The brainchild of production duo Mark Rae and Rhys Adams, Yes King fuse a melée of styles from hip hop, dancehall, ragga and ska into their own unique brand. Mark Rae has long been a figurehead of the UK music scene following the success of his first production outfit Rae & Christian, the establishment of the former Grand Central Records and Manchester’s Fat City record shop.
Rhys Adams remixed Mark Rae’s ‘Candystripe’ under the name of Frankie Valley subsequently lent his production and writing skills to Mark’s follow-up LP ‘Into The Depths’ and a natural collaborative partnership was cemented.
Rhys and Mark later joined forces while producing the album ‘Two Culture Clash’ for Wall of Sound in 2004 and the pair went to Jamaica to record in situ with local vocalists – the level of activity that followed resulted in a hard-drive full of half-finished rhythms which inspired them to create an album project.
The name Yes King originates from a Jamaican greeting which was bestowed by the Jamaican artists they worked with over the course of making the album – the term was used so often that it captured the essence of the project. The title of the album came from reggae legend Dawn Penn’s track ‘Rock This World’ which sets the tone for the album.
Although conceived in Jamaica Yes King has a strong London feel. There is a rich history of Jamaican music in Ladbroke Grove, the bulk of the album was recorded close by, many London based artists make guest appearances on the album and collaborators Mystro and Sweetie Irie were raised in the area. Ladbroke Grove’s Trellick Tower was chosen for the artwork as it captures the spirit of Yes King and is the most prominent landmark in the area.
The album production consists of a blend of the old and new, bringing the best of both worlds together through live instrumentation with the crunchy beats associated with hip hop and R&B, and also by authenticity to its reggae roots through the instrumentation and melody epitomised by the brass. Such diversity has created a truly unique album offering something to young hip hop fans right through to old school reggae lovers.