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What hip-hop means to us

Matt Dore enjoying his music moment

Matt Dore – Chief Technology Officer 

Where were you when you heard Hip Hop music for the first time?  

I must have been around 13. It was before a French lesson at school and a friend of mine put his cousin’s Straight Outta Compton tape on the machine usually reserved for Tricolore cassettes.

I’d never heard anything like it. I think it’s safe to say the stories were a stark contrast to Norfolk life.


What's your favourite hip-hop album of all time?    

Pharcyde – Bizarre Ride II the Pharcyde. It was such a breath of fresh air given everything else on the West Coast was so gangster. Lush jazzy production, and silly clever stories. They just seemed like they were having a great time, when everyone else was so serious. The opposite to brag raps.

Also got some absolute classics, and classic samples on there. ‘Passin’ Me By’. Nuff said. The beat on the intro to ‘Officer’ gives me goosebumps to this day and I can’t explain why.

Pharcyde is the antidote to brag rap, on the other hand, Kool Keith is the ultimate brag rap, but from another planet. My all-time favourite song is Ultramagnetic MCs – ‘Poppa Large’. 

Is there a current artist that keeps your love for hip-hop going today?   

I can’t say I religiously follow anyone like I used to, but I’ve never heard anything bad by CASisDEAD or Little Simz.


Matt Savage, Creative Lead

Matt Savage – Creative Lead 

Where were you when you heard hip-hop music for the first time?   

Probably not the first time I heard hip-hop but definitely the first time I recognised as a thing was when I was around 12 – I'd go round my friend’s house to play Xbox and one day he played me ‘Shook Ones, Pt II’ by Mobb Deep. I think it was even just the instrumental. We had it on loop most the night as we played FIFA. The simplicity of it was the draw for me, I loved how a simple drum pattern and short piano loop could create such an intense atmosphere.


What's your favourite hip-hop album of all time?   

DJ Screw – 3 'n the Mornin' (Part 2). DJ Screw is hip-hop’s most under-appreciated avant-gardist and this is his magnum opus. The sludgiest and most intoxicating album ever made. A completely outlandish orchestration of sounds that contorts the very fabric of time.

My favourite artist of all time though is MF Doom in all his various aliases, King Geedorah, Viktor Vaughn etc. He's incredible even as a producer with such a distinctive sound. I could listen to the Special Herbs collection of beats all day, and I regularly do.


Is there a current artist that keeps your love for hip-hop going today? 

Death Grips are pushing the boundaries like no one else, always excited to see what they are doing. Exmilitary and The Money Store came out over 10 years ago and those albums still sound like they came from a distant future.

Billy Woods is unbelievably prolific and consistent. His two albums Church and Aethiopes were the best hip-hop albums last year in my opinion. And I think Hiding Places from 2019 is the best hip-hop album of the last decade.


Join our collaborative playlist  

Our listeners are curating their favourite cuts from 50 years of hip-hop. Weighing in at over 24 hours this is a great place to discover something new or enjoy some classics so hit the playlist today to add your favourites. Some tracks could contain explicit content so listener discretion is advised.