Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Devlin and Ed Sheeran Acoustic b2b

Two artists in my most anticipated top 5. They really need to get this collab together. I know it'll be a gem. No doubt in my mind

Check page 35 in this month's edition of Flavour magazine for my feature on Devz

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

MTV Wrap Up: Busy Signal interview

Remember I said MTV Wrap Up and I are gonna step pon bwoy with reggae/dancehall coverage? Well continuing in that vein, Busy Signal interview.

Marvin Sparks caught up with Jamaican dancehall artist Busy Signal to discuss why he feels underrated, his reception in Europe compared with Jamaica, surviving without the lucrative USA market, substance in dancehall music, what inspires his content and musical infulences, and whether he'll work with foe, Aidionia. All exclusively for The Wrap Up...

Check the full interview here

In case you didn't know, this is the second time I've interviewed him. The first was in my top 5 best at one point (haven't done a top 5 in a while, hence not sure if it's still in there), so put a lot of pressure on myself with this one. Felt I got another good one. Hope you enjoy. Let me know if you do/don't. Love geting feedback

You can check the first one here

For all other dancehall reggae interviews including Beres Hammond, Popcaan, Morgan Heritage, Tarrus Riley, Chino and Laden, Wayne Marshall and more check here

For other interviews with Devlin, Skepta, Chipmunk, Tinchy Stryder, TI, Akon, John Legend, Raekwon, Trey Songz, Keri Hilson etc. check through here

Devlin & SAS features for Flavour Magazine

Did two interviews outside of the dancehall/reggae genre; one with UK rappers SAS and Grime's Devlin for Flavour magazine.

I call the SAS one a radio edit. That side of the story had to be told and needs to be heard; the other is the mad real talk. Both very necessary. A 40-minute interview with word limit of 900 words doesn't work too well. I hope to release it at some point, but it is explosive. No hype

Check page 50 for SAS interview

Me and Devlin spoke about a lot like writing lyrics at 13, what people liked about his debut mixtape Tales of the Crypt, inspiration behind Community Outcast, whether he felt like an outcast in the grime scene, not liking the Mike Skinner comparison and trials and tribulations on his journey in the game.

That interview is on page 35


Oh yeah, the cover story with Scorcher is sick! For the sex edition he shares embarrassing sex stories. Hilarious

Monday, 27 September 2010

MeView: 1Xtra Live

What's a MeView? Know sometimes you read vague reviews where you can't tell whether the person actually enjoyed the show? This isn't one of them. For previous editions check here

First off, special thanks to mi dancehall sistrin Kazza/Kal. I can't remember which one of those she doesn't like. I'd like to call her that one more often. Just kidding. I don't think she likes either of them, so we'll keep it simple; Karen.

Wembley Arena hosted one of the most important dates on the urban events calender, 1Xtra Live, put on by guess who? What? Nah g, the best major radio station in UK, BBC Radio 1Xtra. If you haven't heard of 1Xtra Live, last night was the third edition of the annual concert that grabs leading national and international stars from a range of urban genres on one stage. Tickets for the event are FREE! That's right Londoners, all you have to pay for is your oyster card (travel), unless you have zones 1-4 on your season pass. Cost a bit more for the zones 5-countryside, but it's money you would have spent anyway, so minor.

Artists priviliged enough to grace the stage in previous years include Dizzee Rascal, Chris Brown, Kelly Rowland, Akon and many more. Last year 1Xtra Live made history in Sheffield?; for the first time in history a concert showcasing/celebrating homegrown talent was regarded as a luxury rather than novelty and sympathetic (or do I mean pathetic).

This years line-up was still dominated by #TeamUK acts; Mr. #1 Tinchy Stryder, new superstar on the block Tinie Tempah, Camden's finest N-Dubz, east London comeback collective Roll Deep as well as relative newcomers in Dagenham dangargon Devlin, princess of dubstep (and all things dancey) Katy B and in-demand singer/songwriter Labrinth. Sprinkled with the best x budget-suitable US artists in BoB and Jason Derulo, plus owner of summer record for 2010, reggae ambassador Gyptian.

The event streamed live on, full performance videos are available for...then they will be cut down to highlights, but I'm still going to tell the story of the night through MeView (I don't review, I MeView). Why? Because I can!

In the spirit of previous MeView's it's a bit weighty plus there were many acts, so I've made all the artist's names bold for your skimming pleasure. Obviously I'd appreciate if you read the whole thing, but I understand if you cant

Tinchy Stryder kicked the show off with one of my favourite singles of his, In My System. Backed by a full band and backing vocalist, I missed his entrance as I walked into the venue chomping on my freshly bought hot dog, but heard it was impressive. Followed up by Drake's 'Over' x Tinchy's street single 'Gangsta' as seen/heard on Radio 1/1Xtra Live Lounge and 'Number 1' with his first guest Dappy much to the delight of the screaming girls. New single 'Second Chance' had the 15k strong crowd waving. Undoubted highlight of the set was Tinchy calling out Professor Green, Tinie Tempah and Devlin for their first performance of synth and bass heavy 'Game Over'. The full line up of featured artists on that track is longer, can't wait for the video.

Tinchy Stryder 'Game Over' featuring Professor Green, Tinie Tempah and Devlin

Hosts for the night TreMma (breakfast hosts Trevor Nelson and Gemma Cairney) introduced the first international act of the night and first reggae artist in 1Xtra Live short history, hailing from Kingston, Jamaica, Gyptian. Babylon fought against the BBC for booking Mavado in '08, so he was removed. Gyptian's short-but-sweet set didn't disappoint. Located on the smaller stage at the end of the catwalk, the locksed-up ladies man's set geared for the, erm, ladies (obviously Marvin), consisted of traditional reggae with Beautiful Lady and summer dancheall anthem Hold You. No Nicki Minaj obviously, but "Mi nuh care" (see what I did there? "Mi eye them dry and MI NUH CARE" are lyrics on Hold You). I'd like to point out that he appeared to be wheeling his hand for a pull up during Hold You that, sadly, never came.

Gyptian 'Hold You'

Songstress Katy B took to the same stage next with Circle host Tippademus (gotta be one of the greatest host names). Aside from her missing the drop, I’m not sure if it was because Hold You sounded full or the sound engineer forgot the volume, but On A Mission didn't knock as hard as I expected. No such complaint for Perfect Stranger = BANGURH! Absolutely adore her tracks; her sweet vocals just float over the chaos of thumping bass and thrashing chords beneath like an unmanned spy plane in a war-torn region. Random. I know. Brought out iconic female MC, Ms Dynamite to perform a track. Didn't like the song. But hey, who would have thought a year after UK Funky Live, Katy B would be the only person to grace the Wembley stage?! Albeit, this time reppin' a different genre (and far superior setting for a worthier cause). Well done Katy.

An energetic BoB *Shaggy voice* jump-and-pranced (from Oh Carolina for the slow/young ones) on the main stage through In The Sky, UK #1 'Nothin' On You' (no Bruno "that sniff makes me feel like I'm from" Mars) and my personal fave 'Airplanes'. Didn't bring out Giggs to my disappointment. In fact, the performance didn't keep me that engaged. He did Nothin' On You with a little reggae fusion.

Labrinth emerged through one of the secret entrance thingys on the second stage. Wearing a navy blue trench coat, black bucket hat and khaki's. He looked like the Singing In The Rain dude singing Let The Sunshine (with the obvious melanin difference). Mz Bratt tweeted that he had the best vocal performance of the night so far. I ticked strongly disagree. Gyptian and Katy B were much better. Labrinth's voice sounded weave... I mean horse (I'm not anti-weave) to me. I pressed reply, but deleted it, scrolled up and saw her clarify that it's in her opinion. I took that as many people disagreed with her. She is an MC afterall, At this point I'd like to say it's out now. Go purchase a great song.

I'd never never seen Karaoke in an arena before, not sure how successful it sounded over the top of my voice, but I had a wail of a time singing along to Bonkers by Dizzee Rascal (boys vs girls) and Black Eyed Peas 'I Gotta Feeling' (Gemma's side of the audience vs. Mista Jam's) - a song I didn't know the lyrics to until Saturday. In fact I can only remember "Fill up my cup! Mazatov!" I'm teetotal so I don't know if that's how you spell it. I would Google it, but that would spoil the point. Mista Jam made a good host/MC on the flipside Gemma's dancing throws me off my two-step and her singing's keyless. But she knows this and flaunts it, so if you had hang-ups, shame on you! Her personality makes up for what she lacks; she's really bubbly and has a girl next door/down to earth vibe about her.

Next up, the Marmite man a.k.a. Jaaayysun D'rooloh (on paper it says Jason Derulo); he's either in the elite group of artists with Flo-Rida (yeah, I said "elite" hear me out) of Celebs you'd most like to punch (disclaimer: as long as it doesn't bruise. I heard 1-punch KO's are ok though) or torture your ears with as 8 million of you sorry souls have done. Does he have the record for most family and friends by any chance? Anyway, he pops up out the stage doing a little jig. At this point, the hot dog from earlier wanted to pop up too, he couldn't take anymore. I, on the other hand, gave him a chance to prove himself. I'll be honest, the 'urban' Billy Elliott gave a good account of himself. Vocals sound alright, danicing and ballet looked quite good, I tapped my foot to 'In My Head' and (shh...) and females screamed. Am I being biased 'cos he included a little reggae-tinged section on Riding Solo? Who knows...

"Dagenham Don Gorgon" Devlin stepped up to the stage with Dogzilla to the sound of London City, before performing Brainwashed, followed up by Runaway. I was intrigued to see Devlin perform becasue he's a pure spitter. Holding the mic on sets in a DJ booth/on radio is different to performing. Luckily, he didn't have to work the big stage, but for me, I couldn't see how he would work a big stage. Not that I feel it will be detrimental to him, just out of curiousity. Joined on stage for Runaway by the delightful Yasmin. She wore some legging looking things (too far to see properly), but damn fam, she's fly.

Soundclash between Mista Jam (red gown) vs. Ace & Vis (blue gown) got off to a shaky start. Technical glitch so they showed Dizzee performing Dance For Me last year possibly? Time goes so fast. Anyway, seasoned vet Trevor Nelson handled it like a pro, naturally. Come on, did you expect any less? He's a dinosaur innadis! Certified legend. Our Terry Wogan. Moving on,

Spoiler Alert:
1st round: Biggest track in the box. Jam could only manage On A Mission by Katy B? Reception wasn't great when she performed it. Ace & Vis repped strongly with Yolando Be Cool 'We No Speak Americano'. First round went to Ace & Vis for me. Easily. Jam said they cheated because it isn't a 1Xtra song. Which I guess made sense with the stipulation for round 2. Ding ding!

2nd round: Guilty pleasure. I'd like to take this point to say I would have murdered both of them with this round. Jam drew for Kings of Leon 'Use Somebody' (regular tune, no forward from me); Ace & Vis played Toploader 'Dancing In The Moonlight' for everyone that came out with their best friend. Great intro, great song choice, winners of that round.

Final round: Biggest hip hop track. Ace & Vis set pace with House of Pain 'Jump Around'. Strong forward. If Mista Jam carried on the way he did before, he's dead in the water. He drew for a haymaker mammoth tune. Fresh Prince of Bel Air. Flick. On. Lights. This. Dance. Is. Done.

Winner chosen by crowd response = Mista Jam. Think Ace & Vis got robbed cos they won 2-1, but that was a helluva comeback.

Tinie Tempah
put on a stellar performance as to be expected. Nothing more that I can really say to be honest. Oh actually, he's one of few UK urban artists I feel really performs like he enjoys his own songs...

Surprise guest
first song was dead. Second song = powerful

Roll Deep took us from Sidewinder with 'When I'm 'Ere' (much to the pleasure of grime abassadors JP, SB and I saw Hyperfrank skankin too) to Butlins/Pontins/Magaluf/Oceana with 'Good Time' (#BadTimes) in one go. Couldn't believe it. I must admit Green Light is a guilty pleasure of mine, even though the urban guys spoilt the tune. Caught myself nodding to it. Who knew the vocalists were two different females? I didn't.

Last but by no means least N-dubz! Tulisa looked like a temptress in that red dress, Dappy (aka Dappy Ranks, the undercover ragga artist) has the presence with the urban looking fella chiming in every now and again on the keyboard. Joking, big up Fazer, very talented producer and on the keyboard. Looked like they were going through the motions a bit but the fans weren't complaining.

Conclusion: As with all events there are highs and lows and on this occasion there was Jason Derulo *moment of silence*. I really enjoyed it. Felt the power of #TeamUK. Seeing a sold/freed out Wembley Arena responding to every artist; be it screaming when name was announced, waving arms, singing along etc. was surreal. Couple years ago, the mainstream door was locked for them. It would have been perfectly fine without the Yanks, Gyptian was absolutely necessary obviously. Only person I would have liked that wasn't there is Skepta, but you can't have it all.

Oh yeah, this time last year I cussed the organisers of UK Funky Live for putting on the show in such an established venue. Shout out to them cos someone knew UK Funky wouldn’t be around this year and capitalised on it like a true business man/ooman. Still disagree with the venue choice. FAO UK Funky Live artists: Katy B said “Wish you were here.”

RD - Do It Like Me

I've seen the name about on Twitter but I don't know who the hell they are so I'll quote the video description

"Ruff Diamondz are London-based trio -- vocalists Troy (20), Martika (18) and MC Chronz (19) -- who are bringing some much-needed flavour to the urban scene. Following on from their street-heater 'Allrite Stillll' which dropped earlier this year, the girls are now back with a scorcher of a track called 'Do It Like Me' out November."

Moving on, their new video premiered exclusively on "Yeah yeah/ yeah yeah/ ess bee/ tee vee-ee-ee" (sidenote: if you haven't greeted Jamal with that, you haven't lived)

Currently on 301 views

First thought: "What the hell are they doing using Dead Prez's classic 'Hip Hop' beat? Who do they think they are? Don't they know they're going against the meaning of the track?"

Second thought: "Hmmm... this isn't bad you know. I'm feeling the video, girls have a nice vibe"

Third thought: "Feeling the additional production on there. I'm no longer offended because it feels like a new song."

Final thoughts: some of you may be thinking they aren't the best singers, don't have the best rapper, the choreography is quite basic but to me that's irrelevant. They're good enough at all for a pop group, songs really catchy and the dance is something mere mortal can dance along too. I'm feeling this a lot. Troy has a sweet voice, Martika has the mainstream look (you know what I mean) and MC Chronz (can't help thinking of Crohn's disease) bars are simple by lyricist/F64 standards, but I think they're fit for the market. At least give her credit for not dropping any #DrakeBars. Is it me or does she sound like Mz Bratt before Mz Bratt started sounding like everyone else?

Good introduction to me. Think there's potential there. I look forward to hearing more from them. They're like talent show winners with a good budget behind them. That isn't a diss, that's what I like about them. Music and image's are too complicated, too contrived, over thought, and don't feel genuine to me. Simple yet polished. Guessing by its premiere on SBTV that this is a street single/promo. Wonder what they have lined up commercially. I think because I see them as pop with a street edge like, say, a Mis-teeq, I am impressed. I will download their mixtape.

Question: how did they manage to dance in those boots with untied laces?

p.s. this reminds me of something so I thought I'd share. IT IS NOT A COMPARISON. Don't care what you want to tell me, Total, TLC and 702 weren't that good at singing. Don't get offended, listen to them and tell me they were singers. Don't get it twisted, they sounded good, but they weren't "good singers" on solo levels.

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

What's That Smell?! 50 Cent 'They Burned Me'

Following conversations with a few people I've decided I should blog a bit more often. I find I usually tweet my bloughts instead of blogging them. I sometimes forget people don't have Twitter. In '010 you know. Well it was a special person that I received advice from; she said "There's no harm in Tweeting your thoughts and blogging them. You can expand your tweets into blogs." So instead of twrants, I'm going to blog more. I mean that was the inspiration behind actually blogging on here

So in line with that, I have literally replayed this song at least 15 times today. Anybody that knows me, knows despite the crap 50 Cent produces this day I will forever have that "Maybe this time he'll drop something decent", but always end up disappointed (check this post for my "fan-to-ahhh-maan noo" story. Bit like being a Nas fan (I am one of those too) until Distant Relatives. I was with 50 from mixtape hype when it was built in New York. Hold tight Tim Westwood's 50 Cent sessions back then. Damn! Good times

I spotted this over at Soul Culture today. They have the Bruno mars and Damian Marley track produced by Supa Dups from Black Chiney which does go hard. As a dancehall/reggae defender, you'd think that would be the tune of the day, but this Fiddy track is the post above it.

They Burned Me by 50 Cent

Fifty says its an old song. Sounds like the better quarter of The Massacre/Get Rich or Die Trying soundtrack. You know Hustlers Ambition was his last best song in this vein. That era there. The Massacre would have been better without about 9 of the tracks, and if Fifty didn't give songs to The Game. In My Hood, Supposed To Die Tonight and Ski Mask Way were vintage Curtis.

That IS hip-hop (well the hip-hop I like)! Some real rap. No corny punchlines with the same Drake delivery. Real hustler, projects rap. The raw street edge that has been missing from the game with all these tight jeans, bright colours, lense-less spectacle nerds making music for blogs and forum surfing suckers! Me and my bredrin were saying we could do with a new hardcore artist in the lane that brought 50 Cent and DMX success to shake up the game. Pre-50 was Ja Rule & Nelly, pre-DMX was shiny suit Bad Boy It's way too female-oriented. He says Uncle Murda, I think someone from a different country will probs buss it.

Forget that swagger nonsense and that pop champagne bottles (with your man dems donations when really you've only got lemonade money shouts to Christiana check her blog for real talk). Them student loan ballers that walk into Gucci to go buy accessories, yet argue with their mum about house-keeping money come end of month. Get your priorities right you pr**ks!

What part of the game is that? What about us street dudes that need that inspiration huh? Ok, the last bit shouldn't include me, but still, the sentiments remain.

On a flip, I would pay money to hear J. Cole on that beat. I know he'll tear it to shreds.

p.s. if you aren't following Fif on Twitter you are missing out big time. He is the most outrageous celeb on there Regular controversy and rollin' on the floor tweets. It's a must. I take time out to read his timeline.

Exhibit A: "Now I aint one to judge no one but that girl from precious a ugly motherfucker I don't give a fuck"

Need I say more?

Sunday, 19 September 2010

D Double 'Street Fighter' Alternative video

Untitled from Mo ALi on Vimeo.

This is 'ard! Big up Mo Ali, he has come a long way since Lethal Bizzle's 'Pow' and Jammer's 'Murkle Man'

Friday, 17 September 2010

FlashBack Friday: TV TeenHood Crushes

Welcome to FlashBack Friday. A time where we reminisce on good times had in previous years.

This one is not only for the mandem, cos I know females judge females too. So I could have written adolescent, but teenhood sounds much better, no? Today I'm focusing on teen TV programs I used to watch in my teens. I'll appreciate presenters, singers, models etc. in due course.

Females from pre-teens will not be included here, so none of that "What about [insert females name]. I'm not even sure if I can remember enough to make a post to be honest. Maybe one day.

Well, you may remember in the last episode of FlashBack Friday's about Movie OST's I promised to do a post on crushes from back in the day. In said post I wrote "Also had one of my teenhood (I think I made that up. Sounds cool to me) crush's Raven-Symone ("damn, homegirl. High school you was the girl..."). In fact one that became another teenhood crush, Kyla Pratt played Raven's sister. Little did (or does) she know she would overtake her and stay until this very day, but that's another FlashBack Friday".

Anyone that watched That's So Raven (terrible show) after being a fan of Raven from Hanging With Mr Cooper and Cosby Show can relate to what I'm on about. You can see the beauty was still in there. The weight gain didn't suit her and she did look (as much as it pains me to say) quite evil:

I'm glad I held back on doing this post, because I have been made to eat my words... and my gawd do they taste good. Look at Raven-Symoné now?

I used to tell one of my bredrins when I grow up (turn 21) I'm going to be a celebrity and married to Raven-Symoné. Neither has happened. In fact, I used Raven-Symoné blowing up as my excuse as to why it hadn't happened. Now my quest can begin again.

The other person mentioned above, Kyla Pratt. She was way too young for me in Dr Doolittle, but One-on-One? Mmmm my (obviously back then. It's kinda paedo to think that of her now looking back... if you get what I mean). I know everyone hated that episode where her and Arnaz were about to... yeah you know which episode. And now I remember why I hate Ray J.

And my, my, my has she still got it. Out celebrating her 23rd birthday

Her friend Spirit (Sicily Sewell) used to go hard in the paint too. Underrated.

Now married to drummer Christopher Johnson (I don't know who he is either), and a baby girl, Madison

Disney Channel also showed Smart Guy

The sister Yvette. Watched her on Trouble in Half and Half too. And woi, she's still doing this thing.

Before Trouble it was all about *holds out mic*... Yes, that is correct, Nickelodeon. Channel 23 on cable.

Now the next one-and-one (or two), I can't remember who I preferred. I think it alternated depending on the episode. You already know what program I'm on about. The Think it may have more been Tia cos Tamera's 360 spin dance annoyed me. She had the swag though, and the mole.

Still got it as well

Wasn't really attracted to Alex Mack, but Melissa Joan Hart? Yesh pliz. Not the Clarissa Explains It All one as much as Sabrina The Teenage Witch. Hated on Harvey.

Erm, she's ok now. Nowt spesh

Jennifer Freeman aka Claire mach II in My Wife and Kids. I know every man can relate

So yeah, that's all for now folks.

Actually, I think I'll give a taster of the next one

Recognise this face? I had a crush on her too. Been on the MILF ting from day. Not sure about her now though

For previous episodes click here

Labrinth 'Let The Sunshine'

Probably seen this on every blog before this and oh guess what? You're gonna see it here too. If this doesn't hit number 1 I'll... be very surprised. Its one of those records that stay in your head after you hear it. I can't even read the words Let The Sunshine without humming it. I'm doing it right now.

Labrinth's A64

Disappointed I'm afraid. Ed Sheeran's cover (sorry Lab, he murdered you on your own isht)

Thought I'd take the time out to write something I wanted to write from before but never got around to it. There are three "urban" (I mean black boys) r&b singers releasing right now; Loick Essien's Labrinth produced 'Love Drunk', Labrinth himself, and Talay Riley 'Humanoid'. I personally doubt all three can have success.

Apart from Labrinth (who has all the right qualities and support both media and label) and carved his own lane (sound of single, producer and songwriter of smash-hits), either Talay Riley and Loick Essien has to fail. If not one, both. Don't screw your face like that, I'm not hating these are the harsh realities we have to face.

Examples: did we ever see Justin Timberlake and Usher release together? You ever seen Kelly Clarkson, P!nk and Katy Perry release a record at the same time (if they did were they all successful)? Christina Milian lost to Ashanti when they started. Let's not forget Ashanti stole J-Lo's thunder as the r&b-girl-that-can't-sing-but-makes-good-music, who then lost it to Ciara who lost it to Rihanna who switched the game and said laterz. Likewise NeYo stole Mario's gentleman thunder. Trey Songz is the heartthrob R. Kelly and Usher once were. Heard their music recently? Exactly, new lane. (disclaimer: it's all off memory and other factors apply)

In my opinion based on my (loosely accurate) studies shown above, there can only be one artist going for the same demographic. Everybody needs a niche/USP (unique selling point. 'Ang tight the GCSE Business Studies crewdem! Waste subject). Lab has it, the other two? Both featured on a Chipmunk song, albeit Talay reached number 1 with his writing credits on Oopsy Daisy, Loick's (Beast - big tune) didn't touch top 40? Guessing Talay also wrote the complex "Look for me x3 If you can't find a way look for me x3...

Obviously they can both survive if they make undeniable hits. My advice to maximise chances of success is to stutter future releases in order to avoid each other. (another disclaimer: I haven't heard any future releases to know what they're coming with next).

For quotes on consultancy email:


Marvin Sparks

p.s. Loick's single is out now. I know, it's really soon after the video dropped isn't it? Go cop a great song. Deserves to do well

p.p.s. very obvious/basic info, but I had time to do a type of post that I haven't done in a while, and guess what? You read (or skimmed) it. Hope you enjoyed it :)

Saturday, 11 September 2010

Devlin featuring Yasmin 'Runaway' video

Feeling this song on some next levels. 'Old tight (DJ) Yasmin on the vocals. Kills it on the hook. She's a gorgeous lass i'nt sheh? Even her normal talking voice is seductive.

Hope this goes number 1. Not sure if it will, but his album should sell well regardless. Credible song with an interesting concept.

As a bonus, Devlin's F(IYAH)64

I interviewed him a while back, will be in the next issue of Flavour magazine. Not sure when that's released but I'll post the link when it touches road.

Friday, 10 September 2010

Jolly Boys 'Rehab' cover

I was supposed to blog this in August. My mum showed me about them the day after I returned from Jamaica. Her and pops went to see them at Bush Hall (I think. Somewhere in west London) while I was away (so July/August).

Anyway, they are a mento band that perform both traditional mento and contemporary songs in a mento style. Mento is Jamaican folk music. Prominant from before Ska, so obviously before Rocksteady, Reggae and Dancehall. My first experience of mento was at a hotel in Jamaica called FDR in Runaway Bay(where the Spanish got forced to runaway, real ting). Mum says I was amazed. I remember standing there for a while. Would have been 10 at the time.

My parents were split about the set list; dad thought they should have done more mento, mum understood that it would be easier to gain support from the diverse audience with the contemporary songs. I sat on the fence :D

So what jogged my memory today? They performed on GMTV replacement show Daybreak today (heard the show's rubbish, true?).

Here's the official video

And the story behind the band. Rate those tourists.

I think there's a space for them to relatively well.

Readers of this blog will realise this is the second time this has happened recently. The other being The Fives 'It's What You Do'. I will get back on point.

Friday, 3 September 2010

'So You Think You Can Dance' to 'Clarks' (on TV)?

I'm proud of the headline, care not what you think. :D

So You Think You Can Dance is a dance version of American Idol/X-Factor created by Nigel Lythgoe and Simon Fuller aka Americal Idol guys (bet you never guessed that). Anyway, this is taken from the Canadian series, so I don't know who the judges are.

ALFHLAHFLKJSDKL AFJLA G FAK!!! They threw in Willy Bounce, Wacky Dip, Nuh Linga, Tek Weh Yuself, Gallis Swing. Thought they did alright, but it's novelty to me. I look and laugh yet admire them for trying.

Find out "Wah gwaan Popcaan?" on MTV UK's The Wrap Up by clicking here. He explains the fascination with Clarks, what are the best Clarks, fake Clarks and growing up in the gangsta city.

To read more reggaae/dancehall interview click here, for other genres including US hip hop and R&B or UK stars from grime, funky and pop click here

Thursday, 2 September 2010

MTV Wrap Up: Wayne Marhsall interview part again

You read the title correctly, part again. We don't test two what about you?

Anyway, may have read the first part. May not have read the first part, I don't know. You may not even read this part, but I'm posting it anyway. (First part)

Part 1, we spoke about how he managed to get Estelle on the remix for his single, why he chose the controversial Island pop sound for his single and his idol Bounty Killer. Pretty much a formal interview.

In part again, I go a bit more dancehall. I did ask about his appearance with Sean Kingston & Nicki Minaj 'Dutty Love' + whether him and Drake are going to collaborate. Oh and about Toddla T's single 'Sky Surfing'. But yeah, more dancehall-oriented; Wayne Marshall and I spoke about his beef with former friend and collaborator Vybz Kartel, both why he never responded to blatant disses and whether they'll work together in the future now that they've made up.

If you didn't know, Wayne Marshall was the big singjay in the scene before Mavado came along. That isn't me saying Mavado stole his thunder so don't try it, I'm just putting his career into something you can understand if you don't know. Anyway, from 2005-2008 he went quiet so I asked about that, as well as his marriage to former Akon protege Tami Chynn. Remember the stunner Akon brought to 1Xtra Live? Yeah her. And ended on whether dancehall has changed for better or worse in the time since he burst onto the scene in '01

I much prefer this half of it. In my head, part 1 was more commercial-friendly.

Anyway, check it out here:

And remember My Heart is out now on iTunes here

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Cee-lo 'F**k You'

If you haven't heard this song before, boy, prepare to get tired of it

GREAT pop record! Co-written by man of the moment Bruno Mars, Goodie Mobb member/ former Gnarls Barkley frontman Cee-lo has a smash hit on his hands. Radio version "Forget You" just sounds weird and loses the edge but hey. Cool video too. I try to stick to videos you may not come across on the bigger channels or to pass my opinion on one but I'm posting this because it is such a great record. #ThatIsAll

You can tell this will be on TV, especially them end of year programs with funny clips.

Don't kill me but is it me or does he sound pretty similar to Stevie Wonder when he sings "I see you walking round town with the girl I love and I'm like"

Gyptian 'Nah Let Go' video

Gyptian follows up the surprise summer smash single of 2010 with Nah Let Go

Better follow up than I anticipated. Heard this back in about May, and think it sounds like them songs that go down well in west African clubs like Goldcoast in Brixton. Video is much better than Hold You. Ras Kassa and Jay Will do a lot (bun out the Yanks). I have never seen one of those cars in my 11 trips to Jamaica.

So will it live up to or eclipse Hold You? Not a chance in hell. Should keep him going booking wise though. Good luck to him, proving there is still a lovers side to dancehall.

I would have preferred a re-release/proper release of Beautiful Lady though

Funny how it's always the hardcore fans least expect that get the most success. Who saw Sean Paul, Damian Marley, Serani or Gyptian as the ones to represent dancehall commercially? Or even Wayne Wonder and Cham? After all that time in the biz, he was probably at his lowest in those times. Even going back to Chaka Demus & Pliers. Only Shabba, I say yeah, but he buss bigger over here in England before Jamaica from what I was told.

I've been waiting for a convenient post to put this song in for a while. This is a song I'm saying has potential to do well if the right people believe in it. Following the footsteps of Serani and Ricky Blaze, 20 year-old super-producer Stephen "Di Genius" McGregor is indulging in a bit of singing/singjaying. 'Don't Cry' is quality pop/dancehall

Been saying that its nice to hear him finally voicing tunes after teasing us for the the whole of 2009 with choruses here and there. Cyaa Friend Again and Nah Forgive them were both solid tunes, but this has that commercial appeal to me. Stick a deejay (rapper) on there for the streets and bang, it shot! You may say it's cheesy or basic, but I don't care, so is most pop. Telling me it doesn't sound like something the teenagers that will have as their ringtone and bang on the back of the bus?

Currently on 1,885 views. I'm gonna check back in a couple months to see whats good

*carries on doing the Follow Through*

That and Whine Up are doing a lot