The term 'old school' gets bandied about a lot in hip-hop circles, but Joe Blow's approach to the game is the genuine article. A focussed motivated attitude and a need to always be progressing has allowed this seasoned veteran to effortlessly spray and hone his talents across many genres of underground music. Despite his youthful appearance and energetic live show, Joe is old enough to have picked up some of those classic 1980s hip-hop LPs the first time around. These critical purchases etched themselves in Joe's psyche and by the early 90s Joe was picking up the mic himself.
Joe Blow started off in the jungle scene and after bagging a residency at Cardiff's legendary Hippo club by the age of 16, he went on to share the bill with legends such Mickey Finn, Ratpack and Jumping Jack Frost as appearences at Dreamscape and One Nation.
By the late 90s Joe had featured on various underground mixtapes, and was introduced to Metabeats, Cesto, Cervantis and Skamma. This crew 'Hurts So Good' (HSG) went on to feature Optimus Prime track 'Summer Time Vibes' on their 'Try B4 U Die' EP, before getting their own HSG release on Optimus Prime's label Dial Up Records.
Elsewhere Joe hooked up with legendary Cardiff rapper 4Dee under the title Undecorated Veteranz and in 2006 the pair released a stunning 12" of true school hip-hop in the form of the 'Music To Make You Stagger' EP on Dial Up, with production handled by Stagga of Optimus Prime. Within a year the Metabeats' 'Metaphysical' album was released, featuring Joe Blow, most of the Squid Ninjaz entourage, and putting South Wales well and truly on the hip-hop map.
Hot on the heels of Metaphysical came Joe Blow's debut release as a solo rap artist, the 'Smoking Skills' EP, which received rave reviews from all over the world. Then it was the turn of the Squid Ninjaz to drop their debut album 'Revenge Of The Blowfish' with Joe Blow both appearing on several tracks and overseeing the whole project.
In 2010 Joe lent his talents to the now infamous DJ Stagga track 'Genik Riddim' on DJ Starkey's Slit Jockey Records, which knocked Dizzee Rascal and P Money off their top spots on the Juno download chart and saw a spate of high profile remixes once again reaffirming that Joe Blow can explore new terrain and still create fire. Soon after this came some collaborations with Las Vegas based DJs HavokNdeed, namely 'Ain't Got A Pill', the 'Mo Illa' EP, and a formidable remix of Tynchy Stryder's 'Game Over' track all of which featured Joe alongside fellow Squid Ninja and long time wingman Skamma. The pairing of Joe Blow and Skamma also featured heavily on DJ Stagga's 'Warm Air Room' album on Rag N Bone. This earned them a Welsh Music Award nomination from Huw Stephens which gave them chance to hit every major city in the UK and perform.
Now we get the release of Joe Blows debut album 'Dead Man Smoking' a gritty commentary on hip-hop, relationships, life observations and home truths from the eyes of a seasoned and skilful hip-hop powerhouse with production from Mista Digital, Metabeats, Qred, Jnr. Disprol, Hekla Kosh, Dogruffbeats and Darkhouse Fam and features from the likes of Dead Residents, Mudworth, Ral Duke, Beezilbub, Staggamuffin MC, Skamma and Midaz The Beast.
So as you can tell by the names of the people he enlists to work with Joe Blow has produced some quality material. Get up on one of the best Hip-Hop albums out at the moment, this is Joe Blow, this is Hip-Hop!