Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Curious City

Yeah folks, Da Face here.

Recently I was scouring around Youtube looking for some trini videos and found two parts of a philosophical exploration of one's artistic consciousness (or something so) by an artiste ironically called Curious. The content of the video is thought-provoking and showcases Curious' penchant for 'off-the-top' freestyling as well as his genre bending musical style. But don't take my word for the videos below and see for yourself. Face out.

Curious City pt1
Curious City pt2

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Radio doh play me!!!

Now don't get it twisted please; just because the picture displays 96.1 doesn't mean that I'm blaming the station because, in the words of the magnificent Mark Anthony, everyone knows that Chinese Laundry is an honourable man. It's just that the majority of people believe that they are mainly responsible for the bullsh*t playing on the airwaves and thus their picture is relevant to my discussion, ya dig? The fact of the matter is, radio can't possibly play every artiste and all the radio play in the world won't satisfy the insatiable appetites of the over-confident with inflated egos who believe that the world's populace needs to hear whatever they fart out. You know we artistes can be that way sometimes.

Nah, this isn't a simple problem really. Frankly, a lot of us aspiring, underground trini artistes do not understand how radio works very well, if at all. When you're casually listening to radio and flipping between a dozen of the 'too much' stations we have, you really don't realise that you're breaking the heart of many a program director. Their job is to ensure that you stay 'locked on' by providing content that you want to hear and most times the safest way to do that is by playing the music of known artistes. Artistes like Beyonce, Rihanna and even our own Machel HD have made themselves into identifiable brands and a terrible song by them will be guaranteed to generate at least some interest with only a "You hear de new Beyonce? It lame eh." response. In contrast, a terrible song by Mr. Noname artiste will probably generate a "What kinda chuppidness dem playing dread! I done with dis station yes!" and yuh out. And the number of listeners influences the main source of revenue for radio stations. This is commonly known as advertisements.

Nevertheless, that doesn't mean that local radio doesn't deserve a good bun down still. Case in point, Chromatics was on 96.7 Red FM (probably my favourite station on the airwaves right now) to engage in a 'debate' [CHECK IT HERE] during the set of Hyper Hopper or Hoppy (or whatever he goes by now) about the issue of upcoming artistes and radio play. One of the points brought forward was that most local artistes do not achieve the lofty standards established by foreign acts and thus the reason they get no 'bligh'. Really? This point stood for like two whole seconds until Chromatics inquired about the assault of a one Soulja Boy and his unique version of musical 'quality' pon local ears when suddenly there was a lot of silence followed by a lot of stammering and stuttering to explain the unfortunate statement.

The fact is, people can only choose from the choices made available to them. If you only play foreign music, saying that people only want to hear foreign music is like dividing one by one to disprove two. And even stranger, movements which counter the prehistoric thinking that people won't accept local music such as the Kiskidee Caravan in the early 90s, the brief rapso mainstream movement with Ataklan, Kindred etc in the late 90s and the all too recent reggae movement do nothing to change the general behaviour of radio djs and their ilk. Well at least we can thank 96.1 for initiating the soca switch which was instrumental in further popularizing soca music with the masses although it probably had something to do with the owner being a soca artiste. What I take from all of it is that radio, like the government, is not reliable to somebody trying to make it and even though they may both provide a helping hand sometimes, the hustle is yours to carry. Face out.

Monday, October 13, 2008


Now I'm not going to lie, the title of this dvd is one of the more creative things I've seen in a while. On viewing the dvd cover, your eyes go from the "parental", then to the "advisory" and on to inevitable shock by the fact that the creators effectively nullify the purpose of their own 'parental advisory' disclaimer on the cover of the product with the word "bitch". So when I picked up this dvd in Highway Records I knew I was in for some kinda unique experience and willingly, I plunked down my $40 and made some 'movements'. In any case ting real scarce these days; as of this time of speaking, Pro Records hasn't released their album yet and the Tango and Cash is like $100 which is out of my price range, ya dig.

In essence, Parental Advisory Bitch (still can't believe I have to revere this as a title) is a Trinidad hip hop dvd chocked full of freestyles, interviews, videos, skits and basically anything you would think is remotely related to hip hop in TnT. Loads of swagger... check, talking about what you have before you have it... check, American accents...check and a lot of that boldface trini behaviour that is even more entertaining when captured on camera. But unlike "Real Talk" (the comparison was inevitable), which has the distinct and catchy theme of basically bad-mouthing the industry in the most controversial way possible using the (formerly) least controversial people possible, P.A.B. just throws any and everything at you in the hope that something sticks. As a result, you feel like you never know what to expect which sometimes works in its favour and a lot of times doesn't. And I was vexed that they didn't make use of what could have been the baddest catch phrase ever; "Buy this dvd or ah coming fuh yuh mudder ****". Bess.

Thankfully, the entertaining parts definitely make up for any shortcomings of P.A.B. To the perhaps dubious disappointment of some, P.A.B. doesn't exactly earn it's name and isn't any more hardcore than what you would have seen in Real Talk, which to me is a good thing. The best part of the dvd is the coverage of the Nemisis' album launch which features performances by Chromatics, Pro Records and Nemisis himself plus a preview of the new Nemisis clothing line called "Nemwear". The performances were hype as expected but it was the freshness of the clothing line that frankly surprised and impressed me. Big up to Nemisis with this endeavour and I implore all of you to support it when it comes out. Other than that there are a few random moments of humour to be caught in some of the skits like an unfortunate one where an underage kid purchases a copy of Parental Advisory Bitch (which is clearly displayed on the camera via a closeup) and the host merely shrugs and lets the kid go on his way to presumably view a dvd filled with gleeful nihilism. Don't worry, I too believe the children are our future. Additionally, the infrequent cameos of the always noticeable Shinez is also noteworthy and one wonders whether it was the recent controversy that kept him from having a more pivotal role in this production (his upcoming movie looks fresh). In any event, you could do a lot worse. Cop this if you get a chance. Da Face out.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Trini Videos on You Tube pt 5

Yeah people you know what it is. I know some of these videos some of you may have seen but to the some who haven't, you're welcome. Look out for my new feature next week: Underground Trini Artiste Spotlight. This feature highlights a chosen underground artiste and gives you the readers a chance to become acquainted with a talented individual that you may not have heard about before. It will be part-interview and part-biographical so you'll hear the story from me and them. Till then, Face out.

Sovereignty - "Trini Stand Up"

Kess the Band - "Lion"

Pro Records - "30 Million In My Jeans"

Regazzi - "Serious"