Today Launching Ultramagnetic M.C’s Limited Edition Sneaker with Ewing Athletics created by the Busy Bodies.

For the last 2 years I have not been able to speak about this project.  Mainly because it was too hard to believe it was actually happening.  The country had gone into lockdown and the world came to a halt as the pandemic first struck.  I was put onto furlough.  Asked to remain at home to stay safe while the government works on a plan to contain the virus.  

Whilst at home I threw myself into my creative work, taking full advantage of the time at home.  There came a time when the people in charge of this country put an end to the lockdown and allowed people to return to some sort of normality.  Gatherings were limited and people still had to social distance.  I was at a BBQ in london.  The host of the event came to me and showed me a pair of sneakers that took me by surprise.  I was a little offended that I had not had a pair sent to me due to my friendship with the artist.  I was pissed off.  

Returning home after the BBQ I was still feeling a certain way.  I sketched out an Ewing Sneaker and created a sneaker inspired by the Album Funk Your Head Up by the Ultramagnetic M.C’s.  I liked the style of how the guys dressed on that LP cover.  I like Timberlands.  I created a fake advert as if the sneaker was real.  I showed my friend Marc Davis who has been a colleague and long time collaborator. Both of us are not only fans of the group but over the years have worked with the group as well.  I have real friendships with all members of the group.   

I fooled Marc with the advert, he thought it was a real sneaker.  We decided to send the advert to whoever was running Ewing Athletics.  After some time we discovered David Goldberg is running the brand.  We contacted him and within an hour David contacted us setting up a meeting stating he wants to make this sneaker.  

I remember thinking, is this for real?.  After a discussion with David and Marc we decided to create something to mark 35 years of Critical Beatdown.  David graciously asked me to come up with some designs for the sneaker to present.  We used the Rouge Sneaker.  The reason I went with that was that I was thinking back to the guy’s interest in the Star Wars original movies.  Rebel Base comes to mind.  After agreeing on the design we discussed the packaging.  Again David left it to me to have full creativity on the box design and paper.  This led to me and Marc looking at the opportunity to do something very special here and came up with the idea to put an album together to go with the sneaker.  A Vinyl LP was too big to fit into the box so together with David we agreed to package the Sneakers with cassette tape.  Marc Reached out to TR Love who presented a live performance recording.  Marc got the tape mastered and passed on to me to select and edit the piece to be used.  I also got to design the cassette artwork .  I chose to put the sneaker on the cover to cement the package and that in years to come anyone that has this cassette will know it is paired with a sneaker.  

We then went into a meeting with Kool Keith which Ced Gee later Joined.  Me and Marc presented the project to him which took him by surprise.  The story behind how it came about impressed Keith.  So much so i remember when Ced Joined the meeting he said Ced, Pritt tell him how you made this happen.  Ced could not stop laughing.  I won’t forget that meeting.  Lots of great energy. 

We went into a further Zoom meeting, introducing David to both Ced and Keith.  David later met them in person.  Some months later David sent over the first pictures of the prototype sneaker.  It looked awesome.  They kindly sent me the first prototype of the shoe.  It was not a pair. Only one shoe was made.  I can’t explain the feeling when that box arrived and I opened a box containing a show I designed off the back of what was a fake advert.  A very proud moment.  

We have kept quiet about the project fearing it may not happen.  But it is.  As you read this, on this day the sneaker is released to the public. Look out for the special limited edition pack with the cassette for all the die-hard Ultra fans.  Yesterday. I had a meeting with David where he showed me the box.  I have not received my pair yet.  I would be lying if I said I am not excited to get my pair.    You can order your pair here.

Off the back of these Sneakers me and Marc Davis have formed a partnership under the banner THE BUSY BODIES after one of my favourite Laurel and Hardy Movies.  Both of us have a long history in this Hip Hop culture and both have been on our own journeys.  We both run record labels and have been friends for what is now about 20 years.  We have already completed our second sneaker with Ewing Athletics which will be released at a later date.  Working with David is a real pleasure. His heart is in the culture and has a passion and respect for our ideas and creativity.  We keep the business very simple and we create something special. 

40 OZ Saga featuring Anthony Danza – Edited by Pritt Kalsi co directed

After almost a year we return to produce 2 more shows of the 40 Oz Saga.  The team lead by Ron Hygh and Sean Jennings AKA the Diceman of the group the Legion reassemble back in Seattle with the crew at Mob Studios.

After reflecting on the first 2 pilot issues ( which you can view on my earlier bog post).  We was able to see where we can improve on the past episodes. 

This is a collective effort where everyone from the studio, production, the band the hosts and myself sat in meetings planning and discussing how we can tweak the show. 

My role again is the final editor, we concluded in future that  I should also take on a onsite directorial role. 

Although Ron is a New Yorker he has relocated and is very connected within the Seattle Scene.  This Episode I was introduced to Anthony Danza, a very successful artist in that city and area. 

On the postproduction I have access to Mob Studios Server where I had to download 509 GB of content for the 2 episodes.  After 80 hours downloading the files It spent a further 41 hours editing.  Please bear in mind I’m working on a 2013 Imac. 

I see lots of potential with the show.  The studio and environment created by the team at Mob is everyones dream space going into something like this.  The band are very very good.  They work with the artist s very hard to deliver and interpret their sound.  We are in a very good position.  I have expressed my concerns and see where on the editing side they do need to invest in a new machine for me just so I can edit with out seeing smoke coming out the side of my computer.  Joking aside really to put 509GB through a machine at one time requires a lot of power. 

To be the Machine you have to have the machine.

Photograph : Tom Humphries

One day I wont be here – Tom Humphries

Photograph taken by local Photographer Tom Humphries. I was able to sit with him after fellow photographer Stuart Myers mentioned to me that Tom wanted to take my picture.

Im really quite fussy when it comes to having my picture taken. I know I got an eye for images and feel and play the role of Art Direction and in this case I didn’t have control which takes me out of my comfort zone.

He took a few pictures, but personally this is my favourite. To this date if I can leave with one image this is it. I’m sincerely passionate about what I do and how I’m taken. For fist time I seen the tole on my face for the many many years of hard work I’ve been putting into this culture. Thanks Tom you gave me and my family something to really appreciate, one day I wont be here.

New Show edited by Pritt Kalsi 40 0z Saga

The 40 OZ Saga is the brain child of both Ron Hygh and Diceman Sean Jennings of the Legion. 

Both of them hailing from the Bronx NYC came together after a great opportunity came about whilst Ron had been recording some sessions at this Studio located in Seattle.  Mob Studios is this incredible unit, laid out to accommodate recording artists, filmmakers and events.  The team at the studio are highly skilled and carry a wealth of experience within the Media and music field.

Sean had spoken to me a few times regarding this idea that had been presented to him by Ron and that he would like to introduce me to him to listen to his idea and possibly add on. Brainstorming together to help create a plan in turning his idea into a reality. 

Ron had everyone at the studio on board.  What did we discuss?  I asked what is their vision? Who is your target audience? What resources are available?  How do we invision the interviews going?  Where can we take the show? How can we be different? 

What can I bring to the table?.  Firstly as an editor, I can put the show together and edit it.  Even though I live in the UK and the show is filmed in Seattle can we find a solution where I can work and complete and present a show in good time. 

Also we talked about the direction and having a clear plan.  After a few meetings with Ron and Sean the next meetings were with the team at Mob. 

Prior to the meeting, they made themselves very aware of my work and abilities and together we discussed how I could access the footage. Which proved to be simple as they gave me access to their server.  We discussed the shots, camera angles and the spaces to be used within their studio. 

This is a completely new venture for everyone involved. The skills and abilities the tools the talent are all there, but we are not under any illusion that this will take time. It is not easy to be in front of the camera. To conduct an interview and get the best out of somebody is not something simple.  

What is show – 40 0z Saga is a show aimed at black and wider audience dealing with grown men issues.  Ron himself is very invested in a healthy lifestyle.  As a chef, he has his own business and cares enough about men’s health that he wanted to put this programme together.  He has a history with Sean from their younger years in the golden era days of Hip Hop.  Ron was ne responsible for many of the designs of the well known Troop Brand in his youth.  Sean had a record deal with his group The Legion releasing a record considered a classic Jingle Jangle. 

Last year they filmed two episodes, which I edited.  Looking back we held these shows back, using them to reflect on how we can make the show better.   Since then we filmed two new episodes which will be released soon. 

I see lots of potential here.  What separates them from the many other black media outlets is the production values which makes the 40 OZ Saga stand out for me.  With the house band the studio, the team that originally was set out to be a zoom type platform podcast is what you see above.  This is more than a conversation or podcast, this is a Saturday night show. Performances by the very talented house band, Sean and guests. 

It is important to remember that there has been no outside investment from anywhere this is a production made by a few people that thought it was a good idea and that it was important to them to make it.

If you are in the UK and looking to produce an upscale show, and are looking for direction or editor feel free to contact me.  As the call me in the States ‘The Wizard’

A conversation with New York Giant Mikey D

Mickey has been a long time supporter and collaborator with me and the team at KOTB.  I was and still am a huge fan of the second Main Source LP, F What you think.  The Album featured the Legendary Queens M.C.  Former Sleeping Bag artist who recorded with the Engineering and Producer giant that was Paul C (RIP).  Along side their DJ Johnny Quest they released a line of hit singles including ‘My Telephone’ and ‘Comin in the House’.

Back in 2008 on a trip to NYC I met up with Mikey to film him for the project that I later released as ‘Memories of Paul C McKasty’.  A year later he was on a plane here to the UK after I was able to bring him over to the UK with the help of Kev De Kosta and the Brighton Hip Hop festival. 

Over the years regularly we communicate, as friends and fellow artists, we help each other obtain and achieve our goals. 

Mikey recently has ventured into building his brand Pass the Torch where his aim is to bridge the gap between generations of artists and creativity.  Slowly creating a community where together we can all learn from each other’s experiences and ideas. 

He has been putting the spotlight on artists that came before him that most of us may not of heard about.   People, who influenced, guided him throughout his career. 

If you are interested in hearing about the man and the conversations he has with the many guests Mikey features on his show Follow his Channel. 

I got to join Mikey for one of his live feeds as a guest. It was a good experience.

Minima supporting our project

We would like to thank the Team at Minima based in the Hockley area of Birmingham City for supporting me as a Birmingham City Independent Artist, by stocking our latest works.

Minima is a very contemporary home furniture and lighting store selling some very stylish and unique pieces. I first went there after Mr Wynters invited me there for a pop-up store he was having at the location.

The Owner and Staff were very friendly and interested in some of the things I was involved in. I felt our book and Shaw Theatre Project would be a suitable product to fit into their line of products.

I can see some pop up events and Collaborations happing in the future. If you are in the City and would like to get a copy of the Lp or Book. Pop into Minima you won’t be disappointed.

For those of you that are unaware, the King of the Beats label has released a rare Hip-Hop jam from 1985 on vinyl. What’s special about ut is that it was the first time major Hip-Hop acts from the Bronx, New York shared a stage with some of the best Hip-Hop performers from the UK’s fledgling scene.

As more than a few people have pointed out recently, in my 35+ years doing what i do, I’ve pioneered a few things. Things which were considered ‘game-changers’. Such as;

1) I was the first writer to have a tag that was exclusively calligraphic.

2) I came up with the term ‘Calligraffiti’ in 1983.

3) I was the first writer on this side of the Atlantic to have an aerosol piece on billboards all over the country.

4) In 1994, I wrote, produced, & directed a feature-length documentary on Aerosol Culture called ‘Get The Message’. As far as i know, at that point, no writer had done that (Still I’ll not forget the work of writers like Kilo with his ‘Visual Graffix’ vids that were crucial in documenting the train scene).

5) As far as I know, I’m the first writer to literally spray-paint record covers for an album release. Not have paintings turned into printed covers like what Futura 2000 did for the Celluloid label in the 80’s but literally paint the covers so that each buyer has a piece of my art for themselves.

Swipe through the pics to Check it out.

Huge Thanks to Pritt & Marzena K – @magentadk who took the awesome pics! & Of course the guys at AM Screen Printing in Redditch for use of their space!

I couldn’t have done it without you all!

ADee

DIGGERS ISSUE 1 LAUNCH AT THE DISKERY

Saturday the 5th of February 2022 saw the launch of our new venture. Diggers is our quarterly art and creative book. An inside look at the world we created featuring works from photographers, illustrators, film-makers and Graff Artists. It is there to promote our clothing brand and record label.

We felt that it has been long overdue and that if no one was going to help us by giving us a feature or even a platform to showcase our world and work that we would create our own platform our own lane.

There is way too many gatekeepers in the industry and people who could help that choose not to. We have been dedicated and loyal to our work and colleagues. We stick to our beliefs and core values, our integrity means a great deal.

I will stand by my statement and say that we produce the finest quality works by far in the city. Where we fail is our marketing and promotions.

This weekend of the 5th Feb we launched our first issue alongside our Shaw Theatre project in conjunction with the legendary Artist the Artful Dodger. This project itself has taken 2 years of my life to turn into a real product. Together with the team at The Diskey Birmingham ( the oldest Record Store in the UK Est 1952) joined forces to present our new projects.

Saturday morning I was joined by the Artful Dodger also known as 2000 A.Dee setting up for the days event. Turntables Records and Books to go. I can not forget the staff at the Diskey Liam, Lee and Peter who went above and beyond to make people very welcome, offering Tea, Beer and Wine to the days visitors.

Slowly as the day progressed we started to get a lot of visitors, Some of the faces and some new ones. Stuart Myers one of the Photographers featured in the Magazine, was honoured with his presence. He was in the city taking pictures with a very good street photographer who goes by the name Ant Foster.

I really appreciate all those that visited and supported our day. We had people travelling from London, Nottingham, Derbyshire to name a few. Huge thanks to all of you. DJ Sparra and Damian joined us for the day too. Both of these guys play a big part in the labels becoming.

Marzena Klajbert the photographer who’s images of us working on the Shaw Theatre Project lead me to create the book joined us for the day too. For those that attended and purchased the books took full advantage of the time and place and quickly got books signed by many of the people who contributed or were featured in it. The day was about everyone coming together and acknowledging this talented pool of hidden gems, a small army of creatives that still dwell in the city of Birmingham.

Look forward to more events at the Diskery.

Tune into some interviews with some of the people featured in this our first issue.

HOCKLEY MARKET JAN 2022

Our stall at Hockley MKT Jan 2022

Alongside my childhood pal Jason Coombes we took part in our second appearance at Hockley Socials Monthly MKT.

A monthly market made up of a wide range of interesting local independent businesses. We are there selling our Diggers branded clothing and Records from the King of the Beats Label. This weekend was special as we made this day the first day that the public could get their hands on our new vinyl release. The Shaw Theatre Art Project.

Each and every cover is painted by the original Graffiti Artist The Artful Dodger. A true Legend in this artform. Somebody I have had a friendship almost 25 years.

Long before that as a child when I first got into Graffiti and Hip Hop I had seen his Tag and was totally blown away by it. Although we have done bits together over the 25 years this is probably our first official project presented to the public together.

The project we presented has been 2 years in the making. Saturday the 29th at Hockley Socials MKT seemed the perfect opportunity to present the piece to the public. In respect, we could of done it better. I did kind of hijack the projector in Cafe Artum to screen footage of A.Dee painting the LP Cover which to my disappointment people didn’t really connect to our stand. However, those that did catch on came over to find out more.

9 covers painted by A.Dee
9 more covers painted by A.Dee

Catch us Hockley Social MKT 30th Jan 2022

Catch me this weekend alongside the team at Hockley Social Club where on the 30th they are doing the Artists indi Market,. This will be the first opportunity to own a copy of our new lp. Its a very special piece, every cover individually painted by the UK Graff legend THE ARTFUL DODGER. taking it back the early days of UK Graffiti.

This is a limited edition piece once they are gone they are gone. This is a cultural piece and to this day there has been nothing like it presented like it in the UK. All the items we are selling is our own productions, the bigger aim is to help fund the movie I have been working on for the last 20 years. Remember Hockley Social Club the Sunday the 30th. 10 am – 2pm

Record & Book Launch – Sat 5th Feb – The Diskery Birmingham.

Come Join us Saturday the 5th of Feb at Birminghams Diskery ( Record Store ). The Original Artful Dodger presents his project. THE SHAW THEATRE 1985. Each and every cover is individually painted by the legendary artist. Tha 40rce will be there, Look out for Setting Standards 3 coming soon. Pritt Kalsi will be there to launch the new artbook from him. The book features photography and art from the team who behind the scenes help the label on the projects. The Book is limited, with only 100 copies printed.

Huge Thanks to The Diskery for their support. Check out portraits of the Diskery team in the book.