Thursday, December 31, 2020

The MC - Where I'm From (Virtual Performance)


Hopped back in my time machine for a virtual performance of this one

Where I'm From 
Produced by Adrian Locke, Truckback Records  

The MC - Step Up (Virtual Performance)


Stepped into my time machine for a virtual performance of this one

Step Up 
Produced by Kabir Bonner Grillaras Production

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

The MC covers Musiq Soulchild Just Friends (Sunny)

This November marks the 20th anniversary of the debut album Aijuswanaseing from Musiq Soulchild

Wow 20 years ago... really? Around that time I would’ve been taking a huge leap of faith with my craft, career and heart. Finally I was compiling actual songs from all the poetry, prose and verses inked in the back of schoolbooks, and beat-boxes and melodies hummed into tons of mini cassette tapes. Love was new and I'd been attracted to her long enough now to pursue with my offerings.

 With Musiq's range being so very close to mine this is my favourite song to cover. Early encounters with love (or building from the friend zone). This song flows very much like a conversation as does the entire album, as often do I, ready to break into my rap... gimme a beat-box.

Monday, November 23, 2020

My Soul Has a Hat - Mario De Andrade


I counted my years 
& realized that I have
Less time to live by, 
Than I have lived so far.

I feel like a child who won a pack of candies: at first he ate them with pleasure, 
But when he realized that there was little left, he began to taste them intensely.

I have no time for endless meetings where the statutes, rules, procedures & internal regulations are discussed, 
knowing that nothing will be done.

I no longer have the patience 
To stand absurd people who,
despite their chronological age, 
have not grown up.

My time is too short: 
I want the essence, 
my spirit is in a hurry. 
I do not have much candy
In the package anymore.

I want to live next to humans, 
very realistic people who know
How to laugh at their mistakes,
Who are not inflated by their own triumphs 
& who take responsibility for their actions.
In this way, human dignity is defended 
and we live in truth and honesty.

It is the essentials that make life useful.
I want to surround myself with people
who know how to touch the hearts of those whom through the hard strokes of life have learned to grow, with sweet touches of the soul.

Yes, I'm in a hurry.
I'm in a hurry to live with the intensity that only maturity can give.
I do not intend to waste any of the remaining desserts.

I am sure they will be exquisite, 
much more than those eaten so far.
My goal is to reach the end satisfied 
and at peace with my loved ones and my conscience.

We have two lives
& the second begins when you realize you only have one.

Mario De Andrade (San Paolo 1893 -1945)
Poet, novelist, essayist, musicologist, one of the founders of Brazilian modernism


Sunday, November 22, 2020

Thursday, October 29, 2020

New Levels new Layers with FM Advanced


Courtesy of  the FMAdvanced King Collection. Of course there's gear for the Queens too. UK massive link up.

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Akala The Evolution of the MC


Akala dropping some gems as always with a brief but in depth history on the evolution of the MC ... not me specifically.

Monday, September 14, 2020

Yebba - My Mind


Just discovered this by accident watching tiktok videos. Tears. speechless.

Friday, September 11, 2020

The MC Lookin Freestyle - Watch The Hype


Often, the status quo and accepted paradigm of truth is rooted in falsehood. Otherwise, too far from the entire truth or only truth to be considered absolute. 

Don't watch the hype ...Watch the hype 

Pandemic virus lock-down and vaccine a wha this man the end is near 
But its like the more them a promote the more we a come out di shackles bondage and fear 
Babylon a go collapse...kiss teeth ... trust me just watch
heads a go roll the truth a unfold aint nothing they can do about that 

Living in a world where words like news, fake news, propaganda, programming, advertising and promotion are interchangeable depending on ones discernment is very troubling. We are constantly being promoted to. The beauty of knowing this however is knowing this. Now to exercise such a gift.    

One must know when and how to watch the hype to identify the truth. One must know when not to watch the hype so as not to be swept away in distractions and lies. One should also know when to watch ones own hype lest one mislead, or be mislead from truth and purpose, to their own detriment.

Watch the hype my friend, you and I know theres so much going on.

Friday, August 28, 2020

The MC Luchini Freestyle - Just Me

Luchini (This Is It) by Camp Lo from the 97 album Uptown Saturday Night. Produced by Ski and uses a sample of Dynastys 1980 song "Adventures in the Land of Music"

A foolish dream but I still wish much... fame for my music and not me 
Good luck, lets just, work hard play harder live it up and try no thump down no paparazzi 

Every time I examine and shape my vision there's a certain amount of attention and success that becomes more imminent as I put the work in. Also there's a knowing that much of what I envision is on the other side of any comfort, fear or anxiety. For me, that means I get to be a better version of myself every level up of the way. For some that may mean I become unrecognizable. However, I believe no-one should grow and look the same, we all change. Still I'm Just Me

So don't get it twisted, kid changed to stay on point its the best way to avoid getting exploited 
Cos when these vampires come for your blood your sweat tears and export it you the one that come up shorted 

So I wrote this affirmation and grounding years ago. I recall these lyrics now just as poignant. One more revolution. Grateful.  

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Five Steez & Mordecai A.B.S. Music Video


Me breddahs dem team up for another banger. This one off the Heatrockz 2.0 album.
Directed, shot and edited by Kinematix Studios, Five Steez & Mordecai represent that first coast, Jamaican Hip Hop with A.B.S.

Friday, August 21, 2020

The MC Incarcerated Scarfaces Freestyle - Ring the Alarm

Incarcerated Scarfaces by Raekwon from the 1995 album Only built for Cuban Linx produced by RZA contains Dialogue sampled from John Woo, Chow Yun Fat movie The Killer, Sound effects from Wang Dang Doodle by Koko Taylor, beat break sampled from "You're getting a little too smart" by Detroit Emeralds. One of the most sampled beat breaks in the game, over 180 times, you can find this sweet thing on songs like: Monicas "Don't take it personal", Keith "Murrays Most Beautifullest thing in the World", Commons "The Light", Kendrick Lamars "You aint Gotta Lie", Jill Scotts "Fools Gold", and many others. There's something infectious about that snare to open hat relationship that just gets me going no matter what. 

"When music hits you feel no pain, so I wont refrain from saying... Ring the Alarm!" 

Undoubtedly a classic album, very pivotal to hip hop and a significant song to me.  By 1995 I was heavily invested in all things Wu. Any project that came out with a Wu-Tang member or affiliate I had to have it. I think I wanted to be an honorary member when I grew up, and while Wu Wear wasn't available to purchase in Jamaica I'd print the different member logos on plain T's and rock em. It was actually this album that formally introduced me to Nas

I'd listen to Incarcerated Scarfaces until my neck hurt. Rza knew how to cook em up and Chef served on this one. This beat is playful, to the point and hard hitting. An emcees dream. So simple it gives me lots of space to be tonally diverse.

"So I check check a microphone for verbal abuse, sharpen my super powers and prepare to use em ...'scuse me!"

War, Genocide & Famine
Systemic Racism & Slavery
Paedophilia & Adrenochrome
Organ Harvesting & Animal Cruelty
Injustice and Inequality
Viruses and Vaccines  
Pollution & misuse of earths resources
Food, Drug, Air and water poisoning?
...Ring The Alarm

Friday, August 14, 2020

The MC Vieux Carre Freestyle - 3 Steps Forward 2 Steps Back


I don't usually pick em so green. I like to ripen my lyrics over time, that when offered fall easy into your overstanding and digest sweetly, but this piece of music Vieux Carre by Trombone Shorty (featuring production from Raphael Saadiq) is such a perfect blend of my favourite things I had to share it now in my freestyle challenge. Its had me in a creative sweet spot for a long time. Plus its from two producers on the list of musicians I see myself working with (well this better help more than hurts).

"3 steps forward 2 steps back, that's just the dance there aint no setbacks", idea I started that has become a mantra of mine whenever I play it, I thought would fit perfectly in this series. So I wrapped up the idea with no further delay. 

I love this piece of music for primarily exactly that reason. It's music and not a beat; an organic arrangement of musicians playing together, my favourite way to perform and vibe. I am  especially keen on how it playfully walks a line between jazz, funk, Hip Hop, rock and Pop, and allows me to be versatile. I'm also a big fan of that big band new Orleans sound. This compels me to use my voice as more of an instrument in the band where I will find melodies that compliment or harmonise with the others. So much to work with.

"I been high and I been low, One thing you need to know is... I'm just getting started"

So to my fellow MC's, how do you choose a beat?

Thursday, August 6, 2020

The MC Ready Or Not Freestyle - No Ready


Kicking off a Freestyle Fridays vibe in the heat with something classic for those that know

Ready Or Not, taken from The Fugees second album The Score
Contains a sample of "Boadicea" by Enya and its chorus is based on "Ready Or Not Here I Come (Cant Hide from Love)" by The Delfonics. . 

Somewhere around 96 I had this album stuck in my disc man, only to be interchanged with the likes of maybe Nas - It Was Written or Mary J. Blige - My Life. To this day it remains one of my all time favourites. Classic

Captivated by the culture crossing vernacular, and blended singing and rapping vocals over infectious multi genre neck snapping beats, I was hooked. As a group of socially conscious intellectuals The Fugees had a voice, sound and story that felt closer to mine  than any hip hop I'd listened, to that date.  

I love this beat for its sheer simplicity; literally a moody synth bed of Enya for some phat hip hop drums to sit on top, and that's it. An emcees dream. Id freestyle to this for hours. Eventually I wrote No Ready which celebrated the Reggae/Danehall/Hip Hop lifestyle lived in Jamaica while making commentary on how my immediate environment ironically just wasn't ready for me to bring such music to the wider world.

Still you know... I just wanna sing my song  

Listen to the original recording of Nuh Ready here...

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Zakiya Mckenzie with The Quietus interviews Buju Banton on his favourite music

As Buju Banton releases his first album in a decade, he guides Zakiya Mckenzie through the songs that shaped him, from discovering dancehall on the school minibus to collaborating with Pharrell Williams

There are fewer bigger names in Jamaican arts and culture than Buju Banton. A child of the early dancehall reggae scene and of the roots music tradition that has existed on the island for centuries, Buju Banton’s versatility across genres ensures that his catalogue will play out across class and culture for years to come. His voice is smooth in places where praise songs reach out to the wailing soul, gritty in original rudeboy style, he is sharp-cutting in rebelliousness where a defender of the people is needed. In this way, Buju Banton has managed to carve out an unforgettable place in reggae, even after a long prison sentence and a decade’s retreat from a business which has always struggled to offer financial and career longevity to its players.

Behind his own music and public persona, what has Buju Banton been listening to over the years? His song selections offer us a parallel look into his life as Buju the music consumer. It is the sounds of the 1980s that take centre-stage, particularly productions from Henry ‘Junjo’ Lawes on the Volcano Label. Everyone has that producer and those riddims that defined the time in which they grew up - for Banton here it is Lawes. Volcano Sound System dominated Jamaica’s music scene for the first half of the 80s, some would even say that Lawes gave the island its ragamuffin dancehall sound. Coincidentally, Volcano had its headquarters at Myrie Avenue in West Kingston at a time when the young Mark ‘Buju Banton’ Myrie dreamed of meeting him and making such music. Lawes moved Volcano to New York in 1985 and soon after did a five-year stint in an American prison for drug-related charges. Like Lawes on release, Banton is hoping to regain momentum and ride the rhythm back to the top of reggae music with new album, Upside Down 2020. He seems poised to do that, and has already won the Jamaica Festival 2020 Song Competition.

In the midst of a global pandemic, Black Lives Matter protests worldwide and the anticipation of reggae fans everywhere, the message from Buju Banton is clear - some people make music for themselves, but Buju Banton sees himself as a learner and teacher, a comforter in the face of trouble and a conduit of the sacred message of Rastafari. His Baker’s Dozen gives us an idea of his initiation.


Bob Marley & The Wailers - Kaya
The song ‘Kaya’ is one of my favourites because it is an ode to a Rasta man that just wants some good herb, nothing else. It’s not really a ganja song; it’s a song for the person who desires a good pull of weed. If you use ganja like Rasta use it, for religious or sacramental reasons, then you can identify with such a feeling. So, this is a song that always brings a nice vibe whenever I play, it’s comes with good meditations for I and I, especially when I have good kaya.


Bob Marley & The Wailers – ‘Forever Loving Jah’
‘Forever Loving Jah’ is a song that transformed me, I listen to it intensely. “Because just like a tree planted by the rivers of water… everything in life has its purpose, find its reason, in every season”, these are prolific lines that keep me grounded even now. They remind me not to live in the past and not rush ahead of myself. There’s whole lot of love in it, and when I listen to it I feel that love resonating right through. It’s the love Jah Rastafari and nothing can set us apart from that love.

The first time I heard this song was over 30 years ago. I was visiting one of my brethren and we had just finished cooking some oats porridge in a basement in Brooklyn, New York. The song played and he started to bawl! The music really touched him and he bawl! It’s a powerful song, don’t mess with it! I play it regularly and I hope that others can find joy listening to it too.

Your 2001 song ‘I Dare Not Be Ungrateful’ uses the same musical arrangement as Forever Loving Jah. Was that deliberate?

Yeah, when Donovan Germaine produced that song, and Leroy Sibbles and I sang “I dare not be ungrateful to Jah” on the same riddim track, it was a continuation of The Wailers singing “we’ll be forever loving Jah.” That was me reinforcing the hold this song had on me from then. ‘I Dare Not Be Ungrateful’ came about from the same kind of spiritual vibe as ‘Forever Loving Jah’. Whether you call Him Yahweh, Jah, Adonai, whatever you call it, these songs are reminders that there is a person out there singing for you. The man who sings, or play the guitar, even the one who plays the lyre – he is there to give comfort and good energy. And we want to share this, so I and I will be forever and ever loving Jah, and I and I will not be ungrateful for all that he has given me, seen?

Continued on thequietus...

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Thursday, June 11, 2020

Justice and Equality: Black lives do matter though

Started the year with a lot of gratitude as I witnessed much of last years hard work, spelling and prayer being answered and manifesting.

Then Covid19 brought the apocalypse to everyone’s door. It took me a minute to break away from the media conditioned fear and woe mindset, but now I get UP everyday with new routines. All what I wished I had more time for, exercise reading writing singing research documentaries and catching up with people. There’s a gift in this time. I’m even more grateful.  

Meanwhile  people are dying and livelihoods are being destroyed. Still it’s difficult to convince the masses that this pandemic is as much as it is reported to be, or that the response to it is fitting. The more conversations I hear, engage or avoid, the harder it is to shake the feeling (or the evidence) that it’s a part of a sophisticated manipulation. #Event201 #BillGates #ID2020 #5G #JudyMikovits #Faucci Wuhan whistleblowers, tampered test kits, manipulated covid statistics, and talk of vaccines yet the lack of dialogue on simple immune boosting, does not help. 

I resent having to use words like narrative so often, but I appreciate the acceptance that you can never rely on a single perspective and there rarely is a single story. 

There’s a shift in the consciousness and it wants the truth. Mainstream media and even history at best has always been a narrative. Some of us have always known this. I remember how I felt when I first understood what it meant for almost every news piece to have Reuter’s or AP attached, by which time I scoffed less at conspiracy theory and scrutinised more conspiracy facts. 

So then In the midst of all this lockdown, video footage of #AhmaudArbery ‘s midday lynching goes viral and shortly after #GeorgeFloyd ‘s execution by cop the same, and its pandemonium in these covid streets. In these covid streets, where so many want peaceful protest I’m seeing anger, frustration and helplessness, doused with tear gas and chased with cows milk. (What could be worse for the sinuses). What could be worse for the current experience: looting, shooting, anti protesters, police sabotaging supplies, complementary bricks put out to encourage vandalism, undercover agents, more brutality, and all these negative affirmations trying to drown the cause or bait a race war. 

I feel the pull on the emotions of the group consciousness, and I can feel force feeding and engineering in the midst of it all. Every day I witness some other atrocity and I feel the pull on my own emotions, forcing me to disconnect from social media. 

but I can’t quiet and I can’t mute.

I am affected but I am not distracted

So last week I post dem likkle black square, and Iv never used the tag #blacklivesmatter before because I’ve seen how quick its gaslit and pounded with all lives matter rhetoric. Not to mention the movement further connected to #GeorgeSoros .However, our lives do matter. There are those among us who care about equal rights and justice, giving momentum to the truth... and we will find each other 

Stay sharp fam their cards do show

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Sound (Hu)man Ft. David Kennedy - Brews Beats & Eats The Podcast

Checkout my brother David Kennedy on the Brews Beats & Eats Podcast with Oldhead Ed

RadiAsian interviews: Mike Bell of Aurora Eclipse Productions and Da Results AKA King DROOPIE

Checkout my brother King Droopie on RadiAsian. Cruise through an eclectic selection of music from soft rock to hip hop and soul with Dav, an interview with Michael Bell of Aurora Elipse Production, or skip on to the 2hr 5min mark where Droopie chops it up; Production, Engineering, Mixing, DAW's, MC'ing and collab'ing. All good listening. Even packed some of my music in there... UP!