There is the Link, just follow suggested links to find the entire album. Enjoy!

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Warlock: Friend of Mine Foe of the Music

 

This is a grime album (I refer to it as an album as mixtape seems derogatory for something of this calibre) that was released in 2008 by Warlock, an MC hailing out of West London. Despite Warlock getting airplay on kiss 100 and receiving praise and critical acclaim by DJ Logan Sama, the album surprisingly failed to achieve much else. The album was of course released independently by Warlock; I even bought my copy directly from the man himself! Why do I think it failed to reach its potential? Apart from the obvious difficulties that he faced doing it independently, I think the music that Warlock put out was too niche, I mean only a handful of the tracks on the album could actually be categorized as grime in the traditional sense. The conceptual grime that makes up the bulk of the album undoubtedly had trouble finding an audience at the time of release. This is because the majority of the successful tracks of 08 lyrically consisted of generic braggadocio and rarely anything thought provoking. On Warlock’s offering you will find more of the latter and less of the former. By dissecting the album track by track I hope to show you exactly why this album shoulda gone platinum.

 

Friend of Mine:

In terms of production this track is rather lacklustre in comparison to the rest of the album. It begins with the bass drum kicking hard, coupled with the typical hip hop claps, high hats and looped strings which give a sense of impending doom; you will be hard pressed not to bop your head to it. Lyrically, Warlock kicks off the album with a flurry of aggressive rhymes in defence of grime, his chosen genre. This becomes a recurring theme throughout the album as Warlock grapples with and confronts naysayers “Whoever said me and grime can’t be together/fuck that me and grime are eloping”. A decent opening track in that it gives the listener an idea of Warlock’s style and hints at some of the themes present in the rest of the album.

 

 

Stick to ma gunz:

The second track picks up where the first one left off, albeit with much less aggression. This is due in part to Warlock’s more calm and collected approach and the track being punctuated by the jubilant sound of trumpets. The track is a soliloquy in which Warlock tussles with the opposing forces present in his head and in society which make him question the musical path he has chosen to take. There is one particular line which perfectly sums up the track; “Should I appeal to the grime majority/ talk about shanks, straps, money in the bank and hating the authorities?”

 

Drunk Dance:

As the name suggests Warlock is paying homage to his fellow males who find themselves in similar situations. The earth shattering baseline combined with a melee of different instruments creates the perfect back drop for the subject matter; a recount of Warlock’s drunken antics. This is the first track in which Warlock shares the mic with another MC. Dre a young MC, joins Warlock in describing the inner workings of a night on the tiles. A disappointing feature in the end, as he adds little to the track and his voice sounds annoyingly squeaky at times. A fun track, yet not pushing any boundaries.

 

Grime Train:

Lyrically and in terms of production this is one of my personal favourites. The beat begins with the melancholic strumming of an electric guitar, the subsequent introduction of the hi hats and the quintessential bass drums brings the beat up to a tempo which Warlock can comfortably take us on a journey through his mind’s eye. This track sees the album return to its overarching theme; Warlock’s struggle to get acceptance in the scene which he has professed his love to. The music scene is analogous to a moving train which doesn’t seem to stop for Warlock despite him being more than a worthy passenger, he proclaims “they won’t let me on the grime train they wanna stifle my speech like little Maggie/even though I wallow in so much grime I’m expecting a visit from Kim and Aggie” The lyricism and the stellar production make this one of the best this album has to offer.

 

Kurt Cobain:

Now four songs deep in the album, after two rather mellower offerings Warlock really begins to up the ante, in this track he abandons the concepts, themes and anything of the sort in exchange for a candid display of his lyrical prowess. Once again the production is outstanding; the baseline hits you harder than a shot of Jamaican rum, as does the ferocity in which Warlock comes at you. You can really hear the hunger in his voice as he attempts to sate his appetite by ravaging the beat. The punch lines packed with double entendres, metaphors and similes come at you in quick succession but the delivery remains as lucid as ever. As he boasts in one of his lines “If you see Warlock and you don’t see I got bars then you’re missing an eye like Leela/cause I am so far ahead with the bars that I posses I can see the Jetsons through my visor”. This is genuinely one of those tracks where it’s difficult to pick a particular line to quote; you are just completely spoilt for choice. This I what would refer to as a “hype” track with a healthy dose of intelligent lyricism to keep you listening attentively.

 

London’s Burning:

The fifth track is another shining example of the exceptional production which is showcased throughout the album. This one kicks off with a rock n roll esque guitar riff which is then skilfully fused with the archetypal hip hop hi hats and bass drums, which creates perfect a synergy between the two genres. Warlock then bursts on to the track and raucously delivers the hook:

“London’s burning cause I got a lyrical perversion/and I can’t cope with the burning/so I let off disturbing wording/bound to get all the vermin squirming/I’m unnerving him/real piff I’m serving him/hound him out/drown him out/if he aint amphibian then he aint resurfacing”

In the chorus it’s almost like he’s addressing the Grime scene which makes this song feel like a sequel to Grime Train. After the scene seems to have rejected his advances thus far, Warlock now seeks to wreak lyrical havoc on the scene which refuses to recognize him. Warlock even hints that he himself realizes that his content may be too niche for the grime scene proudly claiming that his lyrics are “earning me my own category N****s are turning green”. Arguably one of the best beats on the album and nothing but quality it terms of lyrics from the man behind the mic.

 

Old Dog and Old Tricks:

Warlock takes the rather exhausted topic of male promiscuity and gives us a fresh take on it. Often songs of this nature are filled with far too much self-glorification and not enough honesty, as MCs and rappers try convince you that their exploits would put Mr. Hefner to shame. Warlock on the other hand, offers us a much more honest approach as he addresses his admirer(s). After the previous three tracks the bar has been set dizzyingly high in terms of production, this one unfortunately sounds rather mediocre in comparison. The beat opens with a looped piano score which is then injected with a guitar riff as Warlock begins the first verse. As you may have guessed Warlock is the “old dog” mentioned in the song title as he tells the story of an unsuspecting lady that has fallen foul to his charms. In hip-hop we have regrettably become accustomed to the objectification of women, especially when it comes to the protagonist describing how he seduces women before mercilessly kicking them to the curb. Warlock contrary to many of his hip hop compatriots tells the story of the man that is honest about his intentions yet still manages to keep things respectful. The song is filled with witty humour and the intelligent lyricism that has become synonymous with Warlock’s content, I’ll leave you with an example “If it weren’t for that extra G&T that fateful night/our relationship would still be platonic.”

 

Music is my Legacy:

This beat is perhaps somewhat minimalist in comparison to some of the others; however this is what makes it deceptively clever. It begins with a vocalist eerily harmonising for the first ten seconds before the ensemble of hip hop instruments is introduced. I compliment the minimalist production because what it does is it showcases Warlock’s ability as a true lyricist, not a fraud who hides behind the beat and catchy hooks; the latter is something which permeates much of mainstream hip hop today. As the name might have suggested this track revisits the album’s central theme, Warlock’s passion for music. Warlock’s passion exudes out of each word he says as he entrances listeners with his effortless delivery. The hypnotism continues as the vocalist sporadically Ad Libs Warlock with her eerie wailing and Warlock chants the chorus to the mesmerising backdrop of a sitar. In terms of lyrics, it’s nothing short of top notch from the self proclaimed “microphone mogul” as he demonstrates his love and dedication to music: “So I regulate a flow that resonates, elevates, levitates settles down and decimates/ then I decorate and devastate every beat that I penetrate/ let’s set the record straight/ you can’t emulate unless you amputated my tongue.” That is probably one of my favourite quotes from the entire album. If we can have songs about frivolous things like “German Whips” in the charts why can’t we have something with substance representing grime?

 

Please, Cautious:

After a trio of conceptual tracks, Warlock gives the listeners a break from the concepts with this high octane offering. The track is produced by Rifle who also produced Warlock’s other “hype” track Kurt Cobain, so if that was anything to go by, you know what to expect in terms of the production. The beat begins quietly it actually sounds like its coming from a phone. At first all that is audible is the bass line which gradually gets louder and is eventually joined by the strings, claps and hi hats which transform the beat into an absolute monstrosity. For only the second time thus far, Warlock is joined by two other MCs K.P and Direman. The title of the track sums up the subject matter dealt with, which is a warning to other MCs who think that they can compete with these three lyrical heavyweights. Direman & K.P are actually fairly decent features they both have a fair share of quotables between them. However what they lack is the intelligence which is present throughout Warlock’s content even on a so called “hype” track. K.P & Direman are more traditional grime whereas Warlock offers something a little different and this is apparent when you compare their verses. Nevertheless this is a decent track, but definitely one of the weaker ones thus far.

 

Mrs Lewis:

This track is probably the closest to Warlock’s heart. The track was written at a time when his mother was taken ill and he feared the worst. Warlock once again proves that he recognises that his potential target audience may not want to listen to something of this nature as he says “if you don’t wanna to listen to this type of thing then skip the track”. This is because deeply introspective tracks are not commonplace in grime. Suitably the beat is a sombre piano score which helps Warlock get his trepidations across to listeners that little bit easier. Throughout the track Warlock wears his heart on his sleeve as he takes us on a harrowing journey. Introspective tracks like this are good because what it does is it allows listeners to relate to the artist. This is certainly a commodity at a time where rappers are increasingly creating hyper-real worlds of over indulgence in money, women and a plethora of other things that the majority of their target audience cannot relate to, yet oddly enough we still find ourselves listening to it. For the umpteenth time now Warlock produces a fine lyrical performance on a track that would certainly touch even the coldest of hearts.

 

On trial:

This track sees the resurgence of one of the albums central themes, Warlock staving off criticism of his decision to become a grime artist. Warlock is accompanied by childhood friend Yello Boy as they both lay down verses in defence of grime. The beat is another elegant piano score which is joined by flutes and other woodwind instruments during the chorus. The title refers to the design of the track which puts the MCs on the stand and their verses are their defence testimonies. Both artists defend grime from different standpoints. Warlock in particular argues against the fact that the media correlates violence and other aspects of criminal activity with grime music, “He spent 15 years in crime but they blame it on the little time he spent in grime”. Yello boy follows a more linear route, he defends grime on the grounds that the people criticising grime do not understand its roots and the group of people it represents, thereby making these criticisms irrelevant. Like Warlock, Yello Boy sounds natural as he effortlessly glides over the melody, something that his other features thus far have lacked. This is another showcase of Warlock’s intelligence as well as another excellent beat; two things you should come to expect from the album if you listened this far.

 

Nah like Me:

After a handful of the previous tracks featured a piano score in some shape or form, it does become a little repetitive that this track also features one (this is me nitpicking I myself am a sucker for piano scores). Warlock once again is addressing his critics and people who refuse to take notice of his gift because of the genre he finds himself in. Despite this Warlock is adamant that once you eventually hear his poetry you will no longer be able to deny him what he is due:

“Relax as I let my mind talk/ and splatter my thoughts all over the track/ this is the blank canvass to which the musical part of my brain reacts/ the hard hitting bars are landing/your attention spans expanding/bars get dispatched/ ears get catched/ now realise War aint ramping”

At the same time Warlock wants to make it clear that the hate he is receiving serves as motivation to prove naysayers wrong. Lyrically another great performance from Warlock, however I think if I am being honest I would like some diversification of content. We know the man can write with the best of them just think I would love to hear him broach some different topics. However we must remember this is his debut album and he’s only going to improve.

 

Pump It:

The maestro Rifle is behind the boards once more, so you know the beat is going to be absolute bananas. Of course Rifle delivers the goods, the beat begins rather slowly but you know it’s the calm before the storm. The bass drum begins to hit intermittently, trumpets begin to blare and a myriad of other sounds enter the fray to create beautifully orchestrated chaos. For this joint Warlock comes complete with his entire crew the Gritty Committee. Each MC brings their own breed of typical grime braggadocio which fits perfectly with the mosh pit inducing beat. As with every track Warlock has been on so far his verse is the one that stands out because his wordplay is just streaks ahead of not just his features, but a lot of so called “big” rappers and MCs. If this track got played in a club it would be absolute pandemonium, the lyrics and the beat make this the perfect grime club banger.

 

Old School:

The piano score which has become a staple in Warlock’s diet returns one last time on the penultimate track of the album. The piano score is solemn and slow paced to match Warlock’s reminiscent rhymes about the good old days. I think much of the magic of this track would be lost on an American audience or perhaps anyone not in their mid twenties. This is because the iconography (Ice poles, Wink murder, live and kicking and push pops) that Warlock uses wouldn’t be that familiar to anyone but British 80s babies. In this retrospective track Warlock speaks of the many truths that we all have to face when we grow up and also reminds us what we miss about being kids. One of my favourite lines on the track which metaphorically depicts the change we have all gone through:

“…high school skipping/at home on the games console switching/duck hunt, paper boy, streets of rage/now the streets have aged and the duck hunt turned into the paper chase/ cause the paper boys gotta get gotta get gotta get paid”.

The fact that I’m encompassed in the era Warlock raps about means I thoroughly enjoyed the journey down memory lane, however I know this will not be the case for everyone. Despite this, this is one of the best tracks on the album the beats and bars are of high quality as usual.

 

Souls Crying:

The final track of the album begins with a rather ominous feeling as the base line menacingly begins to kick; then a demonic sounding voice begins to echo the words “soul will be crying” in the background while the eerie sounds of the violin drift in and out of audibility. To those that are familiar with the Immortal Technique song Dance with the devil this track is somewhat reminiscent of Tech’s offering. This is a story of a young individual who through lack of guidance from parents, and due to misguidance from peers has ended up on a path of self destruction. Warlock’s fictional character has convinced himself that he must “climb the street ladder” no doubt because he didn’t receive the love and attention from home. This song is like no other on the album, he really tries his hand at telling a fictional story which reflects reality. In my opinion doing this is, and making it credible is harder than simply writing a track straight off the back of firsthand experience. The angelic voice of the singer alongside the demonic recitation of “soul will be crying” is a great dichotomy of opposing forces inside the characters head. Warlock has done it again. Awesome beat and possibly the best lyrical showcase of the entire album saved till last, I don’t know about you but he kept me hooked till the last.

 

 

 

I hope I have made it clear why Warlock shoulda gone platinum. At the very least I hope you have gone and listened to his stuff to see for yourself. Really hope you enjoyed my rather unorthodox approach at reviewing this album, I just feel that I should try and put as much work into reviewing it as artists do in recording it. Until next time…..

 

 

 

 

After my previous article regarding the gentrification of my neighbourhood, I thought the next logical step would be to show the true meaning of gentrification, rather than the first world definition that my previous article gave. With that in mind it seems only natural that I discuss what’s happening in Brazil on the eve of one of the greatest sporting events, the FIFA World Cup. Brazil is a country that has huge gulfs between rich and poor a staggering 6% of the entire population lives in favelas. With that in mind you must ask yourself are they not spending beyond their means by hosting the World Cup? I know many people are looking forward to the tournament, which only makes uncovering what’s really going all the more important.

Before winning the race to host the World cup and the Olympics, Brazil was being heralded as one of the fastest growing economies along with China and India. What most people may not know is just how polarised Brazil actually is, this is a country where politicians earn somewhere in the region of 116 times more than the minimum wage. So although the economy may be growing, large portions of the population are not seeing any fruits of such growth. The arrival of the World Cup also seems only to be benefitting a select few rather than the nation as a whole. I find this fact particularly distressing when you think just how important football is to these people, especially the working classes. The World Cup has brought nothing but anguish to the people living in the favelas. The atrocities that have been taking place in the run up to the World cup are truly innumerable; these atrocities FIFA are complicit in and therefore will do anything to keep out of the public eye.

Hundreds of thousands of people are being kicked out of homes that they have lived in for decades to make way for the World Cup. Take the renovation of the Maracana stadium (where the final will be played), reportedly costing $500 Million. Residents in the surrounding favelas in Rio De Janerio are being evicted to make room for a 10,000 space car parking lot. They wouldn’t be politicians if they were not adept at lying and trying to deceive their own people, the city’s housing secretary has said that these demolitions and evictions have nothing to do with the World Cup, Jorge Bittar states that these homes were “precarious homes, built in an inappropriate area”. Cue raised eyebrows; in reality it’s only “inappropriate” in the sense that it’s now prime real estate and they most certainly cannot have poor people living there! Many of these evictions are being carried out at gunpoint by the thugs in uniform the Brazilian police. The very same police force that was sent into the favelas to “pacify” them, ironically the method they used to pacify these poor hungry and forgotten people was violence. It comes as no surprise then that the police are as equally to blame as the drug cartels for the rising murder rate, according to The Rio Times there has been an 8% rise in murders between 2012-13.

As if being kicked out of your home wasn’t bad enough, most of the locals will not even be able to afford to go and watch a game in their local stadiums. In a country where football is more than a national sport, it’s something embedded in national culture this is utterly despicable. Most locals will almost certainly be out-priced, although Deputy Sports Minister Luis Fernandes claims to recognize the fact that there could be a “gentrification of the stadiums” little action has been taken to actually address this issue. This is because he knows that in order to make sure these stadiums remain a sound investment the ticket prices need to be higher. What this means is that the renowned atmosphere of watching football in a South American football stadium will be nothing more than a fallacy, as the inflated ticket prices will be attracting the kind of fans that ex footballer Roy Keane labelled as the “prawn sandwich brigade”.

A common way in which the residents of these favelas earn a living is to sell local cuisine and other football paraphernalia at stalls outside the stadiums. During the World Cup this will not be possible as FIFA plans to have 2KM exclusion zones around the stadiums; consequently only FIFA approved brands will be sold in and around the stadiums. Surely one of the major pulls about attending a World Cup is that you get to experience the culture of the host nation? Clearly FIFA is trying to ensure that the World Cup is completely devoid of anything that isn’t an “official sponsor”. Why not just host the World Cup in the same place each year if FIFA are hell bent on the World Cup having such a bland corporate identity? The FIFA hegemony doesn’t stop there; special judicial procedures are set to be implemented during the World Cup, which is no doubt something that is being shoehorned in by FIFA. In effect special courts will be set up in order to deal with any offences committed at the World Cup. One commentator claims that should these measures be accepted then acts of protest during the World Cup could be judged as terrorism. In order to keep the facade going, FIFA have greased the palms of Brazilian football legends Pele and Ronaldo, as both have spoken positively of the upcoming tournament, not once mentioning the suffering that is being faced by their own people as a result of the World Cup, the latter has even written an article featured in The Guardian.

The Brazilian government is investing billions into constructing the stadiums alone; the figure stands at $7,261,000,000. When around 6% of the countries entire population lives in favelas which are not in receipt of basic public services it’s not difficult to see why Brazilians are angry. Despite these facts, FIFA corporate goon ball Sepp Blatter has the audacity to suggest that Brazilians should not be using the World Cup for political ends. Of course Blatter’s only worry is that the protests of the Confederation Cup will spill over into his beloved World Cup and expose the countless human rights offences FIFA has been complicit in. To further rub salt in the wound, FIFA astonishingly is seen as a non profit organization which means that it is largely exempt from taxes, thereby cheating Brazil out of $400 million in tax revenue. I use the word astonish because it truly boggles the mind that a corporation that is clearly motivated by profit and makes an obscene amount of profit could somehow still be viewed as non profit? During this World Cup what’s happening off the pitch will certainly be more important than what’s happening on it.

I have been an avid gamer for as long as I can remember and this is the first time where it feels like gamers and gaming might be moving from the fringe, onto centre stage. Traditionally, gaming has been viewed as an activity undertaken by lonely nerdy teenage boys. However with rise of E-sports the way people view gaming is set to change. E-sports has in fact been around a while but has always been rather niche. Counterstrike of the late 90s, was one of the early incarnates of E-sports, of course this was at a time when LAN connections were all the range and the internet and reliable connections were not as widespread as they are today, this is what kept E-sports of this era firmly grounded. We now live in a time where high speed broadband is readily available to the average Joe, having an internet connection has become so pervasive in our everyday lives it is seen as an inevitable expense like gas or electricity.

Consequently there has been a huge surge in online gaming and a slew of hugely successful online titles along with it, such as the Call of Duty franchise, World of Warcraft, Starcraft and League of Legends. These games are the front-runners of modern day E-sports (perhaps with the exception of WoW which has fallen off its pedestal in the last few years but out of respect for what it has done for online gaming I have to mention it) which I believe is on the cusp of something great, aside from changing people’s perceptions of gaming, I can see E-sports being seen in the same light as conventional sport.

League of Legends which is currently the most played game in the world, with an astonishing 1 billion hours played monthly (worldwide). At the tail end of last year ended its most successful season yet gaining 32 million viewers worldwide, this excludes the packed Staples Centre of adoring fans who watched the games live. To put that into perspective, that’s more views than when Torvill and Dean won gold at the 84’ Sarajevo winter Olympics. There certainly is an audience for E-sports, and quite a substantial one at that. The live steams online were not mere streams, it was a full on broadcast complete with commentators, hosts and at the end of each game a match of the day esque analysis by people who are as knowledgeable as they are passionate about League of Legends. The South Koreans are already ahead of the West in this respect, they have TV channels dedicated to E-sports. I for one would certainly rather watch an E-sports game than the drudgery of 80s and 90s game shows shown on Challenge TV and these figures suggest I am not the only one. You prefer watching your sport in the pub I hear you say? Well Meltdown London is a place for you to do just that, they show live streams of all the major E-sport events and have regular competitions for you to get involved in and they even get well known E-sports teams paying them a visit from time to time.

The similarities don’t stop with the numbers and the style of broadcast, even the professional teams and the players’ bare resemblance to the likes of Manchester united and David Beckham. The teams all have sponsors, managers and cult followings. The pro players have spent years mastering their craft and train on a daily basis to remain at the top. Even some of the stars of E-sports share a likeness with their better known counterparts. Take Enrique Cedeno Martinez for example, He’s a Spanish League of Legends player who goes by the moniker xPeke and he’s their answer to David Beckham. He doesn’t look like the stereotypical gamer, his dashing good looks make him look more like a fragrance model than a pro gamer. He even has his own trademark much like the Beckham free-kick, the “backdoor” is something fans cry out for every time he dons his headphones and sits down at his computer.

The teams and the players that comprise them do actually make a living from doing what they do. Serious money was given away at the season three world championships in which $2million was spread amongst the top teams. Irrespective of this the teams can earn thousands by playing well at the smaller regional competitions. Aside from the money they earn playing with their team, the players themselves can earn some pretty decent money with their own streams, which charge money if you wish subscribe and they no doubt get some royalties from the adverts which appear during the stream.

Looking to the future of the sport and the next generation of players, Riot the developers of League of Legends are attempting to promote E-sports at universities by hosting collegiate championships in which the prize money is a $100,000 scholarship. In the not too distant future Riot hopes to bring something like this across the border to Europe. With the similarities ranging from the way its broadcast, to the teams and players right down to attaining scholarships for your ability, the resemblance between E-sports and conventional sport is uncanny and it is only a matter of time before E-sports gets the recognition it deserves.

To follow on from the recent documentary How to get a council house which showed the dire situations some people find themselves in due to the shortage of low cost housing. I thought it would be appropriate to shed further light on the social housing situation many people across the capital find themselves in. In particular the very borough in which I live in, Ealing. Currently there are many redevelopments and regenerations taking place within the borough. There are seven sites which are currently in the process of being regenerated all of various sizes. Some are completed or near completion whereas some are due to begin in the coming months. What this means is that a large number of people who live on these sites are most likely going to need to be re-homed. Now just by peeking on the Ealing council website you can find the number of houses they have  available for people on the housing register each year, they say that this is somewhere in the region of 900 homes on average. Now with over 13,000 people on the housing register in Ealing alone it is clear that there is a huge shortage, which is pretty much the case across the rest of London. Now with a housing shortage already rife in the borough, you need to ask are these regenerations really necessary? It is clear that regenerations such as the ones taking place will further lengthen the wait for people who were already waiting for housing. To further illustrate how bad the shortage is last year 175 2 bedroom properties were available and over 2,400 people were waiting for properties of that size. With this in mind regenerating must be seen as something of a luxury at times like these, we simply don’t have the housing stock available to re-house the people on the waiting list already, let alone the people being made to move by council regeneration schemes.

I myself am a 17 year resident of Havelock estate, one of the 8 housing estates deemed necessary for regeneration. I speak for myself when saying this; however I know that most of the other residents will echo me when I say that the people of Havelock would rather not move. Approximately eight years ago, a ballot was held to decide whether or not residents wanted Havelock estate to be sold to a Housing Association company 51% voted against this attempted venture by the council. A council official has confirmed that the recent turn of events in Havelock (namely the regeneration) is pretty much exactly what the council proposed to do eight years ago, this time around there was no ballot of course. The reason being is the council were obviously afraid of losing, and why risk the embarrassment when they are not required to even hold a ballot in the first place? It’s not like residents should have the right to decide what happens to their homes or anything. I was also told by the council official that the Havelock estate properties are at the end of their life cycle and it would cost more to refurbish them than it would to build completely new homes. Again the ugly word profit rears its head, this should not be about money, and the council should be providing residents with what they ultimately want. Perhaps if the housing list was not 13,000 long and the council had the houses to re-house the residents without putting unnecessary pressure on an already long list, then and only then should such “regenerations” be considered. However what’s taking place would be better referred to as gentrification not regeneration. The proposed prices of the rents here may well be too high for many of the current residents, so coming back to Havelock upon completion may not be a realistic option for many people. Following on from that more than half the current properties on Havelock are to be sold (current housing stock 845, 434 for outright sale), if the residents of Havelock could afford to buy their own houses would they really be renting a council home? The splitting up of the long standing community of Havelock estate is despicable; what’s worse is this is all being masqueraded as “being for the good of the community” my community will no longer be a community so how can we be seen to benefit from whatever comes of the so called regeneration? Not to mention that the council had promised to find the residents of Havelock better or similar properties than the ones we currently have. A number of residents that have been re-housed and moved away from the estate are unhappy with what the council has given them. For the last remaining residents which needed to be out before the end of last year, we have received letter in which the council state that we will be given a direct offer of residence and if we chose to refuse this offer then they will begin legal proceedings against us. A regeneration that was neither wanted nor arguably needed is going to displace and break up a long standing community all in the name of profit. The question remains, does this money actually go back to the community? Or does it end up in the pockets of some shameless politicians?