Socially aware initiative Knice has recruited the UK’s number one hip hop artist Sway to hand-pick the most outstanding entry at the first of a series of community competitions, an online search to find an aspiring rapper. The Knice Project supported by artists such as Wretch 32, Chipmunk, Bashy, Akala as well as MTV Wrap Up, aims to tackle knife crime in urban British youth through channeling the energy of young people into creative media arts, is offering the chance for a rapper, chosen by Sway, to perform at the first Knice event, record a track at Alaska Studios and have a full HD video made by the Phink TV team, a huge opportunity for exposure for any promising new talent.
“I remember how hungry I was when I got my break, so I’m excited to see what’s out there,” said head judge Sway, whose early performances at rap competitions started him on a career that would lead to a MOBO Award, a Mercury Prize nomination and collaborations with Akon and Lupe Fiasco.
Entries are due by July 29th and participants will be invited to record themselves rapping their own lyrics over a beat of their choice or the one provided as a download at www.knice.co.uk/rapcomp. The minimum entry is 16 bars and the lyrical theme is “You Never Know What Tomorrow Might Bring”. To be in with a chance of winning go to www.knice.co.uk/rapcomp
I think it’s fair to say that despite Lupe’s Lasers selling very well on a commercial level, on a critical level his album has been panned. I myself felt very let down by the direction Lupe went with (with most of the songs orientated towards a pop sound, with less focus on lyrics), though Lupe Fiasco claims this was mandatory in order for Atlantic to allow him to release it. I won’t go into what I think on the matter, otherwise I’ll be writing for days, but what I will say is Words I Never Said proved to be one of the few songs of its kind on the release.
Here we have an unofficial video of sorts, with the now proving to be popular ‘typography’ type videos that have shown to be a good promotional tool. The song in question is Break The Chain, featuring UK rapper Sway and recent ‘go-to guy’ Eric Turner providing the hook. I like this type of video for songs of a lyrical nature, so this song doesn’t really fit in that regard, however whilst this isn’t a classic Lupe song, I did really enjoy it. As you know by my posts on this site, I have no issues with commercial songs itself if they genuinely sound good like this one.
Lupe was really on his grind when he took the trip across the pond to visit our glorious shores last week. We had his H.A.M. Freestyle then there was his Moment 4 Life & Girls freestyles, and whilst on DJ Semtex’s 1Xtra show, he joined up with the UK emcee Sway to go in over Kanye West’s Monster.
Lupe absolutely bodies this beat, more than likely leaving Sway wondering why he let Lupe jump in first. On it’s own, Sway’s freestyle would’ve been more than commendable, but following Fiasco’s bars he really needed to step up. Unfortunately I’m not too sure he managed it, but independently it would have been viewed far more favourably.
Revealed on Lupe’s website a little earlier, alongside the pre-order packages for the album. Nice to see we’ve only heard (versions of) 3 of the tracks so far, meaning the rest will be nice and fresh!
1. Letting Go (Feat. Sarah Green)
2. Words I Never Said (Feat. Skylar Grey)
3. Till I Get There
4. I Don’t Wanna Care Right Now (Feat. MDMA)
5. Out Of My Head (Feat. Trey Songz)
6. The Show Goes On
7. Beautiful Lasers (Two Ways) (Feat. MDMA)
8. Coming Up (Feat. MDMA)
9. State Run Radio (Feat. Matt Mahaffey)
10. Break The Chain (Feat. Eric Turner & Sway)
11. All Black Everything
12. Never Forget You (Feat. John Legend)
I received a press copy of this about a month ago, and it’s a testament to how good the EP is that I’m still listening to it now. The quality of the EP and the incredible hard work Ed Sheeran and his team have put in have paid off, as this has bolted up to #2 in the iTunes download chart! I’m told it even had top spot for a brief time last night too (and when competing with Rihanna, this is no mean feat).
So who is Ed Sheeran? And how did someone whose main influences include the likes of Bob Dylan & Damien Rice come to collaborate with some of grime’s best artists? The 19-year old hails from East Anglia, first picking up his guitar and making songs in 2002. He got his big break appearing on SBTV, exposing Ed’s music to a whole new scene, resulting in contact with the artists who feature on the EP, amongst others (like Example, who enlisted Ed as tour support). Click on below to read our review of this EP.
→ Continue Reading Ed Sheeran-No. 5 Collaborations Project [Review]
Absolutely loving this. Daft Punk’s Derezzed was begging to be rapped on, though it would undoubtedly be a difficult task for whoever took it on: Sway makes it look incredibly easy, switching up his flows to great effect throughout, without sacrificing his witty and intelligent wordplay. Sway’s certainly my favourite UK rapper, and it’s great to see him pushing boundaries with efforts like this (and this), as well as getting more regular material from him these days.
Sway-The Reign of Niagra (Derezzed Freestyle)
What a brilliantly simple video. When I heard this track on The Delivery 2, I felt it was pretty unique and a very intelligent track, but that’s amplified considerably with the ‘fill in the blanks’ style carried over to video.
Most definitely worth a watch, as it’s another display of the intelligent and criminally-underrated raps Sway can bring to the table. Big fan of the creativity in the audio-visual combo. The track can be picked up on the mixtape here.
Another great look for the UK hip-hop scene. Banks grabs two of the UK’s prominent rappers (and arguably the best one in Sway) for the official UK remix to his fantastic Start It Up.
Given that Banks’ verse is the same as that on the original, Sway definitely (and unsurprisingly) has the best verse of the two, coming through with some likeable lines and good diversity in his flow. Giggs’ contribution isn’t bad either, though if you’re not a fan of his slow style, you’re unlikely to change that opinion here as he comes through with the same deliberate delivery. Kanye’s verse is also left in for good measure, and this is definitely one to check out for fans of the original, and of course supporters of our UK scene.
Lloyd Banks-Start It Up (UK Remix) ft. Sway, Giggs, Swizz Beatz and Kanye West
Fans of UK hip hop should look no further than this mixtape, not that I’ve checked it out myself yet, but Sway is undeniably one of the best punchline rappers around on these shores. Message from the man himself:
“Thanks for all your support, some people are already saying this is my best work to date, I’m honoured to have the opportunity to share it with you all” ….@Sway_Dcypha”
Download link right here.
The very definition of classic collaboration right here, this infamous track features: RZA, Tech N9ne, Eminem, Xzibit, Pharoahe Monch, Kool G Rap, Jayo Felony, Chino XL & KRS-One. Kind of forgot about Classic Collabo this week, so hope this makes up for it! Amazing that this amount of stars came through and did this track, let alone a video! Check out the crazy visuals, and grab this vintage track below.
Sway & King Tech – The Anthem ft. RZA, Tech N9ne, Eminem, Xzibit, Pharoahe Monch, Kool G Rap, Jayo Felony, Chino XL & KRS-One
Consistency is the key, and like last week there are 18 tracks for you to check out. Pretty much full of names you should be familiar with by now, giving everything a go this week is made a lot easier in that respect.
Savour these episodes-next week could be my last R&B Friday for a few weeks as I’m going away. What/who will substitute for them you ask? Wait and see. Still one more to go after this one though!
→ Continue Reading R&B Fridays: Episode 53
Just a quick one, but needs to be distributed as I love this beat. The video is the official ‘pic-vid’, and isn’t a video as such, more like pictures to accentuate the lyrics.
Some of them are pretty funny too, so definitely give it a watch. Audio can be picked up below, as can a couple of other artists’ attempt at this beat.
Sway-Blow The Whistle Freestyle
J. Cole-Blow The Whistle Freestyle
Enzo-So Official (Blow The Whistle Freestyle)
Nice mainstream affair here from Sway, one that will be sure to rock the clubs. If you didn’t get hold of it the 1st time, go get his recent mixtape by popping over to here.
As I alluded to on Friday, here are the tracks that I had to cut from that episode. I didn’t want to cut them as a lot of them could have made any other episode, but it was simply a time constraint and the fact that having a 30-40 track episode would have been impossible for you to read.
Click on for 14 more tracks to see you through until Friday.
→ Continue Reading R&B Fridays: Episode 38 Leftovers
One of the UK’s biggest rappers drops off a free mixtape for y’all to enjoy. His last album had some pretty decent tracks on it, so I’ve got high hopes for this album on that basis. He’s gone a little quiet since that last album, so it’s good to hear from Sway again.
The mixtape is entirely free (after giving up your email address-big deal…) and can be copped at the below link.
Sway-The Delivery Mixtape