SHAQ The MC Skyline

Welcome to the soft launch of my Blog, first and foremost portal for all things SHAQ The MC. Please leave some feedback lets get some dialogue going.

‘Under construction’ will be the status for a while as I get a handle on my web presence and establish a ‘dotcom’.  With that in mind my first task is reaching you as I know its been a challenge to keep you properly updated. Please join the mailing list.

Thanks for passing through, stay for a minute…


Moving blog again…

while iv researched that there is a way, ive found no simple solution to needing my music player widgets to play directly on the page. i gotta say wordpress you almost had me but for now my friends SHAQ The MC is moving over to blogger …

Growing Pains with 5 Steez

Courtesy of Mr. Collab. New Music from one of my partners in rhyme 5 Steez. Producer David ‘Dawit’ Kennedy prepares compilation Against The Grain5 Steez releases his mixtape Yard Rebel.

Musing the growing pains as we mature with our music. 5 Steez and myself reason about performing with live musicians. Meanwhile rock band Robot Taxi tunes instruments around us at the Music House rehearsal space in Kingston. Hip Hop has come a long way, as have we.

I make it a point of duty to collaborate with every one of my favourite peer pioneers, especially my Jamaican Hip hop heads. Fresh after One of Jamaica’s first Hip Hop forums, I feel the movement strengthening.

I’m happy to be back in studio as Mr. Collab… I start chopping chords on the keyboard as 5 Steez checks the Mic and Robot Taxi follows…That sounds like a freestyle…

This feels like music…

Chiddy Bang freestyle

Biggup to lil bro for this one. I love the approach and overall feel. Like minded dudes. Got me like what the hell is a Chiddy Bang and who is Xaphoon?? he talented.

Apparently Chiddy just recently broke the world record for longest freestyle of 9 hours and 15 minutes and 15 seconds, by apparently going 9 hours, 18 minutes, and 22 seconds, supported by looped beats played by Xaphoon. Mad!!. Found this on MTV

2011 Marketing Trends for Music – Part 1 (QR Codes, NFC, Mobile, Tablet, Goggles)

A great reference for forward thinkers. Mr Buzz factor Bob Baker strikes again. I found this one on his Youtube. He and Donald S Passman (All you need to know about the music business) are my ‘best friends in music that I never met’.  I find myself more conscious of how my different web portals look from mobile devices as the smart phone game continues to advance.

hmmm no photoshop on this machine and I should maybe resize some of the photos to load more easily. I just watched a Lupe Fiasco video – ‘Words I never said’ recently where they use QR codes scanned by a smart phone that lead directly to a site with his ‘L.A.S.E.R.S Manifesto’ …cool!

Ok and heres 2011 Marketing Trends for Music – Part 2 where Bob talks about immediacy,  virtual tours and streaming live from your Iphone. Woah!

One of Jamaicas first HIP HOP forums held at ‘Sound Culture University’

Sound culture university holds jamaican hip hop forum

Originally posted at Hip Hop Roots JA

Sounds of Life held a historic event for Jamaican Hip Hop on Friday, May 20, 2011 on the lawns of Emancipation Park. Scores of rappers and producers convened for the Sound Culture University with a curious audience filled with fans, DJ’s, academics, journalists and skeptics alike. The discussion revealed to everyone that local Hip Hop is in its early stages and is still defining itself. The vision is for it to bring Hip Hop full circle and rekindle the global genre and culture with its Jamaican roots and its essence – as stated by one local rapper (T.S.D.), “to speak truth to power”. Many issues and challenges within Hip Hop were discussed, particularly in a local context. For the first, many ‘outsiders’ to the movement could get a better understanding of not only the genre in general but more specifically its local manifestation.

This was the first event of its kind for local Hip Hop. It was said by one rapper – your Musical Correspondent – that the community has never had such a forum to discuss its music. The audience heard much about the experiences and perspectives of local Hip Hop artistes. It is of importance to note that Dr. Sonjah Stanley Niaah said that the various Hip Hop practitioners seated before her will be right in touch with what the new musical genre to evolve out of Jamaica will be.

Many people stuck around for more discussion after the event, especially rappers who have begun to plot more cooperation in building the local Hip Hop scene and propelling the music both locally and internationally.  The energy was great for all Hip Hoppers. And Sounds of Life must be thanked. This was a great opportunity and will be the catalyst for much more in the future.

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Started with a cypha to keep the rain away and ended with Tarrus Riley performing at a peace concert behind us. kudos to Afifa for making it happen. Cant believe so much of the Hip Hop fraternity show up to sit neatly on the lawns of Emancipation park and hold some organized reasoning with doctors producers and fans about the movement. Boom!

Sonicbids CEO Panos Panay On Rethinking Music plus 5 Tips For Emerging Artists

image from www.google.com Respect to Mr Dyce for finding this one for me at  Hypebot.com. This  post is by Panos Panay, Founder & CEO of Sonicbids.

Last week, I attended Rethink Music. An event dedicated to, well, rethinking the state of the music business. A loaded topic, eh?  As I touched on in the white paper I put together for the event, if you take to heart what’s been written in the press about the “music business” of the past 10 years, one may quickly conclude that there’s not much hope left for 21st century performers.

A closer look, however, reveals that the music business is not so much imploding as it is evolving. Consumer tastes are changing and record labels and radio are no longer the cultural arbitrators they once were. Music listeners are moving away from the mass-produced music consumption habits of the broadcast media to the more tailored and personalized experiences of the social media age. And, just as importantly, artists are migrating away from the mass-market revenue model of the broadcast era to the mass of niches model of the new, Internet era.

Far from dying, the music business is alive and ever resourceful in finding new ways of making money and evolving. Here are some of the trends we’re seeing at Sonicbids and how it relates to today’s emerging artists.

The New Live Music Business
Live music is no longer just about what’s being performed in stadiums and arenas – and doesn’t always entail a show that involves a consumer buying a ticket. Live music is part of the experience at bars, coffee houses, art galleries, cruise ships, wineries, amusement parks, street fairs and countless other. House concerts have emerged in the last two years as the primary touring means of emerging artists. This is a vibrant, expanding list of people that are making live music part of the consumer experience. The live music business is not dead. It’s simply fragmenting, evolving, becoming more organic and less mass produced.

Consumer Brands: The New Arts Patrons
As long as there is art, there will be patrons to sponsor artists. It used to the record labels. In their place, we’re now seeing consumer brands step in to act as both arts patrons and popular taste curators.  Large consumer brands like Diesel, Gap, Converse and more are spending millions on creating programs that use emerging music as a means of reaching consumers. What’s most promising for today’s emerging artist is the shift in consumer brands working with established artists to more “niche” artists. Today’s young consumers demand authenticity from the brands they endorse and emerging music. And what better way to deliver that authenticity than emerging music?

Fan as Collaborator
Much fuss has been made by the industry about the new music can. The 16-year-old who refuses to pay for music. But the music that most emerging artists see is not an antagonist. They’re a collaborator. Sites like Pledge Music and Kickstarter are helping artists raise money, not in the form of donations, but by selling album credits, unique experiences, exclusive concert tickets, one-of-a-kind merchandise and more. These are not acts of charity but acts of collaboration, co-creation and co-development.

And Music Licensing for All
Music consumption is not curtailed. It’s shifting venues from the record store to your TV set, local cinema or your next elevator ride. According to South By Southwest’s site, nearly $10 billion is generated annually on a worldwide basis from music licensing and performance rights activities. We’re seeing everything from large advertisers (ala Temper Trap’s “Sweet Disposition” in a recent Diet Coke commercial), to video game publishers like Electronic Arts and Activision, to toy companies like Fisher-Price and Mattel using emerging music.

5 Tips For Emerging Artists
The good news is that the internet has put today’s emerging artists in control. However, emerging artists need to believe they are in control. Here are some quick tips:

  • Think of music beyond just “the stage.” Music is everywhere.
  • Build meaningful relationships with your fans. They’re your best friends.
  • Know who those fans are… Like any business, the more you know your customer, the better you serve them.
  • Treat your music like a business. Find time to make your music, but also time on how you’re going to market it. Create a plan.
  • Have a social media strategy. Facebook and Twitter are powerful tools for connecting with your fans and creating new fans virally.

SHAQ The MC – Mona Jam Session Pt 2 with Vernon Dacosta

Streets is Hot…

Part two of Mona Jam Session with Vernon Dacosta. So I set the tempo and the tone for ‘Rozanne’. Vern followed finding a perfect groove on the spot never having heard the song before. This is one of the first songs I wrote with lady fender so its only fitting that she be with us. ‘Rozanne’; an ode to loves lost and short lived.

Streets is hot follows shortly after Vern’s timely words of wisdom. This one we’ve rehearsed before. A song that started as a freestyle of mish mashed verses now becomes a timeless yet current commentary on Jamaica’s state of affairs.

One of many jam sessions I now record as I use my music to bring some of my favourite musicians together. More soon…

SHAQ The MC at ‘Berry Live’

Dug up from the vaults. Ten minutes with SHAQ The MC taken from ‘Berry Live’ 2009. filmed at Heathers Garden Restaurant, New Kingston. Also seen here, musicians Jermaine ‘Songo’ Wilson (drums), Jermaine Williams (keyboard), Blake Roper (guitar), Kamardo Blake (Bass).

Working on the ‘SOLUTION’ Part 1

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Over at Stages studio with engineer Doug.

Marcus Golding adds some live drums and Doug starts the mix

Asani Morris sent me the music for Solution years ago. ‘The riddim sick!’ It drives hard and at the same time has lots of silly sounds. I remember listening to it for months not knowing what to do with it. It needed a Solution. All I had was a string of declarations… and that’s what the song became for me.

“We need a Revolution … cos I see no Solution!

This song comes with a story longer than I’d wish to tell; a gestation period that involves losing the files completely once or twice. I’m really not sure when this was originally recorded but this is the 3rd version, I’m sure.

That being said it created more problems than solutions and time rolled by as the Solution Riddim was juggled on the radio with songs from Vybz Kartel, Aidonia and others… no SHAQ The MC.

It was such an experiment for so long that it got shelved, never released. Now years later, having recently performed the song a couple times, doing even more experiments with a live band, the team is back in studio working on the ‘Solution’.

SHAQ THE MC - Solution @ Jamnesia 01SHAQ THE MC - Solution @ Jamnesia 02

Solution will be the first song  produced through Difamli Entertainment for its first official SHAQ The MC release yet to be titled. Stay tuned…