The Journey of Sir Marcus of Nasty

Recognised in the present as the leading DJ of the UK Funky scene, Sir Marcus of Nasty has endured many years of persistence and determination. Thus making his existence appreciated and respected by newcomers and legends of the music industry both underground and mainstream. Below is the story of Marcus Nasty’s voyage…

The journey of Marcus Nasty started during the turn of the new millennium whilst the UK Garage scene had started to decline from its peak. With music evolution bringing the birth of the Grime genre, Marcus Nasty moved with the times. So Solid Crew were making major impact both underground and mainstream showing a strength in numbers, encouraging a formation of many other crews, one of which was named N.A.S.T.Y. Crew.

Founded by Marcus Nasty, N.A.S.T.Y. (Natural Artistic Sounds Touching You) Crew which included Mak10, Jammer, D Double E, Kano, Ghetts, Griminal and Terror Danjah amongst others, was one of the highly observed crews of the Grime scene during it’s infant stages and whilst blossoming. With residence on Flavour FM and later moving on to Deja Vu, supporters were able to be entertained via the airwaves as well as within clubs. Although members changed along the way, N.A.S.T.Y. Crew remained form for a period of 4-5 years, unfortunately coming to demise during Marcus Nasty’s absence. Nevertheless all members of the crew have managed to settle personal differences and many members have continued to progress musically with many remaining prominent names into the present day.

The downfall of N.A.S.T.Y. Crew meant that Marcus Nasty had to find new feet within the music scene. Grime was now experiencing a decline due to trouble at events and many DJs had reverted back to Garage, some mixing the music with the soulful sounds found within US House. However whilst exploring the House genre for himself, Marcus Nasty found that he had preference to the more tribal sound which reminded him of the same elements he had enjoyed within Grime and wondered whether any UK producers had attempted to replicate the House sound. Sourcing music from producers previously worked with, Marcus Nasty gained himself a wide collection of a homegrown House influenced sound which included elements found within Garage, Grime and even Jungle. Although producers were unsure of the productions, they were liked by Marcus Nasty who played them and began the birth of the UK Funky scene.

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UK Funky takes over Twitter!!

The past weekend has been more than comical for all those involved in the UK Funky scene. During the early afternoon hours of Saturday, champion Grime MC Wiley discovered the bar ‘unite the raver‘. First he made it a point to find out which Funky MC the bar belonged, then enquired whether or not there was a song to go along with it, then came the unexpected.

For the remainder of the weekend, Wiley’s tweets all seems to have some kind of relevance to uniting the ravers. Some were about who has united ravers over the years and others who hasn’t. Even during X-Factor he spectated which contestants were able to unite ravers and who weren’t.

By Sunday afternoon, there was laughter coupled with complaints that ‘Unite The Raver‘ had taken over many people’s timelines, Wiley’s jokes seemed to had encouraged many to join in with their own ‘Unite the Raver‘ tweets. Plus Ramzee added petrol to fire by encouraging every area and nation in turn to put their ‘Hand in the Air‘ causing retweets from many different angles.

I think it would be an idea for Ramzee to collaborate with Wiley to bring us an official track for Unite the Raver/Hand in the Air…… Just a thought…..

Ramzee has become renowned within the UK Funky circuit for the good vibes and fun that his lyrics bring. As none are based on degrading women or bragging about belongings or popping champagne, the appeal to join in with enjoyment is felt by all.

Salutes!!

UK Funky’s Dead!!

If you agree with the above statement, I can already assume that you either weren’t into Funky in the first place, turned off as the fruition of MC tracks took place, or alternatively turned on. This is said because with empathy, it would be agreed.

The UK Funky sound grew much faster than any person could’ve anticipated. Many got accused of jumping on the trend because it was the sound of the moment, while others were turned off by some of the turns taken within the evolution of the music. Others stayed and continued to work on their own personal developments and signatures within their contribution to the music. All the while, what the basic definition of what ‘UK Funky’ sounds like, remained and still does remain undecided by the masses.

As it was the MC tracks that gained the most mainstream attention, this is the identification made by those who took notice, or walked away, at the point of commercial breakthrough. The MCs are getting the most blame for ‘killing the scene’ but it has to be questioned… Why are the MCs getting the blame? Surely it wasn’t the MCs playing the music, it was the DJs… Why were the DJs playing them? Was it the DJs getting hype in the clubs? A DJ is there to entertain, but if you’re a DJ who is also blaming the MCs, were you not wheeling up their tracks in hope to ‘shutdown’? The hype you helped to create is what led to A&R interests. Make it Funky for Me and In The Morning just about got savoured, but there were so many other quality vocal tracks which got left by the waste side. How many of those got wheeled up 6 times in the clubs? Are DJs not also supposed to teach their audiences about the music too?

The MCs never ruined Funky, they helped it gain attention. But for those that require an MC to acknowledge the music as Funky, your only hope is for Funky Dee to retain his throne with another Napa anthem this year. Or maybe the island will birth another star. If not Funky to you is dead.

It has to be begged to differ. Trilla was recently on Radio 1 in doing a live gig in a Newcastle University with Tim Westwood and Mista Jam, as was Funky veteran Donaeo. With both artists tearing the house down, how is it possible for the sound to be dead? One artist is from Birmingham and Funky is labelled a London sound. Surely for someone from the Midlands to get this kind of response in North Yorkshire shows growth. Evidently the borders have been truly demolished.

The sound of Funky has been making presence internationally, recognised and even being produced in countries that have never witnessed the London club scene. Some even boasting a club culture of their own. The DJs within these countries tend to be more supportive of the people making the music. So it has to be asked, how many DJs within the UK circuit really support producers by purchasing their music? With that said, if you’re a DJ, when was the last time you asked a producer to send you a track using your title as a reason why they shouldn’t decline? It doesn’t stop at DJs, how many ‘UK Funky Lovers’ invested in the music with an official compilation in their shopping cart? But when did you last download a mix CD? The MC tracks got signed largely due to the hype on the rave scene within the clubs, but how many felt they were worth the 79p?

The birth of UK Funky was first embraced for it’s rebirth of love and unity within the clubs and the control given back to the DJs. This unfortunately got lost along the way. But the lack of unity does not rest there, as the frequent highly political occurrences have resulted in a very cliquey music scene, in which everybody is accused of being out for themselves. It’s not expected for all to be sharing their Sunday dinner, but surely the scene requires a business-like element to it instead of friendship rings. If not, how heavy is the scene as a contender against the more business like genres within the other elements of the music industry?

The MCs have not been able to continue feeding their audience thus far, and the A&Rs seem to no longer be floating, so anybody wishing to make a quick buck or hoping the jump on a wave of hype can definitely say that their dreams have surely died. But the original sound of Funky has continued to progress within its soulful and tribal elements of the genre, therefore bringing the overall sound back to what the connoisseurs originally fell in love with. To them, Funky is not dead, but more revived, living under the House shelter in refuge.

In saying this, music does not die, it evolves. So unless you’re listening to it in the middle of a cemetery, any kind of music cannot be associated with death. But Logan Sama put across something similar to the above whilst the masses claimed that Grime was dead. Since then artists of the genre have topped national charts on a number of occasions, doing more for UK music that had taken place prior. So even if you’re one that is adamant that Funky is definitely finished, and all the above is garbage, keep an open eye glued.

The One Liner Genre?

During the rise of the UK Funky scene the number of Hosts/MCs were rather sporadic. All had gained their veterinary within a previous underground music scene and the aspiring Hosts/MCs were reporting to find it hard to gain platform to showcase their talents. With the veterinary wanting to pioneer the new club scene alone, this resulted in a lack of guidance for newcomers. Feeling pressured to not apply too many bars over the music, as to not make it sound too much like Grime or even Garage, the only clear instruction given to those with ambition to be the man with the microphone in hand, was to keep the bars simple. A hook that is gentle within it’s flow. This changed however as soon as the ‘Nursery Grime’ phase arose.

Within the release of these ‘Nursery Grimes’ it became standard practice for an aspiring Host/MC or artist to find a Funky instrumental and make a track in the way that is heavily witnessed within the Bashment genre. This lead to an influx of new ‘artists’ on the scene and an evolution within the UK Funky sound. Which also left the scene facing a divide.

On the plus side, this change has not only aided in success of limelight, with interest shown from major labels and also media, but this also brang with it a large influx from other UK genres from artists who recognised the opportunity as a genre that could bring them their much desired and previously thwarted success. The result has been many chanced one-liners chanted over and already known Funky production with the most identified being repeated in general conversation amongst followers and non-followers having become the current representation of music.

The composers of the one-liners are receiving the most media and record label attention, leaving the original Funky styled productions at the waste side. A track like “Oi You! Are you gonna bang!?” is jumped on by a major record label A&R with Apple (the producer of Chantes, the track underneath) not even recognised for his talents. Chants like “Show me how you get down!” repeated by the youths who become all to familiar who Gracious K is, but are more than bewildered at the mention of DJ Gregory or Hardhouse Banton. Maxwell D has managed to continue his musical surf across the UK homegrown genres, making a ground breaking effect within his BlackBerry Hype anthem, even to the extreme of stocking a beverage sharing the same name. But the rise of Lil’ Silva has remained a pledge of his own, even with many of these one-lined tracks being applied over many of his productions!!

This is a major turn of events since the Funky scene first arose, when the common complaint was that there were too many instrumentals. Since, there have been many ‘soulful’ styled productions but only a fair few receive any recognition. Minus Egypt’s In The Morning produced by Fuzzy Logik, the same attention from major record label A&Rs has been failed to be achieved. Attacca Pesante ft Shea Soul – Make It Funky For Me, Footsteps ft A.L. – Tell Me, MVP ft Louise Williams – Take Me Away, these are a handful of very well produced soulful Funky tracks that have been disregarded by majors and media, yet they hold a much larger diversity of appeal to the general music listener.

The Funky scene has become to signify a sub-genre where you can gain success from a simple one-liner that requires no level of wit or intelligence to compose. Yet gain the most exposure in commercial media via radio and TV. But how long will this mainstream media last? Can a genre survive on a plague of one-liners? Is Funky due to go down in history as the genre remembered for it’s punchlines? Will any of the one-line composers be able to adapt into what the Funky sound was originally about? Will they start working ‘with’ producers to compose their tracks? Will the more talented ‘artists’ within the genre start getting the same level of attention from media and major label A&Rs? Who knows?…..

If we reflect on the short-lived spotlight received by K.I.G. Family following the release of Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes, it has been proven that without a follow up that holds the same degree of impact, a one-liner has the same lifespan as a seasonal flower. However in saying this, follow up tracks are proving to be a major task within the artists of the scene at present. Donaeo is the only artist to have already released an album at the moment. We can only hope the majority of fellow artists can follow suit.

So we’ve witnessed a rise and takeover by MC/Skank tracks, I am intrigued as to what the next step in evolution holds for the Funky scene.

Donaeo’s wearing Wiley’s Rolex!!

Ok so I may be a bit late on this one. Having been asked on a few occasions whether I had heard it, I thought it time I did my research. I’ve become a bit complacent recently when being alerted of Grime crossover or MC productions, as constant displeasure can eventually be disheartening. However I have to say I found this one a pleasant surprise.

We haven’t heard Donaeo showing off his singing abilities for a while now, and having teamed up with Wiley, the finishing product is one that captures the electro element that has been creeping into many of the recent grime productions. Of course with both of them being known for their MCing capabilities there has to be the occasional lyric or two.

The only thing that is confusing me with regards to this track is whether its Grime or Funky?

Keepin’ It Funky!!

As the funky scene has continued to evolve and start finding its feet within the industry, there have been many developments. A substantial amount of upcoming and also already established DJs are now naming the sub-genre as there speciality, as well as a new found growth in producers now making the music.

Funky Junkie fever has swept over the nation infecting the masses along the way, converting both listeners and music industry hopefuls from the already prominent genres previously named as favourites. The attraction is also being witnessed in the higher entities, where nationally recognised participants within the industry haven’t been able to resist the desire to dabble with the sound.

While funky has retained its diversity within the instrumental aspect, there has been another type of vocal addition that has always had its boundaries, aware that input was greater appreciated by connoisseurs in small doses. A respectable contribution, which in excess would surely turn a good apple rotten. A role that when undertaken, requires deliverance with diplomacy and instigation. This allows the DJ to control the music, and the Host to control the crowd.

With funky having various ancestors, the sound holds a collaboration of influences, with House, Garage and Grime having the most bearing. It is for this reason that while one track may reflect a softer soulful vibe, the next could be much darker and broken, one of the qualities of the sound that increases its appeal and marketability. However it is also this element of the sound that has proven to hold disadvantage where it has attracted a trend not welcomed by the true connoisseurs who feel that it has been misconceived and manipulated by the newcomers to the movement producing material such as this:

It has been felt that this new craze that has been said to have contaminated the funky sound is nothing more than what could’ve been expected, as there is such a lack of structure, a result of its diversity. While when delivered in originality it is widely appreciated, in imitation, it is scorned. The movement has been nurtured by its true loves to ensure its stance is moulded correctly so the foundations are laid with longstanding format.

The word has been spoken by many that have been large contributors to the growth of the movement that this new craze is in deep requirement of being purged from the scene. Although all participation has previously been welcomed, this new sound has been rejected as a strain of the funky generics and has been advised that the innovators of this heavily MC based and dance move sound, start a new movement of their own calling it something different.

Within this video interview (4.30 – 5.07 mins), Marcus Nasty who has been crowned the God-Father of the movement as a major benefactor, voices his feelings on this particular subject.

There is an evident thirst for this type of music, witnessed within the universities across the country, which indicates that there is an appeal. The question really is whether it’s possible for a sound that hasn’t yet found it’s own true form, is able to evolve far enough to provide birth of another new sound without them being combined as one?

Funky Grime or Grime In Disguise?

This is Grime………

This is apparently Funky……..

So What is This?

Is a new evolution of sub-genre required in the name of Funky Grime??