Sadly, Mantronix is far from a household name among so called “Hip Hop heads” today, however, they were one of the most innovative acts in the genre, and certainly pioneers worth knowing. DJ Mantronik and MC T pushed the boundaries by not just melding sounds, but by also creating a new direction for Hip Hop. This included House, Electronica, and New Wave, as you can hear from the 80′s clip below. In many ways, artists that went off the beaten path were actually Hip Hop purists because they took the lead from Afrika Bambaataa, Grandmaster Flash, and other predecessors by pushing the envelope of the evolving genre.
Today’s artists seeking to make a long lasting impact would be greatly served by going back to Hip Hop’s golden era and studying the masters. The keys to the furtherance of the art form can be found in that time period. Taking the cue and picking up where they left off is the challenge. Even if an attempt doesn’t result in perfection, it will surely be more than what we’ve seen since transpire during the better part of the last two decades, which have been riddled with a near unlimited amount rap riddled with the same old tired themes: materialism, gangsterism, sexism, and stagnant lowest-common-denominator drivel. If you’re a new artist, take the challenge, pick up where Mantronix left off decades ago. You might be surprised how far into the future the results might place you.
Here’s a short documentary about mini-metal heads with a not so small sound.
Unlocking The Truth – Malcolm Brickhouse & Jarad Dawkins from The Avant/Garde Diaries on Vimeo.
Most Hip Hop aficionados that have been around for better than a couple of decades relate Irish Hip Hop with 90s rap act House of Pain. Rob Kelly is an Irish born emcee that is currently knocking out hard-edged Hip Hop with a vibe that is reminiscent of the 90s era, yet still solid enough to hold its own against much of today’s homogenized grime spitters.
If you missed the first mysterious video by a self-described government operative named Robert Connors who threatened to reveal a hidden 20 year old initiative by major powers to derail Hip Hop’s cultural essence and use the genre as a tool to disseminate and infiltrate an evil agenda, it’s posted below.
Truth #1: It’s clearly no secret that Hip Hop– or at least what most people perceive to be Hip Hop and pass off as Hip Hop– is far from what it was meant to be and stand for during its inception. Truth #2: People love conspiracies and enjoy spreading them, regardless if it’s misinformation or have some factual basis. Rapper Prince EA used these truths to help get attention, and it worked. It got people viewing, talking, and spreading the message. The original video encouraged viewers to re-upload and spread its contents under the guise that higher powers might take it down. It was purported to serve as a security policy for Connors in case his message (and possibly he himself) was erased after threatening to reveal secrets unless authorities came clean. (Below is also the follow-up video that viewers were waiting to be revealed a week later.)
The payoff, of course, was that it’s really a promotion for rapper Prince EA’s track “I Know Who Killed Hip Hop.”(The answer, of course, is “you.” If you support the status-quo and don’t seek out music that elevates the genre and culture; then, you are killing its essence.) Regardless of your stance–Hip Hop purist or someone who loves a good mystery– Prince EA executed a brilliant marketing stunt that got attention.
Ultimately, music needs more effective attention grabbers; otherwise, most of it gets lost in a sea of noisy babble. Well played Prince EA. And, to all aspiring rappers, find something distinct to do online, and maybe people will pay attention. -I. Vasquetelle
The first Robert Connors’ video:
Junkadelic Music/Analog Brothers Presents: Silver Synth – Slang Banging Return to Analog
To be or not to be; is this an Analog Brothers album or not an Analog Brothers album, that is the question! Regardless of the questions that might accompany this newest release from the Analog crew, this LP is SLAMMIN’ (Yes, I’m taking it ol’ school)!!! “Slang Bangin” is 12 tracks of space pimpin’ at its’ best featuring Black Silver as Silver Synth, Kiew Nikon as Kiew Kurzweil, Kool Keith as Keith Korg, Marc Live as Marc Moog and Duce Dolby as well as production from DJ Junkaz Lou.
The album as a whole is hype throughout. Each track blends seamlessly with the next with enough head bop material to snap your neck. It might take a week of rubbing Icy Hot to get that tingling down your spine to subside but in the end it’s worth the pain. The beats are extremely dope and vary from up-tempo drum and bass steez to futuristic boom bap raw ish. Lyrically, everyone is on point and the addition of Kiew Kurzweil (Kiew Nikon to keep it real), only solidifies this release.
Both Kiew and Silver have collaborated many times before so their back and forth wordplay is impeccable. Black Silver rarely gets mentioned (if ever) when it comes to the topic of ill emcees. Can we finally agree that Black Silv is amongst the illest lyricists! Fans of the AB’s will quickly realize that there are some things missing (this is pertaining to my statement above). First, Ice-T is nowhere to be found on this release and you only have one appearance each from Kool Keith (Ziplocked) and Marc Live (Touch the Level). It would have been great to have all of them on one track and also interesting to hear what the newest member Kiew would have sounded like rhyming with Ice Oscillator.
In the end, this album full of such interesting combinations of sounds and rhythms so, the complaints are few and far in-between. For the haters, quit complaining about how there’s no new good music coming out and give this LP a chance. Support this project by going to http://blacksilver.bandcamp.com/music and cop it. NOW!!! Bless CyPhEr73