Monday, 30 November 2009

This Is Why Westwood Runs This

I'll tell you straight, I grew up listening to Tim Westwood when his Friday Show was on from 11pm-1am. He is a straight up legend innadis! No one in the game possesses chracter like him.

I burst out laughing on numerous occasions when I heard this on Saturday, so had to share. Westwood interviews Drum and Bass/Dubstep producion duo Chase and Status



Related to that, a song I was meant to post the other day; Saxon is one of the best Dubstep beats about. I heard Rihanna was going to vocal it, which sounded alien to me. I'll never forget when grime DJ Logan Sama dropped this for Cold Blooded (Scorcher, Jonson, Revolver, Terminator & Dolla da Dustman). They left it disfigured!

Anyway, below is Nicki Minaj's demo for Rihanna



Don't think Rihanna did it for her album (I haven't heard it), but they've got 3 songs on there.

And that's all folks

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

1 Month 'til Christmas

Don't know how they've worked that out but so dem seh!

Anyway, nothing says Christmas like these:

Christmas doesn't start 'til you see this



The best advert in the whole entire world!


I remember going there and being so disappointed that it wasn't the magical wonderland I expected. Was more like some any warehouse.

Xmas party ender


Noddy Holder must make so much money from this one tune. Every single year they dig this up for a new compilation CD and programs always use it.

My personal fave Christmas song



Top boy cartoon film


I couldn't hit them notes before the Adam's apple

Sarah Palin's policies? IT DOESNT MATTER!!!

Just seen this and thought I'd share



Some of you most probably fell about laughing thinking "only in America" but that's BS! UK votes for BNP are increasing. But not even that, ask people why they will vote for David Cameron next year, or why they voted for Tony Blair, or Boris, or even why they don't vote for lesser parties like Lib Dems or at all. You'll get foolish answers across the board, so don't put it down to "Only in America".

I remember around the whole London mayor time someone told me they are voting for Boris because oil prices are too high... *looks in disbelief* ROTFLMAO (rolling on the floor laughing my arse off)! In '08 someone over the age of 21 told me that. I won't say the gender 'cos I don't want to bias the point and I love women (oops ;0) ).

As one user correctly put it

123got180degrees (2 minutes ago) Show Hide
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This just proves that politics is just showbiz , 80% of people are just sheep blindly following.

And that's that. How many time have you heard Gordon Brown isn't a leader because he lacks charisma? Most people don't care about policies anywhere near as much as the things that don't actually matter.

But anyway, enough about politics. Sticking with Sarah Palin though, who WOODn't? That is the real question!





She has that school teacher, should but I shouldn't appeal slash MILF... Me likey!

Monday, 23 November 2009

Gully vs. Gaza AGAIN!? Music mi seh!

So if you haven't been following, Kartel and Mavado (scroll to the bottom of the Killer vs. Kartel war report) have been sending songs after each other AGAIN. LAME we don't want to hear you two warring again. Just as we were getting somewhat near a peace treaty (AGAIN), you both decide to draw for war tunes. Why? We don't want to see a rematch this year at Sting, cos to be quite frank, the last wasn't that good.

Both have managed to move on with their careers, Kartel's flourishing both locally and for the first time in a while internationally (since VISA was revoked?), whilst Mavado continues to make headway collaborating/in the studio with the likes of DJ Khaled, Busta Rhymes, Wyclef and Young Jeezy to Alicia Keys. Last year, it was at the forefront of everyone's mind and captured our imagination. Now it's at the point where it is more likely to result in a lose-lose. We've had to endure Bounty Killer vs. Beenie Man on-and-off for over a decade, please don't drag this one out for that long, thanks.

My 2 pence on this whole Gully-Gaza thing is, if that's what they want to do, cool. Why people take it upon themselves to war personally like either of the artists are doing anything for them but satisfying their thirst for music, I guess is a much deeper than simply stan behaviour - I'm not about to do a social/economical post. As much as the Jamaican media protest against it, in my opinion, they are the ones who have kept the war alive, because neither artist has really said much to each other on wax this year, yet Gully-Gaza news stories still dominate the papers.

Personal grievances don't bother me greatly, the main problem for me is when it starts to affect us - the fans. What seems to have happened is each artist has their respective camp thus meaning both record riddims with their own camps and associates exclusively. This results in compromising what we hear or should I say what we don't hear. I would love to hear Mavado on the England Town riddim produced by Gaza's in-house producer NotNice or Kartel on Gully's DJ Frass riddim Survivor.

Russian and Brixton from Head Concussion seem to be servicing both sides; Go-go Club (hottest riddim right now) seems to be a Gaza ting whilst DJ Frass' Survivor and Clearance were both built by said camp. Why don't they have a riddim with both artists on there?

Last riddim I remember both on (legitimately) was Stephen McGregor's Trippple Bounce. Was apparant there was a possible rift between Di Genius and Kartl from the no-show by Kartel on Outbreak riddim, even more obvious with Kartel's blatant diss where he tells Mavado to "F*ck Stephen" then in the same breath declares NotNice as the baddest producer. Now if what I've heard is true about why they have fallen out (dispute over an unreleased song), then Kartel went too far.

Why are they taking from us - the fans? Hopefully they still make peace at Usain Bolt's party December 8th (?)

Taken from my interview with famed reggae/dancehall producer and Busy Signal's manager Shane Brown earlier this year:

Marvin Sparks: Have you spoken to both artists and is the war over now?

Shane Brown:
What a lot of people need to understand is this war thing is very seasonal. After summer coming up to December everyone is preparing for Sting. Therefore, that is the season for it. But after Sting, there is no way you can start the year off on that note. Both parties are saying they have finished with that.

Marvin Sparks: So is it all engineered then?

Shane Brown:
No, it isn’t engineered, it’s just a part of it.

Marvin Sparks: So we can’t expect either one to record a new track on one of your rhythms?

Shane Brown:
Nah, that’s not really my vibe right now. I’m more into the girls songs and some party songs. But who knows? If these two artists can keep it musical and not physical its all good and fun.


Anyway, MUSIC MI SEH! This has been getting some serious rotation on Windows Media Player. Feel the Jah Vinci on the riddim, but this is my fave. Along with Don't Blame Life on Mood Swing riddim (albeit overshadowed by G Whizz's powerful Life), and Anything Goes on Trippple Bounce, Bugle is doin' a lot right now!

Friday, 20 November 2009

FAO Wiley: which Take That member did you see in Bedford Nightclub?



I wonder which member he saw? I'd only recognise Jason Orange (the Shaggy haired guy that was in one of the Celeb BB's) or Gary Barlow but neither of them seem the raving type. Especially not in a club I'd imagine Wiley would go to. Hmm... anyway, my money's on Jason Orange.

LET US KNOW WILEY!!! Did you say something like "Rah I swear you're a member of that crew Take That?" That musta been "well weird", Wiley having a convo with a member of Take That. Just imagine if the member spat "It's Wiley and I'm gettin 'em hyper" whilst spuddin him as a greeting? Bare excitement innadis!

Shame its getting released the week after Christmas though (28th December go cop that late stocking filler tingsdem). Sales aren't usually that great them times unless its Boxing Day sales. Hope it still gets the major love it deserves. Also hope his run lasts longer the last time, he most definitely deserves it.

Send your answers in on the back of a stamped postcard.

And whilst you deyah (that means here NOT there - common mistake people make), check my interview with Skeppy/Skepta/Mic Champion/"Junior, Junior, Junior, suck ya m*m until she's in pain". It's the best interview you'll read with him all day!


Sidebar: With Grime (or ex-grime?) guys making the big hits and all the focus placed firmly back on them for a source of new talent in the UK urban/pop scene, is UK Funky dead? Just a question because I haven't heard any new funky songs in a while and all the videos being made are for songs that were big in summer. "Failed grime" mc's jumped on the Funky wagon 'cos they weren't getting love, wonder if they bought a return ticket!

Keep grinding lads and lasses your time may come

Thursday, 19 November 2009

This Dynamo illusionist guy

Straight jacked from Chantelle Fiddy. Before I continue,I like Chantelle and rate her highly. Met her once (that's not me beggin' by the way) and she seems like a really cool lady, but I liked her before that and I don't know why. Although she doesn't seem to tweet much anymore she's jokes.

But to the point of the post:

I've heard a lot about him, but I never realised he was this big. Show reel is many things!



Man can't fool badman like I though. If he tried that garbage on me, I'd tell him do it again if he's bad, then study real hard. But on a real, he's "truly amazing". I've never had someone play a trick on me - not counting evil bastads and them Eve's (evil females) - if I see him about I'll ask him to trick me.

Mucho props to him

New York (vs) New York - Alicia Keys & Jay-Z

I'ma be honest wit'chyall (say that in a New York accent/twang whatever), I never really thought Empire State of Mind was as big as everyone else does yo. Word is bond dun, Al Shux laid the foundations for a moving tribute/appreciation, Alicia Keys kills it on the hook, but I never felt like Jay-Z actually hit a home run with any of the verses. Don't get me wrong there are lines here and there, general vibe just wasn't there for me. I find myself waiting for the chorus to come on again so I can sing out "Neeww Yorrrrrk" triumphantly like I'm from there!

Me and one of my bredrens were debating whether Jay's verses were good the other day. I told him in no uncertain terms that the chorus makes the tune, not Jay. I guess that is compounded by the fact top 40 UK radio stations like Kiss and Choice FM cut Jay's verses down considerably.

Thanks to the almighty Jah, Alicia Keys laced her own verses.



That is better than the original alie? How it should have been.

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Griminal's new song... hmm... well... erm...

I like this guy, think he raps very well, girls love him and his TI lookalike self. Here's his new tune:



Video is siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiick!!! Plush. Really feeling that. Obviously got some major label money behind it, possible deal on the table soonish. He followed the apparent blueprint set by Tinchy, then followed by Griminal's ex-arch nemesis Chipmunk.

Song about romance = check
Synth heavy = check
Young sounding female on the hook (more Chipmunk then Tinchy) = check
Rapper doing a bit of singing (even if it's Autotune assisted) = check

But this is what happens when you try to recreate what's going on without using a brain to say the song just isn't good. This failed on the fundamentals; sing-along hook and a good beat.

I'll be honest, I've never been sold on Griminal as the next to buss the commercial market. I hope he does, but I'm not sold on it yet. This didn't convince me.

Him and Bratt are really trying to play this "Are they? Aren't they?" game.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

I don't usually hate on others but...

Exhibit A.



Hating!!! Before I say the next thing I'd like to state I'm not a perv or anything, I'm a man. There is a difference between perv and man, some people will say thin line, I say you love it (females that is). My hand would have been testing her bum, RAGS!

Exhibit B.

Chart-topping grime (pop now?) artist Tinchy Stryder - real name Kwasi Danquah (why do national papers keep putting his real name out there? Silent pars or something? They don't call Elton John by his real name!) - tweeted "I've been in a bad mood 2day but RHIANNA jus come on the phone & invited me backstage!!... I'm smiling now!!!! Lol"

This was the result of that phone call



(shameless plug on my own blog, check my Tinchy Stryder interview here)

And if that wasn't enough

Exhibit C.



Who wants to cuss Rihanna's forehead? Come on, I dare YA! She is wayyyyyyy toooooo banging!!! Look at her back-off (thought she lost it) and thigh combo. Straight public lipsing ting. Holding hands and everything.

I wonder if Chipmunk got her to be his night nurse after the madness he has been going through? Doubt it (that's what I'm telling myself).

Yes I've blogged about her before and I'm-I'm-I'm doin it again. I will continue to do so. I haven't had a celebrity crush this bad in a long time. Thought I'd outgrown this stuff.

She be the baddest!

Shameless plug #2: Check out my interview with Chipmunk here

The end

Marvin Sparks interviews Skepta

Following the success of the summer clubland anthem Too Many Man, Goin In is the new single from grime collective Boy Better Know. Marvin Sparks caught up with Skepta to discuss the lack of crews in grime, whether he was happy with the final outcome of Too Many Man, regrets from his crossover attempt, Chipmunk`s tweets and the importance of credibility. read that here on PyroRadio.com

For the full interview which includes his opinion on the relevance of clashing, more regrets, whether he'll be on Lord of the Mics 3, what he'd change about the grime scene, #BBKcorrection, his own future plans, IndustryHater, Grime Daily vs. Grimeforum and more carry on reading below

Monday, 16 November 2009

This is why Grime > UK Funky

Shamelessly jacked this idea from UGK (UnderGround King) journo JP.

We all remember this Channel U (channel 467?) classic



I'm even from them ends but I recognise this to be a classic. Was better than the south equivalent and I'm from south

(Just for the sake of it)



This is the UK Funky remix of North Weezee



What the hell is that all about? No vibes whatsoever. Don't get me wrong the beat isn't bad but it's the sorta song I'd rather smoke weed to and "I don't smoke the reefa!" The intro was nice, went on a bit too long but nice. Just clocked the girl singing is the girl spitting on the original! Sign of the times.

My main gripe is this: a vital element to any anthem is a call-and-response hook. Was powerful on the original song - ok, I'll admit I'd sing it in my head when at a club. "Where do we come from?" - check, but what's the singing response about? They don't think people will sing it back do they?

They were scraping the bottom of the barrel for artists too. I swear the Quincy guy is a DJ a.k.a. the "bashment DJ" who got cussed after UK Funky Live? I'm not really a "top 40 urban club" guy (they play rubbish music that makes me feel like Marty from Back To The Future), but I know who 2 of the other people are and they are both DJs. The rest are anonymous to me. Not a bad thing, as most of the original dudes were anyone to me, but the original dudes were better than these.

And I think I've seen CCTV images on Crimewatch slightly worse than this video. Original video must have had the same budget, but was million miles better.

Last thing though, I ask all Funky MCs; "What would you be without Coldsteps?"

Friday, 13 November 2009

Noughties Appreciation: 2003

Welcome to 2003! Click here for the rest of the Noughties appreciation

What happened in the world?

30 January - Richard Colvin Reid, the so-called "shoe bomber", sentenced to life imprisonment by a United States court.

15 February - In London, more than 2 million people demonstrate against the Iraq War, the largest demonstration in British history.

17 February - The London congestion charge, a fee that is levied on motorists travelling within designated parts of London, came into operation.

12 March - Iraq disarmament crisis: British prime minister Tony Blair proposes an amendment to the possible 18th U.N. resolution, which would call for Iraq to meet certain benchmarks to prove that it was disarming. The amendment is immediately rejected by France, who promises to veto any new resolution.

20 March - 2003 Iraq war: Land troops from United Kingdom join troops from the United States, Australia and Poland in the invasion of Iraq.

April 21 - S Club announce live on stage at London's Docklands Arena that they've decided to split up after five years together. Their final single, "Say Goodbye", enters the chart at #2 a month after the announcement.

29 April - Tony Blair holds a one day summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Putin mocks Britain's and America's failure to locate weapons of mass destruction in Iraq

29 May - Andrew Gilligan broadcasts a report on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme stating that the government claimed in its dossier that Iraq could deploy weapons of mass destruction within 45 minutes knowing the claim to be dubious. A political storm ensues. Gilligan's source is David Kelly, a weapons expert. LOL!!!

15 June - The News of the World publishes a newspaper article in which Ian Huntley is photographed in his cell at Woodhill Prison. An undercover reporter had got a job in the prison and was being employed as Huntley's guard.

15 July - David Kelly appears before the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Select Committee to answer questions over the information he had given to Andrew Gilligan.

18 July - David Kelly is found dead near his home in Oxfordshire — police suspect that he committed suicide.

20 July - The BBC confirms that Dr David Kelly, found dead from suspected suicide two days ago, was the main source for a controversial report that sparked a deep rift with the government.

1 August - The Hutton Inquiry begins, with judge Lord Hutton opening an inquiry into the recent deaths of weapons expert Dr David Kelly

4 September - The Bullring Shopping Centre in Birmingham is officially opened by Sir Albert Bore.

29 September - The comeback of Den Watts (played by Leslie Grantham) in EastEnders is screened, 14 years after the character was supposedly killed off, and just over four months after the BBC confirmed that Grantham would be returning to the series

3 November - Channel 4's soap opera Brookside finishes after 21 years on air. Had fallen off by then. Jimmy Corkhill was arguably the baddest man in soaplands those days.

22 November - England are rugby world champions after defeating Australia 20-17 after extra time

24 November - The High Court in Glasgow imposes a minimum sentence of 27 years for Al Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi, the Libyan convicted of bombing Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. The trial judge had originally recommended a minimum of just 20 years, which could have seen him out of prison as early as 2019. But the new sentence means that Al Megrahi is set to remain behind bars until at least 2026. LOL!!!

November 30 - Michael Jackson is arrested on charges of child molestation

26 December - A policeman dies and two others are injured after being shot by a man they were questioning about a suspicious BMW car in Leeds, West Yorkshire.

Sounds of 2003

Well we all know 2003 was the year of a bullet-ridden, Southside Jamaica Queens, New York native by the name of Curtis Jackson, better known as 50 Cent made one of if not the biggest entrance into the hip-hop game with the classic Get Rich or Die Tryin'. The album went on to surpass 12million copies sold.

Beyonce stepped out solo with Dangerously In Love. Smashed the charts as expected. Her soon-to-be-husband Jay-Z marked his "retirement" (like I ever believed that) with the release of the Black Album. The Jay-Z worshipping went into overdrive after this.

Also making a big appearance was dancehall pop superstar Sean Paul. Topped the charts twice with Blu Cantrell (UK) and Beyonce (US), then by himself with Get Busy on the Stephen "Lenky" Marsden (where is he now) produced Diwali riddim. Arguably the best riddim of the whole decade. Refreshing and innovative are the two words I'd use to describe it.

His success spawned a resurgence of dancehall in the mainstream. Acts such as Elephant Man, Kevin Lyttle, TOK enjoying regular rotation on mainstream radio playlists and music channels both here (UK) and US. Best time for music personally because I was proud to see my island doing big things. That all came to a halt when certain man went on campaigns like big gyal pickney but SNM (say no more).

What else went down?

A star was born. Yes, 2003 was the year One Night IN Paris touched road and made the DVD man/woman a lot of money. Great name for DVD but to be frank the movie was rubbish. Yes, I watched and? I bet you did too. First time I've ever seen a movie shot on night vision. I'll pass thanks

2003 Big Brother was the worst to date. Cameron Stoute won. WHO? Where is he now? This was the first series where I didn't care about missing episodes.

David Beckham left Manchester United to sign for Spanish giants Real Madrid. He would turn out to be the last Galatico bought until 2009.

Popstars: The Rivals birthed the short-lived career of Hear'Say (remember them? lol). Not gonna lie, I was sucked. Can't believe I was a fan of them.

Remember this tune?



Staying on the lesbo tip Madonna, Britney and Xtina Aguilera had their three-way snogfest ('snog' always brings an immature chuckle out of my system).

Ali G cracked America with his legendary show. My personal favourite UK comic. Wasn't a fan of Bruno, Ali G wasn't as good as he was, but Borat still reigned King.

That was the year 2004. What were you highlights of 2003?

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Couple Dancehall/Bashment Videos

Riddim built by my favourite production house right now, Head Concussion, lyrics laced by one of the fiercist lyricists in the dancehall game. Fans who dabble in dancehall music don't really understand this guys levels. Could be down to his clarity, but still. Video is big too, feel the way it captured paranoia



Jah Vinci's 'Mi Know' is possibly the stand-out cut on the riddim. I also feel the Vybz Kartel hook (not hot on the song as a whole.

Vybz Kartel did deliver on this next riddim, once again Head Concussion. Features cuts other members from his Portmore Empire camp; Lisa Hype & Gaza Kim, Black Rhyno, the man himself and again with Merital Family



Feel every song in this video. The female song not as much, but it serves it purpose.

UPDATE

Apologies for the lack of updates; I haven't been inspired by much this week. Ok, I have been distracted by what I'm meant to be doing instead of posting, and I've been playing Call of Duty: Mordern Warfare 2. Email me @ marvin.sparks220@gmail.com if you want my username thingy bob. I specialise in headshots

I have, however, completed the two missing years from Noughties Appreciation 2001 & 2002

Actually, brb, I'm going to post a video I saw the other day that I like.

Saturday, 7 November 2009

David (Haye) vs. Goliath (Valuev)

Something's telling me not to do this post, because part of me feels like I will be wrong. It's never stopped me before so here goes...

Let's be honest, we haven't cared about heavyweights in a while. A slew of sub-par champions has meant interest dwindled in what was Boxing's bread winning division. From about 2004 onwards, the light weights reign as the most exciting and generate the big PPV money.

Another change has been the star-studded USA who ruled the heavyweight division since as far as I can remember, now have no world champions. All of the champions are either Russian or from Ukraine (Kiltschko brothers) and reside/fight out of Germany. Not exactly the glamour we've come to expect.

To be frank: Heavyweight boxing is dead!

However, tonight's fight is the Heavyweight divisions most mouth-watering contest since Heavyweight #1 Lennox Lewis fought late replacement and soon-to-become (at the time0 #1 Vitali Klitschko in 2003. Blimey, 6 years ago. 6ft 2, 16 stone former undisputed Cruiserweight (one weight class lower) champion David Haye faces the biggest heavyweight champion ever in 7ft, 23 stone Russian Nikolai Valuev.

The last time I can remember a small man fighting a big man was Roy Jones vs John Ruiz. Most of us knew Roy would outbox the sluggish... actually, forget the nice terms, damn right boring Ruiz. He ranks up there as one of the worst champions in the last 20 years. Sadly, he is the guy who's supposed to face the winner of this contest.

I did a similar post of this for Mayweather vs. Marquez here. Glad to say I was right on the nigt. Tonight's fight is a harder one to pick. Here's why:

The obvious difference is size. We've been conditioned to think the bigger fight will automatically be the one who wins. Guess this stems back to school days where the big guys were always the one we stayed away from/made friends with. But who does this really benefit though? Boxers say it is harder to punch down. Why, I don't know but I'm not going to argue with a boxer! What they say goes as far as I'm concerned. I've heard many ask how David Haye is going to be able to catch him. Well Evander Holyfield - legend yes but still - managed to catch him. In fact many say 'Real Deal' Holyfield was robbed in their meeting last year, and Holyfield has been past it for at 5 years and that's me being kind! Remember, that's a man who can't get a license to box in America because they worry about his health.

The advantage size will without doubt give Valuev is reach and he'll be able to sap Haye's energy by leaning on him. Haye's stamina is a question mark; only one of his fights has gone the distance, and his one loss to Carl Thompson was due to stamina - he admitted it himself. Valuev will also be able to push Haye off at will.

Speed is definitley in favour of the smaller guy. Haye's got the speed advantage of both hands and feet. He'll be able to get in and out quick whilst landing big shots the big dude won't see coming. And boy can Haye hit! I was at the o2 when he fought Enzo Macarenelli. You could hear every big shot over the crowd noise. It's that real! As previously mentioned, Haye has stopped all but 1 of his victims.

Defence will be another of Haye's problems. He has a tendency to swing his left hand low. Lightning fast reactions (in comparison to Valuev anyway), but this is heavyweight. Questions already hang over his chin (I'm not convinced by that as yet), so hopefully this will have been worked on in the gym and stuck to in the ring. If Valuev could punch with the weight he has, his power would be immense. Another thing many people don't know is power in punch comes from the feet. That's right. Speed of punch also enhances power. Valuev's reasonably fast for a big man, but still he isn't as devastating a puncher as his size suggests.

Will Haye's inexperience of taking heavyweight punches go against him? Only one fight previously against Monte Barrett who isn't noted for punch power. Knocked Haye down though. Ref ruled it a slip, I and many other ruled it a legit knockdown. Wouldn't argue with a boxer, but I'll argue with a ref instead. Haye's got heart though. Remember when he got up following a heavy knockdown at the hands of Jean-Marc Mormeck then knocked him out in either the same or very next round?

"Speed kills" is a common theory in boxing, and that is the theory I'm going with (plus I don't argue with boxers). I very much doubt a knock-out win for Haye. When Holyfield landed big shots on him, Valuev barely blinked. I'm going for a split-decision win or he'll get robbed. You thought Don King's judges were a bit controversial back in the day? Well German's have been bad, Ask Robin Reid and many other Sven Ottke victim. Then add Don King to the situation as he is involved in Valuev's team.

If after all that Haye gets knocked out, it doesn't mean he is rubbish or I am/was chatting nonsense. This is the beauty of predictions and evil of hindsight. Plus, this is heavyweight boxing. A fight can turn or even end in the matter of a punch.

I'll admit I may be more looking at ways for Haye to win rather than taking everything into consideration equally. I've been a devout Haye fan for a very long time, and touted him to everyone I can as the next big thing in boxing. I remember when he went to America for fights as no one would screen them here. Cussed every network. Always said he'll rejuvinate the dead division. Couldn't believe no one was going to show his cruiserweight champion winning fight. Boxing needs David Haye to win

Rihanna Explains It All



I'm not gonna go on a sermon here. All I will say is, Rihanna didn't have to do this. Chris Brown had to defend himself so naturally an interview is required. She could have left it, moved on and it would have been one of those "I would have like to know, but ah well" times.

And why now? Did she see how well he was doing which included the release date of his album brought forward, whereas her music was getting panned left, right and centre? We'd somewhat moved on. Those who hated him after the incident will hate him, those who supported his recent music either moved on or didn't care that much.

I'm not team Chris Brown, he was completely wrong for what he did, I don't think there is ever a reason for hitting a woman, but she didn't have to do this interview. Oh my days, she is such a stunner, but this move seems like a low blow. A move which makes me think she's just bad mind

Friday, 6 November 2009

Noughties Appreciation: Year 2002

Click for all the episodes of Noughties Appreciation.

I don't remember much about 2002, so I'll start with What Made The News (/ what mattered to me back then or what I now see as important in history):

January 1 – Euro notes and coins are issued in France, Spain, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Greece, Finland, Luxembourg, Belgium, Austria, Ireland and the Netherlands.

January 16 – The UN Security Council unanimously establishes an arms embargo and freezes the assets of Osama bin Laden, Al-Qaeda, and the Taliban.

February 1 – Kidnapped Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl is murdered in Karachi, Pakistan.

March 1 – U.S. invasion of Afghanistan: In eastern Afghanistan, Operation Anaconda begins.

March 19 – US war in Afghanistan: Operation Anaconda ends (started on March 1) after killing 500 Taliban and al Qaeda fighters, with 11 allied troop fatalities.

April 9 – The funeral of Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother takes place in Westminster Abbey, London.

April 11 – April 14 – A military coup d'état against the leftist Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez fails.

June 30 – Brazil wins the FIFA World Cup for a record fifth time. 3 R's (Ronaldinho, Ronaldo and Rivaldo) murrrked!!! I actually did think England stood a good chance of winning this one. Well that was until Ronaldinho's step-over sent Ashley Cole on a diversion, followed by the infamous Seaman lob (intentional!). Ronaldo returned from what I think was a near season long injury to finish top goalscorer. Legend!!!

August 17 - Bodies of English 10 year-olds Holly Chapman and Jessica Wells are found near the perimeter fence of RAF Lakenheath in Suffolk. Was the second major story of the year where someones kids went missing then found dead.

September 17 – The body of missing school girl Amanda (Milly) Dowler is found in Hampshire 6 months after her disappearance. Another one of those sad stories that gripped the nation. Those stories were frequent back then. 2000 was Sarah Payne and Damilola Taylor.

October 12 – Terrorists detonate bombs in 2 nightclubs in Kuta, Bali, killing 202 and injuring over 300

October 24 – The Beltway snipers, John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo, are arrested.

November 8 – Iraq disarmament crisis: The United Nations Security Council unanimously approves UN Security Council Resolution 1441, forcing Saddam Hussein to disarm or face "serious consequences".

November 13 – Iraq disarmament crisis: Iraq agrees to the terms of UN Security Council Resolution 1441.

November 14 – Argentina defaults on a US $805 million World Bank loan payment.

November 18 – Iraq disarmament crisis: United Nations weapons inspectors led by Hans Blix arrive in Iraq.

November 22 – In Nigeria, more than 100 are killed at an attack aimed at the Miss World contestants.

November 25 – U.S. President George W. Bush signs the Homeland Security Act into law, establishing the Department of Homeland Security, in the largest U.S. government reorganization since the creation of the Department of Defense in 1947.

Sounds of 2002

Can honestly say I don't really remember much apart from rising star 50 Cent, Ja Rule's last year of domination/over-saturation.

Of his many collaborations, Rainy Dayz by Mary J Blige was my favourite. Just found out it was originally written for TLC hence the "Crazy, sexy and cool" and "Chasing waterfalls" references. Makes sense now.



To signify their power Murder Inc. released their compilation. Loved Down 4 U, both the song and video. Gotti and his fat gut sitting at the wheel on the yacht with the blurred Murder Inc logo. Who remembers the rumours of Nas joining them after The Pledge remix. That hurt my soul



Missy Elliott revealed a new look in the video for Work It taken from 2002 album Under Construction. The new slimeline version of Missy signified her downfall IMO (in my opinion). She thought it was alright to rap about drinking from the furry cup. We still remembered her as fat Missy though.

The infamous booty-munching R. Kelly tape leaked

Justin Timberlake's journey as the soloist begun. For the record, Justified is better than FutureSex/LoveSounds. I remember me and my friends furiously debating if The Neptunes were better than Timbaland using this album as a reference point. Sign of a classic.

Speaking of The Neptunes, although I feel 2001 was the peak of the career, they produced a banger in Nelly's Hot In Herre (did they ever say why they used 2 r's?).

This Shakira 'Whenever, Wherever' riddim was 'ard



Another one of our musical favourites left us too soon. In April, Lisa Lopes, member of recrd-breaking R&B girl group TLC was killed in car crash in Honduras. The documentary (Last Days of Lisa 'Left Eye' Lopes?) she made prior to the accident still freaks me out. Being in a car that ran over and killed the kid who had the same surname, the numerology, the fact it all seemed to lead to her death and the actual footage of her death...

Also passing on to better pastures were Davey Boy Smith aka 'British Bulldog', cricketer Hansie Cronje, 32, died in a helicopter crash, and mob boss of the Gambino family John Gotti was buried in a gold casket after dying from cancer.

2002 in vision

February 11 - Two new BBC children's channels, CBeebies (aimed at children under 6) and CBBC (aimed at children aged 6–13) launch.

March 2 - BBC Four launches in the UK, replacing BBC Knowledge. The opening night is simulcast on BBC Two. I didn't even remember BBC Knowledge. Shows they were right for killing that channel

March 5 The Osbournes reality show premieres on MTV (2002-2005). Loved that program

March 27 - ITV Digital placed into administration. Most subscription channels cease broadcasting on the network on May 1. Oh how I lol'd. OnDigital you know. Wayyyyyssssste

April 1 Degrassi: The Next Generation the Canadian hit TV-series premieres in the U.S. on The N. (2002-Present). Lol the program Drake was in. Didn't watch it. Didn't know what it was until associated with Drake

May 19 - The X-Files ended

June 2 - Crime drama The Wire premieres on HBO (2002—2008). How many of us knew about it then?

July 26 - Blonde siren (she was hot) Kate Lawler crowned winner of Big Brother 2002. However, the real winner of the show was the ditsy blonde Jade Goody. Alison Hammond (the big black bird) also did well, now presenting on This Morning. I rank this the 3rd best series.

August 25 I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here! premieres on ITV in the UK (2002-present). Can't remember who won it, never watched it, was too big a Big Brother fan to be traitor.

September 16 - Channel 5 in the UK rebrands itself to Five, and drops its Digital On-screen Graphic. Didn't help them much, they still suck!

October 28 - The names for the London (Carlton and LWT), West (HTV West) and Wales (HTV Wales) are dropped altogether, and replaced with ITV1 London, ITV1 West of England and ITV1 Wales respectively, though the names continue to appear elsewhere. The weekend didn't start until ITV handed over to LWT. Good old TV.

I just clocked, these are the days I still watched TV. The time before internet. Watch the TV posts shrink in years to come. Feel free to leave comments on any memories you have from 2002.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Jamelia reunites with "ex-lover" on TV/ Max D Apology Vid

Not the type of thing I usually post, but this was hilarious!

So Jamelia was on popular BBC2 pop-quiz (don't know the actual genre) Never Mind The Buzzcocks. She was looking mighty fine as ever.

Let me pause there, I must admit, I never quite saw the hype with Jamelia as a pop star. I had her down as the black Kylie Minogue; someone the media hyped their beauty. May have been due to her music not being to my taste as well. Let's just say I take that all the way back!!! Definitely one of the hottest UK celebrities in the game. Unlike the beauty-yet-ever-so-annoying "mana mana mic MC" Alesha Dixon "H'inside!", the recently separated/soon-to-be-divorced "professional panelist" has an endearing, bubbly personality. Would wife at the drop of a hat.

Back to Buzzcocks, she was her usual stunning self - even though she tweeted she "looked like a hooker" - dressed in one black top with some see-through piece at the top displaying the plentiful cleaves and a short skirt. Sadly though, the desk got in the way so I could only see the top of those everlasting milk chocolate legs. MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!!! She looked so good I'd sacrifice part of my testosterone opening doors, paying half on dates, maybe even buying a rose (no scrub). Consider telling her how I feel about her one day. I'd consider writing a letter/an R&B song for her it's that deep.

Sorry, back on track, guess the ex-popstar round...



Click to watch full episode on the iPlayer.



How tense was that!?!? TV GOLD! When Winkleman introduced Pay As U Go, then Champage Dance played I thought "Wouldn't it be funny if..." by the time that ran through my head Maxwell's face was on my screen. Next thought was "Nah, it can't be, they wouldn't..." But oh yes they did!

For those who aren't familiar with the background, Maxwell D sold a sex-story on her in the News Of The World circa Superstar/when she was an A-list popstar. Told of taking her on a date in his £20k Mercedes-Benz, watching Gladiator on the built-in DVD player and having her jeans off in "10-15 seconds". There were alleged reports that involved famous gangs from Birmingham defending Jamelia's honour, but I can't confirm nor deny those.

I refuse to believe someone involved in making the show never knew. Of all the members in Pay As U Go. That's like Alesha Dixon/Javine on the Buzzcocks having to guess an ex-member of So Solid and them bringing out Harvey. Or bringing out Neutrino with Bradley from S Club on (that would be jokes). And of all episodes, why bring the Ranger out on this one? Look at the way he was rocking his shoulders, he was nervous.

To make matters worse, Maxwell D boasted of recording show on Facebook (people still use that?):

Maxwell D Ranger WAS A GUEST ON NEVER MIND THE BUZZCOCKS TONIGHT!!!! WATCH OUT FOR IT ON BBC 2, THURSDAY 5TH NOVEMBER!!! 9/9:30............MAX IS BACK!!!!
October 20 at 4:45pm

After that embarrassment, why alert people to it? All publicity is good publicity is a myth, mate. In the famous words of the living legend, Bushkin from Heartless, th Pay As U Go "Nowhere, you're going nowhere... Lock off, ya credit dun!"

p.s. Follow Jamelia on Twitter, I reccomend her. She's down-to-earth, funny and doesn't look corny using Jamaican references. Her pics are always on point too. http://twitter.com/JameliaTweeties



That's her profile pic. Say. No. More.

UPDATE

Maxwell D Apologises

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Original Nuttah turns to Islam

Ever wondered where the Indian man who to this day made one of the biggest Jungle tunes got to? I'm talking so big it is not simply a niche genre-defining classic, but an all-round UK classic banger.

Taking it back to Telepathy days. When Nicky Blackmarket, M-Beat, MC Det, MC Shabba, Skibadee and them man were young. Tunes like Chopper, Wolf, Burial... The guy I'm talking about is



Who can say they never buss gunfinger when the bassline dropped? Back when Jungle had real bass (usually sampled ragga) before this watered down drum & bass (with minimal bass) stuff. I remember requesting this on The Box back in the days.

Anyway, I've found him



Guess he won't be doing any PAs of the tune anytime soon.

I am not Muslim, this isn't Muslim propaganda, don't want any Nick Griffin-esq comments about Sharia law or any of that. I found this Roadside to Islam channel interesting.

Jaja from PDC and Young Ummah talk religion vs. Music,



This ones deep. Dude talks about how his battles with living a grim life turned him to religion.



Whatever the religion, whatever the reason (how trivial it may seem on the outside or whatnot) if it makes them happy, I'm happy for them.

For more, check the YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/roadside2islam

In related news, Wu-Tang rapper The Chef a.k.a. Raekwon recently turned Muslim. Check out my interview with him here

Slightly related (Apache + Indian)

Here's the original video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4LMN12U88RI

I've found him too. I think this is from last year. Let's just say I was by wasn't surprised to see he has dreadlocks!!!



If you didn't know, this was an attempt to capitalise on Shaggy's success with Oh Carolina (can you hear it sped up?). Ahh memories

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Marvin Sparks x Raekwon interview

Wu-Tang's in-house "Chef" better known as Raekwon proved he is still a force to be mentioned alongside the hottest rappers in the hip hop game with the release of Only Built For Cuban Linx... pt. II - sequel to his 1995 debut album. Marvin Sparks caught up with the hip hop legend to discuss rapping for drug dealers, people caring "more about stats than raps", his inclusion in MTV's Top 10 Hottest Rappers list, and converting to Islam.

Marvin Sparks: It has been almost fifteen years since the first Only Built For Cuban Linx, an album that was a 5-mic classic when The Source magazine held weight. Why did you decide make a sequel?

Monday, 2 November 2009

50 Cent new single... do we care?

For previous 'Do We Care' episodes click here. This time we're going international! Makin moves.

Disclaimer: As with all these "Do We Care's" a lot of it is mine and opinions I have gathered both through reading (forums/blogs) and hearing (speaking to people/radio). Not everything may be 100% correct, nor will you agree with everything, but 'tis my blog, I voice my opinions and experiences.

50 Cent, arguably this decades most influential hip hop artist, returns with his new single but we aren't going to listen to that right away. Let's take a trip down memory lane...

I'm not gonna front like I was listening to Fif from How To Rob days, not gonna lie like I even heard How To Rob anywhere near 1999. I sung along to "I'mma bout a dollar what the f*ck is 50 Cent" on 'Some Like It Hot', from Life and Times of Shawn Carter Vol.3 - never understood what he was on about though.

My knowledge of 50 Cent is post Poke and Tone (where are Trackmasters now? They produced bangers), post Columbia, post shooting... it stems back to spring 2002 - before Em/Dre/Aftermath. Days when I listened to Tim Westwood's Friday 9-11, Saturday 9-12 show. He used to play a series of 50 tracks, droppin bombs all over the shop.

Problem Child got played religiously



50s boss swag, clarity and infectious hooks were something I don't remember hearing from "gangsta rappers" at the time (I don't condone shooting people, but we all loved seeing 15/18 certificate films like Terminator 2: Judgement Day before we were 15, no?). In fact, there wasn't a rapper with brazen gun talk back then which sounded more entertaining than offensive/intimidating. Plus, we were fed a diet of Nelly and Ja Rule on heavy rotation and Ruff Ryders had fallen off by then.

As well as gun talk, the hilarious beat-jack's were the one. He was a serial killer of original tracks. Not sure how true it was, but I remember Tim Westwood used to have freestyle sessions over beats and complain how hard it was to get instrumentals. Either him or a guest DJ said labels weren't servicing instro's in fear of 50 getting hold of it and getting more spins.



Not only is the above an example of a comical beat-jack it was probably the first I'd heard crew members Lloyd Banks and Tony Yayo a.k.a. G-g-g-g-gee you NET (G-Unit obviously). *Currently cringing as I remember screaming that in school corridors* If that wasn't the first time, it would have been I Need A Girl part 2 with the verse he did on the unauthorised J-Lo song in which he replaced by Nas. Went into Ambitions Az A Rider when Banks and Yayo kicked in. Care not Banks was punchline king, Yayo had bars and character, overall well balanced squad.

*pause 50 Cent story* Let's take a minute to remember the peak of Banks rapping career (Victory freestyle). If he never stepped up to the plate he could easily have been outshined by Fif's set up for the alley-oop (basketball)/ Cruyff-turn, nutmeg then cross when you put your right foot around your left foot to kick the ball (you football/soccer heads know what I'm talking about).


One of the best (non-literal) freestyles ever! The multi's and punches were out of this world

Back to Fifty, Guess Who's Back mixtape is still legendary. Killa Tape Intro, Rotten Apple, 50 Bars of Pleasure, Ghetto Qu'ran (never knew he was "dry snitchin" back then) etc. still get wheel'd. 50 Cent Is The Future is another classic tape.

By this time I'd read on MTV.com about the shooting. Imagine, them times they had less than 20 news stories on him.

Oh yeah, just remembered another song which had me annoying my friends about 50 Cent



50 killed that! It may be wrong to compare but he outshone Biggie, which judging by Biggie Duets isn't a easy feat. I'd only heard the above version with Em a couple of times. I'm sure the Em version was a separate freestyle the uploader blended.

Anyway, the talk of Em and Dre being interested was about now. By time I'd heard this next one on the radio, I personally didn't hear he had been signed, so I can't say for sure he was.



My goodness what a tune!!! By the end of the 2nd chorus the melody was in my head meaning I was able to mumble the words and hum along. I'm not 100%, but this could have been before-Shady/Aftermath, then included on 8 Mile soundtrack after they saw the heatwave it caused. I remember showing my classmates the video for this on Launch.com, projector onto big interactive white board screen at the end of afternoon registration. 1st time most (like 98%) had heard of him, whole class was hooked.

LOL @ the boys who came back to school within the next few weeks with CD-Rs full of 50 to style on me. Them times I never had cable internet (DSL? T1?) nor cd re-write drive, straight 56k + TDK90 (legendary piece of equipment) from radio out 'ere.

If all that hype wasn't enough, the beginning stages of erasing Ja Rule sealed the deal. My timeline could be slightly off here; not sure if this was the first I'd heard.



It was either that or



Don't get it twisted, I always rated Ja Rule and the Murder Inc movement, but you know how it is, especially as a youth, I was fully supporting the underdog/my new favourite rapper. Back Down was a classic diss record.

Fast forward to the first single, after the $1million advance, In Da Club. We all know the song and vid, no need to post. I'm gonna put this out there; I never rated it when I first heard it. I dunno, maybe it wasn't 50 to me. Grew on me big time.

I remember hearing Get Rich Or Die Tryin' for the first time on a friends CD Walkman in school (I had to). The penny/shell dropped, lead into What Up Gangsta. One of the most memorable moments of hip-hop this decade. Wheel'd instantly! Played again... wheel'd! Repeated that about 4 times 'til I realised I had to move on. Patiently Waiting, bass kicks in after intro = wheel'd. Forced myself to get a grip else I wouldn't listen to it by the end of the day. Em totally disfigured the track. Track finished, piano keys with 50 talking to a friend, gunshots ring out, bass drum repeats, "Many Men" Fif sings, "Wish death upon me. Blood in my eyes dog and I can't see. I'm tryna be what I'm destined to be, and n*g*z tryna take my life away!" Can't. Hold. Out. Any. Longer. WHEEEEEEEEEEEL!!! Ragga bassline, hip-hop drums, haunting keys, instrospective slash vulnerable side of the tough guy = absolute win. To this day I feel this is the most pivotal song on the album.

We know what the album did sales-wise, impact on hip hop, 50s money etc. G-Unit album was ok, Buck had been added, Banks released an album, Yayo went in-and-out of jail...

Next big moment in 50's career in my opinion was The Game. The dude who had on red in Lloyd Banks' first video. I realised at a later date that he was in either Wanna Get To Know You or Ride With You by G-Unit & Joe video. Didn't like when I first heard him on some G-Unit freestyle where he rapped double-time (fast). Enough of The Game (his time will come), 50 helped him with the singles, they fell out, shoot out, then dropped him. At the point of The Game's (recently dropped 'The') Documentary hype, G-Unit were the strongest crew this decade. Once again, care not what you say, as a collective nobody was touching them.

Remember everyone hated on Candy Shop when it dropped? Bear that in mind, I will bring it up again.

Moving on, The Massacre was released, those who originally embraced him (the streets) panned it. Whether it was due to the whole situation with The Game + Candy Shop + Piggy Bank (dissin Jada, Nas and Fat Joe) or people generally never liked it, that seemed to be the general feeling. I feel it's more the former. Just as New York was on its way back (Fat Joe touched #1 with Lean Back, Ja Rule - New York was an anthem, 'Kiss was making heat with second album...) he shut New York down with one song. Ousting The Game created the underdog against Fif - people love the underdog. Commercial world still lapped it up. Bar a few dead periods, I thought it was a good album. Still think it's underrated.

Next phase, G-Unot campaign is kickin' off big time, The Inc + Kenneth "Supreme" McGriff trial = 50's a snitch, Stop Snitchin campaign all combined = streets is hatin the kid Fif. By this time Fif is living happily in his 13-bedroom mansion in Conneticut singing "I run New York" lol. Released a game and film...

Then we get to the whole "Cuuuurrrrrrrrrtttttttiiiiiiiiisssssssssssssss" incident!!! I'm sure I listened to this live. Can't even remember how or why, sure it must have been some dodgy stream. Anyway, no two-ways about it, this could have ended Curtis had two things not happen;

1. Tru Life "allegedly" punching Camron, then Cam fleeing
2. 50 Cent exploiting the troubles/split in Dipset.

50 Cent bringing out Jim Jones on Rap City has to be another memorable moment in 2000-2010 hip hop (will try to find the video). Before I Self Destruct was renamed Curtis, Cam'ron disappeared for at least 2 years, Jim Jones and Juelz did their thing, story done.

2 dud singles (Amusement Park + Money In The Bank), and a pushed back album later, we get I Get Money + Ayo Technology. To this day I hate Ayo Tech, no denying I Get Money is a banger. Battled KanYe in first week album sales and lost. Was debatable whether KanYe was more popular, no doubting he was on the rise with Fif declining. KanYe threw a curve ball IMO (in my opinion); Stronger was an all out pop record that catered to a wider demographic than Ayo Tech sonically. JT and Timbo collab, yes, but still an "urban" record IMO. End of the day, Fif finally lost. The album Curtis was rubbish. Listened to it once and vowed to never hear it again.

Now we arrive in 2009 where Fifty was embroiled in yet another beef, this time he wasn't the perpatrator, no, no, it was recently exposed-finally-admitted-it-even-though-we-all-knew Officer Ricky tryna make a name for himself. 50 took beef to another dimension with the babymomma shopping trip + hilarious commentary on Ricky's other baby mother's adult movie + comical Pimpin' Curly sketches + the Officer Ricky cartoons. Ricky managed to hold on to the ledge of the game through releasing exquisitely produced bangers, and put up good numbers on his album. Had the power of the 50 diss, diss-appeared (like what I did there?)?

Once again, 2 dud street records and 3 (?) album delays later, Curtis finally has a single which is ringing off. Baby By Me, which samples a line from the last streets-acclaimed hit record I Get Money, features NeYo



This must be the first time the Yanks have seen Kelly Rowland in a while, no? She failed ever since she left Destiny's Child over there. Back to Fifty, he was cussed for Candy Shop, yet people like this? Wow! Early reviews of the album have been good. I won't hold my breath. I'm still a fan of 50; as well as being business savvy, I still don't think there is an artist whose interviews I anticipate more than 50. I just don't like this song.

Sunday, 1 November 2009

Shabba Returns to Brixton Academy [review]

For a brief (in comparison) on point review head over to my dargette NewsyChick. For one of my in-depth play-by-play, continue.

I was excited when I first heard the show announced via @HanifBoogie's twitter back in August/early September. Not only would this be the first Shabba show in 13 years, it would also be the first dancehall show at Brixton Academy in almost as long. However, with the excitement came curiousity as to what this Shabba in 09 will be like. "Will he be off his head on drugs like so many of our legends are? Will he be overweight and lack the energy we all came to know? Has his time away turned him into a recluse and mad at the world?" were some of the questions that ran through my head at the time. Undoubtedly the biggest one was "Will the show actually happen?" We all remember the well-documented interview on The Word. Surely Peter Tatchell and his gang will come out in full force, won't they?

Well they didn't and praises to Jah for that!

So the full line-up read Shabba Ranks, Chaka Demus and Pliers, and Maxi Priest. At £30 per ticket, that was a bargain. That's 3 of the biggest commercially successful reggae artists in the last 20 years over in UK with many classic records that are guarateed to be included on every cheesy reggae compilation going.

Taking all that into consideration, let's just say I wasn't surprised to hear Chaka Demus and Pliers wouldn't be performing due to illness.

Back to Shabba, he appeared on Robbo Ranx's 1Xtra radio show the night before. Anyone who follows me on Twitter would have been able to tell my excitement from my tweets. Shabba was none of the shell of a man I anticipated. He was still hilarious, charasmatic and possessed the distinct barritone voice. Shabba was just as I remembered. The morning of the concert I tweeted "I woke up this morning excited. Last time that happened was as a yout on Xmas morning. Shabba last night got my hyped for tonight"



Got to the show as Robbo finished up his set. Sounded like it was a new skool set. Blacker P from Vibes' set was laced with reggae smashes by Dennis Brown, Sanchez and Garnett Silk. Gunfingers aloft for every tune.

Next dude shelled down the place with 80s/early 90s riddims ranging from Answer, Sleng Teng and Punani to Bogle. Just like to take time out to say Super Cat was THAT guy. I gave a forward to Terror Fabulous' Position standing next to my mum. Are you ever old enough to do that?

After the UK support artist Savannah performed two songs and cut. Old skool DJ, Lecturer DJ'd (rapped) over Creeper riddim (Gully Creepa) and Look Gal riddim (Nuh Linga), before the DJ (disk jockey) got some sense to play the Punani riddim. We'll leave his performance at that. Comedian Ping Wing was hilarious, sharing his trademake strange stories and encounters.

Following a 10/15 minute interval much to the now impatient crowd's displeasure, Ruff Cut band were fully strung up. "YO" rang out through the venue as someone tested out the mic, I thought "I know that voice"... A recording of Michael Buffer's "Let's get ready to rumble" was played, Ruff Cut band ran through familiar riddims whilst that voice from before said what sounded like a prayer. When the band played Shabba's opening track, Get Up, we knew what time it was. The anticipation was overwhelming at this point, you could feel the wait was nearly over. About 18 years since he last stepped on an English stage was ended when Shabba, decked in all black with a green tie, appeared from the back of the stage where three Jamaican flags were waved for the entirety of the show. Gone was the lean high-top, replaced by plaits. "Shabba... Him Deyah" was actually a reality, as he begun to reel off big hit, followed by big hit consistantly.

"Am not going to a circus..." = all gunfingers aloft.

"Wiiiiiney wiineeeeeeey" = forward

Wicked in Bed = forward

X-Rated (Caan Dun) = forward

before embarking on a medley over what a DJ earlier in the night dubbed Shabba's riddim, once again, the Punani riddim.

Love Punani Bad was the last song of that segment. During this time, he'd been whining, jumping across the stage like a man half his age. His energy was incredible!

Shabba, who we remember as the loverman ("Shabba"), reminded us of his versatility with songs such as Reality, Respect, and Having It All.

Mr Ranks' next trick was to bring out guests starting with Mykal Rose for Shine Eyed Gal - much to my surprise. Unless he lives here, I didn't expect another Jamaican artist to appear. Band played Shoot Out riddim for Mykal Rose to perform his most recent hit "Police and thief inna shoot out" then appeared to have memory loss or maybe the occasion got to him when Shabba said they were going to perform a new song. It was just bass and drum so he couldn't say level to mark time. Strange, but got over it.

Other guests included JC Lodge (Telephone Love), think it was the original man Home T for Pirates (sounded like him), a young looking lady, Selena Serrano, sung Twice my Age and his most famous song Mr. Loverman "Shabba". Maxi Priest sounded exactly how you heard him on House Call. I could tell people were satisfied at this point because we all clapped at the end of each song. For anyone who goes to dancehall shows or even hip hop shows will know we black people don't do that normally. Initial forward yes, clap at the end? NEVER!

Ending the night with "more hits" Trailer Load of Girls (with about 7 girls on stage). Let me pause there, there was some girl decked out in all black (including them black wet look leggings God sent from above) who could brush the floor with her rear judging by how low she went. Shabba took one look at her, stood their poised like he was ready to strike, she got nervous and stopped. Shabba took her centre stage and begun daggering/whining her. At this point, Shabba had taken off his waistcoat, shirt then his black tee, so he was performing shirtless.

Last song was Ting-A-Ling!!! The other most renowned song. Due to the nursery rhyme sing-a-long nature it turned into a collaboration between us and him. For the encore Shabba urged us to continue supporting Bounty Killer, Mavado, Vybz Kartel, Beenie Man, Busy Signal and Assassin, "but most of all continue supporting ya Shabba Rankin" before dropping the mic and walking off his now cremated stage.

Host Robbo Ranx (or Daddy Ernie, but I'm sure it was Robbo) came back on stage to declare "Shabba... did deyah"

Best performance I've seen in years!!! Consumate professional, oozed charisma, mastered crowd control, right balance of hype and calm, quality set list etc. £30 well-spent. Even my dad said it must have been good for me to keep going on about it. I actually left feeling satisfied for once.

Don't watch the blurry nature of the following pics









Selena Serrano, who sung Mr. Loverman and Twice My Age

Mykal Rose

Didn't take good/any pics of the other guests

Shabba came, he saw and he conquered