As we know all too well, as lovable and quaint as St Andrews is, there come moments where not even the sight of the never-ending North Sea can alleviate the feeling that we’re being held hostage within the town’s three streets.
Here’s a thought: imagine if you were stranded on the sands of St Andrews..?
Taking inspiration from BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs, every week our resident writers will deliver their choice of five albums and one track, to be their one and only soundtrack, if they were ever forever stranded on the beaches of St Andrews…
1. Blu & Exile, Below the Heavens (2007)
Released in 2007, Below the Heavens serves as the first ‘collabo’ album between the MC Blu and the producer Exile. Widely considered an underground classic, the album served to boost Blu’s career. In addition to Blu’s vocals, Below the Heavens also features artists such as Aloe Blacc and Miguel. On January 21st 2014, Fat Beats Records restocked the album on CD and Vinyl Record with two previously unreleased instrumentals.
Whilst I would consider Below the Heavens to be one of those albums where you can listen to the whole thing and not want to skip a track, my personal favourite would have to be ‘First Things First’ Featuring Miguel. If I were to be stranded on any one of the beaches in St Andrews and the sun was shining (doubtful but hopeful), this would definitely be an album to kick back to.
2. J. Cole, The Come Up (2007)
For the Soul
With a strong body of work behind him, this is a J. Cole project that I must include on SAS. The debut mixtape of Cole’s career, The Come Up saw J. Cole rise to recognition and his subsequent fame. As one of his earliest works, The Come Up retains the personality and mentality of the North Carolina rapper as he sought to make his way out of ‘The Ville’ that raised him and make a better life for not only himself and his mother, but also inspire a better life for those who listen to his music.
The Come Up I picked for the soul. Being fairly pessimistic, I would imagine being stranded anywhere would soon wear away at one’s character; I would hope this mixtape would help to remind me of who I am. Music to aid in the perseverance through the struggle.
3. Clear Soul Forces, Detroit Revolution(s) (2012)
To make me smile
“How do you put into words the deftness, terse punctuality of four distinct individuals who’s vibrant vocals collide and sonically produce immeasurable frequencies, all to intertwine over illuminating instrumentals forging a single force that hits you where your soul is? You listen…”
4. Usher, My Way (2007)
For the love making
An album that should need no introduction. My Way is the second album by Usher. Earning LaFace Records 6 platinum certifications in the US, and Usher Grammy Nominations, My Waywas Usher’s breakthrough album and has sold over 6 million copies alone within the States and over 7 million worldwide.
In the case that I end up stranded with an individual of the opposite gender, the lengthy nature of our stay might naturally require some throwback tunes of the ‘panty dropper’, ‘baby maker’ variety. I’ll just leave it at that.
5. M.O.P, Warriorz (2000)
From the duo representing the 718 out of Brooklyn, Warriorz is the fourth instalment released by M.O.P, the militant sounding Hip Hop duo composed of Billy Danze and Lil’ Fame. Despite the growing popularity of M.O.P., this album unfortunately marked their last major-label-affiliated release until 2009 as Loud Records folded in 2002. Warriorz is M.O.P.’s most successful album, featuring the classic hit “Ante Up” which has also been remixed to feature Busta Rhymes, Remy Ma and Teflon. The popularity of the song was so widespread, it was featured in films within years of its release.
I would have no other album by my side as I fight my way off an island/beach. Often played whilst lifting in the gym, the militant tone of M.O.P. succeeds in pushing me harder and to go further. Characterised by their aggressive style of rap over bassy kicks and beats, the sounds of M.O.P. would be sure to get me through hell, and perhaps even death.
Drake, The Winner (2009)
Picking a track was probably the most difficult task of this project. I would imagine that this would be a song that I wouldn’t mind having being played repeatedly for a certain period of time, and so I picked The Winner by Drake. Having found the song right about when I discovered the artist himself in about 2009, The Winner has always been a go to for me; being selected as I walked about an hour from home to the pool to train, when I revised for A Levels and just in general when I’m feeling motivated and/or accomplished.
Words: Kitan Ogunfeibo
And it’s true. Comprised of four members; E-Fav, L.A.Z., Noveliss, and producer/emcee Ilajide; Clear Soul Forces (CSF) comes with the boom bap street poetry. CSF originated in 2009 when Royce Da 5’9, impressed by a 9 hour cipher between the four, suggested that they become a group; an idea made with the difference in personality and style taken into consideration. By the end of 2011, CSF starting working on their first album “Detroit Revolution(s).” finishing their work in just a month.
Again Detroit Revolution(s) is an album which you could play without jumping tracks and currently an all time favourite of mine; my 9 hour coach trip to London to see them serving as testimony to this. Colourful wordplay, coupled with an obvious love for hip hop and dope beats, Detroit Revolution(s) would be the album to listen to just to make me nod my head and smile. Straight up boom bap.