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Multibillion-dollar earner hip-hop music gets underground attention in Jamaica

Published:Saturday | March 1, 2014 | 1:48 PM

Chad Bryan, Gleaner Writer



Hip-hop music can brag some Jamaican roots with the father of the culture being Jamaica-born Clive Campbell, otherwise known as DJ Kool Herc, who immigrated to the Bronx, taking the local sound-system way of life along with him to New York.




Since hip hop’s emergence, it has become an international multibillion-dollar phenomenon the world over. Encompassing more than just rap music, hip hop is an all-embracing culture that includes art, ethnicity, politics, fashion and urban life, among other things.



Jamaica continues to influence the genre with its own crop of locally produced hip-hop artistes, many of which have appeared at the regular hip-hop event, Pay Attention, of which up-and-coming artiste P. Wright who goes by the name, 'Five Steez', is part.



Pay Attention, which started in 2012, provides an atmosphere for which local budding hip-hop artistes can showcase their talent which fans can appreciate.



Steez grew up around older brothers who were already immersed in the music from the 1990s, and this shaped his introduction and development into that music culture.



“I have been making hip-hop (music) for over a decade. I have pretty much been involved in the movement for the same period of time also. It was in 2012 that I released an album called 'War for Peace',” he said.



Steez acknowledged that the local music industry has been centred around reggae and dancehall for a long time, but that Pay Attention provides a platform to express the hip hop genre.



“Other genres really do not have any other platform dedicated to that because sometimes people do not see the viability or they just don’t have that interest. Us being of a certain generation and in certain circles, I know there are people who want to hear that sort of music.”



“Hip hop is really the voice of the voiceless, it is an art form based on skill, keeping it real, being true to you and being able to express yourself,” pointed out Steez, who also stated that hip hop is known as the ‘black CNN’.



A number of artiste’s Steez endeavours to work with are those he credits as his favourite. These include Nas, Wu-Tang Clan, Big Pun, Big L, among others.



WATCH: Pay Attention: Jamaican underground hip-hop lifestyle




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