Apr 20, 2014
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Nico Simino

LargeUp Interview: Five Steez Talks Jamaican Rap


Words by Nico Simino, Photos by Alique Archer—

five-steez-photo-alique-archer

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Yard Hop: Watch Nomad Carlos’ “As Real As It Gets” Video

Words By Nico Simino—

Seems like Jamaican rappers are experiencing a surge these days, with the latest yardie MC export being Nomad Carlos. Carlos, who reps Kingston, like his fellow Jamaican MC and collaborator Five Steez, was born in Miami but raised in Kingston from the age of five, and he’s actually been around for a minute. His latest track, “As Real As It Gets,” features some serious production, harkening back to the Lyricist Lounge days of boom-bap beats filled with soft, acid jazz-like melodies. The video, meanwhile, offers a diverse set of Kingston scenes, from rotted old docks downtown to uptown high-rises and a view from the hills. If ’90s-style rap is your thing, this guy is one to watch, regardless of him being from Jamaica or not. Check the video below, and stream it here.

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BOLT! Action: “The Fastest Man Alive” Now an App

Words By Nico Simino—

The fastest man in the world now has his own app in the iTunes store. BOLT! is a fun little obstacle game that pits Usain Bolt against treasure hungry pirates. As you play, you dodge pirates and obstacles while collecting gold, which is what Usain has been doing ever since his three world record-setting races at the 2008 Olympics in Bejing. The game comes just as Usain is set to repeat his performance for the 2012 London Olympic games. “I’ve always been a big gamer and love games like Call of Duty and PES,” Bolt said of his own aming habits. “Ever since seeing Bruce Jenner’s Decathlon I’ve wanted to have my own video game.”

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Video: Watch Protoje’s “Who Dem A Program”

Words by Nico Simino—

Jamaican singjay Protoje is back with a new video for his Don Corleon-produced single, “Who Dem a Program.” Corleon’s soundbed harkens back to the digital riddims of the ’90′s while still managing to sound super fresh, and Protoje brings an equally strong perspective, flexing his increasingly nimble lyrical muscles, while shouting out No-Maddz and ’90s dancehall icon Papa San. The video takes a more straightforward route: You’ve got your standard-issue shots of Kingston, some Rasta imagery, a few quick shots of beautiful women… cue the slow walk down the Ave while singing. Protoje, who is set to release his sophomore LP, The Eight Year Affair, shortly, is definitely an artist to watch, and “Who Dem A Program” is among the most obvious reasons why.

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Top of the World Again: DJ Tanner, Theory + More Remix the Rascalz + Barrington Levy

Words by Nico Simino—

Vancouver rap trio the Rascalz dropped their single “Top of the World,” featuring the legendary Barrington Levy and Trini-born Toronto MC K-OS, back in 1999. While the tune was something of a hit north of the border, if you’re not a Canadian yourself, chances are this might be you’re first time hearing of it. Fortunately, this interesting collaboration has been given some new life, reworked four different times and packaged into the Top of the World Remix EP, a project of DJ Tanner, of Canadian selectors Faction Sound Crew. While you can listen to and download the whole EP here and judge for yourself, we thought we’d bring your attention to our favorite remix of the bunch, from Large Up’s very own DJ Theory. Check out Theory’s moombahsoul “Top of the World” remix below:

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Audio: Jamaican MC Five Steez’s “Divine Appointment”

Words by Nico Simino—

Jamaican MC Five Steez is an artist who, given enough exposure, could well become what folks would call a “rappers’ rapper.” Blessed with lyrical prowess and accompanied by 90′s era minimalist, boom-bap beats, Five Steez reminds me of a lost tradition in hip-hop: straight-up-rhyming. His newest song, “Divine Appointment,” is co-produced by London’s DJ Illout, and features a raw, hypnotizing beat with sprinkles of DJ Premier influence laced throughout. Although Steez is from Kingston, he speaks with no heavy accent or patois, and raps like those underground acts from back in the day that sounded like they were reading straight from their rhymebook. (Check Kenn Starr from the Low Budget Crew for a kindred spirit in today’s rap scene, though) . For more Five Steez, get his War For Peace EP here.

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