The Late 80s was a very interesting time for hip hop music both in the US and over here in the UK. I remember as a kid getting in to the hip hop culture by watching the film Break dance as well as hearing the Fat Boys, The Beastie Boys and Run-DMC. At the time I would have been about 8 or 9 years old. However when I really fell in love with hip hop was a few years later in 88 or 89 when I first heard artists like Big Daddy Kane, Public Enemy and De La Soul. Along with the US rap superstars there were a handful of UK rappers that at the time had the same impact on me as a fan of the music. One of these UK hip hop pioneers was Overlord X. What I respect most about Overlord X is his consistency in making quality hip hop tracks, plus on every 12″ single he released there was at least one different track that did not appear on any of his albums. In 2012 this may not seem like a big issue but back in the late 80s and early 90s music (especially hip hop) was not as accessible as it is now. Even in 1990 hip hop records used to get filed in the dance or jazz section of a record shop.
My point is that on every Overlord X 12″ or single there would be a unique track making the singles as much of a worthwhile purchase as the albums. Overlord X along with his DJ Sir-Preme-Tee were one of the few early hip hop crews from the UK to make hip hop their own in terms of not rapping in an American accent. Overlord X‘svocal style and music are somewhat unique to him while alongside his DJ Sir-Preme-Tee paved the way for a lot of UK hip hop DJ’s (on Wax especially) with tight and super funky scratches and cuts. Overlord X also had a crew of rappers, DJs & Performers called the X Possee who were from the East London borough of Hackney. I have decided to take a look back at the recording career of Overlord X to give some well deserved props and recognition to one of the UK’s classic hip hop Pioneers.
Occasionally in music you discover and album that you can play from start to finish without skipping a single track. In my opinion Speech Debelle‘s “Speech Therapy” is one such album. Everything about this album is unique. It is so unique that Speech Debelle as an artist is hard to compare with other artists as she has a distinct style writing and music that stands out on its own. The entire album has very thought out lyrics that reflect situations that most people have found themselves in at some point in their lives. In 2009 Speech Debelle picked up the Mercury music prize for the “Speech Therapy” album. Currently signed to Big Dada RecordingsSpeech Debelle‘s music has been increasing in popularity and as an artist she is at the forefront of conscious music coming out of the UK. Break to the beat have decided to take a look back at the album that kick started Speech Debelle‘s” career.
If you are not familiar with Speech Debelle‘s work then check out the entire album track by track complete with several videos via the links below. The lyrics and music speak for themselves so if at any point you have ever been a fan of classic hip hop, Lyrics, or just a fan of exceptional song writing then this album is one to have in the collection. Further info on Speech Debelle can be found at the below websites: Continue reading →
Here is a chance to see a video of an unreleased Demon Boyz track when they were still recoding with DJ Devastate and the Twilight Firm. Original Demon Boyz vinyl changes hands for big money amongst ragga hip hop collectors, but this is unavailable on record or CD. The track is called “No hocus pocus” and would appear to be the original version of the track entitled “Hocus pocus” that appears on the Demon Boyz second LP “Original Guidance” that was released in 1992 when DJ Devastate had left the group and they were working with the Rebel MC, DJ Pogo and Cutmaster Swift. This video was made by two film students in the summer of 1990 who were fans of the Demon Boyz. There was no record company involvement or budget for the video and it was filmed in and around Tottenham and Camden Town in London England. If like me you were a fan of the Demon Boyz “Recognition” LP then this video is definitely worth checking out. DJ Devastate‘s scratching is as on point as ever, as are Mike J and Demon D‘s lyrics and delivery.
For those people reading that are not familiar with the Demon Boyz. Their career started when they were in there early teens and won a rapping competition on Dave Pearce’s Radio show by rapping down the phone live on air. Demon Boyz (Mike J and Demon D) went on to support Derek B, Faze One, and T-La Rock at Camden Palace and shortly after recorded their debut track “This is a jam” which was released on the Music Of Life compilation “Hard as hell vol 1” Also on the same compilation were early tracks by MC Duke and Overlord X. To my knowledge all the tracks on the LP were produced by Simon Harris. The Demon Boyz track also features Derek B on the cuts. Continue reading →