1- Dark Circle - Paradoxes
Their first or maybe second 12" release as far back as 99/2000 on Defcon Records. Every single line is a paradox, beat loft spooky boom bap. Both the group and label are heavily responsible for the inception of Foreign Beggars and Dented records.
2- Blak Twang -Real Estate
What can I say. Black Twang was the hardest rapper in an age when it was still all about skills and content. This shit is more London than most of the UK rap records coming out today. Upmost respect for the art form and instrumental in putting London on the map.
3- Cas is Dead - Walkin & All Hallows
Cas is Dead...the new anonymous don who emerged from the grime scene and transcended into the one of the most important hip hop artists to ever come from London. 'Walkin' is bleak and a deeply honest track about life and death and the borderline dystopian state of existence many Londoners live, shit, and breathe.
4- Ghetts - Mountain
Are you mad? When I heard his spit for the first time it was some back-to-the drawing-board business. I feel this track captures his hunger and drive at the time: he’d been back on it for a couple of years and he was really starting to come into his own. Certain freestyles had come out where he flipped the whole grime scene on their arse and he wasn’t stopping… When I spoke to him he said he was possessed at the time...I believe him.
5- Chester P (Taskforce) - Jellyfish Kiss
Everything about this track. My hairs stand on edge the moment the first minor strum hits, the drums are marching constantly, literally like bars on a cell door. Chester’s delivery is ice cold, goose bumps have turned into pins and needles by this point. Every single line is cutting, incredible imagery, something like watching a Wes Craven version of Avatar on acid...I love this song. Song made me put the pen down for a couple of weeks and rethink my life.
6- Jehst- Nigthbreed (Feat Klashnekoff and Kyza)
As night breed cold, this melancholic beat by Jehst literally sounds like London turning from autumn into winter. Three of the most descriptive and incredibly graphic verses from three of the best to ever do it.. Internationally.. again, I don’t think I’d be spitting like I am if these guys hadn’t set the levels. Also first time I’d ever come across the concept of Foreign Beggars (as in heard them given a name besides Gypsies) was in this joint…
7- Wiley & MJ Cole - From the Drop
Love this joint. The beat is so sparse. MJ Cole did something completely out of the box and Wiley stepped to it with just as much swag and confidence, and showed everyone exactly why he is and will always still be the Godfather of Grime… pure skills all around
8 - Skinnyman/ Mongo / Mud Family - Itchy Town
Whats this? 96/97… Skinny Mongo, Mud Fam early hungry days. Hearing this just after I’d started rhyming at 16 blew my mind.. I was away from London and I heard this track and EP.. I think I had like 4 joints.. Big part of the reason I moved back to London to start my career as a rapper.. Skinny man Mongo FTW!!!!
All choices by Pav of Foreign Beggars
Pav has been part of the City Hack campaign. This summer they've been looking for the brightest creative talents at putting on and running events in the UK. With three finalist teams (each made up of a DJ, a promoter, a graphic designer, and a visual artist) from three different cities selected - Bristol, London and Manchester - they’ve spent this summer battling in a series of events.
The campaign comes to a conclusion this 24th September at Building 6 (02), London. For all the info check here.