Saturday, 13 October 2007


Constructive emcee, Bashy, is presenting a positive image of black boys with his pioneering tune, simply titled Black Boys.
The song is dedicated to brothas making movements towards success.
More specifically, Bashy gives props to Dizzee Rascal, So Solid Crew, Jermain Defoe, Swiss, Trevor Nelson, Sway, Kodjo, Steve Sutherland, his Father and many others.

The self-proclaimed 'social/street commentator' also puts aside his past issues with Wiley by stating "….that's why no matter what we had, I still gotta' shout out Wiley. He built a scene. Amongst us black boys he built a dream".
The fact that he mentions Wiley (credit where credit is due right?) shows Bashy's maturity as a person and an artist.

Don't worry ladies; Bashy doesn't forget the sistas, as he mentions a few "ebony dimes" like Sade, Ms Dynamite, Keisha White and others.
Also Bashy tells me a remix dedicated to us sistas, is on the way and will feature Ms Dynamite.

When asked what inspired Black Boys, Bashy explains "We don't celebrate our black people's successes and I've had enough of it".

Positive praise for black boys (and girls too) is rare, it is more likely that black boys are associated with negativity and are often stereotyped as hooligans and gun wielding thugs.
So hearing such lines as "no we ain't hooligans, just young and talented Nubians," was a refreshing delight to my ears.

The song also coincides with Black History Month which is celebrated every October in the UK.

A big shout out to Bashy, because music isn't just about who can move the most units (someone enlighten 50 Cent), it's also about sending out a message and Bashy's got it locked.

You can vote for Black Boys on MTV Base– get voting people because this song is worth it!


October is Black History Month (BHM) in the UK and there are many events/activities that will be taking place, to enable us to reflect and learn about the contributions of the black community, celebrate their achievements and discover black history.

There are loads of things to do this month, get involved and you’ll be spoilt for choice. For more information visit your local council’s website or click here.

Happy Black History Month!

Thursday, 30 August 2007


Civil rights activist Reverend Jesse Jackson, Diane Abbott, Lee Jasper, Doreen Lawrence and many other key BME figures graced the Economics of Colour conference in Westminster last week.

The conference was part of the Economics of Colour five day tour which is being headed by Rev. Jackson up and down the UK. The event commemorated the 200th anniversary of the abolition of slavery conference whilst also launching Equanomics UK, a 1990 Trust initiative which is “committed to equality through economics”. The initiative aims to “strive to change the face of equalities and provide an even playing field for all deprived members of society, through combined efforts of the grassroots, the private sector, educational institutions and political organisations”.

The conference began with a presentation showing BME (black minority ethnic) key figures such as Nelson Mandela, Angela Davies, Gandhi, Maya Angelou, Tupac Shakur and Bob Marley – just to name a few. Each figure received a round of applause and cheers as the audience stood in admiration and pride.

Tony Benn, former MP and Cabinet Minister was the first to deliver a speech and he told the audience “treat people as you wish to be treated yourself,” he then went on to say that all the great religions teach us this.

Dipen Rajyaguru from the Hindu Council UK urged that the BME community needed to “mobilise their votes” and Rajyguru called for unity in order for us to gain economic justice and empowerment.

Tahir Alam from the Muslim Council UK also called for unity and collaborative working.

Simon Woolley of Operation Black Vote declared “I am a proud descendant of a slave,” he then went on to say “to me they weren’t slaves that was my family”.

Diane Abbott who recently celebrated 20 years as an MP, touched on the issue of gang/gun crime and how it is not an issue specific to black youth but an issue that concerns disaffected, alienated poverty stricken youth. Abbott also discussed the failure of schools to black children and the desperate need for political and economical advancement of the BME community.

Rev. Jackson was last to speak and he delivered a gripping speech in which he informed the BME community that we must not “self-degrade”. The two times presidential candidate also said “in Britain we are not beggars and borrowers, we are buyers, menders, investors and builders” and we need to demand “economic power because we spend”.

Sunday, 29 July 2007


Superstar artists such as Kelis, Jamelia, K'naan and one of Naija's finest – 2Face; graced the Rise festival with their presence at Finsbury Park.

For those of you who have had your eyes and ears glued to the ground, the Rise festival is a free anti-racist music event held every summer (since 2000) by the Mayor of London. The festival aims to stand against racism, fascism and promote London's diversity.

Other activities at the festival were a fair ground, children's play area and exhibitions (where you could get some freebies).

Not even the dodgy English weather could stop the thousands of people who came to watch the performances, eat some good food, enjoy the activities and the atmosphere whilst supporting a good cause on the 15th of July.

Along with the main Rise festival stage there were also six other stages which included an African Village stage (which saw the likes of 2Face), a Mela Stage (which exhibited Asian artists and culture) and an Underground Stage where unsigned artists could do their thang.

Unfortunately for me I didn't get to witness much of the other stages but what I did see at the main Rise stage was definitely worthwhile. Despite being in the pouring rain when the UK R&B hottie Jamelia began her performance, the crowd received her very well – jumping and bubbling whilst Jamelia sang her tunes which included her smash hits "Thank You" and "Superstar". Jamelia was lovely; I enjoyed her performance and judging from the crowd's cheers I'm sure they did too.

A shout out needs to go to the DJ (don't know his name - my bad) who played all the hot old school and new school jams, keeping us entertained in between performances; especially when Kelis was taking forever (don't worry she made it up to the festival goers in the end).

The boss Kelis was announced to come on stage TWICE – the second time was by Choice FM's tag team Kat and RB ("Ooh we love you RB, watch you everyday on MTV" - sorry I couldn't help myself) but still we were waiting for like a gazillion years. So when the eccentric singer finally came on stage, I was screwing but that didn't last long as my fowl mood was soon lifted by Kelis' hyped, refreshing and entertaining performance. After singing what felt like 50 songs that I wasn't familiar with, Kelis then sang all my tunes including "Bossy", "Lil Star", "Millionaire", "Trick Me" and "Milkshake" (at which point the crowd was sooooo crunked - Lil John would have been put to shame). Kelis is quite a performer - my girl was doing the tic toc, bum flicks and dropping it like it was hot; at one point I was questioning her sanity but I guess that's Kelis for you.

Sadly after Kelis' performance my legs had given up and I made my way home, without witnessing the Dustyfoot Philospher aka K'naan. However the Rise festival was still a nice event, if you missed out then that's a shame but there's always next year.

Saturday, 7 July 2007


As a lover of poetry and music immediately this event captured my interest when it was brought to my attention (thank you Jadine and Serena). Inspire is a weekly open mic night dedicated to the arts (poetry, rapping, singing, comedy, dancing – I'm sure you get the picture).

So Thursday evening the girls and I made our way to NIA Bar in Camberwell, showing up early of course (cause Doyin doesn't like standing and I wanted good seats) and yes we managed to get the BEST seats in the hizzhouse, right up front (thank you Floetic Lara)!!!!!

The NIA bar (formerly known as the Cube) is a great comfy setting (especially when you have such great seats); it was definitely a nice mellow vibe. The bar fitted in with my student price range (£1.50 for soft drinks you know) and so did the free entry; so it was all good.

Now as for the actual event, WOW…I was blown away. The hostesses Floetic Lara and Lyrical Healer were just amazing hitting us with the neo-soul flavours, they were so warm, welcoming and soooo talented. The performers were great and varied; there was deep poetry from Realitie, thought provoking Hip Hop from J The Exodus, a beautiful piece was played to us by Pipes with his flute and I can't remember anymore names but everyone was fabulous!

Inspirational is an understatement because this event more than inspired me, I was touched and moved beyond belief. Inspire gets 5 out of 5 stars from me, I will definitely be going again and if anyone wants to come down as well the info is below.

INSPIRE (FREE ENTRY) @ NIA BAR – 58 CAMBERWELL CHURCH STREET, LONDON SE5 and it starts at 7pm (for open mic sign up) or 8pm-11pm for the actual show and there's a DJ till late. Oh yeah remember it's on Thursdays and for more info here is Inspire's myspace

Friday, 4 May 2007


I discovered an article on the Telegraph newspaper website today which I thought I would bring to your attention. The article detailed the tragic murder of a man in which police believe witnesses are keeping quiet. However a poem was left on lampposts and bus stops that allegedly names the killer (who is said to be a black male) and how he disposed of the murder weapon. The article then goes on to say that the author of the poem “uses street slang which suggests he may be black himself”.

I hear so many people - young, old, from a variety of races and backgrounds that use “street slang” frequently; in fact it seems to be a fashion trend. So it amazes me that the Telegraph came to the ill-informed and stereotypicl conclusion that because the poem was written in "street slang" this “suggests he may be black”.

Click here to view the article.


Many candidates from the neo-Nazi BNP party failed to win seats during local elections; despite there being 750 candidates this week. The BNP also lost seats that they had previously occupied, reports Black Information Link.

Click here to get the full story.