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New Flesh

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Around since 1990, New Flesh took ten years to release an LP but quickly became dons of the British rap scene, as original and cutting-edge as their much-hyped Big Dada labelmate Roots Manuva. When originally formed (as New Flesh for Old), the group included York native and graffiti sprayer Part 2 (aka Keith Hopewell) along with rappers Toastie Tailor (a native of Grenada), Horny Baker, and Out of Order. They did a few shows during the early '90s, and debuted with a 1995 single ("This Is the Space Age") on their own New Flesh Music. "Mesopotamia" followed a year later, and earned critical praise as well as a spot on DJ Vadim's Organised Sound compilation. Now consisting of Part 2 and Toastie Tailor plus newcomer Juice Aleem (a Birmingham native), the act started recording for Britain's Big Dada label with 1997's Electronic Bombardment EP. The full-length Equilibriums followed in 1999, while their second LP, 2002's Understanding, displayed their increased standing in the hip-hop community via a series of high-profile collaborations -- with Big Dada's own Roots Manuva and Ty, plus Blackalicious' Gift of Gab, Antipop's Beans, and hip-hop pioneer Rammellzee. A period of relative calm followed, although all three members were active, and Part 2 released a full LP of productions on assorted rappers and vocalists titled Live from the Breadline. The trio returned as New Flesh in mid-2006 with Universally Dirty, featuring their pioneering blend of bashment, dancehall, and old-school rap. ~ John Bush

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