A burst of hope and positivity here from The Four Owls, as they continue to deliver the gems from their latest album. Soulful boom bap and four accomplished rappers; what more do you want? Be Free is taken from Nocturnal Instinct, which is out now on High Focus. The video was made by This & That Media.
Another big track from The Four Owls and their third album, which saw its release last month. The album is home to a lot of notable features from America’s selection of heavyweight lyricists, as you can see from this latest single which features underground favourite, R.A. The Rugged Man. A slight switch up on the production too, as Leaf Dog knocks up a pacier beat for the proceedings, leading to some incredible flows from the assembled MCs. The retro arcade game style video was created by The Astroknight. Nocturnal Instinct is out now on High Focus.
To coincide with the release of their latest album, High Focus’s in-house supergroup have dropped another video from the project. Coming Home features some pacey, blues-tinged production from Leaf Dog, along with a nicely animated video from Mengyán Gém Gergő. The Owls’ third album, Nocturnal Instinct, is out now on High Focus.
The Four Owls release their long-awaited third album today and it stands as a testament to the success of High Focus, who reach their 10 year anniversary this year. There has never been an independent UK hip hop label that has achieved what HF have achieved since their inception in 2010, whether that’s in terms of impact, influence or breaking through the US barriers, Fliptrix, Molotov and all the artists involved have now built a brand that’s recognised across the globe. With this latest Four Owls venture, we are shown exactly how much clout they wield now, thanks to a string of features from some truly legendary US rappers, including Kool G Rap, R.A. The Rugged Man, Roc Marciano, and a SECOND collaboration with Preemo, something unheard of in itself on these shores. Production wise, Leaf seems as hungry as ever to continue to uphold his position as one of the UK’s best boom bap exporters, and he manages to keep the styles varied enough for it to not result in a head-nodding snooze fest. It’s basically the album that both the Owls and their fans deserve. A definite level up on the last album, but still peddling the same reliable brand of hip hop that has served them so well up to this point. You can hear the full thing for yourself below and there are plenty of other options available over at the High Focus shop. Continue reading “The Four Owls: Nocturnal Instinct (Stream)”
A fresh release to bless the start of your week, as Sonnyjim hits us with another new album, this time teaming up with UK boom bap aficionado, Illinformed. The Chemistry Must Be Respected sees its full release today and is comprised of the sort of luxurious monotone raps, which we’ve been accustomed to from the Brum native over the last few years, as well as that soul-laced nod-inducing production that Illinformed has down to a fine art, but with a definite Sonny flair as he joins on the assist. There is support too, with Sony hooking up a smooth verse from Hus Kingpin on Diamonds & Carrots, while Leaf Dog steps up to the plate on Golden Gates, and Jehst does a masterful turn on Zircon. The full thing can be heard below, with downloads available via Bandcamp. Continue reading “Sonnyjim x Illinformed: The Chemistry Must Be Respected (Stream)”
The Four Owls return with the latest single from their heavily anticipated third album, as the release date draws ever closer. Not content with one collaboration with Gang Starr legend, DJ Premier, now the avian quartet have teamed up with him once more for 100%. Classic Preemo production, with four blistering verses from the Owls, what more could you ask for? It’s a trip hearing him scratch up their names in the intro too. Nocturnal Instinct is out on 17 April on High Focus.
Fresh out today is the debut album from Manchester crew, Voodoo Black. I say crew, but the supergroup argument could also be valid, as they are made up of four already well established artists from the city. Consisting of MCs Sparkz, Ellis Meade and Dubbul O, as well as Cutterz on production, Voodoo Black have been making music together for years now, but this is their first full-length and it stands as the debut they deserve. Jazz is the dominant influence on the album and from the riffs of the titular opening track, to the punchy Jehst-assisted, Abracadamting, it’s the perfect backdrop for the lyrical styles on display, from four MCs who all possess a competency that puts them up there with the best the UK has to offer. As well as Jehst, there are some other choice features, including fellow Manny artist, LayFullStop, RLD favourite, Leaf Dog and street soul revivalist, EVABEE. You can hear the album for yourself below and there is also a new video for the title track, courtesy of Ellis Meade. Sitting At The Table is out now on Village Live. Continue reading “Voodoo Black: Sitting At The Table (Stream)”
As you are no doubt aware, we are moving ever closer to the arrival of the new album from The Four Owls and yesterday, High Focus leaked a bit more info about the project. Seemingly raising the bar across every level, the new album will include another heady line-up of features, including a fresh contribution from DJ Premier, as well as vocal support from Kool G Rap, Roc Marciano, Masta Killa, R.A. The Rugged Man and Smellington Piff. And speaking of Mr Piff, today we have been treated to the latest single from the album, Sound The Alarm, which features the man himself. The video was made by This & That Media. Nocturnal Instinct is due for release on 17 April.
Unless you’ve been comatose for the last year or so, you will no doubt be aware that The Four Owls are set to release their third album. The High Focus supergroup have gained critical acclaim for their first two albums and this latest offering looks set to garner even more praise. Honour Codes is the lead single from the album, featuring some very clean production from Leaf Dog, as well as a superbly animated video from Gary Motion. The album is due for release in the not too distant future, so stay tuned for more news on that coming soon. Honour Codes is available to stream now. Continue reading “The Four Owls: Honour Codes”
It’s been a few years since Leaf Dog released his last solo album, so it was nice to kick off 2020 with a new full-length from the RLD Records founder. Live From The Balrog Chamber is a prime example of how Leaf has managed to cultivate such a strong following over the years, thanks to his keen ear for soulful boom bap and his distinctive flows, which often stray into an almost singing-like tone. He also has an impressive reach for securing features, as was demonstrated with The Four Owls and DJ Premier collaboration a few years back. This new album carries on the tradition, as Leaf is joined by a bevy of underground legends, including Thirstin Howl III, Cella Dwellas, Havoc and The Last Emperor. Plus there are some guests from closer to home, with contributions from Smellington Piff and BVA. Weighing in at 18 tracks and with Leaf seemingly more on point than ever, both in terms of his production and his bars, Live From The Balrog Chamber is a fine addition to the RLD back catalogue and also a nice precursor for the new Four Owls album, which is due for release shortly. You can listen to the album in full below and physicals are available over at the RLD shop. Continue reading “Leaf Dog: Live From The Balrog Chamber (Stream)”