Saturday, December 08, 2007

This is even better

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Le Cool this week

Gig/Club Speakers' Corner

In what can only be described as hell on earth (the final gate for a late Berlin – London Ryanair flight) I spotted a mountain of a man. In my Ativan-Weißbier haze I tried to make sense of the mythical creature sat before me in giant-sized flashy rap gear looking as tired and hungover as my own self. Could I really be on the same flight as legendary Geordie MC Stig of the Dump? I could not believe my little hip hop floozy eyes! After boarding I scurried down the narrow aisle to speak to Stig, who had in tow his Beer and Rap partner Dr Syntax and Merciless Records mastermind – DJ Snuff himself. Snuff informed me that this week hosts the year’s final Speakers Corner – a night where London’s top MCs gather for one of the rawest cyphers in the city. Expect spitters galore (100 were personally invited), airing their wares at this must-go Brixton night out. My man Stig may be lurching in the shadows. Watch yourself. /

Art Party Evolving Styles: Xmas Party

Christmas Christmas time is here, with spray paint cans and haters’ sneers. The boys at Pimp mag and Evolving Styles are back again for the Xmas leg of their charity auction at Cargo. This round sees a healthy dose of Germans with Munich’s Flying Fortress, painting alongside Frankfurt/Erfurt duo Herakut and the UK’s Nick Purser and Mr Jago. All these dudes and dudettes are mad impressive – check out those links for real. A silent auction will offer the live work (plus donated pieces from Dave Kinsey, Faile, Crash, Daze and more) at crazy prices (IE you set ‘em) and then the money goes to SOS Children – the biggest kids orphan charity in the world. With hot boozy drinks, roasted nuts, and marshmallows –– you can’t really go wrong with this one. It starts and ends early – so you can do some good, get some free shizz and move on to the next jam. /

Gig/Club Abdominal @ Breakin' Bread

I know, I know – enough friggin’ RAP stuff already. It’s just a busy week, ok? Sorry. So um – yet another Christmas party from yet another hyper-hype London b-boy crew – this time Breakin’ Bread brings the funk to Jazz Café. We had to big this one up kids as MC Abdominal – straight from Toronto, Canada hits the stage with his tour partner and all round fun guy, DJ Fase. Fase is a bit of a legend in my parts, as in, he plays at almost every local night worth going to. And Abs, who just released his first solo LP, has been hanging out in hostels and Brick Lane curry houses just waiting to unleash his pain on London town. Yup it’s fun, it’s a bit backpacky, but you can be sure that old Skeggy will bring enough delectables in his vinyl sack to keep your over-partied ass shaking all night long. / Chloe McCloskey

Well hip hop loves you Iran!

Iran hates hip hop - From Henry Adaso,
While the U.S. government is interested in cracking down on Iran's ability to develop nuclear weapon, Iran has embarked on a different crackdown of its own -- a ban on rap music. Iran's Ministry of culture admits that there is nothing wrong with hip-hop music in itself, but maintains that the "obscene language" used by some of the artists forced them to place a ban on the music.

"In coordination with the police, illegal studios producing this type of music will be sealed and the singers in this genre will be confronted," said the official for evaluation of music at the Culture and Islamic Guidance Ministry, Mohammad Dashtgoli.
Predictably, conservatives in Iran cheered the effort. But moderates have denounced the move, calling it a distraction from Iran's real problems -- a crumbling economy.

Monday, December 03, 2007

I love him

December 3, 2007
Let us spray: Banksy hits Bethlehem

With Christmas around the corner and tourists staying away, Bethlehem has turned to an unlikely source to help to revive its suffering economy: graffiti.

The “guerrilla artist” Banksy has helped to transform the security barrier that surrounds the town with more than a dozen satirical images painted, plastered and sprayed on to the 8m-high (26ft) concrete. The work winds a trail to the heart of the city at Manger Square, where more than a dozen pieces are housed directly across from the Church of the Nativity. Click here for more...

Le Cool Fool

Gig Jill Scott
It appears that no amount of lorazepam and airline booze can compare to the lazing effects of a Sunday spent in bed with a generous lover as the rain pounds the tin barn roof and Jill Scott quietly utters her tales of amour over the hi-fi. While I’ve heard from a few Rn’B singers that even the hardest gangsters need to ‘make love,’ this is no excuse to start blasting Lloyd Polite when your object of desire drops by for a cup of tea, you thug. Miss Scott sings to her object – whether they’ve misbehaved, or been very ahem, generous. She’s not doing it for you, or me or even Young Lloyd. For the next 3 nights the songstress, (who scribed Erykah Badu’s bit in the Roots’ You Got Me) will unleash her love at the Empire – where you will no doubt be able to spot some gangsters trying to woo their women. Let’s take a long walk, and just be silent, c’mon! /

Gig Music de Beauvoir
Don’t be misled. A night spent with big band Music de Beauvoir is not likely to hurl you into a debilitating bout of existential angst. Nor will it somehow suddenly augment your attraction to googley-eyed French dudes as its name might suggest. Led by Precise and Olson (P&O), the sample-slangin’ masterminds behind Wall of Sound’s Vinyl Dialect, this jazzy, bluesy, funky, hip-hoppy experiment seeks to create an artful form of music that is best enjoyed live. The ensemble, comprised of an impressive roster of hard-working musicians, including (for name dropping’s sake) Leon de Bretagne, who’s toured as ?uestlove’s bass player and been on millions of hip-hop albums, will play live the emotive library music-sampled tracks produced by P&O. With ten members, this crew is hard pressed for practice time, so tonight’s gig is a very special treat. You should go. /

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

London Selected * 037

Art/Gig Victims/Algiers

France is hating on Algiers. As I write this, Algiers’ producer, drummer, guitarist and back-up vocalist Frankie Fisher is hitchhiking from a small town in coastal France to Paris – where he’s to catch a flight to London to perform with his band leader, ahem…partner Ryan Mahan (bass, lead vocals) at the private view of Nicola Morrison and Kim O’Neil’s long-awaited Victims show. The reasons for this rather ballsy journey is because France is basically on strike and half the band is based in Brittany. The Atlanta-bred duo have been working in a Camden barn on their curious blend of hip hop, punk, gospel, soul and guitar stuff all summer. In the same barn, in fact, as painter Morrison, who, with her own estranged partner, O’Neil, have created a thoughtful homage to the five street-walking victims of Whitechapel’s most famous serial killer. Come celebrate with the foursome – whose combined creativity will finally be unleashed tonight at the Showrooms in Shoreditch with complimentary beer and absinthe. / Chloe McCloskey

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Dry them hands proper...

Yo you know when you go out for dinner, or you're drinking at a bar and things are going really well? Then suddenly - you have to run to the washroom to pee? It's kind of annoying because you're having a really good conversation with someone and you don't really wanna leave them hanging? The Dyson Airblade is cuts toilet time by half. Why? Because you don't have to stand there for ten minutes while some pathetic dryer blows on your hands like a baby at a birthday party. You stick your mitts in there and slowly (ten seconds!) pull them out and you're done.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

An incredible phenomenon...

The Original

The Banjo Player

The Chubby Girl

The Wannabe

The Chinese Chick

The Baby

The Dude

Friday, November 16, 2007

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Busy Week!

Hey-llooo check'er out...this Fabric thing below is going to be insane - I'm going Friday whooooo whoooo

Club Annie Mac Presents
Holee Guacamoleee!! I know that we always put Fabric stuff in – but there is a Holy Grail of reasons why we can’t overlook this Friday’s Annie Mac Presents Tour. Where the heck to begin? Well we have the GET FAMILIAR VS FOOLS GOLD in Room One which features so much freshness I think I might barf. East-end selectas Patchwork Pirates will tear it up with “head-nod wonky hip hop and dancehall to UK garage to tuff electro” alongside crazy buzz-girl Kid Sister, with her mans A-Trak (World DMC champ, Kanye’s tour DJ and little bro to Chromeo’s Dave1), Ed Banger’s DJ Medhi, Lady Sov-producer Sinden, Flosstradamus and Hannah Holland. Room Dos will play host to Annie Mac herself and Simian Mobile Disco – while the third will house the YoYo crew, led by Lily Allen’s ex Seb Chew who will be on the decks as well. This is fashionable music at its finest – it’s a matter of figuring out how to be in 3 places at once. /

Theatre The Six Wives of Timothy Leary
‘Imagine what it would be like to be dead? You know? Like, imagine if we were all just dead right now – but think we’re alive just based on like the mainstream conceptualisation of what reality is? I mean,what if we’re actually just bits of ash floating through the universe on a rocket ship bound for infinity?’
American LSD enthusiast Timothy Leary doesn’t have to ask these questions, well not at least anymore – his ashes were sent to space aboard a Pegasus Rocket in 1997 following his well-documented death from prostate cancer. The Six Wives of Timothy Leary explores the stories of the women who married this brilliant, yet eternally flawed man. Written by Philip de Gouveia, a recent graduate of the Royal Court’s 26+ Writers Programme, this Weaver Hughes Ensemble-production will use multi-media recordings from the 1950s-90s to tell the tales of the female backbones behind the trips. Tune in man. /

Gig Illa Man
You gotta love the hunger of an underground rapper. Throw in a bit of talent and you’ve got a force to be reckoned with. West London MC Illa Man (AKA David Penning) has both. The 25-year-old is one of the hardest-working MCs I’ve come across on this side of the pond. With spit-fire lyrics in that distinctively UK Jungle-influenced style, Illa delivers his tunes with a playful passion, covering a range of topics – from getting retarded with mates to the tragic loss of his best friend in a freak accident to the perils of being deeply in love. Having worked with dancehall legend Spragga Benz, and Cypress Hill’s DJ Muggs – Penning is an experienced spitter, and will be playing at Paradise (no really!) tonight. Performing tunes from his Things Mixtape (out now on Buttercuts Records) and upcoming project, Open Season, Illa’s bounce will no doubt warm you up on this chilly November evening. /

Comedy Allah Made Me Funny
The daily strife of the Palestinian, Afghan or Iraqi people is not generally something that makes anyone want to laugh. Cringe with shame perhaps? Seethe with anger maybe? The American-led war on terror has created many tensions in our society and has not shown a sign of letting up any time soon. With this in mind, you have to be thankful for funnymen Preacher Moss and Azhar Usman, who this month launch the official Muslim comedy tour, Allah Made Me Funny in the UK. Aiming to shed light on rarely joked-about subject matter, these US-born Muslims combine traditions of American humour with their experiences as cultural-underdogs to present a hilarious show that is appealing to any audience. Says Moss: “The concept of this tour is to make a comprehensive effort to provide effective, significant, and appropriate comedy with an Islamic perspective, which is both mainstream and cross-cultural.” With three shows at the Riverside this week – you shouldn’t miss it. /

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


The mother of American rapper and producer Kanye West has died in Los Angeles following what's being reported as complications related to a cosmetic surgery procedure.
Dr Donda West was 58.
The English professor, who in May this year released a book about her experience raising the successful hip hop star, also managed her 30-year-old son's businesses and charity, The Kanye West Foundation.
A spokesman for Mr West has said,
"the family respectfully asks for privacy during this time of grief."

Friday, November 09, 2007

Le Cool this week...

Yo yo yo yo interesting week on ALL FRONTS.
I need to do so much stuff - a lot has to do with immigration...boooooo!
Seriously if you're down - go to the Blind Alphabetz release party at Cargo next Weds - it'll be free to get in and I'll be there. :)

film/talk Monica Ali and Hanif Kureishi
The release of Brick Lane, a film based on the award-winning debut novel by British-Bangladeshi author Monica Ali, has been wrought with controversy. During shooting in the Tower Hamlets last year, around 100 protesters turned up to contest the “shameful” depiction of the community, while a council representing many UK Bangladeshis lodged formal complaints to Ali’s publishers. These local critics garnered support from Germaine Greer – who was then condemned as ‘sanctimonious’ by Salman Rushdie – can you say literary beef or what?! To top it all off, the film was only last week pulled from being this year’s Royal Film Performance, which Clarence House blamed on ‘controversy.’ A fundraiser viewing of the film at the ICA tonight finds Ali herself in a pre-show conversation with fellow beef-ridden British-Asian writer Hanif Kureishi. Need I say more? /

Gig Blind Alphabetz Record Release
“Luvolution is a revolution born out of love and submission to our creator, rather than a revolution born out of hate towards people,” so I was told by Mohammed Yahya over soft drinks and still water in Marylebone a few months back. This was my first encounter with the North West London MC, who together with Iron Braydz, (Yahya’ smate, producer and fellow Islam-convert) forms hip hop duo Blind Alphabetz. With two and a half years of production behind them and a collaboration with Dead Prez’s M1 (the de facto chief of conscious rap the world over), Blind Alpha are finally ready to let loose their debut offering, Luvolution to the masses. A gimmick-free passion for the positive and a faith-driven flair for storytelling will be unleashed at Cargo tonight at their free record release party. Get down there, and you too will soon be yelling ‘Viva la luvolution!’ /

shopping Fresh Kicks!
God god god, there are so many ways to tackle this little fun-nugget of a preview. Nike (sweatshop labour-exploiting multinational? or emblematic brand of hip hop culture? You decide!) blew my colleague and I away a little while ago when they came out with the NikeiD – the online design studio which allows you to create your very own customised kicks. I mean, this really brought a new meaning to the concept of Limited Eds right? Pretending to work, we’d drool over our creations, never having the nerve (or the funds) to actually order the things. Now, they’ve created a proper store, where you can go in and do the ting with the help of “trained Design Consultants.” What? All I can think about is watching those nu-rave idiots bust out of their bright red skinny jeans with jealousy for my utterly old school sense of footwear pizzazz. / Heiress Maximus

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

This is embarrassing...

One of 'my' writers dissed this party in the upcoming le cool. Nice. To my defense, I only put it in because we needed a club night...and...Fuck it, I stand by it.

Club Movement at Bar Rumba

When I was 16 I came to London for the first time to visit a friend whose father had moved the family here. We spent our days wandering through Camden Town (as any teenage tourist should), drinking at pubs (the shock of drinking in an actual bar!) and taking boat rides on the Thames, basking in the glory of knowing everything yet experiencing important world landmarks for the first time. Our big night out was at Bar Rumba where we drank Red Bull jacked-up with cheap vodka smuggled in by our baggy jeaned homeboys. Ten (sigh) years later, and this landmark club is still going strong. Tonight’s party features a stellar selection of D n’B elite including Sao Paolo’s DJ Andy, Dizzee’s Da Feelin’ producer Shy FX alongside veteran MC Skibadee. All this in celebration of selecta Jordan V’s birthday at the long-running Movement party. Bring it back – but now that you’re a grown up – don’t sneak in store-bought booze, I promise I won’t. /

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Who friggin' called this one?

Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs
#1 This Week


Friday, October 26, 2007

Le Cool this week...

art Sign of the Times: Seen at Stolenspace

I once caught wind of a Basquiat show going on at a tiny gallery in Nusa Dua, Bali. Luckily I was on the stunningly beautiful tropical island, and boredly spending my time flirting with four-foot-tall Indonesian surfers and trying to get sunburnt English guys to buy me drinks. I needed to be rescued from this slaggy existence and was convinced that some art by one of New York’s most legendary 80s street scrawlers was a great way to put perspective on things. I don’t know where you’re at this week – but if you think that the work by a classic graff artist might sort out your existential issues – take a peek at Seen’s work at Stolen Space. Featured in Chalfant and Cooper’s pivotal ‘84 book, Subway Art – this man is a total legend, and his second show at the Truman Brewery gallery will be hype. I have no idea what this has to do with slumming it in Kuta Beach. /

Fun Go On a Date

I know everything you read right now bangs on about how it’s getting cold, which inevitably means it’s time to do something or other differently. But if there’s one thing that should change with the seasons, it’s your love life, no? Ok not a total Facebook relationship status overhaul, but maybe you should go on a date? A good idea would be to go out with friends on a Saturday (or Wednesday!) night, get really trashed and call that f**ker you’ve been crushing on for like, evaar. Tell ‘em it’s high time you got it on and make tentative plans to meet up on Sunday. Wake up still drunk. Get in the shower – wash off all the sin and put on a cute outfit. Make sure your breath and hair are in check. Meet your honey, smile and head straight to a pub. Do shots of tequila until any trace of nervousness is completely wiped out and then go for a walk in a park and make out on a bench. End the day however you like (up to you!) and if that’s not a cure for the cold-weather blues, I don’t know what is. /

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Hot Shit

My friend got her first tattoo when she was nine and her two younger sisters soon followed suit. They are crazy blonde Jewish girls who drink like champions. The youngest one is currently tearing up the web(?)waves with her bad attitude and ill fashion sense. Check her out. Now.

London Selected * 032

Club/Gig Skepta: Greatest Hits Tour You gotta love the arrogance of a hip hop artist. Particularly one such as Skepta, who is so confident in his talent, he names his debut LP ‘Greatest Hits’. Debut it may be, but Skepta, dubbed the ‘king of grime,’ is no novice to the game. Having launched his Boy Better Know outfit with brother (and fellow big name) JME off the back of his posse Roll Deep, the North London spitter has been a solid resident on the grime scene for time. His launch party at Cargo tonight is not the first time on this Shoreditch stage either; he recently supported crewmate Wiley’s record unveiling here – which was a mad party in its own right. With support by London “Disco House / Melodramatic Popular Song / Tropical” DJ duo Radioclit, who are sure to throw down a bananas set, the show will no doubt be a sonic adventure with big beats provided by some of the UK’s hippest music makers. /

Film/Party Bike Film Festival: Monkey Warfare Last year when my best Canadian friend told everyone to come down to the Bicycle Film Festival’s afterparty most of our homies stared blankly in confusion. “A bike film festival?” one asked, “I don’t get it.” For some reason, it seemed, the sexy and dangerous subculture of bike couriers that is so popular in our North American hometowns had not yet penetrated the mindscape of our London-dwelling mates. This week’s launch of the 7th annual festival celebrates all things BIKE, including art shows, great films and even better parties. Tonight’s film, Monkey Warfare, is set in Toronto’s lovely Parkdale (the breeding ground of one Le Cool writer, ahem) and follows the antics of a pedal-pushing couple involved in anarchist activism and drug dealing – ya heard? How about following that up with a jam at Bloomsbury Bowling Lanes headed by Cardiff-bred The Steers and attended by a bunch of tattooed hotties with really great calves? Yes, I think so! /

Friday, October 19, 2007


Members of Congress have apologised to a Canadian who was seized in New York in 2002 by US officials and sent to Syria, where he says he was tortured.

Syrian-born Maher Arar told a congressional hearing his 10 months in a Syrian jail had been "hell".

Mr Arar appeared by video link from Canada because he remains on a US government watch list.

A Canadian government inquiry cleared him of any involvement in terrorism. Syria denies that he was tortured.

Mr Arar appeared on a giant screen before a joint hearing of House of Representatives committees into "extraordinary rendition".

This term refers to a highly secretive process by which US intelligence agencies send terror suspects for interrogation by security officials in other countries, where they have no legal protection or rights under US law. (From - read more click title)

Monday, October 15, 2007

"Mya's not my backshot queen..."

It's movin'! Those familiar with the clever word play of Red Café know that he's no stranger to the game. The Flatbush, Brooklyn native, who emerged on the mixtape scene in the mid-90s, has endured one tumultuous journey in signing with major labels. From failed deals with Loud Records to Arista to Capitol -- where he was set to release his debut LP, I Got A Story To Tell -- no one can say this man hasn't put his time here to read the rest of my feature for Baller Status. /

Le Cool Week 31

Competition UK B-Boy Championships
The first time you happened upon a b-boy circle had to have been utterly fascinating. The dance sector of hip hop’s four elements has its way of drawing in a mob; whether it’s the cocky stature of the participants or the sheer brilliance of their bodily skills – it’s hard to turn away. But if you’re a tired old hip hop hag like myself, the old windmill bit tends to wear thin. However this weekend’s UK B-Boy Championship is built for all. With crews reppin’ every nation from the Russia to Korea – there will be enough talent and innovation at this global gathering of breakers to please any crowd – even one full of jaded heads like myself. Sunday’s event at Brixton Academy will have crews vie for the title of world champs. And with Crazy Legs of the legendary Rock Steady Crew hosting, it’s sure to be a dope, fresh, ill and stupid affair. /

Dance Shaolin Monks
I once bribed a train conductor to let me sleep in the dining car and travel 20 hours to inland China to check out some of the wonders of ancient East Asian culture. It was a great adventure. On the way back, however, the pack of mad Aussies I was with concocted another ridiculous plan to jump off the choo-choo and make our way to the legendary temple of Shaolin. I decided to sit that one out. Luckily for me (and you!) – the renowned monks of said sanctuary have themselves made their way across the land to expose us to the wonders of their captivating martial art. The only train-hopping you’ll have to do is at Holborn where the talents are being unleashed at the Peacock Theatre. /

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Le Cool - Week 30

art Dorian Gray Project: Happy Days
Back in the early days of ‘online social networking’ I met an artist on MySpace who was supposedly part of this heterosexual male painter crew, infamous for their seduction of impressed female admirers. I think the admiration was due to the fact that these guys either came from graffiti backgrounds or just made really interesting pictures out of paint and canvas. I don’t actually think my internet friend Nathan James is one of these creative casanovas, but he does make really dope urban culture-inspired portraits, using a combination of traditional painting, silk-screen printing, and digital manipulation. Check his, and 30 other contemporary painters in this thorough show at the John Jones Gallery in Finsbury Park. And if all that don’t get you – a German performance artist who goes by the name of Michael Jackson will be doing his thing at the opening party! Why not? /

DJ Battle DMC World Championships
A good DJ is essential to any party. Take for example this past weekend – I went to Poole for a getaway with my girlfriends. We ended up at this travesty of a bar called Dundee’s – which is not only the local sports bar, but also a ‘fun-ttraction’ with an Australian theme and late night drinking license. Anyway – the DJ was clearly one of those lazy jerks who rely on their Party Club Planet Mix ‘96 CD to torture the crowd with the Grease Medley and Jump Around and then hope we don’t notice when he plays the entire disc again an hour later. This is why the competitors at this weekend’s DMC World Championships prefer to call their art ‘turntablism.’ Head down to Indig02 and check out the globe’s top vinyl virtuosos as they compete for world domination. /

Convention London Tattoo Convention
There are a helluva lot of terrible tattoos out there. And you never realise it until summer hits and suddenly all the tribal arm bands, Looney Tunes characters and colossally delusional word statements like “HONOUR” and “COURAGE” are exposed in broad daylight, on pasty canvasses, in their regretful splendour. Whether the result of a drunken inspiration transpired in a tourist market on a Mexican island (yes I am guilty) or an unfounded declaration of love (not guilty), it’s safe to say that the majority of ink out there is truly cringe-worthy. The rest is an often-overlooked art form, which has occurred in and out of mainstream human culture throughout history. London’s Tattoo Convention is held this weekend and is hailed as the most important in the world. So before you lie down in that dodgy Camden bong shop to have your footie club’s name tatted on your ass, please check out what the experts are up to. /

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Le Cool * 29

Good news homie and homiettes - I'm going to be editing the weird and wonderful le cool!! Yay! Here are last week's selections anywho...

FILM Kill 'Double' Bill
You may be insulted and disappointed with the latest Tarantino joint. Or you may just be strangely drawn to the objectified hotness that (what I’m guessing) is Rosario Dawson’s ass on the new Death Proof poster in the tubes. Frankly that’s all that comes to mind when someone mentions ol’ QT to me these days. That and how funny he is when he gets drunk on American talk shows. Remember though, when Kill Bill came out? And how about that crazy-ass sequence where Uma Thurman masters the art of the Five-Point Palm Exploding Heart Technique? Know what I’m sayin’? If not, it’s all good – you can get to know today at the Riverside where a double bill of this two-part (arguable) masterpiece is being featured. If yes, you can still go and enjoy. /

ART BATTLE Secret Wars Brixton
If you missed the utterly banging Secret Wars’ event at Juno last weekend or you live in south London, or you don’t but oddly enjoy the torture of travelling home from there late at night – then you might wanna check out this one-off graffiti battle at Plan B tonight. It’s the first time these infamous scrawl-offs are taking place souf of the river and the line-up is pretty hot. Sooper Duper Crew’s Alfa and MN (who featured in a 13-page cover spread in Graphotism earlier this year) are going wall-to-wall with last year’s beaten finalist Teck1 and Daydream Network’s Jimmi Crayon. With hip hop and funk delicacies provided by the Fidgit (the evening’s hosts) resident DJs – the evening is set to your urban fancy. /

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Informer - One Track - One Week to Live

Poor Snow. From the day he stepped into the public eye, the Canadian reggae crooner has been somewhat of a pop-cultural laughing stock never to be taken seriously. ‘Informer’, his claim to fame and the subject of this week’s One Track, was called “the catchiest and funniest reggae crossover since Musical Youth's comparably nonsensical Pass the Dutchie” by Rolling Stone upon release. But what isn’t widely recognised is the fact that this white boy has actually earned a decent level of respect amongst his peers in the reggae industry.

Snow, (Darrin O’Brien to his mom), was raised in Allenbury Gardens, a gritty ends in T-Dot’s [Toronto] North York suburb where he met Jamaican-born DJ Marvin Prince. Funnily enough, his moniker doesn’t stand for the obvious (the fact that he’s a white artist whose specialty is a predominantly black genre) and is actually an acronym for Super Notorious Outrageous Whiteboy – dubbed by Prince.

It was Prince who introduced O’Brien to old schooler cousin of Marley Marl, MC Shan in New York, consequently setting the stage for a momentous collaboration. Shan was highly impressed by O’Brien’s mic skills and urged the young MC into the studio where they recorded debut LP ‘12 Inches of Snow’ – off of which came ‘Informer’.

In an interesting interpretation of Patois (that Snow supposedly learnt in jail), the song bemoans an ‘informer’ who has falsely accused our protagonist of partaking in a murder. They squeezed in a video shoot before O’Brien was forced to plead guilty to a pending assault charge and sentenced to a year in jail. Releasing a hot single about being wrongly accused of a crime while behind bars? This is a PR move that 50 Cent would be proud of folks. You might call even call my boy an innovator in thug marketing.

The song went on to spend the next 17 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 – seven of which, Informer nestled comfortably at number one. This followed with an entry in the Guinness Book of Records for biggest selling reggae single and highest charting reggae single in history. Thus by the time O’Brien emerged from prison, he was picked up in a limo and whisked away on a world tour. Not bad for a ‘nonsensical reggae crossover’ act eh? In spite of recording with international reggae superstars Buju Banton and Beenie Man, Snow’s career never, somewhat unsurprisingly, really hit that high again.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Le Cool - Week 28

Here's this week's le cool. Got some upcoming items in One Week To Live, Hip Hop Connection and - so stay tooooooned! Also check out The Hate Blog, a new project, as well as Me and Mr Jones - which will be updated whenever Jones (or me) decides to say something funny on MSN. I am totally exhausted from going to Yo Yo last night and working all day long this Friday. Have a great weekend. Cxx

exhibition Late Night Terracotta Army
You’ve probably already heard all about how China’s first emperor Qin Shihuangdi had his dead self buried with about 9000 life size terracotta warriors in order to protect his empire in the afterlife. You also probably know that a number of these ancient sculptures, which were discovered by poor well-digging farmers in 1974, are currently on show at The British Museum. But what you might not know is that over the next two weeks the exhibit will be open late on Thursdays and Fridays. You can do a total Chinese theme night! Afterwards, (I would say go to Chinatown but if you’re out late you may as well make a night of it) you can hop on the 242 or 8 to the Drunken Monkey in Shoreditch for some trendy cocktails and delicious dim sum. Mmmmm! /

Gig V Double O
I found this guy completely randomly while browsing the interweb and coming across his little goldmine of YouTube profile. Based in Highgate, North London – V Double O, born Bradley Aidan Johnson, has posted around 60 videos of himself rhyming in front of a webcam from his bedroom studio. Currently flipping rides in an effort to build his very own studio space, this 21-year-old MC offers up simple videos, with both borrowed and homemade beats, that serve the purpose of revealing what an utterly raw talent he is. Calling himself the UK’s Fastest Rapper, Johnson brings a totally new meaning to the term ‘spit-fire lyrics’ and will be celebrating his 1 millionth YouTube view tonight at Notting Hill Arts Club’s seminal hip hop night Yo Yo./

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Sunday, September 16, 2007

This weekend...

Two things:

1. Cutting words
2. Red Wine

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Only in England...

For the time-poor Londoner, it is the ultimate way to combine fresh air and exercise with a relaxing drink after work.

The Pub Crawler, a mobile bar propelled by the pedal power of its customers, is being hired out for up to £1,500 a time for tours between the capital's pubs.

It can accommodate 12 people - 10 guests who sit on bar stools with pedals so they can drink as they travel from venue to venue and, for safety's sake, a professional two-man crew who steer.

The Pub Crawler was introduced to London by 35-year-old Luke Robertson after he saw a similar contraption while holidaying in the Baltics.

He said: "I commissioned a friend, who's an engineer, to design and build it from some photographs I had taken. It took around four months to perfect."

The Pub Crawler is legally classified as a quad cycle, so it can be used on public roads. It does not need a drinks licence because customers are not sold any alcohol while they are on board.

From Alex Stephens, Evening Standard 30.08.07

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

le cool week 27

photography: Wildstyle 25 Years at PYMCA Can you believe that Wildstyle came out 25 years ago? Does that make you feel old? Did you see it and make up your own tag, and go out and buy yourself a magnum and run around your town writing your name all over everything? Or did you start taking break-dancing lessons and wearing Adidas track suits and standing around with your arms crossed with fat laces and your shell-toe tongues sticking out like thirsty ‘hood kids in the middle of a New York heat wave? Or did you take up rhyming and walk the streets rapping to yourself boldly ignoring the sniggers of the player haters that passed you by? OK if you didn’t or have no clue what I’m on about – there’s a photographic exhibit of old school rap imagery at the PYMCA gallery to celebrate the birthday of this seminal hip hop film. Local artists Teck1 and Stika have bombed the gallery, emulating wildstyle itself. Commemorative DVDs, soundtracks and a book are being released too. Check, check check it out… /

photography: Lomography Congress
After much effort (mainly wading through their website which reads like the English translation of a Spanish art student’s dissertation) I seem to have figured out what the heck Lomography is. Back in the day Russia’s state-owned optics firm, Lomo Plc created a funky 35mm camera, a model of which was discovered by some Austrians in ‘91 who were holidaying in Prague. These people have since formed a cult-like organisation which not only sells many versions of the camera, but promotes a whole lifestyle (which includes 10 Commandments) around taking neat pics with the retro gadgets. It’s like Flickr or Photobucket for cool cats. The London Design Festival has invited them over for their ‘World Congress’ which will feature a massive wall in Trafalgar Square with over 100,000 images taken by Lomographers all over the world./

Highly Anticipated Announcement.

Canadian freelance journalist Chloe McCloskey and Essex-born English counterpart Josh Jones today revealed that they will expose a selection of their private exchanges on an exclusive tell-all website.
It is thought the secretive pair, who met whilst working on the seemingly defunct magazine, will use the site to boost their journalistic profiles both online and off.
The blog is rumoured to be called Conversations with Josh Jones and is set to launch immediately, featuring chats that, in the past, have only been known to very close confidants.
A source tells Nueva Nomad, "Chloe thought of the idea while Josh recoiled in a Tesco from the terror of interviewing former child entertainer Pee Wee Herman."
Further details have yet to be confirmed.
Jones remains crafty.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

gift for self

I bought me one of these little numbers far it's pretty tight but I haven't brought it to gym or out in public. The video quality is so good. I don't know when I'll use it - cuz you know I ain't busting out any form of new electronics on the TFL. The sound kills the iPod, and the interface is smooth, only problem is it comes with it's own iTunes type program and converts all the tracks into some wack format but whatever it's still hot.


I went with Josh Jones to see Jusice at Koko on Thursday and it was off the fucking hook. I wasn't looking forward to it, kind of wanted to go and observe rather than participate. However once the intro to Genesis came on - which uses the same Godzilla sample that Pharoahe Monch used in Simon Says - I was jumping to get downstairs and join the crowd. The show was as close to what I'd call a religious experience (kind of cliche given their whole cross theme I know...) one can get in a room full of pillhead hipsters. Speaking of hipsters though, there weren't as many freaks as I thought there would be. The crowd, for London, was surprisingly normal. Gaspard and Xavier pulled out all the hits and the sweaty observers were seemingly ecstatic. It was a wet, sexy, and heart throbbing affair I highly recommend going if they come to a town near you.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Le Cool - Week 26

Hey y'all. The holiday is over! Time to get back to work. Here's this week's offering from

exhibition: ‘Till Death Do Us Part
My flatmate (who I really like and admire) is giving me the silent treatment for some reason, so in an effort to win her back I am going to big-up her friend’s art show: The Empire Gallery is currently hosting recent work by Central Saint Martins’ grad Kim O’Neil – who through painting and decoupage has created a facetious tribute to the briefest of celebrity marriages. Keeping with the theme, O’Neil has also fashioned an 8ft tall Victorian marriage certificate with face-holes (like those things at tourist attractions) so you can stick your mug through and take pictures (see Britney and friend left). Plus tonight’s event is open ‘till 10 in association with Time Out First Thursdays. Just kidding ‘bout that flatmate thing by the way – there’s no nepotism at le cool. /

: Justice
Oh man oh man oh man. Guess who's in
town tonight? I'll give you clues: They’re French, they make dance music and they bust a giant glowing cross as a backdrop to their stage show. No it's not some Franco-KKK-raver outfit, it's the holy electro-house duo Justice! Head down to Koko tonight where Monsieur Gaspard Augé and Xavier de Rosnay should most certainly make you shake your friggin' ass off. Representing Pedro Winter’s Ed Banger Records (home to DJ Mehdi, Uffie and Mr Oizo) these boys shot to fame with a remix of Simian’s Never Be Alone, the video for which won the MTV Europe Music Award for Best Video in 2006 (yeah it’s the one Kanye went all wacko over). Their hot record ‘†’ has been out since June – so if you haven’t already, you’d better cop it. /

event: Vauxhall Tribes
While he may threaten to get old school on his latest single, Dizzee Rascal promises to bring the new with the final of Vauxhall Tribes in the East End this weekend. The contest, thrown by the car manufacturers (I’m not even gonna get into the played-outness of hip hop’s commercialisation), will bring the freshest, untouched talent the country has to offer, after a variety of regional heats (Manchester, Brighton, Bristol and Nottingham) split the cream from the crop. ‘Nuff skills will be on display with heads flaunting their goods in a refiguring of the holy four elements: street art, MCing, breakdancing and beatboxing. Top judges will decipher who deserves the prize – to perform live with Mr Rascal himself – and fun should be had by all. Rudeboy go watch that. /