NYC – Will Hip Hop Help with the new President Elect ?

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So after traversing the Atlantic for over two decades and been an ambassador for Hip Hop and Rap culture via numerous record companies and brands; I have been privy to witness the inauguration of the first Afro American president in 2008. Hussein Barack Obama was duly elected with a huge demographic.of youth voters. The modern world of social media heralded a new platform in the collating of information and penetrative direct advertising. From Jay Z, to Wyclef Jean, Killer Mike to Talib Kweli; a multitude of politically aware Hip Hop personnel giving Obama’s campaign momentum.

It’s a warmish day in November and it’s British Airways touch down in JFK and its election week USA.. Stateside news and the weekly interaction with worldwide listeners via my Itch FM #BigPromoShow has kept me well informed as to the sentiment and mindset of many a Hip Hop loving US citizen. Of course I’m gna be doing a lil obligatory tourist ish in the big apple (just coz) but predominantly it’s sit downs with beat makers and record label personnel.

Penn Street enroute to hotel :-


On day one, my Canarsie producer Music 4 LIfe, scooped me from the hotel and we were rolling, it was road a trip to White Plains, South Bronx to link beatmaker Jack O Beats; who is currently working with the rekindled Ultramagnetic MCs.

The Tuesday (day of election) was tense and expectant; even though there had been a positive endorsement for Hilary Clinton from many RnB/Hip Hop stars (Jay Z, Beyoncé) and many within the acting community (Robert De Niro), the realists and observers of UK’s recent Brexit were more wary. The honest front page headline of the very popular New York Post newspaper reflecting the true sentiments of the city and many more across the USA.


I managed to get to a few vote spots and peep the sentiments and ethnic demographics of the voting populous.

Peep the line downtown East Manhattan.

Click the image below !


Election night was stuntin at the trendy meat packing district Apt 732 with the famette Tanya Brown, my longtime homie from the world of publishing A&R and management. The soiree, an intimate rendezvous hosted by Salt n Peppa, with lavish drinks; nibbles and ensuite Jacuzzi.

And the President Elect 2016 is :-


On the night after Trump’s historic victory; the people of New York when to his swanky plave of abode Trump Tower to protest. Click the image below :-


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RnB Family / Soul Week

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Another hectic week in the world of the Big Promo team; even though immersed in the world of Hip Hop… the last couple of days in London has allowed me to re acquaint with my RnB entourage. The gigs came thick and fast with a plethora of artists performing in the capital. The first being at the infamous Jazz Café in north London.. RnB singer and songwriter Kele Le Roc (an integral character in the UKG scene, an a collaborator with Basement Jaxx), I signed her when I was A&R at Universal just before her debut album on Polydor Records. Serenaded by a passionate crowd; Kele skipped through album tracks, original co-writes and touched her garage anthems RnB styleee

Click the image below to watch Kele sing ‘My Love’ :-


The following evening it was off to the swanky settings of Rah Rah Rooms in Piccadilly, central London to witness the envious talent of Vula Malinga? I worked with Vula when I was A&R @ Edel Records, she co-wrote and sang the hook on my Cassius Henry Feat Freeway & Kanye West ‘The One’ record. A consummate performer, she had the audience in the palm of her hands

Click the image below to watch Vula sing ‘Human Nature’ :-


The next gig on an ever eventful week was the turn of RnB New York raised singer Tweet; her singing and acting career spanning over a decade and having chart hit on both sides of the Atlantic made great preparation for two sold out gigs via the SoulGrooves famalam. The first being at the Jazz Café on a sold out Sunday night.

Click the image below to watch Tweet performing at The Jazz Café :-


The second and absolutely jaw dropping show was on the Monday night at Dingwall’s. A tight band accompanied by invited audience members to showcase their vocal ranges.. From her backing singers to the great lady Tweet herself; the show embraced aspects of a church service; it was truly mesmerising.

Click the image below to watch Tweet performing at Dingwalls :-


Finally it was the turn of 90’s RnB star man Horace Brown; a stable mate of the legendary Detroit record label Motown and Uptown Records. Horace has toured the world extensively and has had a two decade run, having collaborated with many of the major stars across the pond (Jay Z, Faith Evans, Styles P, Foxy Brown, Black Rob) to name but a few.

Click the image below to watch Horace Brown singing ‘One For The Money’ :-


From acapella groups to the church; singing has always been the backbone of the black experience and has inherently Hip Hop music. A great evening with superfluous vocals and a singalong crowd throughout. DJ duties from the Mi Soul fam (Matt White, Stretch Talylor)

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GRMDaily UK Rated Awards

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It’s a warm humid Wednesday evening outside the picturesque famous north London music venue, the Roundhouse.. One of the most famous music venues in NW1 and the annual home of the ITunes Festival..The throng of fashionably attired music fans gearing up for the evening’s celebrations.

GRMDaily are one of the most popular and significant social media platforms reporting Urban Music culture and lifestyle in the UK; I met GRMDaily bossmen Posty and Pierre many years ago and was on a panel with Posty only last summer..

The show was hosted by Capital Xtra’s daytime DJ Manny Norte and BBC 1Xtra’s DJ Yasmin Evans to an electric atmosphere with every and anyone repping Grime and Hip Hop culture in the venue.


Skepta and BBK crew were in attendance and he was honoured with the prize for Best Video for ‘Man (Gang)‘ on the night, accepiting his award with a humble speech and showing love and unity for the whole UK Urban music scene.


For a second year running, the best DJ category was won by BBC 1Xtra’s larger than life Hip Hop DJ Charlie Sloth. I’m proud to have known Sloth for many years and we’re both form the same part of London..and seen his meteoric rise from JumpOffTV comedy skits to arguably one of the most important DJ’s in UK music. His acceptance speech was also humbling and he dedicated the award to his radio predecessor and radio veteran Tim Westwood.


With what appears to be a refound affinity with street UK urban music; world famous RnB star Craig David has had a great year, along the way collabing with many of the hot artists currently on the music scene. He ran through some of his classic material and was joined onstage by Big Narstie to rapturous applause.


South London rapper, Giggs latest album ‘The Landlord’ has just debuted on the CIN UK Album charts at #2.. a huge achievement for an artist once signed to XL Recordings who’se album was released independently. He picked up the ‘Best Artist’ gong.

Watch the video of him shutting down the Rated Awards performing his single ‘Whippin Excursion’


A timely and well deserved ‘Legacy’ award went to the Hip Hop radio guru of the UK, Tim Westwood.. Having spanned over 3 decades of Hip Hop radio from 80’s pirate radio LWR, to Capital radio in the early nineties, two decades at the BBC and ironically now back on Capital XTra. His speech was met with much love and favour by an approving audience.


A poignant chapter in the evening’s proceedings was a tribute by BBC 1Xtra and Atlantic Records A&R Twin B.. His business partner and friend, Richard Antwi passed away at the young age of just 38. Antwi was a music lawyer and an integral part of the fabric of the UK Urban music scene. from management, A&R to his legal practice. He has helped steer ang shape the careers on many household UK acts.


The album of the year prize went to East London MC, Kano.. This year saw him release his new album ‘Made In The Manor’ resulting in top 10 chart position and a nomination for the ‘Mercury Music’ prize, Here he is on stage joined by Virgin/EMI producer ‘Naughty Boy’.


The newcomer RnB artist Ray Blk had a very powerful performance of her current single ‘My Hood’ Feat Stormzy, which left the audience in complete awe.

Click the image below to watch her perform ‘My Hood’


A well executed awards ceremony, it was a total success, highlighting the journeys and achievements of what is a predominantly an independent UK Urban music scene.. The flag bearer for many years has just been the MOBO Awards but you could pinch yourself for not realising this was only the 2nd Rated Awards show and long may it continue.

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1X – The Story Of Chris Lighty…

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I was privileged enough to be A&R manager at Primary Wave, one of the largest independent talent management, music publishing and marketing & branding companies in the United States.

Founded in 2006, they create marketing and branding strategies through Music Publishing, Talent Management, Recorded Music, Television/Film Development, Brand Marketing and Digital Marketing.

In 2011 Larry Mestel, head honcho at Primary Wave partnered with Chris Lighty and his company’s Violator rosta (the list of artists  they had worked with in some capacity included CeeLo Green, 50 Cent, Cypress Hill, LL Cool J, Mobb Deep, A Tribe Called Quest, Eric Benét, Missy Elliott, Tank, Busta Rhymes, Ginuwine, Goodie Mob, Big Gipp, Eric Benet, Fat Joe, Nas, Mariah Carey to name a few). 

Primary Wave’s publishing repertoire included an interest in the Beatles songs written by John Lennon, the catalogs of Kurt Cobain/Nirvana, Steven Tyler/Aerosmith, Daryl Hall & John Oates, Chicago, Maurice White (Earth, Wind & Fire), Lamont Dozier, to name a few.

Chris was synonymous with the evolution of Hip Hop’s organic roots to its modern engagement with corporate boardrooms and branding. Alas in August 2012, the world received the sad news that ‘Baby Chris’ had passed away.

Click the image below to listen to ‘1xtra The Story Of Chris Lighty’ :-


BBC 1Xtra DJ Mistajam presents a documentary on the legendary Chris Lighty.. Mr Hip Hop & CEO Violator/Primary Wave 
Feat.. Ints with Thadboogie, Eric Nicks, Blacksheep, Larry Mestel, Eric Benet, Doc Brown, Sway etc

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Cee Major – ‘10,000 Hours’ Mixtape

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Cee Major is from the school of barring and he returns with “10,000 Hours” a free mixtape which shows huge progression both sonically and lyrically from his previous EP releases. The title of the mixtape is of course in reference to the theory that 10,000 hours of practice is the required time to become an “expert” in your chosen field. This unquestionably seems pertinent in Cee’s case.

Having built a reputation for himself on the freestyle video circuit, as well as a battler in the UK battle rap league ‘Don’t Flop’ Cee solidified his name with his debut EP releases “Humble Beginnings” and “The Format” in 2014 and 2015. After a short hiatus to focus on university, “10,000 Hours” marks the return for the East Londoner.

The “mixtape” contains 13 tracks, all original production, including 6 tracks produced by Cee himself. Cee co-produced 2 of the tracks with producer Phocus Beats, who also contributed 4 of the cuts. However Cee teamed up with producer; Infamous for the song ’27’ which was released on SBTV in July.

Click the image below to watch Cee Major ’27’


Click The image below to watch Cee Major ‘The Homies’


Cee’s intensely harsh honesty within his lyrics, which are intelligently and seemingly effortlessly woven together, are what makes his music so refreshing in a scene becoming increasingly influenced by gang culture. In his opening track ‘No Feature Film’ Cee displays this social and cultural awareness in his lyrics.

Not only does ‘10,000 Hours’ provide a reflective view of growing up in London and more generally in urban city life, but Cee delves into far more personal matters. It’s his self-awareness and analysis that results in an ultimately stripped down vulnerability which deeply resonates with the listener.

In life, balance is important and musically too. Whilst we all enjoy going out and “turning up”  – music, particularly rap music, has and always will be, vital in providing a voice for the unheard and providing a harsh reminder of the sometimes conveniently forgotten elements of society. Cee embodies this.

The tape is a banger, referencing real talk life ish and coming up in the game as a younger !!!!

My fav joints being ‘Destination’, ‘Do It For The ‘Man’ ,‘The Homies’ and ‘Whitney’

10,000 Hours will be available to download and stream from all major platforms worldwide on August 12th 2016.


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DJ Khaled – ‘Major Keys’ (Album)

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The homie DJ Khaled has now woven himself into the tapestry of contemporary Hip Hop, the Miami native has been releasing music for the best part of a decade. A multi faceted music pioneer, embracing production, social media guru and recording artist. DJ Khaled is a multi-platinum award winning recording artist whose music has defined Hip Hop and R&B for the past decade.

Referred to in the music industry as the ‘Quincy Jones Of Hip Hop & R&B’, Khaled has made dozens of chart topping hit records featuring collaborations with the greatest names in rap music. His most recent (eighth) studio album, I Changed A Lot (October 2015), entered the Billboard Independent Albums chart at #1 and R&B chart at #2.

His Snapchat account (@djkhaled305) has over 6+ million followers devoted to his inspirational quotes on achieving success in life.

DJ Khaled released his debut, Listennn… The Album in 2006, coinciding with the launch of his independent label, We The Best. His inked his first major distribu­tion deal for We The Best with Def Jam in 2008, and continued to have very successful albums with 2010’s ‘All I Do Is Win’ followed by ‘I’m On One’ in 2011.

The lead single from his new album is ‘We Got The Keys’ Feat Jay Z and Future ! it’s absolutely huge at urban and pop radio worldwide.

Click the pic below to watch the video :-


Collab’s on the album include Nas, Big Sean, Nicki Minaj, Travis Scott, Drake, Kendrick Lemar and Movado to name but a few. This will surely be a huge international release for We The Best/ Black Butter / Sony Music..

I got ‘I Got The Keys’ / ‘Nas Album Done’ and ‘Holy Key’ on repeat !!

To date, Khaled has sold over 15 million singles worldwide..

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The Recipe Feat Talib Kweli & Spark Master Tape – Place To Rest

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The Recipe DXB are a three man rap collective from Dubai, they initially set up their promotion entity to bring together like minded Hip Hop personnel from within the United Arab Emirates region. The movement gained momentum and a fully fledged mixtape was the result, The Recipe Mixtape.

Live shows and events ensued and to present day, they now operate an independent record label and release artist projects from within the region.

Their new single is a rollercoaster of lyricism, they have collabed with Brooklyn legend Talib Kweli and Spark Master Tape. Produced by Brvnjes, DJ Cuts By Rone Jaxx and Exec prod by by Shero and my good homie DJ RD of WuTang Coalition DJ’s.

Click the image below to listen to The Recipe Feat Talib Kweli & Spark Master Tape – Place To Rest :-


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The Return Of Lowkey !

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Oh Happy days !!!

The homie, Lowkey after a self imposed retirement from the rap game is scheduled for a return to the music industry. A thought provoking rapper, he has been releasing music for more than a decade. The early naughties were spent rhyming with the crew ‘Poisonous Poets’ and independently releasing a series of classic mixtapes which led to European tours and collabs with the likes of Immortal Technique and Dead Prez.

A passionate and vocal story teller of Iraqi descent, Lowkey released ‘Long Live Palestine’ in 2009 with features from rappers heralding from Iraq, Iran, Palestine and Syria. The EP was met with widespread music and political recognition and spawned what was to be his debut album ‘Soundtrack To The Struggle’.in 2011.

The next four years were his enforced retirement to pursue his academic studies and in recent happenings the imminent September tour was announced in conjunction with a brand new song and video. It’s a very thought provoking rap narrative depecting the plight and suffering of innocent and vulnerable children caught up in war.

Click the image below to watch Lowkey Feat Mai Khalil – Ahmed video :-


Check out Lowkey on tour :-


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#ATCQ – Beats, Rhymes and Life (20th Anniversary)

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I grew up dancing, there was always a piece of lino in da endz in my youth, I also grew up with an intense passion for collecting music and what has subsequenty been referred to as ‘crate digging’.

An avid collector of jazz, funk, soul, disco, breaks and Hip Hop and still superfluously impressed from the rhymes and beats of Tribe’s 1993 ‘Midnight Marauders’ album; only added to my zeal for the culture. So we hit 1996 and I’ve just left Wyldpytch Rekords in Soho, to work as A&R manager at Universal Music. Tosh Darg, the marketing manager at Jive UK hit up all us DJ types with the brand new and fourth Tribe Called Quest album ‘Beats, Rhymes & Life’.

At that period of Thadboogie life I was both promoter and DJ at 3 central London night clubs and even though embracing the classic sample heavy boom bap style of previous albums.. club bangers like ‘1nce Again’, ‘Phony Rappers’, ‘Get A Hold’ and ‘Stressed Out’ embraced a newer influence / a different bounce and head nod to their production.

With the introduction of new production beat making entity ‘The Ummah’ comprising of Q Tip, Ali Shaheed Muhammad and Jay Dee aka J Dilla’, the sound was darker and  interspersed with some RnB’esque jems. This was a signifying moment in propelling the career of a certain Detroit beatmaker J Dilla.

Click the photo below to listen to Detroit rapper Phat Kat ‘Talk’s Dilla’ :-


We’re now celebrating 20 years since the release of ATCQ – Beats, Rhymes and Life and sadly both J Dilla and Queen’s native Phife Dawg have now both deceased.

Click the photo below to watch Phife Dawg’s perform at his last UK show @ The Jazz Café in 2015


To honour and celebrate the legacy and catalogue of arguably one of the most important rap groups in Hip Hop’s culture, New Balance the global sporting brand have issued a sneaker to mark the 20th year anniversary of ‘Beats, Rhymes and Life’ 


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Vic Mensa – ‘There’s ALot Going On’

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So towards the end of last year I met and interviewed the talented rapper Mick Jenkins.. We chopped it up and he told me to look out for new ish from his Chi town homies Chance The Rapper and Vic Mensa.


Heralding from American and Ghanaian parentage and still a relative new comer to the global rap game, after leaving his former group ‘Kids These Days’ and with only one mixtape ‘Innanaetape’ in 2013. Vic further released a few singles via Virgin /EMI and of course in more recent times, collabs with Kanye West on his ‘Life Of Pablo’ album.

Embracing political and thought provoking subject matters of police brutality on the very powerful ’16 Shots’ it stands as one of my favourite tracks on his new EP.

On his new single ‘There’s ALot Goin On’ Vic waxes lyrical about the harrowing decision to sign a deal with YE on G.O.O.D. Music or to go with Jay Z and Tata at Rocnation. With a new image and growing dreadlocks,

Vic has grown into a very competent mc with a strong pen game. Showcasing his wordplay and gift for song construction the EP is sparse of guest collabs with only TY Dollar $ign running through for a hot chorus.

Vic Mensa’s new ‘There’s Alot Going On’ EP is out now and drops ahead of his long-awaited new album coming in August 2016.

Click the image below to watch Vic Mensa new single ‘There’s Alot Going On’ :-


Track-listing – 1. Dynasty 2. 16 Shots 3. Danger 4. New Bae 5. Liquor Locker 6. Shades of Blue 7. ‘There’s Alot Going On’

vicmensa1Like many rap fans, we all eagerly await Vic Mensa full album coming end of summer, the EP artwork is fresh and reminds us with the ‘1993 Still Alive’ tattoo on his abdomen that Vic is still only 23 years old. #TheFutureIsBright


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