and songwriter Mike Skinner aka The Streets received accolades for his sophomore
album A Grand Don't Come for Free, dubbed the best album of 2004 in
Q magazine's list of the top 50 albums of the year. "A Grand Don't
Come for Free captured the country's mood in a way no one could have predicted,"
said Q Magazine representatives, according to BBC News UK Edition. "It
went from cult classic to bestseller in no time." The Top 50 list features
American acts as well, including Eminem, and is assembled by Q magazine, Britain's
best-selling serious music publication. Also on the list was British MC Dizzee
Rascal at number 12. The rapper has just launched a new label, The Beats. The
first signing is The Mitchell Brothers, both featured on the single "Blinded
By The Lights."
A group of South
African DJs and turntablists will perform in South Africa from Dec. 9 to 11,
with a stop in Botswana first on the line-up. The group's leader, Que Lebatha,
told the Botswana Press Agency (BOPA) they wanted to present Botswana with an
early Christmas celebration before they continue on their three-week tour to
different towns and cities in South Africa, including Mozambique and Swaziland.
The group will set the stage at Mc Ginty's on Dec. 9, then on to Urban Brew
on Dec. 10 and the Lizard Lounge on Dec. 11. According to Lebatha, the performances
will be a mixture of different genres and will feature an MC performance with
The Durban MC Battle of the Year champion, Raheem, along with a one-hour live
turntablist show judged by the audience. The tour includes renowned hip-hop
DJ Richard, the only certified Stanton Scratch trainer in South Africa and Cape
Town native DJ Kent, who perfected his scratching, beat-juggling and beat-cutting
techniques at a young age. Others include African East Coast radio DJ Papercut
and Obita, a Johannesburg MC, who won the 1997 Botswana Hip-Hop Bonanza.
Buck 65 aka Richard Terfry or Stinkin' Rich, will release his first major American
album through the American division of V2 Records on Jan. 25, 2005. The album
is a compilation of songs from Buck's previous Canadian releases, including
Vertex, Man Overboard and Talkin' Honky Blues. Buck
recently appeared in Chart Magazine's Sexiest Canadian Musicians issue and was
designated as the Hot Indie Rapper in Rolling Stone's annual Hot List this year.
Singer Roman Kalin
and guitarist Roman Kostyuk of Ukraine have produced a song, set to a hip-hop
beat, using slogans that protested the results of the controversial Nov. 21
presidential election in their native town Ivano-Frankivsk, in the Ukraine,
according to Reuters. "Our song came out on the second day of the revolution...we
have our own studio and we wrote and recorded it in four hours," Kostyuk
said. "The words were already written by the people, so we just had to
come up with the melody." The first verse of the popular song is taken
from slogans and banners displayed at presidential hopeful Viktor Yushchenko's
rallies. Protesters allege that Yushchenko was cheated by current Prime Minister
Victor Yanukovych and that poll results were manipulated. The Ukrainian Supreme
Court is expected to rule on the allegations today (Dec. 3), which have divided
the country in half. "We could not stay on the sidelines. Either you are
with the people or just sit at home and drink coffee," Kalin said. "We
played five nights in our own town and then we came here and have been here
ever since." The group also encouraged people outside of the Ukraine to
listen to the song, which is only available on the Internet.