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Mark B & Blade

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London, United Kingdom

Producer Mark B and MC Blade hail from South London, UK. Their debut, The Unknown is a concept album (without arty pretensions) aiming to celebrate home-grown hip-hop.

Conceived as a call to arms, Mark B and Blade’s collaboration deserve plaudits outside US comparison. Alongside, Big Dada’s Gamma they have mounted a rap attack on hip-hop’s dumbed-down status quo with an album that is lyrically and sonically superb. Although the subject matter may be monotonous for most (the under-appreciation of UK hip-hop), the delivery certainly is not.

Though elderly (in UK hip-hop terms), Blade’s baritone breath control is timeless. He rhymes with a furrowed brow straight across battle-scarred lines, assaulting conformists on “From The Wordlab” or criticising the music industry’s predilection for fads on “Ya Don’t See The Signs”.

The ever-prolific Mark B profits from eccentricity; for him all music from Polish folk music to Elmer Bernstein-style brass is relevant. His desire to search and utilise the ultimate but strangest breaks marks him out as an innovative talent who can produce world-class state of the art hip-hop.

Listening to their signature tunes, The Unknown is an affirmation of this: Blade is the everyman tripped up by life’s ups and downs, chasing his demons and flitting in and out of reveries. Instead of providing a melody that stinks of dank basement isolation in the manner of such arch-miserabilists as Company Flow, Mark B provides a tidal wave of sublime funk and choppy beats and he does it over and over again. The Unknown is a great album that proves (again) that quality UK hip-hop is not a contradiction in terms.

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  • spincat

    So sinfully underrated.

    12 Mar 2011 Reply
  • brownieboy

    One of the best UK hip hop albums... Get it indeed. £21.99 ?? that's just bad bad bad. I must of paid acouple of £'s off ebay

    25 Nov 2009 Reply
  • sykotikdude

    crackin album !!!!!!! just found it minidisc forgot i had it...:D if you dont have it GET IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    27 Mar 2009 Reply
  • manimouse

    £21.99!! ouch, worth it though.

    25 Feb 2009 Reply
  • Haggy83

    Great album, but my copy has been scratched to an unplayable state just looked on amazon and it's £21.99!!!

    18 Jan 2009 Reply
  • brownieboy

    Yeah very good release. Even the guitar version of 'ya don't see the signs' is not bad at all!

    20 Sep 2008 Reply
  • Age2003

    I love The Unknown. It's a great album.

    26 Sep 2007 Reply
  • CocoaDusted

    tom: just thank the government brain-washing devices for keeping conspiracy theory out of the music. :)

    6 Jul 2007 Reply
  • Rick0507

    you're my no. 1

    2 Sep 2006 Reply

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