Some years ago I worked on a project with one of my idols DJ Supreme from the group HIJACK. If I remember rightly it may have been DJ Woody that put me onto him. I was working on my film, ‘THE MEN & THEIR MUSIC’. This was in the early 2000’s.
Living in Zurich now Supreme sent me some footage over for my project. He later saw the film I was working on alongside the trailer that I had made public at the time. Some years later he asked me to work on a film with him depicting his experience / life and musical journey. For those that may not be familiar with DJ Supreme’s legacy go ask any member of the Skratch Piklz about his influence.
Soops as he known played a massive role in the development of DJing and scratching styles. He and DJ Undercover turned scratching into a language. Most of us got to hear it via the records that came out by them via the group HIJACK. A group that certainly spearheaded alongside the likes of Blade and gunshot the sound Europeans coined Britcore. A term that I really hate.
Why well in those days buying records there was no UK section or USA section. In specialist shops there was the import section, but in those days you would find a hijack record next to Public Enemy record and so forth. The record was measured by weather it was good or bad, and Hijack for me was in the good end of the spectrum of Hip Hop music.
The film was really to mark the departure of supreme from the music scene so that he could go forth and work on new challenges. Instead it sparked a new interest in him and telling the stories of some of contributors to this culture.
One of things I have spoken about many times with the artist I have worked closely with over the years is this thing called ‘Artist’. I have always worked with or been fortunate to be around some people who fall under the title of ‘True Artist’. For me this is not about doing something because it’s cool or because it’s the in thing its where individuals or parties share this common will and calling to create. No matter how old you get or by the media how unpopular you may be today these artists will always have a uncontrollable urge and desire to create.
I think this was the challenges that supreme ended up facing once again. This lead to him working on the recent 25 years Anniversary project putting out the HIJACK LP. Although I was not part of that I watched closely. Me and Soops was working on a project together and in the middle of that I got caught up into a terrible personal situation that I had to leave and deal with. Supreme in that time also faced some personal issues, he was being called and drawn back into making music. A year ago he played me some of the material. I heard the song with Curoc from the group Son of Noise another group that came in the height of British hip hop. I instantly said that if I would a video it would be for that song.
One year later. Supreme took me out with fader and gave me a call and we discussed about the possibilities of making this video. Right now I’m caught up in rebuilding my home. Living in a building site but still this song is something I wanted to do.
We fixed a day and met up in London to shoot. I would say 2 weeks of planning went into this. Tomsta and Curoc in London picking out some locations. There was some picture I had seen of Supreme and Curoc in Europe wearing the classic double goose a jacket that I have talked about before. A jacket that represents the ultimate golden era image of hip hop. It is a jacket associated with real street credentials. This is jacket that sadly many lost their lives over. So knowing its history I wanted to use this jacket to make a statement. With the right people wearing it, I think viewers will feel the power of these two heavyweights in Hip Hop music and that we could create an iconic image that has been missing for many years in this scene.
My vision was to create a wakeup call for a scene that just felt dry to me, maybe because its my age. I grew up captivated by Hip hop culture; it was always exciting to me, I’m pretty sure for those that also came up in it the same time know what I’m talking about. Those times were times of innovations in sounds, sampling, mixing and scratching. Radio and the press was in your face. The social climate of the time played a huge factor. In the early 80s to have £15 to buy a pair of Nike Bongos was something very special you had to wait a long time to get them. Now people have no hesitation in spending stupid money on Nikes.
It was a time of real crews, posse’s and firms. Hijack always had this image that like Ultras gave you the impression that they were ‘top boys’, not to be messed with. This is what I aimed for in this video. For me the success of this video is owed to the song first, music by Supreme, scratches by Supreme, Renegade and Mada all who were part of that golden age and repped that south London sound, Curoc’s performance played a huge part of this video success, although he was slightly unaware of what was capturing. He delivered the best performance in my opinion for the last 15 years captured on any hip hop video. I have said I challenge anyone to post a video equal to that capturing that gut feeling and iconic imagery of that golden age period and make it now without it looking like it’s a retro video. Everything in this video is right for me. The combination of myself, Supreme, Curoc the right song and additional help and support from Andy Higgs and Tomsta. I cannot forget the cameo’s. Featuring members from Son Of Noise, HQ, Hardnoise, Katch 22 and Standing Ovation this video pays tribute and salutes those that were part of that fantastic sound.
One of the details Im happy we executed was the contrast between the 2 main characters Supreme and Curoc and those stood behind them on the Bridge shot. It’s the little details one should pay attention too. Although very still everyone in the shot apart from Curocs son is a made man. Shaka Shazaam practically caught my eye. When you think back to the 80s and early period of the 90s fashion played a massive part in hip hop culture. This didn’t mean spending lots of money on outfits but creating a look that identified your character or what you was into. The UK in those days had its moment and lead in the way of urban hip hop style. Shaka proved that here in the UK and our 40s that we can still create have very British urban style and have integrity. The contrast between him and the main performers donning the double gooses only helped amplified what I believe will become noted as an iconic performance by Curoc.
It’s a real shame that we do not have the machine or thing industry we once had in this country. The printed press or the magazines like HHC too support projects like this, sadly i feel that’s significant moments likes this will pass unacknowledged by the media. It was a great pleasure directing and editing this video. It was a greater pleasure that it’s been so well received and has lit a fire in so many. I can say for sure this is could be the first page in a new chapter in British Hip Hop.
My part in this project is dedicated to my good friend never forgotten Mark B RiP