DJ Supreme Ft Curoc ‘RIP’ Video Directed by Pritt Kalsi.

Some years ago I worked on a project with one of my idols DJ Supreme from the group HIJACK. If I remember rightly it may have been DJ Woody that put me onto him. I was working on my film, ‘THE MEN & THEIR MUSIC’. This was in the early 2000’s.

Living in Zurich now Supreme sent me some footage over for my project. He later saw the film I was working on alongside the trailer that I had made public at the time. Some years later he asked me to work on a film with him depicting his experience / life and musical journey. For those that may not be familiar with DJ Supreme’s legacy go ask any member of the Skratch Piklz about his influence.

Soops as he known played a massive role in the development of DJing and scratching styles. He and DJ Undercover turned scratching into a language. Most of us got to hear it via the records that came out by them via the group HIJACK. A group that certainly spearheaded alongside the likes of Blade and gunshot the sound Europeans coined Britcore. A term that I really hate.

Why well in those days buying records there was no UK section or USA section. In specialist shops there was the import section, but in those days you would find a hijack record next to Public Enemy record and so forth. The record was measured by weather it was good or bad, and Hijack for me was in the good end of the spectrum of Hip Hop music.

The film was really to mark the departure of supreme from the music scene so that he could go forth and work on new challenges. Instead it sparked a new interest in him and telling the stories of some of contributors to this culture.

One of things I have spoken about many times with the artist I have worked closely with over the years is this thing called ‘Artist’. I have always worked with or been fortunate to be around some people who fall under the title of ‘True Artist’. For me this is not about doing something because it’s cool or because it’s the in thing its where individuals or parties share this common will and calling to create. No matter how old you get or by the media how unpopular you may be today these artists will always have a uncontrollable urge and desire to create.

I think this was the challenges that supreme ended up facing once again. This lead to him working on the recent 25 years Anniversary project putting out the HIJACK LP. Although I was not part of that I watched closely. Me and Soops was working on a project together and in the middle of that I got caught up into a terrible personal situation that I had to leave and deal with. Supreme in that time also faced some personal issues, he was being called and drawn back into making music.   A year ago he played me some of the material. I heard the song with Curoc from the group Son of Noise another group that came in the height of British hip hop. I instantly said that if I would a video it would be for that song.

One year later. Supreme took me out with fader and gave me a call and we discussed about the possibilities of making this video. Right now I’m caught up in rebuilding my home. Living in a building site but still this song is something I wanted to do.

We fixed a day and met up in London to shoot. I would say 2 weeks of planning went into this. Tomsta and Curoc in London picking out some locations. There was some picture I had seen of Supreme and Curoc in Europe wearing the classic double goose a jacket that I have talked about before. A jacket that represents the ultimate golden era image of hip hop. It is a jacket associated with real street credentials. This is jacket that sadly many lost their lives over. So knowing its history I wanted to use this jacket to make a statement. With the right people wearing it, I think viewers will feel the power of these two heavyweights in Hip Hop music and that we could create an iconic image that has been missing for many years in this scene.

My vision was to create a wakeup call for a scene that just felt dry to me, maybe because its my age. I grew up captivated by Hip hop culture; it was always exciting to me, I’m pretty sure for those that also came up in it the same time know what I’m talking about. Those times were times of innovations in sounds, sampling, mixing and scratching. Radio and the press was in your face. The social climate of the time played a huge factor. In the early 80s to have £15 to buy a pair of Nike Bongos was something very special you had to wait a long time to get them. Now people have no hesitation in spending stupid money on Nikes.

It was a time of real crews, posse’s and firms. Hijack always had this image that like Ultras gave you the impression that they were ‘top boys’, not to be messed with. This is what I aimed for in this video. For me the success of this video is owed to the song first, music by Supreme, scratches by Supreme, Renegade and Mada all who were part of that golden age and repped that south London sound, Curoc’s performance played a huge part of this video success, although he was slightly unaware of what was capturing. He delivered the best performance in my opinion for the last 15 years captured on any hip hop video. I have said I challenge anyone to post a video equal to that capturing that gut feeling and iconic imagery of that golden age period and make it now without it looking like it’s a retro video. Everything in this video is right for me. The combination of myself, Supreme, Curoc the right song and additional help and support from Andy Higgs and Tomsta. I cannot forget the cameo’s. Featuring members from Son Of Noise, HQ, Hardnoise, Katch 22 and Standing Ovation this video pays tribute and salutes those that were part of that fantastic sound.

One of the details Im happy we executed was the contrast between the 2 main characters Supreme and Curoc and those stood behind them on the Bridge shot. It’s the little details one should pay attention too. Although very still everyone in the shot apart from Curocs son is a made man. Shaka Shazaam practically caught my eye. When you think back to the 80s and early period of the 90s fashion played a massive part in hip hop culture. This didn’t mean spending lots of money on outfits but creating a look that identified your character or what you was into. The UK in those days had its moment and lead in the way of urban hip hop style. Shaka proved that here in the UK and our 40s that we can still create have very British urban style and have integrity. The contrast between him and the main performers donning the double gooses only helped amplified what I believe will become noted as an iconic performance by Curoc.

It’s a real shame that we do not have the machine or thing industry we once had in this country. The printed press or the magazines like HHC too support projects like this, sadly i feel that’s significant moments likes this will pass unacknowledged by the media. It was a great pleasure directing and editing this video. It was a greater pleasure that it’s been so well received and has lit a fire in so many. I can say for sure this is could be the first page in a new chapter in British Hip Hop.

My part in this project is dedicated to my good friend never forgotten Mark B RiP

 

 

The Legion -Is it the fans killing Hip Hop?

While in NYC I got to work with the group the Legion.   By chance I was working at the Zulu Nation event alongside mentor, brother and great friend Jazzy Jay. For two weeks I had got a crash course in building and setting up speakers. Anyhow at one of the days events The Legion were scheduled to perform.

I’m a big fan of their music, They kept and maintained the sound of New York alive. I introduced my self and spoke to them about the project I’m working on and if they would like to take part in the project.

The legion have guts they are not colored or swayed by the current sounds or trends in the music. When many claim to be keeping the music alive, there music comes from the gut and gives me that feeling of some 20 years ago where for many of us I was excited to hear what’s coming or what’s next, every week there was something to look forward too.

Hip Hop music in its best forms has always come from the gut. As a listener or fan the best records that we have in our collection were all made from that same blueprint.

The spirit of the culture in its purest form can be found here.   This was part of the magic of Hip Hop so powerful that honest music like this influenced many across the seas in the way we make music, dress and carry ourselves. Whilst in NYC I spent some time with The Legion and got to sit on the new album. Since coming back its been playing on my mind and bugging me.

When people say that Hip Hop is dead blaming the artists, who change their sounds or don’t live up to the expectations to their fans delivering pretty standard albums I came to the conclusion that we the fans are hugely part to blame for this and the demise in the creativity of the current state of Hip Hop. There are some great records that we passed on, and lot of that is because how some people are listening to music is changing.  Some so called Hip Hop fans play it safe and avoid the street music and prefer to listen to that nice hip hop that just talks about hip hop and how much they love it forgetting the grit and soul it came from, that’s fine if that’s what there into but personally this is where i’m lost, i miss the message that was being delivered by the music that had guts.  It presented a picture of the day to day dealings and struggles, the highs and lows of living in the inner city.  The music where artists / groups were driven by competition of being not just the best they can be, but better then the next group.  Where the above strived to add and contribute to this music.  Where producers lived for being creative, Im not saying that today’s music is bad, but the accepted bar or level of whats good isn’t that high.  Being different is too often used to disguise the lack of real talent.

Why that period of the 80s and 90s was so fantastic was melting pot of great music, styles and sounds that were being created, artists worked hard to just get on a platform to make a mark. This goes down even to the jams where MC lined up to get on the mics and spit. The Legion encompasses all that. I firmly believe that if the people and the fans of hip hop don’t get behind this new album, then yes hip hop is dead but it was the fans that killed it, because they are going to deliver a true classic here. From start to finish this album comes from the gut. Here is a group that still has the passion drive and hunger to add to list of great records in that timeless discography of HIP HOP albums.

Yes this is only my opinion but after listening to the is album, spending time with the group what they are delivering is what I spent my life trying to aspire too. There is lesson to be learn’t from the guys in The Legion. They are the blood and guts of this music. I really hope that people pay attention to this Album. Let this one slip and you was part of the demise and death of hip hop.

 

AG – Blow Video

A.G with out a doubt one of the greatest M.C’s of all time. An artist that has got better and better over the years, as Sparkii Ski put it earlier. One of those Golden Era M.C’s that you never get tired of hearing his music, he has took it to another level.

I’ve known AG for some years, In fact AG was one of the few people that reached out to me in my most difficult times. Aside from that he and Ray West forged their very independent record label Red Apples 45 that put out some of the most interesting project out of the last few years.

I can not remember how I heard the track BLOW, but I heard it early. I loved this track and for some time I wanted to have a go at creating something different for it. Not the norm.

I approached AG and he welcomed me to put something together. I did a rough first edit for which he liked. He suggested a few changes which again I have to hand to him..Like Diamond D, AG will work alongside you turning what was an idea into real piece.

So here it is, my video for the song Blow. No prizes for guessing which movie I sampled.

You got to have style and be original..yes thats me

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Aside from my passion for film and music I have always been involved in making garments for myself. At School I would hand paint t-shirts at collage I would create images that could be heat pressed onto shirts.

At 17 years old I was introduced to the world of screen printing and got to meet Tony from AM SCREENPRINT. He still runs the company based in Redditch. I started creating some designs which he printed and brought to life. To this day I still use his company.

Over the years I created lots of designs of shirts that I would sell amongst friends or at events, there was a time me and legendary artist A.Dee also known as the Artful Dodger would put stuff out together. Everything we did was aimed at the hip hop market. Going back into the 90s era we very influenced by Star Wars in a lot of our creations.

These were the days that I really didn’t pay too much attention to the way I personally dressed I was more interested in the creating rather than paying attention to fashion.

Its only when I got divorced that things took a turn. One thing my ex commented on that was she didn’t really like the way I dressed most of the time. Thinking that if that meant so much to her I through all my clothes away in a effort to save my marriage. That made no difference at all. So I was left without a wardrobe.

Entering that dark space most people go through I just went about re-inventing myself. I would head over to TK Max and dig for clothes. Amongst my close friends we set some rules. I could not spend more that £10 on a shirt or £20 on pair of jeans, this made things very interesting for me. I started to pick out stuff, but at the same time started to notice how the styles of shirts have changed. The days of Fruit of the loom shirts are over, there are better quality garments being offered at affordable price now.

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Another thing was that I was spending a lot more time round my parents now, seeing them and hanging around. For the first time in my life I started to notice the textile work my mother had been doing and was so passionate about long before I was born. These are the things we often don’t notice and take for granted. She has this embroidery machine that she is into that she would make clothing for the grandchildren. It’s a digital machine driven by a USB stick. I had already been getting king of the beats and Diggers hats / jackets being embroided by AM Screen Print.

I just wondered if it would be possible to put my logo onto one off pieces for my self using her machine. Like I said times have changed and my tastes and dress changed. I still want to have a connection to the music and culture I love but I just want to appear a bit smarter and well dressed to how I used to be.

I would dig for garments shirts / boots in stores like TK Max that were unbranded and customize them making them my own. I now have a wardrobe full of out fits that Ive created and personalized. This went pretty far to a point where I started to create pieces for Diamond D, Break Beat Lou, Jazzy Jay, Tha 4orce and Large Pro. I didn’t do this alone, I would do these with the help of my mother.

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Now that my parents are getting on, My mother in her 70’s this has brought us together, It keeps her mind active keeps her creative, plus she become somewhat of celebrity among my hip hop friends. It made her very proud to see artists wearing her creations, items she hand made for them. You can see the Biker style jackets we created inspired by the pre Hip Hop gangs of New York on my Instagram.

I have been doing this for some years now, and the reason I wanted to write this article was that in this day and age where there not as many outlets supporting creatives as there used to be, I feel like I have to document my own journey as if I don’t then no one will.

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Ive offered on my site before the service of custom pieces to the public, it bothers me that people that within this scene there is such little support for this type of creativity. I can only thank the likes of Diamond D, Jazzy, Breakbeat Lou and those artists that are up on it and embrace this.

As graffiti artist and coming from the 80s I was involved in the tagging scene and putting my name all over. As an artist your always thinking about how to take things and push your ideas further. My latest creating in ‘GrandGarm Bombing’. Where I have been putting my customized items into the market place. By purchasing items, customizing them then returning them to the stores. Now some lucky person may not be even into this hip hop thing has purchased a dope shirt that infact was created by me. Now that is tagging at another level. So if you do find one my pieces consider your self one lucky DIGGER

You read it first here. `

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MC MELLO – EXCLUSIVE OUT TAKE

There was a time me and Mello would calling each other regularly I would go as far as saying one the most interesting people in my circle. He would always phone greeting me in Punjabi, throwing me off wondering who is this. Mello does go through some phones.

We have maintained a pact that we made many years ago and to this day have stuck to it even in our recent absence from being in touch with each other.

For those that maybe reading this that do not know who MC Mello is, he is among the most significant, intelligent and couscous recording artists to have come our of the UK since the 80s. He played a major part in the scene and like DJ Pogo, Monie Love, Sparki Ski bridged the gap between here and the USA in those ever so important years we call the Golden Era.

Working along The Jungle Brothers, De La Soul, Tribe Called Quest, 45 King and Gangstarr to just name a few, He is in many people eyes here in the UK the unspoken member of the Native Tounges.

Mello along Jay King made the trip to the Midlands to sit on the viewing draft number 3 of the film I have been working on.  We shot some footage towards the film. I’m not going to explain why yet, but there is an angle I do want to explore. Anyhow here is an out take from one from the shoot, Mello reflects on his time with Public Enemy and there front man Chuck D.

After viewing this for those that know his music already and those that don’t glancing at the message currently being delivered in popular music listening back to first Album ‘Thoughts Released’ maybe refreshing enjoyable listen.  We need more artists with substance weather young or old, there is nothing like good music that stimulates the mind.

Behind the Scenes September / October 2015

Over the last month I’ve been locked in my home feeling like house arrest working on the this film. Very few people have seen me. My Normal routine would at least go to the city on Saturday to catch up with old friends for something to eat and a record dig. I’ve not done that in nearly 3 months.

I’m very close to completing this film. Whilst working on it, I did shoot some of the behind the scenes goings on to document for my self this journey.  I recorded my skype calls with friends that have supported the project and who had an inside glimpse of the work. Not being part of a production team or being managed by anyone I don’t have professional filmmakers around me to talk too.

I’ve been bouncing ideas round with trusted friends. One of those you will see in this scene is my friend Elliot from the group E.S.P on Select Records.

My mother who’s been my biggest supporter over the last few years, through all the let downs and bad times which all seemed to happened since 2012 has really been there for me, whilst ive worked on this film, the times I had no money, couldn’t afford to eat, she knew id be working on this, she would give me a call I have dinner if you want to pop over. How is the film coming on.  A creative her self and passionate about her textiles, she is the lady behind the Diamond D shirt the Ultimate Break Beats Jacket you see BB Lou rocking. Whilst making this film I lost 3 people very dear to me, time is very precious I learnt. I see know how important it is to document your own history.

I have also really enjoyed working on the music score for this film, it gave me a good excuse to get my fingers dusty and go digging for sounds that would bring this movie to life.

One fantastic experience whilst working on this film was working with DJ Disk, him being in California posed a real problem shooting him. We came with idea of doing the shoot through Skype. He arranged Camera man Mathew Alhoner to do the shoot as I directed from my home here in the Midlands. Together we made it happen and got the scene edited the day after shooting. This opened my eyes to what can be achieved when working with the right people who share the same vision. People who understand what it takes and have the drive to make it happen.

Enjoy.

Malcolm A.K.A DJ Midday thanks for the message of motivation

It’s not long now until I will head back to NYC to show my film to those that took part in it and possibly embark on my next project.

The last 3 years has been a little bit difficult, it’s been hard to find the motivation to get into this film. The archive of footage collected goes in to well over 30 hours shot. It can get a little overwhelming to get started.

Living out side the city now of Birmingham things can become very isolated. A lot of my friends moved out of town. I don’t really get to see the crew as much as I used too. So over the last year I embarked on transformation of my self I started to take care of my self. I took up running and eating healthy, to improve ones inner self is a good place to start to get energized.

I stopped going into the city to hang out, my time could be spent being more productive. Unfortunately I’m not managed I don’t have deadlines I work at my own pace, I had to put a stop to that and my solution was buy a ticket to NYC and turn up there with a film. I perform best what my back is up against the wall.

For a minute I lost the hunger and will that Id carried for so many years. Anyhow that’s changed. I built my studio and surrounded my self with pieces that remind me of why I got in to this.

I want to thank those that supported me and shown me love, my friends here and overseas. Recently I got spend some time With Break Beat Lou and Peatnut Butter Wolf (my first meeting with him) and to be able to share that time and get to know each other more meant a lot. They were open for me to join them on their tour, sadly I could not make it all as I have to work. They offered me a platform share their experience.

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Yesterday my old friend Malcolm aka DJ Midday out of Brooklyn visited me. He wanted to say something to me that he didn’t mind me sharing. I don’t mind sharing this with people visiting my site. For me I can go back to this in those low moments and be reminded that I got a lot to get on with and further more achieve.

Create your own lane.