Sunday, 26 February 2012

Wiley speaks dancehall influences on him & grime [interview by Marvin Sparks]

This came about so mad. Like, a week after the debate on whether grime is a sub-genre of hip hop or a reflection of London influences including Jamaica, the opportunity to speak with grime's Godfather arose. More than just talking to a legend, it was an opportunity to speak in great detail about his love for dancehall and reggae - something I don't recall him ever doing before. I think he enjoyed the interview a lot. There's more to forward from the interview in different way so stay tuned. There are so many funny moments too. Big up Wiley and Large Up dot com. That is one of the best sites on the net for dancehall and reggae stuff, based in America. They are a channel on big American website Okayplayer. Check them out here

Wiley is often called the Godfather of the UK’s vibrant grime scene. Having burst on the scene as a member of garage crew Pay As U Go Cartel, the prolific MC has been considered among the best UK wordsmiths for over ten years. He’s been involved in countless pivotal moments in underground music history, discovered and nurtured more artists than your average A&R, sparked the recent wave of grime MC’s scoring hits with electro-pop fused singles, and is generally an all-around legend. That said, Evolve or Be Extinct is an apt title for his eighth full-length release. The Bow E3, London-raised MC explores various styles, fusing grime, electro, hip hop, dancehall and just general Wiley productions you can’t call anything (is the Wiley-coined term “Eski” still available?).

Marvin Sparks spoke with Wiley about his musical foundations, how he modeled the grime scene using elements of dancehall, Jamaican music’s underrated influence on London’s music scene, and how all of these elements are coming more into focus on his latest tracks.

Read full interview here

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

14 Valentine's Selections dancheall/reggae style

Everyone's doing one, so I thought I'd hop on the wagon before it pulls off the dock. Everyone gravitates to the songs with a more sexually explicit nature, so I thought I'd post some big songs that I think are appropriate for the pagan's festival of lust aka Valentine's. I've mixed it up over various generations, sounds and dem ting deh.

1. Gyptian - "Beautiful Lady"

2. Jah Cure - "Never Find" lead lady played by his now wife. How sweet?

3. Dennis Brown - "Have You Ever"

4. Bob Marley - "Waiting In Vain"

5. Gregory Isaacs - "Soon Forward"

6. Beres Hammond - "Groovy Little Thing"

7. Sanchez - "I Can't Wait"

8. Tanto Metro & Devante - "Everyone Falls In Love Sometimes"

9. Wayne Wonder - "No Letting Go"

10. Damian Marley ft. Bobby Brown - "Beautiful"

"All this blinging it's like you forgot/ Use cheddar as the bait then you recruit a rat/ So we listen couple speech ah Martin Luther chat/ Dennis Brown, Bob Marley and some Supercat" - WHEEL!

11. Buju Banton - "Wanna Be Loved"

13. Vybz Kartel - "Yuh Love"

13. Alaine - "Deeper"

14. Mavado - "Settle Down"

Bonus: Whitney Houston - "My Love Is Your Love"

Yes, this is a reggae song. Didn't even realise the importance of her singing on a sound system until the other day. RIPower Nippy

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Sean Paul on new album nerves, "not dancehall" criticism, comparing to Mavado & more

Dancehall superstar Sean Paul speaks on nerves having to live up to previous successes, not forcing hits this time around, heavy criticism for sound on previous album 'Imperial Blaze' and why it's the album he's most proud of, how his work compared with Mavado's and reason for non-dancehall producers for new album Tomahawk Technique.

Subscribe for following parts. Check SoulCulture for full article (­-on-popular-music-culture-is-immense-interview/).

New album, Tomahawk Technique, out now in some places and in the coming weeks in others (check Google).

Stay tuned for more interviews with Sean Paul's manager. Soon forward

Catch the first part where Sean and his manager explain why they chose girl and party songs over the deeper songs Sean started out with here.

SoulCulture updates

Celine Dion rocks Jamaica Jazz & Blues Festival [Video]

Now, I’m not even sure if Celine Dion matches our mantra over here at SoulCulture, but I had to post this monumental occasion. Let me give a break down of how Celine Dion connects to the reggae specialist of SoulCulture; Celine Dion is worshipped in Jamaica. Read more

Shola Ama - Puppy Love

R&B singer Shola Ama was one of few women of colour representing on the UK charts in the nineties, alongside Des’ree, Gabrielle, Eternal, Jamelia and Shaznay from All Saints (all I recall at this moment). The north-west Londoner burst onto the scene with her top five charting cover of Randy Crawford‘s “You Might Need Somebody,” her 4x platinum-selling debut album Much Love, plus several other successful singles – namely garage anthem “Imagine” and featuring on UK dancehall artist Glamma Kid‘s “Taboo”. Read more

Sean Paul f/ Kelly Rowland – “How Deep Is Your Love?” | New Music

We posted what now appears to have been a demo version with Ester Dean in place of Kelly Rowland. Wasn’t too hot on it before, grown on me a tad. Quite a sensual slow jam, from Sean’s latest album Tomahawk Technique, which is out on February 14th. Read more

Sean Paul – “Hold On” | New Music

A new leak from Sean Paul‘s forthcoming coming LP Tomahawk Technique. “Hold On” is one of the tracks he described as one of the deeper songs on the album in our recent interview. Following the same production theme of dancehall drums with mainstream pop melodies, the song is an anthem inspired by the Jamaican national team heading to the 2012 Olympics and also the victims of natural disasters such as those in Haiti. Read more

Jamaica Party Tour feat. Mala, Shy FX, Coki, The Bug, Flowdan, RoxXxan, LadyLeshurr +more | UK Events

Jamaica Party is a celebration of Jamaica’s 50th year of independence and the influence Jamaica has had on the UK’s music scene. Since the 1950s, Jamaicans have brought the sound of their island directly to British dance floors. UK producers, DJs and musicians changed the sound of British music forever under the influence of Mento, Ska, Reggae and most recently the ever-changing Dancehall. Most brush it’s influence under the carpet, but real musical dons know. Read more

Popcaan - "Party Shot" | Music Video

Amidst the heat building for “Only Man She Want” (recently added to Hot 97′s playlist, Radio 1Xtra top 20 for 2012), Popcaan releases a video to the heavily infectious “Party Shot (Ravin’ pt. 2)”. Read more

Marvin Sparks on Joe Grime's Deja Vu show #DancehallDebates

On Tuesday, I popped down to another one of the top pirate's, Deja Vu to have a chat about all things dancehall with the general, Joe Grime. He says he appreciates my opinion which is cool.

We speak about the bubbling UK dancehall scene (one's to watch, improvements, evolution of sound systems etc.), dancehall's impact on mainstream pop world, effect incarceration of elite entertainers such as Vybz Kartel and recent arrest of Elephant Man has on the music, then predictions for 2012. Interesting conversation + banging tunes.

Mr. Vegas interview x Marvin Sparks on Rinse FM

Last Sunday, I ventured down to the legendary, groundbreaking Rinse FM studios in London town to guest on top dancehall sound system, The Heatwave's show. They played out an interview I did with dancehall legend Mr. Vegas. If you're unfamiliar with him, I'm sorry. He has made consistent bangers over the course of nearly 15 years from "Nike Air" and "Heads High" to "Hot Wuk", "I Am Blessed", "Taxi Fare"... the list is extremely long.

Little trivia: Mr. Vegas "Heads High" is the third album I ever bought. Well, my dad bought it for me, but still.

We discuss a wide range of things such as reason he began making music, unexpected success of "Heads High", petition to save reggae, new reggae album, he cusses the DJ's for not keeping the traditional style alive, attacks the media for only reporting negative stories about dancehall, making "I Am Blessed" because of too much daggering, so I ask about his daggering anthem "Hot Wuk" and his new reggae album.

Take a listen below

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Last time I address this "grime is not hip hop"

...for now (#LOL). You may have seen the debate and the nonsense on Twitter that's followed. I'm honestly tired of it. The post below doesn't actually speak about the contents of the video, it was written before I'd seen the video in relation to grime artists afraid to name homegrown & dancehall artists as influence.

Grime is like hip hop, but it's also like reggae. That doesn't mean it is one or the other, it just it what it is. Dancehall imo plays a bigger influence, but that's because most of the people in UK over the course of our music history have been Jamaican. Grime is an example of the UK version of the aforementioned not an extension of.

He called me out on twitter for being "reckless on twitter but quiet as a mouse in person". These times, on the day they rated me for turning up cos they didn't think I would. Also, he admitted that at the end of the day it's all tags for selling (a point I put to him) yet he still wants to hype on Twitter? Strange.

The fact I walked into their office, to debate something with one of their main panelists, left it in the hands of their editors and still have people siding with me is quite peculiar considering how much talking time he has.

My final point in the video is edited like I didn't make one. His final point about "Globalisation..." came before mine, he said scrap that because they only gave us 30secs to summarise it. His final point as far as I knew was "Grime is an extension of hip hop". I would have countered the one in the video easily with "Jamaican music did that first, but grime is it's own thing".

Let's address the things you didn't see; for instance me pointing out Woo riddim being similar to a dancehall riddim project. His response: "You hear that on a bunch of mixtapes with people freestyling over other beats". How are they the same? I also pointed out the live element Eskimo Dance, Sidewinder and pirate radio are close to Sting, MC's spitting for reloads etc. he couldn't answer that because hip hop doesn't have an equivalent. I understand the debate is edited to cause further debates so it has to be seen to be equal. However, he's chatting nonsense. He's talking similarities without connecting the dots of how hip hop influenced grime directly. I break down the evolution. He admitted off camera that he only went to garage and jungle raves because they were the things going on at the time. He also said he was in America when grime was blowing up.

My reason for debating with Snips is he need to understand we have built our own scenes over here. I didn't realise he and some others think hip hop birthed the underbelly culture making music and turntable and a mic. Reggae did both before hip hop. Bob Marley anyone? As far as "rapping" Kool Herc took "toasting" (what Jamaicans called what is now known as "rapping") and sound system culture from Jamaica to America, they mixed it with their own influences and out came hip hop. Sounds familiar to what Snips says about grime and hip hop right? Don't see me saying hip hop is reggae though.

Again, I don't think grime is reggae, but it most certainly isn't an extension of hip hop. I quite clearly state in the video that I agree hip hop is like grime in some instances, not so much directly though, so I don't know why people think I don't see there are similarities.

If you watch the video and took that I say "Grime is reggae" out of it, you need to watch the video again. I quite clearly say grime is a natural evolution of UK music. The reason reggae even enters the argument is grime has been influenced by reggae/dancehall more than hip hop, so before you say "It's an extension of hip hop" reggae has a bigger effect - dead that.

And "Hip hop" doesn't mean "social underclass making music". It's black American culture, like we have "urban" culture in the UK.

But at the end of the day grime is grime. Music is music. Tags are for marketing departments. To quote Lady Gaga "just dance"

Blessings and guidance

p.s. keep a look out for my exclusive Wiley interview. When I say it is the maddiisssttt ting, yeah? Not even hyping. You will understand Wiley a whole lot more.