Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Brother Ali is a wise man. He’s like a preacher who doesn’t preach; a live-and-let-liver whose contemplative lyrics give new meaning to the word deeeeeeeeep. As a result of being born with genetic condition, albinism, the 32-year-old MC has seen the world from a different angle than most. Couple that with his teenage conversion to Islam (a faith he continues to adhere to), and the married father of two has an unmatched perspective on life – shared eloquently in his music.
He flies the flag of indie rap kings, Rhymesayers Entertainment, and has encountered much success on the hip hop underground. With his fourth long-player, Us, on its way out, Ali swooped into London for his first solo (and sold-out!) gig in Camden last month and spoke about fatherhood, independence, Obama and clarifies why exactly why he doesn’t identify with whiteness.
You’re about to embark on a big tour, and have two young children, how do you prepare to leave them for so long?
The only thing you can do is ensure that your relationship and bond with them is very strong. Because it’s damaging either way – it’s like fasting. I’ve been fasting for Ramadan, and the idea is that fasting is going to hurt your body – but if you eat healthy enough during the times that you can’t eat – you can minimise the damage that it does – you know what I mean? So when I’m home, I’m a really hands-on dad. I was a single dad until my son was four, so I do the whole baby thing.
How are you dealing with the time zones and breaking fast?
The thing is about Ramadan is that fasting is an option. You can choose to fast, or you can choose to fast and there is no blame on you for that – you can make it up later. When travelling in the states, I’d fast anyway – but like today – I’m not fasting. I wasn’t in control of my schedule or what and when I could eat. It’s not meant to break you down – it’s meant to teach you something. I think Islam is perceived to be this really strict religion, and it’s not. Fasting is a very unifying experience – any sort of common difficulty brings an automatic camaraderie.
How has your relationship with Ant (of Atmosphere) evolved after all these years of working together?
Ant is one of those people that...you know you have your friends, your loved ones, and then there are those you just can’t hide from. We show all of ourselves in the music. Our friendship is the number one catalyst for the music we make together.
Have people connected with Us, the way you’d hoped, in spite of it taking a slightly different route in telling others’ stories rather than your own?
I think my core fan base will be fine and like it. I don’t question it. Often when you make an album, you try to say something or offer a new way of looking at the world - so you want the world to hear it! So of course you want to know if it touches anyone outside of your bubble. And I have no way of judging that. I never know that.
All you can do is say, ‘I made the best music that I could this year – and I tried to present it as honestly as I could.’ You have to be confident in yourself and in people and believe that wherever it ends up, is where it ends up. I think a lot of artists feel slighted because they aren’t as famous as somebody else, but at some point you have to realise that what you’re doing is not going to connect with everybody – but the people who it does connect with, that’s a real thing. And you have to be comfortable enough in who you are to let that be what it is.
Thursday, October 08, 2009
Lil tiny baby boy Wayne weezy started his Hammersmith Apollo gig with
a millli. Good choice but couldn't help thinking all night about the question that has been plaguing since I moved to London: "why the fuck is Hammersmith IN Hammersmith". Rubbaaaash.
Anyway. So he was wearing a Fuckmylife tee, which made me wonder if he sips all that sizzurp because he's depressed? I dunno. I don't think he's got daddy issues particularly as his daddy, Birdman, was chirping away on stage with him most of the night.
So then!! I tried to keep track of all the songs but I've just been told I missed lollipop. That's fine though. Most people there knew all the words to carter 3 songs and jo keeps bangin on about carter 2(which I've never heard of because my lil wayne knowledge is limited to drought 3, dedication2, aaaand some other shit never mind).
What's that martian tune called? Phone home? Well, the visuals were incredible. Floating mars planet graffix innit. And then! Gizmo from gremlins! Super cute and not that weird among the random flashes of a crazed skinhead britney spears and smiling miley cyruses.
Actually, if I'm honest, all the imagery on the big screen was great. There were many flying bags of cash, dollar signs and of course! The young and cash money logos, with fires burning behind them.
The graffiks were literally the best part. At one point he sang rapped with no band and the dj delved into turntablism and it was beautiful and there were floating notes, treble and bass signs floating round like champagne bubbles...lovely.
Anyway. he did a dedication to all the dead. Which is fucking stupid I think, at this point. Because hip hop has been around now for a generation or two and people are going to start dying of natural causes!
So the last funny was his homage to the best rappers of all time. This little video/dj medley/cover tune show was delightful. Of course it started with BIG and moved on to undeserving 2pac and then respeck to jay and then an amazing ten minute tribute to HIMSELF. I love it.
Fat, anorexic, orange, brown, israeli teens in the crowd. I'm yellowy pink. Everyone had fun. Good one. I love lil wayne.
Posted by Chloe McCloskey at 12:56 AM
Saturday, September 26, 2009
they love us...
Le Cool is a series of city guides that started life in 2003 as a weekly email magazine in Barcelona, offering a calendar to the city's cultural life for the week ahead. Now they serve eight cities – Amsterdam, Barcelona, Budapest, Istanbul, Lisbon, London, Madrid and Moscow – with the impeccable taste suggested by the title. The weekly email for London, for example, offers an alert for events coming up the following week, covering gigs, exhibitions, pop-up shops, films, parties, events, sports, bars and, er, pub quizzes. The London guide is edited by Mat Osman, former bassist of Britpop band Suede, who says: "It's for people who love the city. People who love scooter shops that turn into coffee shops, and flats with aeroplane wings through them, and manga libraries, and doll's house furniture shops, and bubble-and-squeak stalls, and hairdressers-cum-art galleries-cum-nightclubs, and rollergirls, and so on and so on . . ."
Posted by Chloe McCloskey at 2:23 PM
Tuesday, September 08, 2009
Checked out The Hurt Locker last night as the impromptu answer to a planless Monday night. I was really impressed, though not sure it warranted the five stars that the Times gave it.
Set in modern-day Baghdad, the film follows a crew of American Army EODs as they traipse around the perilous metropolis taking down bombs hidden in debris, cars and even dead bodies.
Multiple cameras were used in hopes of capturing a certain realism while shooting in Jordan. With cinematography by Barry Ackroyd (The Wind That Shakes the Barley) and a pack of Iraqi refugees and feline amputees as extras, it did feel like you were in the midst of wartime Iraq (not that I know what that’s like).
Not-so-familiar actors Jeremy Renner, Anthony Mackie, and Brian Geraghty put on excellent performances portraying the range of egos, emotions and madness prevalent among soldiers in a modern war. Unfortunately director, Kathryn Bigelow, couldn’t let go the Point Break-style American cringe moments, which I think brought the entire piece down a level. Still very much worth a peek.
Last week I visited Terence Conran's Blueprint Cafe with my mom. The view would have been beautiful, had it not been pouring rain and dark as the eatery sits atop the Design Museum in SE1 with windows overlooking the Thames. The chef, Jeremy Lee has been up in this spot for 15 years and changes the menu with each sitting. Pretty impressive. But I’m not a fan of the‘modern British cuisine’ epidemic currently plaguing London. Modern British cuisine seems to mean, traditional bland recipes cooked with local and organic products.
Don’t get me wrong, they had some nice things on this menu. We definitely enjoyed the suppli, which were amazing little fried risotto cakes stuffed with cheese and a watercress and spinach soup. I ordered salt pork for the main, which was interesting - coupled with tiny parsnips it wasn't as fatty as one might expect. Our evening concluded with a highly indulgent almond cake (recommended), vanilla cheesecake (no) and some posh c-nut demanding that the staff make her taxi appear NOW. Ew. I would recommend checking it during the day for lunch after a wander through the galleries.
Saturday, July 25, 2009
I need to I need to!
Okay - things of significance over the last two weeks (in pictures and words)...
I walked 90km of 100km walk (ie, cacked out 10km from the finishline because I really just wanted to eat a fry-up and take a nap)
JFK and I raped the Royal Garden Hotel for a high class dimsumathon (that Filipina made me eat pig stomach! And it was good)
I gained half a stone (estimate) from eating 2 extra meals and 1+ Cornetto per day since I quit smoking
I seem to have quit smoking
My baby left me for a strip mall :(
Next week: toilet art rollout, back to mother(land) nature, the end of full-time employment, fitness.
Posted by Chloe McCloskey at 2:58 PM
Thursday, July 09, 2009
When I was a kid, my dad, who (along with my mom) has battled a smoking habit for many years, promised to buy me a car if I never picked up a fag. So what did I do when the clock struck high school? I started smoking like a fncking idiot.
Fast foward to 14 pathetic years later, and I'm going to bed at 9pm because I can't fathom the idea of staying up any longer, trying to act normal when I feel like dancing like a lustful Beyonce in a desert surrounded by snakes and eating chocolate until I puke just to distract from the desperate, crazed, insatiable hunger for a cigarette.
Today, I've been through two patches, eaten a kebab dinner built for a lumberjack, totalled a box of wasabi peanuts, sucked on this ridiculous nicotine inhalator (see above) to the maximum daily allocation, and spiraled into a massively melodramatic strop at work over pretty much nothing.
Roll on day six.
Posted by Chloe McCloskey at 9:17 PM
Monday, June 15, 2009
Thursday, April 16, 2009
I go through phases where I "have no time for new music" and pretend like it's cool not to know what's going on saying, "I'm old. I have no clue what the kids are on right now." I think a lot of people do this, when actually it's not cool at all. Anyway - feeling these...
The Streets is back - Skinner's new shit - it's disco-ey, fun and fresh - Trust Me
And this tune Marmite off Caspa's album - found here on an Annie Mac mashup.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Have you been made redundant? Looking to make some hard paper? We at le cool London are shit sales people and on the hunt for a web savvy business development homie. There is no pay unless you make a sale, but I'll order you a business card to up the swagger factor innit. Please get in touch.
Tuesday, April 07, 2009
Posted by Chloe McCloskey at 10:19 PM
Saturday, April 04, 2009
Thursday, April 02, 2009
Esser is from Essex. Esser makes nice songs about love and life. Esser’s retardedly cute brother plays the drums in his band. When we caught up with Esser in Hoxton (the night after watching his JD Set gig at the Luminaire), he was playing an acoustic jam in the street for the fans that couldn’t get into Notion’s sold-out banger at Hoxton Town Hall. Anyway…this is his perfect London day:
In addition to my music I’ve been involved in a lot of the remixes and the artwork for my album – every time I have five minutes, it seems like there is something else to do. So my ideal day in London would be to go to my Hackney flat, and for once, just stay there for the whole day and do nothing but watch TV, look out the window and go on my roof terrace and watch people all day long. I never do nothing – there is always a project to do – so it would be really nice to chill.
Esser’s UK headline tour starts on 16 April – click here to find out more.
Wednesday, April 01, 2009
So has anyone else noticed that Gmail has changed Inbox to inbox? (I don't give a flying frig if I sound like a pedantic old man sitting in his basement counting the spelling mistakes in his Daily Telegraph). I was just discussing this very important matter with my homie Leo, le cool's insatiable club writer:
chloemccloskey: have you noticed that google has made the Inbox lower case? i know that's completely crazy
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Sunday, March 29, 2009
• 5-15 Old Ford Road. Further info about forthcoming events.
£28.80, security check, lorazepam, sachet whiskey, Organic baguette, East End Chronicles, cold room, coughing coughing, 12th century tower, cow, coffee, cumin cheese, Carmen, NYC Met, Asshole/Presidente, flowers, bulbs, seeds, analogue, silk Rodier gear, gold? chain, Bergerac, croissant, l'asperges, walking, horse, IHT, cuntry Skypers, B&H Platinum, OCB papers, log pon fire, EOS Rebel, fam, duck fat, duck soup, duck pate, duck foie, gras, gras, gras, brie, £1 beaujolais, le merla, Jeffrey, warm bed, three-hour nap, lemsip, Monocle, fed-ex, jimbro, sailor's pants, churrrps, deux chevaux, vineyard, run slow.
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Oooh it’s a bit of a hip hoppy week here at le cool huh? Nothing to do with me, I swear…. I think you should get down to 100 Club tonight and check out this guy Hasan Salaam. Fresh off the tour bus with beef and broccoli-loving Immortal Technique and Redman (Redman? What the h3ll has that guy been sayin’?), Salaam delivers that consciousness rap. He’s got a purpose, flow and what seems like a nice heart. He works with kids! He’s from Jersey! He runs food and clothing drives! He will be rolling in alongside the EoW camp, who are making a rare appearance in central London (I swear you normally have to put in mileage to get to these foolz). Also on the bill is the jazzorific Speakers Corner Quartet who will no doubt throw down with their rappy-jazz fusion. After the show, my man Snuff will pull them up for a nice club session that will go long into the early hours. It all sounds pretty good to me. / Chloe McCloskey
Not being funny yeah? But I’m not supposed to go out this weekend. I’m going to France next week to eat a lot and drink even more with no laptops or BlackBerrys and especially no clubs with heavy, pulsating, seductive bass…. Gaahhhh, but once again, the masterminds behind Thugs & Hugs have lined up some simply un-missable acts that will undoubtedly break the commitment to staying indoors. And honestly, after last month’s utter smashfest with an incredible set from Lazer Sword it’s pretty much inevitable that you’ll find my sweaty a$$ shaking it on the Legion’s dancefloor tonight. Actually, come to think of it, what better way to get in la mood, than with the slinking beats of French low-club ambassador, Fulgeance and TurboCrunk youngster, Hovatron from Montreal? Tabernacle! Get down there. COMPS!! The best definition of ‘low-club’ gets the prize. Email yours to me. / Chloe McCloskey
It’s that time again folks, when the Secret Wars comes to a close, laying a crown on this series’ champ. It has been eventful with loads of talent stepping up and being washed away at the cheer of the crowd. You know the script: two artists, 90 minutes on the clock, white wall and black ink. The final comes after young contender Reeps1 blew his competition, Jeba straight off the scale. Tonight’s duel sees the beatboxer cum drawer-boy go tete-a-tete with the mighty Hicks for the £1000 title and a trip to Portugal to represent the UK in a cross-Europe battle. Drinks are cheap (bar is cash-only, so go to the bank), music will be good and there will be loads of hotties, I mean great art to stare at…. / Chloe McCloskey
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Sunday, March 01, 2009
Tonight’s End of the Weak World Final is a far cry from the myspace-charged teenage pillow fight that is the Jump Off. No, there won’t be a showcase of bootylicious fashion models or yo’ mama joke competitions. EoW, which started as a platform for New York rappers to air their goods in 2000, will bring the hardest, the realest and the hungriest of emcees for this battle – a climax of a number of events being held in London over the past week. Reigning champ Stig of the Dump will post up at Jamm tonight where competitors gathering from the US, UK, France and Germany will throw down to get their hands on the revered title. The party, organised by South London rap renegades Speakers Corner, features a squillion different rappers in various cyphers, DJs galore, the Throwdown b-boys, VJs and of course, some very special (unannounced) guests. / Chloe McCloskey
Bandstand busking finally posted this one. So nice. Bumped into Speech on Friday in a bathroom in Brixton. Her and manager snuck out before the Ghanian (sp?) went off on one about how Jamaicans are the rudest people on earth. Probably not a good look in that part of town.
Sunday, February 22, 2009
One of the best things about living in this city is the heaving crowds in the Underground at rush hour eh? Just kidding. One of the best things about living in this city is the constant onslaught of the innovative, the creative and the just plain interesting. Take curators, Jean-Robert Saintil and Andrew McPhee, who’ve come together to create the Grok Institute – a fascinating new experience combining digital art, music, video and light installation. With a background in internet innovation, music, trends and art, these two have put together a show that will highlight their specialties, providing a platform for digital life across six locations in the middle of the city. The exhibition, launching tonight, goes for two weeks and features the exclusive ‘Time & Face’ set by Karborn, one of le cool’s favourite cover artists. Jump aboard that sweaty carriage to Carnaby Street – this is definitely one you don’t want to miss. /
It’s been tiiime since Thugs and Hugs made an appearance in these pages bruv. Innit! Yes the tastemakers have taken a short break to do important things like launch art documentaries and bring the best of the west to Fabric. But as is expected of the irrepressible Patchwork Pirates, the illness returns this Saturday to the originoo stomping grounds (and recently refurbed), Legion, to deliver the next big sh1t in hip hop, bass and bass (and bass?). Tonight’s gathering will play host to San Fran’s Lazer Sword and the lovely Toronto/Brooklyn duo, New Look – who have nothing to do with the high street retailer with which they share a name. If unabashedly sweaty dancing, cheap drinks and cutting edge urban beats ain’t your thing, I’d say stay away. If they are – you better stay in on Friday – this’ll be hotter than Brown and Rihanna’s make up sex. /
I know I'm a bit late on this one - but it's so hype I just had to say so...
Posted by Chloe McCloskey at 7:57 PM
Thursday, February 19, 2009
Saturday, February 14, 2009
London underground bars
Expert's tip: The Moustache Bar, 58 Stoke Newington Rd, Dalston
Just as skinny jeans and weird hair have been adopted by the suburban crowd, so has Shoreditch, leaving Dalston and Stoke Newington as the destinations-of-choice for London's trendsetters. Charge up Kingsland Road and downstairs into the Moustache Bar, a low-lit basement venue for sweaty late-night dance parties. It's covered in vintage postcards and reminiscent of a low-key, shabby kitsch Spanish bar with an arty twist - a trip to the toilets involves a private view of illustrator Martin Wollerstam's quirky black-and-white line drawings, and a fag break in the upstairs allows for a close look at Alex Noble's collages. Regular jazz nights take place on Tuesdays, and weekends are typically rammed and highly shambolic.
Chloe McCloskey, managing editor, Le Cool London
I knew Chris Brown and RiRi were too good to be true. Too hot, too young and too successful to to exist without darkness in the relations...Guess Hov and B will continue to reign...
As for Brown's career, The Guardian's Hadley Freeman puts it best:
....But in regards to Brown, the question has wider interest: is being accused of spousal abuse actually detrimental to a man's career? He has already suffered some professional setbacks, with Wrigley chewing gum dropping him from its campaign. Will his brand be dented further?
Looking at other men in the public eye who have been accused of offences against women, the truth is that, in the long run, it probably does no more, or even less, damage to their careers than if they were caught with drugs - a point that swimmer Michael Phelps, who has just been suspended for three months after being photographed smoking the decidedly non-performance-enhancing drug cannabis, might ruefully note. Full articlePS I'm clearly not benefiting from the non-performance-enhancing combination of LemSip Xtra and Buck's Fizz I've been dabbling in this afternoon...
What the hey-lll are you doing tonight? Staying home? No you’re not. Teetotal Jan is over man and my good people at fabric are ringing it in true with a solid fnckin line-up. We got Mr Graeme Sinden topping the bill in Room One alongside The Bug (best record of oh-8) and Toddla T fillin’ up some nice portions. And if that weren’t enough – DMG$ will be in the house all the way from Texas – home of the young and RECKLESS. If you can tear yourself away from alla that – they also got Zombie Disco Squad in Room Two with a bit of Hannah Holland’s batty bass, and holy beat breaker Tayo. The cherry on top comes in the form of the ever-bigg Urban Nerds crew – who will not only be providing the entertainment for Room Three, but have also given us two mega-gift packs for you, darlins, which come complete with a pair of tickets to the pardee. First 2 emails get di prize. / Chlobag McCloskey
I totally do this annoying thing and ignore the hype when hype is due. Take incomparable hip hop producer, J-Dilla. Back in the true-school day, I fully ignored my homeboys’ banter about this not just legendary, but all time classic maker and then what do you know? He goes and dies on me. A couple of months ago, I was cruising Pirate Bay, I mean..iTunes..and came across a Jay Dee discography folder. Being the thorough rap journalist that I am, I downloaded the motha fncka and guess what I found? Hundreds of tunes that had been featured as regular rotators in my collection since probably the age of 16. I thought, ‘Sh!t man, J Dilla did change my life!’ To honour the genre-altering knob twiddler following what would be his 37th birthday and anniversary of his death, the Doctor’s Orders cats are throwing a party tonight. All proceeds go to the J-Dilla Foundation & Lupus UK and you know all tunes will be illin’ – get down there, them stakes is high. / Chloe McCloskey
Tuesday, February 03, 2009
Monday, February 02, 2009
On Sunday Craigle and I braved the cold to head down to Northampton Sq Bandstand to check out a little acoustic gig featuring Big Dada's latest signing, Speech Debelle and Transgressive Records' Esser. It was a joy interviewing Speech for Hip Hop Connection and am now a massive fan. Check both their stuff out and Bandstand Busking - the footage of the performances will be on the site soon.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Friday, January 23, 2009
Friday, January 16, 2009
// THE T.I. INTERVIEW WITH CHLOE MCCLOSKEY //
Chloe McCloskey is the Managing Editor of le cool London, an e-newsletter sent out every Thursday.
le cool provides a filtered listings guide promoting the best things happening in London from art shows to Mexican wrestling to Japanese teashops to rap concerts to folk gigs to film to theatre to S&M parties.
le cool London readers are generally art/music/film/theatre/design-
Their highly recommended range of city guidebooks can be found here.
If it's interesting, creative, beautiful, fun or free - we'd hope to include it. Our journalists write anecdotal, personal and informed previews of stuff they genuinely recommend.
Does le cool work with brands to engage your readers?
Aside from working with venues such as Fabric, Cargo and the like, we do not currently work with any brands directly; we are however looking to expand in this area in the coming months.
How do you find the traditional print publishing industry vs. online services? Some say even newspapers are becoming extinct?
I think that online and digital are simply new arms to the overall body of the media. Newspapers won't ever fully go extinct, although they may evolve to better serve their audiences. The introduction of the internet is similar to that of television and/or radio - it's just another way of transmitting information. It is not comparable to the introduction of 8-tracks, cassette tapes, or CDs - which rendered their predecessors obsolete.
Online publishing is key to engaging a new generation who have grown up with the internet. But how do you distinguish between good and bad online publishing in a saturated industry?
This is true and companies wishing to tap into this market must be aware of this. But with regard to distinguishing between good and bad online publishing, I think that it's the audience that makes this call. If something is of high quality, people will flock to it. You don't see spammy sales sites being inundated with hits. You see cleverly executed, editorially-rich, verifiable websites drawing people in. Young people and people in general can easily gauge if content is genuine or worth their while - if it's not - they can literally leave it with the click of a button.
le cool has both an online and offline products - can you talk about how both work together?
The le cool guidebooks are a physical manifestation of our online publication, designed as a quirky and friendly handbook to the cities we work in and love. From a business perspective - the books help to market our brand and therefore push our newsletters/websites and vice versa (the web products help to push out the book). Due to the fact that cities change very rapidly, the books are by nature outdated upon publication - this is where the web element is very complementary.
Do you feel that today young consumers and readers are more marketing savvy or are simply overloaded and confused with the mass of online information?
I interviewed a graffiti artist the other day who's in the process of building his crew's name as a brand by pushing a streetwear line and promoting parties in London. These kids understand all the components of branding and marketing without even being aware of it. This could have come from the graffiti writer's goal of going 'all city', or it could have come from just growing up in the logo-heavy atmosphere of the past twenty years. I don't think people are confused; I think this example shows that in spite of not being aware of it, it's been built into their psyches.
Tuned In Research
Posted by Chloe McCloskey at 2:50 PM
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Only that twatted websitesocialnetworkingnightmare system would have you obssess for hours over some stranger's wedding photos, an acquaintance's hoilday pix and wall-to-wall posts between two idiots you only vaguely know. It's like Big Brother. If it's on - it's easy to get sucked in. TIME TO GET SERIOUS.
Posted by Chloe McCloskey at 11:10 PM