Tru Skool hip hop pioneers GreenJade are about to re-write Hip Hop history. The award winning South London quintet who are about to drop their third album LIFE As We Know It are set to turn the genre on it’s head with their anti-guns stance and by talking monogamy as apposed to polygamy.
That’s right, no girls in skimpy outfits, no boasts about how many times they’ve been shot, just raw lyrics presenting another side of real life, as they live it. While the purveyors of materialistic / misogynistic hip hop may be crying out in dismay, a nation tired by the slaughter of its youth by the gun are crying out with glee. This view is reinforced by the success of GreenJade’s innovative and highly sought after schools tour, “Gunz Down” which is a mix of drama, documentary and music and was recently showcased on London Tonight.
GreenJade have been together for over a decade and released their debut album, Chronicles the Story so Far in 2003. The aforementioned album created such a stir that they received an invitation to perform as part of the opening celebration of the Olympics in Omonia Sq, Athens in 2004. Their second album, The Nu Jerusalem Project Vol.1 followed swiftly in 2005. Their latest album LIFE As We Know it is their most mature set to date and sees the South Londoners (Judah, Wei, Wizdom & 3rd Son along side DJ Secret Weapon) talking about real issues that both young and old people can relate to such as crime, relationships and the importance of the pursuit of goals.
“We have grown so much since the first album, both musically and as people and this is reflected in this album,” notes the ‘Jade’s official spokesman Wizdom. “LIFE stands for Love, Identity, Faith & Education, which we believe to be the key elements of our lives and this album!”
The 18 track set (produced by group memember’s Wizdom and Wei, known collectively as WizWei Yahweh productions) is an array of sounds, combined with poetical, energy charged lyrics.
An example of this is the 1st single to be lifted from the album, All My People which is a sing-a-long dub flavoured track and sees the lads talking about unity. Another standout track is Gunz Down which urges people of all ages and races to put their guns down and was recently voted song of the week on Choice FM for three weeks running. The mid tempo, choppy Diversity see’s the Jade hooking up with The Procussions, who are signed to legendary hip hop label Rawkus and Jazz genius Frank McComb lends his voice and musician skills on the jazz fused Kick off Your Shoes.
“When we were laying down Kick Off Your Shoes, 3rd Son said jokingly it would be great to have Frank on the track. Luckily for us, he was in London at the time so we made a few phone calls and managed to get him in the studio.”
But it doesn’t stop there. The Jade go all Sci Fi on us on Sci Fi Transactions which is completely out of this planet with it’s computerised sounds and heavy synthesizers while Creation Me steals it’s melody from hip hop’s younger cousin RnB, with sweet vocals by up and coming soul sensation Ryan Carty.
There is also another transatlantic collaboration on Build with Braille of Light Headed. Head of the Hip Hop Is Music label and movement in the States, the guys first hooked up at the Freakstock festival in Germany where Braille was left so impressed by “the GreenJade experience” having seen them destroy the place with their energetic live performance, he invited the Jade to contribute to his label’s first compilation album, Heavy Rotation.
In addition to the album, GreenJade have just embarked on a 4 month residency at the JAMM 261 Brixton Road, Brixton, SW9 where they will be performing on the last Wednesday of every month. With the album about to drop and the Gunz Down tour reaching out to schools in the UK, GreenJade are a very hard act to ignore. Hip hop history has just been re-written!
LIFE As We Know It (Jade-Eye Knight Records) will be released on 3.3.08 through iTunes, Rhapsody, Amazon and www.GreenJade.co.uk and available in stores (of UK) on 5.12.08.