Back in 2010 the Heroes Of UK Hip Hop website in conjunction with Discoscratch and Ageing B-Boys Unite put on a Christmas Jam called ‘3 The Hard Way’. It was basically a party where like minded hip hop heads got together to celebrate the music we all love. One of the performers on the night was Whirlwind D performing as his old crew from the early 90’s ‘Solid ‘N’ Mind’ and I believe it was the first time he had performed on stage since that time (I may have my calculations wrong)? However, it was a superb performance and since that moment he has gone on to put out a number of releases as well as supporting acts like Public Enemy, Wu Tang and Main Source to name a few.
One thing I always like about Whirlwind D releases is that they are always done properly, by this I mean, you don’t just get a track and a generic sleeve, you get 2, 3 or 4 tracks as well as instrumentals and acapellas and on top of that a full blown full colour sleeve (working in the print trade I always love anything like this), massive shout out to B-Line Recordings for quality releases. ‘Beats, Bits And Bobs‘ is no exception, again we have a fantastic cover, brilliantly designed by digitalDyer with images of classic flyers and posters in a record shop window…nice.
So onto the music, the first track on the EP is called ‘Labels‘ and is a nod to the all the record labels that played a big part in Whirlwind D’s life over the years. Not many people could write a track like this, Whirlwind D’s history in the hip hop scene is immense and his knowledge of hip hop is impressive to say the least and that’s what makes ‘Labels’ such a good track. “The story of rap labels and how they seduce” is a line that takes us into the hook and it is so fitting because I’m guessing that the audience Whirlwind D is aiming for can relate to it, so many of us got seduced by the likes of Def Jam, Street Sounds, Sugar Hill, Music Of Life etc. Vocal delivery is once again, faultless, clear, on point and lyrically superb over a brilliant funky beat produced by Djar One and accompanied by Specifik on the cuts. ‘Labels’ is a top track that will definitely appeal to older generation of hip hop fans due to it’s lyrical content, but, it wouldn’t hurt the younger generation to get a hold of it and take in some of the history that speaks volumes on a record. There is also a quality video on YouTube to accompany this track. Where would hip hop be today without record labels taking a risk back on the day?
Next up it’s ‘Reap The Whirlwind‘ a full on battle track (could it be anything else with a title like that), top production and heavy guitar courtesy of Phil Wilks with DJ Tones this time on the cuts. To be honest this beat couldn’t be more perfect for a battle track, it is so angry and Whirlwind D delivers quality lines that fit it superb, love it.
Remember the brilliant ‘Run Fast’ on the Nomansland album produced by Mr Fantastic, well, the third track on this EP is the ‘Run Fast (Remix)‘ produced by Miracle (Miracle And Deeflux). This is something different and on first listen I wasn’t sure about it, I’m not a great fan of offbeat and that’s what this is, but, the more I have listened to it, the more I have taken to it. Again, Whirlwind D’s delivery is superb as is Phill Most Chill’s who accompanies him on the track, cuts are again superbly provided by Mr Fantastic. Whirlwind D has definitely gone for something different with this and on first listen I wasn’t too sure, but it definitely grows on you.
If I thought the ‘Run Fast Remix’ was different I definitely wasn’t expecting what came after it. When ‘Radioactive Bass‘ kicked in I was initially shocked, but then transported back to the early Street Sounds Electro days. This, for me, is a touch of genius, I first listened to the EP without reading the descriptions on the back of the sleeve, but, on the sleeve Whirlwind D explains how this track was originally created for an Electro album that eventually got shelved. This will not be to everyone’s taste, but, personally, I love it and appreciate exactly what it is trying to achieve. Who knew Whirlwind D could compete with Egyptian Lover on the vocals, absolutely brilliant “Lights in the sky dance to beats, B-Boys Throw Down in Streets”, “Welcome to the new underground”…love it.
Overall ‘Beats, Bits and Bobs‘ is superb, it is Whirlwind D experimenting with different styles and it pays off, definitely one for the old school heads to appreciate. B-Line Recordings again releasing quality material with class and style, TOP EFFORT and TOP STUFF.
Beats, Bits And Bobs has now sold out at B-Line Recordings but there are still copies available at other sources.