We Plug 2 Y.O.U... Daniel De Bourg - The DDB Mixtape (The Prelude)

Feliz Navidad everyone..... Merry Christmas in English that is... This is the Season to be Merry and Joyful and in that spirit, I wanted to share with you as my last post for the year 2010 an artist I just found out about and who has put a smile on my face in the past couple weeks. I listen to him everyday and I mean literally everyday, since I was introduced to him. This is a first on WE PLUG GOOD MUSIC so I hope you really enjoy it.

I reside in the U.S and not the U.K so forgive me for not ever hearing about Daniel De Bourg prior to this. He was a contestant on the popular show The X Factor in 2007 and I feel like I ought to go back and watch that season to see why he was not a contender to win the show. The English Singer/Songwriter and former dancer/model who had apparently previously released an album here in the States in 2002, just last month released THE DDB Mixtape Volume 1 - The Prelude.

The Prelude is a compilation of DDB's most popular covers, re-writes and a few exclusive original tracks. I am not usually interested in covers of songs, they just tend to not sound great to me. If you are gonna do it, you gotta do it atleast equal to OR better than the original and that's exactly what Daniel does on his covers, from Drake's 'Shut it Down' to Bruno Mars 'The Way You Are' to Prince's 'If I was Your Girlfriend'. But I'm running my mouth at this point, let me let you listen and form your own opinions, yea?

That was Daniel's cover of Drake's 'Fall for Your Type'. The way he sings this song gives me chills, I don't know why. His voice transcends to my inner soul, I hear him clearly, like he was singing to me alone in a room. I have heard Drake sing this song and Jamie Foxx as well, and they do nothing for me as Daniel does on this song. But if you are not convinced at this point, I have more to share with you.

What you just heard is Daniel's cover of Labrinth's 'Let the Sun Shine'. At this point I am convinced that this is a black guy singing by the way. I mean, do you hear the soul that emits from his voice? I like how he slows down the beat as well, it feels like this is the way the song should have been sung in the first place. He totally makes Labrinth, who sings the original, look irrelevant as a musician with this.

One more cover shall we?

What you just heard was an all-vocal cover of Cee-Lo Green's "Fuck You". Cee-Lo did a great job on this song and obviously deserves all the accolades he gets for this. I Love DDB on this song though, it instantly makes me smile. Have you noticed the range in his voice? It makes him so unique that he can make his voice suit the style of the song. It's a tricky line, because that makes him also unrecognizable, but for me its such a plus. Have you also noticed that you cannot tell for even a second that he is British? Let's end with an original song then or two :)

This one is an original track by Daniel featuring Belle titled 'Made 4 Me'. This is my second favorite song off this mixtape. The vocal arrangement is so old school R&B. Do you hear it? Like how songs were back in the 90's with a male and female artist bouncing off each other. Neither of them overshadows each other and Belle's voice is awesome. I totally love this song, I reckon it will be played on my wedding day.

 "If you judge me on my sound alone, it would be your loss"
And for the last but not the least, what you just listened to is an exclusive that you would only get if and WHEN you download this mixtape. Aptly titled 'Mutha Fucker', I love this song because I like how he can make fun of himself. He says what I allude to earlier in this post a couple times and I thought you ought to hear him say it for himself.

This was a great way to end the year, and this mixtape is definitely one of my favorites to have reviewed this year. Daniel is what you would call a natural artist, you don't learn what he's got in school, it comes from the heart. Hoping 2011 is a great year for him in the music industry. This is my opinion though, please leave your feedback and let me know what you think.

Keep Tabs on Daniel De Bourg: Twitter // Youtube // Facebook

Till Next Week

Peace, Love and Good Music



We Plug to You... John Regan - Sorry I'm Late

OK So I've been going back and forth for a good few weeks about whether to feature this album on here... On the one hand, it is an amazing Hip-Hop album and everyone should have the pleasure of listening to the music BUT on the other hand, there's so much history and so much going on behind the scenes with this album that listening to it gives me quite the bitter-sweet feeling every time and I'm sure it's the same for anyone else who knows the 'Sorry I'm Late' back story! Alas we're here strictly for the music and music this good, especially Hip-Hop music this good should ALWAYS be shared so without further ado, iPlug to you Culture VI Records + John Regan's 'Sorry I'm Late'

'Sorry I'm Late' is the début solo album from 24-year old Baltimore native and Hip-Hop artist, John Regan released on Independent label Culture VI which boasts features & production from some of US Hip-Hop's established names such as Joell Ortiz, 88-Keys, Skyzoo, Sha Stimuli, Nottz, Ill Bill. Naledge (Kids In The Hall), Needlz as well as the amazing Marsha Ambrosius! Already for an Indie project, the calibre and quality of features and guest-producers Culture VI's Wil Loesel managed to bring together on this album without the budget of a major label is a HUGE feat in itself... The question is does it work??? I guess only the music can answer that...

We proceed with one of my personal favourites on the 14-track 'Sorry I'm Late'. This one is called 'Stars' with production from Needlz & YZ and featuring British Singer Nicholas Howard who does PERFECTLY on vocals. On here, John Regan is at his introspective best and it makes for very compelling listening. John's not a punch-line rapper, neither is he heavy on the smart/witty lines or double entendres BUT what you get is a brutal honesty with real heartfelt and relatable lyrics that's really just refreshing and liberating to listen to & what can I say about the production on this song that you cannot hear for yourself... The musical backdrop on this is beautiful, thanks to Needlz & YZ!!!

You already know that I'm a sucker for a good Soulful Hip-Hop song and the song you just heard, 'One Day In Heaven' featuring Skyzoo and Jaiden on vocals (another amazing vocal feature) is exactly that! One of my stand-out tracks of the album, another musical masterpiece of a backdrop from YZ with John Regan and Skyzoo especially (on that second vese) riding this one rather beautifully. Don't you just love it when a Hip-Hop song actually tells a story and is written with purpose and craft rather than just plodding along trivially? Or am I just bugging? I keep replaying this song and can't get over the realness of Skyzoo's verse. A really good song from whatever front you look at it!

Now for a slight change of pace unto the second single off of 'Sorry I'm late', a song titled 'Yesterday' featuring the colossal Joell Ortiz in adept & reflective story-telling mode about losing his 'baby' with the hauntingly gripping vocals of emerging R&B artist Meylin on the hook to complete this YZ-produced rock-influenced number heavy on head thumping drum patterns and guitar riffs as similar to tracks like 'Breath of Fresh Air' & 'She Loves Me... Not' which the album start off with...

The first single off of 'Sorry I'm Late', 'Paint the World' is as HIP-HOP as HIP-HOP gets plus it's a song about John's early years as a Graffiti artist! From the DJ scratches to the full-on rap hook to the head-bopping production courtesy YZ and let's NOT even begin to talk about the cameo appearance from veteran emcee Pack FM on the hook just in case you didn't notice. I ain't even gonna lie, I was half hoping FM would lend a verse to this BUT alas, this song still comes HARD!

Can I just take a moment though to say this... One of the overriding themes on this album is that the quality of production and music is just way UP there! For that, we especially have to thank YZ who is on production credits for 10 out of the 14 tracks on  the album as well as serving as Co-Executive Producer on 'Sorry I'm Late'... I know you are waiting to hear the Marsha Ambrosius feature and even though I've already featured one song too many than I should, I'll oblige you and share it with you before I get outta your hair.

OK so what's the verdict? Is 'Sorry I'm Late' one of the best Hip-Hop albums of 2010? I would be inclined to say Yes! 'Sorry I'm Late' is certainly one of the best Indie Hip-Hop albums of 2010 without question. Moxie Black's 'How Did This Happen?' & Pack FM's 'I F*cking Hate Rappers' rank up there too for Indie projects this year (lemme know any more I should make mention of) but alas I digress, the point I'm trying to make is that 'Sorry I'm Late' is a very good album with AMAZING production, I cannot go on enough about how good the music is on this album, from a really good & honest rapper (Do they even make 'honest' rappers any more?). Granted John Regan hardly departs from talking or rapping about the hardships of balancing or separating his music from his life and doing what he loves versus taking care of his family and ordinarily, there might be only so much of that you can listen to in just under an hour BUT John expresses himself  very excellently and with such honesty and realness that you cannot but help lend him your ears for all of those 60 odd minutes. I highly recommend it.

Stream/Listen: John Regan - Sorry I'm Late

Purchase: John Regan - Sorry I'm Late

Until the Next Time...

Peace, Love & Good Music 

We Plug to You: Add-2 - A Tale of Two's City Vol. 4: Better Days

What up, y'all? *checks calendar* word, it's December already? 2010 definitely pulled a Usain Bolt on us. Not gonna lament on it, though, cuz it's been a good year for me (hopefully, it was a good one for y'all too). Moving along, a while ago the chief Ayo suggested I plug some Hip-Hop. A specific project in particular. I was game, but a little wary, because this specific artist is one I could literally go on & on & on about. And he's from my city, Chicago, so that bias is one I can't completely get rid of, no matter how much I try. He's just that good. Without further ado, I plug to you Add-2.

I became a fan of Add-2 back in 2008. Besides the uncanny resemblance to someone I attended college with (LOL), I used to read his blog on hiphopdx.com back when they had blogs (ahh...the glory days). Seems like forever ago, though. It was there that I heard his murderous freestyle over The Roots' '75 Bars (Black's Reconstruction)', I've been hooked ever since. He spat with such ferocity & tenacity on that freestyle, I'm pretty sure I rewound that ish a couple times. Later that Summer, he dropped 'A Tale of Two's City, Vol. 2: The Return of the Menace'. Since then, he has been consistently spittin' ETHER, via features, freestyles, more singles and his next mixtape a year later, 'A Tale of Two's City, Vol. 3: The Rise and Fall'. Personally, that mixtape was spun on a daily basis for a long time. The breakout song 'Luxury' was being played on radio, and #TeamAdd2 was stronger than ever. Add's buzz was building greater by the day. Even 9th Wonder was put on game.

In March, I saw him kickin' freestyles with Tanya Morgan, Blu & Exile, and he even got to perform with The Roots (!!!!) at the Highline Ballroom this past June. It was really dope to see all the success for the homie; besides being super talented, dude is super humble. Periodically, he kept hinting that an EP called '...Better Days' would be dropping sometime this year. Lord knows I was geeked. In the meantime, he was featured on Actual Proof's 'Super Genius' remix, which included spitters such as Naledge, Kendrick Lamar & Laws (just to name a few), and the recently released 'Drunken Style' by The Away Team (both of these songs bang, btw). Long story short, '...Better Days' soon turned into the mixtape 'A Tale of Two's City: Better Days', one of the BEST (yeah, I said it) mixtapes to drop this year. Add sticks to a winning formula for the 4th installment of his tales, and I can't complain at all. Truthfully, if I could, I'd highlight every song on the mixtape, cause there isn't a skippable track, but alas, I can't. I'll highlight the 3 (out of the many) that I absolutely loooooooooove.

"Success makes me look so damn good, don't it?"

MAAAAAAN LISTEN. The beat provided by The Getards is just so crisp. And I'm not afraid to say I stan for Tanya Morgan, so when I saw Donwill & Von Pea on the track list, I knew that the three of 'em were gonna deliver nothing less than heat. Everyone (or almost everyone) has those people in your lives (exes, even ex-friends or the like) who didn't support or care until they saw your success. They see that you're on, so they try to get on. This is the song you play when you gracefully decline and then spit in their face lol. The song is aptly titled 'A Love Letter To All My Exes'...

"Nobody gotta accept you, EXCEPT you"

Add dedicated this song, 'Brown Skin Girl' to the youth, more specifically our young women. This song is a beautiful dedication. I definitely love the second verse, because Add's telling young women (even some of these older ones, yo) that they're fine the way they are and not to fall victim to society's "standard" of beauty, and to basically love themselves for who they are. Andy Allo does a beautiful job of adding her vocals to the chorus, which is life-affirming in it's own right in my opinion. Beautiful song all around. This is a song that needs to be played on radios, in schools... man, anywhere kids need some support.

"I lost my mind man, Google couldn't map that / tryna hit Dondria & see if she got a Phat Phat"

I'm a sucker for charging beats & awesome horns, and D-Man delivers with this, 'Spare None'. I can only imagine the screw faces in the room when this beat came through the speakers. But yo, Add spits line after line, rhyming like a damn savage. When I heard the line "runnin' over every n*gga that you runnin' with / then walk up to ya grandpa & kick over his bucketlist ", I literally said "that's rude as hell!" and then rewound it. That's vicious as hell, man. The song is quite menacing, from the lyrics to the production. All around dope.

Another song I dig a LOT is 'Slow it Down'. Gives me that perfect Chicago Do or Die / Twista feel. Good job on that one. You could slip this in a 90s playlist & it'd fit perfectly. And the song is a grooove. *snaps on beat*... More songs to check out include 'DGK', 'The Feeling is Gone',  and 'Off Our Cloud'. But seriously, the whole tape is solid.

So what more is there to say, really? G'on 'head and download it already!
*the link is missing track three for some reason, so click on this



PS: Add recently released the track Comic Book Flow. Peep it here, and read his words here:
"As an artist whose career has been aided heavily through hip hop websites, blogs & the internet as a whole it upsets me to see the powers that be trying to dismantle our outlets for our voice in an attempt to gain control over us. Try as they may they can not, nor will they ever be, successful at silencing us."

We Plug 2 You... IKES - The Intermission

Yes yes y'all! This week is a special week, because today iPlug to you one of UK's hardest working Rappers, Ikes (Yes #TeamUK)! I've known Ikes for about a year now, and I have to say, if there is anything you can't knock him for, it's his work rate... If you haven't heard Of Ikes, in the next year I'm pretty sure you will. Ikes is UK's latest offering of talented lyricists who have been entertaining hip-hop heads and not-so-hiphop heads on both sides of the Atlantic for some time now.

Ikes' real name is Kevin Ogbodo, born to Nigerian parents and unlike a lot of other rappers, Ikes is not just a rapper, he is also a brilliant RnB songwriter and he was involved in back in the 2008 underground hit 'Dream come True' by Sheya. He was also featured on Flavour Magazine's hit list for 2010. Ikes has made significant progress this year as an artist with his June mixtape 'Peer to Peer' receiving 10000 downloads in just two weeks. This year, Ikes was also featured on SBTV, which has featured the likes of Chipmunk, Wretch 32 and Chiddy Bang on it's on-line platform. 

If you are into heavy hard-hitting beats and top notch lyrics, I'd advice you to pay attention to this guy. Before I bring to you 'The Intermission', I thought I'd plug to you a few of Ikes' previous art. This one is his SBTV freestyle, which he did over Rick Ross's Mafia Music.

With that freestyle, he is definitely in my list of top ten SBTV freestyles ever.

This next track is called 'The One' and no need to front, Ikes is the one. This tune is off of his previous mixtape 'P2P' but it kinda fell under the rather, so I'm bringing it back. This has that late 90's hip-hop feel to it. You just can't listen to this tune and not bop your head or move your hands, 'The One' also features Mega from S.a.S!

Well, I featured the above tunes, so you know where Ikes is coming from, anticipate and appreciate where he is heading to. Now its time to connect you with his latest offering (The Intermission). The intermission is a link between 'Peer to Peer' (P2P) and his forthcoming album 'One of One' (1/1).

This next track 'Miss This' from 'The Intermission' is produced by one of London's finest emerging producers MaleekBerry. If you are from London, you will love this tune but if you are not, you should still appreciate this. This is a proper UK Hip-Hop song (so if you are not in the UK, get with the program or MISS THIS)!

Oh wow! I wish I could continue with more tracks, but I need to stop now, so I'll drop one last tune. As much as I love hooks, I have to say that this is my favourite track off the mixtape, straight rapping and heavy content. This track 'Believe' is too inspirational for me to ignore it.
"Im wrapped around the steering wheel of my career, I've never known a chauffeur"

Thats all for today folks... Download the mixtape The Intermission, its a very good Rap compilation and there is a lot of thought out lyrics in there. You are assured 16 tracks of pure goodness! To keep up with Ikes, follow him on twitter: http://twitter.com/ikesonthereal and keep an eye on his blog for new tunes: http://www.lifeofikes.com/

We Plug Good Music, you love it and everybody's happy

2 up, 2 down Until next week

... Fhanthom

We Plug 2 Y.O.U... ZEMMY

When I received an email six days ago that read 'New Artist To Consider Plugging' from one Zemmy Momoh, I thought it was from the same Zemmy Momoh that I went to boarding school with a decade ago and I wasn't gonna open the email because the Zemmy I know cannot sing to save her life. Anyway I opened the email and to my pleasant surprise, it wasn't (1) the Zemmy Momoh I knew and (2) this Zemmy Momoh could actually sing! We'll refer to her by her stage name which is purely and simply Zemmy...

SO who is Zemmy then? Well I'll let her tell you herself...
"I'm a female pop artist originally from Nigeria but I've been a Londoner for the last thirteen years. I like to think of myself as falling stylistically somewhere between Norah Jones and Beyonce and would describe my style as soulful pop. I started making a go at being a career singer/songwriter when I finished my undergrad degree. I found myself a lovely guitarist in early 08, a lovely manager in early 09 and my brilliant drums and bass were recruited at the end of last year. I've been with my wonderful band for just over a year now and we've spent this year (since January) gigging all over London." - Zemmy
It took me the first song to be completely hooked on this Pop/Soul singer and her other songs do NOT disappoint either. There's something about her voice that you cannot help but be captivated by and I just love her whole sound which she describes as 'soulful pop' but it's more than that. I would buy her album right now + it's an added bonus that some of the songs you're about to hear are live recordings and I know that not all of you will be immediate fans of live music over studio recordings but there's something about the organic element and authenticity that shines through on Zemmy's songs that the live music definitely helps bring out that much more BUT enough of me talking, let's listen to some music!

This one is a song titled 'Like Drowning' and I quite like it, I quite like it a lot. It's got that whole chilled-out vibe going on and by God, those guitar riffs capture your ears from the word go and do not let you drift away plus Zemmy's voice just does it for me... It's definitely not your usual or typical vocal powerhouse BUT it's rather soothing and beautiful to listen to and if lyrics and song-writing are your thing then I think you'll like this as well but tell me what you think though...

Here's a very beautifully done cover of the Kids in Glass Houses record, 'Easy Tiger' from their 2007 album 'Smart Casual' that Zemmy and her band absolutely nail. I totally love this cover and how Zemmy absolutely switches the levels on this song, I didn't even recognise it at first. You need to check out the original (HERE) to fully appreciate what Zemmy and her band have done here. They completely turn this rock song on its head and bring it down quite a few notches and turn it into this rather colourful poppy soulful pop song. I'm not sure if fans of Kids in Glass Houses will like it BUT I definitely do like it & hopefully you do too...

I'm loving Zemmy right now and I just wanna hear so much more music from her! You should definitely be up on this young woman BUT if you're not yet completely sold on Zemmy as an amazing artist then these next two songs should literally tip you right over...

This one is called 'Limbo' and I absolutely LOVE it... On constant repeat right now I tell ya! It almost reminds me of a Dido song (only slightly though) with its subtlety and the understated but also (at the same time) commanding vocals. Without mirroring my earlier comments about her voice, it really is just captivating and the musical backdrop, especially those drum patterns, aptly adds to this very compelling listen! I hope you like this one as much as I do.

I know I should go now & leave you to listen to the music without me butting in every five or so minutes with my two pence BUT just one more and I will be gone! This next one is a rough mix of a song titled 'Superman', you have to listen to it (I won't even comment, you give me your 2 pence on this one)...


Before I forget to say it, I feel a special mention should be made about Zemmy's 3-piece band; Ifan Emyr on Drums + Daryl Clayton on Bass + Zoltan Naggy on Guitar, because they do a smashing job, especially on the two live recordings we heard up top, giving those songs their full and rich organic sound... SO yeah definite kudos to the band!

I do not have to tell you that I am utterly and completely sold on the 'Soulful Pop' artist that is Zemmy and I hope you are too even if it isn't 'utterly and completely' yet but you cannot deny the potential that this young woman has. The variety in her music + her ability and willingness to play around successfully within such genres as Pop, Soul, Rock and even a bit of Folk is just beautiful and it means that she appeals to a wider range of audience such as Y.O.U and I think it's her voice that gives her that appeal. The first two songs we featured could not be more far apart and different from the latter two but her voice pins them all together. Did I already say that I'd buy her album right now? Well I so would!

Utterly & Completely SOLD!

Keep Tabs on Zemmy: Facebook // Twitter // Myspace

Until the Next Time...

We Plug 2 You... Ema The Kid & Origimoz -- Above and Beyond

Hi There! Its been a week but I'm back, today's review is oceans way from my last week's feature, in terms of genres, that is. So I proudly present to you a collaborative album, brought to you by MC Ema-the-kid & producer Origimoz. When I was told that the album was a collaboration with a producer, I was wondering why that was necessary, but when you listen to the songs, you will hear the creativity and talent both parties equally bring to this album.

Based on the information I received, it's obvious that these dudes don't like talking too much about themselves but would rather let the music do all the talking so I'll quickly introduce you to the artists behind this album and move it right along;

Harlem-born Rapper Ema-the-Kid grew up in new york city but is currently working and studying in London, UK. He is actually studying for a degree in music informatics, so you can tell that the dude is all about the music. He says he draws his inspiration from the likes of Kanye West, Andre 3000 & Gnarls Barkley and following that list I bet you can sense the type of music this album is going to bring

Producer Origimoz with Mozambique origins was born in China and grew up in his hometown (Mozambique). At just 20 years of age, he has been into quite a number of things from graphic designing to MC-ing and now finally resting comfortably into production.

With that said, let's listen to some music and you can be the judge...

This song, 'Once Upon A Time', is a song I can totally relate to albeit not directly but the story telling is one that everyone will be able to relate to & credit to Ema-the-kid for adeptly bringing us along on this story. Considering its imaginary flow & dreamy musical backdrop, the meaning behind the song is far from a fairytale. The storyline is a perfect example of a sweet food with a very bitter after taste. This song is one of the realest on the album if you ask me, hope you like it too.

As we proceed...

This next track, 'Smiles & Frowns' is another sweet & sour track but I decided to plug it anyway because it's different from the previous song in terms of the sound & music. Truth be told, if you have ever heard of Light House Family and like them, then you'll most definitely love the chorus of this particular track which is sung by a featured artist called Mex. Even as much as iLove the hook, I have to say that Ema-the-kid delivers on every verse...

This next one is a must listen, this particular track cemented my decision to feature this album. It is the type of track you wanna listen to, top-down in your convertible, if you have a convertible that is (anyway it's too bad it's Winter time even if you did have a convertible except you wanna do like Jay-Z and go "Top-down in the Winter..."). Sorry to digress however, this track has that New York Hip-Hop feel to it with a very catchy hook. I present to you, 'Top Of the World'. The singer sings...
"Im sitting top/im getting that money/i got the whole world/ you aint taking that off me....."

Well that's it from me folks... All in all the album Above and Beyond is a really good Hip-Hop album, it sounds like a fusion of modern day and classical music (thanks to Origimoz) with a great Hip-Hop element (Ema-the-kid) and it all works. I'm personally impressed with this one because you can be in any particular mood and still find a song on here to match that mood. The 15-track album has a general feel good sound which I'm sure you'll like...

Download the album "above and beyond" right now. Its FREE + it's GOOD MUSIC so you need to get it, its that simple...

We Plug Good Music, you love it and everybody's happy

2 up, 2 down Until next week

... Fhanthom

We Plug 2 Y.O.U...Thai Matic - LET ME LAND

Do you often wonder how artists come up with their stage names? I wish I had the opportunity to interview this particular artist, because frankly I would love to know his given name, his government as we would call it.

Emerging UK rapper Thai-Matic together with London lifestyle blog The Whorington present to us his third mix-tape "Let Me Land", a statement about finishing what he starts. The 18 track mix-tape is an expression of his journey, a beautiful blend of personal, introspective tracks alongside club bangers and street anthems, all laced with Thai's cocksure swagger and on point delivery.

Thai-Matic, who alongside being a rapper is a Graphic Designer and Photographer, first appeared on the scene as a member of the group KUZ, who enjoyed laudable success on the UK underground scene. He decided to branch out on his own and I dare say his body of work is showing that he could be a rising star in the UK and maybe even branch out across the ocean like counterparts such as Taio Cruz and Tinie Tempah have done.

I like that Thai - Matic comes out heavy on his first track "A million answers". Straight hip - hop on this, and i loved the production on this. The way the piano starts, hooks you and carries you along all the way to the end, allowing you to focus on the lyrics. I can't help but compare him with "Wale" on this one. Thai is a very strong lyricist tho, not with the puns or entendres, but by telling a good story.
"They say i'm not UK enough, not US enough, they wanna try and get rid of me, but well tough, they better suck it up, i'm here to stay like the Big H, until i'm on The Mirrors front page" 

Again, the Ghanaian Born, Thai-Matic, captivates me with his lyrics on my favorite track off this album "Kick Rocks". I love how the production is totally flipped on this song, this time sounding like the beginnings of a soul track. I love how a rapper can totally kill a slow track, telling the story as effectively as if it were your favorite soul singer on the track. Its an apology song of some sort and I love it.
"Do you remember these words that you used to tell me, when i felt like the world had failed me? You used to say, tell em to kick rocks"

The entire album was executive-produced by Thai-Matic and Kevin Lanre and again I have to give them both their kudos. The production on this third song "Take it Slow" is straight R&B, again totally different, showing how versatile Thai is. Kinda reminiscent of how versatile B.O.B is, forgive the comparison. And his voice blends as well, grimey on a hip hop track and very sexy on this track. That British accent, is a great help though.
"When you on top, you ride that shit like you're the boss, plus....take it slow when you riding girl you know how i like it, when you doing it on top of me"

And last but definitely not the least, this song is just one of those hype songs that speak the truth, "Darkness". On this, Thai features Hip Hop & Reggae UK artist Wundah. Is it just me or can you tell a person's personality from a song? In the chorus where they say " Darkness is spreading now, the streets are getting dreader now, it can only get better now, in the meantime play boy imma prepare for the worst", the pessimism amazes me yet it has a sense of hope, you know the light at the end of the tunnel. I feel like thats an insight into the writer's life and its more than just a song.

So get your download on right after the jump, its been out since July guys, and this is what November, so you know this is mad late. But we still had to plug this to you, so you did not miss out on something good, an early Thanksgiving present if you will. So ENJOY!

Till Next Time

Peace, Love and Good Music


We Plug 2 You... The Fifth Member - Insert Coins Here EP

Wow! Before I go on I would like to apologise for stalling on plugging this particular band to you. The thing is; I have been waiting for the perfect time to put this up but I just realised that the time might never come. Truth be told I am not a big fan of Alternative music, but then again, when it is good music, my ears have got to listen ... So without further ado, iPresent to you THE FIFTH MEMBER!

The Fifth Member is a band made up of Louis Ktisti, Marek Razzouk, Nick Treloar and Oliver Gorrie. Like most other bands, they all share responsibility in the band's music production, as they all each play an instrument (as you would). I love the fact that I can't really put my finger on the exact sound of music that they make, so I'm going to stick to it being rock music.

The band have not always been called The Fifth Member however, they were formerly called Attic Noise but due to copyright issues, they had to look for a more suitable name. Sort of how every time you plug in your earphones to listen to the band, you become the fifth member; this notion is what unearths the logic behind the new name The Fifth Member...

Now down to the music; This first track is called "Eyes" & unlike alot of songs you hear today, this track draws you into the mind and core of the band even before you here any vocals. Marek Razzouk, the lead singer has a very distinct voice that makes you love the song even more. The chorus has that bittersweet tune to it...
"He looks into the darkness of her eyes but he cant seem to say what she wants to despise... he'd never know until he dies"

Yeah! Unto the next one. You trust us to always bring you more than one song, so as per usual, here's another one for your perusal. This track is a special dedication to Biggie Smalls (R.I.P) & thats especially why I'm plugging it apart from the fact that its GOOD MUSIC of course, lol. The song is called "Everybody's Gotta Go" and what I like is the way they transformed the tune, you would be forgiven for not remembering the track that they cover.

You know what they say about leaving the best for last? Well trust me to do the same... When I sent this particular tune to the boss, it stuck to him like a leach. It is the type of track that gets you involved, Jheez!! The dude on the guitar (Louis Kristi) is amazing with the vocals to match the quality of the strings, when you listen to the track you'll understand what I'm trying to say. 
"if I stay then I'll stay, but if I go, no I wont always be the same"

Well, you've heard The Fifth Member, what can I say? #TeamUk!

The album is out, its called INSERT COINS HERE

Check them on Myspace

And Buy The Album HERE

Did I tell you the oldest in this band is just 16? Now you know... Get familiar 


We Plug 2 Y.O.U... Sam Sure & Giacomo

So just the other day, I was at a live Hip-Hop showcase over in North London and I was absolutely intrigued and impressed by this particular emerging duo that I had never seen or heard of before. That simple fact in addition to the really amazing live performance they put on (more so the really amazing live performance) really piqued my interest and I thought I'd share them with you...

Originally hailing from Canterbury and now pitching their artistic tent in South London, this duo go by the name of Sam Sure & Giacomo and you'd be hard pressed to find a singular genre that rightly describes their music. Starting off with Hip-Hop as their launch pad and veering into such territories as Indie-Pop and Electro, Experimental or Alternative are descriptions that come easily to mind but those would be cop-outs because I feel their music says much more BUT why don't I let you just listen to some music?

That which you just heard is a very massive track titled 'I Need A Drink' (I implore you to listen back to it) and is hands down, one of my favourite songs right now... On this one, Sam Sure gets really deep about coping with the loss of his father on this beautifully laced production and straight away, it's the compelling lyrics that especially draw you in plus the musical backdrop just adds a funky but also that introspective soulful hip-hop feel to it! Lemme know what you think about this one, will you?

As per usual, we've got some more music for your listening pleasure...

... This one is called 'Keep Me Safe' and it comes in the same vein as the previous track we listened to but this one is more up-tempo with more energy and I'm really enjoying the oddly melodic hook attached to this song, although I was hoping it would kind take off further than it does if you get what I mean. I know we're in Winter and all that but this gives me that Summery feeling... Picture chilling in a garden pub with some cider and the DJ blasting this through the PA system? I am definitely digging this! & did you notice that extra energy Sam Sure injects into the second verse or was it just me? I like this dude + the way he crafts his verses + the way he tells his story... He makes it so easy to connect with the song.

This song is called 'How Do You Feel?' and it is so far removed from the traditional Hip-Hop sound I talked about on 'I Need A Drink' or on any Hip-Hop record you can think of for that matter. While it shows the duo's diversity in creating music, I must admit that this is my least favourite song of theirs and it may just be because I'm too much of a Hip-Hop head but Sam Sure & Giacomo are not your usual Hip-Hop act and this song reminds you of that. I'm not quite sure I like this one but I'm sure it'll have it fans and you might like it so I put it out just for your perusal.

This duo reckon they are the band to watch in 2011 and having seen them perform live and checked out quite a few of their records, I wouldn't bet against them blowing up next year. I really like their music and their whole vibe. With influences such as Jamie T, The Streets, Lily Allen, Joni Mitchell, Prince, Carol King & David Bowie, it's not hard to see how the sounds of Sam Sure & Giacomo just will not fit into a generic box and I think that's a good thing for them going forward. If they can steadily churn out massive songs like 'I Need A Drink' & catchy anthems like 'Keep Me Safe', then their's is definitely a name we want to get familiar with now!

Definitely #GoodMusic Certified!!!

Download: Sam Sure & Giacomo - I Need A Drink || How Do You Feel?

Until the Next Time...

We Plug to You... Izzi Dunn -- Cries & Smiles

"It's been a long time / I shouldn'tve left you / without some dope music to plug you..." 

Hey everyone. Depending on when you're reading this (and what side of the globe you're on lol), how's your day (or night)? The plan was for my grand return to these here internets to be filled with fireworks, kissed newborns & champagne, and it was also supposed to be like a month ago. But things happen, life happens, etc. I'm here now, and that's all that matters! A few weeks ago, Ayo sent me some jams in my inbox, and I have to say I'm definitely vibing to it. 

So here I am, plugging to you, Izzi Dunn. Now, I must admit that I must have been living under a rock when it comes to Ms. Dunn, for this was the first time I'd ever heard any of her music. What a big rock that was, let me tell you. Izzi Dunn is an acclaimed multi-instrumentalist and singer who has collaborated with the likes of Gorillaz, Roots Manuva and Mark Ronson. With her sophomore release Cries and Smiles, she brings another dose of beautiful fusion of R&B, jazz and soul for our ears.

My favorite song off of the album is Kill Me Slow.

First of all, the production on this track is complete & utter perfection. The orchestration gives me life. And can we talk about her lyrics? "Under my skin, the pain runs deep. your insidious poison seeps like blood stains in the snow. You kill me slow..." The imagery is so vivid, it's like you can close your eyes and just see all of this in front of you. The dark tone of the music definitely complements the subject matter. My heart is kinda breaking FOR her, that's how much pain there is in these lyrics. You as the listener FEEL all of it.

The title track, "Cries and Smiles," is one of those songs that kind of makes you want to evaluate your life, with lyrics such as "...are we just slaves to the rhythm or...just as free as we wanna be?" Once again, the production is on point with this song. Multiple head nods during this song, and the breakdown near the end before the third verse is amazing. I think it could be used as a manifesto of sorts, actually. With so many people living their lives with jobs they hate, or maybe wanting to do more with what they've been given, this song can definitely give you that extra push to want to become the person you want to be.

"...Tits and ass make the world go 'round..."

This song is charging. The bass is awesome, but more than that, the song is basically about how the daily use of T&A is used to sell everything. She speaks about the nature of how sexuality is used to sell product -- the more "artsy" it is, the more we're willing to accept it, but when it's blatant, we reject & denounce it. There seems to be no even ground.

If you're still iffy on whether to check this out (which I hope you're not!), sample the song "When It Comes to Love." It's whimsical and very orchestral, and it reminds me of a beautiful spring day. Sonically, "Cries and Smiles" is a joy to ears, and lyrically, it's a treat for minds & hearts alike. As this was my first foray into hearing any material by Izzi Dunn, I must say that I was thoroughly impressed. Any great meshing of jazz, R&B and soul will get an automatic listen from me, and this album has definitely made me a fan.

'til next time,


We Plug 2 You.... Olivier Daysoul - Mr Saint Louis EP

Hey there! Well, this week I got a review order from the DON, and I was actually excited because I feel I owe you more G.O.O.D music to get into. So I jumped on it and I loved it.... So without further ado, iPlug 2 you singer/songwriter Oliveir Daysoul.

Olivier Daysoul, real name Olivier St. Louis, born in Washington DC teams up with producer and friend Oddisee to make the beautiful EP titled "Mr Saint Louis". I am actually very excited about reviewing this EP, simply because it is undiluted soul music at its best.

Daysoul is a Hatian American based in the UK, he graduated from OXFORD UNIVERSITY, he has also worked with numerous artistes such as Hudson Mohawke, Onra, Dam funk, Mike Slott & many more and although this EP was written and recorded in Oxford (UK) during Oddisee's holiday trip to the town, the two friends had initially met in washington DC where the birth of the album was first discussed.

To be honest when I first heard his songs, I felt he was personally coached by Marvin gaye, well, I wasn't so far way from the truth because Daysoul says he draws alot of inspiration from the Likes of Marvin Gaye, Al Green Maxwell, and D'angelo, He also admires Snoop Dogg (the Dogg Father *in my mum's voice*), Common, Outkast and many more. Enough talk, let's get down to the music.

Well, the first song is called 'Labor' and it caught me on the first listen, this was down to his Falsetto as well as the backing vocals. On this track he talks about his relationship with a certain girl and I'll keep it on a low so you can listen and make out your own meaning. The melody on this track is actually very lovely but this part of the song got me 
"So you question my intention, when there's no need for suspicion/ so what else is left to prove to you"... 

I'm sure you loved that... This next track is just as lovely and actually very captivating that you actually forget everything else around you for a moment... Like actually forgetting the name of the track such like I did just now, it's called 'Foolish' by the way. The thing about good music is that even when the voice and the instrumentals are gone and you are just left with lyrics, you can still sense it's quality... 
"Trouble seems to envy me/ decisions so hard to make and she knows/ knows I don't want her to leave but i cant seem to open my mouth, so I go/ go ahead and make it so hard for myself"

Wow, this next track is nothing short of what you've heard already so far, and if you are the hip hop type, then you will fancy this one because it features Von Pea of Tanya Morgan. To be honest, this has that fly boy feel (black suit, black shades, red shoes and just bop to this lol) to it. This track is called 'In the Now' and I absolutely love it...

I wont even lie, I enjoyed every moment I spent doing this review... I love good music, regardless of the genre. So in order for you to get your hands on some more of this Daysoul opus, just DOWNLOAD the EP 'Mr Saint Louis'

Thank you for reading/ listening...


We Plug 2 Y.O.U... Joy Ike - Rumors

Hello, ladies and gentleman. How are you all doing? So its my birthday next week and i'm not excited at all, growing older is such a bore. I am however excited about the artist I am about to introduce you. This is why I do this by the way, ensuring that you don't miss out on some truly exceptional artists.

Joy Ike is a sensational soul singer/songwriter based out of Pittsburgh with Nigerian origins. The boss came upon her some weeks back and was really enamored with her and I can't blame him, she sings so beautifully and there is a certain grace about her that you can sense through her music. Her fans have compared her vocally to Corrine Bailey Rae and Norah Jones with an ambiance that is much like that of India Arie and Lizz Wright. Joy Ike released her second album "Rumors" in May 2010 with great reception from all; with The Times, Tribune and Examiner, to name a few, giving her rave reviews.

Despite the stellar comparisons mentioned above, Joy credits much of her musical influence to more modern acts like Sara Groves and Broke Waggoner as well as independent artists like Death Cab for Cutie, Sufjan Stevens and Aqualang. "I really just love soul music and I think soul music has less to do with how a song sounds and more to do with the emotion behind it. I think that’s why these artists mean so much to me.” She says...

She is being honest because with every song, I relate to the emotion the song emits. In her Song "Pain" she talks about a guy who backtracks on his feelings for his lover because he has plans he thinks does not include her. I think every human has this one relationship, your paths just don't seem to be aligned in the same direction.
“Don’t change you plans for me.. I hope you’ll always be someone who sees past the borders in life... Just know that I exist and opportunities missed make for regrets in life”

I'm really impressed with Joy's lyrics. I often wonder how people connect so deeply to their emotion to be able to write songs such as her next song "Rumors". Joy's music has continually been noted for its lyrical depth addressing the human condition, thoughts on Love and the search for God in a tangible way.
"The world has fed us rumors that we cannot be one... And we have gone consumed them. Now we are undone... If two can stay together even in the fire... If two can brave the weather and couple their desire... Then all the world has told us simply stays a lie... And all that God has promised simply comes to life."

My favorite song on this album, that you ought to absolutely have in your collection is called "Nomad". Maybe because I can totally relate, word for word. But I have talked about the songwriting skills, and about this two time Pittsburgh City Paper's best solo artist Joy, but I haven't talked about the music. The beauty about soul music is that from the first strings of the guitar, or the first sounds of the piano, it resonates. As such the artist is only lending his or her voice to the music. Melody like no other and highly orgasmic in its nature.
"I have a thick skin and it's thicker than people seem to think... I have, I have been waiting on the edge for something new... No more, no more. I'll create it, you can join me if you choose."

Certified Good Music, I really encourage you to get this on to your playlist. Its one of the best i have heard this year. She definitely deserves to be a Mainstream artist, so help support her and spreading the word out there to your family and friends by purchasing down below.

Purchase: Joy Ike - Rumors

Till Next Time

Peace, Love and Good Music


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