London-based MC and producer Baron Samedi (pronounced Bah-ron Sah-meh-dee) first picked up a pen and a sampler over ten years ago and since then has been grinding away crafting his art and slowly building a rep through the release of several well-received street albums and mix-tapes, both as a solo artist and as one half of Undercurrent with fellow MC Lixx, beginning with the self-produced 2002 Undercurrent concept album Sons Of Celluloid, and quickly followed in 2003 by debut solo album Spit Happens: The Musical, which is still rated as one of the most original and best underground UK hip hop releases ever by many fans.
In 2004 Baron began an association with Leicester-based label Main Rock Records, which led to the release of the Theme Music 12", the critically-acclaimed Undercurrent EP Pirate Radio, and his sophomore solo album Ripping Yarns within a 2 year period, resulting in coverage in Hip Hop Connection, Undercover, DJ Mag, and Blues And Soul, as well as airplay on Steve Lamacq's Radio 1 show. Two more street mixtapes followed, 2006's Animal Rites and the 2008 Undercurrent mixtape Crisis Talks, whilst Baron remained holed up in the lab perfecting his style. Most recently, he has fully produced fellow London MC Grit Grammar's debut album, Life Music, and the first single off it, Hard Times, featuring Genesis Elijah, was Radio 1xtra's Introducing track of the week, as well as featuring on Radio 6's Introducing show, whilst the follow-up single, Life Is, featuring Kyza and Dani Appadoo, has received daytime support on 1xtra from both Viz and Max.
Now, 2011 sees the long-awaited release of Baron Samedi's new solo album, Wanderland. Entirely self-produced, and not reliant on a glut of guest appearances for impact, Wanderland is a modern tour-de-force of thoughtful, original hip hop standing alone in a sea of formulaic music. From the opening prog-rock stylings of Prelude, through the future-funk stutter of Wanderland and Crooked House, past the soulful melodies of Better Days and Airport Lounges, all the way to the laconic ode to London which is The Valley, Wanderland is an album which sounds unlike any of its peers, either musically or lyrically, and shines through because of it. Baron Samedi - the future begins here.
DJ Q-Bert's fine art collaboration with W.A.I.L. (When Art Imitates Life)
On February 19th, DJ Q-Bert's first foray into fine art was released exclusively through When Art Imitates Life(W.A.I.L.), the art imprint spearheaded by Sway Calloway of MTV and King Tech of the World Famous Wake Up Show. The deejay known to many as 'the Jimi Hendrix of turntables' pays homage to the album art for Hendrix's 1967 Axis: Bold As Love, and sprinkles 50 hidden elements throughout the piece reflecing his life, interests and career, making it a work that reveals itself through multiple viewings. When asked about similarities between himself and Hendrix, Q says "we're both so free, and we express animal instincts when playing our musical instruments."
Two editions of the 250 pieces exist in this limited run of 60" x 25" canvases - Chromeo, boasting a metallic, hard-edged color pallette; and Spectrum, which stays true to the original Hendrix color format. Every piece is numbered and signed by Q-Bert, making each a one-of-a-kind collectible. Additionally, each bears a unique set of Q-Bert's handprints in acrylic paint atop the design. "Diskstroyer is a spiritual representation of how order can be created out of chaos," says Q. "It all falls within the title of the piece. Sometimes you have to destroy something to create something beautiful."
WAIL was founded in 2010 by King Tech of the World Famous Wake Up Show and MTV’s Sway Calloway in conjunction with notorious L.A. creativity house SceneFour.