Sunday, June 29, 2008

Chris Brown Concert in Trinidad: Video footage

Yeah mih brethren, waz de scene. Don't worry you didn't read wrong, Da Face did get up in that Chris Brown concert and yes dey had more little children in attendance than the first day screening of Kung Fu Panda. And yes I was probably the oldest person in the Green Section which featured girls screaming and sh*t like Michael Jackson was actually on stage instead of his best living imitator. But yes I must also admit that Chris Brown is also a much better live singer than I had previously thought.

Well if you know me well I'm a person who prefers to reach concerts when gates now opening. I actually ending up touching down in the concert around six and Mr Machel took the stage to perform not too long after. Frankly I was a little disappointed by his performance though; it wasn't bad by any stretch but it didn't feature anything I didn't see from him before. I guess I've gotten spoiled by his perpetual over-achieving but as a Trinidadian I was hoping that he would have showed up Chris Brown just a little bit. Patrice also performed her set and she was aight...nothing strange there. Also, during their set Positive, the dude with the one of most requested songs in Trinidad both on the radio and by the music pirates, came and performed his hit song "Never let go" (I dunno if that's the actual name of the song). After watching him I must say that I'm really liking this guy's performing style a lot; he really puts himself in his performance and vocally he delivers it almost as good as on record.

After Mr. HD was done, we had some djing and I got to watch little kids grind on each other like big adults. Thankfully it wasn't too long before Chris Breezy himself graced the Trinidad stage which resulted in an plethora of screams from all over the venue. Being an ex-bess fete hopper in my day, I've seen some intense audiences but this is the first time I've witnessed so much screaming and seen so much pre-pubescent girls totally lose their mind. There was this one girl behind me who was jabbering unintelligibly and shaking between intermittent, ear-deafening screams of "Chris Brown ah love yuh". s Real talk though, CB was very impressive. Other than performing his many hits, Brown performed reggae, dub and even danced to some soca while entertaining the crowd. His vocals were top notch and with all the pop-locking, hand stands and running on stage he didn't sound out of breath even once. Anyways, I'll let allyuh be the judge. Check out the videos below. I even got one with the Bmobile mascot "Limey" bubbling to some Movado. Talk about jones.

Chris Brown singing "Goodbye"

Chris Brown flexing

Chris Brown singing "Umbrella"

Positive performs "Never let go"

Machel performs "We not giving up"

Chris Brown performs "Kiss Kiss"

Bmobile mascot bubbling to Movado

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

I Am Hip Hop: Coming soon

Yeah Da Face in. Mih boy Chromatics done let me know that IAHH this year is the place to be for Trinidad hip hop heads. Check below for more details:


Euphoria Lounge
58 Dundonald Street, P.O.S.

$60 Adv. Tickets available @ Highway Records #1 Evans st. Curepe junction or call 473-5911 / 729-8909 or 620-8871


(contact Highway Records: 473-5911 or jus jase 620-8871 to register for $40)


send to:-

Monday, June 23, 2008

Digicel Rising Star Blow By Blow (Caribbean Week)

Aye people. Waz de real scene? Yeah I know, I haven't been on the Digicel scene for a bit since I totally annihilated the judges a few weeks ago but say what; I finally cleared my Sunday evening and decided to take it in. I decided to be totally thorough though, so I actually took notes on every performance together with the judges thoughts and reactions. And on a side note; fellas if you're going to propose to your honey, make sure that you're at least around 90% sure she wants the same thing too. Especially if it's at an nba game in front of thousands of people, most of whom are equipped with cameras and have access to youtube. Damn. I actually feel sorry for this dude.

1st Contestant (Vindra Kilewan singing "Lotaylah" by Sonny Mann) - Now personally I think this dude wasn't that bad (my gf disagrees though). I mean, he danced out of time to the song and looked straight up 'jokey' on stage but I found he was entertaining and his vocal delivery of Sonny Mann's 1996 hit was spot on. The judges weren't having it though. Johnny told him that his performance wasn't up to par for this stage of the competition (anybody has any clue what that means?) and that his out of time dancing detracted heavily from his performance which coming from a fat, balding guy is...ouch. In another weird tv moment Michael Salickram (the eye-liner dude) told him that he didn't do his research because he didn't pronounce one of the words in the song correctly. Then he proceeded to show him an example and to my ears the correct version sounded exactly like the 'wrong' version. I mean, like who cares? Who even knows what Lotaylah means in the first place?

2nd Contestant (Meda Ellis singing "Love Generation" by Maximus Dan) - Ah yes, the favourite. Yuh done know every competition needs one and this is no different. Now she isn't my favourite contestant but I'd be lying through my teeth if I didn't admit that she delivered. I kinda pegged her as a churchy girl from early so I was pleasantly surprised when she picked one of favourite songs from Maximus Dan of all people to perform for the competition. I was genuinely interested in seeing how she would interpret the deep-voiced Maximus delivery and whether she would 'RnB' it up but she did it straight, tongue gymnastics and all and nailed it. The judges were predictably slobbering over her.

3rd Contestant (Keslie Lion Joseph singing "Too Experienced" by Barrington Levy) - Now this contestant straight up frustrated me. His performance was good; he exhibited lots of confidence and good movement on stage but not for nothing would he attempt to hit any of the signature Barrington Levy notes. I mean, doh play mas if yuh fraid powder. In this instance I agreed with the judges who also didn't like it. Strangely though, they found that he should sing something else besides reggae stuff. What do they really expect? It's a competition and he's a reggae dude. Is it wrong of him to put his best foot forward as much as he can?

4th Contestant (Alicia Stephens singing "It's a pity" by Tanya Stephens) - A unrequited love song by a professional man-hater. I'm not sure that this was the best song for Alicia to pick but she didn't do too bad a job. I was a bit frustrated by her too melodic, rnb-type, delivery of the staccato dub song but I guess it wasn't her comfort zone either. The judges found it okay I think but they thought it need more 'feeling' or something. Eye-liner dude loved it though.

5th Contestant (Crystal singing "Redemption Song" by Bob Marley) - Now in addition to a favourite every competition also has a scape goat and this one is also no different. I guess once you've chosen to sing one of the most known and loved songs by one of the greatest artistes of all time you should kinda expect hyper-criticism but I think the comments were off. This girl delivered the song with monologue-like intensity; she used her eyes, hands and movements to convey the meaning of different words and phrases but yet the she was told that she didn't perform with enough 'feeling' (what does that mean anyway?). Vocally I didn't think that she brought enough intensity but the visual performance was good as far as I was concerned. Her outfit, full African garb from head-to-toe, was appropriate and looked good.

6th Contestant (Adafie Padmore singing "Missing Generation" by Ella Andell) - If there is one thing I know is that if you're singing an Ella Andell, you better have nuff vocals and know how to push them to the limit. I don't think Adafie had the microphone-assassinating, baptist-type vocals to really do this song justice but she knew how to push to her limit, so much so that her upper register began heading dangerously close to falsetto range for the notes on the last part of her performance ending on an exquisite, pores-raising final note. Interestingly enough, the judges main beef was that the song "wasn't her". On a show where you're asked to go out of your comfort zone I think comments like those may make you want to launch a microphone. On a side note, Knycky is on drugs right?

7th Contestant (Claudia singing "Make Love") - A sexy outfit and smoky delivery couldn't save this contestant from the wrath of the judges. I wasn't really feeling this performance and the judges weren't either. Her performance wasn't terrible or anything but something tells me that she may go home next week.

8th Contestant (Erica Samuel singing "Unfaithful" by Rhianna) - As I proceed to turn off my television I hear that there is this thing called a wildcard where judges bring back talented contestants who haven't been voted (another point for the "people don't know shit about talent" argument). Anyway, while I'm trying to process what's going on this shy-looking girl begins to sing my favourite Rhianna song and almost delivers it better than Rhi Rhi herself (she is probably a better singer in actuality). Isn't it ironic that in a competition that is dependent on votes, the person who didn't make it on votes had probably the best vocal performance of the night? I certainly think so. I also think that Knycky and that 'Empress' chick from Tempo may be buying from the same dealer. I don't think being so happy is healthy. Anyways, Da Face out. Till next post.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Underground Trini album pick of the month (June): "Ghetto Child"

Yeah folks, is Da Face in this b**** again.
Well guess what, Tha Carter 3 coming from my favourite artiste Lil Wayne aka Weezy F Baby has been out since last week Tuesday and some people are saying that it may sell more than 900000 copies in the first week. How sick is that for a guy whose album has leaked twice within the last year?

Safe. So hear this people; as of now I am commencing a new feature as part of my blog. Being the local music connoisseur that I am, I frequently buy and listen to local (Trinidad) music from various musical genres (mainly rap, rapso, dancehall, reggae) and ever so often I hear stuff that is classic and worth more than the $60 or so that I spend on those cds. This new blog feature is going to recognize out of those noteworthy albums, the best Trinidad release for the current month and provide my commentary on the album (not a review), some basic information about the album itself and more information about the artiste and where the album can be purchased. This will hopefully serve to get some of you to start listening local artistes and 'leggo' the mediocre international ones like fiddy cent. Trust me, the cds are affordable and worth the money.

Now last month one of those cds I listened to was from this guy who goes by the name of "Make-It-Hapn". I first heard him on a track called "Daiz wah ah saying" on a mixtape full of trini artistes and his song was the baddest on the entire album. This dude basically raps (he has a rapper's rhyme scheme and phrasing) but with a completely local inflection and uses local dialect. The album called "Ghetto Child" is a collection of stories and observations about life in Trinidad for the less fortunate. Over distincly hip hop beats with generous vocal samples, Make-It-Hapn paints pictures of the ghetto view of Trinidad life for himself and/or people that he has observed. Trust me people, this album is one of those that you can (and should) listen to from beginning to end and rewards repeat listeners with stuff that you may not have heard on the first one. If you buy nothing else make sure to pick up this one.

"Ghetto Child" is being distributed by Tru-2-Culture, a Trinidad music distribution company that I spoke about previously, so you can get the album from their designated outlets.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Real Talk DVD Magazine: Part 3 released

Yeah folks, Da Face is in it for another week. Congratulations to Barack Obama for winning the democratic nomination and I sincerely hope he goes on to do the impossible. Last year some fellas told me that there was no way Obama could have beaten Hillary; we should have made a bet.

Blaxx - Mr Breathless speaks

Anyway, now unto the real talk. In an earlier post, I spoke about Real Talk Part 2 and all the bacchanal that ensued in that edition, the largest of all being KMC telling Chinese Laundry to "haul he chinee mudder ****". Yeah, it was serious. It also had Squeezy Ranking, who has gotten added notoriety after Real Talk 2, speaking his mind about different stuff like what Rasta men really mean when they say they want to 'bless up' a chick. This latest edition didn't have anything to surpass those things but it didn't fall far.

First out the gate we get a extremely foul-mouthed Blaxx (I think he cussed within the first ten seconds) just speaking about random stuff which was so funny that I actually had to stop the dvd to laugh. At one point while describing how it was a team effort to create the hit song "Breathless" he ended off by saying "and I sing it, not sang...I sing it!" Then an unseen guy from the back indicates that he should say "sung" rather than "sing" to which he replies; "wah f***in yuhself, I sing it". Trust me, real jones. Next up was Akiel from some dj group that I honestly can't remember the name of (though I should). He apparently was the guy who KMC said was not playing his music and had to "ride for". I guess his purpose was to try and explain his side of the story but he only served to make KMC's rant seem a bit justified. His monologue had a kinda shady feel and came off like he had to pick what he could say and could not say. And to make matters worse, he said what had to be a lie about there existing a committee where every soca song has to go through before they are played. I'm not doubting that there probably is one but I'm quite sure that a lot of songs either don't reach to pass there or money passes there for them. I'm just saying.

After those stuff was an interview with the guy who sang "I want...mih rum in de morning". He was cool. Then Benjai was up next and he spoke but he couldn't say anything about the case...but then he kinda did. He indicated that the HD contingent may not have been the aggressors in the whole incident. I didn't know what to make of that but I would never put Benjai down as the kinda cat who would lie so who knows? After Benjai, was a chilling account from Denyse Plummer revealing the story of her first Calypso semi-finals where an assortment of missiles were hurled at her in Skinner Park yet she refused to stop performing and leave the stage. I heard this story before but somehow when she told it on the dvd I felt something move in my chest (I think it was my heart yo). Then she introduced Justin Cross who she is apparently managing now which is a good look for him (another big UTA rising up).

Now normally when there are multiple editions of any product it's natural to rate them against each other to determine whether things are improving or getting watered down. In this installment the production values for the Real Talk has really improved and nuff respect to the Production team as they have definitely done a good job. However, I must say that I missed some of the more impromptu features of installments past like Shinez walking up to random people and ask them all kinda shyte. Speaking of which, where was Shinez hoss? Shinez was only represented in this dvd as an animated icon at the bottom of the screen that flickered up both intermittently and annoyingly to advertise the new but unfinished official website (me eh know wah politics gone on dere). Anyway people, buy Real Talk 3 asap...and check out the website .

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Why Digicel Rising Star (Trinidad) Judges Kinda Suck

Wham now people. Yeah. I know I've been silent for more than a minute but I don't think I could have kept this one off my chest. Before we get into it though you can check out the vid for Rhianna's new song "Take a Bow". I'm not her marketing rep or nothing but I really love this song and video so you can check it out.

Right. So why do Digicel Rising Star Trinidad judges suck? Well, after capturing the auditions live a few weeks ago, I finally watched it on television and realised that this sh*t is actually worse than I imagined. Before watching the last episode, I had heard about 'Judge Dredd' aka Sahara from Westwood Park (Westwood Park is a Trinidadian soap opera for those who don't know). I heard about how she tells people like it is and makes people cry ya da ya da not unlike Simon from American Idol and although hyper-dread judges normally come off as corny to me, I just told myself that at least I would catch some jones. Boy was I wrong.

Now I don't know how many of you have ever watched American Idol but basically 'Judge Dredd' is no Simon. The funny and interesting thing about Simon is that he is not trying to hurt anyone's feelings. It's just in his personality to tell people like it is. If you have no talent, he will tell you in no uncertain terms that you're wasting your and his time. If more people used this approach then maybe soca music may not be in the state that is but that's a new post by itself right there. Anyway, it stops being funny right about the time when you start trying to be harsh. Watching Rising Star, Judge Dredd came off like one of the roughly sketched characters from Westwood Park; American influenced and corny. I mean, it was clear to me from the get go that she was playing a role but the problem was in the lack of subtlety (more training from Westwood Park?). Anyone who was remotely bad was considered terrible. Anyone remotely good was amazing. At one point there were these two guys singing a duet terribly but not bad terrible...more like laugh till tears run down your cheeks and you spit out what you were eating terrible and I was laughing until Judge Dredd opened her mouth. Her punchline: "I thought I was hearing two cows mooing". Yeah, I know...some writers are needed. And it never is a good look when the woman contains the most testosterone in a panel of three judges with only one female judge. One of the other male judges had something like eye-liner on and was only hissing catty remarks that echoed whatever Judge Dredd said. I always thought the reason for local tv was to not see gay men on your box but I guess I was wrong. The other judge also has a kinda gay way about him as well and I was told from before that he might be the other one's boyfriend (hoss, I hope that's just trini speculation). Either way, he seemed, like the other judge, to be inclined to agree with whatever Judge Dredd opined.

Now I can point out stuff like what does a person whose reason for selection is that she was a semi-star on a soap opera that was more laughed at than taken seriously really knows about musical talent but to me that is irrelevant. From attending auditions I have kinda realised that Digicel Rising star has problems just like any other competition claiming to judge talent. In their case these problems are: they're heavily biased to rnb style singers, they choose look over talent often and they are not very knowledgeable about and biased against certain genres like rap and reggae although their selling point is an all-inclusive competition that welcomes all styles. Nevertheless, I expected the judges to be either kinda entertaining or very boring like real judges. A flaming gay man (I'll fall off my chair if I find out he isn't), an ex-soap opera 'star' playing a role badly and an in-the-closet gay man is about as entertaining as listening to a cd of fingernails scratching on a board. I'm sorry to have to licks down dem judges so but I'm Da Face so I have to tell them like it is. Maybe they'll call me Judge Dredd only I'm not playing a role though :P