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Knowledge | Englands First

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Englands First

by Knowledge

Conscious hip-hop from England's first documented rapper(Black Echoes Magazine 1980).The artist KNOWLEDGE takes on the issues of gang-violence, police brutality and the deterioration of hiphop.Battle rhymes are included and extensive wordplay too.
Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap: Hip Hop
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. The Exorcist
Raymond Witter
2:12 $0.99
2. Justice
Raymond Witter
4:11 $0.99
3. A Real Man
Raymond Witter
3:45 $0.99
4. Zulu Nation
Raymond Witter
2:36 $0.99
5. It All Ends Now
Raymond Witter
6:21 $0.99
6. I Thought It Had All Ended
Raymond Witter
3:24 $0.99
7. Wordplay
Raymond Witter
3:59 $0.99
8. Poet's Delight
Raymond Witter
3:04 $0.99
9. I Am a Rap Whore
Raymond Witter
4:02 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
England's first documented rapper(Black Echoes Magazine 1980). Winner of the Long Beach City College Slam, the Los Feliz Bourgois Pig Slam and the Safehouse Culver City Slam.I started rapping in January of 1980.Eighteen of my rap years have been spent in America.I was born in England but I am of Jamaican parentage.The biggest thing I've done in America to date is taking part in the Axis of Justice Benefit Concert at the Avalon in July of 2004. I shared the stage with Serj Tankian, Tom Morello, Flea, Pete Yorn, Ahmed Ahmed, Brad Wilkes, Maynard James Keenan and Jurassic 5. The concert raised $30,000 for the LA Regional Food Banks. For the last few years I've been heavily into raising awareness of the Armenian genocide, the first major genocide of the 20th century. I got into poetry fourteen years ago but did it on a consistent basis only about six years ago. I prefer slam poetry to rap battles. I consider slam poets to be verbal gladiators. Ranking poets to the decimal point is harsher than rap battles judging by applause. Currently fleshing out an idea for a theater piece called 'Slamalot'. The title pays homage to Monty Python's 'Spamalot'. If any backers are interested contact me at:


'The Exorcist' was my original rap name. A policeman made a racist slur to my dad and that helped give rise to the rap 'Justice'.I wrote it two years before the Rodney King beatdown. 'Zulu Nation', 'Poet's Delight' and 'Rap Whore' all illustrate my preference for old school hiphop because I've been in the game a long time. These tracks are meant to remind people of when hiphop was about partying and having fun. 'It all ends now' is my longest ever battle rhyme and 'I thought it had all ended' is the sequel.'It all ends now' is six minutes long and six minutes strong. I believe it's the longest ever battle rap and the harshest. Not a single swear word in it. If you can scare your opponent in a rap battle without swearing then I believe that makes you more skillful.Just like a comedian exhibiting greater skill if he can make you laugh without resorting to swearing. Bill Cosby is a great example. Jerry Seinfeld too. 'Poet's Delight' relates to an urban legend I heard about the Sugarhill Gang. I later heard something to the contrary but I'd already written the rap by then.Still it was written tongue in cheek and I still consider them my idols because 'Rappers Delight' got me into rap. 'Zulu Nation' pays respect to the Zulu Nation, Afrika Bambaata, Afrika Islam et al.It pays respect to all of the elements of hiphop that are neglected now. A concert that combines all of these elements would be unforgettable.Like 'Wild Style' the movie.MC's rapping while the DJ is scratching and b-boys and lockers and poppers are working it on the stage and the graffiti artist is getting down like Michelangelo with a finished piece at the end of the concert that surrounds the stage. And don't forget the beatboxer dazzling the crowd too.It should all come into play. Which reminds me of track 7.'Wordplay'. Basically, that's me being zany.Rap takes itself too seriously and 'Wordplay' goes back to the classic non-serious raps like 'Humpty Hump', Fu-Schnickers etc.If you got this far reading my bio, much love.Peace:)



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Knowledge is a poet for modern times, speaking the truth.
Knowledge is a poet for modern times, speaking the truth in a world full of rap trash. Don't get me wrong I LOVE rap/hiphop, but this CD goes so far beyond the ordinary. It is prose put to music...magic that you have to sit and listen to AND think about. It's more than something to just bump in your car. Hip Hop is ready for a major overhaul and this CD should be first pick for anyone wanting beautiful sounds with conciousness.


Hi Ray,
I've listened to the tracks today. They all are great and of course
'Zulu Nation' is still one of my favourites.
I also like 'I am A Rap Whore' :)
(BTW, you sound a little rattle there, was it premeditate or you've
just been sick??
And I also like 'Poet's Delight' :)
You are very talented. Keep doing what you're doing.
Kind regards from Russia.

Peace :)

Vanessa Reece

Forget bling, and wannabe gangster wot not. Knowledge brings originality
Forget bling, and wannabe gangster wot not. Knowledge brings originality which is something that is lacking in today's rap scene. But I wouldn't expect anything less from 'Englands First'. If you've heard the samples you'll know knowledge has brought intelligent lyrics to a back drop of cool and artistic ryhthms. You'll find yourself tapping your foot, shaking your hips and nodding your head to his truthful lyrics. It's my mission to make sure all my friends get to hear Knowledge.
I've had enough of listening to predictable rap - thank goodness this isn't that, it's original!


Hip Hop at its best - True poetic beauty
As an author, I appreciate the mesmerizing stories told in each rap ballad. As a poet and spoken word artist, I appreciate the beauty of the rhyme and flow of the wordplay. As a music lover, I am enchanted with the beats and melodies behind each track. Definately an album to purchase and play repeatedly.