Friday, June 01, 2007

MJ Hibbett and the ukulele hip hop experience

“MJ Hibbett is who I am and I told my mum that I would never make a wack jam”

Leicester via London lungsmith MJ Hibbett has launched his own YouTube channel. If you’ve been to a gig in the past decade, you’ve probably stumbled across him live (unless you’ve really only ever been to Tina Turner at Wembley, in which case that was a support slot he didn’t bag) and witnessed the greatness that is his cover version of Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince’s Boom! Shake The Room.

MJ has recorded a special ukulele version. He explains: “I'm planning to do a few UKELELE [editor’s note: punk rock spelling MJ’s own] songs. I started doing this in response to a call in Word Magazine for people to cover modern pop songs on old fashioned instruments as part of a competition to play at The Cornbury Festival - three weeks in and I'm STILL the only entrant - and enjoyed it so much I thought I might as well carry on!”

You will, I am quite certain, want to watch MJ “hyped up, psyched up” and “work the booty”, one “smooth individual, rhymes original” who’s – brace yourselves – “the driver and you’re all on a rap ride”.

For those of you new to the Hibbett experience, MJ thoughtfully provides directions and prompts for the full call-and-response interaction. (To fully recreate the live experience, may I suggest you get cunted on several pints from plastic glasses, stuff your pockets with flyers, hold a Fortuna Pop CD you’ve liberated from the merch desk and talk loudly for half an hour while The Chemistry Experiment ply their trade. This is achievable in your bedroom. You need never go to the Bull and Gate again.)

If that weren’t enough giddy excitement for one day, you can also watch the video to MJ’s new single The Gay Train. No expense was spent on this video, but of course that only adds to its myriad charms. If anyone can tell me from where the keyboard line might have, um, “found its inspiration” please say, as I can’t quite pin it down.

I note that MJ has a wikipedia entry, which itself notes that he is “often compared to Billy Bragg”. Following protocol, Boom! Shake The Room sounds a lot like Billy Bragg (except it doesn’t).

I suspect that this isn't quite enough MJ to sate the voracious appetites some of you have for all things MJ, so I will add the ephemera that one of his new songs, My Boss Was In An Indie Band Once, might be inspired by Sean Price of Fortuna Pop's situation, as his boss was in The Candy Darlings, who - and this, I agree, may be stretching things - a couple of you might remember from their 1990 single, That's Where Caroline Lives.

However, there is a school of thought that insists it is actually about Phil Wilson, who has quite a High Up position in the Civil Service, and meets fellow veterans of his era in the CORRIDORS OF POWER. The Civil Service - it's full of ex-indiepoppers, you know.

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