generally just being Mystro...
In fact do you remember Kung Fu? Yeah, before it was at the Underworld, when it was in WKD or whatever that place is called now (I swear that place cant stay under the same ownership for more than 25-30 minutes).
You were 10 at the time?!
Bah. I'm really not feeling all these yout-dem, runnin' round, being young.
Its disrespectful that's what it is..
But I digress.
Those were the days and times when "UK Hip Hop" weren't dirty words and we first crossed paths. He was hosting the now legendary (and defunct) Kung Fu nights, holding down the stage and generally keeping the likes of Yungun, Jehst, Verb T, Universal Soldiers and the other up-and-comers in line.
I can remember thinking that he was really pushing the envelope. In fact, I cant really think of anyone else (bar maybe Chester P) from that era who had so effortlessly mastered the art of the punchline, as well as having the stage presence and charisma to really captivate the audience.
For anyone not familiar with what Mystro can do, watch now:
Heavy. Whoever said this "wasn't good enough for TV" is probably retarded (non clinically). Its better than Surgical Gloves. Jesus.
That was then. This is now...
December the 14th sees the release of Mystro's latest Project - F.D.T. (F*ck Da Tax-man), which believe it or not, this is actually a review for, despite the fact I haven't mentioned it till now. I've been slowly digesting it over the last couple of days, trying to listen to it in and out of context to try and get some fresh ears on an artist I've been following for the last 10 years, which has been pretty difficult.
Mys' flow is, and always has been, very tightly controlled, the syncopation always on point and you never get those moments where you're like "I wouldn't have rhymed that with that". Because of this, and the ease that his personality comes across, he's very easy to listen to, which is no bad thing, unless your trying to do a review and you cant analyse his shit because you get caught in the flow or distracted by humour. Like a fool.
Glad to say I did manage it, because there's a lot to get out of this EP. Mys always comes off affable, but its refreshing to here him air the, if not moodier, then more sombre side of his persona. No filler, or conceptually light weight excursions, there are 3 well placed skits out a total of 10 tracks, no guests (none needed) and production duties shared by Super-T, DJ Thor and Earth Hip Hop. Solid.
Despite the fact that he's been a staple part of the UK scene since before there was a UK scene, F.D.T. sounds as current as anything else that's around these days, but with the added bonus of Mystro himself, who manages to come off as an experienced and as capable as ever, without sounding dated. Hey, it would have been easy to do, and it stands testament to his talent that he can keep it contemporary without falling off or losing his way.
What else can I say?
All in all, I'm in it. Cant say that every second of every track is my favourite thing ever, but then when can you say that? What I will go on record saying is that, Mystro was there from back then, helped elevate scene, has kept working and developing while a lot of other heads were lost in nostalgia, and that all of this is evident from his music.
Before I go, I'll leave you with some sneak peaks.
This is the F.D.T. promo vid on youtube, which ends with a snippet from one of my favourite tracks on the album: Banishment.
I also found this: Thorish, which is another cut from the EP and Gunz4Hire, which is just plain murderous (in a good way). Being live footage, you dont get so much of the instros, but damn, Mys is relentless.
EP is out on DON’T BIZZNIZZ on the 14th. Go get it.
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
I've been very busy, and then predictably, very lazy, which is why I've been gone from the blogosphere for the whole of November. I know you don't understand, or care, but hey, whatever, a little context never hurt right?
Currently it seems that my hands and brain seem to want to work together, so, while this brief window of uncharacteristic motivation stays open, and I dont seem to have anything better to do, i figure, I'd better keep it moving with an update on whats been gwarning behind The Door.
First off I've started writing for Le Cool. If you dont know it, you're obviously either an uncultured heathen, or spend your free time partaking in wilful idiocy (sweeping generalisations are awesome aren't they?).
For those who somehow don't fit into the above, Le Cool is a weekly city guide packed full of good shit that you would be interested in. Honestly. Not being sarcastic at all (or am I?*).
There are, apparently, various Le Cools catering for the knowledgeable in the various cities where they're based. There's the London one (which I'm writing for), one in Barca, Madrid, Lisbon, Istanbul, Dublin, Moscow and Budapest. Or, at least that's what the Le Cool site says. For some reason, I've got it into my head that it started in Spain somewhere, and instead of researching, or asking someone who might know, I'm just going to assume that I'm right and go with that. If I'm wrong, feel free to keep it to yourself.
Anyway, they've got me doing food review-y kinda stuff under the amazingly cunning pseudonym Foo D, which suits me fine, but now it looks like other more musical work might be coming my way. Hooray for me, I know.
I'm pretty sure my boy Max(l) is responsible for getting me in on this, seeing as he's the only other person I really know from the Le Cooligans, but I think a shared evening involving several other staff members, and 8 hours of barely remembered hard-core liver damage, may have had something to do with it too. Possibly.
If you like Bikes at all check Fixed: Global Fixed Gear Bike Culture . Its a book by Max about fixed gear bikes, or something equally as energetic. I couldn't tell the difference between an tricycle and a an icicle, but even I found it interesting and I have the attention span of a rohypnol victim. Buy it or face the wrath of the brightly coloured cycle minions of East London.
Er, what else...
My, uh, boss I guess, at Le Cool has her own blog, which she seems to be neglecting these days, but is still worth checking out here.
Uh, there's a poetry related thing, which I'm not gonna get into now, but rest assured, you will be hearing about it shortly and in detail...
I'm now one of the tweeting masses. Thats right motherfuckers I caved and I'm not sorry.
(*no I'm not)