Jasmine’s Juice – A Luxurious Week Of Absolute Fabulosity At St Regis – Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi!


It was February. January had been long and drawn out. I had managed to make January fabulous by dragging out all my birthday celebrations but now it was Feb, it was still grey, wet and cold and we badly needed some winter sun.


I scoured the internet for weeks searching for a hot-spot in Feb. The canaries were too cool temperature-wise, Asia was too far away, America in the age of Trump wasn’t bearable. Someone suggested Dubai, then they said Abu Dhabi was more sophisticated so after researching long and heard I came to choose the uber opulent ST REGIS SAADIYAT ISLAND for its stunning hotel grounds.

I am a fussy traveller and require a pool, beach, spa and fabulosity and the St Regis provided all that and more.


It was an amazing week and delivered above and beyond my expectations. We had booked a superior room via Kenwood Travel in the UK …(much cheaper and as efficient than all the usual holiday package bookers that i have used in the past!)…and were aware a superior room is the lowest ranking at the hotel, but on arrival found to our delight that it was huge, palatial and classy. From the moment we arrived, until we left everything was perfect!


The garden view room was stunning and classically decorated with two separate sink and toilet facilities with a gorgeous rain shower wet room and tea/coffee making facilities.

We chose not to have a sea view too this time as we barely spent any time during the day in the room as the pool/beach were so delightful.


The three butlers assigned to us were a total surprise…..yet attentive and helpful and genuinely seemed keen to make our stay comfortable with nothing being too much trouble. They brought twenty extra hangers immediately and took our clothing to be pressed daily- complimentary!


There was more than enough fresh bottled ST REGIS branded water provided daily as well as a lovely lot of flowers, chocolates and even origami towels in shapes of love hearts and animals. A lovely way of showing attention to detail which made us smile daily.


The hotel was stunning both outside and in. The dramatic entrance with palm trees and fire flames, the shiny marble lobby with stunning flower arrangements and evening pianist were all classy touches.

The hotel grounds are beautifully kept, secure, clean and as pretty as a picture. There is a photo instagram shot around every corner!

The food buffet was the most impressive. I was concerned after reading reviews but the variety and standard of fresh food dishes from across the world were breath taking and every morning at breakfast and at night for dinner the variety and choices were more than enough.


There is a huge selection of salads, fish, chicken, meat and vegetarian option dishes as well as a fresh dessert counter with the most beautifully presented sweets and fresh pancakes and waffles with the ever dangerous chocolate fountain!

One day they even had a fresh honeycomb dripping honey into our breakfast bowls. The chefs were all super attentive and glad to make off-menu requests too. Truly sensational service!

The pool staff were so professional and very helpful.

Whilst we were staying, an elder lady with a prosthetic leg was helped daily in and out of the pool by the kind life guards, the waIters delivered fresh water, menu’s, drinks and fresh fruit and cold flannels each afternoon too.

The 4/5 pools were a lovely touch. Having the option to choose on the calm, quiet, shady adult pool or the more fun, active children’s pool overlooking the ocean was lovely. The adult pool area has it’s own cafe, loungers, lap pool and sunbeds IN THE WATER!


Each pool cascading into each other looked dazzling! The beach facilities were impressive. Personal cabana’s, hammocks and numerous sun loungers to choose from and the most stunning white pebble-free beach! Heaven!

The food delivery on the beach was speedy and delicious too and the beach staff couldn’t do enough to help with umbrellas, drinks, golf buggies and more.


Honestly I have stayed at many hotels globally- all proclaiming to be 5-star- even at St Regis in Aspen and New York, and this was by far the best service. No sniffy, haughty, judgemental attitude, but all smiles and genuine warmth by every single staff member.


I also had an incredible Royal Thai massage experience in the open-air cabana on the beach which is something dreams are made of.


Koy the therapist from the IRIDIUM SPA was attentive, patient and the deep stretch massage was magical.


I have been raving about my trip to all my friends and I WILL BE BACK with the ST REGIS on SAADIYAT ISLAND again for more very soon!


Jasmine’s Juice – Black Panther -The Box Office Numbers Are In! – & The European Premiere.


Black Panther – the European Premiere was as amazing as we expected it to be.

Hammersmith Apollo was transformed into a sea of excited guests gagging to see the film and celebrate it’s cast and vision.


VIP guests from the world of film, TV, politics, sport and more turned out in their WAKANDA themed African celebration outfits.


The exterior red carpet was heaving as the paparazzi grabbed shots of the splendour and although the evening was freezing, the positive energy and pride kept the VIP crowd warm.


Music artists were in full effect. I caught up with Naughty Boy, Krept & Konan, Emeli Sande, Black Eyed Pease, Shakka, Stormzy, Nadia Rose and many more. Actors John Boyega, Chucky Venn and so many more were in the house celebrating joyously.


This is already a ground-breaking, watershed moment for black led creative content in the media world.
For many years my former bosses would justify not using black/ BAME leads as they would cite that it didn’t bring in audiences and rate well.

The numbers are in and Black Panther is a monster hit. More than that, it has already earned a place in the box office history books in just its first three-to-four days of release.

In the UK, Disney will be delighted with the result so far: £10.48m over the three days, and £17.7m including previews on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, taking advantage of the half-term school holiday. That number is bigger than the entire UK run for previous Marvel titles Ant-Man, Thor, Captain America: The First Avenger and Iron Man.

Including previews, Black Panther has achieved the second-biggest UK opening for a Marvel title, after The Avengers: Age of Ultron (£18.1m). However, going strictly by three-day weekend numbers, the film also fell short of debuts for the likes of Marvel Avengers Assemble, Captain America: Civil War and Iron Man 3. Overall, Black Panther delivered $169m in non-US markets, which makes for a global debut of $404m. Russia, Japan and China have yet to open.

In the USA the movie earned a $201.8 million Fri-Sun weekend and will earn an estimated $235m over the Fri-Mon holiday.

Biggest February opening weekend:
Biggest non-sequel opening weekend:
Biggest solo superhero launch of all time:
Biggest Fri-Sun opening weekend for a long holiday debut:
Biggest long holiday opening weekend:
Biggest opening weekend ever for any movie not directed by a white guy:
Biggest-grossing movie (in North America) directed by a black filmmaker:

In the States, Black Panther” has demolished the record for the largest President’s Day weekend, blowing past “Deadpool’s” 2016 mark of $152 million. Overall North American moviegoing for the four-day period should hit an eye-popping $340 million — far above the $278 million mark in 2016,

There are going to be plenty more milestones over the next two weeks. Well who’s laughing now?


The talent which we seeded years ago is now able to- with the support of modern day tech like the internet- make their own content, spread the global word digitally and play by their own new rules.


Everything about the BLACK PANTHER film release was different and refreshing. New faces, pride in ethnicity, futuristic yet traditional. The writers, casting directors and costume designers had really done research to respectfully showcase the African diaspora and the origins in a healthy, proud way.
There were huge numbers at cinemas across the world with people dressing in dashiki’s and traditional wear.

I myself begged London fashion designer Mary Martin to wear her AFRICAN QUEEN design which she had showcased at LONDON FASHION WEEK just a couple of months ago from the AFRICAN QUENS collection.


As they say, what a time to be alive!


Jasmine’s Juice – #GrammysSoMale 2018

So much was made about the 60th Grammy Awards being different!

Everyone was excited about the changes.

The biggest music show on the planet- there is no greater show in music- where musics past, present and future legacy artists gather under one roof to celebrate their achievements over the past twelve months.

The location was changed from L.A Staple Centre to New Yorks Madison Square Gardens.

All attendees would be wearing a white rose to stand in solidarity with the #metoo and #timesup movements against sexual harassment against women in music and life

There were more BMAE nominees than ever, in fact, the top 9 nominees were non-white!

In the past The Grammys had snubbed numerous black and rap artists, but this year-their biggest award category for best album showed 4/5 nominees were black men!

All the songs that are usually played on a guitar- rock/country- were notable by their absence

In the past the pop categories were mega important but this year they suggested that as Ed Sheeran was only nominated for two ”lesser awards” he hadn’t done as well?

The Brits were not flavour of the year. in the past both Sam Smith and Adele had swept the board but this year only very few British names made the cut.

Operating politically was a good look for the awards in these modern times. the show has struggled to stay relevant for years. it was becoming beyond embarrassing.

Names like David Bowie, Bob Marley and Jimi Hendrix never received a Grammy whilst they were alive, so what do the Grammys really know?


There will always be people who complain that an arts show isn’t the right place to talk politics but i think supporting music acts and allowing them to make statements is really healthy for young fans to watch and engage with.

White roses have historically represented hope, peace, solidarity, sympathy and resistance but florists all over NYC struggled to source enough for the show.

The irony is that eve though all eyes were on the white rose element this year, the nominations and winners were dominated by men.

It’s interesting that the tsunami of women in music all coming out to tell their own personal stories is growing. Hopefully these movements will help women find a voice and solidarity moving forwards.


Even though a huge deal was made about legend Jay Z receiving the most nominations, none of us were surprised that he didn’t win even one. This music chapter in his life isn’t his strongest.

Bruno Marrs and Kendrick Lemar walked away with 6 and 5 respectively, both well deserved.


Ironically even though most tweeted about celebs from the night were women. 9/10 were female- out of 84 categories only 11 solo women won awards. 6 further women won as a part of a duo or group. Pathetic.


It was great to see so many political moments during the show.

Kesha performed PRAYER- about her own experiences with sexual harassment.

Kendrick performed a great show opener full of political statements and Dave Chapelle adding his take on being an honest black man in America.

Rapper Logic speech acknowledged ethnicity, gender, equality and immigration.

Janelle Monae made an empowering speech about the #MeToo movement.

Camila Cabello highlighted the American Dream.

U2 referenced Trumps African countries comments.

Rihanna even incorporated South African dance moves in her set.

Hilary Clinton and other read from the now infamous FIRE&FURY book.

Lordes dress had a feminist icons poem sewn into the back (would’ve been better up front girl!)

There was an overall feeling of unity and speaking up.

Lets hope this movement gets stronger and more powerful.
There’s no room for fear, bigotry and bullying in 2018.

Jasmine’s Juice – The SSE Live Awards (I voted for MTV EMA!)

Happy New Year everyone!
What a great year for music 2017 was for London!


My favourite event, if I had to choose just one…and there were so many from the grime festivals and so many more twos year, were the MTV EMA AWARDS 2017 at Wembley SSE Arena on November 12th.

At the world famous Wembley Arena and hosted by West London’s very own Rita Ora, it featured more acts than i have seen in one night all year!

With performances by Stormzy, Camila Cabello, Eminem, David Guetta, The Killers, Travis Scott, Rita Ora, Liam Payne, U2, French Montana, Clean Bandit, Zara Larsan, Kesha, Demi Lavato and Shawn Mendes!

It was a huge night for our capital, and my favourite stand out moments were Camila Cabello and our very own Stormzy.


Camila has had an incredible year, breaking recent records with her debut album- Number one in nearly 90 countries and her MTV EMA set and performance was one of my favourites of all time! Stunning detail in every moment,it was like watching an old Hollywood Busby Barclay musical!


Stormzy’s set saw him enter stage via a MET Police car which he rode, straddles, leapt off and basically claimed as a big, unique moment certainly giving grime music an international jump off!


I don’t want the memories from that night to end so I have just voted for MTV EMA to win the The SSE Live Awards which is now in its third year!

Basically, the event / act who receives the most votes from their fans at each of the SSE venues will be announced as the SSE Live Awards winners in February 2018.

Voters not only get to help their favourite acts win the prestigious trophies, but also have the chance to win tickets to the event of their choice taking place at the SSE venue of their choice later this year!Maybe you will chill in a star’s dressing room like this one;

Over three million public votes received last year across the three legendary venues and last years’ winner for The SSE Arena, Wembley was Matt Goss…I know that we can do better than that right? LOL

Voting is now open until the 31st January 2018, anyone can cast their vote, not just SSE customers.

Support your fave act or event here;

So many of us complain when our favourite music stars don’t get recognised so back you act! Remember every vote counts!
PROMOTE THE VOTE! (See, I can rap too!)

Maybe if MTV EMA win the award, I will share some of my big backstage memories of the night….. 😉


Jasmine’s Juice – Nadia Rose. This Croydonite is Highly Flammable in all the best ways!

Nadia Rose has had a whirlwind past couple of years with live performances, awards and touring.
She’s also just completed a European tour (taking in Spain, Belgium, Greece, France) as well as New Zealand over the New Year!
She’s performed at Festivals all over the country and internationally this year. Hip-hop is now accepted and more mainstream than it’s ever been and Nadia clearly loves performing live.


She’s done so many shows this past couple of years… Soundskool, MOBOs. Wireless, Afropunk and more. As well as all of that, she’s been nominated for and won awards….MOBOs / BBC sound of 2017.

This Croydonite has a really very distinctive voice. Her early musical inspirations included Eminem, Missy and Ludacris who have all clearly had an impact on her sound.

The nineties hip-hop influence is strong in both her sound and visuals- and also her trademark afropuffs hair style…is it inspired by hip hop legend Lady of Rage or Star Wars Princess Leia? Apparently neither- it was just a hairstyle her mum liked to put a young Nadia in.

A big part of her look is that she’s always surrounded by her girl ‘skwod’ – strong females are a big part of her brand, as was her late Grandma.

Nadia’s parents and family background is both Caribbean and African…(Jamaican dad/Ghanaian mum). That hybrid of music – afrobeats energy – seems to be the next one to takeover mainstream charts -there is a cultural pride in the music scene that’s very strong, and cultural pride has had an impact on her sound.

Nadia also has a little bit of a showbiz background, the BRITs school on Saturdays , and she studied Music and Music Management at university. She juggled working in a south London betting shop, whilst attending the BRITs school, where she used racehorse names for inspirational lyrics, which she scribbled down on betting slips.

She’s one of the lucky ones, as there have been mass cuts to education and arts for young people in recent years, meaning that young people from working class backgrounds across the UK haven’t enough of an opportunity to engage with the arts.

There are quite a few big names like Krept/Konan/Stormzy/Section Boyz and more that have come from her locality. When asked what is it about the social conditions in south London’s that makes it bold, loud and unapologetic she states that they didn’t have much and were always under pressure to prove their worth.


Nadia’s album is titled Highly Flammable (13 January 2017), and is full of fiery explosive subject matters. She’s not concerned about whether speaking her mind gets her in trouble. Nadia’s music videos celebrate London…filmed at a market in Croydon (skwod), south London train stations (station), and more, its clearly important she reps her endz. Her songs also contain a lot of messages about female empowerment (Tight up) ….she reveals to me that in her experience there has been pressure to conform to a mainstream stereotype image of what a female rapper is being told to ‘‘Sexy it up’’ by her label!


The news recently has been dominated, by stories of sexual abuses in Hollywood, and most recently female musicians have also spoken out, after a new report revealed that rape and sexual abuse are “endemic”, within the music industry. Nadia admits that she is aware of these things going on, and that young women in music are not supported enough.

We agree that although females are finally finding their voices to speak out in the era of Weinstein, its also men in power in the music industry who need to be educated.

There’s been a lot of talk about the UK rap/grime scene being like an old boys club and whether the males engage with the females in the scene? Nadia says the females are coming through with or without support. It’s their time.

Here is the uber talented Nadia Rose speaking to me for Channel 4 News to kick start 2018.

Nadia Rose on Channel 4 News.


Hip-hop has always broken away from the mainstream. Many of its British stars don’t even have major label deals. They did it by themselves. This month the word ‘’youthquake’’ was added to the dictionary, meaning young people leading movements of change.

Another area where young people have rocked the boat this year has been politics, people talked about music stars like Nadia Rose engaging her fans. They called it the #grimeVote, how important is it that musicians speak out? Nadia says she has always voted. It was important in her family and that they always encouraged political discourse at social functions.

It’s well documented that Stormzy is Nadia Roses cousin. Unsurprising really, they’re both outspoken about youth, racist nightclubs, female empowerment, police brutality and politics.

Having publicly urged her Twitter followers to register to vote, she feels that the youthquake went well. Her generation become the most newly politicised generation for years. She publicly supported Labour and said, “People who didn’t care about elections went out and thought they could be heard-But just because the election is over doesn’t mean it’s finished. I’ll do anything that furthers the Labour cause’’. What about labour gets her vote? She likes Jeremy Coryns spirit. He doesn’t always do things by the book and has rocked the boat.

In fact Nadia famously bumped into Jeremy Corbyn’s sons at a festival, had a chat about politics and swapped numbers with one that caught her eye and has made clear to them she is up for supported their dad if and when the time should come.

Nadia’s the girl you wanna hang out with. She engages on social media and requests book recommendations from her social media followers. Her twitter handle states that ‘’ a true musician is either dead or insane. ’’. She explains that being a musician for a career is a tough ride. She gives examples of the greats like Michael, Prince and Whitney no longer being with us and that a music stars life brings with it much vulnerability and that mental health is a big issue many wont discuss but that she is aware that many live the life of a star ‘’but then go back to their mansions, alone and depressed’’.

In 2018 Nadia Rose promises to take over more of the world. She’s already done Europe and Australia. Watch out, you’re next!

Jasmine’s Juice – Women in the UK rap scene in 2018. Featuring Nadia Rose, Charlie Sloth, Posty and Lethal B.

Many people ask where are the women in rap/hip hop /grime? Is it an old boys club? We’ve been asking questions like this for years ‘Why Did Grime Never Go Right For Women?’, ‘The ladies are as lyrically talented, bold and as feisty as the men, why aren’t they capturing the attention of the masses?’.

Here is the uber talented Nadia Rose speaking to me for Channel 4 News to kick start 2018.

Nadia Rose on Channel 4 News.

Actually there are loads of women in grime and rap. There are women pushing and championing the culture daily. Aside from the ladies making the music, there are many in media championing the genre. Ladies like Hattie Collins, Chantelle Fiddy, Rebecca Prochnik and Hyperfrank who really helped push the mainstream press into covering it as a music genre and culture.

The artists are numerous and healthy. So many. Here are just a few talented women making and championing the scene.

Nadia Rose
Ms Banks
Amplify Dot
Lady Sovereign
Lady Chann
Lady Leshurr
Ms Dynamie
MZ Bratt
Paigey Cakey
Steflon Don
Sian Anderson
Julie adenuga
Madam X
Alia Loren
Flava D
Hattie Collins
Chantelle Fiddy
Rebecca Prochnik
Kieran Yates

Many who see the potential in female talent don’t always know how to sell it. Remember when London’s Lady Sovereign signed to Jay Z’s Roc-A-Fella Records? Jay Z had begun searching for urban talent in the UK and signed Lady Sovereign in 2006. The video to her track ‘Love Me Or Hate Me’ became the first by a UK artist to achieve a Number 1 on MTV’s ‘Total Request Live’ show. So it can have impact, but really how would an American know how to sell a very British talent?

Similarly Shystie was one of the most prominent female MCs in the scene and released her major label debut ‘Diamond In The Dirt’ in 2004, which went silver. She is multi-talented. I recall her acting in our ground-breaking Dubplate Drama on MTV Base years back. She was fire in the booth and on screen.


When we were debating it at this years Rated Awards BBC Radio 1 broadcaster Charlie sloth told me ‘’For me I’m always on the search for that big female mc…I don’t even like segregating them…I think at the moment there aren’t as many as there should be, there are loads trying to do it..its not like football where they won’t get on…a lot of acts are crying out for there to be new and more females, look at Stef and Lady Leshurr , all it takes is for there to be more females who are as consistent as men. There needs to be more of a strong infrastructure around the females”.

Posty the founder of the Rated Awards and CEO of GRM Daily agreed ‘’The women in grime are also cultivating themselves, also in American hip hop there aren’t as many females as males , but one day there will be a UK Nicki Minaj- we now have Stef London. She’s beautiful, talented, has swag and style and looks like a star!’’

UK rap legend Lethal B feels positive abut the female journey ‘’There’s loads of girls coming through, Nadia Rose, Lady Leshur, Stef London, laughter and more…as time goes on there will be many more as there’s so much more out there coming…I’ve seen it!’’.

Jasmine’s Juice – NETFLIX UK host BRIGHT film premiere with Will Smith!

Will Smith is no ordinary Hollywood star.
When he has a new movie out not only will it be premiered globally but each global venue will be turned into a major road block for him.

London’s BFI on the South Bank had all three of it’s big screens taken over for BRIGHT this week courtesy of NETLIX UK.

Netflix were kind enough to offer me a small guest list so i invited magician Dynamo, MP Dawn Butler, music star Naughty Boy, MOBO CEO Kanya King,Interr Security CEO Roderick Arnold, Music and media man Richard Pascoe, SONY Music/ Columbia Records Head of Press Taponeswa Mavunga and more.

Roads were closed, spotlights lit up the sky, the black carpet was heaving with fans and celebs and a live DJ compered to the public cross gathered, as well as the champagne swiggers inside awaiting Will’s arrival. His plane was delayed and we were asked nicely by host Alex Zane whether we would mind waiting 20 minutes for him. Of course, no one minded.

The film was typical Will Smith action hero that saves the world. A good cop. Basically the same role he has played a few times. No hate though, we could watch him surrounded by elf, works, zombies and evil all day – so long as he kicks their asses! He did.

The after party was a typical NETFLIX uber exciting event off the excitement scale.


All the waitresses and waiters had pointy elf ears.

With DJ’s Nick Grimshaw and Clara amfo spinning the old skool hip hop and R&B and endless mini platters of food – truffle toasts, truffle nests, mini prawn platters, pasta, tender beef, eton mess, white chocolate lips and more , cocktails and champagne the guests had to be kicked out at 3am!

Thanks to the NETFLIX UK team for an amazing evening! You win the parties prize!

Jasmine’s Juice- Giggs Christmas dinner and party, Mariah’s Christmas show- one night of magic!

Last night Giggs hosted a select few – i say few- i mean 150 at a sit down dinner in the stunning art-deco location of Bloomsbury Ballroom in the heart of London, where friends, family and the industry congregated for a warm, love-filled evening.

When you get THAT text from Giggs inviting you to one of his infamous dinners you know it will be special and this night didn’t disappoint.

Jasmine with dinner host Giggs and Chip.

The ballroom was dressed like winter wonderland with snowy Christmas trees and sparking giant wrapped gifts.
Three long feast-like banqueting tables filled the hall and were reminiscent of Royal banquets of the past.

Pic – DJ Semtex.

The chef had a variety of caribbean food which was apparently delicious. Followed by apple crumble and custard.
I say ‘apparently” as soon as dinner was about to begin and guests were requested to be seated, it was time for me, to flee like Cinderella, to the O2 to watch my family Mariah Carey in her Christmas show.

Mariah looked and sounded hotter and more powerful than ever. Genuinely when it’s your pal, you’re always nervous for them to have a good show. And with all the keyboard internet haters who like to attempt to drag her regularly, its always a moment when she proves everyone wrong sounding stronger vocally than ever.

Her babies- #DemBabies and their cousin Jaden came out to sign carols too and we all had a lovely catch-up backstage afterwards, before i legged it back just as it struck midnight to Giggs dinner which by now had shifted one table out of the way and the dance floor was popping.

I’m sure i heard someone whisper Look What The Cat Dragged In, lol!

So many faces were celebrating their year in music. Joining the landlord Giggs were names like Chip, Winnie Harlow, JME, Jammer, Lethal B, Dave, Chris Eubanks JNR, Stormzy, journalist Hattie Collins, Record label dons Benny Scarrs, Glyn Akins, DJ Manny Norte, DJ Semtex, DJ Sarah Jane Crawford, Professor Green, Ironik and so many more.

At 2am the DJ was still smashing dancehall classics, but it was when they dropped Talkin The Hardest that it all really popped off!….we danced, hugged, celebrated everyones unity this year- hell- even Chip and Bugzy Malone hugged it out!

Great night Giggs and Mariah – two music acts that have featured heavily in my life – and both written songs about me LOL- LOVE U BOTH! – it was a movie!

Jasmine’s Juice – Marci Phonix returns with a RIOT calling out police, politicians and p***yholes!

Grime originator MARCI PHONIX – one of the founding fathers of UK Grime – is back with brand new music with his song ‘RIOT’. It’s a call to arms and is the first of several hard hitting social commentary singles and videos, taking on the police, the media and blasting fellow MCs for not tackling the real issues young black men face in 2017.

Marci burst onto the scene back in 2002 alongside contemporaries such as Dizzee Rascal, Wiley, JME and Kano. After performing at sold out venues across the country, he fast gained a reputation of being one of the fiercest MC’s in the industry, headlining events such as Sidewinder and Eskimo Dance along the way. This success led to collaborations with Skepta, Ghetts and Big Narstie, with his music being championed by all of the key media outlets of the time. Now he is back with a fire in his belly, an arsenal of new material and a message for the masses “Nobody’s Safe!”

The first installment is debut single ‘Riot’, which acts as a call to arms to disaffected youth across the board.

The controversial track and music video has been championed by Grm Daily, Complex and Spotify and helps deliver his message of alienation, frustration and the misrepresentation of young black men in modern day Britain. Certainly not pulling any punches on his return, Marci Phonix looks set to cause a stir once again in the UK Hip Hop and Grime scene.

Marci sat down with me for an exclusive chat.

Hey Marci, so for all the old school grime heads out there, can you explain… What took you so long?

Timing… I had to go away to learn what I know now. It’s easy to get caught up in the scene and just be like everyone else, I’ve never been on that. For me, there’s a big difference between spraying bars for hype and reloads like we used to do on pirate radio versus an artist that stands for something, an artist that carries a real message. I’m a lover of music but I kept on hearing the same old regurgitated sh*t on the radio/online. Falling into the same old trap… make a road banger and everyone falls in love, then hook up with the majors who don’t have a clue, giving you some fresh out of Uni A&R who doesn’t know his Slick Rick to his Fela Kuti (“that’s just that urban stuff init”)… gives you some p***yhole pop track that totally flops and what the roads originally liked about them is gone and they’re left with a washed up music career getting gassed on insta when they’re invited to some c-list industry event. It’s sad but we’ve seen it over and over again… I thought, it’s time for change! I’ve been gone for a few years now and these rappers are still just talking about the same old thing… designer clothes, drugs and getting girls, whilst the police are still kicking our mums front door off, killing us in the streets, following us around shops… someone needs to start telling the truth!

Let’s get straight into the grime scene shall we. Having established a foothold across the world over the last few years, do you think the culture will continue to influence other rap and street genres? And how do you see the music itself adapting to new trends and production styles and rap flows?

Grime music is growing bigger and bigger every year. We used to make Grime beats on the first Playstation, now Grime is heard in video games like FIFA 18 so it’s come a long way. We’re influencing the sounds on some of the biggest US Rap albums too nowadays; they look to us for the inspiration now. It’s funny cos we always wanted to be like them. Grime is a sound that comes from London, the minute we stopped caring about breaking the US and focused on where we’re at (UK), the US started f**king with us and that’s how it goes. Even though the drill sound comes from Chicago, I think the UK drill rappers that are blowing up here and heavily influenced by Grime culture too. Their rap flows are different but you can hear the Grime elements in the production and the hooks for sure.

With the turbulent nature of the world right now, perhaps a more political stance lyrically is the next movement? We’re seeing this approach more and more in hip hop (Eminem’s recent freestyle for instance) so it seems like we’re seeing a shift in that direction?

I’m not a part of any movement; I’m just about the truth. It’s all-good if artists want to make records tailored for the radio but for me, I just see that there are real life issues that need to be addressed. For instance you highlight politics, as much I backed a lot of the points Corbyn stood for in this past election, am I ignorant enough to think that someone in his PR team didn’t see the influence the hip hop acts in the US had on Obama’s campaign and thought let’s use that same strategy over here with the grime MC’s. Again, it’s banging that we’re even being considered in matters like this but I’m just tired of seeing our culture being endorsed when it suits and then spat out… You want the demographic that grime music influences to vote for you but then weeks later when they raid a trap house in south east London and the press link it to the west London Notting Hill Carnival (like you ever see crack heads in Carnival… most you’ve got is a few man bunnin a spliff) because it’s something that our culture is behind… where’s those same politicians standing by us then and condemning these horrendous claims!

We love ‘Riot’ by the way; you’re certainly not pulling any punches. Give us a brief break down on what it’s about. Do you feel like a bit of an elder statesman to the youth coming up now?

Riot is a song for the people, it’s a song for the youth that gets harassed everyday by police for no reason, I made this record to motivate and empower them. I’m not trying to be an elder statesman, I just say what everyone’s thinking, whether it’s liked or not has never bothered me, music is always been based on opinion. If the likes of Jeremy Clarkson and Katie Hopkins can say the sh*t they say and every other TV station will still endorse and broadcast their views… “In the name of entertainment” I feel it’s time to let this next generation coming up behind us know that in reality, this kingdom that we are in isn’t so “united,” especially with us!

You’ve been vocal in calling out fellow MCs for rapping about designer clothes, drugs, girls etc whilst as you say the police are still kicking down mum’s front doors. Do you think that artists have a duty to speak out about against the establishment and the way that young black men are unfairly treated by police, media and the like?

To me an artist should speak out of course, but they won’t because their scared. No one wants to upset the establishment! I’m all for celebrating achievements and nice things but these man would rather steer the youths to do whatever it takes just to buy an £800 pair of Balenciagas, copping a new C-Class coupe or even beef that guy over there just because he lives in the estate opposite the block your Mum is renting a 2 bedroom flat in… Rather than talking something sensible. And it just gripes me that these same man go on prime time television and starting dicking about on the screen talking about some random sh*t. Them times your boy is riding a sentence for carrying a shank on road to protect himself but there’s a white girl in Oxford who stabs her man and gets off! Nah they’d rather talk about how Drake or f**kin Nicki Minaj liked their picture on instagram. Them times we had music legends who just put it on the line… Marvin Gaye did it with songs like “What’s going on” James Brown, Michael Jackson, NWA, Peter Tosh, Rage against the Machine… the list goes on! These acts all had some balls to go against the grain and say what needs to be said.

Like our American cousins, we’ve had our own issues in the UK in recent years, namely the Grenfell tragedy and the riots following Mark Duggan’s shooting. Do you think that the issues of injustice and frustration that the community as whole feel in the aftermath of such events get a fair hearing in the media?

That’s not fair… you know that questions gonna rile me up! Like you said… Just look at the Duggan situation that police watchdog released a statement that said, “Duggan was probably throwing a gun away when he was shot” PROBABLY… PROBABLY!!! Like we’re living in some F**kin Minority report sequel. So now, for the police to lawfully kill you in the streets you have to look like your “probably” up to no good! Now look at the coverage the news and media put on the story when Duggan was some out and out bad man from Tottenham, round the clock reports saying how another black man is a gun yielding criminal who kind of deserved to get taken off road… his name is dragged through the mud and he isn’t around to defend himself! BUT when these prats say it was just “likely” that he had something on him (which really means by law that his NOT GUILTY… because no one ain’t going down for probably) not even a mention of it on the BBC evening news? Which leaves the general public with the ill-fed information and gives prejudice Britain another reason to think all black boys are gangsters and killers. I’m not surprised old white women still cross the road when they see me and my boy walking street together. I say as much as the press publishes the “suspicion/speculative” report… just as much publish the truth once it comes out! Ps. how many people died in Grenfell again?

Finally let’s talk new music quickly, when can we see or hear a follow up to ‘Riot’?

I’m getting ready to release my next single called “On My Wave” featuring Clue, one of my favourite street rappers in the UK. It’s a MADNESS, Heavy Trackerz produced it and I love it!!! Check out my socials and I’ll be updating everyone with new releases and shows dates…

Follow MARCI on: Instagram | Twitter | ‘Riot’ Is Out now on all digital outlets including Spotify and Apple Music

Jasmine’s Juice – speaking to Godfather of grime- Wiley!

He’s one of the most influential characters in British music today.

The sound that Wiley created in East London at the turn of this century – which eventually became known as Grime – has now reached global popularity.

But whilst his peers achieved huge chart success, he has been known as the driving force behind the scenes.

In his autobiography ‘Eskiboy’ released 31 October, he describes a life of underground creativity, drugs, pirate radio and a feud with fellow grime star Dizzee Rascal.

Here i spoke to him in his only UK TV exclusive, in-depth interview, on the eve of the release of his book ESKIBOY.

Jasmine speaks to Wiley – CLICK HERE.