Dope or Nope: Singles Review 22/11/2013 – 29/11/2013

Welcome to Dope or Nope, our brand new weekly feature where we will be reviewing a selection of the week’s singles. Dope or Nope takes place during the Circulation Magazine Radio Show – every Friday on URY from 9-11pm (listen online at

This week Circulation Magazine’s new editor-in-chief Alice Lawrence was the guest of honour and joined the Dope or Nope jury.


First up was ‘Colour Me In’ by Syron, a new signing to Lana Del Rey’s managment. 19 years old, her online persona was uploaded in the form of a Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Tumblr on Thursday along with this tune.


JR:  This is very pop. It kind of reminds me of Cascada in the early 2000s, they latched onto the European club sound that was popular and stuck some nice female vocals over the top to make it appealing to the radio, this is what they’ve done here – grabbed a house beat and thrown a pretty girl on top. Still catchy though. DOPE.


AL: I’m more interested in whether her knuckle tattoos are real! It’s very catchy and is now stuck in my head. DOPE.




Busta Rhymes is back, dropping this new tune on Friday featuring Q-Tip and barely featuring Lil Wayne and Kanye West.


JR: He has an odd voice that isn’t made any better by Q-Tip who is very smooth. The beat favours Q-Tip too. It never seems to go anywhere, the whole OTT technical rapping thing doesn’t really do much these days and this track is a bit of an anti-climax when it ends in a predictable soul sample. NOPE.


AL: The stuff he is rapping about is really interesting. All about being raised a Christian and the glamorous hip-hop lifestyle going against those values. I think it’s pretty refreshing. DOPE.




Oscar Key Sung is the latest Australian export to come onto our radar. We checked out his tune ‘All I Could Do’


JR: It’s like a cross between James Blake and all his contemporaries. It’s like a party, a sad party. DOPE.


AL: It’s a party full of people I don’t like all speaking over each other when I want to go home to bed. NOPE.




Next we run the rule over Marika Hackman featuring on this new track by Sivu – ‘I Hold’


AL: I love Marika Hackman, in my eyes anything she does turns to gold. I saw her in Leeds supporting super producer Ethan Johns and he had specially hand-picked her out for the tour. I think she has been on better stuff though but this is still DOPE.


JR: Too dreary for me, I can see why Marika Hackman gets your love but this track is weak. NOPE.




Finally we checked out the brand new remix of ‘Shabba’ from A$AP Ferg. The remix features Shabba Ranks himself along with busy man Busta Rhymes and Migos.


AL: It’s really cool that he got Shabba Ranks on this track. It’s good to see original respected artists getting referenced and revered on the newer stuff, it’s a nice history lesson and a good tune. DOPE.


JR: I love this. Ferg’s album was a little same-y but this tune works great as Shabba Ranks, Ferg and Busta Rhymes have really strong verses, are distinctive yet cohesive on the track. I do wish Danny Brown and Ferg would collaborate though – that’d be very weird. DOPE.




Syron – ‘Colour Me In’ = DOPE

Busta Rhymes – ‘Thank You’ (ft. Lil Wayne, QTip, Kanye West) = DOPE/NOPE

Oscar Key Sung – ‘All I Could Do’ = DOPE/NOPE

Sivu – ‘I Hold’ (ft. Marika Hackman) = DOPE/NOPE

A$AP Ferg – ‘Shabba’ (ft. Shabba Ranks, Busta Rhymes and Migos) = DOPE


Joni Roome