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.

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.

LONDON RAP SCENE –  SMURF , L’NINO & ABILITYMC

LONDON RAP SCENE – SMURF , L’NINO & ABILITYMC

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The London urban music scene never fails to disappoint for constantly creating new promising acts set to be the next Wretch 32 or Miss Dynamite.  This week we’ve found 3 artists showing potential and what it takes to crack into the mainstream.  Every day we’re sent links to mixtapes or videos from Londoners thinking they’re the next Tupac.  Here are our 3 diamonds in the rough:

First up, L’Nino with ‘B.I.G’.  If you can get over the unneccessary over usage of the F word in the chorus (not the best move if you want to get airplay) – the video production and L’Nino’s rapping is actually pretty good; less grimey and more West Coast; shows L’Nino’s massive rapping potential as a UK artist – could definitely see him collaborating with a US rapper.

Next up is West London’s AbilityMc (TWITTER @AbilityMc1 ) , 18. We can’t get enough of his tune ‘Zone Out with Me’. We love how AbilityMc has kept it real with his West London accent shining through his lyrics. This one is chilled with a capital C. Saweet.

Last but not least, my absolute favourite right now – Smurf (twitter @SmurfUK) with his new video ‘I Ain’t Havin’ It’.  The Link Up Tv video is the money, styling is spot on and Smurf can spit like many can only dream; plus he looks good doing it and he makes it look effortless.  The only thing worth critising is the name – SMURF – surely there must be story behing that?  You can get his free download by clicking here

Smurf’s even done a Popcaan cover.  Nice. Enjoy ‘Party Shot‘ London style: