Clicking Play: An Advisory Notice. Extremely explicit over 18 XXX rated adult language-content many will find inkredibly offensive. WARNING. Do not listen to a majority of these recordings if you are offended by ultra-aggressive and explicitly satirically toxic language in the contemporary urban form of battle-rap trash-talk. The subtle (and not so subtle) irony of which will be missed by those offended by extremely 'bad' language.
If you will be offended, please chill out listening instead to this 2011 recording, by DJ Chester x The Lost Instrumentals (with scratch x poetry x vocal snippets). That, we are informed: 'has since been a work in progress every time I re-visit and desperately try to finish it. It started off as just an all-vinyl record instrumental quick mix of soulful beats by DJ Spinna, Sa-Ra, Chirm Son and The Strange Fruit Project. However, after listening to it several times, I decided to add some spice by layering it with scratches, vocals samples, song samples and finally some poetry lines by Common, Alicia Keys and Lauryn Hill from Def Poetry Jam. So here’s my experimental attempt at doing a mix with a laid back vibe but sounds different from my other mixes.' Enjoy.
OFFENSIVE WARNING language-content in the linked recordings that may be found distasteful. Please do not listen if you are radically offended by XXX trash-battle rap-talk.
This is the recording I find most creatively perfected and realised of the Dublin rapper Inkredible's chunes. A current high-viewed recording from the wholly underground Irish urban rap scene, and a genre of rhythmic poetry that i must admit - more of an ancient bardic poetry buff than contemporary urban Irish rap and hip-hop aficionado - this kind of linguistic material is not top of my list of personally most sought out or most loved literary lyrical and spoken forms or contemporary globally popular poetic genres.
And tho i knew next to nothing of the scene before researching it for this piece, there are plenty of Irish hip-hop practitioners and urban rappers out there.
The Working Class Army see rap as a means of spreading a social message and are prepared to forgo commercial success and give their music away for free. The Class A'z however are rapping with the intention of making money. This has caused a public feud between the two groups.
There was also an Irish Rappers documentary on the (2012) RTE series, Reality Bites, exploring the verbally extreme creative contention between these two groups of Dublin rappers:
The feud between the Dublin rappers is explored within the film as is the rap battle scene made famous by the Eminem film 8 Mile. Like in America, Irish rappers also attempt to settle their differences by having rap battles in underground clubs which are judged by their peers. The threats and insults traded by rival rappers at these events almost have to be seen to be believed and whilst the footage may seem more reminiscent of an illegal fight club, actual violence is rare.
With handles from the various Dublin camps such as Costello, Equalizer, Funzo, GI, Lethal Dialect, Nucentz, Nugget, Siyo, Terrawrizt, and many more from across the Irish urban rap and hip-hop spectrum of talent and experience that I am unaware of to name. At all level of linguistic creative ability and exhibiting all manner of rap and hip-hop influence.
There's one of Limerick's (and Ireland's) current hottest young rappers (his first DIY youtube rap recording, at a bus stop, released eight months ago, has over 1 million views on just one account, and his one year old fb page 193,000 likes) Lynchy.
There's Cork outfit, Rebel Faction, Sligo-London's Ahren-B; and another Sligo hip-hop trio, that I chanced across one weekend doing a gig in the vibrant grass-roots music venue, the Sweeney Mongrel pub, on Dublin's Dame Street; This Side Up, and remember being very impressed by their positive lyrical flow. And I think the only Irish hip-hop outfit I have actually seen live outside of an open mic rap-battle.
And adding to that another of Ireland's hottest hip-hop rappers, that I had not heard of before researching the piece, Waterford's MC Pat Flynn, whose ten month old youtube audio recording, Get on Your Kneez, accounts for half of the four million views of the seventy youtube recordings on the ten month old Irish Rap Movement Youtube Channel, that has 20,000 subscribers.
And also, Wexford's Rob Kelly.
Whilst, a quick search reveals, in the North, there's Belfast's JunTzu; and North West, Derry's Wileman, rapping over more laid-back and chilled out snoop-dog beats, a coruscating contemporary commentary of cultural alienation.
All this is new to me, and there are no doubt plenty of urban Irish rappers I am not aware of that would also slot seamlessly into this brief synopsis of what I have learnt in a few hours online.
And this is only the white Irish contingent.
I have witnessed plenty of talented Afro-Irish rappers and poets, including this South African rapper who was always at Write and Recite, JoJo, who unlike the urban Irish rappers, rapped in the name of Jesus Christ, with a beautifully simple and positive message of Love. This was his signature piece, African Queen, along with Does God Exist.
And from this I discover Dublin rapper, Rejjie Snow, with two albums released, 37.4 K Twitter followers, close to a million views on his two year old track, Lost in Empathy; and half a million views on his latest two month old release, All Around the World. I read online that this very academically successful intellectual and talented athletic thespian, dropped out after his first year in an American university, to return to Ireland and pursue his urban musical Irish hip-hop and lyrical rap recording dream.
Whilst in the Irish language there's a godfather of the urban Gaeilgeoirí genre, the brilliantly committed and fully believing adherent to the filidh curriculum faith and priestly druidic code of coimgne, Gearóid Mac Lochlainn; along with the unclassifiable, young transcendental Kerry, Listowel poet, and All Ireland Slam Champion 2011/12, Séamus Barra Ó Súilleabháin.
Tho i must confess that the ultra-aggressive and hyper-competitive male poetic language in most of what I have linked to, with a few notable exceptions, is off-putting and not at all my own favourite cuppa, in this urban rap and black American derived poetic form; it is only now researching this piece, that I have become aware of just how fully primed and poised for potential global success the currently huge underground buzz of Irish urban rap and hip-hop poetry actually is.
And tho we do not have to like or practice it as a compositional form ourselves, it is foolish, once becoming aware of the buzz surrounding it, not to acknowledge Irish urban rap and hip-hop as a globally popular form. In terms of the audience for, and interest in, Irish rappers, it dwarfs that for the average mainstream Irish page and spoken word rhymers.
But i remember first coming across Inkredible's piece, They Can't Handle Us, and being intellectually impressed with not only the creativity of the battle rhyming, and clear passionate love of language, however satirically toxic, but the quality and inventiveness of the recording.
I remember Mr Inkredible, as he was then known, first turning up to the weekly poetry open-mic in Brogans at the start of the Write and Recite (2004-8) WaR at the height of the Celtic Tiger bubble, a precociously talented teenager, with no paper, reciting from the 'dome' as i first heard Raven Aflakete put it. And i remember thinking this kid is gonna be either very good, or very shit. Just a huge and confident presence.
I was with Inkredible and Mike aka 'God', the very first time any of us busked, or maybe the second or third occasion for them. And, stood as a trio, shoulder to shoulder, on the sidewalk, we all took turns doing our own thing in front of our continually passing audience, tide of pedestrians and potential momentary patrons, opposite the statue of a seated couple and bike-lock frames outside the then fish tackle shop, Rory's, in Temple bar, at the height of the Celtic Tiger's economic bubble
But we did used also to bang out live poetry in public on the streets; every few weeks at the Temple Bar Square Speakers' Corner that was there every Sunday afternoon for a couple of years. Anyone could and did get up and rant.
From the roaring street alcoholics gleefully shouting to themselves, to passionate and concerned intellectuals learning on the stump. It was a great way of overcoming stage-fright, just lashing it out as loud as you can in the very heart of Dublin city-centre, and something I would personally recommend to any newbie in the live literary thicket and poetry wood of the aul Fur Shitty / Fair City, with its ever evolving poetic beat and always morphing cultural buzz.
Because, slowly, shedding any live performance anxiety and poetic inhibitions, getting metaphorically as naked as one can be as a public rhymer, it is a great way to learn, for free, and at a very high-level of urban poetry professionalism.
Ready to rhyme anytime at all at the drop of a plastic bag on the sidewalk and into which a few coins would flow from passers by getting the sheer artistry and human theatre of what is occurring in front of them, passing by and mere random souls sailing down life's river to our destination and return home to the warm and loving spiritual reunion with sidhe of the shee of Her, faery woman of Ireland, bean sí, cuisle mo chroi, pulse of every living breath and heart-beat with which Her hand guides our own lives as entertaining and eloquent public speakers rhyming and timing, earning the right to be heard by our act and process of continual experience speaking live Her poetry and spoken song.
Tho we parted ways after our first performance as a trio of busking rhymers, Inkredible and 'God' stuck at it and within a short time had really took off as a double act, learning lessons only a very few talented talkers are lucky, creatively daring, or positively mad enough to ever give a go, literally, by busking spontaneous rhymes on the streets of bubbalin Dubalin town. Not many doing it then, i recall, just us poetically filled linguistic nutbags.
A cheeky brilliance, cocky yet comedic, and a wholly authentically genuine contemporary Dublin working-class note struck; and, above all, proof in the pudding - thousands and thousands of people watching and liking it across the world. And which will bring - especially in the ultra-competitive genre Inkredible is a success in - a lot of negative energies from fellow ultra-competitive urban rappers sporting and competing with one another in this form.