Wednesday, 23 September 2015

no long talk. with Kabaka Pyramid | Uptown Top Rasta [ep. 001]

So as I pointed out the other day, "no long talk." is the new vibrations from the Marvin Sparks camp. First one out the box is Kabaka Pyramid. If you are familiar with the artist, you know he's one of the best lyricists in Jamaica, well-respected by his peers, deals with truths and rights, highlights western hypocrisy and has in-depth knowledge to back his passionate rebel music.

He, along with Protoje, Chronixx, Dre Island, Jah 9, Jesse Royal, Keznamdi, Kelissa, Hempress Sativa, Iba Mahr etc., are part of the new wave of Jamaican artists' bringing forth the roots, rebel reggae message frequently called the "reggae/roots revival" movement. Individually, they bring different vibes, directions and slightly different inspirations amongst them. Whereas Chronixx, Dre Island and Jesse Royal continue the dancehall singjay vibe, like Protoje and Keznamdi, Kabaka Pyramid brings a more hip hop construction to the stylings accustomed to reggae chatting.

I thought Kabaka Pyramid would be perfect to lead, not only cos it's absolutely insightful, but more time an emerging artist doesn't get more than a 500 word piece. We rarely learn anything from them other than a brief about their music, few notable career moments/co-signs and what area they come from. A little taster column for cool ratings to refer to once they've blown up like "We were here first".

And I get that it's because it doesn't get views. Average Joe/Joanna rarely care. But you know what, I care if I believe in them.

In my time of doing "interviews" (I don't like that word), I've found these ones can be up there with the most giving. I mean, yeah, many times they can be really guarded due to what they've heard about the media manipulating words or taking things out of context for sake of hits. Maybe one day I may happen quote something that doesn't tell the whole story for a headline with the purest heart one day. Only based on the quote being something I think appeals to people in a "Hmm... tell me more" way.

Friday, 18 September 2015

Remember: "UK dont support each other"?/"We don't need US to rate us" part 2

This is for those who said "We dont support each other in the UK" and the "We don't need US to rate us" crews. You lot don't know what youre talking about.This is inspired by them.

But anyway, while the essence of the "We don't need US" statement is truth, it isn't wholly. Reason being, the fassies amongst us ("us" being those who believe the statement to be true) wouldn't be shouting about it without it. Let's be honest, until Krept & Konan charted without help from the corporations, media or the aforementioned fassies, UK rap was a road man thing. It wasn't a viable genre. It existed on YouTube, got high figures but so did "Charlie bit my finger". It didn't really mean much beyond that.

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Why'd you start 'no long talk.' podversation? What's it for?

So you probably wouldn't have clocked, but I haven't released any interviews in 2015. In fact, the last time I wrote for anywhere else except here was my 2014 dancehall round-up for Red Bull.

There's something awesome about seeing my work on a site I've spent a lot of time reading. Whether it was SoulCulture, MTV Wrap Up, LargeUp, FactMag, Flavour magazine, the Guardian newspaper, (special shouts to Matt Power for kicking the whole thing off) or whomever, I had the same feeling of "Oh shit, man's made it!" And everyone who has done something they're proud of knows it is an addictive feeling. But once the dust settled, something always left me wanting more.

Deep down, I always knew what it was but I didn't feel the time was right or I knew the right way to do it effectively. You see the thing is, I'm someone who's interested in things that aren't always pitchable (that has a red line under it so yes, I fully made it up) or appeal to mainstream readers. I'm fully aware of my niche interests and understandings, and I'm fine with that. I'm proud to be an outsider championing causes edgy/trendy mainstream media doesn't care about. But I needed to find a way to get it out there to people that want to hear it in one place.

More time, I think the conversation ("interview") was way too good to be lost in the world of having to read text in a multiple tab generation. I, myself, begin to read interviews, think its a quality read, then find myself scrolling to the bottom to see how much further 'til the end. 'Cos, like, there's a music video I wanna watch on YouTube before I catch up on a wildlife documentary on iPlayer, bruv. And, oh yeah, there's that new Breakfast Club interview. Not forgetting ye ol' NetFlix and Chill option.

Amidst all that palaver, I subscribed to loads of podcasts to listen to on my travels '(cos you know most albums aren't worth more than one play). One day I clocked it would be the perfect way for me to get out these conversations. And I also clocked there aren't any like what I wanna do out there.

I live by the motto "If I'm not the first or the best, me nah've no interest". This fully fits it.

They (who's they?) say "If you don't like something, change it", "If you can't change it, change the way you see it" and "be the change you want to see". 2Pac rapped "I see no changes" and Take That sang "Everything changes but you". But whatever, I just took to my own vibes and decided to do ma tin'. Big up @hrhhootiewho cos he told me about the wave a couple years ago. I didn't catch the wave, but I'm surfing now.

So 'no long talk.' is a way for me to further understand my culture and community via opinions and experiences of others, plus get the stories I've always wanted to hear out. Remember, I'm not into boxes. However, no matter where it wanders off to it will make sense, have the same feeling and understanding behind it. Stuff I'm passionate about as informed by my culture and community.

I've interviewed Vybz Kartel and Mavado (just seen it's been deleted from the site it was on lol), Popcaan and Busy Signal, Morgan Heritage, Tarrus Riley and Jah Cure to Skepta, Chipmunk and Tinchy to Wiley, Logan Sama, General Levy and Sticky about links between dancehall and London culture. So expect everything somewhere between all of that. Mainly a bunch of untold stories relating to my dual heritage (proud Jamaican-Londoner never.k.a. urban Yardie) who shares experiences with people from different cultures that the other people who (re)write our history try to glaze over or ignore.

Basically, it's gonna be a series of conversations related to my culture and community. And they will be stuff of substance. Some more focused on particular things. Some, just stories. That's all I can say about it right now cos that's where it lives in my head right now. The rest will become apparent in time. Again, a place for sharing stories, thoughts, opinions and experiences of others I'm interested in to like-minded people available in one destination. Get it? Got it? Good. Feel free to follow the ting dem der over at Soundcloud/NoLongTalk and we all live happily ever after. First convo soon land.

A wise man said "History is written by victors." I'm out 'ere giving you the story of the survivors.

Bless up.

Monday, 14 September 2015

That time I was #HalfCast

HalfCast is the strongest podcast when it comes to chatting about things from our surroundings and perspective; be it music, entertainment or social issues and relationships, Chuckie Online and Poet are opinionated. I find myself agreeing with one or the other depending on the issue which is always a good thing. Sometimes one is right, other times you agree with another guy. And sometimes they're both right on the same thing but they have different angles so some thing's lost in the mix.

But anyway, I was on there. We spoke about why British acts should boycott the BET international awards and the identity or lack thereof with London acts.

And it ain't about being mixed-race or nothing (as far as I'm aware based on what they said). No abuse. Thanks in advance. And subscribe to their ting

Friday, 17 July 2015

How Shaggy became first Dancehall artist to score UK hits in THREE separate decades

I don't think any other living Jamaican artist has scored a hit in every decade since first entering the UK charts with chart-topper "Oh Carolina". While Shaggy's career began in New York, he scored his first ever hit in the UK. We buss him. There definitely hasn't been one from a dancehall background. This is something worth shouting about, and if I don't do it, who will? Ay?

Thursday, 16 July 2015

About Chronixx Somerset House show: this is NOT a review

So basically, I went to Chronixx's show at the prestigious Somerset House on Sunday. Had the time of my life again. Decided I'm not gonna write a review on Monday because what else is there to say? I've seen him five times (six if you include the time babylon locked off proceedings cos of curfew in Jamaica. Seven if you include his appearance at Rebel Salute) and been impressed every time. How do I keep retelling the same story? "You have to see this guy. It is one of the best shows you will experience in these times," will forever be the moral.

If you wanna read a review of this show go here. You can take in my reviews of Chronixx in 2014 and 2013. If you wanna do that and wanna hear what I've got to say, stay here.

Monday, 13 July 2015

FAO JA music: Don't go chasing Cheerleader

So what I'm saying is, I know the success of "Cheerleader" by Omi is a major deal, but please, please, please, learn the right lessons from it. I noticed people only started cheering it on when it first touched the US charts despite it topping charts in 17 countries before. Typical, but very problematic issue that's happening in Jamaican media and filters to Jamaican music makers.

Nobody seems to care even a little bit about the Jamaican music success outside of Billboard chart. I seriously have to ask "If a song is a hit outside of US, was it actually a hit?" We live in a digital age, information is easier to access than ever before, yet I get the impression that some are only slightly more knowledgable than when foreign distributors only communicated with producers they licensed from and the artists had no idea a big hit sold a single copy.