Throughout August 2017, TheRootMusic is celebrating hip-hop and grime scene in the North East of England as part of ‘Local Music Month.’ As part of this we have contacted a range of artists, DJs, and other behind-the-scenes individuals to ‘Pass The Aux’ and express some of their personal favourite music releases.
90BRO is something of a Pass The Aux veteran having completed a month of hour long radio shows on Spark. As one of the most notorious fans of North East artists, I imagine it was hard for the New North East member to narrow his selection down to 12. An artist in his own right and a DJ at a plethora of local events, 90BRO decided for his Pass The Aux to rank the track he is spotlighting.
12. Ken Masters – Wonderbars
Pure lyrical exhibitionism. It’s stupidly fantastic. The video is a treat as well. This is a go to track for me when introducing people to North East hip-hop.
11. Indigo Children – Synaesthesia
The whole of ‘Done With Silence’ is a concise project that is conceptually broad. With cerebral flows and penetrating percussion. ‘Synaesthesia is exemplary hip-hop craft.
10. Tuckage & Raza – Hard Times
“Hard Times or the Fucking Truth” became a man.tra for us. Two contrasting Sunderland grime flows back to back. Raza’s double time on this was exhilarating. This track proves music really is “Much better than any drug.”
10. Reali-T – How To Rob…North East
“How does it feel to be robbed in the north east?” I remember him pitching the idea to me, I was not expecting him see it through (we bounce a lot of crazy ideas). I certainly didn’t expect the reception it got. The Jist-er punchline is my favourite worst/best bar ever.
8. Vino – Rat Race
This is for the dreamers, poetic storytelling. There’s a lot of soulful gems in North East hip-hop. The struggle is often written into the subtext. You don’t get much more soulful than Vino.
7. Sutherland, Tuckage, Listaa, 6Sick6 & Rex Regis – No Lives Matter
“Boom, two shots to the head, two shots to the chest…” I heard an introspective side of Rex I wouldn’t hear more of until ‘The Third.’ This track is unapologetically ambitious and owns it and for just cause.
6. Jister & TLR – Super Ridiculous
I remember listening to ‘Absurdism’ and reconsidering everything I’d ever done. Jister’s content is endlessly inquisitive. The almost apathetic delivery of the final line makes it for me. It takes craft to be catchy, compelling and lyrical. It’s where Jister lives and breathes.
5. H-Man – Stoner Tool
The year after ‘Absurdism’ dropped. ‘ScotcHy-Wood’ was unleashed. The Schizophrenic opener in particular in an illustration of H’s indelible lyrical ability to astound and also paint pictures (pun intended). It was a huge catalyst towards me making ‘Mediocrazy’ and saw me through a very rough summer. It changed my approach to making music.
4. One 10%, 90BRO & Raza – Vaux Tales
I don’t care if I’m on it, it’s the best song I’ve ever done. NEA, NNE and beyond. Three generations of Mackems on one track. Don’t think this track will ever age. It simply is.
3. Listaa – wTw
Listaa has always been a natural rapper, freestyling and performing; but I didn’t appreciate the depth of his lyricism until ‘Sense of Direction.’ ‘wTw’ is a lucid dream of a track. I maintain that the 2nd vers eis one of the best I’ve heard from N.E.H.H.
2. Tehuti Gold – T.R.A The Revolutionarys Anthem
A Hylton Castle Kid who wasn’t “old enough to get served a drink, but old enough to join the army” recorded a track in his Nana’s loft. More than the scope of what Tehuti speaks about is the fearless optimism and earnest delivery. I was sold on the movement, unity, positive music, higher consciousness, collective evolution. This was the birth of the New North era.
1. HB – Old Friends
One of the honest to god anthems we have. Both H and B were known outside of Scotswood and Ashington but on this track their flows became legendary. Fans of rap, grime and trap appreciated this track. Since then HB have been instrumental in bridging the gap.