Friday, 25 November 2011

MiRecommend: YouTube Covers

I've been going through a phase of checking out YouTube covers of popular songs recently. Great lot of fun, mostly good because the most viewed ones have high numbers for that reason, they're good. This is a way many artists are being discovered by big labels ever since Justin Bieber and Esmee Denters, so I know I'm not bringing you something new to the table.

Karmin are one of the latest to be signed and release a record. My Jamerican friend that spent a few months in London alerted me to them via their cover of Tinie Tempah's "Written In The Stars" in April this year.

Their "Look At Me Now" got them a lot of coverage. Mainly because she kills Busta's quadruple time (and a white chick doing it makes it better in the eyes of many). Their single knocks hard

Some next chicks I found via this method are sisters Ivana (19) and Jessica (18) better known as VanJess.

Discovered them through Rihanna's "We Found Love". The chick on the left (I'm guessing Jessica as she looks younger) has a contemporary pop voice whereas Ivana (chick on the right) brings a more powerful, soulful vibe. Great spin on the record too.

This is pretty cool too. Drake "Headlines" x Frank Ocean/Bridget Kelly "Thinking About You"/"Thinking About Forever"

Another chick that's been signed and built a buzz through covers is Avery. She has that typical American teen-pop sound (phrasing) and look.

Hear her sing Katy Perry "Fireworks" and you'll get what I mean. Special shout out to the pianist and guitarist. The song sounds great when stripped down, hence why I searched for a cover. Her voice is slightly annoying/winy though.

Lil Wayne - How To Love (Brandon Hines cover)

I think this was a related video on the official video. I didn't like the original until I saw the video as it conveys the message behind the lyrics better than I understood. First thoughts when I heard the song were "Why's Lil' Wayne crooning like Drake?"

Thought I'd listen to a real singer sing it, and whadayaknow, it's a whole lot better.

p.s. Brandon Hines is the dude on J. Cole's "Dreams" from The Warm Up. Great song.

Saw Bill Downs's cover of Ed Sheeran's The A-Team last year sometime. One of the first covers of that song as it was just starting to pick up (hold tight us here at Marvin Sparks dot blog spot dot com posting it in April though). Not posting it, rather Jessie J "Price Tag". Be sure to check out his mate's rap

Katie Sky covers Pixie Lott's "All About Tonight". How much better does singing in an English accent sound than an American?

So basically, searching through YouTube covers produces better talent than X-Factor UK. Type cover after a popular song title on YouTube, click their channel if you like it and blam, you have become a internet a&r. Keep track of your favourite ones and you may be on course with them as they become stars. You can then say to everyone "You like them now but I remember them from way back". Try it

Stumbled across this whilst watching Sean Paul's video "She Doesn't Mind". This don was in related video

Watch his cover of Rihanna's "We Found Love". Couple mistakes but hey he's human.

Not totally amazing, but notice she sings about 6 notes between F and either B or C (can't see if he's occasionally hitting C) throughout the song? I found that interesting in a hopeless way... Most pop songs are written that way so I shouldn't really. Ah whadeva

As a comparison, Party Rock Anthem has a wider range

Bonus: Kesha "Tik Tok" cover. This is old but it's a must see if you haven't seen it. I won't even tell you why.

Description on vid: "sorry if i got some parts wrong and i had to sign so quietly coz my mom was in bed sorry". That isn't what makes it funny but it helped the experience for me, 'cos really, it's the last thing she should apologise for...

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Real Badman Never Afraid: Justin Bieber's Xmas album is a vibe

Yep, you read the title correctly. I came across Bieber's Xmas album after my dad told me he read Bieber has done a reggae song. When I played it to him he said "Hmm... you can just about tell it's reggae" (my dad's hardcore reggae fan thankfully).

You may think the same thing but it's the acoustic reggae sound people (namely Bruno Mars and I realised Ed Sheeran's "A-Team" has a hint of it which explains the Shy FX Ackee & Saltfish remix) have adopted. Off-beat guitar strums/stabs/whatever. If you know reggae, you know what I'm on about. If not, it's the pattern of the guitar. Reggae brought that to the mainstream

Gave the rest of the album some burn as I had time to fill. And curiosity got the better of me. Ultimately I'm open-minded to music that likes to hear what's going on in a next genre to mix my meditation, so wondered how the rest would be. I am pleasantly surprised. There are bangers on there. I tweeted that if you close your eyes, it could be a pre-Rihanna battering, tattoo-wearing, swearing, chair-throwing-through-windowing-then-run-out-on-street-topless, Twitter-meltdowning Chris Brown.

First song of the rest to jump out is "Fa La La" which features one of the last of the classic male vocal groups, Boyz II Men. Let me know if this doesn't get a repeat play aka rewind before the end of the track.

Next song is a banging slow jam imaginatively titled "Christmas Eve". Funnily enough, following my tweet about this passing as a Chris Brown album, I find out this song is actually co-written by Mr. Breezy. (Fast forward to the future) Hold tight the September 2012 babies, you were probably conceived over the Christmas period to this song.

Next song is an acoustic number that allows Justin Bieber's autotuned crooning to breathe. How catchy is this one? Although it should be "Justin Bieber featuring Autotune" he has a good tone, ting named sincerity. You know the little gal dem will go wild for this tune here

The rest is filled with some duds, namely All I Want For Christmas. Mariah babes, you've got to stop pimping this song. The original version isn't going anywhere and for that we are grateful. Stop re-making it. Second year in-a-row now love. Drummer Boy with Busta Rhymes is dry too. Others are alright. Get it for your little female cousins them. He has neat little melodies, good beat selection, lyrics ain't really for me but I understand the vibe.

"This Christmas" featuring The Band Perry is a nice little vibe too. Proper cheesy in all honesty.

As a bonus, I came across The Band Perry yesterday. They're an American country group (I think), the lead singers voice is beautiful. Somber, honest and does an excellent job at getting the melancholy song across.

"A penny for my thoughts, oh no, I'll sell 'em for a dollar,
They're worth so much more after I'm a gonna,
And maybe you'll hear the words I've been singing
Funny when you're dead how people start listening" is a great lyric you'd hear on a classic rock song in a gruff, Southern drawl.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Sean Paul interview by Marvin Sparks

Anyone that knows me, knows how priviliged I felt to speak with one of the most iconic dancehall artists ever. Sean Paul is the don that set off dancehall in a real way. Remember all the dancehall videos Summer 2003? I loved them times. Everyone learning the dances for the first time and dem ting. Even more shocking was him knowing who I am. We sat and spoke like mates. We've had Twitter and email interaction prior to meeting but it was still strange for him to know who I am, if you get what I'm saying.

Anyway, it's a feature I'm actually happy with for once. Getting good feedback about it being informative and stuff so I like that. I'll be uploading some footage soonish. Enjoy

Sean Paul: “Dancehall’s influence on popular music culture is immense” | Interview

"“Got any Sean Paul, mate?” is a request most DJs have become familiar with ever since Sean Paul smashed through the mainstream doors with an aunthentic dancehall brand of floor-fillers such as “Gimme The Light,” “Get Busy,” and “Like Glue” almost ten years ago. Selling in excess of twelve million albums, numerous top ten’s (including four #1′s), inspiring pop/R&B (or “dancehall knock-offs” as I call them) smash-hits, in addition to collaborations with icons including Chris Brown, Rihanna, R. Kelly, Jay-Z, Beyoncé, Busta Rhymes​ and Carlos Santana​ requiring that unmistakable, nasal-induced Patois, dancehall flavour – few predicted these heights during Summer in 2002. 2012 will see the release of the as-yet-untitled fifth studio album lead by UK top 20 Stargate-produced single “Got 2 Luv U” featuring young starlet Alexis Jordan. Oh, and he has a new haircut."

Sean Paul speaks on underwhelming last album, going back to basics to make hits, not being hardcore enough, impact dancehall has on pop culture since his emergence and other stuff.

Read the rest here

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Tweeter Review: X-Factor - Rihanna perf.

RT aka ReTweet = Repeating someone else's tweet for everyone of your own followers to see
@[insert name] = Twitter username.[name after @ sign] For example: @MarvinSparks =

Follow everyone who wrote tweets you like. If you'd like your tweet removed ask and I'll think about it.

For previous TweeteReviews click here

Last but not least

Disclaimer: Tweets do not necessarily reflect the opinions of us (me) here at Marvin Sparks dot Blog Spot dot com. We (I) found them funny/relevant

Forget what the papers and judges say, here's what the tweople say!

@studiopixie studiopixie
Gassed to see RiRi :D If it's anything like the last #XFactor performance! Wooooooooy the timeline went into meltdown! Loooool! (click here for Tweeter Review of last time)

@shach7 Meshach Broderick
I wonder if Rihanna will do her new single? I like it

@Caligraphist The Caligraphist®
Rihanna's on. Time for certain man to top up the wank bank. lol #xfactor

@BangsandaBun Muireann C-Campbell
What? She's wearing clothes? DISAPPOINTED! #xfactor

@MarvinSparks Negus Marvin Sparks
Rihanna cant sing this song by the way

@thatgrapejuice Sam GrapeJuice
Rihanna is already sounding like garbage. #xfactor

@XianLoves ❤ Xi'an Loves ❤
Not gonna lie RIHANNA SOUNDS AWFUL #XFactor

@Iamdjb Barry Burt
Rihanna would also get the good love.

@MervinMartin Mervin Martin
take it off, take it off #xfactor

Wow seems like rihanna learnt from last year. She has clothes on...will they last till the end? Hahaha let's see. #xfactorUK

@danwootton Dan Wootton
So the question is: Was Rihanna told to cover up after all the criticism about her raunchy performance last year? #XFactor

@MannyNorte Manny Norte
Did my man really just cup da back off??!! Luck Bastard!! #XFactor

@thatgrapejuice Sam GrapeJuice
Kelly needs to hand Rihanna her seat and show her how its done. Jokes aside, this performance is embarrassing.

@siananderson Sigh-Anne Anderson
Hahahahahaha HER OUTFIT IS SHIT hahahah I know the guys were expecting a HYPE ahhaha FAILLLLLL

@MervinMartin Mervin Martin
shes got a robocop forehead #xfactor

@iamcoxhead Thomas Coxhead
Too many clothes, not enough skin. Also, she looks SO awkward performing Electro music.

@Iamdjb Barry Burt
What she lacks in vocal ability, she more than makes up for in performance. Great performer.

Quite disappointed by the lack of flesh on display by Rihanna tonight. Damn you Ofcom!! #xfactor

@Caligraphist The Caligraphist®
That backing vocal is too loud. Its shhowing up her flat live notes.. #xfactor

@ChuckieOnline Chuckie Lothian
Rihanna has a ladder in a tights. I no what she's tryna tell me.. Someone send me her number. I got a suggestion... #Xfactor.

@SefKombo セフ・コンボー

@thatgrapejuice Sam GrapeJuice
Who choreographs Rihanna? The Tinman? #xfactor

@mrviews Mr Views
This performance is shocking. She's still an amazing performer, just a bad day at the office.

@DJTrevorNelson Trevor Nelson
Everones thinking when is Rihanna gonna rip her clothes off

@IamNads Nadine Stewart
Problem is, we just saw Rihanna perform this on #XFactorUSA a couple of days ago. #CantTopLastYear #XFactor

@WendiWrites Wendi Bekoe
Bless Rihanna's cotton socks, she can't dance..

@Adenike1 adenike adenitire
Her x factor USA performance was better, just a couple nights ago! So was outfit!

@thatgrapejuice Sam GrapeJuice
Welcome to 2011, where people applaud mediocrity #xfactor #rihanna

@tahirah Tahirah
This is what her concert was like, more time she didn't even PRETEND to be miming, just let the backing track to the work. #xfactor

@newsychick1 Karen AKA Newsychick
Rihanna's X Factor UK performance better than USA one. Still not a fan of singing over backing track though

@MervinMartin Mervin Martin
i wanna wana put it in her mouth #xfactor looool

@Caligraphist The Caligraphist®
That performance would've been 64.3% better if Rihanna wore less clothes and turned off her mic. #xfactor

@AllysaRochelle Rochelle Robertson
Yh Rihanna was pretty shit! I wouldn't pay her if I was you @Xfactor

@Christiana1987 Christiana Mbakwe
*Imagines men around the country sitting next to unused lotion* Well that was anti-climatic #Xfactor #rihanna

@Christiana1987 Christiana Mbakwe
In conclusion Rihanna with clothing is like jollof rice made without stew. Bland, intolerable and practically unrecognisable.

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Tweeter Review: X-Factor Live Show 7

RT aka ReTweet = Repeating someone else's tweet for everyone of your own followers to see
@[insert name] = Twitter username.[name after @ sign] For example: @MarvinSparks =

Follow everyone who wrote tweets you like. If you'd like your tweet removed ask and I'll think about it.

For previous TweeteReviews click here

Last but not least

Disclaimer: Tweets do not necessarily reflect the opinions of us (me) here at Marvin Sparks dot Blog Spot dot com. We (I) found them funny/relevant

Forget what the papers and judges say, here's what the tweople say!

@AllysaRochelle Rochelle Robertson
Time for some Twitter XFactor Joke

@EvadneyC Evadney
OK time for #XFactor; how boring can this week be and which 'talent' will go home?

@DEEPERMC Edilson Abilio™
Movie night is dead, fix up #xfactor

Friday, 18 November 2011

FlashBack Friday: Lil' Jon x Crunk Appreciation

Lil' Jon is the man hip hop forget contributed a lot. He brought the bass into hip hop in a big way. Bass that hip hop artists thrive on these days. Catchphrases were ridiculed by Dave Chapelle, meaning he became a slight laughing stock. He would have benefited by evolving with the times and included more lyrical rappers on his beats. I give him credit for creating monster anthems though, he had a knack for great hooks that were easy to learn.

I'm going through a Lil' Jon phase today so thought I'd share

Lil' Scrappy - No Problem

Reminds me of Jamaica Queens, near the mall place. Can't remember what it's called but it's at the end of a side road.

Trillville ft. Lil Scrappy - Neva Eva

"Get on my level, hell nah, never that. I knew you wasn't real 'cos all you do it chit-chat" gets me hype.

Lil Scrappy - Head Bussa

This reminds me of Need For Speed. Keep still while you listen to this. Dare you.

Lil Jon ft. Pastor Troy - Throw It Up

Samples a famous composition that I don't know the name of. I don't even represent anywhere but I'm twisting my fangaz to make various hand signs because I want to participate. Representing your hood was Jon's thing, really. That and throwing (el)bows

Lil' Jon ft. Lil' Scrappy - What You Gonna Do

Check out Pitbull with hair at 0:17. Remember he used to go around with Lil' Jon? I swear the chick in pink at 1:50 is the video girl from UK MTV's Hip Hop Honeyz program. She can't dance.

For those who didn't know, Jon used to be a dancehall radio DJ down in Atlanta. When you take that into consideration, you can tell why his beats were bass-driven and his style is that different to a selector on a sound system. I'd say this is the most explicit example of implementing dancehall into hip hop. In fact, the drum pattern is practically ripped from a Dave Kelly riddim, The Bounce.

Lil' Jon ft. Mystikal & Krayzie Bone - I Don't Give a F*ck

Arguably the most rowdy Jon tune in my book as it's the first one I remember. This is before the Get Low hype. I didn't and still don't really like Get Low but big him up for bringing through Elephant Man.

Back to this tune, Mystikal kills it!

p.s. re: hip hop sub-genres in the noughties - Sped-up samples > Crunk > Snap > Papoose's unreleased album > Chopped & screwed > Cassidy's debut album > Hyphy

Hold tight the original Little John though. Original Clarks song too

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Tweeter Review: X-Factor - Lady Gaga perf. + Kitty "Born This Way"

RT aka ReTweet = Repeating someone else's tweet for everyone of your own followers to see
@[insert name] = Twitter username.[name after @ sign] For example: @MarvinSparks =

Follow everyone who wrote tweets you like. If you'd like your tweet removed ask and I'll think about it.

For previous TweeteReviews click here

Last but not least

Disclaimer: Tweets do not necessarily reflect the opinions of us (me) here at Marvin Sparks dot Blog Spot dot com. We (I) found them funny/relevant

Forget what the papers and judges say, here's what the tweople say!

@MarvinSparks Negus Marvin Sparks
Wonder if Lady Gaga will finally unveil herself as a Romanian boy called Gheorghe tonight...

@madnewsblog Mad News
what is Gaga going to do tonight... #X-Factor

@Popjustice Popjustice
Right this had better be good.

Lady Gaga will be wearing meat. Frankie Cocozza will be at home beating it #xfactor

@studiopixie studiopixie
QUICK! Get the holy water! It's Gaga! #XFactor

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Tweeter Review: X-Factor Live Show 6

RT aka ReTweet = Repeating someone else's tweet for everyone of your own followers to see
@[insert name] = Twitter username.[name after @ sign] For example: @MarvinSparks =

Follow everyone who wrote tweets you like. If you'd like your tweet removed ask and I'll think about it.

For previous TweeteReviews click here

Last but not least

Disclaimer: Tweets do not necessarily reflect the opinions of us (me) here at Marvin Sparks dot Blog Spot dot com. We (I) found them funny/relevant

Forget what the papers and judges say, here's what the tweople say!

Technical difficulties

@ArchnaSawjani ArchnaSawjani
Technical difficulties before X Factor? Really?!?!

@loudmouthmelvin Loudmouth Melvin
Looooool technical difficulties on the #xfactor when is rains it pours

@thatgrapejuice Sam GrapeJuice
I "can't" at ITV streaming Youtube clips due to 'technical difficulties'. I want X Factor!

@danwootton Dan Wootton
WTF is going on!? #xfactor

@loudmouthmelvin Loudmouth Melvin
I reckon something's going on with the judges or contestants and they're buying time #xfactor

@ArchnaSawjani ArchnaSawjani
Bring Simon back- X Factor can't seem to get anything right this year!

@Christiana1987 Christiana Mbakwe
X Factor is having technical difficulties and showing reruns. We're in the end times.

@danwootton Dan Wootton
So is this a stunt to get us to pay attention or is this the first time the start of The X Factor has been delayed? #xfactor

@Christiana1987 Christiana Mbakwe
My suspicion is Simon Cowell took the strongest members of production staff for X Factor USA. This is a farce. #Xfactor

@Adenike1 adenike adenitire
This is a joke ting! ITV fix up !

@FunnyMissLondon Miss London Hughes
Nah seriously, man walked on the moon! Can't ITV successfully transmit the #Xfactor to us!!?? #WhatsGoingOn!

@danwootton Dan Wootton
OK, this definitely is not a stunt!

@danwootton Dan Wootton
OMFG! RT @jasav: ITV1 are blaming "BT power lines" and say there is nothing they can do about it. #xfactor

@madnewsblog Mad News
RT @KatieWeasel: Delayed for technical reasons? More like Misha has just head-butted Tulisa and they are cleaning up the blood. #xfactor

@danwootton Dan Wootton
One minute might have been acceptable,but this is getting embarrassing now. Cannot remember this happening to any major show in recent years

@itisTwin Twin B
Gamu rubbing her hands with glee.... Muahahahaha "I told them they will pay"

Find out the rest of the night's afters after the hop/skip/jump

Friday, 11 November 2011

FlashBack Friday: Nile Rodgers Appreciation

Taken during the performance of "Good Times" when Nile invited members of the audience to dance on stage

I had the pleasure of witnessing stone cold legend Nile Rodgers last night for the second time in 12 months. If you claim to know and love music, but thought "Who?" be ashamed.

I'll call 'em Nile and Chic because I'm not sure how many of the others are from the original line-up. The concert was full-packed of hits which have all stood the test of time (three decades), played incredibly well on stage, accompanied by two magnificent (and flippin' HOT!) singers in Falumi (I think that's how you spell it) and Kimberly Davis.

Nile Rodgers isn't only the guitarist and founding member of Chic, he's a songwriter and producer of hits along with co-founding member Bernard Edwards (RIP). When I say hits, I mean classic hits that have lasted decades. And on top of those hits have been other massive hits. I dread to think about the amount of money he sees from royalties from to samples.

I'm going to drop a few examples of in this post, let the people dem know what's going on out here.

Chic - Chic Cheer

Lifted from Chic's second studio album C'est Chic released in 1978.

Instantly recongisable from the first guitar riff. It is of course Fatman Scoop "Be Faithful" (won't embed because I hate that song), but originally Faith Evans - Love Like This

Chic - Good Times

"It was first recorded by their band Chic, for their 1979 album Risqué. In August of that year, it became the band's second number one single on both the Billboard Hot 100 and soul singles chart."

Has been sampled a fair few times including a UK garage song I can't remember the name of. Most notably, however, as the bed for hip hop's first hit, Sugarhill Gang - Rappers Delight

They took us on a journey through hits he's written for others.

Diana Ross - I'm Coming Out

First one up is Diana Ross' 1980 hit mentioned above.

Sampled by Puffy and the Hit Squad (Stevie J?) for Notorious BIG ft. Ma$e and Puff Daddy - Mo' Money Mo' Problems

Diana Ross - Upside Down

Another Diana Ross hit (her only other hit I know post-Motown). "Fact" from Wiki "[Chic wrote Upside Down with] Aretha Franklin in mind to record. When Franklin turned down the offer to record the album Motown passed the material and project to Ross."

Sampled by Puffy (again) for MC Lyte ft. Missy Elliott - Cold Rock a Party. BANGER!!! Reminds me of The Box in about 1996. Jheeeze! What a swing. Haven't heard this in time (I'm listening right now).

David Bowie - Let's Dance

One of the most recognisable David Bowie songs (well to me anyway) "Let's Dance" was performed by the drummer last night.

Sampled by, yep, you've guessed it, Puffy for himself ft. Nototious BIG & Ma$e - Been Around The World on his 1997 "Victory" album.

Sister Sledge - He's The Greatest Dancer

I love Sister Sledge something else. Effortless regular singers.

Everyone loved Will Smith - Gettin' Jiggy With It

Chic - Soup For One

Probably the lowest response for a song last night as it wasn't a hit.

But the reason for it's performance is the sample. In my opinion Modjo "Lady" is the only song in this post that is hands down better than the original.


Separately from the samples bit, here's footage I recorded of them performing my favourite song of the night (it isn't a Chic song per sé but hey...)

Sister Sledge - Thinking of You (live)

Another song they performed that he wrote was Madonna's "Like A Virgin", but this Madonna song produced by him and Bernard is a favourite of mine

Thank you Nile Rodgers

p.s. The above pictures are mine. Don't thieve it or I'll come for you keyboard warrior style

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

What's In My Ears?

Bombay Bicycle Club - Lights Out, Word's Gone

These dudes are one of those bands whose names I see about but never listened to their stuff. Tell a lie, I listened to a few of their tracks on Spotify but ended up getting bored. Decided to click a link to their video one day and loved it. Song's groovy. The video is really cool too.

Tanya Lacey - Letter To My Ex

Heard about Tanya Lacey via asking someone who they were standing with in their display pic o BlackBerry. Fly pretty thing with blonde hair. He said she's a singer, I saw a pretty face and thought "Probably another pretty girl that can't sing" 'cos that isn't rare (sarcasm). Someone played me her stuff in an office (exclusive stuff at the time), first song was aight, but this one jumped right out at me. Reminiscent of that raw hip hop soul sound from the 90s - raw neck-snappin' drums with lush keys. And her voice is mad soulful. Don't like the "S-T-A-R" bit 'cos spelling in songs is corny to me (apart from m-a-r-y h-o-w c-o-u-l-d y-o-u b-e s-o c-r-u-e-l t-o m-e m-y love). I'mma stop rambling, listen tune.

Check her out on Soul Culture. Check beauty.

Dems - House

I tweeted asking for some new music to listen to the other day. I was bored as fk and people always tweet me vids at an inconvenient time (like when I'm watching X-Factor. Mentions go a bit nuts at the time so don't bother.), but I will listen. I'm not big like Tim Westwood. Email me tunes. As long as someone other than your bredrins have said "Yeah man, this is sick."

Anyway, one of my dudes on the @MT_85 sent me a link to this group called Dems. I think he sent me a few songs, but he was smart with it, sending me the best one first. This song is vybzy. Best of the link I was sent

Popcaan - Clean

Banger. Nothing more, nothing less. Has numerous wheels on my bashment/dancehall mix. Listen when the bass tumbles. Urgkh. And never forget reggae invented the bass.

Mavado - Settle Down

Can somebody say hit? Featured this back in August 'cos I'm a tastemaker ya dig? Sidebar: did you know Bob Marley used to say "Ya dig" in the 70s? I didn't until the other day. Check this interview especially the bit about weed vs alcohol.

Busy Signal - Hear What I Say

Listen lyrics by one of dancehall's most underrated artists. Some good social-commentary that you don't get from any other genre on the same level

Speaking of reggae and social-commentary, hear what Jay-Z's good friend and engineer says about the vibes reggae and dancehall gives him compared to other genres. That's me, I listen to everything but nothing gives me what I get from reggae and dancehall

Go to 5:50

"Religious, rudeboy and social commentary all in one. Reggae probably dominates my listening." - so on point. Those that say it's just sex, chat crap.

Anyway, listen to my mix. Cos really and truly, this is what dominates my ears ultimately (click here for tracklist (and reason behind the mix))

Marvin Sparks 'Does (his) 2011 so far' by MiNameMarvinSparks

p.s. you know it wouldn't be right if I didn't give you something random that I'm overly loving right now

Fleetwood Mac - Everywhere

Re-discovered this through Absolute radio. My work colleague always has it on. I remember it from compilation adverts in the '90s. Rock out to this one with me. I'll play a live one for us to experience.

Actually, one more

Men At Work - Down Under

Hear vibes. Has a reggae influence in there as well for ya. New wave is what they called this music a.k.a. post-punk and as you may or may not know punk has a strong reggae influence.

Ahh, last one

Blondie - Tide Is High

Here's another new wave song which is a remake of a popular reggae song origginally performed by John Holt. Hear how the above sounds similar to this in terms of swing? It's slower and they used a couple of Caribbean sounding instruments on this, obviously, but both classed as new wave so don't chat to me.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Previously unreleased J. Cole interview I did

A few of you may remember the big heavyweight exclusive interview I dropped where J. Cole surprisingly said he'd like to work with grime heavyweight MC, P Money. Sparked off a big wave of discussion in the grime scene.

Here's another J. Cole interview I did way before the album came out. I'm a big fan of J. Cole. Damn near stan levels so I ask questions based on a bunch of his lyrics.

Lyrics I quote are:

  • On 'Farewell' he says he would go back to his younger days "Let me relive my younger days just once again... my childhood, now I'm blanking out they were truly my best days..." so I ask about growing up and how experiences shaped his life and lyrics.
  • First fell in love with hip hop
  • 'Can I Live' he says "Am I living to get paid or slave for a wage all week/ I can't do no 9-to-5, told my mom sorry" mums reaction to becoming a rapper over his law degree
  • 'Dollar and a Dream' "People say I'm the future but yet I'm giving n*g*a's flashbacks of better days" so I ask what he feels he's bringing to the game
  • 'Villematic' "F*ck the haters probably never loved they mother neither. Ol' bitter ass, sitting around in middle-class homes with computers on hating on the newest songs" = how negative feedback effects his raps?
  • Also on Villematic he says "I know my debut gon' ship, but is it gon' sell?" & "Can I spill out my stress? It's a feeling in the air you 'bout to drop a real classic. He said 'Cole a little birdie told me on the low you got an Illmatic,' nobody touching Nas n*g*a, this more like Villematic" so I ask if he's nervous about his reaction to the album.
  • Song with Trey Songz(which is now known as 'Can't Get Enough'), but on 'Lights Please' he raps about educating a girl but "All she want me to do is unzip her jeans" so I ask about the increase in songs geared to ladies. He explains why there's a need for female-oriented songs and his evolution from Warm Up to Friday Night Lights and the album
  • On 'Blow Up' he raps "It's funny how money, chains and whips make me feel free" - what is success to you?
  • Quoting 'Farewell' again "If I should die Lord, this here is my will. Reincarnate a n*g*a send me right back to the 'Ville" so I ask what era he'd like to go back and rap in. He says when and who he'd like to battle against.

p.s. Apologies for the poor sound in parts.

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Tweeter Review: X-Factor Live Show 5

RT aka ReTweet = Repeating someone else's tweet for everyone of your own followers to see
@[insert name] = Twitter username.[name after @ sign] For example: @MarvinSparks =

Follow everyone who wrote tweets you like. If you'd like your tweet removed ask and I'll think about it.

For previous TweeteReviews click here

Last but not least

Disclaimer: Tweets do not necessarily reflect the opinions of us (me) here at Marvin Sparks dot Blog Spot dot com. We (I) found them funny/relevant

Forget what the papers and judges say, here's what the tweople say!

Theme: Club Classics


Will any of the judges bring up kittygate? Regarding Derry? Tulisa likes airing backstage antics so let's see eh!

@madnewsblog Mad News
Good to see Kelly looking well and her voice is back.... #X-Factor

It's a double elimination. Kelly and Tulisa #xfactor

Find out what went down

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

My Rant: MOBO's don't care about the 'B'?

I wasn't gonna comment on this a) I didn't watch it (watched Beres and Tarrus in real life) and b) I think I've missed the boat. In the blogging world "It's better never than late" as I criticised MOBO's twitter for the other day after posting Estelle's old video as "new". But you know what? I'm gonna do it 'cos I just watched this (one of the disclaimers to the aforementioned rule is "unless you're bringing something fresh") over at MadNews where I almost flooded her comments box with this.

First off, I'm not sure if it was the editing but I didn't get MissLaLa's point about "They don't care about the MOBO's, they've got BET".

Actually, the real first off is people shouldn't really comment on things they don't care about in real life.

Moving on, do the MOBO's care about Black music? Well, by glancing at the list over the past couple years you will see some dodgy songs by Dizzee, Tinchy and a few others included in nominations that aren't of black origin sonically. They're straight euro-house songs or bland as brown bread pop. But then you ask yourself, what dictates if it's black music; instrumental or artist. In theory, a songs publishing is 50/50 split between producer & songwriter, therefore the artist should count too, right? So, (playing devils advocate) if an artist comes from a black music background, does that make it from black origin?

I don't actually know the answer to the above lol. Only created it as I write this post. I'll need longer to think about it. Maybe by the time we get to the end of the post.

Continuing on, would Jessie J's 'Do It Like A Dude' be considered MOBO if she were black? Once again I don't know if the song can be considered MOBO anyway because there are influences from many places. Her doing the live "urban" circuit blurred her lines anyway. Had she sprung up like Best Hip Hop nominees Rizzle Kicks doing it like a dude, I doubt people would have been happy.

Black music has changed too. R&B for example is more like house than r&b and more black acts have turned to anything that sounds like it makes money.

My problem isn't whether an artist like Jessie is considered MOBO, I think someone as big in the pop world as her who will win awards everywhere else kills the true meaning of MOBO. Jessie J won 4 MOBO's, all the pics I saw in national papers were of Jessie J and nothing much else. I wouldn't nominate her for more than one or two awards personally because she's a massive mainstream artist. You can say "Ahh you can't do that!" Hear what, I would!

Hear why; black artists rarely win Brit awards. Not saying it's because they are black, it is what it is. Urban artists (of all races) don't have the same impact on charts as rural music artists. Commentators say "You have MOBOs we don't have MOWO's", I ask them about NME, Q and Brits. I'm lying? Didn't think so. Plus, I'm sure it was white people that named it black music as an excuse to say they don't play it?

And this is why MOBO's are still needed if they are worked correctly. In the past, Craig David, Lemar and Beverly Knight have been good artists that have done extremely well for black music artists, however, they are always bettered by rural music counterparts at shows like the Brits. Even when Brits created the Urban award they gave it to Joss Stone, c'mon man (yea, Lemar went on to win it too but you get my point). Two years ago Tinchy Stryder was one of those who fitted in the category of good for urban, probs should get Brits, but snubbed. Cool, we understand that but MOBO's snubbed him too!

This year has been the year of Wretch 32. Two top 5's and a #1 from someone not many believed in last year. Everyone and their granny thought Wretch would sweep up, but, oh, he didn't win a thing. All he could tweet was "Speechless" (click here to see other artists reactions). Someone of that caliber is who should be sweeping the awards. That is what the MOBO awards were set up for. Celebrating the achievements of those who won't get rewarded anywhere else (UMA's don't count I'm afraid). Even someone like Katy B could get a shout for an award. She's had a good year. And award the upcoming artists we see making waves on the internet, pushing through to mainstream.

Theoretically that shouldn't happen. Public voting excuse is a bag of bollocks. We, the public, vote when we buy records. Awards should be (as) impartial (as possible) experts telling us who they think are the best.

In conclusion, do MOBO's care about the B? To some degree, obviously but not as much as they care about the P££ (a.k.a. pee a.k.a. pounds). They don't feed the root so how's the tree gonna grow?

And that right there rounds up the rant.

If you'd like a laugh, read the first ever Twitter Review which coincidentally about the 2010 MOBO Awards here. Hilarious

Final thought: I wonder if Blue, Another Level, BackStreet Boys, even the Spice Girls would be eligible for MOBOs today. They've made music of black origin like 3-time MOBO winners JLS and 4-time winner Jessie J...