Rodney P

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Rodney P (born Rodney Panton in Balham, London, 12 December 1969) is an English[1] MC, as well as a radio and television personality who first gained attention via the UK hip hop scene in the 1980s. Since his days in the seminal UK Hip Hop group London Posse, Rodney P is widely regarded as the Godfather of British Hip Hop with the London Posse inspiring a whole generation of British emcees and producers by being the first to rap in his authentic London accent and produce a homegrown Hip Hop reggae vibe that is distinctly rooted in the UK. Rodney P has had one of the longest and most respected careers in UK hip hop.[2] Also known as The Riddim Killa,[3] he cites the reggae he heard while growing up as a second-generation West Indian immigrant as an influence on his dub-heavy music.

“A legendary figure within the UK hip-hop scene who has helped lay the foundations of urban music in this country” – MTV

“Flying the flag for UK hip hop… Rodney P has developed a unique, distinct identity” - Clash

“Hugely influential… A genre-defying emcee with diverse musical taste” – I House U

History[edit]

In 1986, The London Posse were invited by Mick Jones of The Clash to support his new band Big Audio Dynamite on a UK tour. After a life-changing trip to New York and a second UK tour, a recording contract with Big Life Records followed and the recording of the pioneering Hip Hop songs "Live Like The Other Half" and "Money Mad" taken from the debut and only album Gangsta Chronicle. Gangsta Chronicle was voted the Most Important UK Hip Hop Album of All Time in the 2007 poll of renowned music magazine Hip Hop Connection.

With London Posse coming to an end, the decision to guard his creative control led to the birth of his own label record Riddim Killa, a collaboration with Low Life Records, one of the leading labels of the rapidly growing scene. As a label owner of Riddim Killa Records, Rodney P released a series of popular singles including "Big Tings" and the anthem Riddim Killa. Then in 2003, he released, to critical acclaim, his own long-awaited solo album "The Future" which included the Hip-Hop reggae classic "The Nice Up". Continuing to build on the Riddim Killa Records brand in 2007 Rodney released the debut album “Lion Heart - Tussle with the Beast” by the then undisputed king of underground UK Hip-Hop scene Klashnekoff.

One look at Rodney P's discography illustrates a who’s who of the UK music scene collaborating with fellow UK Hip Hop heavyweights, Skinnyman, Blak Twang, Roots Manuva and The Nextmen to name a few, as well as featuring on various soul and R&B productions with artists such as Omar, Terri Walker and The Brand New Heavies and on Dance and Electro tracks with MJ Cole, Mercury Award-winning Roni Size, The Stanton Warriors, Timo Maas and recently, French Hip Hop Reggae outfit L’Entourloop. More unusual affiliations with artists Bjork and Nitin Sawhey demonstrate Rodney P’s role as a genre-defying emcee as well as reflecting his own diverse musical taste.

Radio[edit]

Shortly after setting up Riddim Killa Records In 2002, Rodney P, along with friend and collaborator DJ Skitz, was invited by the BBC to host “The Original Fever” a groundbreaking Urban music show on the then newly formed digital station BBC Radio 1Xtra. He was introduced to DJ Skitz by a mutual friend 'Destiny 'who worked at the legendary Deal Real record shop in the West End of London, and appears on Skitz’s albums Countryman and Homegrown volume 1. Their show "The Original Fever" ran for over 6 years and saw Rodney & Skitz interviewing some of the biggest names in music including Pharrell Williams, P Diddy, 50 Cent and Kanye West. This development in his career and a love of the medium led to even more involvement in radio documentaries. He has since gone on to present topical documentaries including the Sony Award-nominated "F.E.D.S", “Concrete Heat” and the Lamacq Live documentary: "The Beautiful Struggle", which saw him returning to war-torn Sierra Leone, after first visiting in 1993 as part of London Posse, to report on the burgeoning indigenous Hip Hop culture.

TV/Film[edit]

Highly regarded as a spokesperson for the UK music scene Rodney P is often asked to contribute to televised discussions, sharing his knowledge and opinion on many topics; this has lead to numerous appearances on television shows like "Trevor Nelsons" The Low Down, Don Letts's 2007 3 part soul music anthology Soul Britannia and The Mercury Prize Award Ceremony. He has also appeared in many TV documentaries including “How Hip Hop Changed the World” hosted by Idris Elba and “Life of Rhyme” hosted by Akala both produced by Acme Films. Rodney received a great deal of exposure on Channel 4´s Dub Plate Drama featuring alongside UK artists Shystie, Ms Dynamite, N Dubs and Big Nasty in the world´s first viewer-led interactive television drama. This inner city Soup Opera sees Rodney P summarizing the events of each series and enticing public opinion and decision.

In 2011, he provided the voice of the animated rapper in a television advert for the Toyota Yaris.[4]

In 2016 Rodney presented "The Hip Hop World News" a 90-minute authored film by Acme Films for BBC Four in which Rodney set out to show what the World looks like through the lens of Hip Hop interviewing Hip Hop icons like Russell Simmons, Rakim and "Chuck D" of Public Enemy.

In 2017 Rodney followed up The Hip Hop World News with the Award-nominated "The Last Pirates - Britains Rebel DJ’s" also for BBC Four.

"Presented by Rodney P, this film presents an alternative history of Britain in the 1980s - with archive and music that celebrates a very different side of Thatcher's Britain.”

Production has recently (2018) been completed on Rodney P's latest documentary with Acme Films, for BBC 4 entitled “Bass, Beats & Bars” looking at the rise of the Grime music scene and the position it holds socially and politically.

Live[edit]

Constantly in demand as a live performer Rodney P has performed to audiences across the Globe. Fans in Europe, China, Japan, Australia, America, and numerous countries across Africa have enjoyed the distinctive live style and party-inducing performances of one of the UK´s finest. Over the last few years, Rodney has toured with The Dub Pistols performing to huge audiences around the World as well as maintaining his partnership with DJ Skitz. Rodney and Skitz along with and a handful of other acts including The Gentlemen's Dub Club and The Boxettes joined forces with Chai Wallahs, the ethical and unique venue space that seeks to provide an alternative experience and a platform for fresh creative expression, and performed at festival across the UK including, Bestival, The Secret Garden and Glastonbury. As a host, Rodney P has taken the helm of a wide range of events. Notable live appearances include the MF Prince's Trust Concert with Jay-Z and Alicia Keys and the United Nations-sponsored UNHabitat Charity Concert alongside Jazzy Jeff, Dead Prez and Mos Def, as well as regular appearances at London’s legendary Fabric Live.

The future[edit]

Rodney P signed to Tru Thoughts Records in 2011.[5] A collaborative album with Zed Bias and Falacy was released in 2012 under the name Sleepin Giantz.[6]

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

  • The Future (2xLP, TP) 2002 (original version - rereleased on CD in 2006)
  • The Future (CD) 2004

Singles and EPs[edit]

  • Tings In Time (12") 1997
  • Big Tings We Inna (12") 2001
  • Murderer Style / Friction 2001
  • Riddim Killa / A Love Song (12") 2002
  • I Don't Care (12") 2004
  • Trouble (12", Single) 2004
  • Trouble (MJ Cole Remix) (12", S/Sided) 2004
  • Trouble (Roni Size Remix) (12") 2004
  • The Nice Up (12") 2005
  • Devon Cream (12", mp3) 2007
  • I'll Try (12") 2009
  • Live Up (mp3) (ft. Peoples Army and Mighty Moe) 2011
  • Success (7") 2013

Collaborations/guest appearances[edit]

  • Dobie - Dobie E.P. inc. "Luv 'N' Hate (Can Never Be Friends)" w/ Rodney P, 12", 1995
  • Bjork - Telegram inc. "I Miss You" (Dobie remix ft. Rodney P), 1996
  • Revolutionary / Dedication 12" 1999 (Skitz & Rodney P)
  • Skitz ft. Rodney P - The Killing (12", Single) 2001
  • "We Stay Rough" on Mark B and Blade - The Unknown 2001
  • Skitz - Countryman 2001 (3 tracks)
  • Plus One - Champion Sounds 2002
  • Nextmen - Get Over It 2003 (2 tracks)
  • Nextmen - "Firewalking" (12"/12" remixes) 2003
  • Freq Nasty - Come Let Me Know (12", Promo) 2003
  • United State - All My Love (Goes Your Way) (12") 2004
  • United State - All My Love (Goes Your Way) (drum 'n' bass remixes) (CDr, Promo, Single) 2004
  • "Big Black Boots" on Skitz - Homegrown, Vol. 1 2004
  • Benjamin Zephaniah vs. Rodney P - Naked & Mixed Up (12", CD) 2006
  • Dub Pistols (ft. Rodney P) - Peaches (7"/12"/CDr) 2007
  • Dub Pistols - Speakers and Tweeters 2007 (3 tracks)
  • Dub Pistols - Rum & Coke 2009 (4 tracks)[7]
  • Flore (ft. Rodney P & Shunda K) - We Rewind / The Test 2009
  • Flore - Raw 2010 (2 tracks)
  • Dub Pistols - Worshipping the Dollar 2012 (3 tracks)[8]
  • Sleepin' Giantz - Sleepin' Giantz, LP, 2012
  • Team Dynamite - featuring Bailey Wiley & Rodney P - Its Not All About You, 2016
  • L'Entourloop - Forgotten Skank featuring Rodney P, Le Savoir Faire, 2017
  • The Herbaliser - Like Shaft (feat. Rodney P & 28luchi), Bring Out The Sound, BBE, 2018
  • The Herbaliser - Some Things (feat. Rodney P & Tiece), Bring Out The Sound, BBE, 2018
  • Ocean Wisdom - 'Righteous' (w/Rodney P and Roots Manuva), Wizville, 2018 [9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Culture, Arts and Entertainment". Telegraph. Retrieved 2014-08-19.
  2. ^ https://www.bbc.co.uk/music/reviews/9j3n
  3. ^ http://www.residentadvisor.net/review-view.aspx?id=2514
  4. ^ "Video exclusive: All New Yaris vs Monster Truck UK TV advert « Toyota UK news, reviews, video and pictures". Blog.toyota.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-08-19.
  5. ^ "Rodney P signs to Tru Thoughts | Complete Music Update". Thecmuwebsite.com. 2011-05-18. Retrieved 2014-08-19.
  6. ^ "Sleepin' Giantz | Artists". Tru Thoughts. 2012-10-31. Retrieved 2014-08-19.
  7. ^ https://www.bbc.co.uk/music/reviews/92p2
  8. ^ http://consequenceofsound.net/2012/07/album-review-dub-pistols-worshipping-the-dollar/
  9. ^ https://oceanwisdom.bandcamp.com/album/wizville

External links[edit]