Chester PHaving recently dropped his solo album: ‘From The Ashes’, member of UK collective ‘Task Force’, Chester P has never been behind the door when it comes to giving his opinion. His online blogs offer entertaining, if not long reading. Happy to speak his mind, he claims to represent truth.

This might include justice; but certainly not the American way.

Quote of the day: “I would rather die fighting than live on my knees with shit on my nose”.

Chester P is ready to wage war. Don’t go anywhere, this gets interesting…

Lady Jay UK: You’re part of Task Force, a collective which includes Farma G, Slipperz, Merkamillion and Calculus, Ramson Badbones, Remus, D.Molish, Inja and Marley (hope I’ve not forgot anyone!) Tell me about how Task Force came about and why.

Chester PChester P:
Well task force started back in 1999 when me and my brother Farma.G were offered to do an album with legendary Mark.B and the name was decided in a split second; on the spot; and has been in peoples hearts ever since really. We originate from a crew called the Bury Crew and I was among the founding members of Mud Family way back in the early 90’s so we are from a big collective of musical monsters such as Skinnyman and Mongo, Intenz, Joe Sparks, Nocturnal, Shocking, Skilla, Sparks, Twilight Eyes and all are still doing their own things…

Lady Jay UK: Now, it’s obvious from your online blogs you love to chat! What does Chester P represent?

Chester P:
Well firstly I represent myself and the freedom to be myself and say as I please; and that means I represent the truth as I know it and nothing else. I tend to base my thoughts and disputes on my experiences, so from time to time I call out names and cause a little stir but what most overlook is, if they don’t like being called out then perhaps they should conduct themselves in a more respectable way; ‘cos I’m not afraid to say your name whoever you may be - if you are getting out your pram. I have had weak hearted folk comment on my outbursts like, “it wasn’t clever to diss all the distributors its better to be nice to get what you want out of them”; well personally I call that brown nosing and I would rather die fighting than live on my knees with shit on my nose…

Lady Jay UK: I see. Tell me about the online magazine you’re setting up.

Chester PChester P:
Well that is ongoing in the construction stages and is most certainly going to happen this is gonna consist of many new and exciting things as well as good old hip hop news, I can’t say much more at this stage as some people would like to try sabotage, but I will say thanks to Jim from Overthrow and thanks to Huew who is programming and coding ‘cos for now its all done as a labour of love and for me to see people who have always been fans of hip hop music join forces to help make it better is refreshing and admirable…

Lady Jay UK: Why do you think it's needed?

Chester P:
‘Cos I think the hip hop media in this country at least is dominated by a select group of folk who use it to their own means and forget to represent hip hop on a whole as an art form. So toilet rags such as HHC will have writers using their space to shamelessly self promote for example Dan Greenpeace, Mike Lewis and Andrew Emery all fall guilty of this; and the proof is easily found in back issues of the mag. These guys may well have shown me personally support but this is not about me one, and that’s my whole point. There are many artists sinking their time and money into their projects which deserve a fair and unbiased review at the least, but no, these guys don’t keep it real they keep it to themselves; and I am ready to fight that war.

Also beyond that, I want to see graffiti represented better and grime is just being ignored. To me, all the real elements of the street are being held out and when I say street I’m not talking about gangster stuff I’m talking street culture; but these guys pretending to be hip hop are not relative to the street they are upper class cats with as much distance from the street as politicians - so the online mag I’m setting up will have many new areas of life in British hip hop / grime / graffiti and so on as well as give all artists doing something a place to promote and advertise without the need to deal with these bullshit people who are holding back real progress with their greed...

Lady Jay UK: You seem to have a strong investment in remaining independent. Why is that?

Chester PChester P:
I would talk to labels right now about signing. I like my independence but I know world domination is possible with the right push and I believe more than ever the world needs someone like me who has passed the test of time and continues to make waves all round, but that’s on the labels really and I presume they are a little afraid of me ‘cos looking at me I’m a P.R. persons dream. I know how to get your attentions and I am real to what I say. I’m not always right but I’m always real and quite enjoy conflict as well as the progress I make on my own it seems strange why I remain unapproached…

Lady Jay UK: Interesting, why do you like the conflict?

Chester P:
I enjoy bringing light to areas that remain in the dark and so many people get away with complete liberties. Since we in this country at least feel it is more important to not cause waves, that’s not me. Our scene has become clogged up with greedy little men who need exposing, so I enjoy doing that... I’m not perfect, I’m a mess at the best of times, but what I am not is a liar or prepared to allow myself to be lied to. So that leaves me thinking outside of the shackles ‘cos one thing a lie cannot withstand is exposure to the truth: and look at all my conflicts over the past year or two, and my methods of victory rest in my integrity and honesty... I’m ready to apologise when I’m wrong and I’m ready to fight to the death when I’m right. But I’m not ready to be scared of the conflict...

Lady Jay UK: I hear what you're saying about not being approached. I mean, we can talk UK 'music industry' all day, but, what are your thoughts about the reality for UK artists?

Chester PChester P:
It’s an issue we constantly talk about. For me, I see it like this: we are not, and never have sold music here, like in the states; and the British artist or hip hop artist at least will have a harder time getting anywhere; so make your goals realistic. And remember, that those who speak for the sheep will have the largest audience, sales don’t always represent your talents. I do what I do, and no one could do me better than I can; so keep your individuality ‘cos that is the fingerprint to your soul its all you have...

Lady Jay UK: Wise words. What do you think you’d be doing if you weren’t doing music?

Chester P:
Doing jail time I imagine. I don’t do nothing else. I left school at 12 and educated myself; all I know is music; and at times that is frustrating ‘cos it means I must make money from it or the rent goes unpaid, so I struggle ‘cos I don’t love money. I love music and it gets a little difficult, due to the lack of money, to remain true to the actual love of music, but I manage and will continue to manage…

Lady Jay UK: Your ‘OHNO’ track gets played on my show ‘cos it makes me laugh. For those who haven’t heard it, break it down…

Chester PChester P:
‘Oh No’ is a track inspired by a situation that I was amused by where a friend is in love with a girl who is a lady of the night, or hooker if you like, and he meets her, thinks he was smart and gets her number, while the man she was with is in the bog. Then he hits her house and finds out it will cost him to have sex with her. He knew he should have said no, but lust grips his nuts and next thing she is pregnant. Really its just meant to be a fun tune, but has certain real undertones to it. The real moral of that story for me is wear a condom ‘cos unwanted pregnancy is the least of your worries when H.I.V. is doubling each year in London so think about it…

Lady Jay UK: Your first solo album is ‘From The Ashes’. Tell me more…

Chester P:
‘From The Ashes’ is me going solo and all beats produced by Louis Slippers the Task Force’s notorious DJ. It is just me making music really. I think I tried to be less cryptic on this for many reasons and wanted to reach a broader audience, so it may not be what all my fans expected, but it is one hell of an album with lots of different messages. I suggest folks listen to it a few times and get their heads around it all…

Lady Jay UK: Do you think there'll be criticism because you tried to be different?

Chester P:
I never try to be different, I am different and lots of times I feel people are busy trying to mimic me while I’m busy being original, so it’s hard to realise where all these styles come from. I have been a source of food to a lot of them and for a guy like me there is always criticism ‘cos the haters will hate me for whatever I do. They hate my success, they hate my smile, they hate everything about me, that’s what haters do. Then there’s the people who don’t hate, but have their opinions and may criticise it ‘cos its different; but the people who know me and have truly understood what I’m about know that the one and only thing to expect from me is the unexpected. I’m free, I think freely, I do what I do free of fear of what the world may view me as, this is my spiritual food. I make it, cook it, and eat it, so I make it taste how I want it to taste so I’m happy. Plus with the criticism comes the love and it out weighs any negative talk. Most of the cats who criticise me are far less talented and probably downloaded my album for free anyway so they are not even worth my attention...

Lady Jay UK: You won the battle rap competition 'Fight Klub' when it came from New York to London in October. You stated you didn't want the prize and offered it to someone else. Why did you enter?

Chester PChester P:
I entered simply ‘cos the night was next to empty and obviously not promoted well at all and there were only four MC's out of the eight needed and Ras Kwame asked me to enter, so as I didn’t want UK to look ridiculous I entered. I don’t do battles anymore but I thought to myself; look these yanks come over here and the night was empty and under promoted - it makes us look stupid, so I entered. By the end of the night I was pissed off with the fact the American dudes on stage saying they came here to help our scene and they wanted to give us a chance (excuse my language), but fuck that mate I’m proud of what we all achieved here without their help. Don’t stand there insulting my nation and its music and achievements like we ain’t nothing, nah fuck that. I don’t wanna go America not on holiday, nor for musical reasons.

They are the mothership of our art form, and I listen to American hip hop in admiration and respectfully acknowledge it as the worlds biggest market for music; but don’t think I need them. Not at all. I can’t relate to that, besides, Americans seem to generally look down on all things un-American especially British hip hop. They don’t get it, so fuck them. In that sense I’m cool doing me where I am for people who do get it and it would do some of my American counterparts good to remember its not tea and crumpets here its real, just like it is there, and as a seed of the American hip hop culture we the British have disowned them as mothership, we now stand as our own entity and sales are a grain of sand in their desert but I would rather sell 10,000 to people who think freely than 1,000,000 to a bunch of sheep…

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Chester P - From The Ashes

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