My man Tomas Stewart has never really
been away, but he has certainly been keeping it real on a local level for a
while now. He is one of the original founders of the Low Life Records label and
since then has continued with the BTI moniker and continued his role as a mentor
for everyone involved in Hip Hop in the Leeds area. For a while now he has been
working with various protégés, imparting much of his musical knowledge and has
developed a tight knit crew under the Nice Things Music banner. Already a couple
of CD-Rs deep the wax is now dropping and generally the game is now being
stepped up. I have received a demo CD showcasing some of the material available
from the label right now.
To start off BTI gets busy over the Crazy In Love beat for Crazy In Leeds which
is the A side of the current 12". It is a re-vocal of Beyonce's Crazy in
Love and features a marathon line up of Leeds spitters. In turn B.T.I., J-Bravo,
Phophecy, Chamberz, Alterain, Agent M and Danger grab the mic to demonstrate
their skills. This should definitely go down well in West Yorkshire with all the
local references and should leave no doubt in the minds of any listener that
these guys mean business. The second track is true BTI style. The music is
evocative and the arrangement is well conceived. The whole track is based around
just the 'Forever' word from the Diamonds Are Forever sound track I believe.
Tomas breaks down how he has been doing this for years and demonstrates what a
track sounds like when all the elements fall in to place. However, this is no
accident, just look through his past productions and you can see that he
produces uality like this time and again.
Tomas next lines up a super smooth instrumental that just needs a vocal to be a
complete track. You know Tom has discs full of these and it is nice for one to
get an airing rather than just going mouldy in his disc box. Track 4 is the
other re-vocal that appears on the B side of the current 12". It is a real
hectic affair over Joe Budden's biggest track to date. Tearin' Up Buddens features B.T.I.,
J-Bravo, Masta C, D.Bizzy and Kocky K in order. There are some proper heavy
flows displayed on here and as with so many of the UK remakes of US tracks I'm
definately feeling this more than the original.
I'm not sure of the title of this track, but it features what is potentially
going to be the next group release from Invizible Circle, so this one's an
exclusive. On the vocals Junkyard Tactics spit some serious lyrics to make you
open your eye to the social situations these guys find themselves in, touching
on problems with the national curriculum, CCTV and a whole host of other topics.
The backing track has a reggae vibe and a proper Ska type loping swing and
heartfelt chorus', the last word inspiring kids to break free of societies
gravity that hold them down.
Finally on the demo CD is Eventually. They describe their music as 'something that sounds familiar, even though you've never heard it feel this good.' Vocalist Shara has a distinct voice and can compliment many musical styles.
This musical style is one that TD has been able to flip out with ease. In fact
he excels at this type of lazy RnB with funkified bass, although he has been
producing like this for years it still sounds futuristic, and he'll have some
big name producers scratching their heads considering the home set up being used
here. Unusually TD doesn't really drop his liquid rap flow, just adds to the
chorus and of course his production skills.
The duo have already had a great reaction from their presence at 2002's In The City music convention in Manchester. They say that it was their 'powerful vocals, tuff basslines and adictive chorus hooks' that got people interested. Overall
I'm feeling the whole CD and can see that this whole crew has a lot to offer,
they just need to be getting out there and making more people pay attention to