Ali the son of Abdul
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Ali the son of Abdul

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"Canadian Invasion to Seh Sup'm"

Canadian invasion to Seh Sup'm

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Root Cause, producers of Seh Sup'm Poetry Competition and the Jamaica poetry series Word Sound and Power being aired on BETJ presents a special edition of their weekly Seh Sup'm Open Mic this Sunday.

Acclaimed poet/performing artist Michael St George, poet/rap artist Ali Lakhini and Owen "Blakka" Ellis (York University Canada) will be taking the stage along with local based Jamaican poets and performers at Weekenz, 80 Constant Spring Road beginning at 6:30 pm.

Michael St George who is no stranger to Jamaica is currently on the island, in Portland along with lecturers from Brock University Canada, working with the TAP (Turn Around Project) which focuses on the youth in Portland; he will be making his appearance at the end of this two-week project.

Multi-talented Owen 'Blakka' Ellis who is also here from York University Canada in an academic capacity will take the poetry stage. A recognised poet in his own right, he is a Jamaican favourite in whatever medium.

Ali Lakhini is a popular poet/rap artist who will be performing for the first time on a Jamaica stage with a fresh new style.
The Canadian invasion will take place with performances from other Jamaican poets along with the performances of Seh Sup'm regulars DJ Affifa and Sawandi who provide background music in between performances. Special feature of the night will be the photography of Neil Williams who has just won the top photography award at the National Gallery last weekend.

Seh Sup'm Poetry - Open Mic Edition was created to maintain the momentum between the successful Seh Sup'm competition series. It has seen a lot of growth among the local poetry scene as patrons are weekly presented with the best of local and international poetry.

This is infused with acoustic performances from local performers offering a different vibes and a refreshing addition to the local entertainment scene. The recent addition of an audio visual segment which showcases visual artists and videos on an onstage screen has been well received, as several prominent photographers have viewed their collection to an interested audience.

- Jamaica Observer

"Canadians 'Sey Sup'm' (Review)"

Canadians 'Sey Sup'm'
published: Thursday | July 24, 2008

Mel Cooke, Freelance Writer

Michael St George (left) and Benjy Myaz at 'Sey Sup'm' at Weekenz last Sunday. - Colin Hamilton/Freelance Photographer

When Michael St George came on the stage at Weekenz, Constant Spring Road, St Andrew, on Sunday evening, he smiled and said, "me feel good. Me deh home".

However, as one of the members of the poetic 'Canadian Invasion', there were still some adjustments to be made. "Me no truly thaw out. Me still a sweat," St George said.

True to the migratory patterns, there was a strong Caribbean presence in the invasion from the land of the Maple Leaf, a recent departure and consistent 'returnee', Owen 'Blakka' Ellis wrapping up the segment with 'Tick Tock'. And after performances from the Infinity Crew and Choice, deejay Cyberg of Guyanese origin started off things Canadian (by way of Guyana) with lyrics delivered to a sole drum, declaring, "I have to do a tune to defen' the ghetto".

A capella

Ali Lakani also performed to music, of the recorded kind, reflecting, "sometimes I think it is an experiment we are living in". A piece without music spoke to the hard labour behind fashionable clothes, commenting, "oceans overflow while sweat shop workers stitch and sew/oceans overflow while we have closets full of clothes".

Jarawa (Joel Ellis' middle name, which he performs under) was active onstage as he observed "the good die young, evil reigns many dynasties", concluding that although he "put some words on paper, but dem tief it", it was still OK, as "all a my poem dem copyright".

Poet Oku Onura's voice was on the recording for the rub-a-dub track for the next poem, Ellis adding lyrics live and ending with a "blaze!". As a father, he encouraged all to "do things right for the sake of the child".

There was another kind of thaw for St George to deal with, as after an opening poem on matters of war which started with singing ("somebody tell me why a bunch of boys fighting in the Middle East on the news again") and explaining poetically why "I do what I do", he noted the lack of audience warmth at Weekenz.

But he thawed them out, combining with Benjy Myaz, who played guitar and sang beautifully, in Psalm style, playing the drum slung around his neck as the two alternated verses.


He got a handclap going and it was sustained as he insisted "how can you cure a disease in a fruit, you must start at the root".

And Blakka Ellis, who said that writing was the art closest to his heart, delivered 'Newer Dub', 'Post-War' (before which, he referred to his New Year's Eve 1975 arson experience), 'Definition', 'Adam and Juliet' and 'Black History: Anancy Story', written out of a workshop at York University, conducted by Jamaican Honor Ford-Smith.

Neil Williams' photography was on large screen, Andy from the Turks and Caicos started the open- mic segment and flames glowed in lampshades on some tables, their steady presence testament to the change in weather from the rain and wind of the night before.
- Jamaica Gleaner

"Ali the son of Abdul & JM - Believe 2008 (Album Review)"

JM & Ali – Believe 2008 (independent)
By: Thomas Quinlan

Emcee, producer and spoken word poet Ali the Son of Abdul teams with rapper JM and producer Frost T for this free EP. Entitled Believe 2008, it's a collection of positive, spiritually uplifting hip hop that sometimes gets a little preachy, but they're saying something that deserves to be heard. Frost T's production is filled with innovative sounds that result in catchy but creative songs. “Awake” sets the stage for the rest of the album, touching on a wide range of topics from gun violence to ethnic disparity to the plight of the poor and downtrodden to wack emcees, before getting down to specifics on the rest of the album: “Love & Hate” makes a plea to respect the poor and our different cultures, and to please stop the violence, over a bass-heavy beat with a wickedly warped violin (or is that a sitar?) sample; “India” takes the U.S. to task over a deep, dark synthetic bass with bongos and a melancholy violin attached; “Shine” calls out for unity of all races on a fun party beat with a polka-like accordion; and “Point & Shoot” mixes braggadocio with an anti-gun message on a happy-go-lucky synthetic beat. It's nice to see artists willing to step up as positive role models, and it's even better when those artists do so with quality music. Respect.

For more on JM & Ali check out -


Ali the son of Abdul & JM - Believe 2008








Ali the son of Abdul is a solo artist. He recently released a project titled: Believe 2008. The project is co-written and performed by a lyricist from Toronto who goes by: JM. In regards to the project completed, it was influenced by society as a whole and motivated by family and friends.

In Believe 2008, Ali the son of Abdul and JM speak towards the ideal of a 'common unity'. They both critically assess what is going on around society and speak on where they fit in the entire global discourse.

Some typical questions which are addressed in their work include: Why are we here? How does a flag signify ownership? Does a rectangle paper control the society? What will our future be?

They also speak on:
- The situations facing newcomer members to the Americas
- The doctrines implied on those who were first discovered in the Americas
- Reasons behind division and unity
- How both of them feel on a day to day

The project, Believe 2008 has received an abundance of radio play on community radio in Toronto. Most notably on 105.5 CHRY where it hit as high as the number five spot on their top thirty chart for August:

Ali the son of Abdul is currently putting the final touches on his solo disc titled: The Imperial Sensation. The project is set to be released December 2008.

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