“I don’t listen to what art critics say. I don’t know anybody who needs a critic to find out what art is.” (Jean-Michel Basquiat)


Reviews of the Benny & The Crow single/remixes package

Poejazzi // The Left Hand Side

Reviews of Strange, Lively, & Commonplace

Tom Clements // Oliver Arditi (2012 round-up) // Hip-Hop Life And Times // SoundRevolution // Oliver Arditi (longer review)

Reviews of Maps EP:

Rhythm Circus // British Hip Hop // Nerve Magazine // DownstateElectronica // Certified Banger //LoveSheffield // DotDotHash // Alex Rockstar // Digital Mumbles // Oliver Arditi

Reviews of Winter In The City EP:

Red Hot Velvet // Nerve Magazine // Alt Sounds

Reviews of La Manif:

Sandman Magazine

Live reviews:

Forge Media // Counterfeit Magazine // LoveSheffield // Left Lion // Sandman Magazine // Sheffield Music Scene (pp130-131) // Tom Clements UK // The Alphatron // Flavour Magazine // Mumble In The Jungle // Not Mary But… // Emily Tredinnick // Sofar Sounds // Carmina Masilover // Live Magazine // NotAnotherRainySunday // Speakers’ Corner


Counterfeit Magazine // Push To Fire // Jewish Chronicle // Nottingham Post // Rhythm Circus// Sheffield Music Scene (pp.152-162) // Nottingham Post (again. Those guys love me. This one also appeared in the Metro.) // The Corner’s Speaker Podcast // Europe & Me Magazine // Six // What It Does // Hip-Hop Life And Times // Weekly Zaman // Hip-Hop Life And Times (National Poetry Day special) //Hip-Hop Life And Times podcast // Space Jams (on LSE Pulse Radio) // Speakers’ Corner // The Stalking Elk Breakfast Show on NTS Radio // IndieFeed Performance Poetry podcast

Guest posts:

“Your Scene Or Mine: Why rappers should care more about spoken-word poetry”, for Tom Clements UK // “Save Yourselves: Abolish ‘real hip-hop'”, for Tom Clements UK // “A ‘soundtrack for the movement’?“, for The Great Unrest // “Without a political base, no amount of protest songs will make a difference”, for The Multicultural Politic // “Can music change the world? An interview with Al Baker”, for Solidarity/Workers’ Liberty // “Art from the Gliding Chaos”, for Poejazzi // “Best of 2012”, for Lesson Six // “Marxism and art”, for Workers’ Liberty

Selected nice things people have said about The Ruby Kid:

“The Ruby Kid’s style is unlike any other emcee I’ve ever heard. On paper, it shouldn’t work – it’s very weighty, very dense and the guy throws a lot of information into his verses. But somehow, he pulls it off. It’s just incredible. He’s a really, really talented emcee.” – Rob Boffard, 2020 Podcast

“The Ruby Kid is coming through as one of the most impressive and interesting artists to mix poetry and hip hop. Thought provoking without being pretentious, the perfect balance between artist intelligence and hip hop street smarts.” – The Left Hand Side

“If you’ve ever seen an Edward Hopper painting, you get a sense of loneliness through absence. Instead of dwelling on intense feelings that come across as cheesy or embellished (despite how genuine they are), Hopper makes you understand that something that used to or should be there is gone. The Ruby Kid does the same thing with his lyrics.” – Digital Mumbles

“Sometimes you’re at a gig and you get a little bit blown away by what you see; it’s happened to us all at some point. Having seen The Ruby Kid perform live on several occasions and on hearing his third release, Maps EP, I’m totally astounded by his passion and strength of lyric.” – Jenn McCambridge, Counterfeit Magazine

“One of the most exciting MCs (in my humble opinion) to come out from the UK in quite some time.” – Aimée Lee, Hip-Hop Life And Times

“A lot of the lyrics on Maps [EP] sound very self-consciously ‘poetic’, juxtaposing observations from the natural world with more prosaic descriptions, and sometimes delivered with the poet’s lilting vocal gesture at the infinite (or the general, at least). This is never a weakness, though, because the flow is always tight, with the rhythms of rhyme and meter crossing over and generating a topspin that leaves the listener chasing meanings which evade attempts to predict them or pin them down.” – Oliver Arditi

Maps [EP] is an actual map, a tapestry of The Ruby Kid’s opinions, feelings, angers and loves […] [It’s] a thoughtful, intelligent album: one can get lost within the lines within lines, the thoughts within thoughts and fears within hopes, like a hip-hop rabbit hole.” – Henry Raby, Push To Fire

“Trotskyism, drugs, literature, folk music… whatever The Ruby Kid is dealing with, he does so with a vocabulary broader than your average poet laureate, and yet somehow manages to make it sound both natural and dynamic.” – Rosie Huzzard, LoveSheffield

“If Einstein was to write lyrics… this is exactly the type of music The Ruby Kid makes. He writes with complicated metaphors […] enthusing a socialist, working-class revolution. Maps [EP] falls neatly into the current zeitgeist of student protests […] He addresses this not in an obvious, ‘I am going to make a song to denounce my government’s raising tuition fees and how upset this makes me’ way, but in one that subtly addresses our five-day working week, pressures placed on students and their relationship to capitalism.” – Janine Francois, British Hip Hop

“Poetic, intellectual and engaging, The Ruby Kid not only produces great studio tracks but also pulls it off live. With rippling staccato delivery blended with smooth harmonic vocal support, The Ruby Kid and band show a maturity and understanding of the crowd way beyond their experience.” – Iain Hodgson, BBC Radio Sheffield

“Like the Freewheelin’-era Dylan, [The Ruby Kid] adopts the persona of a revolutionary prophet against the tides of mediocrity, particularly in ‘Only One Victory’, where the use of biblical and mythical imagery sounds not too far from Dylan’s walk amongst the twelve misty mountains in ‘A Hard Rain’s a-Gonna Fall’. A startling rhythmical ability also makes the Ruby Kid compelling. The ‘Pen/Sword Prophecy’ is a breathless, sprawling scroll of rhyme and meter that would have made Ginsberg proud […] Ruby Kid’s promise is however undeniable; his rhyming is self conscious, intelligent, flowing and at times totally compelling.” – Paul Lynch, Sandman Magazine

“The Ruby Kid is as sharp as the point of the quill he probably uses to scribble his Shakespearean rhymes.” – Munya Chawawa, host of ‘WTFunk’ on Forge Radio

“The Ruby Kid’s tracks are also shot through with explicit references to his working-class socialist politics but it would be one-dimensional to define him just as a political artist. His music intuitively strikes a balance between sensitive musings on the human condition and pithy remarks on social and political struggles. The result is lyrical content that never feels forced, preachy or pretentious but invigoratingly honest, incisive and eloquent.” – Tom Clements, Rhythm Circus

“The Ruby Kid is my favourite Jew since Jesus.” – Innuendo, Jump Off battle champion

“Jewish […] a commie prick […] Imagine him popping in a real English pub for a beer with the locals […] He called himself ‘The Ruby Kid’ because ‘the ginger tosser’ wasn’t quite street enough […] Rap culture has fucked up the youths’ minds […] Humps around with [his] undies showing out [his] jeans, wears [his] baseball cap at a jaunty angle, makes silly faces and gestures at the ‘peeps’ and mutters some badly worded street slang […] Simples.” – members of The English Defence League