Sep 03, 2014
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Posts tagged: Kingston

Demon Dialogue: Read Tommy Lee Sparta’s Fader Feature + Stream His ‘Grim Reaper’ EP

Words by Jesse Serwer, Photo by Martei Korley—

Tommy Lee Sparta photo by Martei Korley

On a windy afternoon this August, LargeUp creative director/co-founder/chief photographer Martei Korley and myself traveled to the New Kingston apartment of Tommy Lee—or, as he’s now 100% officially known, Tommy Lee Sparta—to interview dancehall’s most talked-about new artist, for The Fader. We watched Jamaica’s 1-2-3 finish in the men’s 200-meter final at the Olympics (after which Usain Bolt gave TV cameras the Gaza salute while boasting “Man, psycho!”) in the artist’s living room, and talked about why his music is so dark (he’s got some pretty compelling reasons), his plans to make conscious tunes (sample his first one, “No Love” over at, and his desire to be a role model for di youth dem. Read the full story, which appears in the magazine’s upcoming Issue #82, out on newsstands next week, here.

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LargeUp Interview: Five Steez Talks Jamaican Rap

Words by Nico Simino, Photos by 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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LargeUp Interview: Maxine Walters Talks “Jamaican Dancehall Signs”

Words by Jesse Serwer—


Jamaican Dancehall Signs From the Collection of Maxine Walters, a coffee-table collection of vibrant, hand-painted advertisements gathered from public spaces across Jamaica, is the first book from the new publishing venture of Miss Lily’s Variety (the next-door annex of popular NYC Jamaican eatery Miss Lily’s). To bring some context to this distinctly Jamaican, and little documented, form of street marketing, Miss Lily’s had me write a foreword and conduct an interview with Maxine Walters, the Jamaican film producer responsible for collecting these rough-hewn masterpieces of lettering and color in the book. The following is an excerpt from our conversation about the signs, their aesthetics, significance, history, and Ms. Walters’ efforts to archive them. For the whole conversation, you’ll have to pick up the book, which is available right here.

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Fry Yiy!: Popcaan Reps LargeUp

Words by LargeUp Crew, Photos by Martei Korley—

LargeUp recently spent the day with Popcaan in greater Portmore, playing football, dominoes and generally getting a look into the life of the Raving King. Look out for all this and more in our upcoming episode of LargeUp TV. Meanwhile, check these fly pics of Poppy repping the brand-new LargeUp x Rockers NYC Jamaica tee, which you too can cop right here. LargeUp yuhself, Popcaan!

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Visual Culture: Jamaican Dancehall Signs From the Collection of Maxine Walters

Words by Jesse Serwer—

For the last 12 plus years, Jamaican film and TV producer Maxine Walters—she’s had her hand in most every major movie shot in JA over the last three decades, from The Mighty Quinn to Clara’s Heart— has been archiving and collecting one of Jamaica’s most unique and overlooked visual bounties: the vibrant, hand-painted signs found in public spaces across the island. Sturdy and technically illegal, these bold homemade advertisements are nailed to poles and trees everywhere from Half Way Tree to mountain villages, usually during the middle of the night, to promote grassroots events ranging from that weekend’s bashment party to the arrival in town of a pantomime play, or all-star reggae concert.

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