Tonight sees the launch of the Word Up Collective – a gathering of hip-hop, soul, pop, RnB and rap artists all working to a common aim. Featuring the likes of AikJ, Sam Ojo and Damola (pictured), the gig takes place at Dublin’s Bello Bar and kicks off at 7pm.
We asked some of the collective to pick their favourite tunes….
Yelawolf – ‘Til It’s Gone’ (Damola)
He started off being one of my favourite rappers due to the dynamics with the cadence in his music. His flow as a rapper always got me, that midwest USA chopper style. A native of Alabama who grew up in hardship, his persona always appealed to me as he had that underground and non-materialistic vibe to him. You can hear almost every genre and sub-genre on his latest album hip-hop, country, rock and roll, pop, reggae, trunk music, trap, boom bap etc. This track in particular is a fusion of country music and hip-hop, two very very different genres but somehow Yelawolf managed to combine these two styles and create an amazing piece of music with both rapping and melodies. He also did it without coming across as corny, rather he comes across as authentic as if you were to look at him as star of either style. That my friends is quite difficult to achieve that’s why I salute the man.
LCD Soundsystem – ‘Losing My Edge’ (Anti-One)
Never has a song described Anti-One more perfectly – “I was there”. The frustration, the irritation, the passion. Hearing some of my favourite artists listed in Murphy’s sung-speech was like joining a glorious gang of music snobbery. This song is pretension and desperation in equal measure. This is Anti-One.
Erykah Badu – ‘On And On’ (Soulé)
This was the first Erykah Badu song I heard when I was 9 years old. Since then I’ve been hooked. Her music pushed me to sing from the heart and write music that will allow the listeners’ imagination go wild. That ability to story tell and drop knowledge at the same time is something I hope to be able to do in my music.
Izzy Bizu – ‘White Tiger’ (Katie Laffan)
Izzy Bizu is one of my favourite artists right now. I look up to her a lot. I saw her rooftop sessions of ‘Fools Gold’ last year and absolutely fell in love with her voice and her clothes, her all together. She’s amazing. I got serious Amy Winehouse vibes when I first heard her. She’s gonna be mega soon, no doubt.
Richard Dawson – ‘The Vile Stuff’ (Craft Work)
Dawson has been able to breathe something entirely new into the tired tradition of the singer-songwriter-guitarist. His performances strafe between delicate and violent and never fail to render me enrapt. One of my favourite things in lyric-writing is reference to very specific mundane details like brand names against heavy topics like religious iconography; this song ticks that box and more.
Wretch 32 – ‘6 Words’ (AikJ)
This is a song that makes you feel some type of way when you listen to, its a deep fun free realisation of things. To me he’s the most underrated UK artist and arguably the best rapper in England. “I found my treasure in you” somehow just touches my soul. He’s too dope.
Lecrae – ‘Misconceptions 3’ (Steven Beatsmith)
I like rap that makes sense in life, I am a fan of the visuals and music they produce and sometimes it is good to listen to a song that doesn’t have cursing in it. This song is close to me as a person.
Odisee – ‘Lifting Shadows’ (MC Axiom)
I wanted to choose something really fresh and this just happens to be less than a couple weeks old. The man always has beats and rhymes, but the truth and feeling that come through here make me do that thing where I narrow my eyes and shake my head in disbelief. The wide open drum sound and tensely looped piano lay the perfect bed for the guitar and vocal parts during the chorus. Flows for days. Go get the album for free on Bandcamp.
Kendrick Lamar – ‘untitled 07 leviate’ (Young Phantom)
The second part of the beat is produced by Swizz Beatz’s 5 year old son. It’s an outstanding song that switches up half way through to give a different vibe.