Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Quick Hitters:: Speech Debelle

With the Ack and I getting psyched up for our trip to Toronto this weekend for this year's Polaris Prize gala/hootenanny (Ack as juror, myself as his weed carrier/one man entourage), it only seemed right to send some cyber big-ups to the winner of the Mercury Prize, the UK equiv of the Polaris, Speech Debelle.

Now I'm far from the most qualified to comment on this, as I heard almost none of the albums nominated, but I always enjoy when an album like this wins an award like this. Mainly because it always sends the rap haters into a tizzy, but too often hip hop gets overlooked when matched up with white people mainstream music. I've only given the album a listen this morning for the first time, but it's full of honest, introspective lyrics delivered over interesting, jazzy production that mixes in some classic UK hip-hop sounds (garage/grime or whatever the current movement is called). Again, I'm certainly no expert on the UK music scene (and for that matter, outside of Edmonton rap, not on the Canadian scene either), but I do like this.

Now the Mercury has been around longer than the Polaris, so this gives me hope that at some point a hip hop album will win the Polaris (K'NAAN's album is solid, but I don't see him winning this year). I do think it's funny that one of the main complaint streams in the pre-Polaris chatter we've heard is how very white and male the past winners (and a bunch of this year's nominees) are. Well a black female rapper won the Mercury, and what kind of tweet-age did I see from the Canadian music types after it was announced? A resounding round of "Who?" and "I thought x or y should have won!". There's a lesson in that, and the lesson is that 50% of the merds will be unhappy no matter what you do. Something to think about, oh, and congrats to Speech Debelle.

MP3:: Speech Debelle - Better Days revox f. Wiley

MP3:: Pete Lawrie & Speech Debelle - (Black And Blue) That's How I Feel About You
MYSPACE:: www.myspace.com/speechdebellemusic

VIDEO:: Speech Debelle - The Key

VIDEO:: Speech Debelle - The Key

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Posted at 12:27 PM by naedoo :: 1 comments

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