The Base – Sons of Yusuf

The Base – Sons of Yusuf

Sons of Yusuf – aka Ya’Koob and Humble Abdul – have just released this new video for “Now is the time”. The Kuwaiti rappers, who previously released their own tongue in cheek covers of existing hip hop songs seem to have found their niche.

After the Gulf War, Ya’koob and his younger brother, Abdul’Rahman (aka Humble Abdul) moved with their family to Los Angeles, California, where they grew up. Their biggest influence was their father Yusuf Al Refaie, who took them as kids to many studios where they would always be around musicians. They were mostly surrounded by Jazz & Reggae music. While in school they were both encouraged to pick up instruments such as the drums, trombone, and saxophone. Eventually this led them to writing their own music and poetry. As Arabs growing up in California, Ya’koob and Humble Abdul were introduced to Hip Hop culture and expressed themselves through their freestyles and creative lyrics. They were able to introduce people to Arabic & Islamic culture in the streets of LA. Whether humorous or political, they always knew how to capture people’s attention and alter stereotypes. Coming back to their birth place, both brothers were hungry for knowledge about their own people and tradition. Growing up with a musical background, they began conveying their experiences and inspirations through art and music.

Ya’koob was born on May 22nd 1987 Kuwait City, Kuwait. At age 14, he signed with record label “Alien Records” and was also known as Phelony. He released the first official Hip Hop album in the Middle East entitled “Reprezentin’” as a member of the first signed Hip Hop group in the Middle East, “Army Of One”. The album sold out all over the Middle East and pushed hip hop culture there more than ever.  He looks a bit like Pitbull and sounds remarkably similar to Macklemore.

Influenced by the late great producer J Dilla, Ya’koob then started making his own beats at age 16. He also teamed up with sound engineer Mike Chav (who worked with J Dilla) to originally start making beats for artists like Erykah Badu & Jay Electronica. That’s when Jay Electronica suggested the name “The Base” to try to change people’s perspectives about Arabs and Muslims.

In 2009, Ya’koob’s music scored in a short film on HBO called, ”The Hand Off”, directed by Joslyn Rose Lyon. He worked together with Mike Chav and producer Amp Fiddler, both from Detroit, Michigan. Since then he has been producing different genres of music and working with artists and musicians from different regions.

People who heard music from Ya’koob or his brother, Abdul, always wanted to hear more. Humble Abdul was born in Kuwait on November 19th 1989, right before the Gulf War. Inspired by his older brother, he started listening to Hip Hop at the age of 6 and began freestyling and writing his own lyrics at around 14. After surviving a car accident at the age of 17, Humble Abdul was inspired to write poetry and share some of his thoughts. He decided to enter an American Poetry Slam competition for the first time to intentionally spread a message. His ideas about Islam and the crises in the world and Middle East shocked the judges and audience and consequently led him to win first place. His biggest influences are by artists like, Bob Marley, Yasiin Bey, Ya’koob and more.

Both brothers established a big fan base in the region. Ya’koob regained inspiration as Abdul decided to take a step further and they collaborated with a new sound to music. They began to work together as brothers and started creating a radical movement in hip hop. On 12/12/12, they dropped their first mixtape as Sons Of Yusuf entitled, “2 Of Arabia’s Most Wanted” (Free Download link available on “Music” page).

Sons Of Yusuf are currently working on new projects and productions featuring artists like Mike Chav, Bilal Salaam and Shafiq Husayn.

// NEW // from Flowntrees North London @flowNtreesmusic

// NEW // from Flowntrees North London @flowNtreesmusic


You may remember one of our favourite up and coming acts from North London we wrote about FlowNtrees (if you missed the post read it here ).  We checked in with them recently to find out what’s new.  Well a couple of days ago Flowntrees released a NEW Single from SCRAPJONES new mixtape Called MY TIME.  Have a watch below:

To be honest we didnt think it compared to some of their original tunes.  It has a much more aggressive street rap vibe and has lost that sweet chilled vibe the boys are famous for.  Maybe thats because Gats doesnt feature on this tune?  We’re not sure why the boys seem to be focusing on single projects – a management decision perhaps?  Anyhow .. Gats has his own single out too.  Theres a lot of echo on that mic, but his voice hasn’t lost that nate dogg meets snoop sound.  Here’s ‘Oogie Boogie

Without leaving anyone else, Tizzle Kazim also has his own single ‘Lizzy‘.  Kazim can definately handle his own – a rapper in his own right.

We love these guys, but we think their sound is sweetest when they are rocking together. Here’s ‘Old School‘ Cant wait to see what they work on, collaboratively, next.

Rihanna “Pour it up” – Who can compete?  Ladies – any takers??

Rihanna “Pour it up” – Who can compete? Ladies – any takers??

Rihanna‘s video for “Pour it Up” was released this week.  This video features Rihanna and a shit load of pole dancers, twerking around in a dark swimming pool whilst she sits up on her throne throwing dollar bills into the dark water…  The purpose of the video is basically for Rihanna to demonstrate that she looks amazing, is loaded, and will continue to do what it takes to try and shock.  After last weeks video for Mike WiLL Made-It “23″ ft. Miley Cyrus, Wiz Khalifa & Juicy J and Britney Spears new one “Work Bitch” it seems the trend is to strip and shock.  I think this video might even make the likes of Miley insecure….

// NEW VIDEO //  Drake – Hold On, We’re Going Home ft. Majid Jordan

// NEW VIDEO // Drake – Hold On, We’re Going Home ft. Majid Jordan

Awesome new video out for Drake‘s ‘Hold On, We’re Going Home ft. Majid Jordan’ directed by Bill Pope.  This video features cameo appearances from Fredo Santana, Steven Bauer, Johnny Simmons, Majid Jordan and A$AP Rocky among others.  It’s a Miami 1980s style “The bad guy stole the girl” feature film and suprise suprise, Drizzy is the hero that saves her!  I know you’ll all be asking who the model is, her name is Ashley Moore (Justin Beibers girl).  Loving the quote “Make it hard to spot the general, by working like a soldier”ashley

Mike WiLL Made-It “23” ft. Miley Cyrus, Wiz Khalifa & Juicy J

As Miley’s number 1 hater – Im seriously blown away by this new tune. Miley done good. Seriously bored with the twerking and then ‘Wrecking ball’, this tune has come out of the blue. Miley made the right decision hooking up with Mike WiLL Made It (both at work and in the bedroom) cause she suits the hip hop scene. Her rapping reminds us a little of Kreayshawn‘s Debbie cakes – whiny trailer trash – but it works well with Wiz, Juicy J and Mike WiLL Made It. Miley looks more like a boss and less like a desperate loser in this one. Sadly the tongue does make an appearance….

The video is dedicated to Basketball’s greatest – Michael Jordan – aka #23.

Tinie Tempah ft 2 Chainz – Trampoline – “Thank God its Friday”

Tinie Tempah ft 2 Chainz – Trampoline – “Thank God its Friday”

trampoline Tinie Tempah

Our favourite man of the moment, Diplo, has produced a track for Tinie Tempah called ‘Trampoline’.  The track also features American rapper 2 Chainz.  ‘Trampoline’ will be released on August 4th and is the first single from Tempahs second album, entitled ‘Demonstration’.  The album should be dropping in September.  Enjoy..its Friday!

Justin Timberlake – Tunnel Vision – if in doubt throw in the naked ladies

Justin Timberlake – Tunnel Vision – if in doubt throw in the naked ladies

tunnel vision justin timberlake

It’s pretty sad that this year we’ve seen major desperation when it comes to chart success.  Established artists are no longer confident to rely on their musical talent – oh no – apparently we need full on naked females girating around on the videos to create a buzz.  First off we have Robin Thicke and Pharell with ‘Blurred Lines’ and now ageing Justin Timberlake is taking a leaf out of their book with ‘Tunnel Vision’.  Is Justin incapable of producing a record without Timberland there to hold his hand?? #justsaying


The song itself, Tunnel Vision, has the same old formula that all Timberlake songs have: fast/slightly manic background beat, some fast lyrics from JT with a melodic chorus layered over the top – and ofcourse random input from rapper Timberland in the distant background.  The song isnt anything special; the best thing about it is the atmospheric synthesizer / organ used in the intro and throughout – definately adds a uniqueness to the track.  The video is trying to be too arty in a failed cover up at using fully waxed naked models to project JT’s face onto.  I think its time to throw in the towel if the only way you get noticed as an artist is to make your vids visually explicit like this – dont you?

Introducing Phoenix Martins – Heart Strings

Introducing Phoenix Martins – Heart Strings


Phoenix Martins has just released the video for her debut single ‘Heart Strings’.  The visuals are a beautiful urban glowing nightscene with Martins taking a stroll with a red flare while she sings her floaty dreamlike new tune in her unique style; one we would describe as Lana Del Ray meets Kate Bush with a cool hipster East London vibe.  Its a stunning video that fits with the song perfectly and doesn’t distract from her amazing vocals.

The British-Nigerian singer/songwriter Phoenix Martins is set to release her debut single ‘Heartstrings’ on 24th June 2013. She has worked with an array of artists in the studio and on the road including The Noisettes, Fife Dangerfield and Ebony Bones and has featured as part of Damon Albarn’s Africa Express cross-cultural collaborations project.

The singer has also been supported by the likes of The Line Of Best Fit, Wonderland, Afropunk, Earmilk etc.  The new video is ensuring Phoenix Martins gets the press attention she deserves and this week was premiered on MTV’s The Wrap Up.

Facebook: Phoenix Martins Official

Twitter: @phoenixmartins

With credits to:
Photography: Phillip Suddick

Styling: Shopfloorwhore

MUA: Sherin Adams

Phoenix Martins will be performing with INK at Servant Jazz Quarters, Dalston, London on 25th June 2013, you can also see Phoenix at the following live events:
26th June – Notting Hill Arts Club
2nd July – The Vibe Bar
24th July – Strongroom


Awesome video showing ‘behind the scenes’ of the making of the Major Lazer video for ‘Bumaye’.

“The Major Lazer crew set out to Kingston, Jamaica in January, to shoot the official music video for their latest single, “Watch Out For This (Bumaye)” of their new album “Free The Universe”. This is a behind the scenes look at how it all went down.

Purchase “Watch Out for This (Bumaye)” and Get Free The Universe on iTunes now:

Shot by Damien Baddy
Edited by Neo Fresco ”

Check Diplo getting his hair styled for the vid and the cutest Major Lazer fan in the world 🙂