Wednesday, 14 October 2015

no long talk with Assassin/Agent Sasco | Underhyped Legend?

no long talk with Assassin aka Agent Sasco. After the long two-parter with Kabaka Pyramid, this is a very short one in comparison.

I can tell by his style that he has a true school dancehall foundation with hip hop style lyricism so I wanted to know about his sound system beginnings. Also, we speak about growing up in a one room, board house (house made with board) with his family and lessons learnt.

Not believing he could be a dancehall artist until ghostwriting for one of his childhood icon, Spragga Benz.

There have been numerous moments of peaks and troughs along the way, including big songs (Anywhere We Go, Ruffest, Eediot Ting) on iconic riddims (85, Diwali, Steps) with dancehall legends on production duties (Dave Kelly, Lenky, Daseca) to quiet periods and the tune-for-tune yet non-clash with a young Vybz Kartel.

He shares the stories behind "Ruffest", "Anywhere We Go" and "Do It If Ya Bad", why Kartel wanted to clash him and why he wasn't interested, as well as taking time out of blossoming career to get a degree.

If there's one area I feel Assassin isn't as strong at, it's the chorus, however, this year saw him deliver a world class one for Kendrick Lamar on "Blacker The Berry". I ask if that was meant to be a verse to which he replies with the verse he actually demoed.

Having been a fan of Assassin from the top end of the noughties, many feel he hasn't delivered on his early promise or is under-rated. I suggest it's because he isn't the badman or the gallis. Also why he hasn't dropped a definitive body of work.

So yeah, stay locked. This ain't a catch-up, it's no long talk.



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(p.s. I said We Bad From was on Mad Instruments. The popular version was mixed on to it. The original is a different riddim.)

The songs in question are as follows. If you missed this clash, it was a good one. Never reached the stage but good counteractions (diss) records.

Assassin - We A Bad From


Counteraction:

Vybz Kartel - We Bad From


Assassin - Step Pon Dem


Counteraction:

Vybz Kartel - 4 Star


Assassin - Do It If Yuh Bad


Vybz Kartel - Nuh Throw


Spragga Benz - We Ready


Assassin - Idiot Ting Dat
"Voice your tune, deejay hear it and gawn counteract - idiot ting dat!"


Sunday, 11 October 2015

no long talk. x Kabaka Pyramid | The artist's artist

Part 1 was about the person. I called it Uptown Top Rasta. This side is more about the music.

We speak being "the artist's artist" of the movement, reason for pursuing reggae over hip hop, friend dying helped him push on, thoughts on hip hop and dancehall's current low and frustrations at having to dumb down his music.

Also, reggae revival's "uptown" stigma, uptown youths making downtown music, Uptown vs. downtown divide in Jamaica and which side he prefers.

Some quotes:

On his reggae peers: "Sometimes I feel like I love music the least."

Recalls the first time meeting Chonixx at a birthday party in Protoje's house and how they've both inspired him: "Protoje was the main figure... When Chronixx started to blow up, that's when I really saw the possibilities of this ting. When Protoje had his band, I didn't think I would have my own band anytime soon."


On hip hop and dancehall's current state: "I think they've both gone to absolute rubbish."

On dancehall's low and reggae's high at the moment: "I think dancehall is at its lowest point right now and it's only right something rose up to counteract it." but also recognises "Our music doesn't penetrate like dancehall. We need to do more dancehall".

On relationship with dancehall artists: "Most artists' - whether dancehall or reggae - say 'it's you I rate out of the whole of the movement'... I always joke and say I'm the artists' artist'."