Saturday, 16 May 2015

That time they try tell me about black British history… looooool

Disclaimer: This post is inspired by a conversationThe people quoted in this post are who I believe are symptoms of, not the problem so please understand this isn't a personal attack - it's addressing a wider issue. They were quoted for context so readers could fully understand wah gwaan. Also, they are very up in certain aspects of black American and black British culture. Do not take them for some weak, any guys at aaaallll. The conversation wouldn't have been a conversation if that was the case. Respect them guys. And I'm speaking generally. If you don't feel like you fit the category, you probably don't. This isn't a black vs. white thing, it's a "there's a lot more to the story" thing. Bless up.

Before we proceed, I'd like to start this post by quoting BDL founder, Big Narstie. "Black man can't fool again, my lard." This is a history lesson outside of Black History Month *gasp*. That's about Black American history anyway, so you wouldn't get this kind of stuff anyway. Also, make sure you understand the disclaimer before you get worked up or start drawing your own conclusions.

A tweet I posted sparked a reaction yesterday. So much so, a long conversation followed (you can read it here). I was asked to admit I was chatting shit or got it wrong. Which part?! Wrong for using a word that offended soul heads cos they don't feel they were begs? Based on the fact a few missed the point, maybe, but the essence of the tweet is true. And as Bob Marley said "The truth is an offence but not a sin".

(Definition of "beg" in this instance: placing somebody else's culture higher than your own. Yes, I understand some people just prefer the music but you'll get me if you continue reading. Safe)

It's so mad; it went so left, people were bringing what they think I said based on who they think I am and what they think I know. Mate "You might see me on the tweets but homie, you don't know me".

Friday, 1 May 2015

Chronixx the bad guy? Reggae rates sell outs now?

Now let me set this off right, I've felt away about the reaction to this for a while but I didn't have the right words to say at the time. Now I've formulated all my thoughts, I present this post to you. I'm not late, I'm on Marvin's time. And there's no time like Marvin's time.

So if you aren't familiar with the story, Chronixx posted this the day everybody got a boner 'cos Obama said "Greeting's massive. Wah gwaan, Jamaica?" The picture was deleted not long after.

Loads of people got really upset by this. And I mean, REALLY UPSET. Like, ABSO LIVID, MATE! The young artists page was inundated with comments ranging from "How dare you call Obama a waste man" to "Your VISA should be revoked".  Woah, woah mate, slow down innit. Funniest comment was in response to said "revoke visa" comment, which said "Revoke yu madda…" Mi laugh so til.

(Basically, Jamaican artists require a visa to perform in America.)

The worst thing is said was missed by everyone. What did he mean by "race of good for nothings". That's only bit I thought was potentially a bad decision.

But anyway onto the real stuff...

Why Skepta is most important black British artist right now

Hear what, yeah, I said it. And I ain't taking back no talk. And I ain't a post-Kanye West and Drake co-sign Skepta fan. Nor am I a deeper grime fan so I'm not gonna go into bere specifics. Nor do I feel its necessary to go into grand detail. I'm just here to talk about the greater cause. Skepta has helped bring back what it means to be a black Londoner expressing him/herself through music and that good stuff.

(That's to prove I'm not a band wagon guy.)

You may remember I posted a little one man reasoning about why Fuse ODG is the best black British artist. He then went on to become the best selling black British artist of the year and it doing a tour bigger than most black men with a mic are currently able to (Hammersmith Apollo is like 4k capacity, most do under 2k). This is something I've been thinking and tweeting for a while now. Well, it's gone from Skepta is the best/king to the most important over time. Today I'm posting these thoughts.

(Little note: my disclaimer in the above Fuse post was "*subject to change when Skepta, Chip and/or Wretch drop some material.")

Skepta is like if all of a sudden New York ruled hip hop again. London's got its culture back. We were in some grim times (definitely not grime times). The focus had shifted to UK rap, which was pretty cool for a bit. Let's be honest, it was a lot better than the Wearing My Rolex, Oopsy Daisy and (Tinchy Stryder) Number 1 chasing by other respected artists who weren't capable of making those songs like the artists who did. That was until UK rap started rehashing American sounds, rhyme schemes and slang. Every week there were hundreds of freestyles of the latest American hip hop banger or everyone wanted to be Drake and those who didn't, wanted to be Rick Ross. And the worst thing is, people actually believed it was where we needed to go.

Tuesday, 31 March 2015

This is about Protoje's sold out debut show in London

So, Friday night was all about Protoje's first show in England. And where better for it to be held than Brixton? Nowhere! That's where. The night was hosted by Sir David "Ram Jam" Rodigan. Who better to give you the blessing for your first show in England, in Brixton? You guessed it, me! That's who. Nah, I'm joking. No one - duh.

Friday, 27 February 2015

Why there weren't any blacks at the Brits + Kanye thing a bad look?

I wasn't even gonna address this but I had a vibes to so here it is.

Everybody's been asking why there weren't any blacks at the Brits, so I thought I'd give a few answers based on what I see happening out there today. Most of the people asking the questions will happily admit they don't follow what's happening in the national charts. How does that even make sense then? In an ideal world, you should have a little bit of knowledge before speaking on things you don't know. Otherwise, you're just spouting ignorance.

First things first, the Brits is there to celebrate the best of what's happening in the charts for a particular year. How they measure that, I don't know, but that's what it's meant to do. I also don't know the criteria for nominations, but whatever. Black artists accounted for a grand total of two nominations. George The Poet for Brits' Critics Choice and FKA Twigs in the Best Female category. Neither won.

The better question is where are the black Brits in the charts?

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Reggae Valentines Showcase (Freddie McGregor, Romain Virgo, Johnny Osbourne + more) was so live

So I went to the Reggae Valentine's show on Sunday night (15th February). First thing's first; big up the organisers - solid line up and nice change of venue. Too often these shows are just heritage acts at the Brixton Academy. The Academy is a big venue so it seems like promotors are limited with artists. Well, giving them benefit of the doubt.

Show started promptly at 7:30. Anybody that's been to a reggae show in the past will know how much of a big deal this is. Too often, Sunday night shows don't really pay attention to the fact tube finishes early, meaning a long journey back for people, who in some cases either miss the last half hour of the show or go across London on a mission. Leave's a bad vibe and people will eventually say they aren't going to Sunday shows as a result. Thankfully, this ended at 11pm on the dot!

Saturday, 14 February 2015

I spent Bob Marley's 70th at couple (free!) events in Kingston, Jamaica

So, as you should know 6th February is the day both Bunny Rugs from Third World and Bob Marley were born. Neither are with us in physical, however they're both strong in the world of music.

Bob Marley's birthday was celebrated with events across the island. I was fortunate to go to two. Maddest thing is I didn't even plan to be there for his 70th, I noticed the week before. Great coincidence. Must've been a blessing from the above.

February is reggae month in Jamaica, it begins with Dennis Brown celebrations as its his birthday on the 1st (I went down to Dubwise Wednesday for a tribute session. Big up Yardcoore) and there's loads of other events (including wicked ones for free) going on.

However, we're here to talk about Bob Marley's birthday celebrations. On the day itself, I went down to the Bob Marley museum at 56 Hope Road for the 'Legacy Continues' show. Very surreal experience. Like, I'm really at Bob Marley's house on what would've been his 70th birthday. And we were all there for the same reason, so it was a big community - Rasta's and baldhead's alike. Bob's a prophet. In years to come, there could be a religion after him. I mean, Rasta globally is more down to a love and raspect for Bob Marley than anything else if we're totally honest.

I walked in as percussionist Bongo Herman was on stage playing some songs - mainly covers and that of songs such as Sugar Minott "Oh Mr DC" and others. He was followed by the Uprising Roots band. Both delivered good enough performances for the slots.

Bob's famous blue Land Rover had been taken off display in the museum for a couple years as it was being restored. I know it's at least a couple of years because they mentioned it when I was there in 2013. I didn't even realise they would be unveiling the restored version on the day. It was only when I was told to get off a platform I stood on, I looked to my right and saw the Land Rover sign and they announced they'd be revealing it.