Thursday, 30 June 2011

What the hell is this Duchess?

So, don't remember how I came across this. I think I possibly regret spending that time of my life to be fair. Watch it first, then I'll comment after.

Now, I know I said "regret spending that time of my life" now I'm spending more but this has to stop. Whilst I haven't made any good songs in my life (haven't made any songs) that isn't my job. I spot them. Great track record too. If you wanna call me a hater, fair dos, I'll still sleep. But guess what? They'll still have a sh*t song, so hear me out.

So, let's set the scene: someone heard that beat and thought "That's wicked, let's do this". I can understand.

First off, welcome to 2006. I heard "Whut? Yeaahh" all over that dated Lil' Jon-esq beat mixed with "Hey, how you doing lil' mama let me whisper in ya ear" by Lil' Jon's cronies/lookalikes. Can't remember their name right now.

Then on top of that, autotuned to death? But why? The video's dry like granny with the blue rinse's heel back. And the faces look alright (from the flashes I can make of them), but I think they should have included arse's on their rider. Either that or they forgot them in the dressing room. The stiff board thing they do near the end isn't doing anything for mankind.

What the hell happened to TeamUK? Let's take it back to the best black/urban female group in recent times, Mis-Teeq. They did garage remixes when garage was the ting. Sunship!

So why are UK female groups doing a dated 808s and snap beat in 2011? It's a new decade. So yeah, hope you take that on board.

p.s. this is a cool summery pop song. And it takes a reggae influence, something that is in urban/black British bloodstream

Quote of the Day + Aloe Blacc does I Need A Dollar in reggae @ Glastonbury

As we should all know by now, Glastonbury took place last weekend. Yeah, Beyoncé etc. But I came across Aloe Blacc performing one of my favourite songs of the moment (still) "I Need A Dollar" on BBC2. Admittedly, I didn't know it from last year when it first hit the streets.

I stumbled across his actual performance on stage when during a search for it on YouTube. Much to my surprise he did a reggae rendition and said the quote of the weekend:

"Soul music comes in a lot of different forms and to me reggae is one of the best forms of soul music" - I've been trying to tell people this. Shame they're brainwashed into thinking if it doesn't sell it isn't cool enough to like.

Watch and enjoy this performance

Here is the acoustic version. Bee-yew-ti-full! With all the rubbish music about, we sometimes get caught up in criticising music in general. "Music is rubbish nowadays" is something we all say, but Adele, Bruno Mars, Aloe Blacc, Cee-Lo, Ed Sheeran, Maverick Sabre and them are holding it up for good, soulful music.

Who wants to lie to me and say the guitarist doesn't look like the bloke from *Nsync

Didn't think so

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Another Day, Another Sample: Luther Vandross special

If you like samples, you'll like this post. If you'd like to see previous posts covering this subject click here

(Disclaimer: Luther Vandross special but I have most probably missed a few. I renamed the title once I realised both are Luther songs. When you read the post you'll get how this happened.)

I think it has come to a point in my life where I've conceded "If a hip hop beat sounds too good to be true, it's probably a sample."

Well, that's how I came to find today's one.

I'm having an r&b day today. Hold tight 1Xtra playing "Walked Outta Heaven" by Jagged Edge. I've gone on to listen to Donell Jones, Musiq Soulchild (or is that musiqsoulchild?). Don't quite recall how this next beat happened, but Roc-a-fella hook man Rell crosses my mind, I remember he did his version of "No Better Love", Spotify only has the original, listen to that:

Young Gunz - No Better Love

Poor Young Chris who had his flow stolen by Jay-Z. Can't get compensation for that I'm afraid fella.

Here's Rell's remix. I remember how he crossed my mind now, I read a tweet about Tweet and Nicole Wray, then had a "What happened to...?" moment.

Rell isn't a great singer but has a good tone. Would have made a good singer in a male vocal group. I do think the beat suits a singer (it's essentially an r&b beat, really), although I do feel the Young Gunz version is better. If you get me.

Upon hearing the slapping bass, I thought "That isn't an original". Holla'd at my boy Google who proved me right.

Luther Vandross "Better Love"

And there's a melody you'll probably recognise when Rell sings "i want you to recongnise nothing's been the same..."

It's "Computer Love" by Zapp & Rodger (but you knew that. At worst, you couldn't put your finger on it).

Luther Vandross sample reminds me of another sample.

Remember "All For You" by Janet Jackson? Man, she looks so hot in this video. You know which part did a lot for the adolescents.

(p.s. if anyone can point out the sample during that dance scene @ 3:25, it'll be much appreciated.)

I found where they sampled the beat from as I listened to Luther's Greatest Hits that I bought for my mum. The song's called "Glow Of Love". What a groovy song.

The above are how you sample records correctly. This post highlights ones done incorrectly (yes, Jason Derulo is in there)

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Songs I fux with

Ed Sheeran - Small Bump

Anyone that has been following the blog for a while now will know I began gassing about Ed last year March on a next level (if you're interested click this, this or this). He's one of the only artists I'm most excited about. Genuinely excites me. Me and that girl Leatz were on his talent from mad early, alie Leatz?

Watched his performance at Glastonbury where he headlined the BBC Introducing Stage, literally brought a smile to my face to see every one going mad for him. He doesn't have a plastic image, girls don't think he's drop dead gorgeous, but it's just top quality music in it's purest form as it should be.

I like this quote: "The above track, 'The A Team', is my favourite track on the CD. First track on the EP, instant repeat material, so standard was set quite high but I really enjoyed every track on there. Good lyrical content, singing, beats etc. Where the labels at? Sign this guy up!" from this post (by me) last year April. That song entered the UK charts at number 3 more than a year later. Straight blowing trumpets. *Moves on to saxophone*

He performed this, "Small Bump", a song I hadn't had before. Automatically plugged in as I watched. I won't tell you what it's about because it has a twist, but it involves the joy pregnancy brings based on a true story about a friend and her baby. Joy it brings is only the beginning of the story.

Yet another emotive tale. His album is an automatic purchase. Pre-order ting.

Some man 50+ year old man I know said Ed reminds him of Tracy Chapman. Can definitely hear it on this. And I get annoyed by the "He reminds me of..." sometimes like you, but a comparison doesn't take away from the talent. Especially, when he's just doing him. And Tracy is such a class act.

Moving on,

Rick Ross ft. Lil' Wayne - 9 Piece

Saw Ricky Rozay perform last week. Banger after banger followed by another banger. He has the roads on smash. Loads of roadmen were acting like big fans, moshing, fist pumping, rapping along to everything. The atmosphere was electric. To show how he has man dem on a fan vibe, he took of his white t-shirt, bared his chest, then threw his sweaty white tee in the crowd. Now you've all seen the size of him, so you know the amount of sweat isn't like normal human beings. And men jumped to catch it. Yes, in 2011. Hip hop isn't what it was.

Concert vibe is definitely the best place outside of a car to hear those anthems. They're good set-up for the real party club tunes. Don't make me wanna dance or grab a girl, hence starters.

This here is one of those bangers that gets grown men gassed.

Ace Hood - Hustle Hard

Here's another one of those hip hop anthems. Lex Luger has the roads on smash right now. All his beats sound like they're cut from the same thread, but they do knock. Busy 808's + heavy synths = Lex Luger

Stylo G - Call Me A Yardie

In times where people of Jamaican decent in England are more about cussing their parental/grandparental country, praise assimilation over having their own identity within Britain like previous generations and use the term "Yardie" as a derogatory term, Jamaican born (I think) UK dancehall artist Stylo G wears his Yardie badge with pride.

Definitely one of the bright sparks of the new generation holding up for the Yardies on this hip hop banger. And good on him

He performed at Showtime, the bashment stage show. Check the review of the best non-arena event I've been to here

Starboy Nathan ft. Wretch 32 - Hangover

This is a good track. Heard Ronnie Herel premiere it couple weeks ago on 1Xtra. I dunno why I get Blame It (on the alchol) vibes from it. And I still chuckle at the Starboy bit, he's more "Next door neighbour" Nathan, really.

The ultimate best song right now is

DJ Khaled ft. Drake, Rick Ross & Lil Wayne - I'm On One

I got gassed when Ross performed this. This is my jam. I actually like Drake now by the way. I didn't get him before 'cos I always said he's an r&b artist masquerading as a rapper. But that's what his lane is. He isnt a rapper, that's why girls love him. Mentioned it before but he has raised the bar for r&b artists. So, now I treat him as an r&b artist making hip hop I get him. Ross is a rapper, Drake is an r&b dude doing rap. He's like Ja Rule except he caters to the man dem more. And I liked Ja Rule because he didn't blur the lines, so I understood.

So yeah, now I've stopped rejecting him as a rapper, he's good. Plus, he likes dancehall and friends with Mavado.

Krept & Konan freestyle

Not a song, but I just came across this. It has been out since January, surpassed 500k views, so yea, I'm extremely late. I know who these two are, haven't heard a great deal of them, but this makes me wanna get mixtapes.

UK road rap ting is the ting. Straight emotional road life bars. Love Krept's talking about the battle between pursuiting religion but living the road life (despite the Arabic(?) words). Konan goes all the way in. This is the stuff I don't get from US hip hop anymore. The hungry street rap. I like the Adele - Hometown Glory sample too. Sure I've heard that somewhere else from a proper song. Can't remember who's though. Knowing my luck, it's probably them lol.

"They say money won't buy you happiness
But I rather be unhappy inside a Range
I'm sick of cells like my body's not well
If I ain't in a ringer then I got probably got scales" - Konan

South man stand up!

Sidenote: Hometown Glory is from Adele's first album 19 (not the current, 21). I know it through this drum & bass version I prefer Jungle to drum & bass (not base - dunno why people spell it like that), but I can admit that goes hard.

Mavado - Do Road

"Do Road" is simplified from "do my thing on the road". I love when Mavado services the streets. This is ZJ Chrome's new riddim, name Contra. I'm trying to figure who built it. It's either Jordan or Stephen.

3 Worst Songs At The Moment?

I'll start this post with the best of the rubbish songs. I'm not even sure if this is rubbish. Mainly because I can't listen to it without feeling offended.

Mann ft. Iyaz & Snoop Dogg - The Mack

349 likes, 21 dislikes

Sorry, but he took a classic. I guess this is a sign of old age. I may have felt like this about rap sampling soul and disco songs if I was born in the '60s. But'm convinced this song actually doesn't justify sample. Which in itself was based on a sample.

Just listened to the Mann song again. I can confirm it is rubbish. Buzzin' is a good song. Granted, I'm not old enough to have been around when the original came out, but Buzzin' is actually good. I do like how Snoop sits on the riddim though. That goes to show it isn't the sample, it is in fact him.

Jason Desrouleaux - careless what the title is, the song is an absolute embarrassment

Now we all know this guy's existence in the music game is a prank. Come on, he can't be serious. Look at him. Listen to him. He's serious? And he's supposed to be 21/22 years old? He must think we think he was born yesterday. He's at least 25. I don't care about American diets and people looking older, this guy is straight pulling Nigerian passport ages for his PR age.

32,962 likes, 1,542 dislikes

I can see how the younger generation could be fooled into thinking Mr. Desrouleaux's version could be good. Until you hear the original. Hold on a second though, have you seen the way my don spells his name? And he sings "Derulo" so often. That doesn't look like it's pronounced Derulo.

But back to the point.

That is a timeless record right there. I remember Puffy saying you have to sample a song at the right time or after a certain amount of time has elapsed. I don't think the above two are abide by that theory. Well for me personally. Desrouleaux's song shot into #1 in UK singles chart. All those poor souls conned for their money, time and effort. Such a shame.

Not to mention he also borrows "Banana Boat Song" by Mel B's father-in-law Harry Belafonte

Just think: if this is the level of music now being appreciated by the next generation of musicians, I fear for the next generation.


Cher Lloyd - Swagger Jagger

This is definitely the worst song I've heard all year. Everything is a fail. The beat. The attack at hater. But most of all the song title Swagger Jagger. Yes, Mick Jagger does have swagger, the term however, is "swagger jacker". The title oversight leads me to believe it will be a reflection of the album; attempted "urban" demographic but will fail because handlers have no idea what they're doing due to their lack of "urban" savvy. Features from Dot Rotten and Busta Rhymes though? Hope they're being compensated heavily.

2,246 likes, 7,245 dislikes

I have never seen a like:dislike ratio since... a Chipmunk video ("Flying High" but he has replaced that video). Actually Rebecca Black "Friday" (but that's been removed now because the label were charging to watch the video).

And The Runners were my favourite producers at one point in time (short space of time mind you). They've gone from Rick Ross "Hustlin'" to this? SMH'ing for the man dem on this one.

And the dubstep remix is something I can imagine playing in the lift/elevator down to hell.

Embarrassing all around. And if you recognise the melody, it's from "Oh My Darling, Clementine"

The highest rated comment is "That acne infested gypo has gone and used this for her new song... smh" to 117 thumbs up. That's 117 Swagger Jagger's.


I just remembered this song Nicola Roberts - Beat of my Drums

Yes, it's the ugly one Girls Aloud. I actually wood out of sympathy I think. For some reason I think she had swag, but possibly convinced myself that because she lacked everything else. Also, I like the underdog. She's got some alright attempts at sexy moves though. C'mon.

8,060 likes, 4,612 dislikes

Diplo sent that beat from his recycle bin I think. Musta done. It's clear the a&r wanted something similar to Pon Di Floor and got that. The songwriter clearly thought they'd run a joke to see how far he/she got and the label fell for it.

If I had to decide of the 4 which are the worst three, I'd let Mann get away with just an honourable mention.

Reebok Back?

"That's all them **** screamin' that Reebok back"

Nah fam, that's all Swizz Beats is screamin'. Reebok's are DEAD. Saying that, I guess this promotion does help in a way because I forgot Reebok actually exist. With that said, maybe they are back into my memory then. Back in my sneaker/trainer collection though? Probably not.

Workouts were the greatest school trainers for rebels against shoes. Convenient for lunchtime when dudes went to play football. Didn't have to waste time putting trainers on (or borrowing the left-footed players right shoe if you forgot your own. Could never get the right foot if you're borrowing).

The white ones looked retarded. In a bad way. Ugly.

Then you had the Classics. They were the thing for a hot minute around late 90s-2001. Times when we rated Sisqo and played Snakes on Nokia 5110 with the flashing ariel.

Can't forget the Reebok Pumps from early '90s. Woosah! They were undeniable. Luminous colours complete with the pump tongue gimmick brought me a lot of fun in my younger days. Those were around the times of LA Lights.

Still look pretty good you know.

Since then though, hmm... Can't remember any Reebok's that have been doing it. I've been informed that rappers Sincere and Smiler wear them. Guessing they're fans of high tops.

Oh, and their football boots were amongst the worst. Puma King, Diadora and even Lotto were better. Reebok football boots were down ther with Mizuno as rubbish boots good players wore. Ryan "Play the field" Giggs = Reebok; Rivaldo = Mizuno

Ask yourself, when's the last time you saw a pair of Reebok's and thought "I gotta have 'em?" If the answer is "It has been a long time, still," do these change your mind?

If your answer to the above is no, join in and sing "Reebok crap, Reebok crap. That's what we're really screamin', Reebok crap."

I'd also like to know if Swizz Beats didn't marry Alicia Keys, would he have this deal?

Monday, 27 June 2011

Dionne Reid - Daddy Dear

I've known Dionne for a while still. Doesn't add anything to the post I guess. I coulda sworn I've blogged her but I dunno where it is. Maybe I posted them on Facebook *shrugs* Strangely enough one of the two vids I thought I'd posted were Delete My Account (a song about Facebook) with the other being a cover of Lauryn Hill in an English accent.

She's proper bubbly and stuff innit. She's actually jokes.

Anyway, I heard her perform new single "Daddy Dear" last year at some Africa vs Caribbean show (yeah, they still do that backwards nonsense). First thing that surprised me is that it's a reggae riddim track, but it isn't a popular one.

Anyway (again), she performed at Glastonbury this past weekend (see below) and the song has been added to Radio 1's playlist as BBC Introducing. Big well done to her. And putting reggae on BBC Radio 1 is never a bad thing.

The riddim is called "Tears" from 2007. First time I heard Jamaica's hottest reggae artist. "Stab Vampire" is still one of my favourite Octane songs. Real rebellious roots reggae is a win.

"Set up the ghetto youth fi dead
So what me do? Stab vampire with a peg!
Pon the pagans I go bun it real red
Heathens, a judgment over your head.
Give the youth them coke to snort and gun to walk with
Then they talk about the youths are haunted.
Well how the youths supposed to strive when a gun they start with
They don't care about the youths ah rahtid."

"This ah them prerogative,
Only care about their votes they don't care how the people them ah live...
'Cause them contribute and tell the youths to run town
Now gun shot ah fire from sun up to sun down
Innocent people life ah get gun down
Them turn the youths inna gun clown"

Bun babylon we seh!

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Hold the faith Buju - My Fave Songs

Yeah, so Buju Banton was sentenced to 10 years in prison, but hear what, there's nothing we can do about it, so if you wanna do like me, let's play some Buju songs. If you haven't heard many Buju songs before, let this be a quick lesson for you. I picked the first 10 at random from my memory bank. To those of you who may feel there could have been better ones, you're probably right.

Let's open the floor properly and sing together "Our father, who art in Zion..."

It wouldn't be right if I didn't start with his most venomous verse in recent times addressing the situation.

"Jah Army" - Stephen Marley ft. Damian Marley & Buju from Stephen's latest album Revelation Part 1: The Root of Life

"Soldier inna Jah Army, a long time the pus*y them want me" any DJ that doesn't wheel that line in a club is a bait.

"Stamina Daddy" - one of the first songs Buju is known for.

"Bogle" - This one song not only increased the value of the dance, but (from what I remember) set the legacy of the danceing icon Bogle.

"Batty Rider" - 1992. Bogle. Once again, this showcases his ability to sit on a riddim oh so badly to get the women up. I think he would have been 19 at the time.

Lifted from the timeless classic album 'Til Shiloh - Buju turned rastafarian shortly before this release and what a change it produced. "Wanna Be Loved". Didn't know this had a video until yesterday funnily enough.

"Untold Stories" - undoubtedly one of the best songs in Buju's catalogue and what a great song it is.

Covered by multi-platinum selling Irish singer-songwriter Sinead O'Connor (best known for "Nothing Compares To You")

"Murderer" - Inspired by the murders of fellow entertainers and friends Pan Head and Dirtsman. Possibly the best song anti-gun violence. Blared at Smiley Culture's march earlier this year.

"Not An Easy Road" - true words. "'Cos many see the glamour and the glitter so them think a bed of rose, but who feels it knows..."

"Destiny" - big song from Inna Heights album. I don't know about everyone else, but I feel this album underappreciated.

"Mr. Nine" - powerful anti-gun song

Then he dropped back into dancehall with the formidable album Too Bad which earned him the title of artist of the year in Jamaica. (Is this the eleventh song now?)

Song: Too Bad

He eventually won a Grammy for Best Reggae album earlier this year for Before The Dawn.

His attorney David Markus looked most for to seeing Buju perform "Innocent" at his last concert he performed whilst on bail (click for footage of concert).

Guess the sample? part 2

Did one of these a while ago (click here). I'm one of those people that loves tracing back samples, then hearing what else that band recorded. Good way of discovering old music. I can honestly say I'm rarely surprised by popular songs that contain samples after reading album credits all these years.

Exhibit A

This is "Fun" by Brick. Don't know much about them, but according to wiki "Brick is a former American band that created a successful merger of funk and jazz in the 1970s."

Recognise it don't ya? My '90s babies will know it from "Video" by India Arie. Remember when female-empowerment songs weren't as desperate as "Who run the world? GIRLS!" What a well written song.

But my '70s/early '80s dons will know it from Akinyele "Put It In My Mouth". Although I'm not either of the aforementioned, I hung around older people. And no, this song didn't make me more interested in the stuff he's speaking about.

Exhibit B

Tom Tom Club - Genius of Love

Great disco song with an inspiration of Jamaican dub (echoes, electronic sounds, bass groove - click here for a short video on dub) by the husband and wife team (another Wiki fact). I love songs that have the dance breaks in them. They allow for something different in the mix. I wanna hear a modern day produce take the 12" extended versions principle to modern day.

This has been sampled many times. I'd be lying if I said I knew most of them, so I'll keep it real to you and myself by posting the ones I do know. My older dons will know this from hip hop Godfather Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five "It's Nasty"

Or more popular to the youngsters such as myself from Mariah Carey's "Fantasy". I'd post the original, but the remix with ODB was so left. The pop princess with a Wu-Tang favourite in the mid-90s? Crazy combo. Could you imagine Wacka Flocka Flame with Beyonce? WFF is nowhere near the levels of ODB, just an example. I'd say Tyler, The Creator if I didn't actually think something like that could actually happen. Once again, not a patch on ODB.

This was a favourite amongst dance groups at talent shows in and around 1995. Salute Puffy for this remix. He was the don those days.

Exhibit C

Isley Brothers - Footsteps in the Dark

We all know about the obvious "Between The Sheets" that they used for Biggie's "Big Poppa", "Summer With Miami" by Jim Jones and Jay-Z feat Beanie Sigel "Ignorant Shit". That's all a bit yawntastic now.

How about the groups song about infidelity "Footsteps In The Dark" from 1977?

Easy to recognise it really. If you don't, I have no words.

Sit back and listen to Ice Cube "It Was A Good Day" from 1992. What a great song. The lyrics are genius.

Exhibit D

Freedom - Get Up And Dance

If this doesn't make you do what the title suggests, me and you can't par. Created in 1978

I've played the above sample to a few people and none of them guessed the original. One still couldn't hear it after I told her which makes me wonder how well she knows the original (*cough @PilarOfSociety).

Anyway, like the last time, I'm posting the Bad Boy remix, this time features Ma$e and The LOX in their shiny suits. Anyone that didn't have a crush on Mariah these days is a different kind of human being.

I know Grandmaster Flash and the Mandem did their own of this prior to Mariah. Coincidence?

Exhibit E

I've got more I can do, more I will track down but for now the last is

Aphex Twin - Avril 14th

I want to play the piano like this. Beautiful composition.

KanYe stans will know this straight off. Did you notice he only samples from 1:38-1:50? Of all the song

Somewhere in my I'd prefer that as a soul song

Avril 14th makes me wanna play piano, this cover makes me wanna play acoustic guitar. Isn't perfect, but the vibe is wonderful.

Last but by no means least

After I posted this, erm, post, I found another sample. One I'd never heard before. Coincidence much?

Funnily enough it is a dub sample. Whenever I've tried to explain to people that dubstep producers draw influences from authentic dub (Jamaican music) - hence DUBstep - I always draw for this particular tune to for those that can't make comparisons based on the third beat drum structure. Yeah, their are people that don't know dubstep producers always pay tribute to King Tubby, Scientist and them.

However, this Mad Professor "Kunta Kinte 91" clears everything up for me once and for all

Recognise it? It is "Jahova" by Rusko. This is an absolute monster classic dubstep song. 3million hits on YouTube monster.

Monday, 20 June 2011

Bugle "I Don't Worry"/ Tarrus Riley "Never Leave I"

These songs ago tun up fi di summer (for this summer here). I've been replaying both these on this riddim, so I'm happy they did a medley vid. Could have been better, but hey, such is life.

Tun up this one loud on your speakers and digest some spiritual music that they say dancehall doesn't have anymore. Yeah, that's if you believe in pricks!

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Heatwave Showtime - MeView

MeView = Review

So, last night Heatwave's bashment concert "Showtime". I anticipated this will be the greatest one night show I've been to in a long while. An incredible line-up. In fact, it's an inconceivable line-up mainly due to the sly headliner and inspiration for the event - Wiley. For those unfamiliar with him, you may know him as the Godfather of Grime, but he is also the self-proclaimed "The Elusive" for his consistency at performing no-shows. The guy doesn't turn up for his own or featured videos, promo or performances. To help avoid this, the DJs/Promoters kept in contact with him and he assured them every time he'll be there. Hope they don't mind me telling you, but Wiley was unreachable for days leading up to the event causing a bit of "Ahhh man, not again Wiley". [cue intentional cliffhanger music]

Anyway, here's the flier/poster

You see all those names, yeah? Legends in Jungle, grime, garage, UK dancehall next to both current and hot upcoming. Past, present and future all representing on the night. I've never seen a line-up with such diversity.

I got there from 8.30pm to an empty venue. To be expected really, doors opened at 7. DJ's were running through some early warming selection with throwback 80's dancehall tunes by the likes of Frankie Paul, Tenor Saw and Supercat. My favourite of them had to be when @DanBean "Peeny Peeny" by Shabba Ranks. Hadn't heard it in a while, plus the system pumped the bass nicely. Reminded me that digital age dancehall is way ahead of its time. Let's take a second to re-live (or get acquainted with) that tune.

I sat on the stage chatting up... sorry chatting it up with Tim & Barry's titty Tuesday's winner Eleni about the cake I didn't get to eat. The place filled up nicely, people began to buss a dance to the sweet sounds of reggae musc while Serocee & Rubi Dan held down the mic as people entered.

Before introducing the first acts to the stage, horns were handed out. Dancehall/carnival atmosphere in full effect. Sero and Rubi called for Mr Williamz, Stylo G and Lady Chann but ended up getting more than we asked for. I thought, "This will be sick" but it was sicker than that. Mr Williamz was the only one of three to touch stage. Gabriel dropped Stalag riddim to open Heatwave Showtime (I think it was that anyway). Missa Williamz is one of my fave from the new UK bashment scene. His style is reminiscent of Supercat (he looks Apache too) complete with cool and deadly delivery like the Wild Apache. He's then joined on stage by General Levy who causes absolute mayhem with the fast chat style many know from Jungle but actually goes back to Saxon Sound. YT appears from out of nowhere to help shell the Come Down riddim.

Mr WIlliamz "Real General" on Come Down riddim

Supercat performing Come Down in Japan 2007

Lady Chann is the first lady to touch mike (childhood humour in me chuckled) on the night. Punanny is the riddim. Reloads are what happens. Stu$h joins her, they embrace with a big hug, touches mike, crowd erupts again. Hear what, I'm kinda pissed I never took a pic of them. What a way their outfits TUN UP!!! I won't be unprofessional, I'll post the pics when they are up. But, yeah, believe me, actually I'll quote Bounty Killer "Gal dem have di face and dem have di figure" from Benz and Bimma

Shabba Ranks - X-Rated (Caan Dun) on King Jammy's "Punanny" Riddim

Riddim choice: Showtime

Next up, mid-90s UK dancehall king Glamma Kid dropped his famous Moschino lyrics and received 3 forwards (DJ rewinds the track from beginning) for his troubles. Fast-rising dancehall artist made his entrance with Stylo one of his many current heaters "Call Me A Yardie" lyrics. Mr Williamz returned with a tour of London, then General Levy ran up with Jungle chat to crazy forwards again. YT joined in too.

That ended the first part. DJs ran through some songs including Baby Cham "Ghetto Story", Mavado "So Special" etc.

[Wiley Watch/Where's Wiley: Are you still reading, wondering if the elusive Wiley shows up to Showtime? If not, the time is now 11:30 and the show finishes at 1am. Help build it up? Good]

The second and final half begins with a tribute to UK music legend from the dancehall scene, Smiley Culture, who died in police custody under suspicious circumstances currently under further investigation. Fellow Saxon Sound member Asher Senator blesses the place after we dance a dance to Smiley's "Police Officer". Together with an apprentice, Asher performed "Character Reference".

Continuing with Smiley tribute were YT & Mr Williams who recorded their own tribute earlier this year. Mr. Levy joined in to chant "Police Officer nuh tek weh mi ganja".

At this point of the review, I realise I haven't quoted many of the lyrics from the night. Partially because I was in awe of the occasion, too busy buss gun finger and there were too many.

Oh look, there's Wiley!

Another one of those OMG moments occurred when General Levy did the timeless classic jungle tune "Incredible" over the Answer riddim

At this point, I climbed on stage to take pics

See the gun fingers? Says it a quarter of it. The noise reached deafening levels with all the shouting, braap'ing and horns. Wait until the video drops.

Wiley Watch/Where's Wiley: At this point the host informs us Wiley is backstage. These times I saw him walking through the crowd to exit the immediate dancefloor space. I wondered if he went outside or exited because he didn't touch microphone straight away. I dunno, doesn't sound logical but since when did Wiley do things by logic. It's pure emotion and impulse.

Smiley's brother Merlin Emmanuel gave a brief speech about deaths in police custody and urged people to support the cause. In the meantime, I went to the smoking area to get reception.

Them time there I see Wiley. He never went home. At this point, you may be thinking "'Llow watching man, man." BUT this is my blog so I'll tell the story as I please. Yeah? Alright then, we'll continue.

Walk back in the venue to see Lady Chann and Glamma Kid getting numerous reloads for "Informer" on the Stikcy produced Jumeirah II

Wiley is intro'd on stage, and walks up with Riko - another who was on the missing list prior to the event. DJ Gabriel broke the bashment rules, dropping the Wiley's classic Ice Rink . Riko set pace with Wiley shouting "Boom!" repeatedly. Wiley's first bar "It's Wiley and I'm gettin' 'em hyper" *wheel*

OMG moment: Fellow Roll Deep member Flowdan turned it into a three-way when he announced "It's the big Flowdan". Somewhere along the lines Pow 2011 mixes in, Wiley "bududuadadada" *Wheel* Flowdan threw it back to the original Pow "Fi start bun a MC" out comes Stylo G with old skool "My Yout'" bars, General Levy jumps in, Stu$h does "Dollar Sign" bars - complete and utter pandemonium! Another jungle legend Skibadee is introduced "Deal with the matter, deal with it proper". Curtains for every other event I've been to this year. Possibly ever on that scale (non-arena event).

The event didn't finish there. Serocee, Seani T, Mr Williamz, YT and Riko killed Sleng Teng and couple other riddms during a pass the mic segment. Riko is so sick on dancehall.


Lady Leshurr made a late appearance but managed to buss up Touch A Button next to General Levy, Skibadee and Stylo G.

So, basically if you missed it, don't blame me. It really was one of those once in a lifetime occasions. Watch when the video drops. Legends past and present with hot upcoming artists = Murderer

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

True ah Hot Wuk Showtime tonight

Read up about The Heatwave movement and what inspired tonight's event here:

Advance tix are sold out but 100 tix on the door for a bargain of £20. I'm most looking forward to General Levy, Glamma Kid and Riko Dan (who killed a Hot Wuk before)

And just for the sake of it, watch some Jamaican artists do what these guys will replicate tonight

The singer in the orange top with a scarred neck right at the beginning is one of my fave singers of all time. What a voice Tenor Saw had. RIP. Supercat is one of my fave deejay's of all time. He's in a suit with a cream hat @ 6:20. Every single man that touches the microphone had a serious vocal presence. If I could go back in time, I'd go to the '80s to experience dancehall.

As bonus, check this little girl get a big forward! (Via @GabrielHeatwave via @LoukiaC via @KingPMoney)

Oh and Beenie Man at 13. Rappers used to battle on the blocks (not sure how many of the ones that made it were hosting on parties before. Will check that out actually), deejay's grew up chatting on sound. That's where MCs over here get it from. That's why deejay's know how to ride a riddim unlike rappers who just rap to the beat

One to make the gal dem go "awww" Yami Bolo and another youth singing on sound

RBNA: Badman like Ballads

RBNA = Real Badman Never Afraid. Real Badman Never Afraid = Marvin Sparks blogging about things your average 20-something, black male, Londoner wouldn't usually admit to in public space. Unless, of course, he is a badman.

Today's topic is ballads. Ballads in Lehman's (I know you don't spell Lehman like that, but Arsenal's goalkeeper is dumb too) terms are slow love songs as you'll see if you carry on reading. They're basically songs I really want to learn how to write because they are WINNERS!!!

These songs are all inspired by Magic FM, therefore, this post is slyly sponsored by them. If they would like to send some donations my way, feel free. I'll flick over from 1Xtra time to time to hhave flashback moments. Mostly listen to Magic at night when I want to wind down. Wind, not whine. That's what dancehall is for.

Savage Garden - I Knew I Loved You

This was the first song I heard this morning on Magic FM. Dr. Fox breakfast show is second to Twin B's 1Xtra show. Back on track, this song is beautifully written. Serenade a woman like this one time. Last time I heard this song by someone other than my TV or radio is in Jamaica. Every. Single. Year. Without. Fail. On those massive speakers too.

Leann Rimes - How Do I

Woiii remember this track right here? Man. Swear she was 15 at the time too? I fancied her. She was older than me at the time. Still is. Obviously. Her and Melissa Joan Hart (Clarissa Explains It All/Sabrina The Teenage Witch), mmm, mmm, mmm. Oh and Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen.

Check out the lungs on her. Crisp vocal performance.

Blue - If You Come Back

Blue had a lot of fighting to do to get rated following their disastrous cover of Next's "Too Close". It was way too soon after and to me they were some hurry little come up pop group trying to be "urban". Another Level were better than them at that anyway. So were East 17. Blue were some any singing Blazing Squad until this song.

Upon listening to it, I'm not sure if it's a ballad. More a slow jam innit?

Speaking of pop slow jams

Spice Girls - 2 Become 1

Arguably the best slow jam to tenderly stroke #1 on the UK charts. All-time disco snogging classic. (FAO non-Brits/90s babies "snogging" = long kiss with tongues performed by skool kids. French kiss is for the olders.) Spice Girls went in on this.

FAO annoying people "concerned" with the effect music has on kids: the amount of innuendos in this should send you into a frenzy. But it didn't make you think about rumpy-pumpy did it? No? Exactly.

Daniel Bedingfield - If You're Not The One

Back on point, let's not lie, we were mainly disappointed Bedders never followed up "Gotta Get Thru This" with a song on par with anything Craig David did until this very track. And what a song it is. Celebrated this recently in the "Daniel Bedingfield does dancehall" post, let's go in again.

Ronan Keating - When You Say Nothing At All

Ronan's first single upon his departure from boyband Boyzone. This featured on Notting Hill soundtrack. Scored a #1 in 1999 I believe.

That's all for today. Will do another post some time in the future.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

More time I vibe to...

Boom, bang, connek *flashback to 2006* I didn't know what to title this. It's basically more tunes I like. If you like them wonderful, if not, sorry. Scroll down, may find something you like there. Or come back tomorrow/Thursday.

Assassin a.k.a. Agent Sasco - Talk How Mi Feel/Nothing At All

As per usual, Agent Sasco has started off yet another year bursting out of the blocks with an onslaught of tunes. Followers of dancehall will know that Sasco is one of the most underrated lyricists in the game. As you'll see/hear by this, his clarity is probably his biggest let down as his gruff vocals prove inaudible at times to the untrained to patois ear. However, if you're fortunate to understand you are in for a treat as 'Sassin lashes out on the wrongs in the world such as bleaching, selling out, murderers, rich people that made their riches at the expense of ghetto people, rapists, women that aren't well groomed etc.

"Nothing At All" is on Big Ship's Pepper riddim. I've rated 'Sassin since about '02/'03 because he rides the riddim like the dancehall deejay's in the past with up to the time skills.

Lady Saw - Wife A Wife

Saw back on her anthem sh*t. This song is ridiculously feisty. For those unfamiliar with Patois, wife = main chick, mate = side chick. She's cussin' out all the "hoes".

Laden - Come Mek Me Touch Yuh

2010 was a relatively quiet year for Laden. Began making headway in 2009 with "Time To Shine", dunno what happened last year. Although he doesn't do the chorus on this (vocals are by producer Stephen "Di Genius" McGregor), he has a knack for hooks. Anyway, this song is very seductive. Makes me think of a sweaty club, condensation, women in small items of clothing, whining for the general (me).

Check my interview with him and Chino

Queen Ifrica - Pot Still 'Affi Bubble

Queen Ifrica is possibly my favourite female artist in the world. Her strike rate for top quality conscious tunes is in the region of... well, I can't think of many songs I don't like (apart from her album, Montego Bay being a wrong selection but life goes on).

This is another one of those top tunes. "Pot Still Affi Bubble" = liquid bubbling in pot while making food = "still have to eat". What she says is "Even though things are hard, we still have to eat. Got family to meet, quality of life isn't good, higher society don't want us to live good but we're gonna survive. There may not be a lot but we'll give thanks for what we get."

Ed Sheeran - The A-Team (Ackee & Saltfish remix)

Been waiting for this to appear on YouTube for a while now. Producer Shy FX from way back when Drum & Bass was actually good, and actually had bass, and was better known as Jungle puts down a reggae remix for Mr. Sheeran. The A-Team is out this week. Buy it on iTunes. He is #2 midweek. Approx 2,000 copies behind #1. The A-Team is quite possibly the best single for '011 thus far. I remember when I posted this in April last year, it had less than 2,000 view on YouTube, now it has amassed over 2 MILLION!

Friday, 10 June 2011

FlashBack Friday: Soca/Calypso Gems

Hey guys and gals, I'm back with the fourth episode of the popular series FlashBack Friday (click for previous episodes) for the year like 2011. I love doing these posts as I get to relive a time when life was all about not doing homework, watching cartoons, asking mum and dad for toys and what I would be when I grew up.

I've decided I'm doing a post dedicated to soca songs I like. Don't even remember how the subject came up in my head to be fair. I tweeted the first song (below), then was about to embark on filling up my followers timelines, but that's inconsiderate. I then thought it may be better to do it for Notting Hill Carnival weekend, before realising rapture could happen before so I won't be able to. Another thing I won't do is post the 6 soca songs I hear every time I go out. Krosfyah - Pump Me Up, Dollar Wine, Follow The Leader, Tempted To Touch, Square One - Faluma etc. Kevin Lyttle "Turn Me On" ,the most popular soca song of the last decade, was sold like it was a dancehall song. Levels. Only kidding (not really, but it isn't what we are here for).

It always confuses me that DJs play the same songs every one else does. I'd challenge myself to think out of the box. Saying that, I'm the type of guy that wouldn't/doesn't buy trainers/footwear I've seen someone else wearing. Somewhere in there is a logical explanation as to why I don't follow crowds.

I may go on and on about reggae and dancehall, to a somewhat tiresome/roll eyes level sometimes. If I cared, I'd care more, but I don't. So I won't stop... 'cos I can't stop (couldn't resist the little Puffy/Diddyism). In reality, I listen to and love all types of music. I just love music. There are three genres; good music, bad music and inspired by/rip-off dancehall and reggae.

None of these are obscure songs. Well they shouldn't be to any Caribbean that was old enough to do the running man to MC Hammer when it was in the charts or Bogle to Buju Banton's "Bogle" when it was fresh.

Anslem Douglas - "Doggie (Who Let The Dogs Out?)"

Although I don't know why it crossed my mind but the song that inspired this topic today is the original "Who Let The Dogs Out?" popularised by Baha Men. To this day I don't know who they are or how they came to record the song. Guess they found three random young looking "islands" men to sing it. Anslem Douglas looks a bit old and Anslem isn't the youngest of names.

Like the aforementioned Kevin Lyttle song, this song killed carnival for a few years prior to major label release. I think Anslem's "Doggie" was the biggest song at '98 carnival. I'm sure it was a big song for a few years. Sounds like African music.

Square One - Turn It Around

This song reminds me of family parties in late '90s. What a vibe. Allison Hinds was part of this group. When UK funky has this type of feel/drum pattern I can't help skankin' out.

Burning Flames - Swinging Engine

I didn't know the name of this song for ages. I searched and kept saying to people (namely my Bajan friend @missjaylouise) "Ringing Engine". You can imagine my disappointment when I found I was so close.

This is a hype. It mek me juss waan march dong di row'd, guy (in Bajan/Trini etc., accent).

TC - Wrong Name (Kim)

I lied about not putting any of the obvious songs I hear every week. This is one of my favourite soca songs. Her feisty attitude is winning. Someone in the pop world should copy this concept. Re-work the lyrics because of the obvious islands sentence structure.

"Tink he can tek me for a royde, well I putting he tings outsoyde" @ 2:40 cracks me up

Lord Kitchener - Gimme D Ting (Doctor Order Me)

I played this song on repeat, on vinyl back in the day. It was my favourite calypso song at the time. Still remember the black and white sleeve. Not sure what year this is from. I'm guessing 70s.

The video contains a loose biography. Not sure how accurate it is. I never read it. But I do know he came to England on the Windrush. Well, everyone who knows something about him and Windrush should know that.

Byron Lee & The Dragonaires - Ragga Ragga

This will make you wanna whine a woman right now. Or perv. Just watch those women that can whine their bottom half alone while their bottom circles like the time ticks on a clock.

p.s. I'm not sure if this is the original. It sounds re-done to me.

Crazy - Nani Wine

Song reminds me of my god mother's mum (RIP). Her and her husband whining to the floor at a house party in the early 90s. She would've been in her 50's

Lord Kitchener - Sugar Bum Bum

My all-time favourite calypso song by far. There came a point in life when I went to my parents friends parties hoping to hear this song. I still go out to that age group's parties anticipating the... I don't even know what sound that is at the beginning. One of the main songs I wanted but never learnt on steel drums. I envied every single steel band that could play this. I wanna push over a pan if a hear it at Notting Hill Carnival. I don't but I wanna.

Hopefully, this post will help some of the DJs that stand in the dance copying other DJs playlists on to their BlackBerry/iPhone notes will have some idea of other songs you can play. And that isn't a theory, DJs do watch over a next mans shoulder to see what he played then illegally download it. That's why they all play the same songs from yesteryear. If you've ever wondered about how many years and big songs there have been in our generation, yet DJs play the same old ones, there's your answer.

That's my good deed for the day.

Thursday, 9 June 2011


I say "Free Ja Rule" but he was caught with a gun (according to the verdict in court). Coincidentally on the same day as Lil' Wayne who has been in and out for at least 6 months now. I've been waiting for a reason to celebrate Ja Rule's underappreciated footprint on hip hop for a while now. I don't care about the 50 Cent beef, or his street cred, Ja had big club songs for days.

In my timeline of listening to hip hop, he was the first rapper to make a career off the hip hop/soul movement that worked for singers before him. I'm not saying he was the first rapper to ever make a hip hop/soul song - BIG, Jay, DMX, Method Man etc. all did it before him - but from what I can remember, he was one of the first to make a big series of singles/career off it. LL used it too, not sure if he was as concentrated.

Singing, smiling, female feature, big budget videos and genuine club bangers (most courtesy of 7Aurelius) = Ja Rule.

Disclaimer: If the above is garbage, leave a comment (or email so no one else sees). I'm going from what I can remember.

He won't see this from his jail cell (poor thing), but this one is for you Ja!

Always On Time featuring Ashanti

Easily my favourite Ja Rule song of all time. No contest. From I first heard it on my school friend's discman at the back of the school dining hall until now, my body can't help feeling to dance. First song I can remember Ashanti from. This is the song that introduced Ashanti, surely. Oh, oh, there's a popular video girl in this video. Gloria Velez, Superhead or Melyssa Ford is in here. I'm sure it's one of them.

Preferred the album version, on Rule, over the single due to the extra adlibs on the chorus.

I'm Real by J-Lo

I think this is my second fave Ja song. Deffo top 2 JLo songs ever. Remember the controversy of the Puerto Rican saying n-word? I can honestly say I never cared that she said it until the big hoo-ha. Call me naive but I thought Ricans were black by association. They were all up in the videos, Fat Joe and Pun said it (from what I remember), so didn't know she wasn't allowed to.

Puerto Rican's were the in-ting these days. Everyone wanted a light-skinned girl to match the videos. Girls wanted light-skinned men to match Harvey and Romeo from So Solid. As much as I realised I got conned by the media into thinking JLo was the best thing ever, she is still hot in this video.

Oh, last thing, when they linked up again to do Ain't It Funny, that was rubbish. Co-written by Ashanti, whose voice can be heard on the adlibs and backing vocals. She'd later take Jennifer Lopez's spot like NeYo took Mario's.

Put It On Me ft. Vita and Lil' Mo

Introducing the third of my fave 3 Ja song. So, apart from Ja and Ashanti, no one else made it from Murder Inc. This features one of them. Unlike "Always On Time" I preferred the single version with Lil' Mo over the album cut with just Vita. The harmony on "'Cos I'm yours" gets numerous rewinds.

Down A** B*t*h ft. Charlie Baltimore

D.A.B. is a straight slow jam. Another Murder Inc. artist from whom I don't even remember releasing a single with them.

Down 4 U - Irv Gotti ft. Ja, Ashanti + the others

This features both females that did nothing with their career. This is actually a tune. Probably my fave video too. I wanted to be rich so I could have a party on my yacht because of this video. Yes, I wanted to let my belly hang out like Irv Gotti too. Luckily I still have time. Right now this 6-pack is in the way of my gut. Come rub me next time ladies ;)

Couldn't care less about Ashati's sideburns, she looks banging in this video. In fact, I never cared about her sideburns like I never cared about Rihanna's forehead. Ashanti and Ja's on screen chemistry was crazy. I hated on him for it. And all along she was doing something with Irv. SMH

Mesmerize ft. Ashanti

Despite how good she looks in the above vid, she looks even better in this. Them tight, shiny cat suit with the curly hair did a lot for the adolescents. Her swag is crazy. And this song is why Ja will never be as sugary sweet as Drake. "I got a fetish for f**kin' you with your skirt on/ In a backstreet on the backseat of the Yukon". I haven't heard Drake be so crude...

New York ft. Fat Joe and Jadakiss

Ultimately, what killed Ja Rule was not having enough street cred when 50 came knocking at his door. Unlike Drake who regularly trades bars with the elite, most respected MCs in the game and kills it, Ja never. Saying that, the game has changed. There weren't many non-hood rappers back then on a commercially recognised level like there is now. Doubt they would have wanted to associate with Ja.

He did on this city anthem. I went to New York in 2004, remember this being pumped on Hot 97 and car stereos regularly. New York was on its way back until 50 Cent crushed 'em all on Piggy Bank. Piggy Bank wasn't even a good song. The beat is horrible. Few good digs here and there but Fif' was the man so we gassed it. Following this, Murder Inc/The Inc got investigated by the FBI 'cos of Supreme, Fat Joe moved to and started reppin' Miami and Jadakiss was more concerned with throwing double door stainless steel fridges off buildings for publishing off Puff. Google any bit you're unsure of.

This had every ends screaming "I'm from New Yorrrrrrrk" Saluting the Miami duo Cool & Dre on production duty. Still don't know who has the best verse. 'Kiss and Joe turned the f'k up!

This video has Murder Inc, D-Block, Ruff Ryders, Terror Squad and Dipset + others representing. p.s. this is a better song tham Jay-Z's "Empire State of Mind". The chorus and emphatic beat saved Jay's mediocre verses.

Rainy Dayz by Mary J. Blige

I read somewhere that this was supposedly written for TLC's comeback album, FanMail (the one with No Scrubs and Unpretty) hence the Waterfalls and one other TLC references. Dunno about that, but hey, great record.

Ja performed over here recently. I think it was in Sheffield or one of those areas. If he was in London as well I didn't hear


Tuesday, 7 June 2011

More reggae you say?

There's a plethora of one-drop songs I'm feeling at the moment. I don't know if it's because I decided to delve deeper into roots reggae, but there's so many songs I'm feeling right now.

I-Octane - Cry To The Nation

If you've been following this blog you'll know I-Octane is my artist. Last year was his breakthrough year, where he had Jamaica going crazy for his dancehall anthems. As much as I rate his dancehall tunes, conscious one drop is where I initially heard him, so he'll always sound at home there. Nice to see him back on that vibe as he pleads with his people to worship God and bun all evil doings. This could easily be a gospel song. When reggae drops into gospel, it's usually a mad sitt'n.

Exco Levi - Bleaching Shop

Don't know much about the guy, but heard this on the radio the other day. Really felt the lyrics. As many reading will know, bleaching is a hot subject in Jamaica and Jamaican music right now due to dancehall artist Vybz Kartel's much publicised skin lightening.

Taken from legend, Donovan Germaine's latest riddim titled OMG

Ziggi Recado - Mary

Coincidentally found out they released this video 3 days ago. This is my favourite song off his album. I love the Longtime riddim. Special Delivery delivered a very underappreciated one drop riddim. Jamaican genre made in Europe (French producers, Swedish artist). Global di ting deh. Awoe! *granny/Vybz Kartel voice*

Disappointed in the video to be honest. I know it's on a low budget, but it's about nature. At least shoot it outside. Oh, was I meant to say it's about nature? You probably thought it's a woman named Mary? Soz. My bad.

Lutan Fyah - Hush

Another one of those underappreciated reggae artists. This guy usually brings fire to the table. This time singing tells babymothers "Don't worry 'bout the deadbeat father. Him run gone left you and your pickney. Not a red cent him send for little Britney" before urging them to keep their heads up and strive for the child. Red cent = red colour Cent = in UK we call the coppers = lowest value coin.

Sherieta - How It So Easy

Haven't heard this artist before but I'm feeling the lyrics. She sings against many of the ills in society including kids growing up too quickly, lacking manners, politicians lying, glorifying infidelity and such.

Monday, 6 June 2011

Non-dancehall songs I fux with

My blog's drowning in dancehall or dancehall by association right now.

Anyway, here's some bangers getting spun you're likely to hear in my presence

DJ Khaled ft. Drake, Ricky Rozay & Lil' Wayne - I'm On One

This song is ridiculous! I finally realised Drake raised the bar for what it takes to be a r&b artist. R&b isn't dead, the artists are doing it wrong

Kelly Rowland - Motivation

A few months back I tweeted that r&b needs to link up with hip hop again instead of this euro-house stuff. I'd say this is an example of what I meant. This could easily be the beat for the above song and the point about Drake raising the bar for r&b can kinda be seen. I won't spill the rest because the game is to be sold not told. Features Lil' Wayne spewing some horrible lyrics about rainforest and brainstorm. I'm sure you'll probably know this song by now.

The official remix landed today. Sounds alright.

Frank Ocean "Swim Good"

An example of someone following the blueprint of what I said about Drake is Frank Ocean. Please bear in mind, I could be talking complete nonsense, but at the moment I'm right in my head. I haven't succumbed to he hype and downloaded his mixtape yet. Will listen to it at some point because I am liking a few of his songs now.

This gets a lot of airplay on 1Xtra. Good song. Unofficial video by the way. And please don't ask me what he's talking about. Have no idea.

Cherri V - Greedy Eyes

Another gem I've tweeted is "I don't understand why artists try to make pop when they haven't established an underground fan base". I'd just like to say I do understand why it's done, I just think it's a route many take like urban crowd is something to bypass. I can go on that point a bit more, can't be bothered to. I mentioned Cherri V in the tweet. Can't remember how, possibly a "Someone let Cherri V know" type point.

However, this is a song I feel is one that is a step in the right direction. Easily relatable and r&b over the 4x4 dance or middle of the road pop stuff she put out previously. The video is really effective. Really like it. Like, a lot. Goes to show, a story does more than a big budget.

p.s. I know someone from Cherri's team will Google to find results of where the vid is posted. If you stumble across this spot, pass on my feedback and email me her number please. We can go Nando's to discuss music and hopefully create a relationship that will help with some material. Win-win I say.

Ms. Dynamite - Neva Soft

Lady Dynamite is back! This is a monster of a track. Labrinth absolutely beasted on production duties. Mainly centres around a drum & bass sound. If the end of Tinie Tempah's "Pass Out" was a song, it'd be this.

UK rapper Ratlin hijacks Mavado tune

Another day, another rapper, another hijacked Mavado song. Currently on number 3 since year start (Sneakbo & Chipmunk "Star Boy", Sneakbo "Warn Them" now this).

Don't know much about Ratlin, but he's shouting Mozart which is west London.

I'm feeling this song. I'm not as deep into it as I'd like to be but I really like UK rap from the roads. They have character and gangsta narrative. I don't relate to money, swag and that nonsense. Soz

The original

Another song that can be found on my mix CD Product of My Ears
. It's mad how you get certain man in the UK that will swear blind there isn't anything but explicit sex, gun or bun X people talk, but these road rappers seem to be sampling dancehall songs that have meaningful hooks and beats suited for their rhymes... This is why I say there is a difference between bashment and dancehall. I'll blog that one day.

(sly plug check my interviews with Vybz Kartel, Mavado, Serani, Gyptian, Busy Signal etc here)

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Vybz Kartel - British Love [UK accent]

Vybz Kartel returns to his famed British accent that brought him much attention in the mid-00's on Proper English. I'm feeling this. A LOT! The riddim is so sick. His whispering vocals are effective and quotables/wheel up points for dayyyyssss! Loads of references to Prince Wills and Kate Middleton, hip hop's Tim Westwood, dancehall DJ Robbo Ranx, Brixton, temperature ("I'm in the tropics, you in the freezer") and tea - obviously. And the accent is just jokes.

"Come let's have a drink at the pub, yeah? Then later on we can party at the club, yeah?"

Will be available on iTunes. I'll deffo post up that link

(sly plug check my interviews with Vybz Kartel, Mavado, Serani, Gyptian, Busy Signal etc here)

I love this riddim. Be interesting to find out who produced this after all the controversy surrounding the departure of in-house producer NotNice. I know he's working with Dre Skull on his album. If this is Dre Skull, he's the guy to produce quality crossover riddims. Kick drum could be harder and a female singing "I'll do anything for you" instead of the faded vocals.

This kick-kick-kick is to dancehall in 2008 and beyond what the kick-kick-clap was to the '90s. I actually love most riddims with that pattern. It started when Stephen McGregor did it on the Trippple Bounce. It isn't a totally original beat, but hey, hip hop producers were stealing dancehall beats from the 90s 'til now (Stargate for Rihanna especially). We live in times of universal music. Just enjoy it. I do

"I've got news for you, like CNN. You're not a virgin you've been with many men. I'm not a saint I've been with many women. Some say I'm a dog, some say I'm a gentleman. Some say me bleach out and white like Eminem" - are the stand out bars for me.

Proper English on Nookie riddim from 2006

Whilst on the subject of Kartel, this polished, crossover dancehall seem to be his new sound. Summer Time video shot recently, here's the audio

And although he says he won't be making anymore gun tunes or diss songs, this one to Assassin/Agent Sasco is evil

Assassin's return is evil too. Definitely two of the most advanced lyricists in the genre. Kartel seems to be avoiding the other (Aidonia)

Real Badman Never Afraid: Euro-Trash records

I haven't done a "Real Badman Never Afraid" segment in a while. If you're unfamiliar with it, this is a time where I share songs I like that people will be surprised I like, deemed uncool by my demographic and some will feel ashamed to admit. But true I'm a rudeman, wicked boy (copyright me and my bredrin) from the day I was born 'til at least 1 minute 26 seconds ago, I don't abide by them rules.

Shout out Christiana on dubbing the genre "Euro-Trash". I got it from here. Follow her and read her blog. You'll get more wisdom than you will on these pages. If you are from foreign lands, Euro Trash was a late night program, pubescent boys stayed up past their bedtime to watch the best possible porn. I say the best possible, but you may have seen a breast here, a bum cheek there with a lot of innuendos and suggestive behaviour. Kids nowadays just load up a prano site, we had to find a friends uncle's video tape or download jpeg's from peer-to-peer download sites. "britney naked breast" always tricked me... sorry, I meant my friends... RIP Lolo Ferrari

Back on track, post was inspired by the bald Cubano, Pitbull and the mandem - Give You Everything. When the beat drops, that warped sound, the chord progessions are a straight moeshing (moesh not mosh. "Moesh" derives from slang use of "emotional"), jump and prancing madness. Current UK #1

Former number 1, LMFAO - Party Rock Anthem. I heard about this song when Wretch 32 went head-to-head with it for singles chart number 1. LMFAO is a strange name so it stuck. First heard it on the countdown show, but I didn't know any info. The skanks I put down in my room to it were on a next type of wave. Then I found out the song info and said "Oh, I see why this beat Wretch now" out aloud to myself mid big fish, little fish, cardboard box'ing.

When you throw this on, close your eyes and tell me you don't see strobe lights, bottles of WKD, ethnic majority boys in a circle with their arms around one another as they jump for freedom... and you yearning to join in with them.

(Even if you weren't gonna see that before, you will now that I've told you. Mind control!) "Everyday I'm shuff-uh-ling"

David Guetta ft. Dik Rida and Nicki Minaj - Where Them Girls At? sees David Guetta rearrange the chords from 2009's "Sexy Bitch" with Akon. Loved that tune, rate this too. Am I the only one that finds it funy that Trinidadian Nicki Minaj is more likely to speak with a Jamaican accent than a Trini one? We all know why (Jamaicans better/more recognisable).

On the flip side, everyone loves this Chris Brown "Beautiful People" song. I don't get the hype. The ones above are far superior on the jump-around-'cos-you-don't-know how-to-dance-too-drunk-to-care scale (I can dance, I don't drink alcohol).

On a flashback vibe now, who remembers Babylon Zoo - Spaceman? I used to hate when it slowed down, because I was used to the sped-up version I knew from the Levi's advert. Listening to it now with my maturer head, it sounds like he's putting down some deep lyrics.

That's all for now