In this day and age of manufactured artists, it’s absolutely difficult to come across a real one. And by real, I don’t mean that word loosely used by auto-tuned rappers who neither know whether they are trying to sing, or rap. I bet you can name at least 1,000 of such. What you can’t name, however, are real MC s dropping knowledge on M.I.C. That is why when we chanced upon Kingston MC, Five Steez, we really had to have a week-long feature on the Jamaican Hip Hop pioneer. This time, we wondered what it entails to compose, write and record some of the records that fans love (including us). And you know what they say? If you want the truth, what better way to get it if not the horses’ mouth? Here comes the truth!
Released over three years ago as part of the War for Piece album, Rebel is one of the stand out singles as it sees Steez tack some of the issues facing the people of Jamaica.
“Financial aids made us the bankers’ slaves. Teenage boys raised in a gangstar ways… Streets so dangerous, Cops train to hit but still aim and miss”
When we asked Steez how this record came about, he had the following to say:
“The version of Rebel Music on WFP was intended to be just a draft / reference track. By the time I did the official recording I felt the draft had more energy and emotion so I used those vocals”
We stuck in the matrix, and it can’t be one man that’s gonna change us, It’s gonna take the whole entire nation to raise up.
While Steez concludes that Slaving has been one of the most relate-able music from him thus far, he admits never seeing it turning out like that! The reality ladden track talks about people selling out just to end up working on places they don’t like, doing things they rarely find fulfilling. Ooh yes, that too is selling out. You din’t see at such, right?
“I hate it here, let me make it clear, I’m for the paper yeah, that’s my motivation here. This can’t be my career, my talents are too rare, I need to find an exit, but that doesn’t seem too near”
So, how them did Slaving become the reality check it is?
“I didn’t see it turning out like that. I had an idea for a song about the corporate world and some words in mind but those lyrics were never used. Inztinkz sent me that beat for another project but it felt right for the emotions I was feeling. So I started writing to it and what came was Slaving”
Money has to be made, we all slaves to the cash.
The tenth track off War For Peace, the cuts and scratches on this jam makes it a Hip Hop favorite! This is only the third collaboration in the album and Five brought along the savior of the lightskin race, Nomad Carlos himself. Wanna Be Free
“It’s like I am fighting for freedom because I got no choice.”
And how again did the rally to freedom come about?
Me and Nomad Carlos originally recorded Wanna Be Free on another beat and scrapped it because we couldn’t find a suitable hook lol we put those verses on the DJ King Flow beat and then he got Bobby Bob to do the scratches and that was sealed.
Followed Malcolm in my past life but I could never be racist
4. Growing Pains.
We all just enjoy a finished song, rarely knowing what happens behind the curtains, right? I have seen this too many a times when artists share with you what they went through to get you that banger you dance to, or the therapeutic jams you bop to when under stress. We all just appreciate the final product without having the slightest idea of what it took to get to it. That seems to be the case with Growing Pains.
“Trials, tribulations, personal battles, litigations, I been in enough situations,”
Would you mind sharing with us some this pains in creating Growing Pains?
“Growing Pains was recorded 3 times. David Kennedy the producer was very demanding and particular. I almost walked out during the first session lol I learnt a lot from him in the process though. Some very valuable lessons that still stick with me.”
Reminiscing as a kid, life was simple, not as busy as it is, in this current days.
Ever heard a song and suddenly got an idea of how you can flip it to your advantage? That seems to be the story behind Welcome, off 2014 project, These Kingston Times album.
“Maneuver with some effort stay safe in these streets, this city life make you vace for a week!”
before we’re welcomed to Havendale, what’s the story behind this record?
“Welcome originally had a Lupe Fiasco sample saying Welcome all of yall on the hook. I just flipped it and said Welcome to my yard”
Can never think local, our influence global,
In overall, Steez had this to say about These Kingston Times;
“Interestingly as much as These Kingston Times is about Kingston, only one of the producers reside here. And that’s Bravo who did Starring Five“