“There are so many Africas, and so many arts of Africa. Picasso and Matisse thought they had hit on the essence of Africa during the first decade of the 20th century. The African masks and sculpture that influenced such works as Les Demoiselles D’Avignon (1909) seemed to be the very embodiment of a youngish Spaniard’s priapic idea of the primitive: wonderfully, savagely stylised; bursting with a toe-curlingly alien erotic charge. How patronising of Picasso to think that that’s what African art amounted to. Well, perhaps that’s a little unfair. The point was that Picasso, ever grasping, ever restless, was seeking out new ways of representing the female body.

Yes, anthropologists quickly began to prove that Picasso was either wrong or telling just one tiny part of an immensely complicated story. In 1910, the first major excavations took place at Ife, a site in what is now south-western Nigeria, not too far from Lagos. (The walled city-state of Ife, legendary homeland of the Yoruba, flourished for 300 years, from about 1100-1400 AD). Thirty years later, in 1940, another great cull of objects from the same site hit the headlines again: “Worthy to rank with finest works of Greece and Italy”, shrilled the Illustrated London News.

Many of the works that those anthropologists found are now on display in this major show of north-west African sculpture, and the works here lend credence to that headline writer’s claim. At the same historical moment that Andrea del Verrocchio was doing his wonderfully painstaking, high-Renaissance drawing of a female head which can be seen elsewhere in this building, anonymous artisans in Ife were working with brass, bronze – yes, these Africans knew all about bronze casting long before the Europeans arrived to show them how – copper and terracotta to produce a series of exquisite heads that are not only the equal of Donatello in technical brilliance, but also just as naturalistic in their refinement. So much for African primitivism.” – Michael Glover (The Independent) reviews Kingdom of Ife: Sculptures from West Africa, British Museum, London – read the full article here.


Sticky‘s “Jumeirah Riddim” has been out for some time. It is a massive tune that has appeared on several dope funky mixes.  This Natalie Storm version titled “Look Pon Me” is simply undeniable – sweet, catchy bashment/funky monster.  & don’t sleep, look for the 12″ out on Mixpak – it boasts a Dexplicit remix, guaranteed heat!

[vimeo width=”524″ height=”393″]http://www.vimeo.com/4318336[/vimeo]

The world will be tested by Texas Instruments and English diction…

One of my favorite bands released an album sometime in mid-2009, and I’m only coming across it/listening to it now. They have been gone for so long, and their buzz so quiet now. Nevertheless, it’s great to see Tjinder Singh & Co. return with more brilliant tunes. When I Was Born for the 7th Time is their most cited album and it’s charm is undeniable, a true classic— but (in high school and college) I found myself listening to Handcream for a Generation and Woman’s Gotta Have It more than anything else. 


Kreayshawn‘s demo reel Summer 2009

& here’s the future! Lil B’s new video “Like A Martian,” also directed by Kreayshawn.

This is definitely dumbest track I’ve heard from Lil B this year -mind you, I can only listen to his material in tiny doses so I’ve heard less than one tenth of his output this year. Andrew Noz/Cocaine Blunts has the time and patience/attention for this. Grab the mp3/audio dope here if you dare.




Roll Deep – When I’m Ere

Legendary East London grime collective Roll Deep compile some of their best songs from the last seven, or eight, years.  The first half of the set is just stunning– amazing, consistent, commercial-free bangers. There is a disconnect somewhere in the middle of the set, the pop tunes (proto-commercial grime?) kick in, and it’s distracting but you’ll forgive them once hear “Terrible”- one of the groups earliest, if not their first track as Roll Deep crew. It’s essential.

Real talk from one of my favorite DJs in the UK Funky scene. In this interview by Blackdown Marcus Nasty speaks out in his traditional opinionated way about why he thinks the grime scene died and the way forward for UK Funky which he has become one of the leading DJs in. I enjoy Marcus sets because as a fellow post-grime person he is playing house but keeping it raw. I love the new UK funky sounds and have been playing a lot of it and find that it is even leading me into some of the smoother stuff but basically I still like raw, percussive, heavy tunes. Getting into a lot of what people think of as ‘normal house’ is just too far for me and a lot of the DJs coming from there into funky play too smooth for me. Marcus has (or has had, he’s sounding a little more mature now) a rep for being a big muscle-y dude who will beat you up and you can tell he’s pretty unconcerned about offending anyone which lends a certain truthiness to this interview.

Marcus Nasty Interview at Blackdown.



Eve – Me-n-My (Up In The Club) (Produced by Benga and Salaam Remi)

The original beat is “E Trips” from Benga‘s 2008 album Diary of An Afro Warrior. Salaam Remi is known as Nasir Jones’ beat supplier, essentially his main/most consistent producer for the better half of this decade. Salaam links Benga and Eve together, slightly altering and reworking Benga’s beat for Eve‘s voice.  It’s a perfect connection, and the result is great… but I remain a bit ambivalent for some reason. Anyway, this is the first leak (that’s what we call singles nowadays) from her long overdue album now titled Flirt.

= summer.

in London we have mangy urban wheat fields where one can sit and hear passing subs through the bones.

and on that topic,

stush has been around for a while now. crucially, on dollar sign produced by sticky, also on (not this) remix of that lisa maffia tune, also live, also with sway (UK sway – don’t get confused), also top 10 with groove armada (but you still nah see me), also:

in a UK funky / funky bashment style on hard house banton’s sirens riddim:

stush – we nah run (sirens riddim)

this tune sounds like (being in/driving/not driving/standing outside) cars.

stush copy




Mos Def – Revelations

“Revelations,” a mellow and extraordinary post-Obama, ridiculously pro-black, one-verse track with shots directed at the CIA, the US Federal Reserve/bankers/money-grubbers, doubters and none-believers, the recession, race, violence, etc. New York has been very hot and sticky lately, and Mos Def‘s latest album The Ecstatic has been in heavy rotation, especially the tracks with themes that are seemingly nonsensical/irrational/unhelpful for the times we are in. Just yesterday, we played two cuts from it on WFMU’s Mudd Up! with DJ Rupture. While we’re talking Mudd Up! radio, here are two more joints Rupture played (on his first and in all likelihood last cumbia-free show)  – another Mos track titled “Wahid”, and a song by “the most unusual star on the planet” (at least, that’s what he, himself claims.) Please check out Dan Hancox 10 Essential Wiley tunes on Fact Magazine, timely reminder of why the tireless genius can’t be stopped.


Mos Def – Wahid


Wiley – Eyes of the Lord