Tuesday 9 February 2010

The Junkyard

"Broke for three days. Late Giro again. New Deal. Low pay. Big ball and chain ..." Task Force's The Junkyard appeared on Countryman by Skitz back in 2000 on 23 Skidoo's Ronin label. It's a chilling account of life on the Highbury Estate, N5. Inner city deprivation and the vicious circles of poverty from which there seems no escape. The Brothers McBain, or Chester P and Farma G, that make up Task Force, along with DJ Louis Slipperz and other cohorts, are stalwarts of the UK hip hop underground but full of contradictions. They are steeped in hip hop culture, but within that context they're not at all what you would expect. They are heroes to many, but not broadsheet-friendly. Now could that be because there's no novelty angle? They avoid pigeon-holing and defy stereotypes. They are defiantly or necessarily independent, and have released a string of self-produced sets in the Music From The Corner series, as well as solo works and various collaborations. If as a casual observer you think you know UK hip hop then think again. Nothing's clear cut, so don't accept other people's prejudices. As they say in their track Letter To God ..."Never felt god on these cold streets of London. But felt man's wrath in the upper class judgements ..."

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