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The Team EDITOR-in-chief

Andy Forrester, andy@beatzmag.com

Managing Director

Ayaz Hussain, yaz@beatzmag.com

So the Girlfriend of Rapper Kanye West, Kim Kardashian, has given birth to a baby girl, who they named North (Yes really, North west). As you would expect there have been well wishes from fans and celebs but there have also been a few truly brilliant reactions too. Here we bring you some of the best:

Designers

Sophie Spencer Sarah Bold Kate Monaghan Lee Shaw Jonny Bridge

Assistant editors Nikk Price Simran Gill Ashley Abraham

Contributors

Simon Phelan Sham Makhecha Tom Wilkinson Rory Foster Chardae’ Jones Lasé Anthony Laleye George Rowland Sam Maffia Yasmin La Ronde Helen Healy James Llewellyn Damian Leonard

Interviewer Ato Haagh

Fashion Editors Jessica Pierce Helen Healy

Social Media Officer Billy Begum

Brendan Davis Jessica Pierce Gregory Linford Damian Leonard James Llewellyn Uthman Olomide George Rowland Rory Foster Jesse Doodo

Twe e

Website Officers

Contact Info

General: contact@beatzmag.com Advertising: advertise@beatzmag.com

Just heard a new song on the radio called “I hate being sober” I now have serious doubt for the world. - @katyperry Katy Perry after hearing Chief Keef’s song “I Hate Being Sober”. 2   B e a t z M a g a z i n e - w w w. b e a t z m a g . c o m

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Editors Letter

Who Beatz Meets

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he months have zoomed by again and we’ve barely had a summer; but despite the rain, the 1st of July marks the start of the festival season!! So grab your wellies, your coloured Ray Bans and head down to your nearest festival, or risk missing out on another year of wild stories! This year the nation has got all eyes on Wireless Festival with another eye popping line-up including Justin Timberlake, Snoop Dogg, Kendrick Lamar, Rita Ora and Roc Nation’s Jay-Z plus a load of other big names!! Meanwhile the other Carter, Queen Bee headlines V Festival in between her European and American legs of her Mrs Carter Tour, and Eminem makes his long awaited festival return after 12 long years! But that’s not all from this issue! Don’t miss the Beatz Festival Survival Guide where we give you our top 5 Do’s and Don’ts of camping. We’ve got some huge interviews in store from the likes of Wretch 32 talking about Tottenham life, Jason Derulo talking about getting over his injury and his girlfriend Jordin Sparks. Catch up with Lethal Bizzle talking about FIFA and Dench Clothing before getting down with Ghetts and his new album Rebel With A Cause! Our reviews section is popping off this month too! The must read section of this issue is the Yeezus & Born Sinner album reviews on page 60 & 62. It would be a sin not to!!

Andy F.

Disclaimer: While every effort is made to ensure the information in this magazine is correct, changes can occur which affect the accuracy of copy, for which Beatz Magazine holds no responsibility. The opinions of the contributors do not necessarily bear a relation to those of Beatz Magazine or it’s staff and we disclaims liability for those impressions Terms & Conditions: 1. Competitions are open to UK/ Channel Island residents, except staff of Beatz Magazine and their families. 2. There is no alternatives to the prize. 3. Winners will be notified by email/phone 4. Editors decision is final. 5. Entry implies acceptance of these terms. w w w. b e a t z m a g . c o m - B e a t z M a g a z i n e   3


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Reviews Beatz’ music critic has his say on recent music releases.

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Regulars 06 Gossip Sam Maffia breaks down the hottest gossip of recent weeks.

r o t i Ed s Pick

It’s a UK thing Some of the best unsigned UK talent get a chance to speak.

08 The Mail Room We dig through the letters we receive from fans. The best letter wins £100! 56 It’s a UK thing Some of the best unsigned UK talent gets a chance to speak. Leanne Louis is the first to feature. 58 Top 6 We pick out 6 of the top up-andcoming London born artists.

60 Reviews Beatz’ music critic has his say on recent music releases.

64 Photography 4 amazing pieces of photography featuring rapper Kwamz. 68 Fashion We bring you some of the hottest fashion items on sale now.

Wretch 32 From Tottenham life to fatherhood, his artist friends to his deepest track, get to know the humble Wretch 32

Interviews

10 Rise of the Urban Festival? Is the urban festival about to become the headline act? 12 Festival Do’s And Don’ts Beatz guide to a great festival visit. 14 Where Is Your Festival? Find the locations of the best festivals in the UK. 16 Queen B Takes A Step For V The highlight of the summer is more than just sunshine and ice cream. 18 Rita Ora The British blonde bomb shell has been going Radioactive this year.

28 Wretch 32 From Tottenham life to fatherhood, his artist friends to his deepest track, get to know the humble Wretch 32 36 Jason Derulo The R&B singer opens up about his girlfriend Jordin Sparks, his writing process and fashion changes over the years

19 Drum & Bass Vs. Rock & Roll Can Chase & Status win over the rock & rollers of Reading & Leeds Festivals? 20 The Real Slim Shady’s UK U-Turn Eminem returns to the Reading and Leeds Festival. 21 Channel Orange Goes Wireless Frank Ocean hops across the pond – and it’s about time too!

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CONTENTs Articles

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Legends Of The Summer Justin Timberlake and Jay-Z are ready to kick off their summer tour at this years Wireless festival.

22 Evolution From A Dogg To A Lion A look at how Snoop Dogg became Snoop Lion.

P36 44 Akala The conscious poet and MC talks to us about his new album The Thieves Banquet 48 Lethal Bizzle The rapper chats to us about the influence of football on his musical career and the future of Dench.

24 Kendrick Lamar The Leader of the New School.

54 Ghetts The legend of grime returns from his studio hiatus to bring us his brand new album, “Rebel With A Cause”

26 Legends Of The Summer Justin Timberlake and Jay-Z are ready to kick off their summer tour.

72 The Final Say With Wiley UK Grime royalty talks to us about Festivals

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Gossip By Sam Maffia

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n recent months, the world has seen a massive media attack on the Female Boss and former N-Dubz member Tulisa. Whilst the majority have attacked the singer in every direction, I’ve continuously praised her. From her sex tape antics to being dropped from the X-Factor judging panel and now most recently a drugs arrest. The drugs arrest is probably one of the most shocking celebrity stories to come out to the public ever, but regardless of this I still love Tulisa.

She’s the council estate Barbie and underneath that aggressive persona she likes to portray, there are obviously bigger issues within Tulisa, that people will never understand. Just this month it was claimed that the singer had been suffering with panic attacks and breathing difficulties since a national newspaper ran a story of her involvement in selling cocaine. Then in the recent news it was reported that she recently found out that she was fooled by false film directors over

Beatz Magazine’s own gossip columnist Sam Maffia breaks down the hottest gossip of recent weeks. a number of months, who tricked her into believing she was up for an £8million movie deal. So can Tulisa come back from this? In my opinion, YES! Not only does this scandal give Tulisa more than an album’s worth of stories to talk about, but it has also emerged that rap royalty Kanye West wants to start working with producers for Tulisa’s sophomore album. And if that doesn’t work out, there is always that much wanted N-Dubz reunion.

Hot Not Who’s

Who’s

Rita Ora Alexandra Burke Not only has Rita Ora (left) recently The 2008 winner of The X Factor, featured in Fast & Furious 6, in a role that Rihanna was rumoured to be gearing up to, but she has also reportedly signed a $1,000,000 deal to become the new face of Madonna’s clothing range, Material Girl.

Alexandra Burke, has split from her record label, Epic. A source said it was a case of ‘the label being unhappy with Alexandra and Alexandra was unhappy with the label. There didn’t seem any point in continuing.’

Chris Brown

Emeli Sandé

She stormed U.S. charts with her album Our Version Of Events, selling just under 250,000 copies in a few months and received a degree for her outstanding contribution to the music industry from the University of Glasgow.

Jessie J

Pop singer and one of The Voice’s mentor quartet, Jessie J, returned to the UK charts at number 5 with her first single in over a year, 'Wild'. It is set to be the first single from her upcoming yet-to-benamed second studio album.

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Bad boy singer & rapper, Chris Brown, could face charges this month for a fight with R&B singer Frank Ocean as well as a hit and run incident. He also went on a multi-tweet rant about pop stars he didn’t respect [*cough* Rihanna].

mike glc Rapper Mike GLC has been denying

anything and everything to do with the alleged Tulisa coke deal. This is despite reporters being handed his number by Tulisa and then being filmed dealing drugs to them...

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Dream Hook Ups Ever wondered what would happen if your two favourite musicians hooked up on a track?

BRITNEY Spears & MIGUEL

With Miguel's smooth sounding voice and the signature sound of the queen of pop, Britney Spears, it would make the perfect Pop - R&B love child.

Slash & frank ocean

Frank Ocean is R&B’s rebel, so teaming up with rock legend Slash would be something so weird and wacky that it could be a groundbreaking move for both artist’s!

Amelle & Big Sean

Dizzee Rascal & Lisa Maffia

As Amelle (Sugababes) is currently recording her up & coming solo album, she is in need of a GOOD rapper and who else than Big Sean who recently featured on Jessie J’s top 5 track Wild. If it worked for Jessie, then why not Amelle ay?

A collab between the king and queen of UK Garage would go down in history. Back in the day, Dizzee and So Solid Crew would battle on pirate radio, but with UK Garage making it’s comeback, what better time to get Miss Maffia and Mr Rascal on a track together.

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The Mail Room

The letter of the month goes to Ben Foley meaning he wins the awesome 59Fifty snapback (right)!

LETTER OF THE Month! Youngers in Beatz Dear Beatz, Thank you for introducing me to Youngers. I’ve been hooked ever since I saw it in your last issue. Calvin Demba (Jay) is a great actor! It has made me want to follow my acting ambition! Keep up the great work!

Ben Foley, Via email

We’re glad we have helped people find out about this amazing TV show and even more glad it has resulted in you wanting to follow your dream! The actors and actresses all have bright futures ahead of them.

Top 6 in issue 4 Thanks from a 7 Year old

Here’s a photo of my 7 year old son’s new trainers. Trainers he wanted after he saw them in your magazine while I was reading it. He has said thank you for them but I guess he owes it to you guys... Though I’m now £70 down!

Tommy Dean, Via email

Good to see that we can influence the young with our fashion picks. Sorry about the £70, But you know what they say, You can’t put a price on youth...At least we say that anyway...

Win £100 CASH! 8 

After reading the “Top 6: up and coming London born artists” in issue 4, I found myself rather surprised you had overlooked K Koke for male rapper. He’s getting air time on top UK radio stations so surely he should have gone to him?

Phil “Frank” Machin, Via Facebook

We’re big K-Koke fans at Beatz HQ, we didn’t miss him out, he was in the top 6 back in issue 3

Why I love Beatz

Its the kind of things that I like to read about and learn about. I love music with a passion and any things involved with music. I love reading about upcoming artists, albums and the hottest new music.

Jack Alejandro Tiernan, Via Facebook

You actually have quite a lot in common with all the Beatz staff! Glad you like what we do!

Here is your chance to appear in the pages of Beatz - and get paid for doing it! All that you have to do is send us your letters, jokes, funny pictures and anything else you think we may enjoy to mailroom@ beatzmag.com, via Facebook (www.fb.com/beatzonline) or through twitter @BeatzMag. The sender of the issues best letter wins the awesome cash prize of £100! The editor’s decision is final. Terms and conditions (Page 03) apply

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he image of the lethargic ‘free love’ festival, where audiences lounge around spaced out on grassy hills while an equally drugged up and aging guitarist launches into sparse 45 minute solos, is dying out. It’s not a bad thing; the ‘guitar-festival’ has had a great run ever since its inception 44 years ago at Woodstock - since then it has outlasted punkrockers in the 1970’s, glam-rockers in the 1980’s and the infamous raves of the 1990’s. However there are unmistakable signs that it is reaching the end of its dynasty and the

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responsibility to entertain and inspire the youthful masses is being passed to urban music. You only have to look at Wireless Festival in England to understand this transformation. Since its creation in 2005, Wireless has struggled to find an identity, switching between multiple sponsors and generally lacking direction – but when the line-up for Wireless 2013 was announced it looked like a polished and varied tour of the best of urban music. And it sold out instantly. Rap deities like Jay Z and Nas are performing alongside on-the-rise

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firecrackers such as Kendrick Lamar and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – oh yeah and 2 Chainz is tagging along too, complete with his powerful and original brand of socially aware, meaningful hip-hop... The festival has adapted to keep up with today’s youth; we’re hungry, we face different issues and have different institutions of authority to rebel against. Feeling the crowd throb with energy as a veteran performer such as Jay-Z raps about how he built an empire from nothing suddenly seems more appropriate than sipping warm cider and batting

Words by Tom Wilkinson

Rise of the Urban Festival?


Beatz Festival Survival Guide

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Empty your wallet of everything you can’t stand losing before you turn up to the festival – keep it in a secure pocket, this is your decoy wallet. Keep your actual money in your underwear.

Nowadays you’re much more likely to get trapped in the middle of a Harlem Shake than a mosh-pit.

away wasps. Even the timeless hallmark of every great festival – the festival girl – is changing. Daisy chain headbands are being replaced with Oakland Raiders’ snapback’s (unaware of how American football even works) and you’re more likely to see a drunk girl attempting to throw up LA gang signs than the famous two-fingered peace sign that was once a symbol of youth rebellion. Nowadays you’re much more likely to get trapped in the middle of a Harlem Shake than a mosh-pit.

In effect, the festival evolved to keep up, although the transition isn’t fully complete yet. Watching Wiz Khalifa rap about his fleet of luxury cars and exotic women may still feel a bit jarring when you look around and the realisation hits you that you’re stood in a cold, wet field in England, you haven’t changed your underwear for 3 days and you’ve just been hit by a paper cup full of suspiciously warm liquid. Ah well, at least our parents don’t understand it – and in the end that’s what festivals have always stood for anyway.

In fact, don’t take money – these 3 days should be completely free from reminders of the outside world. Instead, use valuable, in-demand commodities to bargain for what you need - be creative: hugs, haircuts and pretending that you’re A$AP Rocky’s cousin can all work if you are badly in need of some food or water.

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Toilets: you’re on your own on this one. Nothing anybody can say to you will prepare you for your first trip to the festival toilets. If you feel the need to desensitize your mind beforehand, the best thing is probably old-school films about the Vietnam war.

Start an intense core strength training programme 2 months before you go. Firstly, it’s a festival, so if you’re doing it right you should be topless roughly 60-70% of the time. Secondly, when your trapped in a swirling mass of tangled elbows and glow sticks as Jay Z launches into the first verse of Public Service Announcement, a strong core will help you stay on your feet and let you ward off anyone who tries to start a mosh-pit with you (they’re so 2009...)

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Be sure to have fun and don’t take it too seriously, be entertained, be carefree, be inspired, don’t do crack (no really, don’t do it or you may end up sleeping in a muddy puddle!).

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WHERE IS YOUR FESTIVAL? t in the park 12/13 july

PARTY IN THE park 28 july

v festival 17/18 august

sundown

leeds

30/31 auG & 1 SEP

23/25 august

global gathering

lovebox

19/20/21 july

26/27 july

READING

wireless

23/25 august

12/1 3 july

notting hill 25/26 august

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Words by Yasmin La Ronde

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Queen B takes a step for V The highlight of the summer is more than just sunshine and ice cream; it’s the festival season.

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his hisyear yearthe theUK UK will be graced will be gracedby Queen Bee Bee herself by Queen for the ultimate herself for Mrs. world the Carter ultimate tour, so something else Mrs. Carter world tour, sohad to be scheduled fortothose something else had be unlucky enough not to get a scheduled for those unlucky ticket. Beyoncé is embarking enough not to get a ticket. on her only European on festival Beyoncé is embarking her only performance of this year and European festival performancesince of her UK tour lesstour than this year andsold sinceout herinUK sold 15 minutes, fans15have had afans second out in less than minutes, opportunity to see her perform at V have had a second opportunity to Festival. see her perform at V Festival. Since her her explosion explosion as as aa solo solo black black Since female artist headlining Glastonbury female artist headlining Glastonbury in 2011, 2011, she she has has stormed stormed the the in charts with her once in a lifetime charts with her once in a lifetime performances. performances. V festival festival has has aa reputation reputation as as one one V the of most mainstream UK festivals the of most mainstream UK festivals with other other acts acts such such as as Emeli Emeli Sandé, Sandé, with Jessie J and Rita Ora performing, Jessie J and Rita Ora performing, is set set to to be be one one of of the the biggest biggest itit is festivals of 2013. The festival is festivals of 2013. The festival is now in its 18th year and has been now in its 18th year and has been aa

great achievement on the behalf of great achievement on the behalf of festival organisers to secure one of festival organisers to secure one of the strongest bills to date. Over the the strongest bills to date. Over the weekend of August 17-18th, Beyoncé weekend of August 17-18th, Beyoncé will grace the UK’s festivalgoer’s for will grace the UK’s festivalgoer’s for an event like no other. an event like no other. The ‘Crazy In Love’ singer has The ‘Crazy In Love’ singer has already had quite a big year, with already had quite a big year, with performances at President Obama’s performances at President Obama’s inauguration and of course the inauguration and of course the Superbowl halftime show with Superbowl halftime show with Destiny’s Child members Michelle Destiny’s Child members Michelle Williams and Kelly Rowland. For Williams and Kelly Rowland. For Beyoncé to headline another festival, Beyoncé to headline another festival, she is not only demonstrating the she is not only demonstrating the success of female solo artists but success of female solo artists but as a black female she is creating as a black female she is creating history again. Her style fits history again. Her style fits perfectly alongside the mainstream perfectly alongside the mainstream pop culture of V festival, putting pop culture of V festival, putting American pop music back on top. American pop music back on top. Since the succession of her album ‘4’ Since the succession of her album ‘4’ in 2011, Beyoncé has been on top in 2011, Beyoncé has been on top form, but the birth of her child Blue form, but the birth of her child Blue Ivy, has seen her career take a back Ivy, has seen her career take a back seat. seat. Now with the release of her

18 years V for 18for years V festival festival has some pulledofsome has pulled the of theartists best artists known best known in mainstream music, but in mainstream music, has the festival reached but has the festival its peak already with such reached its peak a big artist? already with such a big Now with the release of her artist?

autobiographical film ‘Life Is But a autobiographical film ‘LifetoIsherself But a Dream’ Beyoncé is back Dream’ Beyoncé is back to herself once again and putting her name once in again and putting her name back lights. back in lights. This year’s festival scene is set This year’s festival is and set for bigger and betterscene things, for bigger and better things, and Beyoncé is part of the big music Beyoncé part of the scene foristhis year. Butbig for music 18 years scene for this year. But for 18the years V festival has pulled some of best V festival has pulled some of the best artists known in mainstream music, artists in mainstream music, but hasknown the festival reached its peak but has the festival reached its already with such a big artist? peak already with such a big artist?

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RITA ORA f

estival line ups have been announced and Sundown Festival is far from disappointing for mainstream fans, with headliners Example and Jessie J, this new festival is starting to earn a good name for itself. Rita Ora takes her well-deserved place at the high end of the line-up below headliner Example, and will play on the Saturday with acts like DJ Fresh, X-Factors James Arthur and Amplify Dot set to join her. The festival promotes mainly pop and up and coming urban artists, and will also have a second stage which on the Saturday is hosted by Rinse FM, and will consist of dance and bass acts such as Skepta, P Money, Friction and more. The festival shows the best of current, mainstream artists and also artists breaking out from the underground scene, which is where the majority of the big acts started, including Rita Ora.  Rita will be promoting her debut album ‘Ora’ which was released August of last year, she will also be adding brand new tracks to the album to be released for the first time in the US. In an interview with MTV US she said; “There’s a few surprises, I don’t want to give them away, but it’s definitely in the Roc family.” (Referring to Jay Z’s record label Roc

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Nation which is she is signed to). She carried on to say, “2013 is really important for me because its gonna be the first time the US hears my official album and I wanted to put a few extra tracks on there and make it really special. I’m basically giving you guys a whole new album of new material, to the world it’ll be like a second album, but to you guys it’ll be like a first album.” As of yet there is no release date for this second album, but Rita has confirmed it will be released this year. Rita has had massive success with all of her singles so far, which led her to take the title for the artist with most songs entering the UK singles chart at number one in 2012, and I don’t doubt that those songs will make up her set list for Sundown.  After the success of the album last year, she has become a much soughtafter artist, with everyone wanting to add her to their festival line-up, and will also play wireless, north east live and a few more festivals this summer.  Sundown festival will take place on the weekend of 31st August.

Jay-Z announced new album Magna Carta Holy Grail out July 7th

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Words by Jessica Kate Pierce

The British blonde bomb shell has been going Radioactive this year


Drum & Bass VS Rock N Roll Can Chase & Status win over the rock & rollers of Reading and Leeds Festivals?

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especially UK artists within the Electronic Dance Music scene at a festival that typically specializes solely in rock music, among other genres. Last year, the duo sub-headlined the Download Festival 2012. When the line up was first announced, a large amount of controversy among Download fans arose, as the festival is usually recognized as featuring many metal acts, not Electronic Dance Music DJs. However, after the festival, the overall verdict from regular attendees of the festival and music journalists alike was that Chase & Status worked very well to fit in with the overall feel of the festival, and were very well received throughout the duration of their performance. This leads us to believe that Chase & Status will be able to perform exceedingly well on the

Main Stage at Reading and Leeds, regardless of whether people believe that Electronic Dance Music should not associate with a festival so well known for its rock music. The duo will also be headlining the ‘Other Stage’ at this year’s Glastonbury Festival, alongside acts such as The XX, Foals and Example, and also headline Scotland’s T in the Park festival, alongside Rihanna and The Killers. The combination of several festival appearances, and casually releasing a new single for free from their website (entitled “Big Man”, of which the free download has since been removed), lead us to predict a new album in the works for 2013. Whether this album will be released before, during or after the festival season is another matter. What we are looking forward to, however, is some new music played from the new album, during these upcoming performances.

Words by James JD Llewellyn

lectronic Dance Music (EDM) duo Chase & Status are set to appear at this year’s Reading and Leeds Festivals on the last weekend of August. The duo are the only DJ’s who have been picked to play on both of the festivals’ main stages, with American Dubstep artist Skrillex, dancehall pioneer Major Lazer, and homegrown nu-garage artist Disclosure all having to take a back seat and perform on the NME/ Radio 1 stage. Chase & Status will be performing on Saturday the 24th of August in Reading, and Sunday the 25h of August in Leeds, and will be the penultimate artist of the night, before US heavyweight Eminem takes the stage to close the Main Stage for the night. Being the warm-up act for one of the greatest living artists in the world, at one of the most renowned festivals in the world, is something to only be dreamed about for most artists,

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The Real Slim Shady’s UK U-Turn After 12 years away from the Reading and Leeds Festival, Eminem is back to promote his forthcoming album. year. This will be Eminem’s eighth studio album following his most recent one, Bad Meets Evil, in 2011. Tracks on this upcoming album are said to include the My Life collaboration with 50 Cent and Maroon 5’s Adam Levine, as well as C’mon Let Me Ride ft Skylar Grey (who he collaborated with on I Need A Doctor). After promoting his previous top selling albums such as Encore and Relapse at other festivals such as Oxegen in 2010 for the release of Recovery;

why has he decided that now is the time to make his reigning debut return after such a long time away? after such a long time away? Two words: new album. All the real Slim Shady fans are in for a treat after Dr Dre released a press statement confirming that Marshall Mathers, aka Eminem, will be coming out with a brand new studio album just after Memorial Day, a United States holiday which falls on the last Monday of May each

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Eminem has decided that it’s time he came back to where it began for him in the UK, by headlining Reading on the 24th and Leeds on August 25th. When the Reading festival first entered the music scene in 1961, it was a far cry from what it is today, beginning as the National Jazz Festival before it evolved into the pop culture phenomenon that it is

2 Chainz Robbed at Gunpoint in San Francisco.

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now. It highlights the growth of the music industry having a rap icon like Eminem performing a venue which was created for jazz enthusiasts. Eminem has achieved an amazing status over his music career, established somewhat as a God of rap, and after massive sales of over 100 million albums sold worldwide since the beginning of his career, he is no doubt going to be one the most popular acts in the history of Reading and Leeds to perform on the main stage.

Words by Damian Leonard

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ister music festivals Reading and Leeds have brought out the big guns this year after announcing Eminem as their first main stage headline act. Eminem has not graced the stage of either of these popular venues in a massive 12 years. The last time he performed at both was just two years after Leeds festival was born, and also, two years after the release of his 1999’s Slim Shady LP. So why has he decided that now is the time to make his reigning debut return


Channel Orange Going Wireless Frank Ocean hops across the pond – and it’s about time too!

Words by Rory Foster

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t’s been almost two years since Ocean came over to the UK. Back then, with only Nostalgia Ultra and a couple of guest appearances to his name, the Odd Future RnB singer performed on his own, with just a laptop, in London’s XOYO. A sold out gig even then, he blew people away with his pitch-perfect singing and engaging personality. Now, with Channel Orange peaking at no.2 in the charts and selling over 100,000 copies, he is chasing the tails of the biggest names in the business. At Wireless Festival the R&B crooner will be amongst Jay Z, Justin Timberlake and many other huge names near the top of the bill, and will be hoping to hog the spotlight during his set. This time around we can hope for more tracks from last year’s critical and commercial success, Channel Orange. This 17 track album features so many huge tunes it’s hard to keep

track, from the 9 minute blockbuster “Pyramids” to the Stevie Wonderinspired “Sweet Life” and the outrageously sleek “Lost”, it’ll only

At Wireless the R&B crooner will be amongst Jay Z, Justin Timberlake and many other huge names near the top of the bill, and will be hoping to hog the spotlight during his set. sound better with Frank Ocean’s live band. In the recent past he’s been known to use jazz bands, so who knows what he might bring over to the UK. Recently the Odd Future star has been a little off the radar, taking

some much needed time off after a largely public fight with Chris Brown so it’s possible we might get some brand new music, however Ocean’s not one to brag about his upcoming projects, and has been fairly quiet in all areas for the past few months. It’s also worth remembering that on the same weekend Mr. Ocean is performing, Jay-Z will be blessing Wireless with his presence. Could we see Ocean come out on Made in America or No Church In The Wild, two of the Watch the Throne tracks that helped boost Ocean’s name further into the stars? All we can know is that Frank Ocean, only below Snoop Dogg and Justin Timberlake on the lineup, is going to haul in the crowds for his Friday night performance at Wireless. Will he be able to handle the pressure and impress those there for perhaps the only bigger male RnB singer, Justin Timberlake? We’ll have to wait and see on the 12th July to find out.

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Evolution

From A

Dogg

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he linked up with Damian Marley, son of the legend and Bunny Wailer, the last alive of the original trio Bob Marley and the Wailers. Hooking up with producers Major Laser and Diplo, they started recording, instantly spreading the message of peace, love and positivity without a single rap from Snoop, only singing. Talking about island life, one of the first tracks to be penned was titled Fruit Juice to describe the unique taste of breaking fresh fruit off the trees and eating

features. When conceptualising his life, Snoop saw many similarities to Bob Marley in addition to herb smoking. He saw the struggle with poverty and violent surroundings, which is probably why Bunny Wailer dubbed him Snoop Lion (an evolution from a Dogg). Snoop adopted the name, not out of disrespect to Nate Dogg, but to grow as a human being and an artist. The question that comes to mind is whether Snoop will perform his

When conceptualising his life, Snoop saw many similarities to Bob Marley in addition to herb smoking. it straight away as shown in the documentary! With an impressive features list including Rita Ora, Drake, Akon, a surprisingly good track from Miley Cyrus, local reggae singer Angela Hunte and Snoop’s own daughter Cori B; the album definitely stayed true to creating an entirely new reggae concept even with all these

classic hits, or this new reggae inspired material? The official line-up of Wireless lists the rapper rather than the singer but expect to see Rastafari beanies, and hear smoker anthems because whether a convert to the Rastafari religion or not, this positive music is a legacy for Snoop as being the first American artist to create a reggae record.

Frank Ocean caught speeding and in possession of marijuana with a suspended license B e a t z M a g a z i n e - w w w. b e a t z m a g . c o m

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hen news first dropped about the rebirth of Snoop Dogg to Snoop Lion, everyone was sceptical. It wasn’t until after the announcement of his reggae inspired ‘Reincarnated’ album (that would feature no rapping at all) that Snoop finally caught the world’s attention. As far as the story/album/ accompanying doggumentary goes, Snoop got tired of talking about the generic topics of money, pimping and gang banging and decided to leave a legacy his family and fans could be proud of. One of the conscious decisions to inspire this change was what type of song he could perform at a major televised event or at The White House, because hits like The Next Episode are - putting it as mildy as possible - way too explicit. That coupled with the tragic passing of Snoop’s best friend Nate Dogg in 2011 is why Snoop sought enlightenment from a month long holiday in Jamaica. Travelling with a film production crew, Snoop (real name Calvin Broadus) sampled the island lifestyle (and of course the local herbs) before visiting the birthplace of modern reggae; Trenchtown. Here

to a lion


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KENDRICK LAMAR O

ut of the notoriously dangerous Compton comes a future apostle of the rap scene, a shining light by the name of Kendrick Lamar. Raised in the birthplace of the west coast rap scene amongst a life of trouble and mischief, young Kendrick made all the right choices under the worst circumstances and overcame all of the hardship to arise from the prison enlightened. Working under the mentorship of fellow Compton rap legend Dr Dre was a unique blessing, as Kendrick's career is set to be moulded by the man who shaped Snoop Dogg's and Eminem's careers. So what makes Kendrick so unique? Undoubtedly it’s his lyrical story telling that takes the listener on a journey through his verses, living all

of the experiences with him. From songs such as Art of Peer Pressure to Real, it was from unlikely circumstances that this underground rapper made it to the forefront of the scene alongside fellow crew members of Top Dawg Entertainment; Schoolboy Q, Ab-Soul, Jay Rock and their DJ. Most interestingly, the skits, intros and outros were all real voicemails which had been saved by Kendrick since the age of 18. He decided to use them in the album before a single track was even recorded and none were re-enacted for the sake of the album. To add to this, the first track to be recorded is actually the last track on the album 'Compton' which features the executive producer Dr Dre and beat maker Just Blaze. The trio recorded the song in just

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one afternoon dedicating it all to their city. Having carved his career and planned his debut album since the age of 18 (now 25), it seems logical that the next step after a breath-taking album was to begin touring. Kendrick came to the UK for his first sold-out show at Hammersmith Apollo in 2012 and rapidly claimed the title of MTV's Hottest Rapper of 2013, off the back of his Platinum selling debut album 'Good Kid, m.A.A.d City'. After these very impressive feats it's seems natural that the gigs progressed to touring the festival stages and where better to broadcast the core of London's rap scene than the Wireless Festival! Kendrick opens for Snoop Lion and Saturday headliner Justin Timberlake!

Words by Simon Phelan

The Leader of the New School


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LEGENDS OF THE SUMMER

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multi-talented, immensely gifted, Justin Timberlake. Whether due to his long history in the entertainment business, or the success of his first two albums (Justified and FutureSex/ LoveSounds), JT’s break from music has quickly become distant in the memories of many fans and critics alike. Yet it would be foolish to suggest Timberlake has been out of the public eye whilst away from the musical industry. Whether starring in films alongside Cameron Diaz and Mila Kunis, attending a Marine Corps Birthday Ball after a YouTube invite from a female soldier, or releasing his own brand of tequila (and rapidly getting Jonathon Ross tipsy on it), JT has ensured his numerous other projects have been both unique, and in most cases, successful. Most relevant to the urban music fan however, is the influence these many projects have had upon Timberlake’s musical (and indeed his everyday) style. Having been voted GQ’s most Stylish man in America in 2009, JT has dropped the leatherjacket-and-beanie look of yesteryear, and now instead dons tuxedos and dress shirts – in his words, adopting the “Suit and Tie” persona. And with this, JT has developed his musical manner, acknowledging his development both as an artist and a man. He’s moved away from the pop-infused R&B reminiscent of his ‘N Sync days, and closer to a form of R&B more aligned to neo-soul, and in some cases, jazz. The 20/20 Experience, Timberlake’s long-awaited third album, aptly exemplifies this evolution. JT’s well known and respectable vocal range takes precedence, far ahead of the sometimes mediocre vocals. Nonetheless, what really shines throughout the album is its reflection of the artists development (“Mirrors” being, rather ironically, the only

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exception to this statement, as it is reminiscent in its construction of one of Timberlake’s past, rather unexciting songs “What Goes Around Comes Around”). Close collaboration with long time friend and producer Timbaland is evident on tracks like Don’t Hold the Wall and Tunnel Vision, and JT pays homage to his Tennessee roots in the wonderful That Girl. The lengthy tracks, whilst occasionally perhaps slightly drawn out, give the listener chance to appreciate the decent construction of each song, and should a selection of these tracks be performed during JT’s summer festival performances, they will give festival go-ers ample insight into Timberlake’s rejuvenated approach to his music. Yet it takes considerably more than simply a respectable third studio album to legitimise such a substantial stylistic adjustment. It requires authenticity – the kind of authenticity perhaps only given by a fellow artist – a living legend – who has been able to grow into the role of a new-age, evergreen gentleman with style and substance himself. A man who has come from the deepest poverty of Brooklyn’s infamous Marcy Projects to having his most recent musical releases spark response from none other than the Whitehouse.

All in all, it promises to be a summer not to forget for those lucky enough to hold tickets. Enter, Jay-Z. It seems oddly fitting that Timberlake’s summer festival tour partner, after his lengthy hiatus, should be a man who has been everpresent in hip hop for well over two decades. In Timberlake’s musical absence, Mr Carter has released

Words by Sham Makhecha

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t takes a very special talent to take a six year hiatus from music - especially during what are expected to be the defining years of an artists’ lifetime – and return to the urban music scene (albeit with a reinvented image and new movie-star wife) to a patiently waiting fan base with all previous talent and passion for music intact. Just ask artists like Mase and LL Cool J. Yet one (remarkably well-groomed) man, has not only been able to achieve this, but has also almost immediately secured a summerlong tour, as well as a collaborative comeback single, with hip hop icon Jay-Z. The man in question? The


The self styled “Legends of the Summer” - otherwise known as Justin Timberlake and Jay-Z – are both on top their respective games, and are ready to kick off their summer tour at this years Wireless Festival. three albums, married R&B’s first lady (who collaborated with Justin on his hit Until The End of Time), and had his first child. Recently, Jay has received criticism for his single Open Letter, yet continues to do what he does best, and is preparing his 13th studio album, his first solo album in three years. And it is perhaps this criticism which drives Jay-Z, and which leads neatly towards the subject of festivals. Few will forget Noel Gallagher’s passionate disapproval upon hearing Jay would be headlining Glastonbury 2008, and even fewer will forget the cheeky yet brilliant Wonderwall cover which the headline act responded with, nor the way Jay-Z truly absorbed

tour which will act as Timberlake’s second coming out party, this time introducing him as a new-age gentleman, overlooked by a rap mogul who has already made such easy work of this makeover. As if people needed convincing that Jay-Z is the perfect modern man to fulfil this role, rumour suggests he will be opening exclusive Gentlemen’s Clubs at each tour venue, complete with a professional cigar roller. Putting the wider act aside, the musical structure of the final night performance at Wireless Festival is likely to be different to what fans are used to. Jay-Z is not touring with Kanye West or R Kelly, each of which he has had a long collaborative history with, and therefore more

IT SEEMS ODDLY FITTING THAT TIMBERLAKES SUMMER FESTIVAL TOUR PARTNER, AFTER HIS LENGTHY HIATUS, SHOULD BE A MAN WHO HAS BEEN EVER PRESENT IN HIP HOP FOR WELL OVER TWO DECADES Glastonbury festival go-ers like few headline acts had done before him. Expect a wholly different performance, but an almost identical positive response, to Jay-Z and JT’s final night performance at this years Wireless Festival. Given the fact that both artists will be performing separately on the two previous nights, festival go-ers would be forgiven for questioning how exactly the joint performance will work, and what it is exactly that binds these two gentlemen. It is in fact just that, the evolution of one into an R&B Gentleman (as he departs from his boyhood pop image), and the presence of the other as the man who has successfully completed this transformation into a polished gentleman himself, albeit from hip-hop rather than pop roots. The Wireless Festival kicks off a summer

State of Mind. Jay-Z will no doubt take fans through a history of his many hits, whilst JT can be expected to perform new singles such as Pusher Love Girl, and no doubt fall back on summer hits of years gone by such as Senorita and Sexyback. All in all, it promises to be a summer not to forget for those lucky enough to hold tickets. Those attending will be privileged enough to witness the beginning of Justin Timberlake’s artistic transformation, and he himself will be fortunate enough to have a man on hand who can most definitely “show him a thing or two”.

material to perform together. Fans will be naive to believe the Legends of the Summer tour will revolve around both acts simultaneously performing, as Jay-Z did so well with Kanye for the Watch The Throne tour. Instead, the summer single Suit And Tie will act as a focal point for joint performances, with the rest of the set split between each individual artist. The link between the two superstars is not likely to be a vast list of formerly collaborated singles – but instead the fantastic live performance ability of each artist, perhaps intertwined with Justin playing the part of artists such as Alicia Keys on songs like Empire

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Wretch 32 Growing OVER

LIFE Discussing topics from Tottenham life to fatherhood, his artist friends and his deepest track, get to know the humble Wretch 32 and you’ll be able to appreciate his forthcoming album, titled Growing Over Life, a little more.

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tarting off as an artist, you progress each album in terms of lyrics, concepts within your work. What transition in sound can be heard in your 2013 release? Compared to ‘Black and White’ and ‘Wretchersize’. I think the most obvious transition would definitely be in the music. The great thing is, it’s all props to my band to be fair. In the beginning you’re just starting writing, just starting MC’ing, just wanna be the best rapper, you know. I wasn’t really thinking about being a musician, then you kind of put stuff out. You learn new tricks as you go along. Just being in rehearsals with my band and doing all the shows over the past year and a half has strengthened my ear, so much so that now I can hear, like I can even hear before you’re gonna play a wrong note - I can hear it going the wrong direction. It’s strengthened my musical ear, so now when I’m in

like - ‘yeah I felt that in my heart’. I love being in with artists that inspire me, so I was really happy to get him on the record. So, the new album, Growing Over Life, what kind of sound are you bringing with it? The type of sound we’re going for, we’re just complimenting my words man, we’re not sticking to any specific sound, we’re going with what feels right for each record, but, having said that the music from all my other projects has progressed you know dramatically and we’re just trying to make that feel good music to be honest. Would you say that this one is as personal as the last album? Yeah, it’s personal. We’re touching the same topics, new topics, there’s so much more to talk about, so much has happened in the past year and a half. Of course there’s a whole lifetime to talk about, and

Shakka is an absolute genius, he goes off feeling and that’s What I love about him.

the studio I’m expecting more from producers, I’m pushing them now, like ‘nah let’s try this’. Sometimes I get the band in to re-play stuff. I just wanna make... I just want the music to be as strong as the content and I want the content to be as strong as the music. You know we both kind of push each other to get better. We’ve heard the lead single ‘Blackout’ featuring Shakka. What was it like working with him and producer Knox Brown? It’s a sort of new sound for you. Yeah, yeah, new sound, Knox brown, he makes me laugh, he’s got the funniest dance in the world, I’ll have to show it to you one day, I can’t even replicate it [Laughs]. Shakka is an absolute genius, he goes off feeling and that’s what I love about him. He feels it, he’ll go in the booth and he’ll be like ‘technically that’s right but I don’t feel it, it doesn’t feel right’ and he’ll do it until he feels it

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people might only wanna hear what’s current or whatever, but at the same time I still feel it’s kind of key to go back to chapters that I haven’t opened yet. And, I kind of on purpose leave stuff that I’ve never spoken about out, so when I do another CD I can talk about it then. So yeah, there’s definitely some stuff that’s yet to be heard, and that I’ve still got to talk about and it’s coming out on this record. So famously reppin’ your Tottenham origins, still living there to this day, how do you think your sound represents your origins, Tottenham and North London? I think everything I talk about, my whole aura, my whole demeanour, who I am as a person was created in Tottenham, so I think even if I lived in Hollywood, it could never leave me because it’s in me. It’s who I am, it’s how I walk, it’s how I talk, it’s the slang, it’s the way I cut my

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hair. So I’m always definitely fully reppin’, and you know the music’s always a representation of me as a person, and I’m Tottenham, so it will always be represented correctly. What impact does your family life have on your music? Cause you could hear on your last album that your family are a big influence. And, in what ways can we hear themes of fatherhood in your music, about your kids and your dads involvement in reggae music? The beautiful thing is, that being able to be around such a great family gives me so many different things to talk about, like we crack jokes, we have arguments, we fall out, we fall in. A funny story is that everyone kind of does this record about their mum or their dad, and they don’t do a record about their kids. I’ve got a little boy and little girl, and I’ve done a record about, just talking about, my love for my kids. I’ve done a verse for my boy and a verse for my girl and I don’t think the verse for my son is as good as the verse for my girl, so I’m not using the song. Cause you know what, I’d hate in 15 years for my son to come up to me and look me in the face and ask me why his sister’s verse is better, so I’m not gonna use the record at all. Maybe make two separate tracks?! I could make two separate tracks but I don’t have space, making an album is such a dilemma. Maybe I’ll play it to them, maybe they can have it. Many underground artists have been criticised for selling out on grime and becoming too commercial, how have you managed to stay grounded, experimental and evolve as an artist too? I’m just me, and I don’t care if someone is gonna say “I want you to do this”. I’m doing what I want to do, and I’ve always done that since the beginning. I think people notice that when everybody was in the rave clashing, I was making a mixtape. When everybody was shouting I was always calm, and I was making a song, so I was never that guy who was doing what everyone else was doing. I always get the odd


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comment here and there like “when are you gonna do whole CD of just grime music?”, And I’m like “if you had any sense you’d realize that I’ve never done a whole grime CD”. I’ve always done what I’ve wanted to do, and my reason for not doing as much grime anymore is just because, when I was writing grime records at 140BPM, I liked having quite a fast flow, and whenever I went to performing records I was writing more than my mouth could actually say. I’ve noticed that a lot of people in the grime industry do that, but they don’t mind because when they are performing, they’re just shouting anyway, so I took a conscious decision to slow it down a bit. But I’m always fully representing; doing a record like “Pop” sampling Kano, the grime DJ’s were loving that, a few grime people were loving it and were saying “do a whole album of this”, and I’m like, I wouldn’t do a whole album of “Blackout”, I wouldn’t do a whole album of “Traktor”, I’d just do a whole compilation of music that I’m feeling at the time. I think you’ve gotta let artists be artists, and don’t get too caught up in the “you should make this” or “you should make that” world. Do you think that your label ever try to channel your music into a certain direction at all? No. They’re as cool as me. The label are cool, they’re just literally like “hurry up, bring us an album and then we’ll put it out”, literally, they’re not “do this, do that”. The only thing we do, is we sit down and we decide what route we’re gonna go, because your first single or the first record people hear from you kinda sets up your whole campaign. And of course, they’ve put out more CDs than I have, so it’s good to get their input and for them its good to get my input, because they might say “go with that record” and I might be like “if we go with that first then it seems like we’re turning our back on this or ignoring that, so lets go with that record”. We always meet in the middle and they’re cool. You’re a strong believer in loyalty and trust to those you knew before, you rose to fame especially with producers and artists like Mark and Saree,

Kyra and Wizzy Wow, and not forgetting Scorcher, of course. Did you ever think that the guys you used to work with would ever still be in the studio with you all these years later? Yeah, definitely. I think it’s important to be grounded, to work in your comfort zone but at the same time its important to push yourself, or bring your comfort zone into another dimension. So someone like Wizzy Wow, he should be on every CD album that I make until I die, because he was on the first one, he was on the second one, he was on the third one, he was on the fourth one, fifth, sixth, seven, eight, now he’s gonna be on the ninth. That’s important for me because he has become a part of my sound. Like, when you hear a Wretch album or a Wretch CD you expect to hear a me and Wizzy collaboration, but the challenging thing for us is making that interesting, because some people are gonna look at the back of the CD and go “OK Wretch, produced by Wizzy Wow, OK, I know what that sounds like lets skip to track 4”. I need to make somebody always think “I need to hear the Wizzy Wow one first because I know they’re gonna do something crazy this time”. So for us, its about

knows I want to sing or whatever, it’s always a bit of banter, it’s a bit of a laugh between us two. It probably seems like it’s a bit more serious but it isn’t, it’s just banter. Ed will always try and rap and I will always try and sing, a little bit, not too much. Speaking of Ed Sheeran, do you think there’s a need for a clique in the UK like YMCMB or Maybach Music, a team up of London’s finest stars, like Devlin, Labrinth, Ed Sheeran, Pro Green, Delilah, yourself? Man, that would be sick. I think there’s always strength in numbers. I think it works better with rappers, because singers normally do choruses, not that they have to, but they do choruses when they work with rappers, and then rappers can share the verses or whatever. But definitely, some of the best times I’ve ever had was being a part of The Movement with me, Ghetts, Devlin, Scorcher and Merston. That was some of the most competitive times of my career, because I’m walking into the studio with four people that wanna rip my head off on this song. We were harsh, like if someone had the shittest verse, we would be laughing, like “what happened to you today?” You don’t

some of the best times I’ve ever had was being a part of The Movement with me, Ghetto, Devlin, Scorcher and Merston.

pushing the boundaries. Sometimes bring your Wizzy in with somebody else, sometimes Wizzy brings me in with a new person, and it works both ways, it’s a lovely thing, it’s a beautiful thing. We’ve read a little bit about you teaching Ed Sheeran how to rap, and he’s teaching you how to play the guitar and to sing, how did the discussion about the exchange of your talents come about? It’s always been a joke and it still is. It’s like “I know you want to rap Ed” and he’ll be like “yeah I’ll do a little bit of rapping”, and he’ll be like “yeah, you know I want to”. He

want to be the joke, you want to go for it, you want to say “nah, I got you on that one”. Up to today, me and Ghetts, we still crack jokes about who had the better verse on “Ina Di Ghetto”, and I’m like “listen the song was named after you, and I’ve done this to you” and he’s like “nahh but I said this I said that” and that’s beautiful competition. We’re messing around, but we’re serious at the same time, and I know that if I ever, or when I step into the studio with these guys, its not a joke, me and Devlin “Off With Their Heads”, its not a joke, we’re in there. Devlin’s like “I don’t think this one should have a chorus” and I say “I know what you want on this, let’s go Devs”

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and we’re going for it, its great competition, and the fans love it. The way you were going in was like, back in the day, when you were live on radio, and you were both going in. The great thing about “Off With Their Heads” was performing it in places like Radio 1, where we shouldn’t really be doing that song, but we’re just doing it. We’re at a good position now where people are like “OK now, lets hear what you want to do” rather than giving them what they think we need. It was crazy doing a promo with that record. That’s something different in the UK, in America they are always bringing what they want, and people accept what American artists do, but a lot of the time in the UK where rappers in particular are making music for people, opposed to making music that they like themselves. I wanted to ask you about one of your deepest tracks, “Tour Blues”. When you were on that, it was a reflection of your life in the industry, tell us more about that track please? I made that song in Scotland, on tour. That’s why I called it “Tour Blues”. There’s nothing that beats being away from home, and being able to speak about it and being able to actually let it out, but at the time we brought the studio along with us. You hear that Wizzy Wow made that beat, you can hear the whole band in there because we all had apartments in Glasgow, we brought the studio into there, completely pee’d off the neighbours, but such is life. We had fun, and I got to vent on the spot. The tour before, we never took studio equipment, so it was like “ahh man I want to say this, I want to say that”, so I was writing lyrics in my phone, and recording voice notes, but it’s never the same. Being able to make that record on the spot was what made it special, so it was fun to make that record and just vent. To find out more about Wretch 32 and his music you can follow him on twitter, @wretch32, on Facebook, www.fb.com/ wretch32music, or visit his website, www.wretch32.com.

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Jason Derulo

So how you enjoying London? It’s amazing, I always love coming here. This time it’s a lot of press, so there’s not time to do much else, but I’ve been enjoying the trip. It’s been

With your tragic injury, how did you turn that negative experience into a positive experience and how did that impact your music?

Definitely, it’s a symbol of being undefeated and not allowing anything to keep me down. That’s why I had to train so hard in the gym and not just get back to the

With the forthcoming release of his new album, Jason Derulo popped by the UK opening up about his girlfriend Jordin Sparks, his writing process and fashion changes over the years

non stop radio, tv and magazines What music styles are we gonna hear on this album, that we may not have heard from you before? I actually made this album while in the recovery stage so it’s a very touching time and in turn I think it’s my most personal album yet. I feel it’s more grown up than any of my previous material and the biggest change perhaps is that it has a bunch of features on it, which is not usual for me.

I think my music will always change as I change; because I write music about my life and the experiences that I go through. So I feel like I grew up a lot through this injury and through that pain has influences my writing because I had a lot of time alone, and now I feel like I can channel that into making hits. In the video for The Other Side you had a headstand in the video, is that about pushing your body to the limits and getting over your injury?

fitness stage I was at, but to go further and push my body and show I’m better than ever, both physically and in my music. Most of all it’s the symbol of pushing your body to the extremes. A lot of times that’s how I’ll write a tune so I can be sure the song itself is dope before we add a dope beat! So with the track The Other Side it’s obviously a party tune but I wrote it in a very stripped down and minimal format so that I could build upon the content and make it a hit for both

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o you’re over in London right now, how are you enjoying your stay? It’s amazing, I always love coming here. London is such an amazing city, Last time I was here I went down Oxford Street, visited Buckingham Palace and seen the sights, but this time it’s been filled with a lot of press and interviews, so there’s not been as much time to do much else. I’ve been enjoying the trip, it’s just been non-stop visits to radio stations, TV programs and magazine companies. Lately I was live on Capital FM with Max over in Leicester Square which was cool and you know, I’ve just been keeping busy and getting ready to drop the new album. For those who don’t know; last year you fractured your neck and your C2 vertebrae. How did you turn that negative experience into a positive experience through your music? Well it was obviously a near-death experience and it’s really opened my eyes to a lot of things that I would have not really considered before. I think my injury was meant to happen in a fate kind of way because it’s made me value life more. I think my music will always change as I change; because I write music about my life and the experiences that I go through. So I feel like I grew up a lot through this injury and that pain influences my writing because I had a lot of time alone, and now I feel like I can channel that into making hits.

it’s a symbol of being undefeated and not allowing anything to keep me down. That’s why I had to train so hard in the gym to show I’m better than ever, both physically and in my music.

In the video for The Other Side you do a headstand, is that about pushing your body to the limits and getting over your injury? Definitely, it’s a symbol of being undefeated and not allowing anything to keep me down. That’s why I had to train so hard in the gym and not just get back to the fitness stage I was at, but to go further and push my body and show that I’m better than ever, both physically and in my music. Most of all it’s the symbol of pushing your body to the extremes.

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We’ve got to ask, is it true that you write a lot of your material on your acoustic guitar before you add a textured beat to it? You’re right, a lot of times that’s how I’ll write a tune; so I can be sure the song itself is dope before we add a dope beat to it! Most recently that’s exactly the case with the new track, The Other Side, it’s obviously a party tune but I wrote it in a very stripped down and minimal format so that I could build upon the content and make it a hit for both the lyrics and the production. I think this track automatically creates an atmosphere that’s very touching so it sounds great in its final stage, but I wrote it with a guitar alone. I always the say the best songs should be powerful enough on the guitar alone.

I actually made this album while in the recovery stage so it was a very touching time and in turn I think it’s my most personal album yet.

We’re really excited to hear what you’ve got in store on this album! What music styles are we going to hear, that we may not have heard from you before? I actually made this album while I was in the recovery stage of my injury so it was a very touching time and in turn I think it’s my most personal album yet. I feel it’s more grown up than any of my previous material and the biggest change perhaps is that it has a bunch of features on it, which is not usual for me. I can’t wait for you guys to hear it! In terms of a sound, I’d say that it is a very well-rounded piece of work and it shows all the different sides of me as an artist and as a person too. What’s the creative process like when you get feedback from your muse, girlfriend and best friend Jordin Sparks? It’s pretty awesome to have her so close because I respect her so much, I get her 100% honest opinions about my creative direction and it works both ways. We both lead very busy lives but what works is that when we’re together and being creative it’s like magic. It’s pretty cool to have someone to vibe off creatively right by my side; and she’s actually on this album, and I’m on her album

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as well so look out for that! We’ve noticed that your fashion taste change quite a lot after your injury too. Changes like trading up the classic Derulo chin strap and now you’re rocking a full beard. You’ve clearly been hitting the gym hard and there’s a lot more gold and leather in your appearance. How has that fashion transition influenced your music? Whoa, that’s a really deep question! No one has ever asked me that before! I guess I’m changing over the years and I like to go with the flow of what my mind tells me, so whatever I try on that feels good and looks good then I go with it. It’s that simple, fashion is a representation of your personality, even the simple change to wearing snapbacks, because I never used to wear them but it feels right now. So as my interests and tastes evolve so does my music, and like I said I’ve grown so much as a person and as an artist that I feel good because I like my new look. What’s it like working with the super talented hit-maker and producer who’s made so many hits, Red One? Oh it’s awesome man, I’ve been a big fan of him for a long time and I’ve been blessed to work with some of the people I looked up to when I was starting. It’s really cool to be vibe in the studio with him, he’s got an amazing work ethic. We were writing songs on the guitar with my acoustic and then giving it that atmospheric feel, like it’s in a stadium with a packed out crowd. I just love that energy when you can work with a producer that gets the vibe you’re trying to create on a track the same way you do. To find out more about Jason Derulo and his music you can follow him on twitter, @ jasonderulo, on Facebook, www.fb.com/jasonderulo, or visit his website, www. jasonderulo.com.

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AKALA

The conscious poet and MC talks about his new album, The Thieves Banquet

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ou’ve transitioned over the years from a grime mc to a very conscious rapper and a poet, so what caused this heightened awareness? I suppose life experience, you know I think it would be very fake; and some rappers try to do it, to pretend at 29, as I am now, that I’m the same person I was when I was 19. You know in those the last 10 years I’ve been to Brazil, I’ve been to Jamaica a couple of times, I’ve been to South Africa, I’ve been to Vietnam, India, Nigeria, literally countless countries all over the world and I’ve been exposed to a whole different set of experiences. Travelling, reading, having to look at myself, and just growing up, has meant that I’ve tried to make music that is an honest reflection of my age. When I was 19, I made really angry, really aggressive music, because that’s how I felt and I think now my music is still angry and aggressive but it knows where to point its anger now, whereas when I was younger perhaps, I didn’t have that straightened out as much. The name Akala comes from the Buddhist term immovable, so how does the word immovable reflect your music and your persona as well?

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I think it was just about having principles and sticking to them, not being moved on your principles. But I’ve since found out that Akala has a million different meanings in loads of different languages, it means

i’ve since found out that Akala has a million meanings in different languages, it means ‘I thought’ in Philippino, it means ‘Eternal’ in Sanskrit, I know Kala means ‘Black’ in Hindi.

‘I thought’ in Philippino, it means ‘Eternal’ in Sanskrit, I know Kala means ‘Black’ in Hindi, so no one has quite broken down to me whether Akala would mean ‘A Black’, or ‘A Black Man’, I don’t know, no one has straightened that out. There are very conflicting opinions on what it means in Hindi. In Aboriginal it means ‘Parrot’ and I talk quite a bit so that’s

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appropriate. Tell us a little bit about the album The Thieves Banquet. The new album title was inspired by a Kenyan author called Engugi, and he wrote a book called ‘The Devil On The Cross’, which is basically about a satirical feast staged by the corrupt political powers and international powers in Kenya, which collaborated to rob Kenya of its wealth. I just think that it says a lot about the state of world politics today and maybe world politics forever. So I really liked that idea and I’ve actually got a song which I’m not performing tonight but a song on the album called the Thieves Banquet which is about that. Talk to us about the features on this album, What are your thoughts on them? For me they’re big ones, they’re not names in the way that people gravitate to celebrity more than talent, but all the people that are featured on this album I think are incredibly talented musicians. In terms of vocalists we’ve got Maka Lil singing on a song, we’ve got a brother called Ashiba who’s the lead singer of a band called the African Revolution singing and playing trumpet, we’ve got Josh Osho, and then we’ve got Ayanna Witter-


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Johnson who’s a cellist and singer and she’s on a song on the album as well. I’m glad you mentioned Josh Otto, because you did two versions of ‘Lose Myself’, you obviously did the original on the album and you did the string session, so we’ll first talk about the original and the video concept to it. How many takes did you have to do on that? You know it’s so weird, people don’t realise, no one’s realised what it is they did, the production company were really clever, it was their idea, I can’t take any credit for it at all. They basically got one tripod with five branches on it and they used five different types of camera and filmed every shot with all five cameras at once so that you get these moving shots where they can shoot between all these different types of camera. I don’t know if they want me to tell everyone what they did but hey that’s what they did and I think they did a really great job. On to the strings session version, how did that change the dynamics of the track?’ It just gave it a whole different feel, its strings and percussion instead of

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a live big rocky sound. I’d like to put the two together now, ideally you know if we get booked for a show that has the right kind of budget, ‘cause that ain’t cheap, putting a string quartet alongside the band would be amazing. Let’s dig a little deeper into the artwork to the album, by Tokio Aoyama. What particular aspect

don’t wanna be stereotypical but you know when they say that the Japanese people are efficient, like everyone I know who’s been to Japan says that about the society, that it is just a cultural behaviour, where there is kind of a level of efficiency that we will just probably never get over here in the UK. I personally have never been to Japan but in my limited travelling in South East Asia certainly, when I was in Hong Kong for example, the whole city is awake at 5 in the morning, if we were in Hong Kong right now at 5am, on all the roofs of every single one of those buildings you would see people doing T’ai Chi and martial arts, the park would be full. I thought there was a carnival or something and people were like no its just Tuesday, so I think there’s a certain cultural discipline that you have in that part of the world that maybe comes from Daoism or Buddhism or a particular cultural philosophy, but I think my dealing with Tokio certainly embodied that. I can’t imagine asking an artist in England to do something like this and having the sketch back in two days and then the oil painting back in four or five days, that’s insane, I don’t think he sleeps. You’re obviously one of those people who are very passionate and know exactly how they want to represent themselves so do you feel the album fits your

I’ve tried to make music that is an honest reflection age stage. When I was 19, I made really angry, really aggressive music, because that’s how I felt. of his artistic style made you wanna reach out to him? I can’t really describe it you know, I looked at his website, and I was like, this guy’s brilliant he’s exactly the person we need, he’s gonna get it right and he did. Within a week, I messaged him and he emailed me back in twenty minutes. I explained to him the concept and sent him some links. I had a sketch back in the next couple of days, I was like that’s perfect and then a couple of days later I had the oil painting. I

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artistic vision? I’m really happy with it, I think it’s the best collection of songs that we’ve put together so far, the most musically complete but I would say that it’s the latest album, so we’ll see, time will tell. To find out more about Akala and his music, you can follow him on twitter, @akalamusic, on Facebook, www.fb.com/ akalamusic or visit his website, www.akalamusic.com.


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STAY

DENCH From “Dench” catchphrases to his footballer cousin Emanuel Frimpong, Lethal Bizzle opens up about the influence of football on his musical career and tells us about the future of Dench parties and merchandise.

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here did the name “Lethal Bizzle” come from? We’re going way, way back. We’re talking when I was at secondary school, I remember there was just a period when everyone just had tag names. Nobody was known by their government name,so I was like; I need to think of a name! I was trying to think of something that kind of fitted my character, and I was really into football and every time I used to get the ball, everyone used to get scared because I was very fast and left footed, my left foot was DENCH! Every time I had the ball everyone was scared so I thought I was lethal with the ball so I thought ‘I’m Lethal!’, And then I just added the B because I thought the B sounded cool, then later on down the line I added the ‘izzle’, yeah and that’s Lethal Bizzle. As a fan of your hilarious video blogs, I have to ask what does your catchphrase, ‘22s nah’, mean? Would you say your jokey personality is a part of making business work? Well firstly ‘22’s nah’ is an old school East London saying. It’s a filler to cut a long story short if you’re going to explain something, so rather than saying ‘oh and next minute’ you can say 22’s nah, you know it’s a little filler you can just put in. Yeah I think the video blogs have definitely made me a lot more approachable, I think cause my music is really energetic and some of it is really aggressive, the video blogs kind of show the different side for people. I’m just a

remix, what was your take on that? [Laughs] He’s done his thing, nah he does his thing, that’s one thing with Manny as well he’s another cool character, he doesn’t mind having a go at things, he loves music as well, he used to emcee back in the day in the playground so when Leave It! Yeah came out, I did the original with JME and then on the remix I

he [Frimpong] was so funny recording, cause he was getting out of breath and I’m like ‘this is easy bruv, you run for like 90 minutes!’ and he’s like ‘this is hard work man’ cool regular guy you know, I make hype kind of songs like Pow but I’m just a normal guy, I just like to bust bants and bust 22 jokes. So your cousin Emmanuel Frimpong tried his hand at rapping on the ‘Leave it Yeah’

said ‘nah I need to be at the remix’ and they’re using my living room and when he showed me his bars I was in stitches but I thought you know what it can work so we went to the studio, and he was so funny recording I should have actually filmed him recording it, cause he was

getting out of breath and I’m like ‘bruv, this is easy bruv, you run for like 90 minutes!’ And he’s like ‘this is hard work man’ and ten to twenty takes later I’m like flipping hell. One thing I like about him as well is even though he plays for Arsenal he gets a lot of football fans who appreciate him just for being cool man, but you know there might be another track that we’re doing in the future. He wants to do another track but I’m just trying to finding the right one. He’s got a lot of positive energy, but I guess it’s like every footballers dream to be a rapper as well! He’s smashed it! It’s the best of both worlds. He comes on the shows like Wembley Arena doing the Red Bull clash, he’s done his bars for Leave It!, We’ve done Dench parties all over the world and he comes out to thousands of people, its mental man. It is crazy for him still, you know he’s a premiership footballer and he gets to perform and that so yeah. Who would win in a FIFA

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tournament between you Frimpong and KSI? You know what I’m not even going to lie, FIFA for me was a bit Leave It, I was a Pro Evolution guy and I don’t know what happened. Rumour had it that FIFA nicked the guy who was doing it, I don’t even know what happened cause Pro Evolution for me is a bit Leave It now so I’ve had to switch to FIFA, cause everyone has gone to FIFA but I still haven’t got my hands round some of it so I’m a bit Leave It. I’ll be honest with you, Frimpong is probably better than me but I can beat him! But it’s a bit Leave It for me I’ll be honest with you, Pro Evolution is what happened man, I used to have tournaments in my yard, bare man would come round, those days are over now. Maybe you should ask the guy that FIFA nicked to go back to Pro Evolution? Yeah man, Like, what happened Pro Evo? The guy was the game like what happened man, come on. Get the guy back whoever was making it, the guy with the Thierry Henry cover game, that was the best game that they ever made, use that as a template and just build around that, get the guy who did that and revamp the game, cause now I don’t know what’s going on its everywhere, it’s like, Leave It! Yeah. A lot of people wonder how you actually came up with the word Dench. At what point did you see that there was potential in using that word as a brand or on clothing? Aw Dench, you know what again it goes back to playing FIFA with Frimpong, when we would score a goal we’d be like ‘Aww Dench!’ Or if we saw anything that we thought was cool it’d be like ‘Oh my god that’s Dench!’ It could be anything, a girl, a car whatever, everyone would say sick and we’d be going ‘That’s Dench!’ Then we started saying it online, on Facebook and Twitter. I started saying it in my songs, I made a song called ‘Dench Stamina’ and then people started being curious asking ‘What’s this Dench word that you lot are always saying’, and you know we just kept saying it and saying it. I never had the idea to take it to a brand but then it started to catch

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on and people started to use it and then the fans started to say ‘you should do t-shirts saying Dench on it’ so it started really slowly with t-shirts with Dench on it and then it just grew naturally. As the thirst kept selling we kept branching out into different things; hoodies and then snap backs and then beanie hats, you know it just kept growing and growing. And now it’s got to a point where stores are like ‘yo what’s this Dench thing, we want to stock it’ and we’re like ‘what, stores want to stock our stuff now?’ So obviously then we had to revamp it and now we’ve got leopard print things, Dench, Leave It! and the website StayDench.com. It was one of those organic brands, it never felt forced, it formed really naturally, you know people say Leave It Yeah and Dench in their everyday vocabulary, you know the school playground, you know a lot of the words are getting thrown around

you dickhead, don’t you know it’s my brand and its copyright, and you can’t do that so there’s a few people I’m about to shut down. Big up Punjabi MC, tried it as well but I had to shut that down but yeah man if you’re trying to do a Dench party, don’t try it cause I don’t want to have to call lawyers and all that, its waste of time, its copyright so just come to a Dench party what I put on, just Leave It! Can we expect them sometime this summer then? A hundred percent, we’re doing Napa, we’re doing Malia, we’re doing Zante, Magaluf, there’s going to be a couple in the UK as well that we’re doing, so you know Twitters the best place to really hit me up, Lethal B, Lethal Bizzle, just hit me up and all the dates will be on there. So what else can we expect

What happened Pro Evo? He was, he was the game like what happened man, come on. Get the guy back whoever was making it, the guy with the Thierry Henry cover game.

so I mean it’s cool man, and I think there’s a lot of advantage we have as well in terms of other brands cause it is a word that people say and I know people tell me when they’re wearing Dench t-shirts, people are screaming Dench and when they’re wearing Leave It, they’re like Leave It Yeah! So it makes people feel cool, it makes people feel good. So how are the Dench parties going? I heard something about someone trying to impersonate them? We’re a clothing brand first and obviously I’m a musician so it serves it well tying the both together. You know I’ve been doing Dench parties all last year. We’ve done Dench parties in Magaluf, Napa and Malia, and now this year we’re doing it again, summer parties; some in London, some around the country but obviously Dench is so out there now you know some smart alecs think ‘let’s do a party and call it Dench!’ and I’m thinking

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from you this year? Is there an album coming? It’s a busy year man, we’ve got the new Stay Dench clothing range, this is a part of a new design, got the leopard print. We’ve got a higher range where it’s very graphical, we’ve got pictures and loads of cool graphics and we’re also launching a female range as well this year and loads of music coming. Yeah I’m doing an album and hopefully a tour to with it at the end of the year, I’ve obviously got ‘they got it the wrong’ and the remix with a load of people on it, but loads of music coming from me man, so big up my music Bizzle fans you know look out for that, and the clothing got some real cool bits coming. To find out more about Lethal Bizzle and his music you can follow him on twitter, @ lethalbizzle, on Facebook, www. fb.com/lethalbizzlemusic, or visit his website, www. lethalbizzle.com.


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worked your way up with major artists such as Devlin and Wretch 32, who would you really want to work with in 2013, and beyond? I’m open to collaborations that I think would branch my knowledge and help me musically, but specifically I’m not sure. I like collaborations to be organic, so I like someone to feel me as much as I feel them, and that way, in the studio, it’s gonna be magic.

GHETTS

Rebel With A Cause

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ell us about the exclusive new track premièred today from your upcoming album? It’s called Gas Mark 9, it’s a really pumped up track where I brought back the feelings that people heard in my earlier music. It’s made by the Slurred Boys, it’s a great track. It’s a track where I turn up the heat to maximum, like on an oven I guess. Can you open up on the movement Rebel With A Cause? Well, I’m very outspoken, so I can be classed as a rebel I guess, due to my recent actions and whatnot, and now I’ve got the cause, understand?

and more. I think there’s a bit of both, I think there’s definitely a bit of both in there. We took it back to the conceptual roots, and then advanced them lyrically.

Obviously you’ve got a long history in the game, and you’ve

What is your opinion on a UK clique, obviously out in the States you’ve got Young Money, you’ve got Maybach music group, do you think there’s a potential for the UK to have it’s own clique? Yeah, there’s loads of potential. You’ve already got Boy Better Know, Roll Deep, USG, SN1, you’ve got loads of great cliques out there that are doing their thing. Would you ever consider joining any of them or do anything with one of them? No, the only group I could ever really be a part of and feel like I belong there is “The Movement”. If “The Movement” do not exist, then I’m better off solo still. To find out more about Ghetts and his music you can follow him on twitter, @ TheRealGhetts, on Facebook, www.fb.com/officialghetts, or visit his website, www.ghetts. com.

I can be classed as a rebel I guess, due to my recent actions and whatnot, and now I’ve got the cause, understand?

What’s the new sound you’ll be bringing on your next album? Are you bringing back the grime roots, or is it an evolved Ghetts? I can’t say it’s a new sound, I can say that I’ve learnt more, musically, I’d say that it’s everything you would want from me and more, if you’re a fan of me or a supporter, it’s everything you’ll want from me

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COMPLEX A TWO-PART HARMONY GROUP NAMES: NATTY & TEMPZ LOCATION: BIRMINGHAM

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s a rap and singing duo incorporating a bit of acoustic guitar, how did you guys find your sound? N: We have been doing that for around about 4 or 5 years now. We met in college and it’s just a really funny story. T: Basically when I first met Natty I was a “Grime MC” bad man, you get me, and he was very quiet and basically one day we got into a situation where we were talking about music and he said “I can actually sing” and I just kind of went “ha, yeah right, ok”, but when I heard the first line I was line ‘Yo, you sure can sing’! I can sing but I didn’t want to because of my mentality when I was a bit younger and people influenced me not to do it and whatever. N: Yeah and it’s just ever since then as well we’ve just been singing together, there’s been changes but we stuck together and we’re here now. Your swag and your image are

very on point; it’s different and it’s like not something that we’ve necessarily seen in the UK, where did the inspiration come from? N: I’m not gonna lie if it wasn’t for this guy here! [Laughs] Back in college days I dressed terribly T: Out of the two of us I’m the one that gave us a style direction. When we go shopping, we kinda mix and match stuff, so we can wear it in our performance outfits. N: I’m kind of more plain, I’m more Casual…Crazy. T: Yeah Crazy that’s a good word, you know what it is, I just like to stand out, there’s no point being the same as everyone else cause it doesn’t get you noticed. Yeah definitely, have you got a kind of clothing idea for merchandise? N: So far we’ve got the Wallagang t-shirts and we made our hoodies, we’ve got the jewellery. T: Wallagang, he’s a dope guy called Koffe, he’s from Birmingham. N: Goes by the names Pinky, Koffe

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and Walla, he’s got three names, basically! He’s doing big things; he’s got hats, jumpers and tees. T: There’s a lot of expansion potential, because we wanna do collaborations with Wallagang personally cause rather than being another music act that’s just doing clothes. Walla’s got a business mentality behind it so he’s really thinking about things. Right, so where do you see you guys going in the next year? You got plans? N: Hmmmmm... We should have taken over at least half of the world by then? [Laughs] Like Pinky and the Brain? T: [Laughs] In the next year I think its getting performances, gaining more experience, really getting our name heard and getting recognised in what we do. N: And just developing our craft even further, keeping that organic sound, not losing track of it staying on track and on point, just being in it full time.


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TOP

Every issue we pick out one category and pick out 6 people or places who we feel are currently the best of that category. This issue we have chosen ‘Festivals that you must attend this summer’.

Festivals that you Must attend this summer

Benicássim (Spain) 18th - 21st July The party capital for festival-goers, features the likes of Primal Scream, Dizzee Rascal and countless DJ sets. Festival networks: fiberfib.com twitter.com/fiberfib facebook.com/fibfestival

Exit (Serbia) 11th - 14th July The renowned music festival of the Euro calendar, featuring some of the industry’s best such as Snoop Dogg and Cee Lo Green. Festival networks: exitfest.org twitter.com/exitfestival facebook.com/exit.festival

Wireless (United Kingdom) 12th - 14th July The mother of all non-camping festivals, featuring Justin Timberlake, Jay Z, Snoop Dogg and many more. Festival networks: wirelessfestival.co.uk twitter.com/wirelessFest facebook.com/wirelessfestival

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Hideout (Croatia) 3rd - 5th July The up and coming ultimate bass festival that features Julio Bashmore, Chase & Status (DJ set) and many more. Festival networks: hideoutfestival.com

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Melt Festival (Germany) 19th - 21st July The crucial electronica and rock festival of the summer, featuring the likes of Azealia Banks, Soulwax and Alt-J. Festival Networks: meltfestival.de/en

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Outlook (Croatia) 29th August - 2nd September Slowly becoming the new party scene, Outlook the second bass festival in Croatia, features Goldie, Jay Electronica and Pharcyde. Festival Networks: outlookfestival.com

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Know of a festival we missed out on? Want to suggest a category for next issue’s ‘Top 6’? Let us know on Facebook (www.fb.com/beatzonline) and on Twitter (@beatzmag) or drop us an email on contact@beatzmag.com w w w. b e a t z m a g . c o m - B e a t z M a g a z i n e   5 9


REVIEWs

We have our say on some of the albums and singles of the past 3 months

Born sinner J. Cole, Roc Nation

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. Cole is hot property in the rap game right now. And given the sheer brilliance of his recently released sophomore album Born Sinner, it should be no surprise. It takes a special artist, a brave artist, to move the release date of their highly-anticipated second album forward a week, to deliberately have it coincide with the release of a Kanye West album. J. Cole is this artist, and so much more, as he perfectly proves on the recently released Born Sinner. Before breaking down the technical, lyrical, and productive magnificence of Cole’s masterpiece, it is only fair to mention that in no way is Cole’s album, either in pre or postrelease, overshadowed by Kanye’s. Ever since the release of his debut album Cole World: The Sideline Story, hip hop fans have been treated to intermittent but sufficiently sweet singles he has dropped to keep them happy – highlights including the nonchalant stylish rapping on Grew Up Fast, and the relaxed sampling of an R&B classic on Cole Summer. Upcoming artists take note – Cole has not hidden behind the success of his debut album, but instead kept the fans engrossed both with these

singles, and a number of impressive guest appearances. Born Sinner is a modern masterpiece. Let’s face it, any album named after a now infamous Notorious B.I.G line had to be. Cole’s effortless flow and lyrical sincerity is rivalled only by his production prowess, perhaps the most noticeable feature of the album. Having single-handedly produced all but two of the tracks, Cole has given himself space to express himself as an artist, evident in the beats of the almost poetically brilliant Rich Niggaz, and the excellent opening track Villuminati. On the latter of the two tracks, Cole takes the opportunity to fire one of his best weapons, his direct and honest flow, acknowledging his own talent as simply as ever: “Sometimes I brag like Hov/Sometimes I’m real like Pac/ Sometimes I focus on the flow to show the skills I got”. Yet it’s not all fun and games throughout the album. Whilst Cole has carried forward the appealing storytelling rap style, he has now began to mix it with darker tones and more complex song structures. The lead single Power Trip hints towards these changing tones – yet does not do justice to the entire album when standing alone in the charts. Runaway is perhaps a better example, containing a Cole unafraid

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to relax a little on the chorus, but returning to some of the soul searching we have come to expect from him during each verse, this time as he questions how he treats the women of his life. And as if we needed a reminder of how Cole can storytell, Land of the Snakes draws attention to Cole’s excellent ability as a wordsmith – his vocabulary and pronunciation doing justice to the OutKast sample in the background, a sample in itself which appreciates the art of storytelling. And as if all of this wasn’t enough, even the Interlude is fire. Mo’ Money is barely 90 seconds long; but does in this time more than what other rappers can do in ninety minutes. It’s short and sweet. As are Kendrick Lamar’s vocals across Forbidden Fruit, allowing Cole’s metaphors and imagery take centre stage. J. Cole is already cementing his place as one of the finest artists of his generation. Upcoming artists and producers will look to this album in years to come as a blueprint of how to follow up debut success, and by doing so will re-discover the lyrical genius which casual listeners may have overlooked. And if any of those listeners just happen to read this, research Cole’s inspiration for the track Let Nas Down before listening to it once again. It just gets better and better.


yeezus

will be very surprised. Kanye West manages to produce a collection of tracks that fuses a number of Kanye West, Roc-A-Fella, Def Jam genres ranging from hip-hop to ince Kanye West cryptically electronica to heavy rock. announced on Twitter that The opening track On Sight is his new album Yeezus a prime example of this. With its would be released on June zany & electronic beats provided by 18th, the internet has been none other than Daft Punk, Kanye buzzing with questions and theories puts the whole hip-hop game on about what Mr West has in store notice by proclaiming that now for us all. It seems almost typical he’s back with another album, it’s of Kanye West that the birth of his time to forget all the other rubbish first child, with Kim Kardashian, you have been listening to. The occurred only a few days before controversially titled song I Am the release of his sixth studio a God carries a booming, eerie album to culminate in creating the and repetitive beat that contains most historic week in the West the egotistical lyrics of ‘I know he household and at the same time the most high, but I am a close serving as all the promotion needed high’ showing Kanye really does to make sure everyone would be see himself as the closest thing to talking about Yeezus. On top of God on this planet. As we progress that, the competition between through the album, we begin to Kanye, J. Cole’s Born Sinner and realise that this album on the Mac Miller’s Watching Movies with whole is very dark, with slow and the Sound Off to be the number 1 distinct beats designed to pound selling album meant that all eyes into our eardrums. were watching whose album made Kanye displays all his talents the top spot. Kanye’s offering to in this record and spits his this competition is again something typical flows on songs such as completely different to what New Slaves and Bound 2, before anyone could have ever imagined. singing on Blood on the Leaves Yeezus definitely isn’t your and rhythmically chanting on Black typical hip-hop album, for anyone Skinheads. It is also interesting to expecting clever or witty rhymes note the amount of features Mr and wordplay married with a classic West has used on this album. He hip-hop or R&B sample then you collaborates with Bon Iver front

S

man Justin Vernon, who featured heavily on West’s previous album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy whilst also including Kid Cudi and Chicago natives Chief Keef & King L on the album. Kid Cudi and Chief Keef have singing duties on the album and the only guest rapping verse that contributed to Yeezus was by King L on Send it up. For Kanye West to show that much faith in a rapper only popular in the underground hip-hop community is a huge co-sign. Kanye West has again raised the bar in the hip-hop game with a vision that only he could create and evidently conquer. The subject matter touched upon throughout the album in topics from flawed leaders and blind followers to interracial couples shows how versatile Kanye can be, something that can’t be matched by many other artists. The production is so completely opposite to what anyone in hip-hop is currently doing and again proves Kanye to be above his peers. If another hiphop artist was to create this album it almost wouldn’t sound right but because it is Kanye West we appreciate the vision. This album is definitely experimental but it’s an experiment that pays off, but will it be the number one many are expecting it to be?

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Singles

Kelis - Jerk Ribs

Kelis’ big return sees her delivering her trademark style over samba-influenced percussion. Her upcoming album Food is sure to be a killer and we’ve got no doubt this track will be the start of something special.

Talk A Good Game Kelly Rowland, Republic Records

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fter summer hits with Motivation and Ice, Kelly Rowland dropped her fourth studio album, Talk a Good Game. The album contains twelve tracks with cameos from artists like Wiz Khalifa, Beyoncé, Michelle Williams and many others. In the past it seemed Rowland wasn’t sure of her sound but she has definitely found it and displayed it throughout this album. Kelly described the album as one of her greatest projects yet and fans will most likely agree with her. The first track Freak has a funky beat that makes you want to keep listening anticipating what she’s going to do next. The first single taken from the album Kisses Down Low created high expectations for this album and Rowland didn’t disappoint. Gone, taps the likes of Wiz Khalifa where Rowland sings about chucking the deuces to her long time boo. The Kevin Cossom featured track titled Talk a Good Game has a sexy vibe to it as Kelly sings about a man coming correct or not coming at all. “I Don’t think I could take

another broken promise, Why do things the hard way, When you can just be honest, And I’mma do what I’m supposed to do”, Rowland sings. Something fun about this track is how the beat randomly stops throughout the song. It’s somewhat unexpected. The emotional confessional ballad Dirty Laundry is one of the expected favourites on the album. Rowland recently performed the song and fans couldn’t help to be emotional about her emotional breakdown during her performance. Rowland sings about her relationship woes, being in the industry and her relationship with Beyoncé. Although, all the tracks on this album are amazing, some favourites are You Changed, where Rowland reunites with her former band mates, Pharrell Produced track, Stand In Front of Me and Street Life. Each track on the album seems to serve a purpose and could all stand strong by themselves but work beautifully together. You can listen to every song without having to get up and press the skip button.

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Drake - Girls love Beyonce

Drake’s fantastic slow-burner featuring James Fauntleroy chops up Destiny’s Child classic Say My Name and tears it apart for Drake to rap over. One of his best slow-dance tracks and we can’t wait for more from the man.

Katy B - What Love is Made of It’s been a while since the mercurynominated star has given us a taste of something new. This dark, sexy track is a return to form for the BRIT school graduate and will definitely be making the clubs bounce this summer.


Jacket: I LOVE UGLY Quilted Paisley Jacket Top: ATU clothing On My West Behaviour Hat: I Love Ugly Patched Up 5-Panel Cap Modelled by Kwamz Photography by Alexandra Hall

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Jacket: Grey Topman Jacket Shirt: Topman White Slim Fit Tie: Topman Skinny Tie Shoes: House of Hounds Grey Alfred Slipper Modelled by Kwamz Photography by Alexandra Hall

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Jacket: Religion Clothing - Jacket Gunners In Mid Grey Top: Religion Clothing - Black On White Vest Modelled by Kwamz Photography by Yu-Kuang Chou

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The Final Say with wiley UK Grime royalty, Wiley, talks to us about Festivals

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o you prefer performing at closed-space concerts or open-air festivals like Sundown? Always open-air festivals. I love the vibe of festivals and the crowds are amazing. If I could jump in to the crowd and party with everyone I would. What’s your favourite song to perform live? Heatwave. Who else on the Sundown lineup are you most looking forward to seeing perform there? Jessie J. Many of the Sundown fans will have been to a festival before, but can you give any festival tips for any first-timers? Come ready to party and make the most of the day .. What’s the funniest thing that’s happened to you at a festival? I'll get back to you on this one.

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Beatz Magazine - Issue 5 (UK cover)  

Urban music magazine, Beatz, is back with a brand new issue, and it is the best one yet! Interviews include Wretch 32, Jason Derulo, Lethal...

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