Monday, 27 February 2012

Poem: ALL or nothing

ALL or nothing!

All the signs say I shouldn't but still I persist,
An unpredictable string of situations that you can't predict,
Many a thing doth change in time,
Degeneration of minds,
Evolution of physical nature,
Ties thus nullified,

I look from sight in hind,
And try unpack the things that wasn't,
A void of darkness came.. consumed.. turned everything to nothing,
Confronted with there true identity most will run away,
Screaming.. clawing... at there soul internal disarray,

Dimensions that surround us,
Soon devour what was our synergy,
Erosion from differing waves which now refract the energy,
Empty now just desolation,
Choate to misappropriation
Heavy burden of despair upon my bosom laden,

You are so careless,
So clearly I should care more,
But if one exceeds with giving the pendulum will fall,
When it was full a complete balance roused a good rapport,
A toss up now the coins two side,
Hold nothingness or ALL!


Sunday, 26 February 2012


A record I did with upcoming Liverpool talent Valskie from 'A&V' produced by Wez-D

be sure to check out more of Val's material here


Friday, 24 February 2012

BLUD! Official teaser

BLUD is a short punchy film......LOOK OUT FOR THE FEATURE!!

Best described as an urban thriller, BLUD combines the gritty unpredictable under world with that of the real world and brings you a breath taking journey into the supernatural.

The concept, story and screen play was written by rapper/actor,director Fredi 'KRUGA' Nwaka. It was also directed by him and produced by his company GRIDLOC FILMS LTD.

Trust no one....not even your own mother....she may not be who she says she is!

Check out the facebook page for more details and to follow the progress from short film to Cinematic release. Wish us luck!

Follow @fredikruga @gridlocfilms or email for further details.

Sunday, 12 February 2012

News: Legend Whitney Houston dies aged 48

Whitney Houston, who ruled as pop music's queen until her majestic voice was ravaged by drug use and her regal image was ruined by erratic behavior and a tumultuous marriage to singer Bobby Brown, died Saturday. She was 48.

Beverly Hills police Lt. Mark Rosen said Houston was pronounced dead at 3:55 p.m. in her room on the fourth floor of the Beverly Hilton. A Los Angeles County coroner's official said the body remained in the building late Saturday.

"There were no obvious signs of any criminal intent," Rosen said.

Houston's publicist, Kristen Foster, said the cause of death was unknown.

Rosen said police received an emergency call from hotel security about Houston at 3:43 p.m. Saturday. Paramedics who were already at the hotel because of a Grammy party were not able to resuscitate her, he said.

Houston's death came on the eve of music's biggest night — the Grammy Awards. It's a showcase where she once reigned, and where she will be remembered Sunday in a tribute by Jennifer Hudson, organizers said.

Her longtime mentor Clive Davis went ahead with his annual concert at the same hotel where her body was found. He dedicated the evening to her and asked for a moment of silence as a photo of the singer, hands wide open, looking to the sky, appeared on the screen.

Houston was supposed to appear at the gala, and Davis had told The Associated Press that she would perhaps perform: "It's her favorite night of the year ... (so) who knows by the end of the evening," he had said.

Houston had been at rehearsals for the show Thursday, coaching singers Brandy and Monica, according to a person who was at the event but was not authorized to speak publicly about it. The person said Houston looked disheveled, was sweating profusely and liquor and cigarettes could be smelled on her breath.

Two days ago, she performed at a pre-Grammy party with singer Kelly Price. Singer Kenny Lattimore hosted the event, and said Houston sang the gospel classic "Jesus Loves Me" with Price, her voice registering softly, not with the same power it had at its height.

Lattimore said Houston was gregarious and was in a good mood, surrounded by friends and family, including daughter Bobbi Kristina.

"She just seemed like she was having a great night that night," said Lattimore, who said he was in shock over her death.

Aretha Franklin, her godmother, also said she was stunned.

"I just can't talk about it now," Franklin said in a short statement. "It's so stunning and unbelievable. I couldn't believe what I was reading coming across the TV screen."

The Rev. Al Sharpton said he would call for a national prayer Sunday morning during a service at Second Baptist Church in Los Angeles.

"The morning of the Grammys, the world should pause and pray for the memory of a gifted songbird," Sharpton said in a statement.

In a statement, Recording Academy President and CEO Neil Portnow said Houston "was one of the world's greatest pop singers of all time who leaves behind a robust musical soundtrack spanning the past three decades."

At her peak, Houston was the golden girl of the music industry. From the mid-1980s to the late 1990s, she was one of the world's best-selling artists. She wowed audiences with effortless, powerful and peerless vocals rooted in the black church but made palatable to the masses with a pop sheen.

Her success carried her beyond music to movies, where she starred in hits like "The Bodyguard" and "Waiting to Exhale."

She had the perfect voice and the perfect image: a gorgeous singer who had sex appeal but was never overtly sexual, who maintained perfect poise.

She influenced a generation of younger singers, from Christina Aguilera to Mariah Carey, who when she first came out sounded so much like Houston that many thought it was Houston.

But by the end of her career, Houston became a stunning cautionary tale of the toll of drug use. Her album sales plummeted and the hits stopped coming; her once serene image was shattered by a wild demeanor and bizarre public appearances. She confessed to abusing cocaine, marijuana and pills, and her once-pristine voice became raspy and hoarse, unable to hit the high notes as she had during her prime.

"The biggest devil is me. I'm either my best friend or my worst enemy," Houston told ABC's Diane Sawyer in an infamous 2002 interview with then-husband Brown by her side.

It was a tragic fall for a superstar who was one of the top-selling artists in pop music history, with more than 55 million records sold in the United States alone.

She seemed to be born into greatness. In addition to being Franklin's goddaughter, she was the daughter of gospel singer Cissy Houston and the cousin of 1960s pop diva Dionne Warwick.

Houston first started singing in the church as a child. In her teens, she sang backup for Chaka Khan, Jermaine Jackson and others, in addition to modeling. It was around that time that music mogul Clive Davis first heard Houston perform.

"The time that I first saw her singing in her mother's act in a club ... it was such a stunning impact," Davis told "Good Morning America."

"To hear this young girl breathe such fire into this song. I mean, it really sent the proverbial tingles up my spine," he added.

Before long, the rest of the country would feel it, too. Houston made her album debut in 1985 with "Whitney Houston," which sold millions and spawned hit after hit. "Saving All My Love for You" brought her her first Grammy, for best female pop vocal. "How Will I Know," "You Give Good Love" and "The Greatest Love of All" also became hit singles.

Another multiplatinum album, "Whitney," came out in 1987 and included hits like "Where Do Broken Hearts Go" and "I Wanna Dance With Somebody."

The New York Times wrote that Houston "possesses one of her generation's most powerful gospel-trained voices, but she eschews many of the churchier mannerisms of her forerunners. She uses ornamental gospel phrasing only sparingly, and instead of projecting an earthy, tearful vulnerability, communicates cool self-assurance and strength, building pop ballads to majestic, sustained peaks of intensity."

Her decision not to follow the more soulful inflections of singers like Franklin drew criticism by some who saw her as playing down her black roots to go pop and reach white audiences. The criticism would become a constant refrain through much of her career. She was even booed during the "Soul Train Awards" in 1989.

"Sometimes it gets down to that, you know?" she told Katie Couric in 1996. "You're not black enough for them. I don't know. You're not R&B enough. You're very pop. The white audience has taken you away from them."

Some saw her 1992 marriage to former New Edition member and soul crooner Bobby Brown as an attempt to refute those critics. It seemed to be an odd union; she was seen as pop's pure princess while he had a bad-boy image and already had children of his own. (The couple only had one daughter, Bobbi Kristina, born in 1993.) Over the years, he would be arrested several times, on charges ranging from DUI to failure to pay child support.

But Houston said their true personalities were not as far apart as people may have believed.

"When you love, you love. I mean, do you stop loving somebody because you have different images? You know, Bobby and I basically come from the same place," she told Rolling Stone in 1993. "You see somebody, and you deal with their image, that's their image. It's part of them, it's not the whole picture. I am not always in a sequined gown. I am nobody's angel. I can get down and dirty. I can get raunchy."

Brown was getting ready to perform at a New Edition reunion tour in Southaven, Mississippi, as news spread about Houston's death. The group went ahead with its performance, though Brown appeared overcome with emotion when his voice cracked at the beginning of a ballad and he left the stage.

Before his departure, he told the sell-out crowd: "First of all, I want to tell you that I love you all. Second, I would like to say, I love you Whitney. The hardest thing for me to do is to come on this stage."

Brown said he decided to perform because fans had shown their loyalty to the group for more than 25 years. During an intermission, one of Houston's early hits, "You Give Good Love," played over the speakers. Fans stood up and began singing along.

It would take several years for the public to see the "down and dirty" side of Houston. Her moving 1991 rendition of "The Star Spangled Banner" at the Super Bowl, amid the first Gulf War, set a new standard and once again reaffirmed her as America's sweetheart.

In 1992, she became a star in the acting world with "The Bodyguard." Despite mixed reviews, the story of a singer (Houston) guarded by a former Secret Service agent (Kevin Costner) was an international success.

It also gave her perhaps her most memorable hit: a searing, stunning rendition of Dolly Parton's "I Will Always Love You," which sat atop the charts for weeks. It was Grammy's record of the year and best female pop vocal, and the "Bodyguard" soundtrack was named album of the year.

She returned to the big screen in 1995-96 with "Waiting to Exhale" and "The Preacher's Wife." Both spawned soundtrack albums, and another hit studio album, "My Love Is Your Love," in 1998, brought her a Grammy for best female R&B vocal for the cut "It's Not Right But It's Okay."

But during these career and personal highs, Houston was using drugs. In an interview with Oprah Winfrey in 2009, she said by the time "The Preacher's Wife" was released, "(doing drugs) was an everyday thing. ... I would do my work, but after I did my work, for a whole year or two, it was every day. ... I wasn't happy by that point in time. I was losing myself."

In the interview, Houston blamed her rocky marriage to Brown, which included a charge of domestic abuse against Brown in 1993. They divorced in 2007.

Houston would go to rehab twice before she would declare herself drug-free to Winfrey in 2009. But in the interim, there were missed concert dates, a stop at an airport due to drugs, and public meltdowns.

She was so startlingly thin during a 2001 Michael Jackson tribute concert that rumors spread she had died the next day. Her crude behavior and jittery appearance on Brown's reality show, "Being Bobby Brown," was an example of her sad decline. Her Sawyer interview, where she declared "crack is whack," was often parodied. She dropped out of the spotlight for a few years.

Houston staged what seemed to be a successful comeback with the 2009 album "I Look To You." The album debuted on the top of the charts, and would eventually go platinum.

Things soon fell apart. A concert to promote the album on "Good Morning America" went awry as Houston's voice sounded ragged and off-key. She blamed an interview with Winfrey for straining her voice.

A world tour launched overseas, however, only confirmed suspicions that Houston had lost her treasured gift, as she failed to hit notes and left many fans unimpressed; some walked out. Canceled concert dates raised speculation that she may have been abusing drugs, but she denied those claims and said she was in great shape, blaming illness for cancellations.

Houston was to make her return to film in the remake of the classic movie "Sparkle." Filming on the movie, which stars former "American Idol" winner Jordin Sparks, recently wrapped.


Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Musicism in Birmingham by Darren Roberts

Musicism in Birmingham

'Musicism' - Discrimination against a person or a genre based on one's unfavorable taste towards that genre of music. (

The demonization of certain groups and types of music within Britain is not new; in fact, it has provided a source of control for those in power since the middle-ages. A more recent example, however, of an attempt by the British Government to enforce order based on discrimination against a particular genre of music was the introduction of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Bill in 1994 – a section of which was entitled ‘Powers in relation to raves’ (S. 63). The Bill was created by the, then Conservative, government in order to protect certain communities within rural areas of Britain from the supposed ‘destruction and distress’ caused by ravers and their music. The Bill defined a rave as an ‘open air gathering of 100 or more people at which amplified music is played during the night’ – a definition which, to be fair, could be applied to an outdoor church ceremony, except that the Bill conveniently also defines ‘music’ as ‘sounds wholly or predominantly characterised by the emission [inclusion] of a succession of repetitive beats’ – a definition which in reality only covers dance music. Essentially, the Bill selects and discriminates against a particular type of music and a set of practices and makes them illegal in certain places. It did this in order to keep a specific set of people – middle-class, non-raving, rural, Tories – happy.

Just as the Government attempted to protect the rural idyll from the disruptive sounds of raves in the 90s, attempts are continually made within Birmingham and other British cities to maintain the social, economic and political order of the city from the possible disruptions caused by its inhabitants. One of the primary targets of attempts by Birmingham’s authorities to safeguard the order of the city is the urban gangs that exist across a number of the central wards. Since their emergence in the 1980s, urban gangs in Birmingham have been at the centre of a number of crises and controversies in which their alleged offences are perceived to threaten the delicate facade of harmony that exists in the city.

In November last year (2009) the hip-hop musical 1Day (directed by Penny Woolcock), which depicts a day in the life of a Birmingham drug dealer and the gang warfare that ensues when a deal goes wrong, was considered – on the basis of warnings from the local police – to pose such a serious threat to the security of Birmingham’s cinemas, that scheduled screenings were cancelled and the film was banned across all major and independent cinemas not only in Birmingham but across the West Midlands region. The film was released nationally and shown in cinemas across the country, but failed to reach audiences in Birmingham – the place of its inception and production.

Despite claiming that ‘no formal discussions have taken place about the film between West Midlands Police and the cinema companies’ (Channel4 News, 03/11/2009), action was taken by the police on a number of occasions to limit or prevent the film being shown. These claims are contrary to a statement made by Jai Bhatia, General Manager at Birmingham’s Vue Cinema in a radio interview with BRMB.

“Vue Cinemas has made the decision to not screen 1 Day at Birmingham Star City. Following discussions with The West Midlands Police it has become increasingly clear that there are potential security issues surrounding screening the film. The safety of our staff and customers is of the utmost importance to us, which is why we have made this decision.” (BRMB online, 2009)

According to several reports, this advice was given to cinemas in Birmingham by an individual officer who was said to have done so because of ‘his own private concerns’. This so-called ‘rogue officer’ supposedly took it upon himself to ‘speak to the manager of the Odeon in Birmingham and advised him, in a personal capacity, against screening 1 Day’ (The Independent, 30/10/2009). Crucially however, this advice was given whilst the officer was both in uniform and on duty. Following the police visit to the Odeon, ‘the manager took the advice, word spread and other multiplexes followed’.

The film was banned despite the fact that (1) it provided an excellent opportunity to highlight, develop and showcase the extraordinary abundance of talent within Birmingham’s black and urban music community (2) one local police officer actually said to the film’s director “Why don’t you film for six months, the crime rate went down when you were last here” (BBC News, 29/10/2009) and (3) the fact that the West Midlands police Superintendent, Suzzette Davenport admitted in a statement that:

“We did not feel and have no intelligence to suggest the film does or will increase gang-related tensions or pose a risk to the people of the West Midlands, whose safety and security will always be our priority.” (Channel4 News, 03/11/2009)

This is by no means an attempt to deny the real threat posed by gangs in Birmingham, however, the perceived association made by the city’s authorities between certain types of music and gangs has led to a situation where individuals from within the black and urban music scene are left without a regular, commercially viable or even safe platform for their music within the city.

About the author

Darren Roberts: I am conducting research at the University of Birmingham as part of a PhD project on the music industry in Birmingham. I am looking for participants to get involved in the project and offer their views and tales of their experiences, if anyone is interested in finding out more please feel free to contact me

Tuesday, 7 February 2012


The main event match from 'Xtreme Limits' be sure to check out NSW for all details and info on upcoming shows!!

P.S. the Black Diamonds ring announcer looks soooo frickin' cool looool

Health News: Internet Addicts could need Psychotherapy

Web addicts have brain changes, research suggests

Web addicts have brain changes similar to those hooked on drugs or alcohol, preliminary research suggests.

Experts in China scanned the brains of 17 young web addicts and found disruption in the way their brains were wired up.

They say the discovery, published in Plos One, could lead to new treatments for addictive behaviour.

Internet addiction is a clinical disorder marked by out-of-control internet use.

A research team led by Hao Lei of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Wuhan carried out brain scans of 35 men and women aged between 14 and 21.

Seventeen of them were classed as having internet addiction disorder (IAD) on the basis of answering yes to questions such as, "Have you repeatedly made unsuccessful efforts to control, cut back or stop Internet use?"

Specialised MRI brain scans showed changes in the white matter of the brain - the part that contains nerve fibres - in those classed as being web addicts, compared with non-addicts.

Diagnostic criteria for internet addiction

  • Do you feel preoccupied with the internet?
  • Do you feel the need to use the internet with increasing amounts of time in order to achieve satisfaction?
  • Have you repeatedly made unsuccessful efforts to control, cut back or stop internet use?
  • Do you feel restless, moody, depressed, or irritable when attempting to cut down or stop internet use?
  • Do you stay online longer than intended?
  • Have you jeopardized or risked the loss of a significant relationship, job, educational or career opportunity because of the internet?
  • Have you lied to family members, a therapist or others to conceal the extent of involvement with the internet?
  • Do you use the internet as a way of escaping from problems or of relieving a distressed mood (eg feelings of helplessness, guilt, anxiety and depression)?

Participants answering yes to questions 1 to 5 and at least one more answer were classed as suffering from Internet Addiction Disorder

Source: Young's Diagnostic Questionnaire for Internet Addiction adapted by Beard and Wolf

There was evidence of disruption to connections in nerve fibres linking brain areas involved in emotions, decision making, and self-control.

Dr Hao Lei and colleagues write in Plos One: "Overall, our findings indicate that IAD has abnormal white matter integrity in brain regions involving emotional generation and processing, executive attention, decision making and cognitive control.

"The results also suggest that IAD may share psychological and neural mechanisms with other types of substance addiction and impulse control disorders."

Prof Gunter Schumann, chair in biological psychiatry at the Institute of Psychiatry at King's College, London, said similar findings have been found in video game addicts.

He told the BBC: "For the first time two studies show changes in the neuronal connections between brain areas as well as changes in brain function in people who are frequently using the internet or video games."

Commenting on the Chinese study, Dr Henrietta Bowden-Jones, consultant psychiatrist and honorary senior lecturer at Imperial College London, said the research was "groundbreaking".

She added: "We are finally being told what clinicians suspected for some time now, that white matter abnormalities in the orbito-frontal cortex and other truly significant brain areas are present not only in addictions where substances are involved but also in behavioural ones such as internet addiction."

She said further studies with larger numbers of subjects were needed to confirm the findings.

Friday, 3 February 2012