Wednesday, 30 December 2009

DOPE Photographers

and no, I don't mean the type of sadsack who takes pictures of weed and posts them up everywhere.

Here's two photographers who I know who are AMAZING. One now resides in Australia, one still in East Anglia, UK.

1. Sam Barker

This is him.

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Sam does pictures of people, landscapes and all inbetween. His composition is amazing, and the colours in his pictures are vibrant and uniformly superb. He also did a load of the photography for Rapsploitation Sessions. He's now based in the land down under. Here's some of his recent pics from his blogspot.

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And, of course, he did THIS little beauty which is currently pride of place framed in the Jones Family dining room. (That's Akil from Jurassic 5, with a dashingly handsome and talented DJ in the background.)

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In his own words, "I take photographs of things I like & find interesting. If you like what I do, thankyou. If you don't like what I do, thankyou too." He also had an exhibition at Jones Family favourite shop Black Sheep at the Raplowtation event I mentioned on here before.

Check out his work here.
Sam Barker's Blog

2. Jen O'Neill

Jen takes amazing pics of bands and musicians, either in performance or for promo pics, amongst other things.

This is her.

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She is DOPE, her pictures really catch the energy and mood of whatever or whoever she's taking pictures of. She's had her work in The Sun, the Eevening Star, on BBC Look East, the BBC website and the Grapevine, among others, and had a great exhibition at Jones Family regular haunt The Swan in Ipswich (also home to the internationally reknowned Rapsploitation Sessions). Check these pics out.

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Jen specialises in "Live Music photography, Events and Functions, Natural Images and Landscapes," and has had recommendations from US ska-punk band Less Than Jake, Franz Ferdinand, Go Records and the BBC. Go Jen!

Check out her work here.
Jen O'Neill's Website

Both of them are talented as all hell! To be honest, I'm expecting big things from them in the future... well, bigger than their considerable portfolios so far! If you're needing photographers, then give them a shout on their websites. POW.

Massive props to both of them - support the local talent!

Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Mys-Diggy's 09 Rap Up

I've been posting a lot of video clips recently, and I don't really want to post another one, but this is MASSIVELY worth it so here you go.

With Skillz's annual Rap Ups now part of the end of December the same as end of year lists on the net, the legendary Mystro has done his own one. And, to be honest, I'm feeling this more than the Skillz one (that dropped earlier today).

* * * * * * * * * *

Patronisation Corner:
For the uninitiated who DON'T listen to rap all day and have no idea what this all means -
the Rap Ups are an annual release, basically putting the notable events of the year into one long rap verse.
*steps down from Patronising Podium*

* * * * * * * * * *

Check it out. PROPS MYS!

Monday, 28 December 2009

Souls Of Mischief ruffle some feathers... Soulja Boy catches feelings

From those kindly folk over at SoulCultureTV, here's a recent Souls Of Mischief interview about that old chesnut.... the G.R.O.A.T. (Greatest Rapper Of All Time for those who aren't used to the use of acronyms)

Now, I don't agree that Jay-Z has bought nothing new to hip hop, but each to their own.



The interesting part to this saga is that apparently "SouljaBoy" posted up some comments underneath this video pretty soon after it was posted up. Then he decided to take them down. What were they? Well....

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Hmmm. This isn't the first time Soulja Boy (if it was actually him) has slated an established hip hop act. Let us not forget the Ice-T debacle from last year. *sigh, shake head*

Anyway, just for you lucky people, here's a treat from the vaults - one of the Souls Of Mischief demos that never made it onto 93 Til Infinity, mainly due to sample clearance issues.
Note: compare this with ANYTHING that Soulja Boy has ever done in his life.
....I rest my case.

Cabfare (version 1)
Download

Cabfare (version 2)
Souls of Mischief - Cab Fare .mp3
Found at bee mp3 search engine

Friday, 25 December 2009

It's Christmas!

Beat Street



My Favourite Christmas Record Ever



Another Run DMC Christmas Track



Smokey Robinson - a GOD amongst men



MARVIN!



MARVIN!



JB. Rest In Peace Soul Brother.





SO OPEN YOUR EYES, LEND US AN EAR, WE'D LIKE TO SAY MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Thursday, 24 December 2009

Happy Christmas

Here's something to give you festive cheer. Big up to Smiff at UKHH for the link.

Happy Christmas.

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

How To (re)Make Smack My B1tch Up by The Prodigy

Wow. I don't know who this dude is, but he has NAILED this. Apart from a couple of tweaks he put in himself, and the singing at the end. Before you check out the remake, here's the OG Prodigy version to jog your memory of the intricacies of the track.



And NOW..... *drumroll*

Here's the remade version by Jim Pavloff.



WHOAH. That is some MAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAD shit. Damn!

Check out Jim's (Dmitry's) myspace here.

Black Sheep Christmas Party

Further to my last post on BlackSheep, a DOPE shop in Ipswich where I occasionally hang out and bother whoever's working, I got a thing in my inbox a couple of days back but cos I don't check myspace regularly I only just got it. Anyway, thought I'd give em a bit of promo, it's a great shop and they're good to me in there.

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It’s the BLACKSHEEP XMAS PARTY, and you’re invited!
With special guest DJs:
JON KENNEDY(Organik Recordings, Bristol)
Ben Marr (Ipi Massive)
Pfunk (FPT Crew, Hungary)
playing the best in funk, hiphop and original grooves!
Sunday 27th December
6–10 PM
PJ McGintys
Free!
Come early!
Festive Nibbles!
Blacksheep X-mas Raffle!
Please ask in shop for details or email us at: info@WeAreBlacksheep.net
Ipswich, 3 St Stephens Lane, IP1 1DP, +44 (0)1473 219833

POW! Get yourselves down there, you heard the man.

Friday, 18 December 2009

Classic Blaxploitation 1 - Blacula

This is the first in an occasional series of write-ups about classic Blaxploitation movies. I used to write for a 70s and 80s website a couple of years back, and these are reviews that got posted up there. They're great websites, by the way, you can find them here and here.

Anyway, here's classic Blaxploitation movie number 1: BLACULA.

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PLOT

Transylvania, 1780.
African Prince Mamuwalde (William Marshall) and his wife Luva (pronounced 'Loo-Vah', played by Vonetta McGee) are visiting Count Dracula (Charles McCauley) in his castle. After a pleasant evening, they propose that Dracula adds his support to their campaign to stop the slave trade. Dracula refuses - the slave trade has "merit", apparently - and this disagreement turns into a heated exchange that ends with Mamuwalde pinned down by Dracula's servants.

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Dracula bites Mamuwalde, then takes him down to one of his basements. Here, he puts him in a coffin, and announces that he is now a vampire: "I will curse you with my name... You shall be - Blacula!" Then he locks Mamuwalde in the coffin, and outlines his fiendish plan to lock Luva in the basement to starve to death, while her husband can only listen while she dies. He goes back upstairs with his servants, and - sure enough - they lock Luva in with Mamuwalde (in his coffin) to die.



Transylvania, Present Day (well, 1972)
Bobby McCoy (Ted Harris) and Billy Schaffer (Rick Metzler), two of the campest men to ever grace the earth with their presence, are antique dealers. They are negotiating with an agent to buy all of the furniture from Dracula's castle (he's long dead by this time). They sign the contract to take EVERYTHING, and then discover the 'secret' basement where Mamuwalde and Luva were locked in, almost two centuries ago. They take the coffin, not worrying about opening it... they just want to use it as a guest bed ("It's SO camp, darling..." - a camp bed, possibly?)

Los Angeles, still 1972
Bobby and Billy check their new acquisitions in their warehouse, and while they do so Bobby decides to open the coffin to see what's in it. Although he breaks the lock, before he opens the coffin properly Billy manages to cut himself quite badly while doing something else a few feet away. Bobby goes over to try and stop the bleeding, and they're both so caught up in the drama of it all that they don't notice the coffin creak open... and Mamuwalde make his way out... and over to them.



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He attacks Billy first, sucking the blood from his arm, and then kills Bobby before draining him too. Then he puts on a cape (which seems to come from somewhere below the screen) and lowers himself back into the coffin, chuckling menacingly to himself.

At Bobby's funeral, Mamuwalde is lurking behind a curtain (he later explains his presence there by saying that he was taking care of "a little business" of his own). He sees Bobby's hand move, even though Bobby is supposed to be "dead". Bobby's friend Tina and her sister Michelle (Denise Nicholas) are there - Tina (also played by Vonetta McGee) pulls back her hood and she is identical to Luva! (This resemblence is not lost on Mamuwalde.) Also present is Michelle's friend and work colleague (and possibly her lover) Dr Gordon Thomas (played by Thalmus Rasulala), who is examining Bobby's body. The Funeral Director / Mortician tells Dr Thomas that Bobby seemed to die from a 'rat bite' to the neck. The director hasn't emabalmed him yet. Dr Thomas notes that Bobby has no blood in his body.

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Tina is walking home, when she suddenly gets the sensation of being followed. She starts to run from the person / thing behind her, only to round a corner and run into Mamuwalde, who thinks she's Luva. Now quite seriously scared, Tina runs away again and while running drops her purse. Mamuwalde stops and picks it up, only to be hit by a cab as he walks across the road. The driver (Ketty Lester) gets out and helps Mamuwalde up, only to be attacked when Mamuwalde realises that because she hit him, he's lost Tina.

Tina gets home, uses her spare key to get in, and double locks the door - suddenly someone starts banging on it. It's only Michelle though. Tina tells her what happened. Meanwhile, Mamuwalde makes his way back to the warehouse, and his coffin. He still has Tina's purse.

Dr Thomas is investigating is investigating the mysterious 'blood loss' cases that he has seen. He examines the body of Juanita Jones (the taxi driver) and notices that she has two small puncture wounds in her neck... and has lost all of the blood in her body... Hmmmm. Could this be the work of a vampire?

The good Doctor refers to the fact that there may be a connection between the deaths of Bobby, Billy and Juanita to his friend Lieutenant Peters (Gordon Pinsent). There is a delay in the investigation, though - Bobby and Billy's files have gone missing, and Dr Thomas can't examine Bobby's body again because the family are viewing it until 8pm. Dr Thomas decides to go out again as he had planned to - after all, it's Michelle's birthday.

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When Tina and Michelle and Dr Thomas are out at a club, Mamuwalde walks in. He finds Tina and gives her the purse back, explaining that he meant her no harm. She invites him to sit with them, feeling strangely drawn to him. Could she have met him before, somehow? Meanwhile, Dr Thomas gets a phone call - Bobby's body has gone missing...

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FILM

This appears to be simply a black version of Dracula, to begin with, but don't be fooled - that is not the case. Although it features the standard vampire iconography (bats, capes, fangs, blood, coffins...), it transforms into something more than a mere carbon copy of Bram Stoker's novel. The sociological idea of slavery is introduced, something mentioned explicitly in the fine opening sequence, and explored later on a more implicit level. (Mamuwalde 'enslaves' his victims, and as Mikel J Koven points out in his patronising, simple and childish book 'The Pocket Essential Blaxploitation Films', Mamuwalde also acts as a link from the present to the past, literally acting as "living history for contemporary blacks".)

On a visual level, the film has some intriguing ideas. It echoes the Universal horrors of the 30s and 40s, but with slightly more graphic ideas (similar to the UK-made Hammer films of the 50s and 60s). The opening title sequence is excellent, almost like a cartoon vampire version of Pac-Man. The sequences where Mamuwalde attacks are initially almost comical, but quickly change to effective when he bites down on his victims. At times, Mamuwalde looks almost like a werewolf, with his excessive facial hair, but William Marshall's performance sugars this particular pill so that it isn't as distracting as it might have been.

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The soundstrack is excellent, an unjustly forgotten gem that deserves to be reissued on a wide scale - a very effective opening theme, and Gene Page's incidental music fits the film perfectly... and has been sampled on several occasions by hip hop producers.



The casting of Vonetta McGee in both the role of Luva and the role of Tina is clever, again predating the casting of Winona Ryder in a dual role in Coppola's Dracula film by a good 18 years. Thalmus Rasulala as Dr Thomas is not too bad, but unlike other Van Helsing characters on Dracula films he isn't given a great deal to do other than act churlishly towards other characters.

The film was awarded the 'Best Horror Film Of 1972' by the Academy of Horror Films and Science Fiction Films. Apparently the trailer for the film was so popular amongst black audiences (seeing a black horror film for the first time) that according to William Marshall, people would go to the cinemas specifically just to see the trailer (much like audiences have done in recent years for the new Star Wars films).

The image used to market Blacula was not one that William Marshall remembered posing for (although it does exist) - he claimed it was doctored by the studio for promotional purposes. Marshall did not want the "sensationalised image of black on white lust" that the studio eventually plumped for, and Mamuwalde never bites a white victim in the film at all.

Mamuwalde's original name in the script was 'Andrew Brown', which is the same name as Andy in 'Amos And Andy'. The name was changed at William Marshall's insistence, and the idea that Mamuwalde was an African Prince was also suggested by Marshall. "I suggested an African hero who had never been subjected to slavery," he said in an interview for the book 'What It Is, What It Was', "an African Prince travelling to Europe with his beloved wife, to persuade his 'brother' Eurpoean aristocrats to oppose the African slave trade."

Although William Marshall was primarily well-known as a distinguished stage actor (and as the King Of Cartoons on Pee-Wee's Playhouse in the 80s), he said in a late 1990s interview "I daresay the vast majority of people don't go to the theatre, so I don't mind that I'm still so strongly identified with Blacula. I did enjoy Blacula to a great extent. Early on, young black people who didn't know my name would yell at me on the street 'Mamuwalde... hey, Mamuwalde!" It was especially pleasing that I was being called by the African name I gave the character. I asked one young fan 'Who do you think I am?' He said, quoting from the nightclub scene, 'you know, you're the Strange Dude!'"

Overall, this is a good film, although you might find it amateurish the first time you see it (especially the green masks for the vampires at the beginning), but on second watching and beyond it gets better. Despite lapses into cheese, highly recommended.

4 POWS out of 5

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Rage Against The Machine

Rage Against The Machine are dope as fuck. Their first album is amazing.

Anyway, everyone's caught up in the hype of whether or not Rage will beat Joe McfuckinElderry to number 1 in the UK this year. I think it'd be funny if they did. But I digress.

Big up to Jones Family member Ben Askew for putting me on to this via facebook - skip forward to about 9 minutes. Then wait for the inevitable. Then listen carefully to about 9.13. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA



By the way, in case you missed it, it's FUNNY. People taking it too seriously really need to grow up.

Sample youtube comment:

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Aardvarked88:
YEAH MAN FUCK THE SYSTEM LET'S SWEAR LIVE ON NATIONAL RADIO!

What are you, 6? Get the fuck over it. Tryhards like yourself and the rest of the idiots buying into this Anti X-Factor campaign make me ashamed to be a Rage fan, you're just as much of a sheep than the people who go out and buy the X-Factor single every year, shameful.
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SlammerUK:
HAHAHA! Funny as fuck. You kids today are fucking clueless sheep tbh. Go buy your shitty singles, pay to vote for some shitty insignificant show and then best of all have a pissy rant on YouTube about how those over 30 are all "fakers" whatever the fuck that means. None of you smacktards obvisouly LISTENED to the interview before hand or took one ounce of what they were saying in.
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Aardvarked88:
What's gay about it?

They allowed Rage to come onto their show and say what they wanted and then they went and swore pre-watershed after they explicitly asked them not to. Maybe in your pre-pubescent little world that might be hilarious but in the real world that's pretty fucking low.
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HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAA

This shit is priceless. I wasn't going to get involved, but yeah.... the hell with it. Go and buy Killing In The Name Of. It's currently at number 1 in iTunes. It'll be a laugh, anyway.

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UPDATE 1:
I just re-registered with iTunes after my card got rejected over the summer, and bought Killing In The Name. HAHAHA. Fuck McElderry and the X Factor.

UPDATE 2:

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Finally, Exhibit C is here.

Wow, it's been a LONG time coming!

You may remember me raving about this a few weeks back, it finally came out today. Amazing stuff.

JAY ELECTRONICA / JUST BLAZE - "Exhibit C" (final version)



Complete Lyrics:

When I was sleeping on the train
Sleeping on Meserole Ave out in the rain
Without even a single slice of pizza to my name
Too proud to beg for change mastering the pain
When New York niggas was calling Southern rappers lame
But then jackin our slang
I used to get dizzy spells, hear a little ring
The voice of a angel telling me my name
Telling me that one day I'mma be a great man
Transforming with the MegatronDon spittin out flames
Eatin wack rappers alive, shittin out chains
I ain't believe it then, nigga I was homeless
Fightin, shootin dice, smoking weed on the corners
Tryna find the meaning of life in a corona
Till the 5 percenters rolled up on a nigga and informed him.
- "You either build or destroy, where you come from?"
- "The Magnolia projects in the 3rd ward slum"
- "Hmm, its quite amazing that you rhyme how you do
And that you shine like you grew up in a shrine in Peru."

Question 14 Muslim lesson 2
Dip diver, civilize a 85er
I make the devil hit his knees and say the Our Father
Abracadabra! You rockin with the true and living
Shout out to Light Out, Joseph I, Chewy Bivens,
Shout out to Baltimore, Baton Rouge, my crew in Richmond
While y'all debated who the truth was like Jews and Christians
I was on Cecil B, Broad St, Master,
North Philly, South Philly, 23rd, Tasker
6 Mile, 7 Mile, Hartwell, Gratiot
Where niggas really would pack a U-Haul truck up
Put the high beams on drive up on the curb at a barbeque and hop up out the back like "What's up?"
Kill a nigga, rob a nigga, take a nigga, buss up
Thats why when you talk that tough talk I never feel ya
You sound real good and you play the part well but the energy you givin off is so unfamiliar
I dont feel ya.
(We need something realer!)

Nas hit me up on the phone said "What you waitin on"
Tip hit me up with a twitt said "What you waitin on"
Diddy sent me texts every hour on the dot sayin "When you gon drop that verse nigga, you takin long"
So now I'm back spittin that He-could-pass-a-polygraph
That Reverend-Run-rockin-Adidas-out-on-Hollis-Ave
That F.O.I.-Marcus-Garvey-Nikki-Tesla
I shock you like a eel, Electric Feel, Jay Electra.

They call me Jay Electronica
Fuck that, call me Jay Elec-Hannukah
Jay Elec-Yarmulke
Jay Elect-Ramadan Muhammad Asalaam-ica, RasoulAllah Supana Wataallah through your monitor
My Uzi still weigh a ton, check the barometer
I'm hotter than the mothafuckin sun, check the thermometer
I'm bringing ancient mathematics back to modern man
My momma told me "never throw a stone and hide your hand"
I got a lot of family, you got a lot of fans
That's why the people got my back like the Verizon man
I play the back and fade to black and then devise a plan
Out in London, smoking, vibin while I ride the tram
Givin out that raw food to lions disguised as lambs
And... by the time they get they seats hot
And deploy all their henchmen to come at me from the treetops
I'm chilling out at 3-Stop, building by the millions
...My light is brilliant.

God-DAAAAAMN!

Just Blaze absolutely kills it. I could have sworn it was a Dilla beat. Jay Electronica absolutely SMASHES this.

POW

Cop it from iTunes, it's out NOW. There's a big push to get this SOLD rather than downloaded for free, so do the right thing and pay for it. It's not often that you get a chance to genuinely support an artist by helping them blow up, so take the time to pay!

Here's Just Blaze's take on it (from Twitter):

"Hey guys. I'm not 1 2 knock anyones hustle. But ths 1 time I do ask respectfully if ppl cn take dn the links 2 exhibit c. My stuff has bn posted before & I nevr say anything (unless it's an unfinished version, that drives me crazy lol). But I think we cn all agree that ths record is pretty special. It's not even abt the $$ so much, Im not making a ton of $ on ths, it's just abt allowing a gr8 indie record 2 get a real shot (and mayB picked up by a major distributor) & supporting the artists who put their hard work in2 ths. Do I expect ths 2 sell a million copies? No. But on the same token, most ppl who R gonna grab it (legit or non legit) R gonna do it the 1st day or 2 & then it'll trickle dn from thr. Just how it goes. So it's not even abt 1st week numbers w/ ths 1, It's more abt the 1st day or 2. Hopefully it does cont 2 grow organically as it as, despite the high number of downloads I'm alrdy seeing. Anyhow, anyone who did buy it thank U from the bottom of my heart, & anyone who dnt, I hope U do. It's only a buck! :) Album coming soon! Kinda... I hope. (Dear moleskine anyone?)"


RESPECT THE ARTIST!

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Some funny stuff





MASSIVE props to Paulo for putting me onto this one.

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Truth back on the battle scene. WHOAH.

Truth absolutely RIPPING IT at "Don't Flop", Brighton. Serious. I know he's my boy and all that, and he definitely gets the Jones Family backing, but he absolutely murders the other fella. Don't trust me, check it for yourself.

Remember to leave a comment on the youtube page.

Biggup to Eurgh for hosting and hooking the night up to start with.



POW. Eat that. Truth = win.

Sunday, 6 December 2009

Millionaires By Morning

Truthio (extended Stupid Fresh Radio fam) is in a band. Here at Jones HQ we're well into our nepotism, so I'm bigging it up on this here blog. Mwahahahahaaaaaa.

Truth's band is called Millionaires By Morning. The other members are DJ Shumzs (another member of the extended Stupid Fresh Radio fam), Carnell Cook (singing and that), Gilead Walters (drummer), Wes Holdsworth (guitar), Duncan Stewart (bass), and Sam Holdsworth (keybooooooooooooooard).

They did a gig a week or so ago at The Blue Room in McGintys (Ipswich).

Here's film of one of their tracks: Pass That.



POW POW POW

Friday, 4 December 2009

My Christmas Mixtape - Free Download!

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Well, I put this together last year as a limited edition CD thing, and although I've been hassled to do a follow up, I think I'll wait til next year instead of rushing it.
So here's the original:

HAPPY BIRTHDAY JESUS

It's hosted by Sir Smurf Lil, Gunnery Sergeant Hartman, the cast of Family Guy, Ashley Banks, Will Smith and Uncle Phil.

Don't be put off by the Christmas theme - it's made up of the best Christmas tracks in the history of old school hip hop, soul, funk, reggae, calypso, dub, R+B and gangsta rap. And there's a bit of Paul McCartney dropped in as well.

Holla if you want a tracklist.

POW!

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Hip Hop High School

Well, still not feeling great. But I found these pics courtesy of DJ Vlad (you know, the fella who did the Rap Phenomenon mix CDs with DJ Dirty Harry). If you like the look of these, check out his blog, there's Biggie, Nelly, Puff, Andre 3000 and loads more (over 30 at last count).

(Remember, some of em might seem geeky, but we were pretty much ALL forced into putting our best on and grinning for mum's mantelpiece of her "little darling", so let's not criticise.)

SNOOP

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EMINEM

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BIG L

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JAY-Z

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50 CENT

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Seriously, check out DJ Vlad's blog - LOADS of dope stuff on there.

POW. I'm off back to bed. See if I can shake off this bloody hot and cold feeling.