Selector's choice Joe Grime: UK’s Best Kept Secret
The Brand Young Vinchi
Feature Dancehall Music: Mainstream’s Ride or Die Side Chick
Musical Revolution 20 23 26 39
Slightly Stoopid Alborosie Chino Mcgregor Stephen Marley
“Any ways, by any means me haffi step up - know what I mean Real talk - dis nah no fantasy no no mi nah dream” This Year - Ziggi Recado
Contributing Editor Jeremy Burnett
Hip-Hop Entertainment & Sports Editor
Graphics/Art Department Alakeisha Philyor
Chief Graphic Designer Raoul Turner
Contributing Graphic Designer Media Dreams Graphics Andi Fleming
Contributing Graphic Designer Wayne Newman
Design Consultant Rude Bwoy Graphics
Photography Edward “EJ” Jordon III
Edward Jordon Photography Lenor Vance
Cherri Productions Greg Bryon
Contributing Writers Asha Cottrell Jameshia Jefferson
Publishing Yolanda Turner
Principal Ent. © Copyright 2009 Principal Entertainment All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part prohibited without permission.
Bashment Sessions Magazine Team
S e l e c hoice t o r s
Selector’s Choice Busy Signal - Step Up
Mavado - Gangster for Life
Leftside aka Dr Evil - More Punanny
Damien Marley - Welcome To Jamrock
London, UK based Dancehall/ Reggae DJ and Producer
Vybz Kartel - Proper English
Shabba Ranks & Vybz Kartel - Love Punanny Bad Remix Supercat - Don Dada Lexxus - Good Hole
Lexxus - Full Hundred Beenie Man - Too the Foundation Joe Grime’s renowned mixtapes include the Dancehall series Life Of Grime downloaded over 15,000 times and the Reggae series Rice n’ Peas downloaded 10,000 times. Both series are well received across Europe, America, and the Caribbean. Log on to www.vulive.co.uk or www.dejavufm.com and listen to The Bashment Show live - Tuesdays 4pm-6pm GMT (11am-1pm EDT)
Started DJing over 10 years ago while attending college
Gradually built his own sound (Bad Manners Sound) which has played alongside some of the biggest sounds all over the UK & Europe. Host of The Bashment Show, a two hour melting pot of things Dancehall & Reggae. Past guests of the show have included Mavado & Delly Ranks. He has also produced a number of remixes including the recently released Rice N Peas Remix of UK Artist Serocee’s “Oh Na Na” and he is currently working on his first independent release titled the HD15 Riddim.
Follow Joe Grime on Twitter – www.twitter.com/joegrime Fan Joe Grime on Facebook – www.facebook.com/joegrime Listen to Joe Grime Remixes - http://soundcloud.com/joegrime
t’s hard to find a focused and determined professional athlete these days, especially one that makes millions of dollars a year. Most time athletes get their first big check then the hunger and desire for the game diminishes. Fortunately there are exceptions that force us to change our perspective about professional football players.
BSM: At what part in your life did you realize you wanted to be a professional athlete? When did you start to take it (sports) seriously?
2008 first round NFL draft pick Mike Jenkins is entering his fourth season, and has recently been more focused then ever. He’s patiently awaited the end of the NFL lockout and wants nothing more than to resume his task of regaining the “All Pro” status he earned his 2009 pro bowl season. What else is on the table for this young and experienced cornerback? Jenkins is not satisfied with being mentioned with the elite corner backs in the league, he wants to be mentioned as the face of NFL corner backs. He is working towards reclaiming his status of not only being a great athlete, but also by being a great person and role model as well. Outside of football, Mike Jenkins dedicates his time to several community and charitable organizations. I have no doubt in my mind that through his talent, hard work, and humanitarian efforts Mike Jenkins will be soon be acknowledged as Mike Jenkins the future Hall of Famer. He is definitely a legend in the making.
BSM: You chose to attend the University of South Florida and play college football, what were some of your biggest challenges as a college athlete?
BSM: At what age did you start playing Sports? MJ: I started playing football and baseball the same year at age 5. I was also a track athlete, but I didn’t start running track until 9th grade.
MJ: Growing up I’ve always had a dream of being a professional athlete, but I really didn’t start to take it seriously until I got my first letter from the Florida Gators which occured in my tenth grade year of high school.
MJ: In college, the biggest challenge I faced was time management. I was difficult growing up and trying to maintain the schedule of being a college athlete. My schedule would consist of going to class, working out, football practice, and study hall. That’s a lot on a young man fresh out of high school. It really causes you to grow up quickly. BSM: Now you are living your childhood dream; playing in the National Football League. Already an all pro season, and Pro Bowl appearance, what’s Mike Jenkins’ goal from this point on in your career. MJ: To be the best corner back in the NFL! BSM: How was the Pro Bowl experience? MJ: It was fun and exciting. I was able to receive knowledge from veteran players that have been playing this game for a while. But it was just a great accomplishment for me and I’m ready to work hard to get back to the Pro Bowl.
BSM: Outside of football, what are somethingâ€™s Mike Jenkins is doing to give back?
BSM: Tell the world one fun fact about Mike Jenkins that not many people know.
MJ: Actually me, Fabian Washington, and Dominique MJ: I was actually born in Germany because my parents Rodgers-Cromartie started a foundation called Franchise were in the military. Kids Foundation. We hold events like; food giveaways To find out more about Franchise Kids Foundation go to during holiday season, back to school events where we pass http://www.franchisekidsfoundation.org/ out school supplies. We even host football and cheerleading camps. Iâ€™m also working on opening a group home in the Tampa Bay area soon.
Dominique Rodgers Cromartie
The Dominique Rodgers Cromartie Sports Camp (DRC) is an annual camp hosted at the newly refurbished 13th Ave community Center in Bradenton, Florida. The camp was founded by Stanley Cromartie (Dominique’s father) approximately 20 years ago. At its inception, the camp opened it’s doors to 50-60 school-aged kids and it has since expanded to host 150-200 eager kids.
BSM: You mentioned leadership as a skill the attendees learn here at the DRC Sports Camp. What are some other life skills the kids pick up. DRC: We teach them about being a disciplined person and things of that nature. Everyday during the camp we take a time out. We designate 10 minutes for a ‘skills session’. There’s a coach explaining a life skill. The kids enjoy that part of the camp. They ask questions and interact very well so I think that’s a really good aspect of the camp.
According to Stanley, the camp teaches the kids sportsmanship. “A great number of the kids who’ve attended the camp have gone on to play college sports and many have come back to work the camp themselves.” BSM: What’s the future look like for DRC? Are there plans for exHe said. The senior Cromartie also proclaimed that a pansion or will the camp remain exclusive to the Sarasota/Bradenton major benefit for the kids attending the camp is “it’s area? keeps them off the streets.” Now Stanley has passed the mantle on to his son, 2010 first Round NFL draft pick Dominique Rodgers Cromartie and he has assumed the charge without pause. BSM: Dominique, I understand this is your third year sponsor of the Sportscamp. How do you feel about heading up the camp? DRC: This is actually the 4th year I’ve been doing the camp. I picked it up from my father, whose been doing it for many years. I’m excited and appreciative to be doing this. BSM: When you attended the camp some years ago did you feel the same enthusiasm that the kids feel now? DRC: Everyone you see me with today or anyone from Bradenton has gone through the camp. Back then I was excited. I always looked forward to it. I knew that was the time I could competitively interact with my friends. When I look at the kids today they seem to have the same feeling. BSM: I’ve had an opportunity to witness the DRC Sports Camp in action. It’s a pretty large group of kids. What are some activities you host during the camp. DRC: We teach them fundamentals that they can take home and apply in everyday life. We teach them leadership qualities. Most importantly, we want them to have a good time. You know, schools out and we want to keep them active and keep them out of trouble.
DRC: I’m going to continue to host the camp until my son is of age. It’s an event my daddy started. It’s great and I want to keep it in my family for years to come. I plan to expand the camp to other areas in the future, but this is home and the base will always be here (Bradenton). We have added football to the roster. We had to include my profession. So now we’re ending it (the camp) with football. BSM: The Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie Sports Camp (DRC) is an annual summer camp. Are the attendees charged a fee?
DRC: We are a non-profit organization. The camp is free to the attendees. We want the parents to sign the kids up and then we want the kids to come out and have a good time. BSM: As a professional athlete you have a great deal of insight in regards to coaching and/or mentoring the kids. Do you perceive yourself as a leader to someone who may be interested in football or to those who may say “I’m gonna play football when I grow up.” DRC: There are a lot of these young guys from the neighborhood that look at us who’ve been successful in our careers and try to follow in our footsteps. I lead by being myself and being down to earth. Sometimes people find themselves in situations where they’ve become successful and it changes them, but I’m still the down to earth person that comes back to my community or any community that I’m a member of and I find a way to interact with the youth. I love kids and I think that’s what they (kids) see. They say, “this guy is in the NFL, but he’s out here with us running around.” That’s the biggest influence, in my opinion.
Ashley Griffith aka Ashley Summers was born and raised in Mt. Vernon, NY. She currently resides in Tampa, Fl. Modeling has always been her true passion, alongside her love for art, fashion, and cosmetology. Ashley Summers is “The Definition of Versatility.” Ms. Summers represents a wide variety of nationalities being Jamaican, Chinese, Indian, and Grenadian and the Caribbean/American beauty is definitely making moves in the industry. She’s been featured in several music videos including that of national recording artist Plies. Ashley has ‘walked’ many catwalks representing Russian Roulette, Conde’ Couture, Habari Clothing Company, Mystik Creationz, Empressionz, Zenvious Designs and more. She’s also appeared in local and national ad campaigns. Ashley Summers aspires to become a versatile model, not only in front of the camera, but also behind the scenes. She is currently taking courses toward a degree in Business Management and plans to utilize her acumin by starting her own makeup company and eventually branding her own line of products.
Mercury Rising Albert Neysmith Jr. was born on May 31, 1987 to Jamaican parents and raised in the Bronx, N.Y. by a close-knit family. He began rapping at age eight to entertain his friends at school and by the time he got to Banana Kelly High School he was the designated class “interrupter.” Like all entertainers, Young Vinchi developed a fondness for attention and soon entered the school’s fashion and talent showcases where he fine tuned his showmanship and savoir faire. After graduation, he attended LaGuardia Community College and studied theater and communications. Vinchi also began performing at open mics and small venues around the New York metro area, including Harlem, the Bronx, Long Island and New Jersey and wet his thirst for success after winning a $1,000 prize at a local amateur night contest. In 2007, he moved to Atlanta and began working with a number of up-and-coming producers that helped season his
style. They developed neck-popping bass heavy production that added to his slow, marinating braggadocio. Listen closely to his twang and you’ll pick up the popular idioms of your favorite trap house. But don’t label him, as he says, “I’m a New Yorker with Southern roots.”
Upon his return to the Big Apple, Vinchi began recording new material and has worked with several producers including Johnny Montana, Infinity, and Jem Stones, and The Traveler. Their partnership spawned three songs “BLC: Baddest Lil Chick”, “Nasty” and “I Want The Cash” all of which were written and co-produced by Vinchi. The singles are featured on his first EP “It’s Me.” Get ready to get it any way you want it. It’s time to tell you, that it’s NOW time for Young Vinchi. Follow Young Vinchi on Twitter - @YoungVinchi Listen to Young Vinchi’s Music HTTP://WWW.REVERBNATION.COM/VINCHI
Who: Albert Neysmith Jr. aka Young Vinchi Birthplace: Bronx, NY
Who: Brandon Hicks aka The Brand Birthplace: Enterprise, AL
Whoever said big talent can’t be found in small cities hadn’t the opportunity to meet Enterprise, Alabama’s Brandon Hicks. At the age of 23, he oozes music from his pores. “The Brand,” aptly titled because of his undeniable confidence and street savvy swagger, is determined to rise to the top of the industry. The rapper with the passionate voice and ambitious personality credits artists such as Jay-Z, Nas, and Common as inspirations for his lyrical prowess. “I consider myself a versatile artist” he says, “and the key to this industry is versatility.” The Brand h a s built a solid work ethic around the motto F.I.N.A.O. (failure is NOT an option) and has jumped head first into all aspects of the entertainment industry. He believes that being educated in all facets of the industry is also crucial to survival in the game and he has employed his talent and knowledge of the industry to create the Mogul Music Group Imprint, a label dedicated to promoting credible music. The Brand and his crew share a vision, drive, and passion for “real rap” and they are confident that his ‘brand’ of music will captivate listeners worldwide.
Follow the Brand on Twitter @The_Brand1 Listen to The Brand’s music http://www.radio1617.com/TheBrand
Music... From Yard to the
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Slightly Stoopid “The music we like to play, whether it be quirky or funky or more on a pop kind of vibe, we want it to come out true to us. We’d rather not go with a specific label that might try to put us into a box or want us to sound like this or like that or like something that’s hot right now. That’s not really a choice for us that makes any sense.” BSM: Let me begin by congratulating Slightly Stoopid choice for us (signing with a major) that wouldn’t make on your wildly successful tours you’re your longevity as independents. In this industry of ‘instants’ and one hit wonders, That’s a considerable achievement. How have you managed without the “big industry” dollars?
Slightly Stoopid: Touring is obviously big with us.
Musically, we always want the music that we play to come out true to us, whether it be quirky or funky or more on a pop kind of vibe. We’d rather remain with an independent than going with a specific label that may try to put us into a box and say do it like this or like that or like something that’s hot right now… it’s not really a
BSM: Touring is the ticket for you guys. You’ve been on
tour with some really influential bands. You have Dave Matthews, Damian Marley, and Snoop Dog. How do you guys pull that together? Do you approach them? Do they approach you because Slightly Stoopid is successful in their own right.
Slightly Stoopid: Basically it’s sort of just a meeting
together. Obviously Snoop’s huge! Having Dave Matthews is probably one of the bigger acts in terms
of household names. We try to put something together and when you’re fishing around to put a summer tour together you just call ahead and we were really lucky to get that tour going. We had Stephen Marley on that one. It was great, it was really fun. Just kinda threw it out there and make a phone call to Dave’s management and said hey we’re trying to do this, would you guys have any interest what so ever and they make the choice and they check out the band and decide if they can make a worthwhile choice to work with the band and we move forward from there. That’s typically how it starts. We been lucky to tour with some acts we’ve paired up with like Dave Matthews and Toots and the Maytals some of these acts are landmarks. Toots is literally to me like, I mean, his vibe is so powerful almost like a James Brown – like one of those icons they take the stage and everyone jaw drops like I cant believe I’m seeing this right now.
BSM: When you’re on stage with Toots, as a professional musician, how do you keep your composure? Are you stoked?
Slightly Stoopid: Going into
the show it’s intimidating. We’re all backstage smiling, dancing, high-fiving, cause we can’t believe we’re apart of it, yuh know. So for us it’s a little intimidating cause you really want to perform at your top level. Like at that level, but at the same time, you don’t want to syke yourself out and get so nervous that you can’t take the stage. You still gotta get up there and do your thing. For us it’s an honor. Basically, we’re just a bunch of kids from San Diego. We still carry ourselves in a way where we don’t walk around thinking we’re cool. Like the way we dress off stage is the way we dress on stage. It’s that kinda’ vibe, kinda’ like what you see is what you get and if you like it, we hope you enjoy it. Yuh know, that kinda’ thing.
BSM: I’ve been randomly listening to your songs and
every time I listened, I got a different vibe. One of my favorites is No Cocaine.
from Inner circle and we were able to talk to them and we were like hey, were looking to do an album and they were like hey come down and check out the studio. We went down and we loved it. We put in about a couple weeks work.
BSM: It’s a lot of good music that’s waiting to be heard. Slightly Stoopid is big. You’re in Germany, you’re in the UK, you’re all over keeping the music alive and doing what you’re doing. It’s a great thing.
Slightly Stopid: It feels good for us. The band started
in like 96’ it hasn’t been an overnight success. That’s for sure, but its actually been a positive thing. For each tour you follow up, you get a few more people. You start with playing in the bars for the bouncers and the bartenders. The second time 10 friends and then their friends bring 10 friends and then the next thing you know you got a real party.
BSM: Want to talk about
a particular theme in your music (the herbs). Is it a foundational part of your music? I’m sure it helps keep up the vibes a bit
Slightly Stoopid: Yeah, that’s
always an essential focal point, I guess. It’s been apart of all of our lives. All of us basically grew up on the beach, surfing and skating and listening to this music that we love. When your on the beach and throw on some reggae vibes it just works. It’s Island music. It’s meant for that. So I think, all along with us growing up and being surrounded by that it just sort of made a way into a lot of our music, yuh know. A lot of the guys aren’t to shy about the fact that they enjoy it. It’s not a front. It’s not like we’re tryin’ to do it (smoke) to be cute or whatever, it’s not a false claim. It’s what we do, yuh know, like I say if people are down with it that’s cool and if their not then that’s cool too, but we’re not changing for anyone else. Is our own choice, yuh know.
BSM: That’s probably a key to your success. You are who
you are. Real recognizes real and people want to hear
Slightly Stoopid: We actually recorded that song down that. We want to be able to associate with something in Florida. At Circle House studios which is actually in Fort Lauderdale. We were down I think about 2 years about 2 and half years ago. We did a tour with the guys
we believe in. So kudos to you! Being in the magazine will expose your music a little more. Open our eyes to something more than we here on the radio.
Slightly Stoopid: One definite positive with the internet with this opening of accessibility, we’re seeing people and the file sharing and Itunes and all these things, people can actually go and get stuff that’s not available in stores. Like you can go on Itunes and download music that people put up on their own and it sounds good, yuh know. So I think people are finally starting to figure out that “so the radio, and MTV and VH1 that’s one thing…” and there’s so much more going on.
tuning their ears into the stuff they like, saying “awe, I wanna check this out, cause it hits a chord with me in my heart whether or not its something I know about, like I don’t speak that language, but I can vibe with that music.” I think that’s what it’s really all about, becoming more and more accessible to everyone.
BSM: Yeah, there’s an entire underground culture of music that’s actually starting to come to the surface. The more I listen, the more I learn about different artists that may not necessarily be from the Caribbean but love the fusion of the music. That’s what you have, the fusion.
Slightly Stoopid: We grew up listening to reggae, we’re
seeing now maybe more than say 4 to 6 years ago, because of easy access, you can listen to music on the other side of the world and learn about it and figure it out. I mean now American musicians are learning about Indian music and all these different things from cultures that are far away. So we’re seeing with the internet and
“Basically, we’re just a bunch of kids from San Diego.... All of us basically grew up on the beach, surfing and skating and listening to this music that we love. When your on the beach and throw on some reggae vibes it just works. It’s Island music. It’s meant for that.”
BSM: What is the motivation behind the songs on the CD? What is the theme behind 2 Times Revolution? Alborosie: My various journey like when I’m on tour, and I see the world and I see people that inspire now to birth, to create a new album. I can see what people go thru and sufferation and I see what is what. So when I come back to Jamaica now , I can actually go into the studio and start to actually create something with type of vision yuh know so I just sit down and start to produce and yuh know, that where the album starts. BSM: So, the lyrics are inspired by your visits to Jamaica…
music so people love that cause reggae carry that real message of truth and rights so that’s why we utilize reggae to actually to tell people what they feel about a political situation in Italy BSM: So you’ve taken up the mantle to carry reggae to the world, who were your musical inspirations? Alborosie: Bob then of course Burning Spear, Culture, the foundation King Tubby, and the legends of Reggae. BSM: I made notes about a few songs on the 2 Times Revolution CD – 1st there’s “Soul Train” – it’s a very thoughtful track …
“We have to be humble in life and do what we are supposed to do, do our work and eventually the father will take care of us.”
Alborosie: I see like right now the world is in a trouble. I see the political situation of various countries and whatever. I feel that what we need is a revolution. When I say revolution I don’t mean like violins and whatever. We need like a spiritual revolution we need an n evolution that’s how we get revolution BSM: You are a Sicilian – Is Reggae popular in Italy? How were you introduced to Reggae Music? Alborosie: Reggae music is global. One of the biggest Bob Marley shows was in Italy – in front of 110,000 people came to see bb. Bob really left a leggy in Italy. Italian people they love reggae. And reggae is a revolutionary
Alborosie: It’s a kind of gospel song yuh know. I had a vision with that song because it was a Sunday afternoon in Jamaica yuh know. The song is very down to earth. The song say “over the hills and over the valley, I work the land… like a farmer yuh know, like a farmer life style. So to describe the fact that we have to be humble in life and do what we are supposed to do, do our work and eventually the father will take care of us, that is the meaning of the song. BSM: You also have love songs and revolutionary songs – one in particular that rings in my head is La Revolucion. The track is in Spanish…
Alborosie: Yes because I love the Spanish culture. I live it long time. But it is the first time I pay tribute to the Latin American culture. And of course in this song I name my idols in terms of human rights, from Che Guevara and then Bob Marley as a musician, but as a revolutionary too and then other people that I respect. It’s a tribute to the culture still. BSM: Is it correct to assume that you are receiving a great deal of positive feedback from the Latin as well as Hispanic cultures about the music? Alborosie: The vibe is great and the people love it. I feel I am at home. Because I believe that the root is the same root. Argentina is like 50 percent of the population people related to Italian. So my root is there too. So when I go there is like I am at home. BSM: “What If Jamaica” the final song on the CD… Alborosie: What if Jamaica is a song that I did with an artist from Jamaica, Sandy Smith; beautiful vibes; beautiful lady. The song is about what if Jamaica was a different place. What if Jamaica had a different political situation and never have so much violence? It would be like it’s like a dream. BSM: You’ve frequently mentioned the word vision. You know, it doesn’t seem that many artists have a vision for their music anymore… Alborosie: …It’s a vision still… Vision is like an idea. You see yourself where you’re going, and you see music, where your music is going and whatever. It’s very spiritual to me.
“I see like right now the world is in a trouble. I see the political situation of various countries and whatever. I feel that what we need is a revolution. We need like a spiritual revolution.”
BSM: We got a little taste of Chino when your EP “From Morning” was released back in January. A couple singles have been in rotation since then, Protected, From Morning, and Ruff It Up. How are the songs on the self-titled record arranged? What’s the theme?
Chino: Well the album kicks off with a few of the
favorites which are already out there (the street). Then there is the skit. That skit now pretty much leads the way. That’s like a break. It leads the way to introduce the new stuff yuh understand, like Seal the Link etc. and then a deep, deep song. We have a song called God Nah sleep which is like a deep, deep story telling song – a rise and fall story, two separate scenarios, two very different stories, yet very familiar, You have songs like Badness, my Soul, etc those are more like serious songs. Then there is Ruff It Up and Must Come Back. We have a song called Driving Me Insane ft. Denyique. That’s an interpretation of Shabba Ranks’ Mr. Loverman. The album closes with a song called Work – that song is perfect for closing the album.
BSM: Let’s go back to the song with Denyique… I
know you’ve worked with people in the business that other artists only wish to be linked with. Was Shabba Ranks one of the artists that inspired you? How did you decide to do that song?
Chino: Pretty much we wanted to bring back that vibe,
yuh know, that feeling when songs like those came out, yuh know what I mean. I don’t think a lot of people thought Mr. Loverman was going to be one of the first big dancehall tracks like crossover, yuh know what I mean. We just wanted to bring back that vibe that feel. Instantly when you here the beat it takes you back to that time and then now the lyrical concept of it – the male/female back and forth vibe which is similar to the Shabba and Chevelle Franklin. We wanted to bring back that mood and that feeling for everybody who hears it. It takes you back to that time.
BSM: Chino, You’ve been around the globe. You kicked
off your US tour in June. Where have you touched down thus far and what other states will you be stopping through on this tour?
Chino: We kicked off in Rochester, then Albany, Boston
Connecticut. We have several dates with NY then Jersey. I think were doin’ Tampa, then Orlando. We’re doin’ the West Coast…
“This album is definitely groundbreaking, and out of the box. I mean it’s not your typical reggae or dancehall album, which is like a compilation of songs which are already out there, I mean like some 2minute songs, yuh know what I mean. These are full length songs, yuh know what I mean, real music.”
BSM: The name Chino Mcgregor is on everybody’s
lips. Everyone’s been awaiting this record. Now is this your first full length studio record?
Chino: This will be my first full length US release. I
have to 2 previous albums to date which were released soley in Japan. The first on was in 07’ that was called Unstoppable. That had songs like Redbull and Guiness. The second one was out last year. That was called Never Change. That one last year was very, very successful. That was a top seller in Japan for the last year. Top selling album – we have all sold out venues – like 30, 000 Japanese people signing out every single line to songs I performed. Chino name is huge in Japan.
BSM: You’ve been in the business for a while; however,
you’re still a young man so you’ve got a lot more to accomplish. What does this record say about you creatively and the development of your artistry, you’re a producer, singer, songwriter? What does this record say about Chino McGregor?
Chino: I think this album people with misconceptions
will definitely have a clear understanding of what I and what were trying to do. This album is definitely ground breaking, and out of the box – I mean it’s not your typical reggae or dancehall album, which is like a compilation of songs which are already out there, I mean like some 2minute songs, yuh know what I mean. These are full length songs, yuh know what I mean, real music. We have a lot of concept songs. I went all the way out of the box with the tracks. I even went all the way out of the box in terms of production. A lot of the songs I’m sure people will like have to double check the credits to confirm Chino actually produced the tracks or double check the credits to see if Chino actually wrote the songs or came up with the song. So went all the way out the box. I think this album will definitely be a collector’s album item or a classic
BSM: Your brother does major production on this record. How is it working with your family?
Chino: Working with him is not like a strict working
relationship, yuh understand – we just vibe. We just go in the studio and bounce ideas off of each other and just try to come up with some creative stuff, some out the box stuff, - that’s always our deal – trying to always do what no one else is doing.
“I don’t think a lot of people thought Mr. Loverman was going to be one of the first big dancehall tracks like crossover, yuh know what I mean. We just wanted to bring back that vibe that feel.”
BSM: Stephen you’ve been pretty much behind the of a challenge is it to communicate your vision for the scenes as far as being a performing artist, doing most of the production on your siblings’ albums and other prolific artists, until a couple years ago. Now you’ve hit the charts again with Revelation Pt. 1: The Root of Life. What motivated you to do the record?
Stephen Marley: I really didn’t set out to do an album.
I didn’t have it in mind. When I started I wasn’t thinking about, okay I’m going to do a record now. I was reading an article. Someone wrote an article about the state of reggae music, criticizing it. Basically, what is being portrayed in the media and what is been successful commercially is not a true representation of reggae music. I would say it is more like an offspring of the music. If I was going to introduce Reggae to someone who has never heard the music before it wouldn’t be these more commercial songs - that wouldn’t be the real – yuh know … it’s like introducing somebody and you fi say, yo dis is reggae and play one of dem Bruno Mars tune dem … and I’m not knocking none of them because I am a fan of the evolution of music yuh know. As a producer mi love different types of music and all of that, but I am very strongly for preserving our roots also – yuh know - so that’s how me come up with Revelation Pt. 1 –Root of Life
Stephen Marley: Alright, for example When we did
Africa, which is the song that Wale is on yuh know, I made the song and it was a coincidence that I was introduced to Wale’s music at the same time, yuh know and him being from Africa, yuh know and ting I thought “oh dis would probably would be a good thing.” So I reached out to the brother and he was ready. So that was one way, Melanie Fiona, again now…
BSM (interject): Doesn’t she have a Caribbean background…
Stephen Marley: …right, exactly, so that again was
a plus to me like okay good, she come from weh I come from eeee, yuh know.
BSM: I check Billboard frequently and I’ve noticed that
the Marley Family is always dominating the charts. It isn’t a fly by night thing here. It’s consistent over months and years. What’s the ingredient that makes Marley so special? Is it the realism in the music? What’s your thought?
Stephen Marley: It is the integrity that is put into the BSM: When you’re in the studio and you’re producing, music. That is the ingredient that puts you in a category and you’ve said that you and your brothers get together and produce, what kind of energy goes on in there? I mean everybody’s on the same page and everybody’s like-minded…describe that synergy.
Stephen Marley: In the studio there is such a
wonderful, wonderful, yuh know, experience. I guess the studio is like, yuh know is like making love. The music its fresh, yuh know - new inspiration, new feeling. It’s like creating a baby I would say, yuh know what I mean. It’s just a vibe. Everyone’s feelings are different. I mean the way it (the music) affects everyone and everyone discussing their take on it. “Oh I thought it meant this,” yuh know. It’s a great experience. It keeps me going. I look forward to it everyday. I live at the studio. My home is the studio so yuh know, I wake up and me go straight to the studio and turn on the music and then I do my little chores in between yuh know (laugh).
BSM: Let’s talk about the artists you’ve selected to be
on your projects. On the previous record, Mind Control, you featured several artists with different musical backgrounds and on this record you feature Wale and Melanie Fiona. When you collaborate with artist who don’t necessarily have a reggae background how much
with great people, yuh know that also share the same outlook of the way music is dealt with. Music is so influential, yuh know. I don’t know, I can’t just deal with music like mass production, yuh know. Music influences so many people’s life. I was telling someone like “Hey Baby,” hey baby don’t you worry, that song. Yuh know how many military people hit me up and come to me and seh “bwoy” because they are basically away from home and tell me about them relationship. That is what it’s all about, the result. What you want from music is what differentiates people. Some people want fame, some people want money, some people want changes, some people want the affect of music
“It is the integrity that is put into the music. That is the ingredient that puts you in a category with great people, yuh know that also share the same outlook of the way music is dealt with.”
BSM: The song “Africa” when I heard it, I thought is this a clarion call to the people of Africa, are you calling us back to Africa, or is it a self awareness type track?
Stephen Marley: It is a self awareness song. If you
check it off in history is truth because it tells a story. It depicts what happens, yuh know what I mean in life. History tells the truth. If you know seh Africa is the beginning of civilization. All man come from Africa. Our focus should not necessary to say they are going to live in Africa, but know that this is where it started. The story, the truth must come from Africa. The truth cyan come from nowhere else. This is where it started. Then we have to follow this passage. it must come from Africa. That’s what mi wan everyone to understand, yuh know… Yeh we all come from Africa civilization man originate from Africa (laugh)
“In the studio there
is such a wonderful, wonderful, yuh know, experience. I guess the studio is like, yuh know is like making love. The music its fresh, yuh know, new inspiration, new feeling. It’s like creating a baby I would say, yuh know what I mean. It’s just a vibe.
“History tells the
truth. If you know seh Africa is the beginning of civilization. All man come from Africa. Our focus should not necessary to say they are going to live in Africa, but know that this is where it started.
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