On Saturday 5th January 2008, 3 members of the Raw Pride Collective auditioned for a slot in the VMK Milton Keynes Variety Performance due to be held at The Theatre MK on 24th April 2008. Having heard about the auditions just one day before they were due, Soul, Paranoia & Justice linked up the night before to create a maximum three minute showcase and that is exactly what they came up with.
Pictured Right to left: Soul, Paranoia, Skinnyman, Justice & Kraze 1 behind Justice
Due to unforeseen circumstances and prioritised commitments, Kraze One and Rezon were unable to make the audition.
The advised rules were that all auditioned must have a maximum of three minutes to perform, a backing CD may be taken along and sternly no miming (which would not be a problem for any of the Raw Pride family members).
Within the strict time frame, the three RPC members incorporated an elegant display of diverse talent which starts with a naturally passionate accapella from Justice. A few lines into the lyrical display, Paranoia then strengthens the act with a renowned freestyle beatbox catching the flow with Justice while Soul supplies on point vocal support by doubling crucial aspects of the verse.
(Live at Sno!Storm supporting Abdominal & DJ Faze)
As Justice draws his sincere lyrics to a close, the beatbox from Paranoia continues strong & with no delay Soul flows off the last words with a severe intellect brining a poetic influence to the performance. Justice returns the favour & doubles Soul with etiquette.
Upon Souls finale Para brakes down the beatboxin like a quiet storm fading in the winds. Just as you feel the RPC members have climaxed, Paranoia then sets off a bombshell with a very meaningful accapella instantly backed up by Soul & Justice, you can see how tight the team are… not to mention how good they sound!
Right on cue Soul then proceeds with another accapella off the back of Para’s verse, supported only by the doubles and occasional fingersnap. Soul demonstrates that although he is the latest addition to Raw Pride, his talent and unorthodox vocal technique is not to be underestimated.Following tradition in this short set, Justice, this time entwined with the end of Soul’s verse, finalises the three minute variety performance with the last thirty seconds just as strong as the first.Soul & Paranoia show great support by backing up the doubles while at the same time Para cuts in the odd sound effect and with impeccable timing these three lions from the Pride end in powerful harmony on the last line of the final accapella, all beaming with confidence (possibly because each of them are aware of the professionalism their performance encompasses).
(Pictured far right leading the beatboxin session at the pound in Wolverton)
It was an early start for Soul, Para & Justice on the Saturday morning of the audition. Required to be at the Shenley Leisure Centre in Milton Keynes by 11:00am, the three RPC members were up early and on their way to the audition by 10:30.
Excited, slightly nervous & eager to impress, Soul, Paranoia & Justice couldn’t resist a run through on route in the car of what they came up with in two hours the night before (imagine what they could come up with in four months by the show date 24th April 08). Once they had run through the set, they were confident that the day would be ok at worse, despite weather they got through the audition or not.
Arriving punctually with no clue as to what to expect, the three RPC members entered the leisure centre, made their way to the front desk where they were advised to take a seat and wait to be taken through to audition.
As the wait went on the anticipation grew. Only one other act had arrived to audition at this time and the three from the Pride patiently waited in fits of laughter while they sat chattin breeze. Although butterflies may have been in the pits of their stomach, Raw Pride remained so positive that the “Dragon flies” were enough to murk these.
(Live at NiceTime Reggae in Wolverton)
Not long before they were called through, a third act arrived which consisted of around 12 very young children. At the sight of this the members began to wonder if the audition was the type of thing for Raw Pride.
Ultimately unfazed, all three acts were called through to another waiting room. The RPC members walked what felt like the “Green Mile” with the other acts and soon found themselves sat around a school type desk in a small waiting area outside of the audition hall.
The acts were provided with an entry sheet and an audition number. Before the Pride could finish completing the form, they were called through to audition first. The audition hall doors opened and the three RPC members walked in totally mystified & unaware of exactly what was expected of them.
Once led to the centre spot, Soul, Paranoia & Justice found themselves in front of four judges who were sat behind a long table around two meters away. They followed instructions to hold up their audition number (003) for a photo (Which failed to be the natural “RAW” pose due to nerves and slight confusion).
Straight after the shot, the following promotional material was presented to the panel of judges:
3 x Full Raw Pride Biog
1 x Kraze One & Paranoia’s CD
1 x Soul’s EP
1 x Justice CD Single
& 1 x DVD of their Sno!Storm performance where they played support with Genesis Elijah, AC & Terror for Canadian Hip Hoppers Abdominal & DJ Faze.
Back on the centre spot and ready to give all they had the Pride introduced themselves to the video camera as instructed. Once they had the go-ahead… they began to perform.
Justice & Soul
(Chillin before bringin it Raw at a local house party)
As planned, the performance started strong, impressive, professional & continued this way throughout. However, halfway through Para’s accapella, the lead judge interrupted with a request to hear the beatboxin minus the vocals over it (we can only assume this was due to the fact that the audition was live with no PA system… hence the accapellas).
Paranoia took a sip of water before presenting some first class beatboxin. Considering the pressure Para was under from the judges and the added pressure of Soul and Justice listening very carefully, it is effortless to say that at the given time, Para was aware, on point and certainly not away “chillin in tha poppy fields”!
(Live at Sno!Storm supporting Abdominal & DJ Faze)
Once the audition drew to a halt, the judges began to show further genuine interest in the Pride and asked a little more about them. The Pride responded respectfully, honestly and remained humble adding that there is more to the Pride than what they had just witnessed & offered the elements of DJing & Breakin to the VMK variety set.
The judges took note, advised the RPC three that they would hear from them via the post should they be successful. Everyone said their thank you and goodbyes. Soul, Paranoia & Justice vacated the audition room and buzzed back through the no longer daunting “Green Mile” corridor and out to the car.
Pictured left to right: Soul, Justice, Paranoia
(Live at the Beacon supporting Skinnyman)
Will Raw Pride be asked back for another performance? Watch this space.
Raw Pride would like to take this opportunity to thank you for taking the time to read this article and hope to see you soon (Preferably at The Theatre MK’s Variety Performance in April 2008). Peace, Justice & Unity.
The mini set will soon be available to view on www.myspace.com/rawpride
Should you have any queries or like to book Raw Pride, please do not hesitate to e-mail the collective of hip hoppas at firstname.lastname@example.org
Why not holla n ask them what they would do different if they had the chance to audition again?
- Wattsie & Mahoney (The Session CRMK) http://www.crmk.co.uk/listen (Every Monday 6pm-8pm) http://www.myspace.com/thesessionmk
- AKSUSN (The Pound Presets Skillz & *HipHop Kulture lessons) *every 1st Mondayof the month. http://www.aksusn.com, http://www.myspace.com/unstopablenature, http://www.myspace.com/aksunstoppable, http://www.unstopablenature.co.uk
- DJ SnowMan (Mr Nice Time’s Reggae Nights) http://www.myspace.com/nicetime_mk
- J* (Local music Producer) http://www.myspace.com/elephantsatdawn
- Maniphest (SnoStorm) http://www.snozoneuk.com, http://www.xscape.co.uk