While everyone was talking about what could be done, should be done, why, when etc. High Focus went ahead and did it! Changing the game and taking things to the next level!
UK hiphop has always had its legendary figures: Rodney P, Blak Twang, TY, Jehst, Mystro, Task Force, Micall Parkinson amongst countless others. Who helped lay down and continued the foundations of the art of UK HipHop. Alongside record labels like LowLife, Kemet & YNR and events like Kung Fu. The UK HipHop industry has had some great moments and created some timeless bodies of work.
But its never really had the chance to reach the level and platform it truly deserved. That was until 2010 when Fliptrix gave us Brighton based High Focus Records. The aim of the label was simple, to give the next generation of UK based HipHop producers and MCs a platform and to resurrect the legacy of UK hiphop. 6 years later its safe to say they ticked all the boxes, then they tore the box up and set about showing the world what could be done.
Where there are people there are politics and UK hiphop has more than its fair share of politics. Too many artists concerned about keeping it real, keeping the original elements of hiphop alive and getting too caught up in pointless drama. He said, she said etc, etc. Which is 100% cool, it is important to represent yourself and do whats right for you. Even if thats talking politics on FB, starting debates then do you. We have been blessed with great events like “Four Pillars” representing old and new talent as well as keeping the original hiphop ethics alive, which is hugely important. Not forgetting events like “Lyrically Challenged” who give us spoken word, true skool hiphop and open mic cyphers.
Over the years you have to think, wow the gap in the industry has always been there, why didn’t anyone come along and fill it in? People love to talk the talk and get so lost in minor, pointless politics that nothing ever seems to get done. Fliptrix and co, evidently went with action speaks louder than words, they saw the gap and didn’t wait for planning permission they moved in and started building.
Without a doubt one of the best artist rosters since LowLife and Kemet records HighFocus has the game all locked up. The diversity of their artists ranges from straight up UK hiphop with the likes of Jam Baxter and the super crew The Four Owls, through to left field styles from Onoe Capone, then on to the multi talented tongue twisting hiphop, grime, breaks lyricism of Ocean Wisdom. Not forgetting countless others on the roster, the level that has been set is high and the quality is second to none. Its safe to say that to date there hasn’t been a poor release from the HF camp, not to say there may not be some off notes in the future but for now, i for one can’t see it happening.
For some people its about the art,the passion and the pure art of rhyming which is all good. The myth that there is no money in UK hiphop has been around forever. But its safe to say that the HF crew are starting to change that! With pre sales for Ocean Wisdoms debut album “Chaos 93” doing some seriously impressive numbers on I-Tunes. Then landing high in the I-Tunes charts when it was released, it goes to show that the HF formula works. Countless sell out HF shows across the UK and artists on the roster tearing down festivals and venues across europe. The future for the HF crew is endless and full of promise, as they continue to show the UK and the world that UK hiphop is a force to be reckoned with and the platform has always been there.
Its a timeless debate but to be fair right now HighFocus records has to be one of the best if not the best things to ever happen to UK hiphop. To keep it simple these words courtesy of Nick Blatently Blunt say it all:
“They Made The Impossible Possible.”
Without a shadow of a doubt, they come together as a collective a family. They work hard, they push each other, collab and guest on each others tracks and quite simply go out there and show the entire world what the UK is all about.