Lee Hawthorn

Being Human 2016: Refusing to be Realistic Preview

Being Human 2016: Refusing to be Realistic Preview

According to the Being Human festival programme, ‘desire is one of the things that make us human.’ Advertisers attempt to appease desire with commodity solutions but humans have always sought to achieve and accumulate more. Back in 1516 this was named ‘utopia’ by Thomas More. Utopian desire invites us to demand what others might consider […]

 Lee Hawthorn

Dreamland: How Mic Righteous Epitomises the D.I.Y Spirit of North East Hip-Hop

Dreamland: How Mic Righteous Epitomises the D.I.Y Spirit of North East Hip-Hop

Prior to the release of ‘Survivor’, I wouldn’t have necessarily considered myself a fan of Mic Righteous. He’s always been an artist on my radar, but only on the very edge of it. His ‘Fire In The Booth’ and various other freestyles were enough to cement my respect, but never left me wanting for more. […]

 Lee Hawthorn

Hidden Civil War: Akala and Ruth Nyimba Lead Talk on Class Warfare.

Hidden Civil War: Akala and Ruth Nyimba Lead Talk on Class Warfare.

Politicians, musicians and high profile celebrities are seldom found wandering the streets on their own. I had to look twice when I witnessed a passerby ask MOBO Award winning hip-hop aritst, Akala, for directions at the bottom of Northumberland Street on Saturday. Akala has become a leading figure in engaging young people and minorities within […]

 Lee Hawthorn

How the UBeat Music Awards got their hip-hop category wrong (and how to improve it for 2017)

How the UBeat Music Awards got their hip-hop category wrong (and how to improve it for 2017)

On Friday 30th September, the nominees for the 2016 UBeat Music Awards were officially announced. The second annual awards show will take place in Newcastle's o2 Academy and broadcast live on Made In Tyne & Wear - the home of the UBeat TV. With 190 nominations across 19 categories there were always going to be some local musicians unhappy with being left out of contention, but the organisers of the awards have managed to unleash the temper of almost an entire genre with their Rap/Hip Hop Act Of The Year category.

The main source of the controversy seems centred around a lack of knowledge of more artists. Some nominees have releases only a couple singles over the year, whilst some artists not nominated have released seminal albums. Prior to the nominations, I was sceptical. As former manager of The Great & The Magnificent, I have seen […]

 Lee Hawthorn

Static Brings the North East’s top MCs to World HQ

Static Brings the North East’s top MCs to World HQ

In terms of gigs, the Hip Hop and Grime divisions of the North East’s music scene are rarely seen on the bill of events in the area, much less headlining them. Coming May 9 to World HQ, in Newcastle, Static is providing the stage for a showcase of some of the region’s most respected rappers. […]

 Lee Hawthorn

Ken Masters sets the bar with bars about bars inside a bar…

Ken Masters sets the bar with bars about bars inside a bar…

In the latest release from Ken Masters, the Geordie MC spits bars about bars, with a music video shot inside a bar – and in doing so, sets the bar for releases this year. Using the polysemous term “bar”‘ as a centre point for his newest release, Master’s constructs a series of (rap) bars which exhibit […]

 Lee Hawthorn

Vino, U Call Me Sir & Regime team up for an all-North-East line-up of Heavy Hitters

Vino, U Call Me Sir & Regime team up for an all-North-East line-up of Heavy Hitters

With production coming from Regime, U Call Me Sir and Vino team up for the aggressive, horror core record, Heavy Hitters. The pair of Hip Hop artists and the producer all hail from the North East, and Heavy Hitters is brimming with regional idioms and an impressive energy that makes for one of the better all […]

 Lee Hawthorn

Dredz and L link up for loyalty preaching anthem – Your Team.

Dredz and L link up for loyalty preaching anthem – Your Team.

North East Hip Hop rarely provides records that could be understood nationally, usually the region’s rapper’s record tracks with references that only locals could appreciate, and use slang that outsiders would struggle to understand. In the latest offering from Dredz, he and L team up for a cut that transcends regional boundaries, as Your Team […]

 Lee Hawthorn

Quinzelly & OriginEarl collaborate for Reps produced Live4Now

Quinzelly & OriginEarl collaborate for Reps produced Live4Now

Quinzelly’s unique inflection meets OriginEarl’s deliberative flow on the latest single from Q’s upcoming Live4Now album. The new release, and album title track, comes with production courtesy of Quinzelly’s regular conspirator Reps, the Geordie instrumentalist provides a brilliant backdrop, quirky and idiosyncratic for the two MCs to showcase their own distinct vocals and it makes for […]

 Lee Hawthorn

Rex Regis continues assault of releases with Brainfeeders’ Rick Fury collab

Rex Regis continues assault of releases with Brainfeeders’ Rick Fury collab

When it comes to putting the graft in and trying to grab peoples attention with a multitude of sequential releases, Rex Regis is second to none. With as many as 10 tracks released in 2015 alone, the Brainfeeders member is quickly asserting himself as one of the hardest workers in North East Hip Hop, and […]

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