January 27, 2012

Rewriting History?

Marely Marl & MC Shan in better times
Several months back I wrote about D-Nice's website, and in particular I suggested you might want to review some of his short documentaries where old school artists reflect on their rhymes, records and events from that era.

One of my personal favourites was from Masta Ace who gave his account of how Marley Marl's classic The Symphony came about (see the link above if you haven't yet seen it).  Well, in recent days, MC Shan has seen this clip and has decided to put up a response to it as he thinks Marley has misled Masta Ace and the others who appear on The Symphony and he wants to set the record straight.

Initially I was curious to hear the other side of the story and clarify the facts around this piece of history, but to my surprise what has started out as an attempt to set the record straight, has turned into something much bigger and in some ways it's more interesting.

Now I've never really been into gossip or hearsay, and I don't care much for hip hop beefs (unless of course they bring out the best in an artist and provide us with some banging tunes (Cool J vs Canibus and Jay-Z vs Nas spring to mind)).  But this is something different.  This is more about artist integrity.

Watch the series of clips for yourself and see what you think, but to me it seems as though Marley has something to hide.  Shan is explicit in his accusations towards Marley, yet Marley never calls Shan a liar.  Instead he attacks his skin complexion, who he hangs out with etc.  But aside the issue that started all of this debate, there are other interesting bits of history being shared, such as Shan's involvement with recording Rakim, Kane providing his own beats and plenty more.

Shan and Marley aren't going to acheive very much from these discussions, they'll no doubt end up agreeing to disagree, but whilst it continues I'm loving the little side stories that are embedded within this debate.
Shan also promises to record further (unrelated) videos that provide more hip hop history, and these are potential gems for us to look forward to.

On a more trivial note, it does seem strange that Marley appears to have filmed himself using an old Nokia phone that is pointing up his nose (not very flattering).  Surely he must have been able to produce something of a higher quality image.  And Shan is looking quite festive in a ghetto santa look-a-like outfit.

And for our UK readers, you might be interested to know that the Juice Crew will be performing in London in April, surely this is a gig not to be missed.  More info can be found here.

Mike Check.

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