Wednesday, 30 September 2009

MOBO Aftermath

If you read this expecting a UK Funky Live review mach II, you'll be disappointed. Still good but erase that from your mind now, then proceed to read!

MOBO's took place last night in Glasgow's SECC. Usually produces many talking points. We all cuss the awards but watch it every year. I compared the MOBO's to watching Mike Tyson hoping he'll be that ferocious fighter again. Then I realised it was more like Audley Harrison and hoping they just get their act together for once. We all saw it, so this is just my take on the event.
Keri Hilson looked banging!!! Did she present well? Hardly remember her presenting. Didn't embarrass herself at all.

Reggie Yates? Hmm... not sure I take him seriously. He's like the corny established guy at work who mainly goes around with the managers but thinks he cool 'cos he knows a couple slang terms (and 'cos he has melanin he can be around the urban crew). Sorry mate, I see your facade. Didn't do badly, just reminds me of Nick Cannon - the type of guy you want to bass in his chest and tell him "FIX UP!"

Awards

(bold + italic = who I predicted http://marvinsparks.blogspot.com/2009/08/mobo-nominations-full-list.html )

Best UK Act
Alesha Dixon
Bashy
Beverly Knight
Chipmunk
Dizzee Rascal
DJ Ironik
Donae'o
Mr. Hudson
N-Dubz (Winner)
Tinchy Stryder

Best UK Newcomer
Alexandra Burke
Jade Ewen
JLS (Winner)
Laura Izibor
Master Shortie

Best R&B/Soul Act - missed this by accident. Knowing Keri was there meant this was hers
Beverley Knight
Ciara
Jeremih
Keri Hilson (Winner)
Lemar

Best Hip Hop Act
Chipmunk (Winner)
Dizzee Rascal
Drake
Eminem
Kanye West

Best Reggae Act
Movado
Sean Paul (Winner)
Serani
Tarrus Riley
Vybz Kartel

Best Video
'Bonkers' - Dizzee Rascal
'Boy Does Nothing' - Alesha Dixon
'Diamond Rings' - Chipmunk ft. Emeli Sande
'Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)' - Beyonce (Winner)
'Supernova' - Mr. Hudson ft. Kanye West

Best International Act - missed this one
Akon
Beyonce (WInner)
Ciara
Drake
Eminem
Jay Z
Kanye West
Keri Hilson
Lady Gaga
Mariah Carey

Best Song
'Beat Again' - JLS (Winner)
'Diamond Rings' - Chipmunk ft. Emeli Sande
'Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes' - K.I.G. Family
'Number One' - Tinchy Stryder ft. N-Dubz
'Strong Again' - N-Dubz

Best Album
'808s and Heartbreaks' - Kanye West
'Catch 22' - Tinchy Stryder
'Catch Me If You Can' - Bashy
'I Am... Sasha Fierce' - Beyonce
'Uncle B' - N-Dubz (Winner)

Best DJ
Manny Norte
Masterstepz
MistaJam
Ras Kwame
Rickie & Melvin
Sarah Love
Semtex
Shortee Blitz
Steve Sutherland
DJ Target
Tim Westwood
Trevor Nelson (Winner)

Best Jazz Act
Diana Krall
Herbie Hancock
Madeleine Peyroux
Melody Gardot
Yolanda Brown (Winner)

Best African Act
Eidee
Mujava
Nneka (Winner)
Oumou Sangare
Salif Kelta

Best Gospel Act
Desire to Worship God
Kiki Sheard
Mary Mary
New Direction
Victizzle (Winner)

Congrats to all the UK winners. JLS deserved at least one, so did N-Dubz and Chippy so bless up all dem man. Would have been good to see Bashy get one same with Mista Jam but ah so it go. *rinsed joke alert* Now JLS I'mma let you finish but Tinchy had the best song of all year! That doesn't really catch does it? 'All year' I'm talking about. Dizzee won't be bothered, never been bothered, doesn't make anything remotely MOBO anyway so he's good, but Tinchy? Let's be honest now, non-industry urban folk didn't care about Dizzee after Boy In Da Corner prior to Dance With Me. The previous 2 album were panned "on da roads" This is the same guy who people were calling for his head after he was deemed to immature and embarrassing for Newsnight around the time Barack was elected. Do non-industry urban people care about him now?

Ok, maybe Tinchy's music isn't totally MOBO but he is establishing himself in the market so we'll bly him. He's the biggest selling male in the UK, made the effort to go there, open and help close the show and not even a Best Dressed award like you gave Lil' Kim? All-black-everything with-stunners-indoors award (nominated with Chipmunk and Ironik)?

Scotland isn't just round the M25 either, it's way up high. Past Nort Wheezy, Watford and them places. They don't even speak English like us in London so you could call that foreign (I love Scottish accent so don't crucify me). Barbados have similar accents to them, not us LDN'ers. And you make the man go so far to perform and sell your show? Disrespect. Rig it if it had to be done, we would bly you this one time. I'm sure some of them were done by a panel not solely fans votes.

Tinchy went to popular thinking out loud site Twitter to air his frustrations, @tinchystryder: So I didnt win a mobo after havin da highest selling urban single of the year and sellin over 1million singles this year, cool. F the MOBOs

Carrying on with the theme of MOBO doing foolishness, people complain about the DJ award being controversial but the Reggae award runs that close. Ok it may not have any rumours of corruption with the award, that doesn't hide the fact they always take the piss. Considering outside of commercial music with big budgers, homegrown UK music, Reggae is the most popular genre in clubs and on radio, they treat it with such disrespect.

The 3rd year in-a-row without a Reggae performance (may be down to labels but still) - during which time we've had to endure BS like Anthony Hamilton nominated and that overweight one-hit wonder Yank with the funny twang who reps Jamaica on his chain and his surname (Kinsgton) win one, you are fully on this taking the piss ting. Now you give this to Sean Paul? Been inactive for 3 years (same length since we had a Reggae artist peform), released one dead song (which didn't sound Reggae to me but still), 'bout to release another dry song, yet you bless him with a MOBO? Is that how cheap a MOBO award is? Based on previous glory. Well we know that from Lemar & Beverly Knight were nominated, but you never gave them an award!

That was Serani's award. Can't we go back to when you helped buss songs to the mainstream? Without MOBO I doubt Beenie Man's Who Am I, Mr Vegas' Heads High or Sean Paul's Gimme Di Light would have charted so high (Beenie top 10, think other 2 were top 20), Serani deserved that award. Don't get me wrong, I rate Sean Paul as an artist, person, his music, but he hasn't done enough to deserve this - this year anyway.

Performances

Tinchy's performance was good but the lighting (them lazer things) took it somewhere else. Fantastic start to the show. I've never seen a performance look so stunning at the MOBO's ever!
Inclusion of funky - very good to see. I mentioned they neglected it award wise in my previous post (click link by awards) but someone other thank Kanya King had some influence and gave them a little time to shine. I'm not in funky's good books for whatever but I ain't afraid to still correct. Did Gracious K really have his boxers on my screen? Anyway, chose the correct artists (Donae'o, Egypt, Gracious K) so big up for that!

JLS - I rate dem man dere highly. They can't sing, can't really dance, very corny but that's pop for you and that's what I appreciate them for. Their performance? Nothing special. Dancing was more on-point than in the video which is a bit strange in my opinion. Mimed, but they can't sing anyway so we weren't missing anything.

Keri Hilson - I thought she did ok. Vocals weren't nothing spesh. Her vocals aren't ever anything spesh so no surprises there. Taio for NeYo was the perfect match. Taio is the UK's NeYo, and people say a lot of similar things about the two SNM (say no more).

N-Dubz - Erm, comme-ci comme-ca. Not too hot on the new single, the little one sofa the were all shoob'd around and party like it's VIP didn't quite work for me. BAHAHAHAHAHAHA @ my dargy (yes begfriend) Dappy's stage-dive though. Divided the crowd like Moses did the red sea. You gotta love Dappy; to me he's the ubran scene's first urban rock star since the baddest man to touch mic, Mr Mark "Ring off the Mac... sorry Return of the Mac" Morrisson. Even when he spoke Greek with Peter Andre he sounded like a mobster from Sicily. Ledge!

Kelly "This hair is mine - honest (£5.99)" Rowland & David "skank behind the decks but I didn't even press play" Guetta - We know she loves the UK and helped raise the profile on paper, but the song isn't MOBO in anyway possible. Maybe her black face got her a pass. Stumbled at the beginning but she hit back with this via Twitter

@KELLY__ROWLAND OK. So, I'm at the MoBo's and getting ready to have a GREAT show with David and the MoBo's F'd my sound up!!!!! PISSED!!!!!


@KELLY__ROWLAND HONESTLY, that just makes me work harder! But, what I will say is the MoBo's owe me an apology!!!! I was LIVID after the show!

@KELLY__ROWLAND I wanted you guys to be the 1st to hear it from me! rehearsals. were fine. soundcheck. was fine. performance, wad a struggle at 1st

@KELLY__ROWLAND But, I got through it!!!!!!!! So-----It happens! The next show will be Better!--------TRUST!!!!!!!!!

Chipmunk & Ironik - Was good. Nice to see not only UK music reppin with Flawless as backing dancers

Mr Hudson - Why? Signed by a black man = MOBO pass?

Michael Jackson tribute - Didn't think the Shangoolie breh was as good today. Thought Diversity ripped it as a dance routine, many will argue whether it was fitting for an MJ tribute but I see what you were doing by involving them. Was glad they didn't try to replicate what Wade Robson & chums did at MTV VMAs (did you see my post where I said they should do that?), that would have been an almighty fail. Jermaine Jackson didn't do anything for me. Seen it before at the memorial during times when I hadn't gotten over MJ's death. Today, if I'm honest, it was just a dead song. Yeah I said it.

Young Soul Rebel - ...

For once, MOBO finally put on a show to be proud of. Despite what Kanya King said, the Glasweigens appreciation only played a small part in the success of the show. In saying that, she took away from all those who put the show together.


Despite the couple downers (oh and yes the boo's were audible for Trevor Nelson, Beyonce, not sure about Sean Paul not turning up), there isn't anything I can say in the way of bad. Here's where I think Kanya King talking about Glasgow downplayed the people who worked on putting the show together:

  • Visually it was a spectacle; use of pyro's, lazer thingys and that were big!
  • You finally realised you need the real fans to be near the stage not the stoosh indursty heads more interested in cussin your awards with pals whilst sippin' big champs
  • Most importantly, the industry is in a much healthier place than it has been since the garage era

Clap yourselves for actually putting a show together! End of the day you aren't here to solely rep the endz, but you did better than the usual shambles. Whether that means it was actually good, I'm not sure right now, wasn't the most memorable but it wasn't embarrassing. The commercial heads will appreciate it, the roads will complain. That's life. I wouldn't say there is cause to RIP MOBO personally.

Bashy Interview x New Video 'Life'

Bashy took time out of his busy schedule to speak to PyroRadio.com about his new video Life, the accusations of being “anti-white ‘cos I’m pro-black”, how Tnchy Stryder’s mainstream success helps independent artists like him and the power of the MOBO Awards.

Marvin Sparks: The video for new single Life was released last week; receiving a lot of positive feedback and is one of the best UK music videos I’ve seen for a while. How did the concept for the video come about?

Bashy:
The director got in contact with us. He did a video for me called ‘I See People’ off the whim - no one asked him to do it or anything he just did it off his own back, so I was like ‘Rahh, the video’s sick!’ I couldn’t believe it really that someone did that. When the album came out I said I’m going to definitely hit him up for one of the tracks on the album, one of the more serious toned ones. From there, he did us a little shoot. At first I was like ‘What is he talking about? Some jigsaw.’ But me I’m open-minded, so I [said] ‘Let’s try that‘. He sent me back some shots of it and I was proper excited. Told me he just wants to meet me for a few hours to film my shots and he’ll sort out the rest. Told him how I wanted it visually and he kind of like knew what to do with it.



http://marvinsparks.blogspot.com/2009/09/bashy-life-video.html

Marvin Sparks: This is the first single that shows your street commentator side. What inspired you to write this song?

Bashy:
Originally I was going to make that the intro to my album to be honest. I thought about it, but I wasn’t sure. I recorded it, but it was a bit serious for that, I wanted it a bit later on in the album. I was just thinking there were a lot of things that I want to say when I wrote it all one tracks. Initially when I recorded it, it was just one long take, there wasn’t a chorus in it, then we split it up, added a chorus, then it started to sound proper.

Marvin Sparks: The lyric written on the trailer which also combines as the opening lyric of the song is ‘They say I’m anti-white ‘cos I’m pro black’. Where does people saying you’re anti-white stem from?

Bashy:
I think from Black Boys. They were saying ‘Arh it’s only about black boys,’ but come on I grew up in London. I’ve grown up around different cultures, but obviously, I love my culture, I love being me. I just love being me. I love that I’m half-Jamaican half-Dominican, I love the fact that I’m from London, you get me? I just love it! I love that I’m from the grime scene, from UK hip-hop scene, I just love this sh*t! When I’m saying I love being black, yeah that’s right I do, I wouldn’t want to be any other colour. I want to be the colour that I am and that’s how other people should feel as well. We should all come together and have an appreciation for what each other feel and that‘s it.



Marvin Sparks: There was a time when grime artists used to send for [diss] each other all the time, but the UK urban scene itself is much more united now. How does Bashy Star from Chupa Chups, Ur Mum vol. 1 and radio sets compare with today’s Bashy?

Bashy:
People get it twisted like, I’ve still got that inside me but that’s more Bish Bash Bosh. I had to name that character because people were getting it twisted. That’s just Bish Bash Bosh now. When I’m wildin' out, that’s Bish Bash Bosh, but when I’m normal, conscious that’s Ashley Thomas or Bash. I think everyone on a whole has changed. It’s about getting money out here and building a scene. What’s the point of taking out MC’s? We may as well work together.

The other day we did Tinchy’s [Stryder] tour with me, Chipmunk and Mz Bratt, so that's unity in the scene. That looks good, that makes money, everyone can get paid, and everyone can get exposure. Tinchy had a number 1, brought a load of new fans to the scene and we were supporting him, so at the same time those people are beginning to find out about other people’s music in the scene as well.


Marvin Sparks: There was backlash from many powerful people within the urban music scene to the interview you did in the Metro newspaper where the journalist asked if music was the new way for young, black boys to get out of trouble like boxing used to be. Many thought it was an ignorant question, what were your thoughts on that?

Bashy:
For me, I just tend to concentrate on the positives of my career and that’s all I want to talk about. I don’t really watch anything else.

Marvin Sparks: You’re one of the only independent artists nominated for a MOBO. What would it mean for you to win one and which one would you like to win most?
Bashy:
For me, to win one would be a good recognition of what I have been doing. Sometimes it just adds that extra level of exposure and respect really. I’m independent so if the average Joe is watching it that maybe only listens to mainstream music or maybe only listens to a certain radio station, they may not be aware of me. More than likely they should be, because I put in the work, but if they are watching the MOBO’s and they’re looking to that to see what’s hot, if I go away with Best Album that’s like ‘Rah, who’s that?’ It’s a good thing that I’m independent as well, so if I can win those kind of awards as an independent I think it’s inspirational for others to see that.


Marvin Sparks: You’ve been getting a lot of support in major places like the Metro, Independent, ITV news and such which are places many other independent artists don’t see. Why do you think that is?

Bashy:
I don’t know man. I just think people understand what I’m doing from the street. They see that I’m independent but I’m still working and understand what work I’m putting in and they rate that. We come from a culture where you have to go out there and do it for yourself. If you’re born in this city and you aren’t from some rich family, you have to go out there and get it for yourself. From day one, the system isn't here to help you, so they see that I’m out there doing this thing. I’m not chatting no nonsense; it’s real stuff. Not everything has got to be positive because not everything in life is positive.

Marvin Sparks: With the success you are seeing as an indie, would you consider going to a major record label next time?

Bashy:
I’d like to go with what’s best for me and whatever makes best business sense now. Like a nice advance is good, but it’s got to be what works best for me.

Bashy asks me to hold the interview. A male stops Bashy to say “I swear I always said the day I see you I’m gonna tell you that Black Boys was ‘ard!” Bashy thanks him, asks his name and replies “Nice to meet you”.

Bashy: [Sounding proud] That’s some love there you get me?!

Marvin Sparks: What have you got coming up for 2010?

Bashy:
I’ve got the two films I’m in; ones called Shank, the other 4321. Shank comes out on Revolver, they put out the Tyson movie and Kidulthood. I’m working with Noel Clarke on Universal Pictures and that features Emma Roberts who’s Julia Roberts’s niece. I’m in this play Hip Hopera, Markus The Sadist. Then I’m hoping to release an album in 2010. Its serious tings for 2010!

Bashy’s MOBO nominated album Catch Me If You Can is out NOW
For the latest news, videos & Bashy’s personal blog visit: www.Bashy.com

Interview conducted by Marvin Sparks [www.marvinsparks.blogspot.com]

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

UK Funky Live: my response to Twitter

Alright, alright, alright, I'm getting messages from people about people cussin my review, but sadly I'm not following most of the people to see what's being said. Twitter only allows 140 characters so I couldn't respond properly anyway. The aim of this is to clear up some misinterpretations behind my post.

Firstly, I may not be a UK Funky Junkie but believe I listen to it. I don't like some songs, I like some songs, same with any genre. And as with a lot of urban genres I endorse it here - more than I do hip-hop and R&B. I've given Funky Dee ratings for Are You Gonna Pass Doe (someone many don't like/rate), recommended Fuzzy Logik and big'd up Funk Butcher, I even wrote "Once again they neglected the UK Funky movement" in a blog about the MOBO's (click to read) but I've also said when I don't feel it's good (only time I remember is this Hotsteppa tune). Hater = someone who criticises without substance or logic. Can't hate yet rate at the same time. Can't hate yet state reasons why you didn't like it. Hater is an easy way to dismiss someone whose opinion isn't to your liking.

Not sure if you read the top of the page but it says all opinions are mine. I called it how I saw it through mine but mostly general feeling amongst the crowd. If you disagree, fair-do's. Tell me what you disagree with? I don't even think I went in harsh, more comedy than harsh.

The amount of positive feedback far outweighs the negatives anyway (check the comments on the post), but I take on board the criticisms hence this somewhat clarification post.

Queen of MTV Base: jasmine dotiwala luv this review of UKFUNKY-felt like i was there!LOL! at his observations http://bit.ly/QyJWq


Overall conclusion (maybe I never explained it, maybe you never understood it): I said in my conclusion the show was alright - never cussed the artists performances. It's a very big look for those involved to perform where legends before them have trod, but is now the time? The genre is in an infancy stage. Where does the Funky Live go from here to match the growth within the scene? I was blaming the promoters and whoever came up with the idea moreso than the artists, hence the conclusion was mainly aimed at them. Many who didn't go, didn't and still don't think now is the right time for this type of event for UK Funky especially in such a prestigious venue. People in your own scene said it was a money-making thing, pointing out no one from the scene was involved in organising it. I can't confirm or deny if that's the truth but a reliable person in your scene tweeted it. I'm all for celebration, but there are ways of doing it where it's more of a memorable occasion for the fan and for the right reasons. Heck, I posted 1Xtra's Funky Live Sessions, so I rate the idea of a live band. Venue should have been a bit more intimate and more dance-oriented.

There are positives and points where improvements can be made in everything. Wouldn't even say the comments were negative, most of the post was actually observations (eg. points when crowd were sitting down/skankin) and very little in way of opinions (what clothes looked good/hood) apart from the conclusion. I never actually said the performances were dead, merely stating which songs were.

I didn't even think the show was terrible, I was MAINLY confirming what many people thought, it was too early.

From a quick Google search of "UK Funky Live Forum" to see what forums are saying I found this forum called ViP2. The initial post was just a normal advert (http://vip2.co.uk/forum/index.php?showtopic=38877) so I went about to see if they commented on it where I found this:

http://www.vip2.co.uk/forum/index.php?showtopic=38753

There are comments such as:

"All of these artists perform week in week out at clubs, the average funky fan will see most of these acts for "free" when they go to a club. Also, most funky tracks are "faceless" so the average punter might like "that song that goes in the morning" but won't know it's Egypt that sings it.If they manage to get this arena 1/3 full, it will be a success in my eyes."

"£25 a ticket?joketing "

"The idea of watching funky acts perform on stage is dead to me, Live P.A's in the club = going to the bar/or the toilet time."

"can funky really hold up at wemble arena?"

In response to the above:

"Doubt it, will start gettin annoying mid way through when your hearin the same tunes each time (granted there are djs) "

And about it:

"was air

lol at dj Quincey winning the best funky dj award "

While over at Grimeforum http://www.grimeforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=34665:

"sounds like a good idea in theory, but im not sure if they can pull off a live show in such a big venue."

So my comments aren't hating, coincidentally mirror what other neutrals (people who aren't funky junkies) think.

Everyones latching on to the negatives, but fail to realise I commended all the females vocal ability! Donae'o performance being the shit! Gracious K absolutely bunnin it down! Zest & Coldsteps rippin it! On the flip I put in where improvements should be made. I didn't put that Gracious didn't appear to have a LIVE band back him at a UK Funky LIVE event because I didn't notice - it was that good a performance.

Let me address some of the things that I have read on Twitter:

@Yondie, I didn't cuss her clothes personally, merely passing on the opinions of what the girls behind me said. Mi name man, so I care about what the body's saying in the clothes. For me it was a win, hence "she wore tight skirts which accentuated her Jah-blessed back-and-thighs combo" followed by "but from the criteria of tight skirts was met, mi nuh care!" after what the girls behind my said. I thought she held her own next to Eddie Kadi but her voice sounded a bit too high (maybe she was just excited/nervous *shrugs* I don't blame her I'd be) and she said "Dun know" a lot. No lies there just mine and someone else's opinion

I see @BigManZest complaining, but I thought you did well mate. You and @Coldsteps made the most effort in what you were wearing. Didn't like the dancers too much but I said you were one of the highlights! I've posted your vid for Jump In The Middle and Skank and I only post vids that I'm feeling or songs that I'm feeling.

Shea Soul hit me up; all now she hasn't said what she felt was wrong but know that you can email me baby!!! Set me your pin while you are at it and we can go for a couple pints, my treat *wink* Posted your video here before too Make It Funky For Me called it top 3. *UPDATE* she replied, saying it was the wig thing that annoyed her. My apologies for my mistake.

@Shaun White from Fr3e, you didn't really cuss it, thought I'm looking for attention but you guessed it, I posted your video before Tribal Skank calling it top 3 as well.

See the pattern here? I rate you guys tunes so don't get it twisted like it's hating. I just don't think funky artists have enough material for a big showcase like that. How many times did I repeat it in the post?

What makes them one-hit wonders at the mo? No performer who performed more than one song by themselves (except Katy B), got the majority of the crowd moving.

Why did I say Donae'o is the scene's only star? He has produced and released a solid album, and had 3/4 songs abosutely dunnin' dances since the scene begun. How many others can claim that? He is the only MOBO nominated artist from the scene. KIG is for their song.

I never wrote the blog to get hype, that's foolish talk. Read through other posts in my blog and you'll see they are all the same eg. frequent use of sarcasm 'cos that's just me. There are many comments that were made tongue-in-cheek (granted; how something is said doesn't really come through your screen). I hardly ever promote my blog on Twitter apart from Flashback Fridays really. The rest is a release of thoughts so if anyone bucks up my blog they can read something.
For the record: I'm not a blogger, I just blog a lot!!!

I posted it for my Twitter followers to read what I saw and was tweetin the day before. Never begged or expected a RT or nothing so it really isn't that. Had I known it would get this much attention I would have been a bit more serious and left out the jokes. It was purely entertainment.

JuiceBlackHaha check this HILARIOUS review of UK FUNKY LIVE (at Wembley on sunday)!! http://www.marvinsparks.blogspot.com/ thanx @toyaberry)

Negatives mostly come from people within the UK Funky scene (not everyone in the scene ang tite people like @FunkButcher who know's it was just my opinion and took my sarcasm for what it was & @QoSFunky who has been putting things into perspective) or associates.

"FunkButcherEveryones going in @marvinsparks blog....its the nature of the beast in entertainment that people might not like what u do.....be tuff! Lol"

Maybe some of you are too used to hearing your tunes sick from everyone! If you want everyone to say everything's fine and dandy until the scene becomes so engrossed in bullsh*t you fail to see what's going on is fukry, then fair-do's, I'm not in your scene so as Gracious K put it "It holds no weight".

I leave it on: look at artists who surround themselves with yes men, then realise that is what your scene could become. STALE

As this person tweeted:

d4maja@QoSFunky Good point - I think @MarvinSparks gave an open review that like you suggest is there to enable the scene to progress

And that's where points where the show could improve come in handy. Instead of takin me for a hater, look at what I said, think about it without gettin defensive, if you still disagree then cool, if you feel I may have a point then adjust it. It's better I'm honest and you guys come back with a better show next time than me saying "Yeah it was sick" for every year until it turns like what people think of the MOBOs.

p.s. @Graciouskisay That "logic" of "Until you do what I do, you can't complain" is bullsh*t. Most of the fans buying your records can't do what you do, why not say "You can't tell me my music's good until you can do what I do?" to them? You see what the "logic" is flawed? And guess what? your video here.

I repeat, I'm speaking for the neutrals as this person understood:

DiggydashRT @marvinsparks http://bit.ly/QyJWq

And a journalist who went wrote:

ToyaBerryEverything I wanted to say about UK funky live but didn't (yes I'm chicken) http://www.marvinsparks.blogspot.com/ its FUNNY + so real! Lol

End of the day, it was just a bit of fun. Many people found it hilarious - reason why it spread like wildfire - and that was my intention. I was mainly bussin jokes. Shame if you never felt that way.

Monday, 28 September 2009

UK Funky Live review


Caution: this is no holds barred! Leave your feelings behind. WARNING: contains a lot of sarcasm. Not everything is serious. After you've read this read my post addressing the Twitter backlash by artists http://marvinsparks.blogspot.com/2009/09/uk-funky-live-my-response-to-twitter.html

Alright so, I made my way down to the prestigious Wembley for the much-discussed (in small circles) UK Funky Live. I'll start with my journey. Why the rass TFL love do tube works on lines that I need?! I never ever use the stinkin Metropolitan line; the colour's sheg and I don't business bout the destinations since o2 Arena came to dun Wembley's dance, but the one time I need it, they decide to ramp wid da ting KMT. Had to travel on one stupid Rail Replacement Bus on some fly-overs. Didn't start well.

Got to the venue at about 7.15 maybe, show was scheduled to start at 7 (don't know if it did), see couple man stuntin' near the backstage entrance in Range's and Merc's (shouts to dem man derr - hope your council tax and mum's TV license is paid), walked past the first entrance - nobody there. Past the ticket collection bit, not many people there. In the distance I see this line stretching back quay mookoo on some theme park ride levels in comparison to every other line, so I'm thinking "Rah, the event sell-arff" only to find out it was the complimentary ticket line :/ Wah gwarn for that? Waited about for a bit for the comp tix, finally got in at around 7.45/8.00.

Now let me state this first: I went out of curiousity. A funky concert didn't hold too much weight to me. Yes, I blogged about UK Funky Sessions 1Xtra did, but I watched that from the comfort of my home and it wasn't intended to make money. A concert in one of the most historic venues in the world which has seen the creme de la creme of music, big UK fights etc. for a genre which has been around for a year or 2? A place where I saw Jay-Z bring out Beyonce and Nas, now staging the likes of Katy B, Ny and Dotstar - artists you'd see at your Uni rave? o2 domination + recession = hard out here for Wembley.

In addition to man and gyal you'd see at your local shindig, many are artists you find yourself watching from the bar as you get the pints in. You know you're likely to see them next week at another rave with the same DJs you saw the previous week.

So yeah, initial expectations weren't too high. On to the show now, artists were set in blocks. What constituted certain artists being in which block I don't know but the running order wasn't bad. Night was hosted by that-guy-in-every-video-especially-funky aka comedian and new member to the red book (UK passport) holders society Eddie Kadi and Yonz. Who? Think she won Miss Flavour in about 07 & is one of Kojo's Funhouse girls. Eddie was good, Yonz's voice didn't carry well but personality was aight. Frequent usage of "Dun know" was a tad jarring but she wore tight skirts which accentuated her Jah-blessed back-and-thighs combo. Girls behind kept commenting on her mis-match "Wembley market" outfits which didn't go but from the criteria of tight skirts was met, mi nuh care!

OK I'll stop blabbin about stuff you don't care about. Venue was more packed than I thought it would be. I'd say slighty under half-full at this point. First act was some girl backed by dancers who turned out to have the most creative performance, but the only thing funky was her red, black possiblly some blue weave. Sung over Birthday Shhh (radio edit) and some next mish-mash. Dead. Heard some booes too.

Next up was "The big man Zest" dressed in some jump suit commonely worn by painters and decorators with something emblazoned on the back in some crystal type material. Couldn't make out what it was sorry. His performance was big! Voice carried well had the whole place 'Jump(in) in the Middle and Skank(in)'. Brought out his Play mate (pause) Coldsteps, looking kinda dapper in a suit and leather jacket and ting to perform his medley. Had the whole place screaming back his popular catchphrases. Obviously very popular but look how long he's been performing that. He hasn't capitalised on that by releasing hot tunes. Definitely one of the highlights. Oh yeh, the retro bashment dances like Willy Bounce and that to funky didn't really work.

Calista and her bongo bredrin performed... you guessed it 'Bongo Jam'! She was ok, looked alright (from far) but he was the main performer of the two. They introduced MC Ver-sa-tile. Worst dressed? Probably. Think he was on the rail replacement bus behind me about he's wearing some tracksuit jacket on stage. Oh no I forgot, he's funky's Mr. Motivator. Funky Anthem was well received, followed by Its That Fukry (Funky) cover of Cameo's Candy. This is where problem 2 of venue choice became apparant (if it wasn't already). Not only was it too big, could you imagine a dance festival with Deadmau5, Prodigy and David Guetta being held in an all-seater? Where the hell are people meant to dance? Had to dodge the crep-stepper-on's at this point - I didn't wanna have to get old skool. Went down well, I guess.

By this time I started the "Oli, oli, oli" counter. We are currently on 4.

Started quite well. Not much to say about the rest so brief summary:

2nd block of artists (was actually the 3rd, but it was 2nd I saw and heard the 1st block was dead) were females. Common theory about females in funky is they can't sing.

Sophia (or something) - Missed her entrance, confusion, people wondered where she was, hosts call up Princess but find out Sophia is ready. Don't know why they didn't "Oli, oli, oli" to fill the time. 1st song sounded good to me but it was soulful house sounding so majority were seated. At this point I'm thinking people only want skanks or the grunky stuff. 2nd song was alright, voice was alright too.

Princess - 1st song is the female anthem Frontline. I actually question if these so-called decent women (fans) know what she's singing about. Isn't she on about being with some wasteman drug-pusher? So what you singing it for when you complain you want a man in uni? Anyway everyone's up singing along. Song goes on a bit too long. Big Boys was next, another Ill Blu riddim which goes hard, maybe harder than Frontline. People don't know it so find a seat. The vocals are a bit flat on this tune for me, slightly catchy, but the beat goes hard.

Ny - 1st song Dangerous = crowd sit down song goes on too long. 2nd song Fallin = crowd get up & skank... song goes on too long for me. Voice is good though. Looks good in some blue top & them leggings. Woi oi! 2 best female for the night I'd say. Could have been the first to perform without dancers.

Shea Soul - 1st song don't know. Sounds soulful + people don't know so *holds mic out to crowd* "people sit down". Surprise, surprise Make It Funky For Me = crowd get up and skank (you can see the pattern can't you?).

The above all proved that the funky songstresses aren't bad singers at all. Only Princess was a bit flat, but she's the best female artist based on the fact she actually has more than 1 good song and an image.

3rd block:

Gracious K - cremated the whole arena with Migraine Skank. Held the mic so the bottom faced the ceiling similarly to how Ninja Man and Cutty Ranks them used to in the 90s ("pe-num-enum-one"). Unlike the others, he performed his one known song and cut.

Fr3e - Tribal Skank had people really contemplating moving side-to-side but it was an all-seater, so scrap that. 2nd song about beads. Who the hell wears beads? Not badman like I. I don't need beads to turn into superman like they were suggesting. Ended with some more Tribal Skankin, joined by Play and his Spartan's "Aaaaooo!"

Chick who sings "Sexy, sexy, sexy..." - Her outfit was scandalous. Some tight snake skin poom-poom shorts showing off some everlasting legs. Song was rubbish but she came with her own dancers, one of which lifted her leg up to her head. Had a bit of trouble balancing mind you, but that was most probably down to her back-off setting her back a bit.

Katie Pearl - Started with Feel It In The Air (I think?) everyone skanked, 2nd song found a seat. What's going on with this Makosi from Big Brother afro-wig wearing females? Katie, Sexy Sexy girl, Shea Soul all running it.

4th and final block. By this time the venue is over half full, reaching 3/4 I would say:

Dotstar - Performed his one big tune Stick Up, rocked low batts (disgrace), those ridiculous glasses which look similar to what the black man wore on Star Trek: The Next Generation (no Trekkie), but he was on stage so I'll bly him. Worst dressed? Changed my mind, he takes the title from Versatile. Had a few of his chaps on stage holding t-shirts and dancing. They walked off-stage with the t-shirts though :/ They involved the stock dancers who performed with almost everyone. There wasn't any discrimination in this dance group; from skinny to plump girls doing ballerina twirls, skinny white boy who put in a lot of effort but couldn't get his timing right to this heavyweight black boy who couldn't afford to put in the same effort (I'm not being rude, I just didn't see St. John's anywhere). Good to see multi-cultrilism in full effect.

Katy B - 1st song no-one knows, dead, so people stay in seats. Second song was As I meant people skanked. First time (from what I remember) an artist performs 3 songs, 3rd being the original UK funky female vocal featuring an MC Tell Me. Went down well. She was worst dressed by far; looked like she just came off a Cowboy ranch with her boots, some tight top which didn't do anything for her... you know, and some horrendous shorts.

Kyla - Laddamerrrcy, she looked FIYAH. No lie she was the best looking (from far) by quite a bit. That figure huggin pinky dress was the bollocks! She sounded quite good too. Performed Do You Mind to a good response then dead Daydreamin'.

Egypt - Gave the drummer a telling off for playing In The Morning as she walked out. Did one little sermon about how beautiful the crowd were, how we should clap for ourselves and that she loves us. Very cringeworthy. Maybe she was nursery helper prior to singing. Performed one dead tune called Same Mistakes. Hope she doesn't make that same mistake of performing that again (baddum tsh!). Crowd knew In The Morning word-for-word. I would say it was the most popular song out of the females. Included a very impressive guitar and drum solo respectively. Didn't leave before giving another one of those Best Actress Oscar speeches where you wanna shoob her of the stage. "I love this, I don't want to leave you guys". Love you're spoiling your performance. Told us her myspace, facebook adn inside leg measurements before she was nicely kicked off stage by Eddie Kadi and Yondie.

Last but not least was the man who most (I for sure) consider the scene's only star Donaaaaaaaaaaaeeeeeeeee'o

How hilarious is this. He walks out like some big-time star to scream, scopes the crowd poised like a man ready to attack some curry goat and rice after a long day at work then gets his medz interrupted by Eddie Kadi bussin a lame joke? Not very funny I hear you mutter. Well that's because it wasn't the best bit. How about the hard drive for the music needed by the band wouldn't load up for about 5mins meaning Donae'o had to acappela x beat box Devil in a Blue Dress featuring the crowd? Could you imagine Jay-Z's DJ's replay thing not working? He was vex! Hid it well though.

Performed African Warrior after the sound finish pop down, wheel'd it. Could tell this is the moment the crowd were waiting for. Imaginary sticks were aloft, looked like a scene of Masai warriors hunting dinner in the wild. Told us people tell him he's got a good voice explaining that's why he sung an R&B song. Asked if we'd like to hear an R&B song, the crowd screamed an emphatic "NOOOOOOOOO!!!" Not sure that was meant to happen lol. Stuck to the script of FUNKY and went with Party Hard. Lifted the roof off the place! People all the up to the bleachers were skankin hard at this point. I'd like to add that Donae'o performance seemed to be the only one where you could feel the live element of the show. Sounded quite ineffective on the others.

Rushed through the Awards bit as they were pressed for time. To present the awards were: Adam Deacon, Ace (from Ace & Vis), Coldsteps (?) and Bashy.

Best Producer: Ill Blu (was sure Crazy Cousins would have won)
Best Video: Fr3e - Tribal Skank (agreed)
Best Funky track: Gracious K - Migraine Skank (agreed)
Best Female Artist: Egypt - In The Morning (thank God she never made a speech)
Best Male artist: Donaeo (duh!)

People on Twitter were saying Quincy won best DJ but he never. He received a special thanks along with Chi-ney (Khan Dinh photography). Think he got that for being the DJ for the night. They never announced the Best DJ

So in conclusion:

Was the show good? Was alright. It felt like going to a big concert in a big venue but seeing a bunch of support artists. The consistency failed due to the 98.6% of the artists being one-hit wonders and not even having a semi-decent follow-up.

What was the main problem? Every single one of those songs are best served in a club envornment and mixed onto the next by the DJ before the 2nd verse kicks in. Artists should perform hits as medleys at a fast-rate so you don't get tired of the song. These artists don't have the catalogue to do a concert. Club music should be in a club? Maybe? Most certainly not an all-seater.

Did it change any preconceived ideas about the genre: As a whole? H-E-L-L N-O!!! Buncha one-hits. The female singers were better than I anticipated though.

Would you like to see the event again? Many people inside but I question how many actually paid. Free ticket line was the longest. I wouldn't say it's worth the money unless something drastic happens to the quality within the genre. Venue wasn't suitable; too big, too prestigious & all-seater can't work. If anything else is happening like even a decent football match was on TV I doubt I'd go. Performances were glorified PA's. Curiosity got the best of me this time. Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice... how you mean fool me twice? Me a eedyat?

Disclaimer: Thank you to the people who blessed me with a ticket, you know who you are. This is my blog meaning my opinions. They do not reflect those who supplied me with a ticket, my sponsors, parents, unborn kin etc, so no bodda try. Blogpost may contain grammatical and spelling errors but as long as you know what I mean I'm not bothered. I have not spell checked because it isn't working (too much writing or old IE) but anyways a rant isn't a rant without mistakes. May spice it up with pics and videos later, then again I may not. Enjoy. Leave a comment if you like.

Saturday, 26 September 2009

Bashy - Life [video]

Oh my days! What a sick video! Bashy always pushing things forward. How does he manage to push out sick videos at this rate as an indie artist? Tune is big as well.

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Real Badman Never Afraid... Pop chat

Had a little thing called Ain't Afraid To Say I Like, but as stated previously I didn't really like the title. From this day forth this section is called Real Badman Never Afraid. For the record, I am not a badman like some hoodlum or anything. In this instance, a badman is someone who stands up for himself, kicking down the barriers of stereotype, prejudice and eradicates all division (read that with triumphant music playing in your head and you will get some sick visuals). Too many people in this world front; blare some hardcore gangsta hip-hop or the latest grunky (grime x funky) riddims, but when the windows are up don't be fooled, they are listening to Magic, Heart or Smooth.

Today I will be talking some pop tunes that I've finally caught up on.

N-Dubz - I Need You



Anyone who has asked will know I'm a fan of the N-Dubz and their movement. They are most probably the only act I get excited about but I don't play their songs often or even many of their songs. It's a strange one I know. I'm a fan of them because they are polished with ruff edges, image doesn't seem forced and next-door vibe, have their sound, but most of all they make great SONGS. They know their demographic and the yoof can relate to their subjects of cheating, lust, haters etc. Dappy's singjay style makes for great hooks, Tulisa isn't some Mariah Carey but she can sing & reps the females hard and Fazer balances it with his, erm... yeah. Nah he the producer so he's good and can spit. Thing is, there isn't great science behind what they do, should be standard. Would have signed them (if I was in that line of work).

Sadly, I'm not a fan of this new sound. Hopefully it doesn't reflect their new album because I'll be disappointed. It's a shame because I'm feeling the concept; we've been in that position before where you look through album pics from an event hoping the girl you want is tagged. Real Badman Never Afraid to say I've done that, strayt! Videos big and expensive, but the beat is wack. Sounds like hoppin'. Hopefully they get a number 1 from it.

Alexandra Burke - Bad Boys

For official video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Li_nzTVYpk8

(They disabled the embed feature for the official vid. What us bloggers ay?)



I've seen ol' Alex receiving a lot of hate for this tune. Maybe for the fact it doesn't really showcase her powerful vocals and she's black so everyone wants her to be the next (did I say next? I meant first) R&B queen this century (Jamelia, you sexy and all but I don't remember a R&B tune since Money made last century). She's black so she can still win a MOBO. I think this tune is a skankers! They were never going to put her in the studio with R&B elite producers for first single. When her career begins to decline then we'll see. My gripe is featuring Flo-Rida on a tune called Bad Boys. She would have been better off with Bow Wow. Actually I just had a light bulb, maybe she's saying bad as in "Flo-Rida ya sh*t!" bad. That's a reach isn't it? Anyway, Whitney used to make songs like I Wanna Dance With Somebody and How Will I Know. Good pop song I say.

JLS - Everybody in Love official vid: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JlfzNb_WeoA



Once again anyone who knows me knows I felt JLS were better than Alexandra. Another group I would have signed. They got a retro cheesy boyband feel about them. Telling me this song won't have a sell-out arena crowd with their mobile phones aloft waving them? People say "Oh it sounds dated" or "Oh it's cheesy" well isn't that pop? It is to me. 80s & 90s pop were what I call pop, everyone's trying to be serious these days. Leave the authentic people to do what they do, you pop bastads stay doing pop and stop blurring the lines!

I mean could you really take can't dance, can't sing JLS serious singing slow jams or Ballads? Or even slightly credible mid-tempo R&B songs? Look at them for Pete's sake. Go places like Chicago's and see the forwards cheesy songs get. I believe there is a market for it, and it should be filled. FDM (formerly Fund*mental) must be pissed though. Signed to Ne-Yo's Compound, gone with the whole 3-letter thing and bam out comes JLS (Just Lumps of Shit or something). At the end of the day, JLS are black/"urban" so they too can still win a MOBO. 'Llow wanting something credible from them 'cause you'd only cuss them.

Won't include Cheryl Cole. Sexy bad, trying a ting but com'on yur avin a larf!

And you can roll your eyes as much as you like, in fact do it, SMH while you're at it but you can't cuss me for this post, I can't be held accountable for this because the title is a big disclaimer *radio edit* snitchizzzzzz

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Mavado talks Vybz Kartel and more

Winford is Jamaica's King of Entertainment. His weekly show Entertainment Report is a must-see each Friday on CVM

I'll be honest I don't know what channel this show comes on, guessing it's the same channel but (The Rock voice) "It doesn't matter!"

First of two part;

In part 2 Mavado speaks

  • His charity in schools
  • Gully vs. Gaza fighting in schools
  • Names his favourite Vybz Kartel song
  • International collaborations with hip-hop and R&B A-list
  • Speaks to the youths

Anyone who knows me personally knows I always said Mavado will beome the biggest thing from dancehall since Sean Paul (I endorse Damian Marley but he isn't from the dancehall scene). I am proud to hear he is working with those big-name artists such as Drake and Alicia Keys and to a lesser extent Maino.

You may disagree with his controversial songs, but remember where he comes from; his mindstate reflects that. In recent times as his circumstances and experiences have changed, so has his subject matter. He deals with much more uplifting songs in comparison to when he first buss. Comes across genuine and even though he isn't the most eloquent he gets his point across well. Wish I could speak patois. He's also much more mature than Kartel. Notice Mavado addresses Kartel as Addi, whereas Kartel refuses to call Mavado anything other than "Di Barber". Shows who values the war ting more. Who remembers when Kartel used to call Mavado the singer? That all changed since he himself has become one don't?

Julian, link up the interview. Been promoting Mavado from day. Safe

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Exclusive Joe Interview

Having been in the industry for almost 2 decades, Joe Thomas produced classic ballads, slow jams and club-bangers as well as critically-acclaimed albums. During his career he has received numerous nomintations for BET and Grammy Awards, sold millions of records and certified as an R&B legend. Unlike many from his generation Joe is still finely churning out the best love songs that everyone can relate to shown in this new album entitled Signature. Maintaining his trademark style he also brings fresh newness to the table, with bonus tracks and features from The Game, Mario and Trey Songz!

PyroRadio.com spoke to the 7-time Grammy-nominated artist Joe Thomas to mark the release of his new single Majic taken from new album Signature. The R&B legend speaks about Jazmine Sullivan being the new Aretha Franklin, compares this generation to the 90s, declares himself “The new Frank Sinatra of the game” and whether he’s achieved everything he wanted to.



Marvin Sparks: Once again Joe will be performing in London. Why do you think you are one of a selected few in such demand to perform in London annually?

Joe: I don’t know [laughs] I really don’t know. I think it’s a connection factor. My fans sort of grew up with me; I started this when I was 17/18 years-old. I think if you do music in a certain way and show growth people stick with you and they want to see how things turn out. I’ve been good enough not to have too many crazy things happen in my life, I’ve remained level headed, but I think I’ve just got loyal fans at the end of the day.

Marvin Sparks: What’s the strangest encounter you’ve had with a fan?

Joe: I mean a lot of girls try to get up in the car while it’s moving. I had one girl who managed to get up in the hotel, but she obviously worked there. It was beyond flowers - it was more to the showers.

Marvin Sparks: Your career stretches back to the early 90s. A lot of people believe R&B in the 90s was better then than it is now. What’s your view on the current state of R&B?

Joe: I think R&B has sort of taken a different route. They followed Hip-hop for a while, now it’s more a wave of what’s winning - now that sound that’s really winning here in the US. I think they are just trying to selling more units to a broader market and a broader audience. What they do as R&B and that real music is not really looked at so it’s put on the backburner. I think it’s got to go back a few years or even the 70s to now move music forward. More live music has to come to the forefront. Even the young artists that are coming out, I think they should incorporate more live music into their repertoire.

Marvin Sparks: What is your favourite era of music?

Joe: The 70’s; you’ve got Earth, Wind and Fire, Marvin Gaye, Teddy Pendergrass... you had a lot of people doing it back then.

Marvin Sparks: Recently we’ve seen Chrisette Michelle and Maxwell shifting a lot of units with their new albums. Are we seeing a resurge of that neo-soul/R&B music back to the mainstream?

Joe: Oh most certainly. I mean you’re getting your horn players getting jobs again and they're definitely getting back into the game. I’ve always loved horns and I think that now is the time for real music. I’ve been preaching this for a long time and now I’m walking in the steps of what I’ve been saying. Just being one of those artists with the live music feel in today’s generation.


Marvin Sparks: Are there any artists in this generation whom you are feeling?

Joe: Jazmine Sullivan has an incredible voice; she’s an incredible singer. To me I consider her the Aretha Franklin of the generation today. There is no other artist out there who has that sound that can sing like she sings, so she has a really unique quality. Erm, wow, who else am I feeling? I mentioned Ne-Yo the last time he’s still good.

Marvin Sparks: Many people say R&B artists aren’t competitive but when there were the likes of R. Kelly, Donnell Jones, Ginuwine and others all aiming for the same target audience there must have been some competing. Did that make you step up your game?

Joe: I’m not gonna lie; there was definitely a competitive factor there. You wanna be in the game as well. You don’t want to be like ‘Wow those guys are really doing it.’ So you had a little competitive factor which made song writing even more fun because you wanted to write a better record than what somebody else had out there, because some people think you can only do it once, so you’ve got to prove them wrong by doing it again and again and again.

Marvin Sparks: One criticism that older R&B artists who are still in the making albums receive is for sticking with tried-and-tested methods which were successful in yesteryear. What’s your take on that?

Joe: That’s true, some of us want to stay true to ourselves, and they’ve created a trademark sound and refuse to... like I refuse to use Autotune. I don't feel it’s necessary; it is not a sound, it is not a tone that’s going to be distinctive enough for me to have a career and anybody can sound like that. That’s one thing that a lot of artists do, they try to hold on to what’s true about them and for me it’s my voice - my sound is very true. And now you've got some people who won’t record another studio record until something's change with record labels.

Marvin Sparks: You’re releasing your new single ‘Majic’ taken from your album ‘Signature’, how did that song come about?

Joe: Its fun, having fun with the ladies and playing words. It’s one of those records that are really catchy and fun. It’s really different from the rest of the album because the rest of it is live [instruments]. This was one that I produced with the drum machine and keyboard, but there are some live elements like a live guitar and things like that.



Marvin Sparks: How would you describe the album?

Joe: Like a throwback. It’s like a throwback R&B joint.

Marvin Sparks: Is there a favourite song on there?

Joe: I like all of them; from the first track which is ‘Majic’ you’ve got ‘Sex Girl’ which is another young joint, and the rest of the album is really mature - like some real grown up tuxedo style, just real fly. I’m taking it to the next level of elegance and I wanted to keep the music real elegant but it’s sexy at the same time. It’s got live horn, live strings. Just taking it back to the 70s and how they did it then.

Marvin Sparks: Numerous award nominations, rated as a legend, sold millions of records, why are you still recording? What’s your motivation to make albums when you can make a healthy living from touring?

Joe: I mean it’s like I’ve something to prove huh? I don’t know, to me it’s still fun to hear my record on radio; it’s also fun to hear people respond to them. I think I’m still a kid at heart when it comes to this music game. There’s always something new because the creativity is never ending and as long as I can live I’m going to create something. That’s what’s fun to me.

Marvin Sparks: Have you ever considered retiring or moving behind the scenes to help develop acts?

Joe: Definitely developing acts but not retiring. I’m the new Frank Sinatra of the game. Not in terms of how big he was but in terms of longevity. I want to last as long as he did and he was graceful in it.

Marvin Sparks: And this is the second album released independently on your record label. What are the benefits for an artist who has been in the industry for so long to be on an indie situation?

Joe: Well for me, me owning my own label I reap all the rewards, so everything I do now counts for me. I deal with the distributor’s one a first name basis, you cut out the middle man, its real simple and it’s a lot more fun.



Marvin Sparks: Would you say you have embraced the internet to its maximum potential?

Joe: Yeah, absolutely, the internet is the way to go. We are in the future now and a lot of major labels didn’t catch on until way too late and that’s why a lot of them are merging at the moment, because they don’t really have a grip on the content anymore. The internet is a big part of what we do and is a huge vehicle for promoting and getting things out there.

Marvin Sparks: Are you on Twitter?

Joe: Unfortunately not, I can’t do the Twitter thing. I don’t think people really care that much. What if I’m sitting on the toilet and have my Blackberry in my hand, should I tweet that? [laughs]

Marvin Sparks: Around last year I read a couple of interviews where you spoke about R. Kelly hindering your progress as an artist by blackballing you. One thing I never found out was: if that was the case, how did you come to recording two of R. Kelly songs from the unreleased Loveland for your album And Then?

Joe: That was the hokey-doke huh?

Marvin Sparks: Pardon?

Joe: That was the hokey-doke. Hokey-doke means they pulled a fast one on us. Basically the label knew about these two records that were already out, I had no idea about this [album] that he was putting out - More and More and the other song which was Make You My Baby. I loved the records when they were sent to me; I thought I would work with them so I cut the two records. They sent the tracks to me, I recorded it, came out great, thought of the promotional plan and they said I should release them. I thought great then I got a call from a friend of mine saying ‘There’s a version of your record out in the streets but it has got R. Kelly singing‘. Wow, they pulled the hokey-doke on me.

Marvin Sparks: Is that part of the reason why the label situation broke down?

Joe: Well, it was just that time. It was 12 years with Jive, another two with a major label; I got enough experience in that department with labels so it was time for me to go out on my own. I made a lot of connections, had a lot of good relationships. The whole R. Kelly thing was just a moment; that thing had happened but it didn’t stop me too much because I am still about and still doing it which is a blessing because you can’t take anything for granted.

Marvin Sparks: Would you say you have achieved everything you wanted to in your career?

Joe: I’m beyond what I imagined. I never imagined this in my wildest dreams, to be a current artist for 15 years straight. That’s a pretty amazing thing right there and still going. I’m just counting my blessings everyday because I could be this artist or I could be that artist. I could have had 1 record, I could have stopped at All The Things Your Man Won’t Do but I kept going and it’s a blessing that I’m still around.



Interview conducted by Marvin Sparks

Get the hot new album 'Signature' released by Keder Entertainment/Universal instores 21st September 2009

INTERVIEW TERMINATED

My favourite Joe song?



I know you are thinking of some killer slow jam or some album cut to prove you're a Joe fan. Shatap! This is the most beautifully written song in my opinion. If I'm honest top 5 would be Good Girls (real talk right there), All The Things (Your Man Won't Do) (for the record I don't co-sign all sentiments in that record, it is a well-written song), Stutter (dem dutty cheatin skanky a*s h***) and Don't Wanna Be A Player.

Monday, 21 September 2009

DJ Frass - Survivor + Clearance riddims

Feeling this riddim. Produced by Mavado's new DJ Frass (the one since he booted Foota Hype).

Einstein and Flexxx have improved dramatically. Flexxx has learnt to structure his bars (used to ram too many words), 'Stein has put that rapid-fire style to bed, also switched the gun talk for talk average Joe can relate to. Mavado kills it with yet another ghetto gospel. Jury's still out on Chase Cross for me. Gully Squad are gonna be a tough match for Vybz Kartel's Gaza/Portmore Empire in 010. Let's see how many start screaming Gully again



Clearance riddim is hard as well. Came out from before summer, is a mesh of dancehall x hip-hop, but so what? 'twas killing it in Jamaica. Mavado's piece being the strongest with Chase Cross in a close second. Bounty Killer drew for the big ting dem. Even Munga managed to pull one out of the bag here.

It sounds better sped up



For the video:

Sway's new song... do we care?

This is the first of a 2 part I have. Wrongly gambled on the other video being released first lol.

Disclaimer: To anyone who reads the title believing this will be full of hate, erase that now then proceed to read with an open mind. It's a question. The facts are the facts but majority is based on my opinion and knowledge gathered from opinions of other I have heard.

I was late on Sway. Them times I never paid any attention to UK rap. Grime was the ting for UK music, so I like many were first introduced to UK Hip-Hop through Sway. First time I heard him was on Terri Walker's remix of Whoopsie Daisy (can't find the audio) which (I just found out) is taken from This Is My Promo vol. 2. I've never listened to either of the popular mixtapes. Cuss me in your head all you want it's the truth, I still wasn't into this UK Rap/Hip-Hop thingy.

Anyway, he killed it with his witty punchlines, unusual punctuation and phrasing, strange nasally voice (something that was and is unusual for a rapper) and was generally quite refreshing. All of those components drew comparisons to Ludacris. Listened to the radio station for a few minutes just to get the name of the rapper.

Moving on, them times was about Channel U, as soon as the Sky remote touched down in my hand I pressed 467 because MTV Base was/is deadout. I can not remember which video I saw first, most probably Flo Fashion (don't watch the MTV Base logo's, they most probably jumped on late and always played UK vids late at night anyway).



Didn't, in fact I still don't like the beat but I still liked the flow and concept. Think Up Your Speed was next. Didn't like that, sounded too forced.

This next feature was the bizznizz!



That is exhibit B (Eminem's feature on Renegade being A... ok slight exaggeration) on "getting murdered on your own sh*t". Mitchell Bros (remember them?) a.k.a. the black Mike Skinner's got their dances dun on this tune. The young girl mistaking him for Lemar was a classic line as was "Excuse me open your bag". I anticipated each punchline because, let's be honest, he was like a comedian.



2006 saw the release of the hotly-anticipated album/professional mixtape This Is My Demo. Major criticism for the inclusion of previous mixtape tracks, but it gave people like me the opportunity to own them songs. Favourite tracks were: Products & the single "Little Derek's doing ok" which featured my favourite femcee of them times Baby Blue produced by Al Shux who recently produced soon-to-be-classic Empire State of Mind



We accepted the first "album" was a warm-up to get the people who'd heard about him and new fans familiarity with the older material. I think Sway himself classes The Signature as his first album. We waited a whole 2 years for the follow-up during which time he won BET UK Hip Hop award, constant rumours of him siging with Akon's Kovict (click for interview I did with Akon where he spoke on Sway) blah, blah you know the rest. So this was meant to be the big deal and to be honest he flattered to deceive.

First official single from the album The Signature had all the supposed elements to a hit record. Teamed up with Lemar, stylishly dressed as to give a nice impression of someone who was raised well, interplotated a popular disco/R&B record (Alexander O'Neal & Cherelle - Saturday Love) for Saturday Night Hustle again produced by Al Shux



Surprisingly failed to get Radio 1 playlist. If I'm honest I was confused by this record; it benefitted Lemar more than Sway. Lemar's fans weren't going to buy a Hip Hop record were they? And Sway's fans weren't going to buy that record, so it was a lose-lose. Lemar tried to get street cred but his album The Reason still bombed so it was a total fail.



Album landed, had a few bright sparks; solid intro Fit 4 A King, Jason Waste was hilarious, Look After My Girl should have been a single, and Pray 4 Kaya was moving. Sadly, the latter was one of many tributes; the album reminded me of an obiturary. Not sure if I've ever listened to the whole thing apart from once because it depressed me. I understand that many people close to him died in the 2-year period but man, my memory maybe deceiving me but I'm sure there were at least 3/4 tributes on there. What's more is he seemed to be taking himself too seriously as a rapper. Gone was the bags of character and humour I'd come to love (Jason Waste is a good example of what I loved). Yeah, he can spit, and very well, but so could Canibus.

The much-talked about Akon collaboration Silver & Gold served as the 2nd single. My gawd it was flatter than watered down Coca-Cola left out in the sun with the bottle top being used for nutmeg rush (too much detail killed it alie?). Possibly the worst single Akon's been involved in and as we know he has been on loads! Once again failed to get Radio 1 playlist. Failed to do anything in fact. Was most probably the only time a song Akon featured on has failed.

Now we move to the first single Mercedes Benz from the sequel, The Signatue 2. Now usually we say sequels never better the prequels but he didn't set the bar that high with the first.



Put simply: good vid, shit song to me. Well it's alright but doesn't grab me. May have been better suited to Master Shortie and his retro-80s thingy he's got going on.

I really cannot see a market for this song. I'm trying to think of demographics of who will be interested in the package of Sway + this song but I'm struggling. Maybe the same people who liked Bashy's Who Wants To A Millionaire (were there many? I don't know), but at least that song had energy, Bashy's younger than him thus easier to relate to, released better singles either side of, better image etc. I'm happy for Sway but I really don't know what vision Akon saw in him. He hasn't got much hope of selling to mainstream over here let alone crossing over in America.

He's a talented rapper for the underground but I think that's where he's best. Unless something drastic happens and he understands what he needs to be doing to sell, he won't be anything other than a solid rapper. Hopefully the album fairs better than the last in terms of quality for those who do still like Sway. Sadly, this single doesn't inspire any confidence.

Competition in the UK has increased, has his time passed? Is Sway UKs Papoose with less mixtapes but more albums? Another mixtape rapper who never lived up to the hype. The burning question remains, do we still care?

Middle class English gentleman x Jay-Z

Despite all the coverage in the media and plethora of material provided during this "All hail Jay-Hova" period we are living in, you haven't seen much Jay-Z related content on here. Why would you want to? You see it everywhere else. He doesn't bring out any emotion in me so I don't feel the need if I'm honest.

However this made me angry (can't embed) to start with

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/puffbox/tagpuff/8265613.stm

I was actually going to blog a whole rant about this middle-class ignoramus, but I can't say I blame him for his opinion on Hip-hop "becoming boring" or deeming it "violent & sexist" because in many cases it is. On top of that the music promoted for the longest while has been based on the negative aspects. It was also good that, indidrectly, he gave Jay-Z space to clear up misunderstanding about the negative subject matter in order for him to bring some reality and reasoning behind the situation.

I know from how the media deal with controversial lyrics in other genres such as Reggae that they don't understand metaphores in music. How could he hear a Beatles influence on BP3? I know ol' Andy didn't take Mozart or Tchaikovsky off the Grammaphone or BBC radio 4 on the wireless to listen to this reformed hoody from a broken home in the slums of New York rap in slang; that would be offensive to his ears. Researchers need to be sacked!

I actually grew to enjoy the interview. In fact, I would like to see more rappers being asked about things out of their comfort zone of selling music. It's a shame I don't believe many would be able to handle it quite as well. I mean could you imagine Rick "Everyday I'm cuffin 'em... I mean hustlin" Ross answering a question on decriminalising drugs? He wanted to be a drug lord so bad he lied. Decriminalising would make it worse for people who idolise and want to be liars like Ross.

Am I the only one who chuckles when I see Jay-Z interviewed by people who aren't familiar with urban music? The man who once rapped Money, Cash, Hoes and frequently uses n*gga in his lyrics on a political program speaking "properly". Would have been great to see the likes of DMX on there! First Dizzee, now Jay-Z, UK Pecknarm rep Giggs up next? Jay-Z did well though.

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Mayweather vs Marquez - review(ish)

Not really a review. If you saw the fight you saw it was a one-sided shut out on the cards. As I predicted in the previous blog post Mayweather won on points. Didn't turn out to be as competitive as one would have hoped but such is life. Marquez was valiant in effort but came up short, mainly down to the lightening quick Mayweather in both attack and defence.

Sky's commentary team of Adam Smith and Jim Watt should be told they are never to perform indecent acts on TV. The fellatio was a lot!

Now to the real story. I was mistaken when I said Marquez was a 3-weight world champion, he's only 2. He jumped up 2 weight classes ( from Lightweight bypassing Light-Welter to fight at Welter) to fight Mayweather at a weight Marquez had never fought at when the two met last night - yes TWO weights to fight the man ranked pound-4-pound best in the world. So taking that into consideration, why was Mayweather overweight? Why did he have to pay a $600k fine for being overweight? Well we don't know because "IRS Money" Mayweather refused to answer the question in the post-fight interview. Also why did Mayweather refuse to be weighed on the night of the fight?

The best part of the interview was when Mayweather was asked about Sugar Shane Mosley. Before the fight Mayweather described the meeting as a good (sorry Mayweather: GREAT) little fighter against a great big fighter. However, many critics, myself included, feel this is usually the case with Mayweather. Diego Corrales was weight drained at Super Feather, Hatton never EVER looked impressive at Welter and Marquez was the smaller guy once again. Gatti was well and truly past it, De La Hoya gave him trouble and he's an old man but that's another story.

When asked when will he fight Mosley, the usually supremely confident, cool, calm and collected Mayweather begun to stutter like a confused, scared infant being interrogated by his parent before getting a beating. Mayweather decided to call Mosley over, Mosley went over with B-Hop both saying that is the real fight. Mayweather called for a peace treaty, Mosley and B-Hop never had any of it.

If you haven't seen the fight, don't watch it, fast forward to the end and watch the interview. Mayweather looked scared. See the size difference between the two. And the reason why the interviewer (must get his name) never let Mayweather speak is because he was doing his usual political tricks of not answering.

I refer to this classic interview where, as far as I know, the Mosley question was first posed to him. Look how emotional he gets

(Correct video)


Don't get me wrong there is no doubting Mayweather is far superior to most if not all fighters in the world at this precise moment. Mastered the shoulder roll as to make an air-tight defence, lightening quick hands, brain and feet etc. but he,like Calzaghe, always fights guys with the odds against them. Yes, a lot of that is down to his skills level, but some of that down to his choice in opponents. Fight Paul Williams and Mosley, put yourself at at least a slight disadvantage like Roy Jones did against Ruiz giving away a lot of weight. And to think he didn't knock out a blown-up lightweight. Juan Diaz and Manny Pacquiao both managed to knock him down heavily...

Saturday, 19 September 2009

Mayweather vs. Marquez

Music isn't my only love; another is boxing.

Ideally I would have updated this from Tuesday so it would have been in easily digestible bites but I forgot.

This is the 5th series (if I recall correctly)of the popular 24/7 filmed 4 weeks leading up to the big fight. 24/7 provides the viewer with an in-depth look into the gruelling training sessions, reveals both fighters personality outside of the fearless bastard they are in the ring, relationships in the training camp and family, and everything in between. Shot and edited immaculately, it almost looks like a movie. If you can't tell it's fair to say I love these shows.

Great way to build profiles and (or in my case add to) anticipation for the showdown as well as provide casual arm chair fans a look at the smaller named fighter. 24/7 played a big role in making Mayweather the big marquee name he is now. At the top of the century 'Money' May was struggling to attract big pay days he felt he deserved. Fast forward to 2006 he fought recently deceased warrior Arturo Gatti, a fight which brought initially this format, and Mayweather - the victor in the fight - pitched himself as the heel (arch enemy), flashing his money, cocky persona, trash talking etc.

This series documents Floyd jr. & sr. on-again-off-again-now-on-but-for-how-long relationship, Marquez's strange choice of juice, appearance from a man I hate on for messing with my future lover Mel B (Eddie Murphy)... But trust me, watch it if you like good programs. Even if the fight has finished, watch it to see what training camp is like. The result of the fight doesn't take away from the program.









I chuckled at how many 50 Cent songs they played when Mayweather was on screen. The two friends had a "physical fight" after the De La Hoya fight. 50 claims Mayweather is no longer undefeated, I don't believe the fight actually happened. And I swea Rodger only knows 3 facts about boxing. Can't fool me!

To the fight: this will be three-weight world champion Marquez's first fight at Welterweight meaning Mayweather is the naturally bigger fighter. In addition to that Marquezz weighed in 4 pounds lighter than Mayweather. This suggest JMM (Juan Manuel Marquez) will be aiming to keep up with the incredible speed PBFM (Pretty Boy Floyd Mayweather) possesses. I'm not sure if that was the right idea. Not like I'm an expert or anything but I would have gone in as heavy as possible hoping I would be strong at the weight.

What many people watching JMM for the first time will not know is he is a fighter with incredible heart, ring knowledge and intelligence. He survived 3 knockdowns in the first round at the hands of Pacquiao to rescue a draw (he isn't chinny don't get it twisted). Many, including I, felt he did enough to win the fight. Was robbed in their second encounter hence Pacquiao rejecting a third fight. Believe me, he is no slouch. Pac-Man is lightening fast, possibly as powerful as PBFM, main difference is styles; Pac-Man is an aggressive southpaw, PBFM a counter-punching orthodox meaning JMM will have to force the fight on the front foot. The Mexican is more than capable of doing it and doing it well, he forced Pac-Man back.

People are placing all their eggs in the Mayweather basket. Many on twitter are fairweather big fight fans casting their opinions based on ignorance like they know it will be an early KO. Main reason why I want Mayweather to lose or Marquez to give a tough fight, ideally a split-decision points victory for either, is as a boxing fan I want the sport to be a winner. Remember the ignorant "fans" who thought Hatton would wipe the floor with Mayweather? Betcha they are all Mayweather fans now. Same people who were introduced to Pacquiao after he lights out'd Hatton. In an ideal world JMM will win then go on to fight Pacquiao, Money Mayweather will man up and fight Shane Mosley, boxing grows.

Having said all that if forced to make a prediction I believe the victor will be Mayweather on points. Mayweather is gifted beyond belief with all the right tools to win the fight I just hope Marquez gives a performance he'll be proud of.

I've seen a live PBFM training session when he came to promote this fight in London. He's a nice chap, signed everything put to him for about 40mins.