How did you get involved in Hip Hop?
I have always been into Hip Hop from way back in the days when I
used to body pop and break dance. Then I got into body-guarding and
security and found myself working alongside a lot of the artists that
I actually admired. I guess from there, everything just came
Where/when was your first ever performance as Fredi Kruga?
WHOAH! I guess it's got to be at a club now known as Club EQ (it used
to be called Shenola's back in the day) about........ say about 10
or 12 years ago.
Describe your style
I like to think of my style as a complete fusion of Ragga and Hip Hop
thus forming Ragga Hip Hop..... at least that's what I call it anyway.
I have three characters within myself, FREDI KRUGA is the Ragga
element, HARVEY II FACE is the Hip Hop element and JOHN DOE is the
element which allows them both to merge.
Where/who do you get your influences from?
My influences are forever changing but I guess the core ones come from
everyday living here in urban London and I guess also from the great
deal of time that I have spent in the U.S. Musically, I have been
influenced by Rakim, DMX, NIRVANA, BOUNTY KILLER, SCARE DEM CREW and
of course my brother FIDEL.
What made you want to do a track with Choice FM's Bruv Da Geeza?
Me and Bruv have always been good mates. That track wasn't really
recorded as a song but more as a little joke or gimmick for Bruv to
play on his show. We are going to be working on a track for my album
though. I also used to do security for Choice FM so of course the hook
up was easy anyway.
What was it like working with him, and is that track gonna be released?
A lot of people keep on asking that and it might be...... but it will
have to be restructured along with some more underground orientated
mixes. Working with him is a laugh. Bruv is a real character and has
a lot of great projects in the making. He's also very down to earth
and nothing like the character you hear on Choice but then don't tell
him that I said that!
London's feeling the Hip Hop vibe, is other parts of the UK also feeling Hip Hop?
Most of the major cities in England have a Hip Hop culture of some
sort. Birmingham, Manchester love the vibe and places like Dublin are
Hip Hop mad!
Have you got your own label?
I have set up my own label which is called UN4GIVEN ENTERTAINMENTZ
(KAI RECORDZ). It's all about 'doing 4 self' and creating your own
empire. Any young budding artists can send a demo to me and I promise
to check it out. Contact Mr FRANCIS on 020 8800 6321 for a postal
Have you performed abroad?
I have done numerous shows in the U.S. and performed alongside artists
such as Jagged Edge, Cappadona, P.O.V, Capelton just to name a few. I
have performed at FREANIK in Atlanta and also SPRING BREAK at Daytona
How do the people react to your English accent rapping?
I have blown up a number of spots and I think they take to my style
very well because it has a strong Ragga influence incorporated into
it. The U.S. has a massive West Indian culture so I go down real well
Most U.S. Hip Hop music videos show women in tiny bikinis, what do you look for in a lady?
Her brain. All women have similar body parts but her brain is unique.
I like a woman that can have a decent intelligent conversation because
that makes her all that much sexier............. the breasts! (HA HA!)
Thanx for all the support that you guys have given me. The new single
CARZ is in the stores now..... go buy it..... please! Oh YEAH......
check out the web site at www.un4given.co.uk PEACE!
Let's take it back to day one, how did you start
off 57th, how did you all meet up, and what made you do it?
The story began before 57th - really, you need to go back to the
80s to get a true understanding of how the whole thing could come
together. England, at street level, was run by reggae. There was a
decent reggae industry where man could record and put out tune and
make a change. You had groups like Aswad, Steel Pulse, who put England
on the map in terms of street/black music. You had a thriving sound
system scene, lead by sounds like Sir Coxsone, Saxon Studio and
regular visits by Jamaican (and later) American sounds. All 8 members
of the (future) Dynasty grew through this time: some were involved in
what was going on, some were too young but were still influenced by
Out of this environment, around the late 80s, Charlie Parker
started running an informal studio and developed his production
technique (at that time making reggae and hiphop beats) and thru the
word of mouth artistes local to the area (Brixton, Stockwell etc)
started coming thru. Charlie started the label - Fas Fwd
Entertainments - to put out tunes on as there didn't seem to be any
interest coming from the UK industry to help with this - they were
focused on house, drum n bass and pop. So, the DIY Ethic was born
(actually, it was just a continuation of what man did back in the
days - all the reggae mans were used to doing things this way which is
why it is important to understand where the roots of Fas Fwd/57th
are - being "self sufficient" isn't "amazing" or "admirable" like
people say, its just obvious).
So into this stepped Paradise - just
come in from the US, he showed an energy and commitment that was so
far lacking and it became clear that sh*t could really kick off now.
Charlie and Dise recorded a track - M.O.N.E.Y. - and released it as a
12". It reached critical acclaim immediately.
Meanwhile, mans had been
politicking and already spreading the word... Dise was getting a shape
up in a barbers and talking to the brothers in there he discovered a
family of rappers and deejays. The family turned out to be 4 brothers
and two friends who had skills and came through the studio to
demonstrate and develop.
To cut a long story short it turned out that
these next 7 youths to come through the Fas Fwd studio, all of whom
were either family or friends, produced 4 more core members, who
were/are - The Juvanile Ruckasz (comprising of Dark Troopa aka The
Jedi Knight, 50/50 the lyrical assassin aka Middleman and the
youngest Dynasty member Lil Monsta aka Lil Big Man) and one of their
elder brothers, the ragga chatting Ashanti man - Thundastorm.
So the Dynasty was growing: the Fas Fwd family already comprised of more than
12 members and was growing throughout the area (Brixton) by
association, but The Dynasty still had one more core member to get and
still didn't have its name.
Mr Green, one of the early Fas Fwd
artistes, one day brought thru a brother he knew from Bristol, name
Oshin; Oshin mentioned that he was looking to hook up with a hiphop
crew and he had the credentials, bringing an essential resource to the
Dynasty aside from lyrical skills. Oshin was/is the original
Nomad/country man. Through his regular travels he has managed to
transport Fas Fwd/Dynasty product far and wide across the UK as well
as foreign. So Oshin the Nomad became the final member and the crew
(called Dynasty because of the vision of being an extended family)
took its name after the number on the studio door - 57.
When and where was your first ever performance
and what was the experience like?
Monsta: It was at Dingwalls (Camden). It was a good experience but
we were kinda tatty and wasn't really sure what eachother was doing on
stage. But the crowd reaction to us has always been good so that
helped a lot at the start to keep us confident.
Is UK Hip Hop finally getting through? getting
the recognition it deserves?
Charlie: Don't know if it "deserves" recognition or not and I'm not
sure what can be classed as "getting thru". One thing about this
country (especially this country) - deserts aint got nothing to do
with nothing - you don't get what you deserve, it takes more than
that. Shits getting better tho (especially production), but for the
UK its got to excel rather than just be good because the market is
already flooded with English speaking hip hop that people consider to
be the standard. An infrastructure is getting in place as far as a UK
hip hop industry goes, and its reassuring to see events like
UK Hiphop Awards going on and being quite successful. So I guess it is
getting somewhere, and it is getting recognition. But it's always had
recognition - through the years you had - Derek B, Mello, MC Duke,
Cookie Crew, Definition Of Sound, Double Trouble, MC D,
London Posse... It's not like these guys didn't get recognition.
What they didn't get, mostly, was hit records and a record company
behind them that understood that hip hop (of whatever style) is not
pop music and needs to be handled with a different strategy. That's
one of the reasons why none of those guys really prospered. Another
reason is that people in England are damn mean. There's no culture of
money making money at street level. Man spends his time getting money
and then keeps it or spends it. The way to build up anything is to
invest money, you know, put it down and don't trouble it and then you
will see something start to grow - there is man out there with money
but nobody don't seem to want to put it down in the music biz. Why?
That starts off another argument that's too long for now...
There's not really a platform for UK Hip Hop,
has the internet helped promote it in any way?
Paradise: There wasn't a platform for UK Garage either, until tunes
started selling and getting play in clubs, all of a sudden a million
pirate stations started and things went upwards from there, and garage
found its platform. The internet definitely helps; we have a good
relationship with PeopleSound that helps us with promotion -
that's mainly where the net can help - promotion. It enables heads
around the globe to find you (even by accident) when before they
couldn't. That's cool...
In order for UK Hip Hop to get mainstream
airplay on the major radio stations, do you think it has to be
'watered down' or is it possible to keep pushing the raw underground
UK Hip Hop and get it played on daytime radio?
Mainstream airplay is to do with money. If something has
the right money behind it and there's demand (even sometimes without
demand) it will get mainstream airplay.
Also, there's a lot of pirate radio stations in
London that play non-stop Garage, but only a few stations have a
couple of hours a week for hip hop. There should be a pirate that
plays non-stop Hip Hop all day, why do you think there isn't one
I don't think there will be a pirate dedicated
exclusively to hip hop ever. Even Hot 97 in NY has a few ragga/reggae
shows on it. If there will be a hip hop/ragga station? When UK hip hop
is strong enough to stand on its own (which by the way I don't think
it is yet)
What are your future plans?
Juvanile Ruckasz: Continue education and use all the knowledge we
are learning and have learned over the past four years to help guide
our bredrens, pass on knowledge to the youths and stop them from going
down the wrong paths and improve our own talents and techniques.
Paradise: To continue work in the community and further my
involvement in the music industry, possibly working with and guiding
Thunda: To record in Jamaica and release tunes aimed specifically at
the Dancehall market, and help rebuild the British ragga scene.
Shineye: To produce tunes in Jamaica - already started that! - And be
a cornerstone in the rebuilding of the British ragga scene.
Oshin: To continue to travel and learn more about the music business.
Charlie Parker: To continue to build Fas Fwd Entertainments and
achieve status as a leading UK Urban recording label - continue to
travel and spread the love that has helped build the Dynasty and
Fas Fwd through the needing parts of the world.
All: To take 57th to the top...
What's playing in your car at the moment?
Charlie: Mostly Dynasty shit and my own beats. But other than
that - Adenail (soundclash tape), hip hop mixtapes & old Wu &
Paradise: Still listening to Sizzla & old shit like the MOBB and some
country/down south shit
Thunda: Ragga tapes & slow jams
Juvanile: Whatevers going on - mix tapes, ragga tapes etc... Actually
looking a new set for the car...
Anything else you wanna say to the solidPulse
Yeh - if you're looking at solidPulse the next move you need to
make, when you're finished, is to haul your a**e over to
fasfwd.com and check us out in further detail! Look out for the
single GHETTO GOLD/HOLD STRONG dropping on promo NOW (DJs call us for
promos) and officially hitting stores in March 2001. And following
that, the album, the long awaited follow up to SPOKEN WORD - the
Dynasty's "sophomore" work - D.I.Y. Ethic, releasing around May 2001.
Love to each and everyone... 57th.
How long have you both known each other?
Para: About 10 years now! Since school.
Perry: We grew up in the same area.
Para: Since Perry was little Perry!
Why the name PARA? Are you a paranoid person?
YEAH! Paranoid and Paralytic!
Perry? What does M.S.B. stand for?
Music. Sounding. Better. And it sure does!
Para? How many 'Dub Enforcement Agents' are there? What qualities do you need to become an agent?
There are three main 'Dub Enforcement Agents', Myself, R. Lally and Lloyd-E. There are
other subsidiary agents that support the cause, play the tunes, wear the T-shirts, and
socialise with us, basically promoting D.E.A. to the full.
What is the D.E.A. project?
The project is Future Music. Creating different sounds, something unique, not the same
old general bulls**t.
Perry? House and G or D 'n' B?
D 'n' B for love. House and G for cash!
Para? Classic Tracks?
That 'Abstract' tune (Para begins to sing) "We had a thing going on, and sometimes ****
just for fun, and its real good, and its real good"! And a track called 'Over You'
(starts singing again) "Over you I'm over you dar da da de" That's a classic track too!
And that's it!
When were your first DJ bookings and do you still have the flyers?
Para: '97 man! I've got ALL my flyers.
Perry: August '98 yeah I've still got the flyer 'The Younger Clarkie'!
Perry? What has happened to 'THE 2 DARK CLARK'? Why choose against playing out?
'2 Dark Clark' is now M.S.B. Productions! I have always been inspired by my DJ brother
(DJ Clarkie - Blackmarket Records), I guess that's how it all begun? I used to play out
at various Drum 'n' Bass doos, although I never really wanted to make it as a DJ, I've
always loved mixing. Still, I had plans to produce, and about two years ago I decided
that I wanted my own label. I am now spending my time with the day-to-day running of
M.S.B. and of course working with people like Para, producing phat tracks!
Para? I want to know what persuaded you to go back to Upfront FM?
I had a few disagreements with The Management at Upfront FM, but it's all water under
the bridge now. I knew the Upfront boss before Upfront FM begun, so holding a grudge
was more than pointless, we're friends. The scene is far too small for grudges. PLUS I
was in 'Napa, the Upfront boys were out there, and I decided from then it was time to
Grace London Town!
The track 'DJ Para - Shadow Boxing' on MSB? Does 'Doc Scott' know about your 'Nasty Habits'?
Nasty habits? No, Doc Scott doesn't know as far as WE know? Although, Drum 'n' Bass, and
Garage are two totally different genres of music. 'Shadow Boxing', is a tune with a
popular sample from a Japanese film, anyone can have it! You can have it Z!
'Para-Normal Phenomena' is on a REACT compilation; Matt 'Jam' Lamont presents The Jam Experience. How do you feel about DJ's such as Mr. Lamont using your tune for such a big project?
Para: It's great man! I used to idolise Matt Lamont and now he's playing one of my tunes. Its blinding, plus Matt is a wicked geezer, have you heard his new tune? Boy it's bad.
Perry: Yeah it feels good. It's the second track to be released on MSB and it's on a big project so early on in the life of MSB. Yeah it most definitely feels good.
Para? 'Music Is My Life'? And 'Circles of my Life'? Whose life is this?
Not mine mate! It's Destruction and Madd-B's life, in Bromley pubs. Ha ha! Destruction and
Madd-B put the lyrics together and I made the tune. As for 'Circles Of My Life' that will
be the circles of Lallys' life! Again, I made the tune and Lally vocalized 'Circles'.
Is it right that these two tunes got airtime on MTV and cables' Trouble?
Yeah that's right. We (DEA) made the videos ourselves. I mean we got the cameras,
filmed, edited, everything we did ourselves. WE basically produced and directed. So MTV
and Trouble took these videos and aired them to say 'look these guys are out there and
The Jerry Springer tune absolutely smacked it out there. Plus TV's Jerry Springer was large at the time. Any plans to pirate the 'Big Brother' theme off 'Oakie' for a white label? Or any other plans?
GREAT IDEA! It is a possibility, but I dunno? As for Jerry Springer, wicked tune. Thanks
to 'Jerry' I wasn't 'Harry Lint' for Christmas!
OK, enough of the bog standard questions. What did you do last night?
Perry: Decorated my hallway!
Z: Any colour?
Perry: It's not a colour yet. It's kinda brass right now!
Para: Radio, Pub, errrmm? Went to a friends birthday drink and indulged a little!
What 3 words would you use to describe each other?
Para: BIG FAT PERVERT! Ha ha!
Z: Perry's big 'n' fat?!
Perry: Short Bald and Para. Yeah that's Para init?
Z: What? Perry the Pimp, Pimp, Pimp?
Para: Ha! No! I mean, Music Sounding Better basically sums up our Pel.
Z: Great recovery!
Perry: M.S.B. Mad Sarcastic B**tard!
Para: Thanks Pel.
First Rave? And how old?
Perry: 15 @ Cloud 9 Vauxhall.
Para: I was 14 @ Laser Drome (Para then attempts a Drum 'n' Bass B-line hum)!
OK, what with all the commercialism of UK Garage today I have two straight to the point questions for you...
1) Poshs' Flex? -OR- Not on my Decks?
Para: Not on my ****ing decks man! Oops! I mean - Not on my decks.
Perry: Sorry but not on my decks! Nope. No way.
And finally the other...
2) Joyrider -OR- Bad Accident?
Para: JOYRIDER! Yeah that tune was initially underground so definitely. I say Joyrider.
Perry: Yeah likewise. Colour Girls 'Joyrider' is definitely on another level compared to a Spice Girl.
Z: Okay now it's my time. Big massive thanks to Perry and Para for answering my '20 Questions'.
I should shout to all involved:
www.djpara.com - This site is nearly up and running. All about Para.
www.deaproject.com - Check this site out all you need to know about DEA.
www.msbproductions.com - A new site for a BAD new label. Music Sounding Better.
www.react-music.co.uk - Featuring a catalogue of all React Music. Including D'n'B, H'n'G. You can purchase music on line.
www.blackmarket.co.uk - An obvious site to check. The new site should be up and running shortly, with interviews from DJs such as Micky Finn and other well know professionals. Big Up The Spoon Man @ Azuli!
You can catch DJ Para Live on Upfront 99.3 FM early Tuesday evenings. Once again thanks to Para and Perry, out to you two.
Underground Forever XxX.