Sunday, January 11, 2009

Ready for Hoe-Nine...Is Brooklyn in the house?

So's been a minute since the last entry, but so it go sometimes, so Merry New Year and Happy Belated X-Mas to all massive and crew...2009 lick and we still deh yah...because "I'm so special," like the bredda from Cassava Piece..."My name is so excellent," and so on and so forth...Well, before I get into the whole New Year talk, and make more broken promises and set unreachable goals, I first need to sum up the end of the year.

In November, I was in the Big Apple, BK to be exact, for two shows. The first one was on a Saturday, the 7th, at Bushbaby and the second show was Sunday, the 8th, at Solomon's Porch. Brooklyn has always been my second home, I lived in Bedstuy for a couple of months during one summer, and worked on few projects there. Brooklyn is like that girl you fell in love with, but never really got over, so just like how you would check her facebook or myspace page every once in a while, I have to go back there at least once a year, just to see how she's doing, so yeah, PEACE out to Brooklyn.

I flew into LaGuardia, because that was the cheapest flight I could find. I jumped on the Q33 bus, and got off at 74th St/Broadway/Roosevelt Ave, and caught the 7 train into Manhattan. My friend Hima lived in Brooklyn, so I transferred and took the L train to Dekalb Ave, dropped off my bags at her place, and headed back into Manhattan to Union Square, one of my spots in the city. As usual, the park was packed, there were street performers doing their thing, the market peolpe were packing up their goods, the skaters were skateboarding, the teenagers were loitering like the old folks would say, and the city was alive. There I met up with P, producer extraordinaire, and we headed back into Brooklyn to Park Slope, so I could get a shave at the barber spot.

Afterwards, we stumbled across this grand opening of a store that sold some Japanese collectible type toys, not really sure, but they had a dj set up in an empty store next door with a cooler full of beer and liquor, so I wasn't really asking a lot of questions. After a couple more unplanned stops, by the end of a very long night, we ended up on the 3 Line, headed to the Crown Heights/Utica Ave stop in Brooklyn, final destination: P's crib off Eastern Parkway. Big up to P and his roommate Shaq for putting me up for the weekend...GIVE THANKS.

As far as the two shows, some things were good, and some things were bad, but overall, the vibe was nice, so big up brooklyn every time.

The first show was on Saturday, at Bushbaby on Fulton Street. Respect and many thanx to Lenice and crew for having me...The night started out with spoken word from DuEwa, she was pretty dope, afterwards I touched the mic and did my thing, and then last but not least, the closing speaker was Denrick Johnson, a local artist out of Brooklyn, who's work was being displayed that night, so it was definitely a cool vibe, and I'm looking forward to going back.

The second show was on Sunday, at Solomon's Cafe on Stuyvesant Avenue. That was a nice spot as well, the crowd turn out was small, but it was a Sunday night, and so the business go. It was cool still, I played it like Madison Square Garden, and called it a night....big up to the staff though, they kept me well fed through the night...definitely appreciated that...

Back in the M-I-A, I had one more show at the University of Miami, the Peace & Love Concert, one time for my man Kemy, bless for the booking, and then it was off to J-A to bring in the New Year. (JA- an acronym that stands for the island of Jamaica, otherwise fondly referred to as "Jamdown," or as Damien Marley would say, "Jamrock," and the ever popular "Yard," pronounced "Yaaad.") And that was Hoe-Eight (Eight with a "h," so all together now "Hoe-Hate"), so I'm ready for Hoe-Nine...Yeah Baby...

Just because we play what the people want....(Part 3)

Brighton is a prior fishing village turned summer home spot, and the Fishbowl is right off the beach, it reminded me of Coney Island in Brooklyn. The history of Brighton is interesting, apparently it dates back as far as the 1500s, but the original village was burnt to the ground by French raiders in 1514. By the 1700s, the Prince Regent, who later became King George IV, took a liking to the town, and built a residence, the Royal Pavillion, which has Indian architecture and Oriental interior design, well plush out. According to Will, because of him, there are a network of underground tunnels, in case he had to escape, and to this day, many of them have yet to be discovered.

The next day after the show, I went into the centre of Brighton with Will and Asbest, and took in the shopping ares, Brighton Pier, the Royal Pavillion, and St. Nicholas Church on Dyke Road. I also had some fish and chips, since me deh ah Heng-gland...and yow, they just fry the fish, without no seasoning atall, no flavour, no spice, nuttin...a sin to my Jamaican palette. On the Pier, they have amusement rides and such, and there is a picture of Haile Sellasie at the spot on the Pier where he visited it. Respect due to Will and Asbest for the tour...Bless up. After leaving Brighton, I headed back to London, where I had to catch a flight the following afternoon to my next destination: Madrid, Spain. (The Gate of the Sun, or Puerta del Sol, as they say in Espana) My sister was living there, so I decided to go and check her while I was filming some footage there for one of my music video projects.

After that, it was back to Prague for the Mighty Sounds Festival (which is the biggest punk-ska reggae festival in Europe) in Olsi U Tabora, Czech Republic, for yet another “blair-witch” type flex, because it was out inna the bush, in the Czech countryside. The show sell off as always, the crowd was massive, and they received my set well, and even sang along to Africa Why, which is always a wicked feeling….Big up Babylon Rocker for the linx…I shared the stage with Missy M, MC Amdiez, again, and met a Dread who lived in Germany, straight from yaad, go figure…Riddim up…

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Just because we play what the people want....(Part Deux)

I spent the first night outside of London, by my father's breddren, Derek's house. Big up to him and his girlfriend for putting me up...Respect. The next morning I caught the train back into London, Victoria Station, and caught the express to Brighton. On my way, I sent a text to the Dj/producer who booked me for the show, Will SumSuch, to let him know that I was on my way. Let me show you the six degrees of separation, watch me. My breddren, Mr. Cisum, another Dj/producer over in Philly, he was the one who put me on to Will. I met Cisum while I was working on "Habibi, the Remix," a theatrical production, in smaller words, a play that incorporated Hip-Hop, Spoken Word, Break-dancing, and belly-dancing in Miami in 2004. I was a co-writer as well as the lead actor/emcee, alongside Hanan, the belly-dancer, Chillski, the breaker, Kimani, the poet, and Cisum, the Dj.

Three years later, I'm on my way to Brighton to do a show at the life go.

So yeah, to make a long story short, when I got to Brighton, Will met me at the station, and we headed back to his flat, where he and his roommate, Asbest the Moor King, live. The show was that night, so I relaxed for a bit, and checked out some material from his label, Latenite Lounging. The group that was opening up for me arrived at the spot, these younger cats from I think South London...Peedi (PDL II, Ford, and another yout, it's been awhile) so after a session of deep meditation, we headed over to the Fishbowl.

The show went well, Will SumSuch was on the 1s and 2s, Daddy Marcus played as well, and Asbest the Moor King opened up the show before the three younger cats from London. I met a lot of colourful characters that night, DJ Sinner, Richie Phoe, and the crowd received my show well, they were very supportive, and the place wasn't that big, but it was ram out. The best part of the night for me was when I did a rendition of Bob's "No Woman No Cry," with Will backing me on the guitar live. At one point, I repeated a verse, singing it acapella, and the entire bar was singing along, the vibez was wicked. So yeah, big up Brighton.