Hip Hop

My Journey into Hip Hop Pt 2 – Sampling

I am getting back into the swing of things now.

Over the last couple of weeks I have been digging in the crates and hunting out some samples.

I have founds loads of good stuff so started getting some tracks  together. Over about 10 days I have managed to  produce three tracks and a remix. I have tried hard to keep all three different styles and overall I am pleased with the result. Check out the music below and judge for yourself.

The Call of Darkness

The Call of Darkness (Remix)

Jazz Chaos

Orchestral Goon


My Journey into Hip Hop Pt 1 – My 1st Instrumentals

Back in the early noughties I was a member of a Hip Hop and Garage crew. I used to be a Hip Hop DJ and I enjoyed spending my time playing, what I considered to be the cream of Hip Hop. During that time I also produced a few tracks with some MC’s in the crew. It was great fun and we even had a track played on Radio 1 as part of their One Music feature.

Since then of course, much has changed but my love for Hip Hop has not. It has been part of my life for over 20 years and has helped me get through so pretty tough times.

Anyway…I have promised myself to get back into production so I recently picked up the ‘Maschine Grove Production Studio‘ which was recommenced to me by up and coming rapper Burgess and Hip Hop producer 3MANBeats.

There is a steep learning curve but I am trying to get on top of it in the precious time I have when not teaching or running Realise Learning.

So, below is my 1st attempt. It is rough and not 100% finished, but thought I would post them. There are two versions and they include an Eminem sample from the film 8 Mile, hence the name of my track – ‘The 8th Mile’.

For the best experience listen to with headphones, loud and with the bass turned up.

Let’s bring hip hop into the classroom Part 1

Solitary Confinement

Hip hop gets a bad rep, its seems to get blamed for everything from young people swearing to knife and gun crime. I have been listening to hip hop for over 20 years and I have not been mentally scared or turned into some sort of knife wielding, gun totting criminal.

In fact, hip hop has helped mould me into the person I am today. I have learnt about politics, different cultures and religions, crime, love, death, war and much more.

Don’t get me wrong, sometimes hip hop can be very hard to defend and I will admit nowadays there is a lot of rubbish around. Perhaps thats just me being a hip hop snob?

The fact I listen to hip hop often comes as a shock to both students and other teachers. When I am asked by students what music I like, I usually get this response:

“Hip hop? But you’re a teacher!”

Yes indeed I am! Which is precisely the reason I feel that hip hop can be used in the classroom to help teach anything from English to Politics or citizenship.

This is not a new idea. In fact a teacher I follow on Twitter who has the handle @infernaldepart (well worth following) used the song Ill Manors, by Plan B in one of his lessons recently.

I asked him why he used the song, this is what he said:


For those who have not heard the song. Have a listen. Its a cracking tune and has some very important things to say. Although, no doubt the message will be misinterpreted by many.

My intention for the second part of this post is not to provide teaching resources, lessons plans or schemes of work. Instead it is to simply draw your attention to a musical art form that can be used to educate our young people.

I am going to choose one song to write about. Its written and performed by perhaps the best group in the UK at the moment Rhyme Asylum. The track is called Holding On from their 1st album State of Lunacy. I will break down the song and highlight some lyrics that can be used to stimulate discussion in the classroom.

Have a listen before I publish the second part of this post, which should be in about a week.

Enjoy and make sure you listen to the lyrics.

Be sure to look out for the second part of this post.