Waiting to meet the rapper Poke in Amsterdam's De Duivel bar I was anticipating to meet an eclectic character. As I expected
My first recollections of the grime scene are around 18 years ago, in 1997, when acts like Wiley used to jump on the mic mc'ing on jungle tracks, on pirate radio. He then set up a music click called Pay as U Go Cartel. A few years later in 2001, Pay as U Go released a single called Champagne Dance that had the capitals urban nightclubs jumping.
DEAL REAL, the iconic record store rooted in UK music culture from the early 2000's until its closure in 2007, returned over the weekend for Record Store Day, for a six week pop-up run.
He's sold over 50million records and counting and transcends geographical boundaries and age barriers. He is the Michael Jordan of R&B. But don't take my word for it. Check out the facts...
I have witnessed him perform to local crowds and key influencers in the music world, and there are whisperings behind the scenes akin to him being the new coming, with his return to a more ''conscious, positive'' moment for hip hop content. Talking about his first official release, his EP The Chicken and the Egg (released on 20th October) he explains his musical philosophy.
Jermaine Scott Sinclair - Wretch 32 (three-two) - is the son of a local reggae DJ in the Tiverton Estate, which explains the clear dancehall beats juxtaposed with his north London lyrics that are full of metaphors and soulful hooks and melodies, that will keep you humming for hours after hearing one of his hits.
Stromae is a European megastar. And I'm not talking alternative big, I mean BIG big. Born in Brussels to a Belgian mother and a Rwandan father, Paul van Haver/Stromae first wowed everyone back in 2010 with his world-wide hit 'Alors on Danse' ('And So We Dance'). He released his second album, Racine Carrée (Square Root), last year.
If you don't like motivation, you won't like my music, let's just put it that way. Also, if you like real life s**t you'll love my music. I talk about what's real, such as never having money and every day struggles of life and being oppressed by the oppressors! Basically I make middle finger music.
At Victoria Park he recognised that not everyone in attendance was a Nas fan and many weren't even born when the album was released. Here he said ''I'm Nas for those that done know me, I'm the one that said hip-hop was dead!
One of my favourite thing to do in any city, is just to walk around and explore, I'm very observant and I appreciate the detail of hat makes each city unique. London feels like a special place.