interscope

The Phone Curse

Good news! ZION 2012 CDs are in! I've also done a second printing of Unkillable Thunderchrist, since that sold out pretty quick. Cop them both here. Expecting the ZION prints tomorrow. I'm looking forward to those, that sleeve is one of my all time favourites.

In other news, I have a phone again. I have truly been cursed as far as phones are concerned this year. First I lose my Z phone back in May, only for the insurers to refuse to pay out because I didn't report it lost within three days (because I was LOOKING FOR IT!), then I get sic-ed with £800 in data roaming charges from going to America with my sim in my wife's phone, then I use my wife's upgrade to get a new phone, which takes a month to turn up and involves the navigation of many infuriating hoops before it's finally functional... then, after months of argy and bargy, in July T-Mobile finally agree to slash 90% off my bill (shout out my WIFE and my MUM who helped me put the incredible letter that did the job together), and un-suspend my phoneline. A week later I drop the thing in a canal at the culmination of a particularly ugly and saddening incident during my little brother's ill fated stag weekend. And no, I hadn't gotten round to insuring it yet. £500 of phone. Splash. Splunk. PAIN! And RAGE!

Now, in the second week of August, I've unlocked my old man's dinky little Xperia to my network, so you can call me again. It won't Instagram, and it won't Evernote, and if you wanna write on it you have to go through three letters like phones used to all those billions of years ago, but at least I won't be missing opportunities to play in Japan like I was last month (sad but true). And I have dumped a bunch of cash on Ebay to get that drown-ed HTC One X back, because it was an amazing machine that increased my work output massively. And yes, I will insure the thing. I get free insurance through my bank, anyway. Maybe you do. Have a look. Those evil fuckers have to be useful for something.

So, it's Tuesday already, and on Friday I will be travelling North to master the vibes at the Virgin Media Our House at V festival, with The Clash DJs. Shit's gonna be FUN. I have  camera crew with me as well, so if you can't make it you'll be able to see how we get down. Bubba, we get DOWN. Like goths in the 80s. Amen.

Speaking of old shit, look at this funny-ass Google thing that shows up when you search for me nowadays:

AHAHAHA. Google you crack me up. I'm independent AND on Interscope? I am evidently amazing. Thanks for telling the world.

Right, back to work. Making a song, then shooting a historic video with Mighty Tom Coles for a ZION song. Gonna be rampaging around Stratford, holla if you're around.

RIP Joe Kubert. I dreamed of attending his school when I was a little boy, and I could recreate his signature from memory. Uppercase G. Godspeed.

EDIT: Just after I posted this, the phone mysteriously rejected the sim card and refused to connect to the network. I came very close to throwing it out the window. What the hell is going on? Perhaps there is some great intergalactic disaster that would occur if I had a functioning mobile phone for more than haf an hour.

EDIT 2: Just after I posted that last edit it started working again. Someone, or something, is fucking with me.

EDIT 3: False alarm, I can make calls but not receive them. *throws phone out of window

ADVENT 3: Akira The Don - LONDON (NY version, 2005) ft. Lois Winstone

After spending yesterday drinking outrageous quantities of Sailor Jerry and Jagermeister at the Artrocker Awards, today's advent post comes a little late in the day, with a slightly sore head, but it is a beautiful thing regardless. Brothers and sisters! For the first time, it is my very distinct pleasure to present to you the legendary New York version of my celebrated song London!

This was the first version of London we recorded for my debut album When We Were Young, at The Shed in New York in 2005. This was co produced by myself and James Brown. Another, grander version, with Danny Saber, ended making the final cut of the album. This version is harsh and dark and ugly and rather industrial - James Brown had been working with Nine Inch Nails prior to When We Were Young, so the violent sonics are unsurprising.

London was either the second or the third song I wrote when I started writing whole songs by myself (music, words, everything) in 2003. It was composed around a loop of the drums from Gary Glitter's Rock N Roll Part II. I looked up the chords for that song on the internet, and played the notes on a little midi keyobard I got for £30 from Denmark Street. As I didn't understand the difference between a chord and single note at the time it came out sounding - to my frsytration at the time - not much like Rock N Roll Part II at all, which worked out pretty well in hindsight.

People often ask me if London is a true story and they are often surprised to find out that it is. I still feel bad about taking that TV as well.

Click the arrow on the Soundcloud to get your free download of this slice of history, and make sure you're back here tomorrow for ADVENT DAY 4!

HO HO HO!

PS - don't forget to check out a myriad of Swag Bags and Special offers in the ATD XMAS SHOP!

PPS - that photo was taken by Brother Saam Gabbay in LA in 2005.

Ridiculish

Damn, bubba. I've got a hot water bottle on my lap. Serious. Outside it's minus. But inside we gots the HEAT!

In the form of rap records.

(And a hot water bottle, obviously)

Damn, what a crazy week for retail rap music! Today, in Americaland, THE KANYE album dropped! The CURREN$Y album dropped! The YELAWOLF repackaged mixtape album dropped! The NICKI MINAJ album dropped!

And I have had my ears open. As I have mentioned elsewhere, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy is flipping brilliant on every level. It is bold. It is bad-ass. It has amazing, nigh-on ultimate Rap Drums throughout - the best of both New York AND Atlanta. Lyrically it's like someone cracked 'Ye's head open and all the crap inside sort of rolled out. It would not exist were dude's mother still alive. It would be a near-perfect album, were it not for the crap jokes on I'm So Appalled ("that'll be the same day MTV plays videos/Allah/prada/tada etc).

Trunk Music 0-60 is the major label debut from Doncast mainstay Yelawolf, who got picked up by my ole label Interscope after his brilliant Trunk Music mixtape took the rap world by str0m in January. And what we have here, many dollars later, is the same mixtape with some of the songs taken off and 5 new ones added. And the new ones are mainly rubbish, yet they (along with the worst skit I have heard in three years) take up the first half of the record, making for a truly queer display of reverse top loading.  So we shall have to pretend this didn't happen and wait with baited breath for the real album. And let's hope they do a better promo job next time - I only knew this record was out from a Raekwon tweet, and I'm a FAN, dammit. Sheee-it.

Pilot Talk 2, Curren$y's new set, is just as you'd expect: Spitta's hypnotic weed raps and caper stories over Ski Beatz' deeply musical production. If you like weed raps and deeply musical production you will love this record, if not you are missing out on one of life's great pleasures. Shout out dude for getting two dope albums out in a year.

I haven't listened to Nicki Minaj's record yet, as I didn't like any if the singles. I will, because as I have been saying for years, she is a great emcee - as evidenced by her LP-stealing performance on Monster - but what I now see coming out of the body of this text is less about The Music, and more about The Industry that shapes and feeds on it.

Kanye's LP is the result of a major label doing a good-ass job - providing the resources and the platform for an artist to make some grayte art. Yelawolf's record is an example of a very very BAD job from the major label. 12 months ago Yela had himself a universally adored mixtape called Trunk Music and a big-ass buzz. Now he has a half-assed album called Trunk Music and half the buzz. DOH. Meanwhile Curren$y, independent veteran of two major label deals, puts out his second album of the year and the people love it.

Actually, this wasn't more about The Industry at all. It's just that, as a professional and a geek, I can't not see all this stuff. I can't just like, hear a record, without immediately considering its creation, and the circumstances surrounding. I look forward to my mountain break.

But I can't have my mountain break until I have given you The Life Equation. And I can't give you The Life Equation until I've hired some people and got some videos canned. So I gots to make more money. The money-making's been going OK, thanks. Better than in a very long time, actually. I'm off to make some more now, actually. I'll be spending all day tomorrow on it as well. The Wacom is hot. I'm making some drawings.

Oh, we fixed some stuff on the site today. That was pretty sweet. More will be fixed later this week. I added some lyrics too. As you requested. I shall keep doing that. I could do it at 3am with the music as loud as it can go if I wanted to. Because I have no direct neighbours. And my girl is away. But I shan't because I am mildly depressed on my period, so I'll go to bed at a decent hour and get up early and go to the gym and come back and work hard and hopefully feel a bit better about everything. Hard work is one of the better cures I know of. It fixes pretty much everything.

Oh, and My Chemical Romance have a new album out TOO! Crazy! I just put it on and it is INSTANTLY AMAZING! They've even nicked half an Andrew W.K. riff! Huzzah! I hope it keeps it up, I've missed being able to listen to a My Chemical Romance album all the way through. The last one reminds me of Sadtimes, so I can't.

Rah though, you lot are lucky I can only play 4 chords, I'd have made a punk album by now.

Hmm, that gives me an idea.

Sweeeeet.

Lush

So I fell alseep on the sofa after 5, and was awakened gently by Super Phil at 6:20, and it transpired Bird left my bag with my passport in it at the venue last night. But Bird's got me another ID card, so we're outside waiting for Jeff to pick us up at 6:30. And at midday we're in LA, and soon after that we're in Interscope's offices,and I'm filling a bag with Nirvana, Guns N Roses, Gilbert And Sullivan, Dre, Peter Gabriel, Police and other such back catalogue. Jimmy Iovine has a signed letter from Tupac and a video console that won't switch on. And loads of ideas. A balcony. A lush view. LA is lush to look at, from these places of advantage. Like, later we visit Jeff and Trent's, and there's this fucking alien cat that loves me, and an incredible, incredible view, of this desolate wilderness spattered with money.

It was a lovely day.

But in the nighttime it is hard not to see that LA is awash with cunts. It is a sad and massive amount of cunts, and I am not sure whether it is sad because this is what the world did to them, or because this is what they do to the world, or because they are cunts, and you can see their faces rotting right in front of your eyes.