Joe Black - VIBE

The UK VIBE With Joseph 'JP' Patterson: Joe Black

Yo! Joseph 'JP' Patterson here, back once again to drop some UK music knowledge on y’all. I know it’s been a while since I was last in touch, but there's an artist whose music I think you outta check out. North London’s Joe Black is a rapper who supports his own, often putting his friends before himself on the music side of things, but now it’s time that some of the spotlight was shone on him. So, please let me introduce one of the most lyrically deep rap artists I know, Joe Black…

Joe Black: I've been spitting from youth club days, the days when it was all about garage. I've been into music from a very young age, from when I was like 12 or 13, and we just used to MC for joke. People soon started to tell me, 'If you put work in, you could do well.' I went jail when I was 15 and when I was in there, I would listen to a lot of rap music because it was more relevant to my situation than garage or grime. After that, I never went back to MCing to garage. I started writing rap lyrics and the first batch of lyrics that I wrote were written with an American accent, but I eventually found my way and started putting my own British accent into it (laughs).

A lot of rappers have inspired me, the whole rap scene as a movement inspires me, but it was Big L back then. The way that I rap now is from when I used to listen to Big L and the way Big L used to break down his words and just make as many words in the line rhyme and make it all make sense. Maybe not even punchlines, but making sure that all the words rhyme. So, I could be telling a story and I'm trying to make sure that the story makes sense, but making sure it rhymes as well. That’s what I took from Big L and Jay-Z; they’re the kind of lyrical rappers that I learnt from. I've been rapping for a minute now and I like anything that will push it forward. I was there before YouTube was around. Before I started rapping, it was just for a hobby because I was thinking ‘right now, you need a major label to get yourself on the radio and to get yourself heard’. Now there’s the Internet and it’s much easier to reach people.

I don’t really like using the term 'UK rap', I’d rather use the term 'rap from the UK'. It’s no different to any other rap from anywhere else, whether it’s Brooklyn, London, Toronto, Germany or wherever. It’s just rap! It just happens to be that I'm from the UK so I might sound a little different, but it’s the same. What people don’t realise is that people from the UK are saying the same thing that US rappers are saying, it just sounds different. The same way an East Coast rapper might sound different from a West Coast rapper, it’s the same way you’ll sound different to a London rapper. Certain London rappers rap about the struggle, certain rappers rap about parties and some rap about stars, but that happens everywhere. It’s all one game, though. I make songs for the roads, but I make songs for the girls as well.

My last mixtape release, 'Realionaire', got the most feedback I’ve ever had. Everything has been a progression since I released my first one in 2004, which I only pressed 500 copies of to locally promote myself. I went to jail and came out in 2007 and that’s when MySpace blew up. I came out and everyone was on my MySpace, that’s when I made 'Business As Usual'. But that’s when I was selling it, because I was marketing mixtapes like they were albums: getting posters done, putting them in barber shops, etc. But it worked! Every mixtape I've done has been better than the last. 'Realionaire' might not have made me as much money as any of the other mixtapes, but it has given me exposure and more people have tapped into it. Because it was a free download, people downloaded it and listened to it and now they know more about me.

I've realized that there are more things that I can do for myself where I don’t need to rely on a record label for a song. It’s all about progression, man. If I bring out a CD tomorrow and it does better than 'Realionaire', I’ll be happy. If I get signed tomorrow, whatever’s meant to be will be! I’ve just got to keep playing my part and leave anything else to God. I've always thought that I was the best. I always think that I'm the best rapper in the UK, so getting mentioned in the list for The Source and The Mixtape Awards makes me feel like, 'Okay, so it’s not just me thinking that I'm doing something.' When I get recognition, it just motivates me to keep going. I haven’t come into the game thinking, ‘Right, I can make some money out of this’. I've always been rapping, going studio and making my friends hear it, so if I can blow up and get successful from doing what I love doing, then so be it.

I’m currently working on an independent LP and just testing the waters to then fling it on iTunes and see what it will be like for me to push out a project by myself, rather than just sitting around. I'm in the studio right now, getting beats and just rapping, trying to get things done. To be honest, it’s all trial and error right now. I've never had a manager before so me working with Ashley McDermot, it’s the first time I've been working with someone. It’s not always happy days, but it’s the grind. Until we put out the project, we’ll see how it goes. It’s always better to have two heads than one. You know who I’d like to work with in the UK? Wretch 32. I’ve worked with most of the UK artists, so I've been lucky, but Wretch is someone who I haven’t worked with yet and I think I could make good music with him.

The UK scene has grown and the people who I feel are getting recognition are starting to get what they deserve. As much as I wasn’t personally happy about not being in MTV’s best MCs list, there were people like Blade Brown and DVS who I respect as artists and know personally and have gone through the same struggle as myself. At least I know that people are looking in the right direction. I just want to big up the whole UK music scene – I could just sit here and big up my people, but I just want to big up the UK scene as a whole. This is the UK movement. This is us! --As told to Joseph 'JP' Patterson 

Photography: Liam Ricketts

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Porn Site Condemns Users After Searches For R. Kelly's Sex Tape Increase

Searches for the infamous sex tape recorded by R. Kelly and featuring a minor has seen an uptick, and a porn site is condemning its users from trying to find it, because child pornography is illegal.

According to The Blast, porn site xHamster reportedly said that searches for the term ‘R. Kelly’ are up 388 percent since the beginning of January. Of course, this coincides with the release of the six-part Lifetime docu-series, Surviving R. Kelly, which chronicles over 20 years of indecent and immoral behavior towards teenage girls and women.

The site noted that they do not have the infamous tape that involves the controversial musician having sex with and urinating on an underage girl, nor will they ever carry it and other videos like it on their site.

“The R. Kelly tape is not on xHamster, nor would we ever allow it to be,” representatives for the site told The Blast. “Regardless of the news or sensation, a tape featuring underaged is both illegal and immoral.” xHamster also says they will be “disabling searches and putting up messages alerting any searches that the content is not acceptable.”

One of the messages on the site says “Please consider that in searching for and viewing such content, you may be re-victimizing a minor who could not consent.”

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Stream: Hulu's 'FYRE Fraud' Doc Examines The Festival That Scammed Thousands

In 2017, rumors of an exclusive festival taking place in the Bahamas took over social media. Organized by Billy McFarland and promoted by Ja Rule, the FYRE Festival was the new, cool kid on the festival block and quickly put other more seasoned festivals to shame.

But all that glitters isn't gold.

FYRE FRAUD, the new documentary streaming on Hulu, takes an intimate look at the scam that left thousands stranded on the island. Directed by Jenner Furst and Julia Willoughby, the dark-comedy interviews whistleblowers, victims, and the convicted con-man himself, McFarland.

In a press release, Fraust and Wiloughby said the goal isn't to make light of those who were scammed.

"Our aim was to set the stage for a strange journey into the moral abyss of our digital age, going beyond the meme to show an ecosystem of enablers, driven by profit and willing to look the other way, for their own gain.

"We draw on countless cultural references, on true crime tension, and on humor - but we did not intend to create a toothless comedy about the Fyre Festival. We hope this film can pierce our collective apathy and disrupt our own millennial peers, if only for an instant - to look at these stories for what they truly are, and to halt this algorithm before it devours us whole."

FYRE FRAUD is now streaming on Hulu.



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Nas Claims Jay-Z Knew About R. Kelly's Predatory Behavior In Resurfaced Interview

R. Kelly's reported predatory behavior was painfully public for decades, leading many to dig in the archives to see just how many of his former collaborators knew of the singer's ways.

This week, a Nas interview with Wendy Williams resurfaced with the rapper angrily calling out Jay-Z for continuing to work with the singer after rumors continued to spread about Kelly's interest in teenage girls. The year was 2002 and for many hip-hop historians, the time of Nas' and Jay's infamous feud.

“That’s not my style,” Illmatic emcee said on Williams’ former 107.5 FM radio show. “I could have shown the R. Kelly video that everybody’s talking about and made fun of it and show pictures of Jay hanging out. You can’t tell me Jay didn’t see a 14-year-old girl come into the studio and sit on R. Kelly’s lap. You gonna tell me he didn’t see no 14-year-old girl come into the vicinity?"

In the early aughts, Jay and Kelly paired up to release Best of Both Worlds after their successful single collaborations, "Fiesta" (Remix) and "Guilty Until Proven Innocent" went to the top of the charts. 2002 was also the year recordings of Kelly engaging in sex acts with a 14-year-old circulated around the country and later, the internet. In his interview, Nas brings up Kelly's problems and explained how he saw a "little problems" with his behavior.

“You’ve seen it go down. I’ve been around R. Kelly … I’ve been on tours with him. I didn’t see no 14-year-old, but I talked to the man and see there’s a little problem there. The brother needs help and I pray for him. I’m here for the people. I’m here to talk [about] the truth.”

Nearly 17 years before the 6-part docuseries Surviving R. Kelly upended his sex cults, the unearthed discussion shows how complicit people were in the 52-year-old's perversions.

In an unearthed interview from 2002, #Nas tells #WendyWilliams that #JayZ had to have known about #RKelly and 14 year old girls when they worked on #BestOfBothWorlds

A post shared by the Jasmine BRAND (@thejasminebrand_) on Jan 15, 2019 at 7:40am PST

A claim launched long before Surviving R.Kelly aired in January 2019, the rapper professes that both him and HOV knew that Kelly had taken a liking to young girls, though Nas asserts that he never saw young girls while with Kelly.

The Lifetime limited series was a 6-part exposé chronicling the generational abuse faced by young women and girls at the hands of the pied piper of R&B. Director dream hampton previously stated former colleagues of Kelly's declined to be interviewed for the doc including Jay-Z .

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