On Ninja Tune
It's the re-return of the b-girl....
T-Love is something of a legend in the fevered world of underground hip
hop. This West Coaster is not only one of the finest female MCs out there,
she also helped a hundred and one other people get on back in the days when
she ran radical music mag Urb's hip hop page.
And it wasn't just Urb. Rap Pages, The Source, Vibe, Hip Hop Connection, LA
Weekly, Slap were blessed with her insider's perspective. She also
contributed to B+'s classic overview of the LA scene, 'It's Not About A
Salary' and another book, 'Girl Power'.
However, that's not to say she's better known for that than her rhyme
skills. It was back in 1995 when 'Nobody Knows My Name' was released on
Southpaw and the world first heard her talent. A true signal of longevity,
the track was recently re-released, along with classics by Latifah, MC
Lyte, Salt 'n' Peppa, etc. as part of the Rhino Records female MC
compilation, Fatbeats & Brastraps.
A true hip hop activist, T-Love went on to found her own label, Pickininny.
As well as releasing her next single, 'Nobody Knows My Name,' the label was
responsible for releasing Jurassic 5's debut material, hence providing the
basis for the worldwide success they've since experienced.
But the rumours were all true. After some scheisty dealing with labels
which meant she didn't receive what she should've from the worldwide
acclaim for the 'Return Of The B-Girl' EP (something of a classic and
featuring Kool Keith, Chali 2na (J5) and Siah and Yehsua Da Poed), T-Love
relocated to the UK.
Here she began teaming up with some of the production talent which has made
this country an increasingly exciting prospect on the international hip hop
stage. In particular, she has been working with Ollie Teeba, best known as
a member of the Herbaliser.
And so to Ninja Tune and a new single. 'QMS' first appeared on the
critically acclaimed XEN compilation and was produced by a new combination
of Ninja talent, The Process aka Ollie Teeba and Johnny Cuba of Dynamic
Syncopation. The bed of funk guitar stabs and punched bass provides the
perfect setting for T-Love to attack wack rappers worldwide and stretch her
voice all over the shop in the process.
'Witch Bitch?' is produced by Beyond There, the London-Bongos-based duo who
have recently been picking up plaudits for their work with Mr Complex.
Jazzier than the flip, this is subtitled 'The B-Girl's Anthem' for reasons
that become plain as you lose yourself in T-Love's funny, fuck-you lyrics.
It may seem strange that this hip hop activist should have ended up in
London, thousands of miles from LA. But now she looks set to claim the
status her talent deserves. Wherever she's based.