Here’s Shakalak with their debut single Hometown. Recorded at KS2018 as part of the Unfiltered Video Series. More to come!
‘The hometown can hammer the ceann down but we can rise up’
So unless you’ve been hiding in a cave on Mars with your fingers in your ears or, far more likely, cowering in your bedroom contemplating the fact that the world is run by psychopaths and largely populated by morons, you may have noticed the recent renaissance in Irish Hip Hop and Rap Music. Good for you! If you haven’t, then this is the best place to start.
You really don’t have to look too hard to see what’s going on, it’s everywhere! In the venues, the jam rooms, the festival line ups, the session, the Choice Awards, all the respected playlists, the tips of the most influential tongues and most recently on the news (KNEECAP, we’re looking at you. But there’s no such thing as bad publicity right?).
Hip Hop and Rap music is permeating all walks of Irish life right now and for a solid reason: it’s resonating with the Irish people. Not just with millennials (we checked!), but all of us. Themes of loneliness, alienation and helplessness are common ground we all walk on and issues like racism, sexism, substance abuse, mental health and corruption can’t be ignored and are no less potent when accompanied by a decent hook.
Now it has been around for a long time – there were The Infomatics and Messiah J long before there was Versatile and The Rubberbandits – but the sound of Irish dissatisfaction has never been so cutting, so catchy, so honest or so relevant (with a healthy dose of tongue-in-cheek humour). It says a lot about this country when a man with a plastic bag on his head speaks more sense than the majority of the people charged with running it.
Forever the land of saints and scholars, piss heads and poets; new voices like John Cummins, Emmet Kirwan and Natalya O’Flaherty find a home in a part of you previously reserved for the greats who’ve long since left us.
Here at KnockanStockan we’re so excited to give some of the islands best new producers and lyricists a platform to bring their music to a new audience. Here are just a few of the acts that will grace the stage on the shores of the Blessington Lakes this July.
KNEECAP are Mo Chara, Móglaí Bap and DJ Provaí, whose jumping between languages give us an insight into the life of young people in West Belfast. They have combined an in-depth knowledge of the Irish language with killer flow and a wry humour to produce some of the most unique music coming out of Ireland today. Their recent sold out tour has netted them droves of new fans and it’s fair share of controversies. The group have been banned from RTÉ and have even been condemned by the DUP, which puts them in good company in our book. Check out their debut single C.E.A.R.T.A (Irish for RIGHT).
TPM (a.k.a Taxpayers Money) are 2 brothers from Dundalk ,Charles and Andrew Hendy. The pair had a viral hit a few years back with ‘All The Boys on the Dole’ which was written “in a slump of depression, sitting in a broken car with no money, nowhere to go and no end in sight. It’s a response to the idea that if you are in our situation you are worthless. You are NOT worthless.” Since then the pair have gone from strength to strenght developing their unique brand of socially conscious & heavy hitting satire. Check out their latest single ‘Fuck RTÉ’ below.
Post Punk Podge
Post Punk Podge is a visceral, raw and uncompromising enigma of an artist who hails from Limerick. He performs on stage clad in a balaclava constructed from a giant brown envelope (a nod to the political figures he’s railing against) and flanked by his band the Technohippies. His goal is to turn the symbol of the brown envelope from a symbol of corruption, deception and greed into a symbol of self expression, defiance and laughter. With 2 excellent E.P’s already released, ‘Kicking Against The Pricks’ and ‘Post Millennium Tension’, PPP is best experienced live. His shows are a bombardment of tense, anger filled diatribes delivered over a mix of techno, krautrock and fuzzed out beats. Check out his collaboration with TPM on ‘Government Security’, an unapologetic take on the worsening housing crisis in Ireland.
Luka Palm is the youngest member of Dublin’s Soft Boy crew, the label set up by last year’s KS headliner KOJAQUE and their constant collaborator Kean Kavanagh. His music bears the Soft Boy hallmark of experimental, sweeping backing tracks overlaid with intrinsically written bars and hooks. He’s a frequent featured artist, with verses on Kojaque’s Deli Daydreams and single Date Night. With just 3 solo releases to his name and the promise of a full length later this year, we can’t wait to hear what’s coming next. Check out Nightlink featuring Kojaque and Kean Kavanagh.