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Black Britanyaa The Windrush Volume 2 [album]

Black Britanyaa: The Windrush Volume 2Proving that rap doesnt have to be
  much of the same, Black Britanyaa
  has brought out a fresh and compulsive
  debut album containing an interesting
  mix of tracks...”

THE STARTLINGLY FASCINATING album The Windrush Volume 2 is a collection of beautiful beats that gush forth in a hip-jerking, singalong of compulsion from 'London's finest conscious rappers' Black Britanyaa.

Laying down the message and pounding out the beats, East London hip-hop crew Black Britanyaa thrive on doing things differently hence The Windrush Volume 2. Why Volume 2? Because Volume 1 was the actual Black migrants!

Paying tribute to the musical traditions and legacies of past UK pioneers in Black music, The Windrush Volume 2 is a splendid adventure for Black Britanyaa starting with the innovative SS Windrush generations of Ska and Highlife to the sound system influences of Lovers Rock and through to the pioneering development of Jungle.

The publicity machine says: "The release of the album bears historical significance as it coincides with the 60th anniversary of the SS Empire Windrush docking at Tilbury [Docks]. In a world of formulaic music, this conceptual album runs like an anthropology of Black British music and the group guide you through that musical journey with social insight and personal honesty."

The Windrush Volume 2 boasts quality tracks submerged in Hip-Hop. The introduction of various sounds from around the world, such as the Peruvian pan pipes and Spanish guitars, and even 80s British Pop, gives The Windrush Volume 2 an eclectic feel. My Life is pure, addictive rap mixed with relief melodies and sea-faring ditty style to make it a very interesting track indeed.

The lead single, Illegal Aliens, is cleverly reworked by Black Britanyaa from Sting's fabulous Englishman In New York and is rooted firmly into the Black British experience. The song encapsulates Black Britanyaa as the second and third generation of migrants, forging a new identity that can contain their Britishness and their Blackness. Aliens is a brilliant track that shines, even among the other greats, and we loved it.

Incidentally, we also loved the Ragga Moment and the British Soul Moment which, however brief, added a certain something to the album.

The final track Libation is the ancient African ritual of the pouring out of spirits to honour the ancestors and this ancient tradition is recreated in music. The song gives a moving account of a family's struggles (including domestic violence) and pays homage to the hardship of the Windrush generation who came to Britain in the 50s and 60s. With the unique vocals of UK living legend Omar, this song makes for a strong follow-up single. The words are incredible and heartfelt and deserve to be listened to I only hope my hearing was in order!

The MCs show a full range of emotional capabilities as demonstrated on tracks like the dark and moody Devils Peak to the reluctant love ode of Lonely Roads. Together, these creditable tracks give the album an organic and rounded touch.

At a time when Hip-Hop has almost been smothered by the bling, this album is a refreshing tonic as it pushes the boundaries of Hip-Hop both musically and lyrically. Okay in the words of Black Britanyaa, Let's get this show on the road

Black Britanyaa's The Windrush Volume 2 is available now (released in the UK on 1 December, 2008).


1 Windrush (The Excursion) | 2 Wha Gwan featuring Lyric L | 3 Lovers Rock Moment |
4 Lonely Roads | 5 Junglist Moment | 6 Rise | 7 My Life | 8 Chat Bout Moment | 9 Illegal Aliens | 10 Ragga Moment | 11 Dem Mans Illin' | 12 Devils Peak | 13 British Soul Moment | 14 Libation featuring Omar | 15 Libation II (The Prayer) featuring Omar & Tuggsta

"The startlingly fascinating album The Windrush Volume 2 is a collection of beautiful beats that gush forth in a hip-jerking, singalong of compulsion from 'London's finest conscious rappers' Black Britanyaa" Maggie Woods, MotorBar

Black Britanyaa

With roots in East London, Black Britanyaa's Segge Dan and Daddy Ash are the voice of second- and third-generation immigrants who blend a myriad of identities in Old Blighty: British, Black British and their parents' heritage hence the spelling of Brit-an-Yaa (Yaa being an African name for a woman). The band thrives on doing things differently and calls their brand of Hip-Hop 'Music for True Connoisseurs'.

As journalist Derek A Bardwell (The Voice) wrote: "Originality you have to give it up to Daddy Ash, Segge Dan and the whole Abduction crew, they're always trying something new whether it be in the themes or in the music they use."

Black Britanyaa's debut album, The Windrush Volume 2, continues in that vein of originality by producing an album that embraces and reflects the different music styles that Black Britons have created over the last sixty years.

Black Britanyaa's musical influences are steeped in the traditions from those who came before: from the newly-arrived Black immigrants of the 50s to the Ska generation of the 60s and 70s; from the British Soul of the 80s to the dynamism of Jungle in the 90s and now in the millennium with the growth of an urban explosion. And not forgetting a major import to these shores Hip-Hop, with the likes of London Posse, KRS1, Talib Kweli and Common contributing to their musical development.

Segge Dan and Daddy Ash are not your stereotypical rappers: Segge Dan is a college lecturer and a mentor, whereas Daddy Ash has just completed his MA in Events Management. They also run their own label and have had previous releases such as the underground classic Spaghetti Junction (2002) which featured the likes of Skinnyman and Skeme. Other releases have appeared on compilations such as UK Runnings Vol 3 (2005) and UK Hip Awards (2002).

As with the majority of Black Britons born and raised in London, a melting pot of flavours, cultures and nations are brewing to form an identity that differs from their parents. Black Britanyaa recognises their Britishness and also embraces the cultures of the Black Diaspora. Both elements are juxtaposing together and can either compliment each other or be in conflict with each other Black Britanyaa chooses the former.

The legacy of Soul II Soul is passed on as Black Britanyaa captures that Black British feel in the form of this amazing debut album, The Windrush Volume 2.

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