Skepta Announces Benefit Show In London For Homelessness Charity

Photo courtesy of the artist

Just after announcing his upcoming “Banned From America” tour last week, grime titan Skepta today announced that he will play a benefit show next month for Shelter, a UK housing and homelessness charity. It will take place at London’s Islington Assembly Hall on April 4 and feature special guests; tickets will cost $50 (40).

In order to be eligible to buy tickets, fans have to submit an online ballot by 5 AM EST this Thursday, March 30. There will be 750 tickets available, and winners will be able to purchase a maximum of four.

“I am a man of the people and I can’t wait to touch down,” said Skepta in a press release. When he won the prestigious Mercury Prize last September, he said he would use the 25,000 award for charitable causes.

“Every penny raised from this very special gig will help Shelter to be there for more people and to ensure that no-one has to fight bad housing or homelessness on their own,” said the charity’s interim chief executive Graeme Brown.

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The A-Z Guide To Every Song Sampled On Drake's 'More Life'

Photo via Wikimedia Commons. This post ran originally on THUMP Canada.

After Drake announced the follow-up to 2016’s chart-topping Views wouldn’t be an album, but rather a “playlist,” there was plenty of speculation as to his reasoning behind the categorization. Was it a move to give the artists on his OVO label, or others in his global orbit, more attention? A calculated way of acknowledging the importance streaming services place on curation today? Perhaps by treating it as a loose collection of songs, the Canadian rapper could avoid some of the lukewarm criticism leveled against his fourth studio record?

When More Life dropped Saturday night, the answer seemed to be all of the above, with the project having something for everybody. At 22 tracks, the release still feels overstuffed, but the format’s casualness encourages fans to pick and choose their favorites. While the production is handled largely by a cabal of OVO regulars, including Noah “40” Shebib, Boi-1da, Murda Beatz, and Frank Dukes, the strongest tracks here are rooted in global dance music.

The rapper’s relationship with Caribbean dancehall and UK grime has been well-documented, but there’s also forays into South African house (“Get It Together”) and lite disco (“Passionfruit”). From Canadian YouTubers 4YallEntertainment to Tomoya Ohtani’s Sonic the Hedgehog theme song, here’s our guide to every sample on More Life.

4Yall Entertainment, “T-Dot Goon Scrap DVD”

Sampled On: “Madiba Riddlim”

While the nimble, spiritually themed “Madiba Riddim”co-produced by the triumvirate of Frank Dukes, Nineteen85, and Charlie Handsomehews more closely to Afrobeat than any other genre, the parody video by popular Brampton, Ontario YouTubers 4YallEntertainment which closes the song couldn’t have come from anywhere but Toronto. The clip is a 416-centred spoof of street fight compilations and significantly funnier than the time Drake and pals dressed up as Shoppers Drug Mart employees.

Black Coffee feat. Bucie, “Superman”

Sampled On: “Get It Together”

On Monday, New York City hip-hop radio personality Ebro tweeted his thoughts on the playlist, saying “Fuck it…Drake brining House Music back!!” While this proclamation might seem a little out-of-touch, songs like “Take Care” and “Controlla” show that the rapper’s biggest hits come when he has one eye on the dancefloor and just a hint of melancholy in his heart.

This rework of South Africa DJ and producer Black Coffee’s 2010 piano-house anthem “Superman”British jazz-R&B singer-songwriter Jorja Smith replaces Bucie on vocalsis a natural successor to both those songs and wouldn’t be totally out of place on a Now That’s What I Call Ibiza Music! compilation. Drake doesn’t even show up until the 1:21 mark, and he stays mostly out of the way, letting the beat do the heavy lifting.

Drake, “Doing It Wrong”

Sampled On: “Jorja Interlude”

It’s a real Inception move to sample yourself, and he’s hardly the first rapper to do so, but the Take Care deep cut’s saxophone section fits this interlude nicely.

Earth, Wind & Fire, “Devotion”

Sampled On: “Glow”

One of the more curious inclusions on More Life, “Glow” sees Drake and Kanye West rekindling their on-again, off-again friendship and trading aspirational toasts over a sparse, metronomic beat. While it isn’t the first time the latter has borrowed from the Chicago pioneers’ deep discography, using Maurice White and company’s 1974 hit as the outro lends the collaboration some soulful heft.

Gabriel Garzn-Montano, “6 8”

Sampled On: “Glow”

Drake fans will remember the French-Colombian singer-songwriter’s delicate croon as the backbone of If You’re Reading This, It’s Too Late highlight “Jungle.”

Hiatus Kaiyote, “Building a Ladder”

Sampled On: “Free Smoke”

The first voice we hear on More Life belongs to Nai Palm, lead singer, songwriter, and guitarist of Australian neo-soul group Hiatus Kaiyote. Similar to “Over My Dead Body” from 2011’s Take Care, which featured a Chantal Kreviazuk hook, “Free Smoke” starts out mellow before Drake’s vaguely worded warning from the 2016 American Music Awards abruptly cuts her off. From there, the beat cools off several degrees to a more sinewy and ominous form, while the rapper puts interlopers in his crosshairs.

Jennifer Lopez, “If You Had My Love”

Sampled On: “Teenage Fever”

A friend of mine recently described Toronto producer Hagler’s J Lo flip as “weaponized nostalgia,” and I can’t think of a better way to describe the slowed-down sample in the moody downtempo jam, which directly caters to whatever part of the brain makes you wistful for the late 90s.

Lionel Richie, “All Night Long (All Night)”

Sampled On: “Blem”

Sampling this treacly 1983 Motown mega-hit seems like such a no-brainer for Drake, I had to double-check to make sure he hadn’t before. “Dad,” indeed.

Moodymann Live at The Roadhouse in Manchester, UK, September 2010

Sampled On: “Passionfruit”

Though electronic music fans were decidedly divided in their reactions to the Detroit don’s crowd address being used at the beginning of breezy highlight “Passionfruit,” it’s a testament to Drake and his production team’s ability to take a left-field chop and spin it into pop-house gold (see also: Timmy Thomas’ “Why Can’t We Live Together” and “Hotline Bling”). Here’s hoping we get a Moodymann set at next year’s OVO Fest.

R. Kelly, “Wings Clipped”

Sampled On: “Way Back When”

Blink and you’ll miss the subtle “Wings Clipped” sample at the end of this perfunctory PARTYNEXTDOOR feature, which is still better than Drake’s corny “Remix (Ignition)” reference on “Lose You.”

Satan’s Choice (1966)

Sampled On: “Lose You”

As The FADER points out, “Lose You” opens with a snippet of dialogue from Satan’s Choice, a 1966 CBC documentary about a Toronto motorcycle gang directed by Donald Shebib, the father of OVO Sound co-founder and producer Noah “40” Shebib. In the clip, the chapter’s former president John “Tiny” Taylor offers up his thoughts on societal norms and personal mantra, saying:

“I don’t care what society thinks. But they’re nothing anyway. They’re no better than me. Out there you just have to fit into a pattern that somebody’s already laid out for you. Life we live, you have to set your own patterns, your own ideals. You have to handle the whole job yourself.”

Remind you of anybody?

Skepta, “Shutdown” (Live)

Sampled On: “KMT”

A callback to the song that first marked the alliance between OVO and Skepta’s BBK crew, the latter’s voice can be briefly be heard at the beginning of Drake’s collaboration with UK grime rapper Giggs, who steals the show and somehow manages to make a Game of Thrones reference sound tough.

Snoh Aalegra, “Time”

Sampled On: “Do Not Disturb”

The last tracks on Drake’s releases are typically reserved for slow-burning, ruminative meditations on family and the future, and More Life is no different, with liquified vocals from Swedish singer Snoh Aalegra’s “Time.” In a recent Billboard interview, she said the original was inspired by her father’s death in 2009, which makes it even more poignant.

Tony Yayo feat. Danny Brown, “Roll Up”

Sampled On: “Free Smoke”

Did you know that the G-Unit third-stringer and the Warp-signed rapper put out a mixtape called Hawaiian Snow in 2010? Me neither.

Tomoya Ohtani, “His World”

Sampled On: “KMT”

Hip-hop sampling video game soundtracks is nothing new, but New York producer Ness sampling a high-energy Sonic the Hedgehog theme makes perfect sense for Drake’s rapid-fire, cross-Atlantic team-up with Giggs.


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Skepta Announces "Banned From America" Tour Dates

Photo by Olivia Rose

2016 Mercury Prize winner Skepta announced the dates for his upcoming North American tour yesterday. The title of the tour, “Banned From America,” refers to an incident last year when the grime MC was forced to cancel a previous US tourincluding dates at Coachella and Lollapaloozabecause authorities denied him a work visa.

Skepta’s announcement is hot on the heels of his guest appearance on Drake’s new More Life project, alongside Black Coffee, Moodymann, and Kanye West. Part one of the tour will kick off at Coachella on Sunday, April 16, and close out in Montreal at Olympia on April 27. Part two will commence at NYC’s Governors Ball festival on June 4 and have a grand finale at Bonnaroo on June 11.

2016 saw the release of the British artist’s fourth studio album and his highest-profile release to date, Konnichiwa. He also played Berghain for the first time last year, and the show cemented the German city’s growing love for grime.

Tickets for the “Banned From America” tour are on sale now on Skepta’s website.

Follow Alexander on Twitter.

Anohni, Craig David, And Calvin Harris Score BRIT Award Nominations

Photo of Calvin Harris via Wikimedia Commons

Nominations for the 2017 BRIT Awards were released today and artists including Skepta, Anohni, Craig David and Calvin Harris were nominated.

Harris is not a newcomer to the BRIT Awards, racking up numerous nominations throughout the years. For this latest edition, Harris received two nominations for his #1 hit, “This Is What You Came For.”

Anohniwho released our number one album of the yearreceived a nomination for Best British Female Artist.

Skepta racked up the most nominations, gaining recognition in the British Male Solo Artist, British Breakthrough Act, and Mastercard British Album of the Year categories.

David’s musical comeback continues in 2017, with a nomination for British Male Solo Artist.

The 2017 BRIT Awards take place February 22. Voting for the BRIT Awards is now open.

Somebody Unsuccessfully Tried To Sneak A Large Bag Of Fruits And Vegetables Into A Rave This Weekend

This article appeared originally on THUMP UK.

Nobody likes being searched on their way into a club, but with the constant threat of closure looming over every British nightclub like an incoming thunderstorm, we now more than ever need to respect their right to make sure we aren’t bringing inappropriate items in with us. Inappropriate items like drugs, like weapons, like lettuces.

To the issue at hand then, and on this weekend just passed, specifically Saturday, October 1 2016, staff on the door of Manchester’s much loved Warehouse Project seized the following items from a punter:

-Plums
-Apples
-Whipped Cream
-Lettuce
-Broccoli

As reported by Greater Manchester Police on Twitter, the haul was taken by WHP staff who were “supported” by on site police officers. We are unsure what support the lettuce and broccoli required but good to know they were there regardless.

Naturally there are plenty of rumors and theories already flooding the internet, but we think we’ve got it down to five likely explanations based on a combination of the evidence and educated speculation. These took me all morning so please take them very seriously.

1. Someone Was Doing a Saturday Night Salad Shop and One Thing Led to Another and They Ended Up Watching Skepta at Warehouse Project

This theory, popular on Twitter, seems the most likely. We’ve all felt that tingle; lump of Boursin in one hand, bag of parsnips in other, and the overwhelming urge to get to a sizeable grime show as soon as possible. Picture our anonymous clubber, basket rattling with whipped cream and rolling plums, suddenly out of nowhere realising that instead of going home to cook the creamy broccoli and plum pie they were planning, they had to get themselves to Store Street immediately. Who knows what triggered them, maybe it was nothing more than the repetitive bleep of the scanner, skimming rhythmically in their head. Bleep, bleep, bleep, and before they knew it they’d had their lettuce confiscated and were down the front for Plastician.

2. Somebody Confused the Word ‘Pills’ for Plums, Apples, Whipped Cream, a Lettuce and Some Broccoli

We’ve all got our funny little mistakes we always make, haven’t we? I, for example, am a 25 year-old who can’t spell the word necessary without using a spell checker! A mate of mine thought the word bench was “vench” until she was 9! Maybe, just maybe, somebody out there always mixes up ‘pills’ with an assortment of disconnected grocery items. Perhaps they mess it up every weekend, constantly arriving at house-parties with celery and a bag of sultanas.

3. Ready Steady Cook is the New Pokemon Go!

Let’s be honest, who’d have thought that in 2016 kids would be walking the streets actually catching Pokemon on their phones. There’s even been a Pokemon Go rave! Maybe, the next trend to sweep the nation will be Ready, Steady, Cook Go! A fun, outdoors spin on the classic cooking gameshow that’s got teenagers up and down the country roaming the streets picking up random ingredients, before finding disparately located “kitchens” where a virtual Ainsley Harriott leads them through head to head battles against each-other and oops I’ve thought this through in way too much detail…

4. The Anonymous Clubber Had Only Been Told Warehouse Project Was “A Party”, Misread the Vibe, Thought There Would be Nibbles, Brought a Contribution

To be fair, if you’d never been to Warehouse Project before, and your mate just told you, “meet me at Store Street on Saturday, we’re going to a really great party,” then you’d might, possibly, not ask anymore questions, and assume you were heading to a nice little soiree involving a game of articulate, a selection of breads and oils, and a punch bowl. Then again, the question remains, who brings a raw broccoli to a dinner party?

5. This is Skepta’s Rider

What if, and bear with me, what if the person who was stopped and searched wasn’t a punter at all, but was in fact part of Mercury winning grime legend Skepta’s management team? What if, Skepta had got backstage and flipped when he realized his rider, the same rider he has before every single show, wasn’t there? “Where is it?” he muttered menacingly, softly at first, before yelling, “WHERE ARE MY APPLES, PLUMS, LETTUCE, BROCCOLI AND WHIPPED CREAM?”

Anyway…food for thought.

For more amazing final sentences just like that one, follow Angus on Twitter.

Skepta Claims 2016 Mercury Prize

Photo courtesy of Melt! Booking.

Grime ringleader Skepta has claimed the 2016 Mercury Prize, beating out Anohni, David Bowie, and more. The 33-year-old MC released his tour-de-force Konnichiwahis fourth studio albumon May 6 via his own Boy Better Know label. When it dropped, Noisey described it as the “sound of the underground finally standing proud at street level.” The win is a fitting achievement for an artist who’s been instrumental in turning grime from a London sound into a global phenomenonthe BBC notes that this marks only the second time a grime artist has won the Mercury.

Watch him perform with a crew of Japanese rappers here and check out his video for “Man” here.

Skepta Claims 2016 Mercury Prize

Photo courtesy of Melt! Booking.

Grime ringleader Skepta has claimed the 2016 Mercury Prize, beating out Anohni, David Bowie, and more. The 33-year-old MC released his tour-de-force Konnichiwahis fourth studio albumon May 6 via his own Boy Better Know label. When it dropped, Noisey described it as the “sound of the underground finally standing proud at street level.” The win is a fitting achievement for an artist who’s been instrumental in turning grime from a London sound into a global phenomenonthe BBC notes that this marks only the second time a grime artist has won the Mercury.

Watch him perform with a crew of Japanese rappers here and check out his video for “Man” here.

Skepta Got An OVO Owl Tattoo

Photo courtesy of Melt! Booking

London MC Skepta was in Drake‘s hometown of Toronto over the weekend, and took advantage of the opportunity to cement his well-established relationship with Aubrey Graham’s crew just a little further. Yesterday evening, he got a tattoo of the iconic OVO owl logo, echoing Graham’s decision to get a BBK tattoo last fall and sign with the label this February.

Graham was the first Canadian artist to sign to the label, and according to Skepta, the partnership was more than just symbolic.

Drake’s OVO festival took place this weekend, which we can assume Skepta was present for considering their storied history, although he didn’t perform.

Follow Alexander on Twitter.

ANOHNI, David Bowie, And Skepta Are All Up For The 2016 Mercury Prize

Image courtesy of the Mercury Prize.

A number of electronic artists, as well as two grime albums are up for the 25th annual Mercury Prize this year. ANOHNI, Kano, and Skepta are among the 12 artists to make the cut for the prestigious award honoring the best British album of the year.

Radiohead is on the list for the fifth time, with their brooding ninth LP, A Moon Shaped Poolmaking them the most nominated act in the prize’s history; they have never won the prize.

Hopelessnessthe Hudson Mohawke and Oneohtrix Point Never produced debut LP of ANOHNI, formerly of Antony & The Johnsons, is also on the list, along with two grime recordsSkepta’s much-hyped Konnichiwa, and Kano’s Made in the Manor.

Jamie Woon’s soulful, post-dubstep record, Making Time, is another contender, as well as David Bowie’s posthumous nomination for the emotionally wrought Blackstar.

The full list of nominees is as follows:

ANOHNI: Hopelessness
Bat For Lashes: The Bride
David Bowie: Blackstar
Jamie Woon: Making Time
Kano: Made in the Manor
Laura Mvula: The Dreaming Room
Michael Kiwanuka: Love & Hate
Radiohead: A Moon Shaped Pool
Savages: Adore Life
Skepta: Konnichiwa
The 1975: I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it
The Comet Is Coming: Channel the Spirits

Announcing the list, the judging panel said in a press statement: “This is music to make sense of our unsettling timesheartfelt, angry, thoughtful, and thrilling. The 2016 Hyundai Mercury Prize ‘Albums of the Year’ are marked by their musical ambitions, unexpected instrumentation and breathtaking arrangements.”

Of the 12 albums that made the shortlist, six will becomes finalists, and one finalist be selected by the Hyundai Mercury Prize Judging Panel and awarded the $32,000 (25,000) prize. The winner will be announced at the 2016 Awards Show, which will take place on September 15 in London. This year, for the first time ever, fans will select the first of the six finalists through an online vote.

ANOHNI, David Bowie, And Skepta Are All Up For The 2016 Mercury Prize

Image courtesy of the Mercury Prize.

A number of electronic artists, as well as two grime albums are up for the 25th annual Mercury Prize this year. ANOHNI, Kano, and Skepta are among the 12 artists to make the cut for the prestigious award honoring the best British album of the year.

Radiohead is on the list for the fifth time, with their brooding ninth LP, A Moon Shaped Poolmaking them the most nominated act in the prize’s history; they have never won the prize.

Hopelessnessthe Hudson Mohawke and Oneohtrix Point Never produced debut LP of ANOHNI, formerly of Antony & The Johnsons, is also on the list, along with two grime recordsSkepta’s much-hyped Konnichiwa, and Kano’s Made in the Manor.

Jamie Woon’s soulful, post-dubstep record, Making Time, is another contender, as well as David Bowie’s posthumous nomination for the emotionally wrought Blackstar.

The full list of nominees is as follows:

ANOHNI: Hopelessness
Bat For Lashes: The Bride
David Bowie: Blackstar
Jamie Woon: Making Time
Kano: Made in the Manor
Laura Mvula: The Dreaming Room
Michael Kiwanuka: Love & Hate
Radiohead: A Moon Shaped Pool
Savages: Adore Life
Skepta: Konnichiwa
The 1975: I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it
The Comet Is Coming: Channel the Spirits

Announcing the list, the judging panel said in a press statement: “This is music to make sense of our unsettling timesheartfelt, angry, thoughtful, and thrilling. The 2016 Hyundai Mercury Prize ‘Albums of the Year’ are marked by their musical ambitions, unexpected instrumentation and breathtaking arrangements.”

Of the 12 albums that made the shortlist, six will becomes finalists, and one finalist be selected by the Hyundai Mercury Prize Judging Panel and awarded the $32,000 (25,000) prize. The winner will be announced at the 2016 Awards Show, which will take place on September 15 in London. This year, for the first time ever, fans will select the first of the six finalists through an online vote.

Skepta Got An OVO Owl Tattoo

Photo courtesy of Melt! Booking

London MC Skepta was in Drake‘s hometown of Toronto over the weekend, and took advantage of the opportunity to cement his well-established relationship with Aubrey Graham’s crew just a little further. Yesterday evening, he got a tattoo of the iconic OVO owl logo, echoing Graham’s decision to get a BBK tattoo last fall and sign with the label this February.

Graham was the first Canadian artist to sign to the label, and according to Skepta, the partnership was more than just symbolic.

Drake’s OVO festival took place this weekend, which we can assume Skepta was present for considering their storied history, although he didn’t perform.

Follow Alexander on Twitter.

Hideout 2016 Was So Good We Forgot Just How Terrible The World Is Right Now

All photos via Hideout

We were leaving a less than sunny UK behind us on the Sunday morning we made the journey from West Sussex to Split. Actually, to be totally honest, “less than sunny,” doesn’t really cover it, does it? What we were flying away from was increasingly resembling a terrible royal rumble featuring a variety of political clans, two generations, three classes, Richard Branson and James Dyson. As we huffed down an avocado roll in the departure lounge, neither the THUMP team nor the rest of the airport’s general population seemed full of summer cheer.

In light of these times we are faced with two options. Either we commune at politically-minded festivals who are tackling the turmoil head on, allowing us to face these issues and process our collective response. Or we have a few beers int the sun get on it.

We are pleased to announce that THUMP, and everybody at Hideout 2016 opted for the latter.

Even the Kurupt FM lads were having a great time!

If you’ve not made the trip to Novalja before, it’s worth noting that Hideout takes place in a string of clubs that nuzzle against the shoreline on Zrce beach, on the island of Pag. Plane-loads of party-goers are stationed in the main part of the small fishing town, before being shuttled up to the cluster of beachside nightclubs for five days and nights of Adriatic action. Before we’d even landed, it was clear that the crowd were planning on giving every ounce of pent up partying they’d saved up throughout the rest of the year. A shower, three large beers and a gooey holiday pizza later and we were ready to join them.

One of Hideout’s strongest features is the way it positions itself somewhere between a clubbing experience, a festival, and a straight up, traditional summer holiday, The site’s five clubs are all roofless, and large enough to feel like festival stages. There’s also no trudging five miles across a site the size of Lincolnshire to get from one DJ to another. And of course, being in Croatia in the middle of summer has other plus-points. The only time you’ll feel close to cold is if you spend too long in the freezer aisle of the nearest supermarket deciding between a Magnus and a Solero. It’s clear the team behind the festival have taken a look at everything else that’s on offer, and over the course of their six year history, honed a unique experience in a peerless location.

As for the music, we were spoilt for choice. During the options ranged from Craig David’s ever impressive TS5 show, a frenzy-filled set from DJ Haus and the delight that was seeing Artwork going back to back with the Black Madonna unannounced. Sauntering around from stage to stage, between session in the sea and suncream stops, the festival’s daytime has an leisurely kind of pace, everybody testing the waters before the sun dips behind the majestic mountain range that watches over the punters like a loving shepherd attending to his lagered-up flock, and the nighttime swings around again.

As the sun sets over Zrce beach, one thing’s for sure…Hideout, we’ll be back!

And as for those nights, you can tell just how much fun everyone was having judging by the expressions on their faces as they dragged themselves onto the shuttle back back into town at half six in the morning. It’s a very certain kind of expression, nigh-on-impossible to pin down but also instantly recognizable. It’s a mix of elation and fatigue, a kind of well earned, well deserved tiredness. Occasionally punctuated by a mass sing along of “Will Grigg’s On Fire”. Night after night, the DJs, the crowd, the hum of the festival itself, brought their A-game.

Our week started with heavy hitting sets from our new mates Mak and Pasteman, along with Hideout regular Oliver $ stepping up to do his thing. Then by Tuesday we were going heads down with Midland, who provided a steady slew of seamless rollers, and the Bicep boys who came through with a set thick with glistening new material. That same night, the whole site seemed to shuffle into Papaya to join Skepta in shutting down Zrce, and even as we left that Logan Sama was continuing to flood the shore with basically every grime tune you’ve ever loved. By Wednesday it was time for the big guns, and a non-stop set from eight hours in the presence of J.E.S.u.S (Jackmaster, Eats Everything, Seth Troxler und Skream). As you’d expect, the lads didn’t let up for a second, and we’re proud to say that we barely missed a beat. By the end of the week, now fully sun-burnt and done in, it was over to the likes of Julio Bashmore, John Talabot, and finally Jamie XX to see the festival out.

If there’s one thing linking every act on the bill, acts as seemingly disparate as Stormzy is from Joy Orbison, it’s the spirit of the crowd they are playing to. Across the week we regularly commented on how hard pushed you’d be to find a bunch of people more committed to partying. It’s one thing finding a beautiful beach to throw a festival on, it’s another getting a killer lineup together to play therebut it’s another task, and one that rarely comes together so well, bringing that sort of energy together.

Bring on next year.