Main Source – Nile Rodgers – Abbey Road Studios

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For Many years I have worked off and on with the group Main Source. Founding members K-Kut and Large Professor have always supported my work and have taken part in my films.  Outside of the music we are friends.

2017 saw the 25 years Anniversary of the Classic Album Breaking Atoms, one of the best records ever made.  The Group flew me over to NYC to join them for the SOBS show.   My role was to help document the night.  It’s no secret that the groups history hasn’t been best one. Imagine they were 17 year olds with big ideas and talent that delivered songs that made them superstars they were under the spotlight, delivering classic 12 after 12.

25 years later, a lot older a lot wiser to the business,  both Large and K-Kut became Main Source again to perform for their fans, giving them the Main Source Experience.   This time was about friendships being rebuilt. I got to  witness and experience this moment as it happened.

2018 The group returned to the UK for a one off show at London’s Cargo.    We also made a guest appearance at Brixtons Hip Hop Chip Shop. Thank  to all that made the shows.

I left the following morning returning to the midlands, to continue my work on the Power of Now Project.  In the Evening XP called me and asked if I would like to Join him at a session at The Beatles Abbey Road Studios with the music Legend Nile Rodgers.  My first thought was your kidding, maybe you guys are drinking.  I’d love to but call me tomorrow, to let me know your serious.

Next day they called.  ‘We serious’ we want to do something for you’ they said.  So I drove to London and joined them.  I got the Studio and hour before them.  Both Large and Kev pulled up in a Taxi and together we entered the studio.  First thing I noticed was all the signs saying  ‘No photography’.  We was met by the manager of the studios who invited Large, He was a real fan of Main Source and wanted to meet him.  He went onto ask a few questions to the group then giving us a full tour of Abbey Road Studios, including The Beatles Room where there recording equipment is still kept.

We was then led to the top floor to join Nile Rodgers who was gracious and so happy to have us all there.  I sat there as he offered his services to the group, He would love to play on a Main Source Record .  It’s amazing to see how much Main Source’s music has had an impact on very serious musicians,  We were amongst people who worked on David Bowie’s music.  A number of great musicians and engineers.  I felt like a fly on the wall but infact they wanted me to part of the project.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We was later invited to a session with David Bowie’s team.  Where later we was put under the spotlight and I got to ask the crew a few questions.

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This turned out to be a incredible day.  On parting we joined Nile Rodgers in The Beatles Room where  we worked a  session, later we were left in the room to our devices to work.  I have some video but in respect to the Beatles I’m holding on to that.

I really appreciate the guys reaching out and asking me to join them.  I appreciate the friendship and respect they have for me. It means a lot.  I left there motivated.  It’s not a easy being an artist in the UK, every day its a feels like a battle but irrespective of all the challenges I /we, can not stop the inner drive and need to be busy and create.  Interesting I warned the organisers of the BMA’s after winning that, that I would not make it easy for anyone to follow in my  footsteps they unleashed a beast.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Returning to my home I had Former Beatminerz Producer Baby Paul staying at my home alongside Supa Emcee who people may remember from the movie 8 Mile battling Eminem.  I got to Listen and review their project.

Looking at Paul, I told him he’s got something big there.  The guy sleeping on my sofa has everything it takes to be the next big rap superstar.  totally out of my realm.

If marketed right, with some strong videos and visuals I’ll put money on him becoming a household name.  There is a gap in the market for him and i think it’s time the industry presented a new new face.

I’m going to watch their project closely, even though they asked if they can holla for me to review their progress.  I really wish them all the best.  I love to see my friends get productive and do well, to see them exercise their visions.  In this age of do it your self.  Everyday presents a challenge.  The challenge is to create the solution.  That is what motivates me and the people around me.

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Power of Now – New Video – Diceman – Bean Piez

The third video taken from the Limited Edition Pressing Power of Now.  Only 500 pressed of this genuine soon to be classic.  A huge thank you to everyone that purchased the LP in week 1. If you still you are not convinced here is video number 3 Bean Piez produced by J Depina and Key Figures

This was the first video I shot whilst in NYC.  I can remember landing the Friday Evening and shooting this Saturday morning.  By the afternoon I had edited the video and had it ready to present.   If you are record collecter or true hip hop fan this is the one record if you miss you will be kicking your self.  Hip Hop at its best for 2018.

Buy your copy here.

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KOTB 0010 – THE DICEMAN – POWER OF NOW – ORDER NOW LIMITED EDITION 500 ONLY.

After 2 years working on this project.  We are proud to present DICEMANS – THE POWER OF NOW LIMITED EDTION LP.  With music production from Key Figures and J Depina.  The second lp from the series Looking for the perfect Beat the movie directed by Pritt Kalsi which features the DICEMAN and group he comes from THE LEGION. 

From start to finish this lp is packed 21 pieces of music.  The Bronx is Back in effect.  We agree and firmly believe that you can drop the needle anyone this record and you will be pleased.  No features other than 1 track featuring the Legion the album is going back to a time where one MC can hold his own.  This is the Diceman.  Lots of thought and care, passion went into the making of this lp, it goes more than the music, from the artwork, its conception, turning it into the physical. We got special access to the plant and where taught how to make the vinyl ourselves.  The videos we shot ourselves. This is a labour of love and more than 25 years of experience on both our parts.  Both of us felt we had something to prove, joining forcesto deliver this a true hip hop classic.

Order yours now from the kingofthebeats storeShipping date Dec 1 2018.  Also look out for the behind the scenes makingof the record coming soon.

In the mean time we present you the POWER OF NOW. two tracks taken from the lp to launch this lp.

Bobbito Garcia presents Rock Rubber 45’s,

Whilst in the UK promoting his and Stretch Armstongs film a few years ago.  I got to meet the guys in Birmingham.  I went there to see there film and speak to Bobbito.  To show him some of the footage I shot with him almost 20 years ago.

I met him through DJ Moe Love from the Ultramagnetic M.C’s whilst working on my film.  He had totally forgot about our meeting.  I look a lot different now.  He mentioned he was looking for any footage of himself from the past.  I had an interview I shot in his appartment which I had no problem passing on to him.

It’s nice to see something I did, be used correctly with full credits given.  It’s a film that chronicles Bobbito journey.  From his personal battles, his passion for Basketball, Sneakers, Radio, Djing and film.

You can purchase the film here.

Catch the man himself in London

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BMA Best Producer 2018

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3 weeks ago I learned I had been nominated for the title, Best Music Producer 2018.  The newly launched Birmingham Music Awards (BMA’s) Is the Brain child of Dean Williams and Jo Jeffries who was in the group Atomic Kitten.  Alongside their partners they saw and exercised on their vision of creating an celebratory event that recognized musical and associated talents past, present and future.

Birmingham is the second Largest city in the UK but far too often gets overlooked, it was the home of Black Sabbath, Led Zeplin,  Napalm Death, Duran Duran, Ocean Color Scene, The Streets, UB40 and many more bands and artists too many too mention.  A very working class city that was rich in  Reggae culture, metal, punk, Soul, Jazz scene and later a Thriving hip hop scene. Today it boasts as the capital of Grime Music with some of its top artists hailing from the city that gave you the industrial revolution.

I had no idea what the BMA event was about and weather to even take it seriously until I was directed to the website and read about the people involved.  Although I make music,  produce and make records, shoot photography,  create artwork and video’s I’ve never felt a part of the ‘industry’  I just do what I do because it needs to be done.   Although I have been doing this since a child I really came into the scene as the music industry changed.  Many labels folded and the record deals were not there, the teams of people who worked behind the scenes to make a artist successful were not there to turn too.

This opened the doors to people like myself who of a creative nature, who have the passion and drive to help turn projects into something MORE.

I really pride myself on my art and more so my integrity.  I don’t swing to the left or the right, I’m all about Grass roots hip hop.  2 turntables a mixer, drum machine and a bunch of records. I’m not trying to re-invent the wheel.  I see it one way and that is its either a good or bad record and i’m only about good records.

So when this event came I didn’t know how to take it, I thought just go along and enjoy the evenings proceedings and have the experience.  Hip Hop in the city although it exists is often pushed in the furthest and darkest corner and often misunderstood and underrepresented.  Not on this night.

For my 20+ years Ive worked independently without sponsors on the projects I like to be involved in, through hard work determination passion and skill i’ve attracted the attention and time from some of piers. Which has allowed me to work with the some of the greatest artists who fall under the banner of hip hop.  I’m not alone there are many alike me but often we are forgotten.

So the day comes May 5th.  I arrive at the event alone for 5pm.  As I arrive Duran Durans John Taylor arrives and is sat at the table in front of me.  I just sit there enjoying a few drinks just watching the industry mingle.

Quickly this venue fills up and a buzz with artists.  They open the doors to ceremony and I decide to just sit at the back.  By then I did met someone I knew and that was Adam Regan owner of the Hare & hound located in Kings Heath.

It started to dawn on me that this is big thing.  Mid point of the event they announced  the producer category.  As the name were read out there was applauds for all respectively but when name was mentioned it was ghost town.  I’m pretty glad now that I sat the back.  The winner is, they named me..I didn’t clock at first and Adam said it you, go and have your moment.  Walking through the middle to the front to get to the stage my mind was blank.  I remember UB40 who were sat at the side of the stage were really happy for me and blessed me with some high fives.

On the stage didn’t know what to say but I remember I felt like I had to mention some of the acts Ive had the privilege to work with just so that those in the crowd could at least digest that I’m here and I have done something.

Returning to my seat it started to sink in, that Ive been living in a bubble, Ive never been part of group or a collective but still i’ve stayed loyal to this city.  My relationships were based on individual basis’s.  A lady from Sky came to me and asked had I really done these projects had I really worked on the project with Common.  I said its there you can buy it, its got my name on it.  It dawned on me that some of things I talked about to people in the passed were true.  In this bubble of hip hop community its more often the people within it that are killing the scene and stifling genuine talent and halting growth.

I remembered a conversation I had with then Zulu Queen Incheye where I pointed out hip hop won’t be saved by the people within it, we live this and do it everyday it will take just as did when Malcolm McLaren exposed it to the world someone from the outside looking at it and unearthing to the world outside it the energy and creativity from those who are true to this artform.

Later at the after party I was still a little dumbfounded and asked how this happened.  I was told 7 music professionals looked at my body of work and story and all agreed I deserved this award.  Now 2 weeks later looking back at the event I can really say this was not just win for me or The 4orce who I must really credit for the project he worked so hard on Setting Standards, this was a win for Hip Hop Music and all those that dedicate their lives to it, endless searching through crates looking for the perfect beats and grooves, who practice on turntables all hours, programming and so forth.  It’s a win for the underdog.. I really appreciate those that hit me up from people I went to school with and grew up with that saw me doing this as a kid but also The Chuck D’s and A.Gs Breakbeat Lous, The Legion who reached out to me straight away who fully understood and saw it the way I say it.

When is it the last time that in the UK has a British hip hop artist with a traditional sound won a industry award covering all genres.  It goes to show that whatever we think, still people within the music industry can look at something pure and respect its artform and those who put their heart and soul into it.

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Pogo and Bunny Bread both told me to work this award and turn it into something.  Coming home to show my parents was the best thing, they understand my passion they have to deal with it, they are the ones who see their son working all hours for 25 years with very little in return. This meant more to them then it did to me.  They saw a professional acknowledgement.

I promise this I will be part not just of the Hip Hop scene but part of this fine cities music legacy.  I have that BBoy in me, the bar has been set, so take me on and beat me you have to be good and I take on and welcome any one that deserves this award.  I’m not going to make it easy for anyone..The original art form is in the building!

 

A.G – Night of Fire video

Over a year ago A.G. from the legendary group DITC presented me with a challenge.   He had just finished this song that he felt I could be the right person to assemble a video for.  

He liked my work on the video ‘BLOW’  and wanted to see what  I could come up with for his new recording ‘Night of Fire’.  Giving me free range he asked me to interpritate the song and create something

Over and over I listened to it.   A.G is one of the best songwriters in Hip Hop.  He and O.C are among my favourites, maybe its the way he writes, I always felt on his latest material its about reading between the lines, what is he trying to say, what point is A.G making.  I felt the song was provoking and required some very proking images, some of them quite disturbing but for me where much needed.  I didn’t want to sugar coat anything and appreciate that A.G gives me 100% freedom to create on this.  I will say Blow was a joint effort, as once i presented the video he offered some input that I did take on and made changes.

Working along A.G for some while I’ve noticed there has been an evolution and growth in his art.  Speaking with him he is very conscious of the world around him and the fact that he does have great power in his writing, and that using the gift he’s been blessed with to put out music that speaks to world touching on some of the very uncomfortable realities which irrespective of one’s location, whether it be forest projects or Birmingham City UK, Somewhere in Poland, Burma or Bangladesh as example that he speaks to us all.

I like working with M.C’s like A.G and I’m very picky who I choose to work with, The music has to have substance otherwise I just don’t have anything to offer.  Subtitles has become a thing for me.  In this age of unprovoking songwriting and in my personal opinion an amateur level of rap, A.G and those like him who are very clever songwriters appeal to all ages, all races and I feel yes there are young people who are still looking for something with substance and thought-provoking.  So its become important to me to add subtitles so where ever you are in the world having the subtitles allows all to digest and decipher what A.G is saying.

I can remember presenting the video to A.G who had no idea or any inclining of what I was putting together.  I won’t repeat what he said to me, but his response let me know that I hit the mark.

If you are looking for an album of substance, your money will be well spent on THE TASTE OF AMBROSIA, order your copy here.

 

Record Store Day – Common, produced by No. I.D out now. Black Pegasus Records.

This project has been in the making for the last 6 months.  I have worked alongside Marc Davis owner and Founder of Black Pegasus Records for over a decade on a number of projects. 

Like the Ultra 45s here is another record for record store day.  As pure and grassroots as it comes.  Marc went to school with Common and No I.D, as children they shared their journey and love for music together.  Common went onto be Oscor winner artist and No I.D the C.E.O of Def Jam.  Marc held onto the demos they made so many years ago.  Common had forgot about them and was pretty amazed Marc had held onto them for so many years.

Knowing that Marc was on his own journey Common and No I.D embraced his ideas and vision and independence.  i remember getting the call where Marc left Common after a meeting in their home city of Chicago where Common gave him his blessing to put them out.  What ever you need, ill support the project.

Imeidatly we got to work.  My role then was to create the logo and artwork.  We came up with the name Seven Sense, a play on his original name and that the format would be 7 inch singles.  Marc asked me if i could revamp Commons original logo.  Create the label and cover.

As busy as Common is he promised he would be onboard and support Marc.  I admire that, Marc built and still is building his label himself, one record at a time.  Every record supported by the artsit.  This record marks a milestone.  Here are two artists Common and No I.D that never forgot where they come from , they returned to support thier old friend.  Black leaders supporting a Black eneterprise.

As Marc worked on the manufacture of the record my role was to guid him and help execute and deleiver a promo video.  Again praise to Common who whilst filming in L.A worked alongside us to deliver what we needed.

Cop your copy of real record store Gem, another holy Grail from Black Pegasus.  

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