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Old 22-06-2012, 03:33 PM   #1
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Default Former BBC Radio 1xtra DJ speaks out

(I thought I'd post this here. It's part of an old General thread but it deserves its own thread).

GOOD VIBRATIONS PODCAST VOLUME 2, WITH NESHA (SINGER AND FORMER BBC 1XTRA DJ)

In this interview, Mark Devlin (who interviewed David Icke in January 2012, see previous Headlines) speaks with Nesha, a British R&B singer with previous hits such as 'What's It Gonna Be?'. She went on to become a daytime presenter on the BBC's 1Xtra radio station, before parting company a few years ago, somewhat disillusioned at some of the attitudes and practices she had found at the BBC.

More recently, she's been paying attention to the themes, subliminal messages and symbols contained in popular music, and has questioned what they are designed to achieve. Here, she shares many of her thought provoking observations.

Good Vibrations podcast Vol. 2: Nesha by Mark Devlin on SoundCloud - Create, record and share your sounds for free


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Old 22-06-2012, 11:16 PM   #2
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Explain. Does not make sense.
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Old 23-06-2012, 03:55 AM   #3
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Explain. Does not make sense.
Listen to the link below, all the information is there - I just gave the description in my original post (I've edited it).


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Old 23-06-2012, 10:18 AM   #4
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Explain. Does not make sense.
Makes perfect sense.
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Old 27-06-2012, 10:33 AM   #5
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A good 30 minute interview with Dead Prez.

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Old 27-06-2012, 11:06 AM   #6
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great interview dr
she raises so many good points about where our thoughts and ideas come from, aswell as the symbolism stuff
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Old 27-06-2012, 11:34 AM   #7
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great interview dr
she raises so many good points about where our thoughts and ideas come from, aswell as the symbolism stuff
Yes it's an excellent interview, Unicorny. I like when she said people generally accept what they're exposed to, so if consciousness raising music was broadcast to the same degree as the mind-numbing stuff, they would adjust and embrace it. A big 'if' of course but I believe she's right.
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Old 27-06-2012, 12:45 PM   #8
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Yes it's an excellent interview, Unicorny. I like when she said people generally accept what they're exposed to, so if consciousness raising music was broadcast to the same degree as the mind-numbing stuff, they would adjust and embrace it. A big 'if' of course but I believe she's right.
yeah! it's so true
we can get programmed subconciously or we can reprogramme conciously, but the subliminal programming is really hard to get away from I'm not the biggest fan of hiphop, but I used to like miss dynamite because of what she was saying and what she was standing up for and actually, she wasn't shunned by the BBC.

The way I see it is sex and constant and consistent reference to it keeps peoples brains in their underpants and folks with their brains up their bums generally cant do joined up thinking or contemplate very much atall. they are much easier to control
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Old 27-06-2012, 12:54 PM   #9
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MarkDevlin is a mate of mine A good interview with your good self as well DR
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Old 27-06-2012, 12:56 PM   #10
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MarkDevlin is a mate of mine A good interview with your good self as well DR
oooooh post it please
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Old 27-06-2012, 12:59 PM   #11
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oooooh post it please
When it's released. I'm quoting Mark Devlin who said it was a good interview.

I like the track 'under the skin' DR.
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Old 27-06-2012, 01:57 PM   #12
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When it's released. I'm quoting Mark Devlin who said it was a good interview.

I like the track 'under the skin' DR.
found it!


hope you dont mind dr but i'm sure there are loads on here who would love to hear it
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Old 27-06-2012, 03:58 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by unicorny View Post
yeah! it's so true
we can get programmed subconciously or we can reprogramme conciously, but the subliminal programming is really hard to get away from I'm not the biggest fan of hiphop, but I used to like miss dynamite because of what she was saying and what she was standing up for and actually, she wasn't shunned by the BBC.

The way I see it is sex and constant and consistent reference to it keeps peoples brains in their underpants and folks with their brains up their bums generally cant do joined up thinking or contemplate very much atall. they are much easier to control
Yes, absolutely right. It's sad the way that people (the audience) have just accepted this, in the name of being cool and trendy. I liked Miss Dynamite as well; pity there weren't a few more like her, mind you I imagine they were there but just didn't get as high a profile.

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MarkDevlin is a mate of mine A good interview with your good self as well DR
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I like the track 'under the skin' DR.
Thanks Thommo. Small world indeed! If you'd like a free download of the track, you can get one here: http://imanihekima.bandcamp.com/trac...ath-the-skin-2

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found it!

Good Vibrations podcast Vol. 4: Imani Hekima by Mark Devlin on SoundCloud - Create, record and share your sounds for free

hope you dont mind dr but i'm sure there are loads on here who would love to hear it
Thanks for sharing it, Unicorny, much appreciated.
It's great that Mark is doing this work and hopefully it's an opportunity for people doing this kind of work to link up and help each other.
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Old 27-06-2012, 04:29 PM   #14
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Great inteview just finished listening to it, love your music too, I think what you said about "when people get angry that's when you get change" It's really true and it's something I feel kinda confused about, cos I would much rather have positivity and love bringing about change but generally things do only happen when people get so angry that they wont take anymore.

does positivity breed inaction? hmmm
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Old 27-06-2012, 05:05 PM   #15
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Great inteview just finished listening to it, love your music too, I think what you said about "when people get angry that's when you get change" It's really true and it's something I feel kinda confused about, cos I would much rather have positivity and love bringing about change but generally things do only happen when people get so angry that they wont take anymore.

does positivity breed inaction? hmmm
Thanks, glad you enjoyed it and glad you liked the tunes. I think in general anger can be a catalyst for change though there's also a place for humour, love and positivity. It all depends on the situation. But after protesting about a situation for a long time, at some point you have to ask yourself 'what do I want to feel? Do I want to feel angry 24/7?'. It seems that too much anger can often suit the powers that be just as much as too much complacency.

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Old 02-07-2012, 05:21 PM   #16
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Radio One promoted a massive gig 2 weeks ago in Hackney Marsh with Jay Z and Rhianna and they were all doing the diamond - so inspite of everything - is anything changing?

Remember the Stereo MC's?


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Old 03-07-2012, 08:34 AM   #17
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Radio One promoted a massive gig 2 weeks ago in Hackney Marsh with Jay Z and Rhianna and they were all doing the diamond - so inspite of everything - is anything changing?

Remember the Stereo MC's?

stereo mcs- connected - YouTube
Yes and no. All that's been done by the conspiracy minded people is to give free advertising to those artists, so I expect them to be still doing well.
I like that tune, btw. Is there any particular significance of it?
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Old 03-07-2012, 04:59 PM   #18
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Yes and no. All that's been done by the conspiracy minded people is to give free advertising to those artists, so I expect them to be still doing well.
I like that tune, btw. Is there any particular significance of it?
I don't think people are going to turn away from liking Jay Z, Ri Ri and that whole vibe just because a few "awakened" people start talking about certain issues.

Overall in the early 90's mainstream music seemed more awake - in that tracks like Stereo MC's were in the charts also other bands like the Shamen who were into expanded consciousness etc, though most of it was what they said in interviews, I don't think their music has stood the test of time though.

Anyway that song connected is about waking up, isnt it?
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Old 30-03-2016, 06:43 AM   #19
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Worth revisiting. If any of the mods see this, please paste the Soundcloud link below into my original post. Cheers.


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Old 30-03-2016, 06:55 AM   #20
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(On a related note, this article among other things covers how British black musicians and audiences are perceived, and the expectations placed upon them to conform to a restricted identity. That restricted identity has meant a lack of musical substance and messages of any worth. From 2006 but still of relevance.)

Outside the race

Kevin Le Gendre questions a musical form of segregation

Al Pacino scowls on the Kingsland road, Dalston. The Hollywood legends image is emblazoned on a blue-tinted puffa jacket that stands out among the hoodies, parkas and fake furs sported by teenagers, market traders and housewives in the middle of this colourful, but decidedly glamour-free, stretch of London.

It is a thirty-something black male who is proudly carrying Scarface on his back. The term dating outside the race is usually deployed when black Premiership footballers are snapped in nightclubs with peroxide blondes in tow. Maybe we could call the Ali P tribute worshipping outside the race.

And we could coin a related term: listening outside the race. On the same day that Pacino went east, a twenty-something African Caribbean in Cuban heels was spotted leaving the Music & Video Exchange in west London clutching an album by 80s rock contenders, The Waterboys. Their lead singer Mike Scott is as pale as the fan is dark.

If that seems a strange scenario, it is nonetheless echoed by the iPod playlists of many black British artists, who, lest we forget, are listeners too. Rapper Ty names Kate Bush, English rose of quirkiness, as his favorite singer. Jazz pianist Robert Mitchell admires Icelandic iconoclast, Bjork. Kwame Kwaten, of soul group D Influence, loves Radiohead.

None of this, of course, would make any difference, were we living in an ideal world, but to deny these declarations any significance would be to ignore the racial and cultural divisions that still colour pop.

The music industry is possibly more segregated than ever. In the last decade, the term urban has been installed as a supposedly neutral, de-racialised variant of the previously used epithet black music, and along with it has come a highly stratified marketplace. Lucrative youth genres such as hip-hop and R&B that form the bedrock of Planet Urban, bastion of modernity, now stand eons away from both traditional forms of black music such as soul and jazz, and the mainstream idiom of rock.

Jazz legend Herbie Hancock uses the term narrowcast to express his dismay at the failure of modern radio to broadcast in an inclusive, ecumenical way. The niche concept rules the waves and consumers are targeted accordingly, subjected to the subliminal message that specific forms of art suit their racial profile.

In the UK, the epitome of this phenomenon is BBC1Xtra, the digital radio station that may be equal to other frequencies like 6 Music, but stands separate from flagship terrestrial outlets like Radio 1. Established in 2002, it performs an invaluable service as a purveyor of primarily hip-hop, R&B and dancehall. It has some excellent programmes and engaging presenters. It has an abundance of new sounds.

But it doesn't play music from old black genres. It has no soul, no funk, no jazz. The potent metaphor of the shrinking of the station's stylistic remit is provided in its billing. When it was launched, 1Xtra was subtitled the Home of Black Music. Just a few years later, it became the Home of Urban Music. So no wonder that soul-pop singer Corinne Bailey Rae, currently the most successful black artist in Britain, was broken on Radio 2.

If a young black audience is divorced from Bailey Rae, skillfully mixing a quirky individuality with commercial appeal as Sade once did, what chance do they have of discovering Sade? Or Robert Mitchell? Or Radiohead?

A dichotomy consequently arises and calcifies to cliche: the black kids purvey futurism, the white boys classicism

What strengthens the partitioning is a mainstream music press that may occasionally champion a young black exponent of urban music shaped by technological advance, while telling the world that the all-important British invasion of America's pop charts is yet another application of the anachronistic Stones-Beatles template. A dichotomy consequently arises and calcifies to cliche: the black kids purvey futurism, the white boys classicism. The black kids own the sampler. The white boys own the guitar.

Given this context, its hardly surprising that many teenage black Britons simply do not relate to the alien world of what Dizzy Rascal terms old instruments. In a Clapton studio, I once saw a teenage rapper ask a thirty-something musician to explain what a funk bassline was. Rock was further off the radar. As for the very notion of black rock, it was an anomaly.

History begs to differ, though. Jimi Hendrix, the African-American guitar hero who found success in London in the 1960s, is the most iconic ancestor of the genre, and he has a legacy that has been kept alive in many guises.

As a collaborator of both black (Band of Gypsies) and white (Experience) musicians, Hendrix encapsulates a twin tradition: that of the black rock and the multi-racial rock band. (On which point, Arthur Lee's pioneering Love should not be omitted.) In America, a few of Hendrix's descendants, punked-out brothers rifling riffs from Bo Diddley among them, would include The Electric Flag, James Blood Ulmer, Prince, Living Colour, Burnt Sugar (descended from the symbolically-named collective Black Rock Coalition), Bad Brains, Fishbone, Screaming Headless Torsos, Chocolate Genius, Tamar Kali, Lenny Kravitz and Ben Harper. In Britain, we find the Equals, Thin Lizzy, Rip, Rig & Panic, Fine Young Cannibals (who, like the Fun Boy Three, had members drawn from the important multi-racial Two Tone movement), Little Axe, Tackhead, Roachford, The Stress, AR Kane, Yargo, Skunk Anansie and Keziah Jones.

If these artists remind us that rock is not a mono-racial genre, then the same holds true for jazz and soul. The point is that the miscegenation has been pervasive. Look at Incognito, Young Disciples and DInfluence, emblematic black soul groups of the last three decades: they all have white members. Now look at Magazine, Orange Juice and The Libertines, emblematic white rock groups of the last three decades: they all had black members.

One-way travel
We haven't reached musical racial utopia though. One very regrettable aspect of the record industry is that genre promiscuity is not open to all and sundry. There is a lineage of white musicians who have reinvented themselves through the embrace of anything from soul to world music think Bowie, Byrne, Albarn but the traffic doesn't really flow in the other direction. Meshell Ndegeocello, the maverick African-American bassist and singer who has inventively straddled soul, jazz, hip-hop and poetry, was given such torrid treatment by her record label when she made a folk-rock album, that the resulting animosity coloured the records lyrics. It's called Bitter.

Yet despite the unfavourable odds, black musicians do front bands operating outside of the norm. Kele Okereke, lead singer of indie-rockers Bloc Party, is possibly one of the most interesting figures in contemporary British music, because he squarely defies expectations placed on a minority artist, undermining the notion that all black musicians are synonymous with hip-hop and R&B. This indirectly makes black classical composers Paul Gladstone-Reid and Tunde Jegede less anomalous.

Would their increased visibility draw more blacks to classical music and rock? The perennial question is as insoluble as the million-dollar teaser what makes a hit? Come what may, it's crucial that listeners see themselves reflected in art, particularly if they come from an ethnic minority group, struggling for equality and a sense of identity.

For me, the signifiers needed to be concrete. Seeing the jazz saxophonist Courtney Pine in deepest, darkest Chatham in the 1980s was a defining moment because he was the first Briton Id seen on stage, whose parents, like my own, were Caribbean. He was figuratively close.

Yet the new wave records by The Cure that my older brother played were also quintessential because of their exotica; they were distant. It is precisely a blend of closeness to, and distance from, cultural roots that enables art to grow. African-American music such as jazz and hip-hop wouldn't have evolved if Charlie Parker and Afrika Bambaata hadn't gone European with Stravinsky and Kraftwerk respectively.

In the information age, history is simultaneously priceless and value-less. It surrounds us, submerges us, yet it is deleted as quickly as the thousands of spam emails that threaten to choke our hard drives as relentlessly as nicotine clogs a smokers arteries.

By constantly erasing data, by making every yesteryear a year zero, we lose sight of the less obvious links between individual histories we purport to know well. And, as jazz teaches us, history is the timeless theme to cultures timely improvisation.

In our daily deletion of history, we edit out the black rockers, white funkers, black classical composers and white hip-hop producers who all obscure the prism of race through which art and life are seen. We scorch the common ground between these disparate parties.

It's there, though. Consider the title of one of the high water marks of British hip-hop, Earthlings I Know Who I Am, I'm Not Who You Think I Am. Now consider the title of the debut album by rock group Arctic Monkeys: Whatever People Say I Am That's What I'm Not. Same sentiment? Yes. Different sound? Yes. Different race? Not quite. Earthling was a black and white duo, the Monkeys are a white 4-piece.

Beyond the stereotypes
Ours are hazy, confusing times. Black urban megastars such as 50 Cent, Jay-Z and Beyonce have become commercial behemoths because white, primarily working-class, youth has taken them to its heart. Few question the ability of a blond, Essex teenager to identify with 50s exhortation to smoke that nigga.

However, an eyebrow is still likely to be raised if a black consumer claims that he can understand a rock band with a lead singer whose whiny, Sheffield twang differs from our knee-jerk assumptions of what a black voice is. The music industry tells us that a black voice is not regional, middle-class, middle-aged or rural. It is urban. It is patois-tinged teenage. It is London.

Breaking down the one-dimensional stereotype of both black culture and the receptivity of black consumers to what lies outside of their perceived sphere of interest reminding ourselves that Led Zeppelin had a committed following in Jamaica, for example, or that St Lucians love country and western is crucial.

With that in mind, the sight of a young black couple rubbing shoulders with a white student crowd at a recent gig by Jade Fox is highly symbolic, as are the band themselves, a rock group comprising jazz players. Their lead singer-guitarist, David Okumu, is black, the other members white. Hendrix may be smiling at them as he encircles his third stone from the sun.

Jimi is my hero. He binds me to rock. I understand it. I know its history and realise that there's nothing intrinsically white about it. Rock can be my music. But quality control has to be exercised. So if the Franzs, Kaisers and Monkeys of this world get the thumbs down, it has nothing to do with race. It's simply because they ain't that good. The undeleted history of Talking Heads, Gang of Four and The Monochrome Set has left the bar high.

No matter though, black folks can still listen to, and play, Radiohead. The highlight of Exit Music, the forthcoming covers album of the groups songs, is a reprise of The National Anthem by Meshell Ndegeocello, the bassist who bridges funk and rock with aplomb. Here's a woman to make Pacino, and his Dalston homeboys, bow in respect.

Kevin Le Gendre writes for Echoes, Jazzwise and the Independent on Sunday
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