Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Street Life will continue


This image is not from the Street Life video, but it's from the street (under the bridge by the Port-of-Spain market). Work on the video will continue ... but will take a brief backseat as I finish up some other work I have to do for a deadline. Hopefully will be able to get the extra shots done this weekend.

- Elspeth -


Anonymous Nuff said...

isn't hip hop like an American thing?
Malik should try singing soca or rapso...that is more acceptable in Trinidad.
i was sharing some of the music on ya site with some of my family and they were like "wha she really tryin' de fact is that trinis not on that level yet and the best way to break them in is to warm them up into it. ent?

nuff said

10:02 AM  
Blogger webgrl said...

Hip Hop is a culture. Just like others, it is born somewhere and travels. Changes. Evolves. Grows. Is.
Malik is trinidadian and is speaking his story through his chosen medium - hip hop. Elspeth tells her story through other media, I tell my story in my way. How do YOU tell your story?

4:34 PM  
Anonymous Nuff said...

Webgrl,I agree that hip hop is a culture but some cultures are indigenous to its society.
Where you are from Webgrl?
I never heard of Elspeth or Happy Hippy before this site. And I’m sure she would agree with me when I say the mass majority of trinis love their soca no matter where they are located in the world. In order for Malik to make a serious affect or impact on the Trinidad and Tobago population he has to get them drawn to his style before he can just branch out in to hip hop.
Elspeth do you make a living selling your music c.ds only with in Trinidad? or do you have to also do your films, video productions and art work in order to survive financially? Even though Elspeth doesn’t do soca music she still included the steel pan which is the national instrument in to her pieces, plus she doesn‘t place her type of music with any other genre of music thus keeping her self original. This shows that she is accepting of her Trinibago culture.

I’m not trying to get down on Malik’s sprints cause I know how it can be to break in to the music industry in of luck on your first single Malik

Nuff Said

7:39 PM  
Blogger Elspeth said...

Nuff ... The music I do is the music I create because that's what comes out. I'm not "trying anything" (re your family's comment).

How can Trini's not be on "that level"? What is "that level"?

I am Trini. This doesn't mean I have to be the next Sparrow, Machel or Denyse Plummer. Yes, the majority of Trinis like soca, but that doesn't mean that all do ... and it also doesn't mean that those who do cannot appreciate other forms of music. I find it narrowminded and stifling for anyone in this day and age to think that being "Trini" means we have to conform to one form of artistic expression. "Acceptable in Trinidad" ... again, a statement that clings to the belief that we are only about carnival and calypso. "Break them in and warm them up ..."? They either like it or they don't. Music is an international language.

Hip hop ... American or not ... As a performer Malik is free to choose the medium that he flows with. People in Trini will like it or not. People elsewhere may like it or not. People are people wherever they are, with varying tastes. Who's to say? If he was doing reggae would people say "But reggae is Jamaican"? What about the Trinis who sound like rank Jamaicans (dancehall, dub, reggae) in their soca? One day maybe I'll deal with this topic in a post. It is a recurring topic. For me ... as a creative person I would be doing myself an injustice to be limited by my geography. Universality is my nationality.

Re using the pan in some of my songs ... yes, I did/do, but not because of trying to please a Trini market or fit into a Trini market. I like the idea of using Trini things in a different way, seeing them from another perspective ... but in the same breath ... some of my music uses bagpipes, Chinese instruments and most of it tends to have strong Eastern overtones ... but that doesn't mean I'm Scottish, Indian or Chinese.

Pan is a 'TT thing'. Why then do the Swiss, Japanese and even Americans make more out of it than Trinis do?

8:02 PM  
Blogger webgrl said...

I agree Elspeth and Nuff i am Trinidadian too and i think that though soca and rapso is an integral and defining part of trinidad culture- its not the be all and end all.

"In order for Malik to make a serious affect or impact on the Trinidad and Tobago population he has to get them drawn to his style before he can just branch out in to hip hop."

His 'style' IS hip hop.

I'm also interested in the question Elspeth posed to you Nuff -

"How can Trini's not be on "that level"? What is "that level"? "

8:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i personally find the comment Trinis, "are not on that level", infuriating!

10:48 PM  
Blogger webgrl said...

Anonymous, whilst that comment also infuriated me for the briefest of moments it DID make me think. Things are changing but i can also see where Nuff is coming from and it seems that nuff isn't in Trinidad and when you are a trini and you have the opportunity to have an external vantage point - things seem so different. Easy to lose that vantage point when you come back and get re thats not a word i just made it on eh )

1:40 PM  
Blogger Elspeth said...

Yes, Nuff's comment was a thought-provoking one.

1:49 PM  
Anonymous Nuff said...

How can Trini's not be on "that level"? What is "that level"? "
The level I’m referring too is not directed to the select few Trinidadians who listen to every and anything but to the majority of the population who would NOT purchase a Trinidadian hip hop c.d. Even Trinidadians who make soca c.ds have to sell it out side of Trinidad in order to make a living. I did some asking around and Elspeth c.ds are not sold at regular retail stores and the three outlets that do sell her c.ds didn’t have it when my friend checked it out for me.
Most Trinidadians don’t even appreciate the soca, chutney or parang music that comes from our island…everything is seasonal. Do you webgrl actually own an original local artist c.d? most people burn copies or don’t even purchase them. Does Elspeth even get air play outside of 95.1 FM? My point is this …that the fact of the matter is if Malik plans to be the next 50 cent or Jay-Z of Trinidad he has a long way coming…Orange Sky got a record deal …. But do the majority of the masses know about them?…does Malik even know about the group called orange sky? Did Malik even know about you, Elspeth before he asked or was recommend to get your services?
Your post on Street Life :lyrics stated..
“There's something simple, infectuous and cross-overish about the overall song which (as a non-hardcore-hiphopper myself), I felt would appeal to a wider audience. It felt like the right move for Malik's first release.”
You even thought it would be best for him to do a song that would cross over better for his first single….because…you wanted the MASSES to warm up to him. This kind of operation is not only done in Trinidad it is a world wide selling tactic that is done to increase sells…that is why hip hop artist ….have women , cars, bling in their videos …country singers wear cowboy hats , boots…you get the drift. Take the concept of the video Elspeth is creating….typical…hip hop style I’m sure.
There is always going to be a back and forth answer on this topic but from a selling point of view …..I would stick to my first comment when I say Malik might have a better chance doing soca or rapso.


9:18 PM  
Blogger Elspeth said...

I don't disagree with you, Nuff. "The masses" are not in Trinidad. The majority would not purchase a local hip hop CD. My CDs are not sold in record stores because I did not put them there. They are in non-traditinoal outlets (bookstores, mainly). Your friend was semi-right in discovering that there were none in the stores because those that were there have been sold and just yesterday I made a new batch to replenish the stocks. You would be correct to say that I have to do it myself ('distribution') etc because I do. You are right to say that my kind of music does not play on the radi bcox the radio is dominated by foreign music (and soca when it comes to local) and I have been "lucky" in this culture to even get my music played on 95 and 100 FM at all ... in a country where artistes have to march to get their music played in within a stiuplated Government quota. You are right to say that most people do not have enough respect to purcchase local original CDs - they would rather burn them or buy them from Pirates for $20 or less. You are right by implying/saying that Trinidad is NOT a supportive market for artists/artistes. Re malik, you would have to talk to him to get his views - I cannot do that in its entirety. I can say that yes, he would know about Orange Sky. I don;t know if he wants to be the next JayZ ... I doubt it. Wherever he goes and whatever he does with his life and music, I support him for even trying and I wish him the best. Granted Trinidad may not be the market for him as you say ... but he is now starting out. You are right in saying that he has a long road ahead of him and a lot to learn. So do I. You are right in saying that it is not easy. It is not. Re his video being a typical hip hop video with bling and cars and the girls gyrating by a poll ... no it is not. Re Malik having a better chance doing soca or rapso ... depends on what he wants. I don't think he wants to do that. If he did, he would. I don't want to, so I don't.

4:19 AM  
Blogger webgrl said...

I think Nuff opened our eyes to something we try daily to ignore. I'm still assuming you are on 'the outside' nuff? It is difficult for any artist of any genre to be accepted, especially here. Different isn't easily or warmly accepted, especially here. I know for myself, I try to ignore the general close mindedness of trinidad in order to function here. I fool myself daily into thinking that someday there will be a realisation that life is bigger and more. And i'll admit i'm jealous of people who seem to be content with Trinidad life and all that goes along with it. That's why Nuff hit my raw nerve. Again, i speak only for myself.
Nuff, thanks for speaking your mind and sparking this little debate. I wish i could stop sugar coating the truth for people too.

11:22 AM  
Anonymous Cutie said...

Hi Malik,
Keep up the good work that you're doing,I don't see anything wrong with the music you're doing!You're doing what you want.I don't think you should take on what people think or say about your music!you don't have to please anyone bout yourself anyways... i'm looking forward to seeing your streetlife video!

5:25 PM  

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