Tha 4orce – Mind Tha Gap Radio Show Promo

It’s been a long time since I tuned into any Radio Show to be honest.  Still haven’t recovered from the poison Westwood started to play on Radio 1.  That music killed my brain cells.  If it’s not the mainstream from the USA its the Grime and mainstream from the UK, I can’t escape the noise.

Like many people, I used to crave for the weekends Radio Shows. Making sure that I’ve been to Richer Sounds to get myself a fresh cassette tape to record the weekends entertainment.  The talk of the week was not what happened on East Enders but ‘did you hear that new track from so or so’.  The next mission was to head down to the record store to see if they have got the 12 inch single in. Exciting times, I’m sure many of you will agree.

These days I look to online stores to see whats out now, check out the player, or see what gets posted on facebook. The passion I used to have for listening to the Radio has recently come back, thanks to my partner in things audio creative THA 4ORCE.

Steven Ellington got down with King of the Beats Project a few years ago. He’s helped me on the label, but also joined me on a few trips to NYC.  He played a huge part in the last trip helping in the production of the upcoming film ‘Looking for the Perfect Beat’.  He recently got a prime time slot on Itch Fm.  Maybe I sound a bit bias but we have very similar tastes in music.  I love Hip Hop music made with samples, that boom bap, jazz groove, that East Coast NYC sound.  Don’t get me wrong I’m not hating on the UK, because there are plenty of UK producers who captured that sound. Samples, Beats and Grooves, Chemo and Sparkii Ski seems to be killing it right now. This show is me.

The Formula is what you expect from any good Hip Hop Show, turntable skills, doubles and mic skills.  Dedicated to new music only.  For dinosaurs like myself its great to hear new music that proves beyond any reasonable doubt that hip hop is alive and kicking.  Along side Photographer Andy Higgs we shot this piece to help promote the show.

After shooting this a week later we heard of the sad news of Choice FM letting DJ 279 go.  Replacing him with Westwood.  Maybe its even more important these days that we do pay attention to the Radio.  For so many years it has been the sauce and avenue to hearing new music.  You can tune into the Mind Tha Gap Show on Fridays 8pm -10pm at http://www.itch.fm

P.S This Radio Show has nothing to do with me, Its Steven Ellington’s Show.

A Message From Paul

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Hip Hop Serendipity

Wikipedia describes Serendipity as ..

“happy accident or pleasant surprise; a fortunate mistake. Specifically, the accident of finding something good or useful while not specifically searching for it.

This is how I would describe how my connection with Pritt came to be, it was quite literally an unsought and unintended but very fortunate discovery that I made when I stumbled purely by chance upon Pritt’s WordPress web site.

I will admit unashamedly that I had not heard anything about the Looking for the Perfect Beat documentary project before, but I was immediately captivated by everything about the project and it’s maker(s).

Everything I looked at and read up on the site just felt so right and all done for the right reasons. I sensed a lot of honesty and integrity and ambition here and I just said to myself I really want to meet this guy Pritt to just at the very minimum shake the guys hand and tell him ho impressed with his work I am.

So I connected with Pritt via Facebook and checked out his profile which just echoed exactly the kind of vibe that I had gained from his WordPress site. Here was a guy who was definitely creative, well connected, hard working and ultimately a guy who just was so genuine and the real deal.

I decided I needed to show as much support for this project as I could, So I posted links to Pritt’s site on my Facebook page, I’d posted the amazing piece of art created by Chris Malbon, and links to the trailer to just try and help in any way I could. I then purchased a ltd edition copy of the art as all the funds from these sales would go towards the project, and I was showing as many people the art as I could to anonymously support the project to try and help.

But as the days went on I just kept thinking about the project, I kept going back to the site to check out the trailer, read Pritts words, look at the interview with Chris and look at the poster that I would get in the mail very soon. And one thing kept coming back to me, the thought that I needed to meet Pritt.

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So I wrote Pritt an email via the Facebook site, and in some way tried to describe my admiration for all those things I mentioned earlier, and how in many ways I saw a parallel with his life and mine, mainly in his hard work and dedication, along with never having things easy. I told Pritt how I’m firm believer in trusting my intuition and this was really the main catalyst that gave me the courage to say hello and basically say look can we meet as I’d like to try and help you get to your goal in finishing the documentary. I had no idea what skill I could bring to the table but I just wanted to get involved and meet Pritt.

So we exchanged emails between us and arranged to meet yesterday and I drove down to Birmingham to have a meeting with Pritt at his house. As I got out of the car Pritt had come outside to greet me and we shook hands and said hello, and from those few moments I knew this guy really was the real deal and we would get along.

We talked and I was shown Pritt’s studio, his cameras and some of his immense archive of video footage. I can genuinely say I was blown away by his Hip Hop connections, I knew he was well connected but honestly I didn’t realize how well. Just seeing Jazzy Jay, Marley Marl and Ultramagnetic for starters was jaw dropping, but then to see other Hip Hop luminaries like Charlie Chase, Chuck Chillout and Grand Wizard Theodore on the screen just blew my mind..  and everyone who spoke about Pritt and how they saw him on these pieces of film just echoed all the sentiment that I had formulated prior to and during our meeting that here was a very well respected, honest, knowledgeable, hard working man full of integrity.

Pritt, it was an honor to meet you yesterday and I know we will be good pals for a long time to come. You truly are my spiritual Hip Hop brother.

Maybe things do happen for a reason!!

ChOCi

photographs by ChoCi

‘Letter To The Better’

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I’ve never been one to write articles, not having the time is the main reason, but after launching this site I chose to make an effort to do so. 

Cleverly titled ‘Talking Loud, and Saying Something’ a spin on the great James Brown Record. A event held in Italy by a true pioneer. Who encouraged to use my voice to inform and encourage others, telling my story of my love and passion for my art and culture.

Recently I received a few letters, and messages of support from people who have felt a real connection with my work.  One of those was from a Gentleman named Choci from Leeds.  It was a long letter, to be perfectly honest I was so tired when I read it I didn’t not fully digest what he was saying.  I saw that he was offering to help the team, carrying bags or taking pictures.  I wrote back thanking him for his offer and his letter just inquiring if he traveled to London much. We could meet up for a drink and talk about what he could do.  I checked out his photography and saw a lot of scope in taking some behind the scene shots.  I left it as that.

A few days had passed and things here back at home had taken a turn.  Financially I had hit a brick wall, ruined.  My father,  who many years ago got me into cameras, making me do all the filming at the family events.  10 years old walking round carrying a super size camera and video and battery pack over both shoulders, had become frustrated seeing me work so hard and putting so much time and effort into my art for really nothing back that we fell out over it.  My mother in her effort to keep the family together visited me, asking me if I was alright, eating ok, since loosing Giging last year.

She asked why do you do this, why do you work so hard on this for very little back, can you not stop?  I told her I can’t stop, I know and can see something will happen.  This new film can be the beginning of a new life. I always ask my family to come to my house see what I’m working.  I then said, just read some of these letters, look how my work has inspired people.  I then went on to read Choci’s letter.

As I read it out and got to the last paragraph, I took double take at the screen, I’m sure it didn’t read like this the first time I read it’. He was offering to contribute to the project.  The cost of me going back to NYC to finish the film.

My mother was like is he crazy?.  His letter ended with ‘Im not crazy’.  After my mother left I wrote to Choci explaining that It just never sank in what he wrote.  Ive never had a offer like that, so really I think we should meet, so I can find out who you are and you can see who I am.  I think within 20 mins he sent me a message back saying he is up for meeting the weekend.

Sunday came and he was at my house after 10 am.  He sat in my kitchen and told me a story of how 30 years ago we wrote Morgan Khan, a letter like the one he wrote to me, which lead to him working at Street Sounds and on the Electro’s. 

After going through some life changing experiences,  having his whole record collection stolen he lost a part of his soul.  Focusing more on his career and developing himself.  He went on to make a success of himself.  Passionate about things creative, he took up photography.

Somehow he came across my site and saw the trailer for the new film.  He felt a connection to my work ethic and life trials.  We sat and talked until 5pm.  I showed him the studio and a lot of the old, hidden movies I had worked on.

I remembered back to when I first met Marley Marl and how he gave me a lot of time, gave me a chance to show him what I was about leading to him allowing me to visit his home and shoot lots of film.  Although I’m not making any money. I have always tried to pass on knowledge or help others if I can.

Choci revealed his name was Paul and that he had supported my project and purchased the poster then made the offer again of financially helping towards the project.  After thinking long and hard about it, so many times I’ve turned down help as I wanted everything to be my work, I agreed to his offer as long as he joined me on the trip as photographer, capturing the behind the scenes.

I don’t know how this happened or if this is for real.  I keep thinking I’m going to wake up from a dream.  Maybe sometimes the message or the ideas you put out there really do have a effect on people 

Behind the Poster with Chris Malbon

Together alongside long time friend A.Dee we both traveled to Bristol to see Chris Malbon the Artist behind the King of the Beats Logo, branding and Poster.

To help fund the project we released a limited run of the poster that he created. As a special gesture Chris is hand signing all of them.

Of course me being me, not to waste any opportunity. I shot a short piece with the man, going into his history and background, and how he came up with the idea and concept for the movie poster. Both of us have come a long way from our days in the School Playground drawing Spiderman and the Hulk to see who was the better artist.

It was great that A.dee was able to join us, as he was the man who pushed me into becoming a film maker. In the early days the three of us used to talk about creating art and working together on some visual projects. Alongside Chris and Eric Orr, A.Dee agreed to create a poster and some art towards the project.

Money raised from the sales of the poster are to go back into the project. To return back to NYC to complete shooting. I would like to thank all those that have already supported the project and purchased their poster, they will be with you shortly.

For all those that would like to support the project You can get your Limited Edition Hand Signed Poster here