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Multi Media – Interview With a Drug Dealer

 

Recently there’s been a huge talk about the effects of cannabis on social media. With the rapid increase of places in the world legalising the drug I figured it would be interesting to see first hand from someone in England who sells the drug what they think about it and why they sell it. This unnamed male, age 25, talked to be for a small amount of time and here is what he had to say:

 

 

 

Blog – Living in the Moment

Living in the moment is an odd thing. Generally, this means you live without thinking about consequences or without worry. It’s got a hopeless kind of feeling to it, but that hopeless feeling is what gives this lifestyle its appeal. Maybe it’s just a young thing. Many young people are in a position where they’re not really sure what they want to do. Also, it’s kind of scary being an age where you have to accept growing up and start doing things your parents normally do. Such as paying bills or operating the fuse box when the unbranded toaster you paid a fiver for trips all the electricity in your flat. We all have to go through this though, so good luck getting that little bit of sympathy you were expecting.

There’s no definitive directive or perfect approach to living. But as well as this you should know yourself well enough to know what you’re capable of. If you decide at the age of 16, 18, 25 or 35 that you need change there’s nothing really stopping you other than yourself. This is where living in the moment comes in. Humans are for the most part notoriously cautious and terrified of making a mistake. There’s something about the fear of appearing stupid that effects each and every one of us. That deep thud that crushes your chest, the cold anxious sweats that take over your whole body and that loud internal scream that bellows: “why the hell did you say that?’’. It’s normal. It’s human.

Let me get something clear though. Living in the moment doesn’t mean quitting your job, buying a camper van and driving around Europe searching for something you haven’t figured out yet. We don’t live in books and that would be an awful idea anyway. What I mean is embrace every situation you find yourself in. That is the only true way to live in the moment. Because let’s face it if we were to follow every little impulse that our brain gives us non of us would’ve made it this far. What I mean is be prepared to make mistakes, don’t spend your time worrying about the little things because not only is that a dull way to live, it’s also so limiting for you as a person.

 

Review – Mick Jenkins at Bungalow’s and Bears

Review – Mick Jenkins Live at Bungalows and Bears Sheffield.

As a lover of all things rap I was equally ecstatic as I was surprised to hear American rapper Mick Jenkins would be performing in my home town of Sheffield. The show took place at Bungalows and Bears, a rather small venue for someone who’s toured with the likes of Method Man and Redman. Mick opened with ‘’Jazz’’, one of his more well known tracks which set the mood well with its subtle tones and atmosphere. It became clear to me that this wasn’t going to be a regular show where you find people bouncing around the room screaming how great this is, Mick’s music is more sophisticated than that. Instead Mick encouraged us to vibe and feed off of each others energy. With the release of his debut album The Healing Component which promotes love and discusses the different kinds of love there is, I expected this. But what I didn’t expect was for him to sound so similar. On Mick’s records he consistently has a low, almost raspy voice which I was surprised to hear translated so well to a live show. His voice never got lost in the music and never sounded like he was being drowned out. The live drums were also a nice addition that gave the performance an authentic feeling.

 

Around half way through the show a fight broke out in the audience. This seemed to annoy Mick and ruin the vibe he’d created for the last half an hour. The show seemed to take a bit of a dip from here on. Mick never really seemed to be able to return the show to the standard that he set. Audience communication seemed to dip which ended up with Mick calling out fans who thought they were ‘’too cool’’ to put there hands up or shout his lyrics back to him. At this point things became bittersweet. The first half an hour was incredible, and even though the end of the show was very strong, once the energy was lost we was never really able to get it back fully again.

 

Overall, Mick Jenkins is an excellent artist as well as a performer. It is just such a pity that a special show such as thing has to be ruined by a few people in the crowd that clearly didn’t realise what they were paying to see.

Article – Park Hill

Park Hill: Eye sore or an important part of Sheffield’s Heritage?

Once hailed as the most ambitious inner city development of their time back in 1961 the partly renovated Park Hill has lost a lot of its beauty over time. Originally consisting of almost 1,000 flats, a newsagent, a laundrette, four pubs, a primary school, a doctor’s surgery and even a dentists you can tell why this project has always been spoke about with such high regard.

But by the 1980’s there was an abundance of stories that tarnished Park Hill’s reputation. People throwing themselves off the top, muggings, stabbings, I even recall being told someone used a sniper rifle air gun to shoot children at the primary school from afar. Whether this is true or not I couldn’t tell you, but I grew up on an estate less than five minutes from Park Hill and rumours such as that have always been passed on.

Now, Britain’s largest Grade II* building sits partly renovated with the building that can be seen from the City Centre  having new and colourful flats that are highly sought after. However the rest of Park Hill is dilapidated, boarded up and an area most wouldn’t walk through late at night. From personal experience walking through that part of Park Hill is not dangerous. But with the abundance of needles, graffiti, rubbish, and questionable things to see I can understand why people would rather walk around Park Hill.

More recently Park Hill has become known as a ‘’Homeless Village’’ in Sheffield due to the fact there is at least more than ten tents that seem to have settled there with no intent of moving on. Jennifer, 63, from a neighbouring estate in Sheffield said: ‘’It’s sad to see Park Hill go the way it has. I’ve lived here for more years than I can remember and it keeps on getting worse. Everyone around here has really fond memories of it and were proud of it too. We’re proud of what it was’’.

Darrell, 23, resident of the new Park Hill said ‘’These new places are amazing I love living here. But living next to the old place makes me feel so uncomfortable because of the people that congregate there’’.

Article – Alt Seen Eye

Remembering Alt Seen Eye

One of my favourite shops in Sheffield, Alt Seen Eye is sadly closing down in January. What made this shop so appealing to me was the whole feel of the place. When you walked in the door you were greeted with heaps of personality.

The shop was full with tonnes of art, independent clothing and music from local artists. The amount of aspiring creators that this shop helped out is endless. They gave a platform for young entrepreneurs to be seen, heard and supported.

Isaac, 20, co-owner of Sheffield brand GoldeN clothing spoke on the matter: ”The shop helped out so many people. Especially us. All the shop wanted to do was lend a hand to people with ideas and expect almost nothing in return. The largest majority of the sales GoldeN made in 2015 came from being in that shop. We and a lot of other people owe them a lot to be honest.”

I managed to speak to the owner of Alt Seen Eye, Nicole who I asked why the store was closing down and if she had any plans to continue: ”The shops just run its course that’s all. It was a project and a very successful one at that but it’s time to move on from the Alt Seen Eye at Church Street. We might be moving to London road. I think that’s a better place for this kind of shop. But at the same time I like to try a lot of different things and I may decide to just follow a different road”.

I wholeheartedly hope Nicole decides to keep the shops legacy going strong. A shop such as this is a one of a kind and we’d like to wish Nicole and everyone represented by the shop all the best for the future.

Article – Vinyl

The (re)rise of Vinyl Records:

Vinyl Records are for the most part seen as a thing of the past. More efficient ways of listening to music such as CD, MP3 and digital streaming have since overtaken Vinyl. However, in 2015 sales of Vinyl records were the highest they have ever been since 1996, and in 2016 they were even higher.

When you take into consideration that the majority of people can access the entire of the worlds library of music at their fingertips this is actually pretty amazing. It makes me wonder why this sudden surge in sales has happened.

It can be argued that Vinyl is the superior way to listen to music because it a lossless format. In order to store music on a CD or online it needs to be compressed. By doing this you run the risk of losing the true sound of the record. In fairness, you’re probably not going to notice the difference.

This is my reason for buying Vinyl records. Honestly, it makes me appreciate the album more. I met Theo, 48, from Sheffield in LP record store. He’s been collecting records for over 30 years and he had this to say about the sudden rise: ”My sons fascinated by them. He’s 17 and he’s always used Spotify to listen to music. But he’s started to buy his own Vinyl’s because he thinks they’re cool. He’s used to seeing CD’s everywhere but it baffles him that this is how older generations listened to music”.

He then phoned his son Matthew, 17 also from Sheffield who followed this up with: ”I love music and I’ve never once walked into a Record store and seen a Vinyl from little mix or some rubbish like that. I’ve discovered so much new music from Vinyl’s and just from looking at them it make me appreciate the production and the work that goes into them”.

Honestly, this was the kind of response I was really hoping to find. Truthfully, lots of people could be buying Vinyl’s because they think they’re cool and not because they actually want to enjoy the music. But is this actually a bad thing? The money they spend in some part will go back to the artists and support the industry.

Even if the conclusion we can come to on this topic are that people think Vinyl’s are cool and retro mania is the reason that they’re popular again, I’d say this is a good thing. Supporting the artist is imperative. Go buy yourself a cool portable record player and enjoy some nostalgia.

Article – Spice.

Fresh from the horse’s mouth: Spice

Spice has been an epidemic in Britain for a years now. These once called ”legal highs” have shown to be incredibly addictive and dangerous. In the past two years the amount of deaths from these substances is three times more than the collectives death from 2004 to 2013.

What’s interesting is that a lot of these deaths happened in many of Britain’s prisons. Which begs the question: How easy is it to actually get these drugs in our prisons?

I got a chance to speak to two prisoners of HM Prison Moorlands. Both of these males will remain unnamed. They allowed me to ask them about their experiences and some of the ways that these drugs become available to them.

Male, 26, ”It’s easy for people to smuggle stuff in during visits. Especially in this prison. They don’t check the people who come to visit that well. But then again how well can they check them? Not long ago there was a drone carrying a package that simply got dropped over the gates. It’s easy. There’s endless ways”.

Male, 21, ”Spice doesn’t have a strong smell and it’s not like it comes they bring it in fancy packets. It’s just paper sprayed with chemicals. Crumple it and smoke it in a fag and you’ve got something to do for the rest of the day. I don’t smoke the stuff though you see people doing crazy things to get a hold of it in here.”

I then decided to ask the first Male if he had smoked it: ”Yes. All the time, what else am I meant to do in here? It makes sitting in my cell all day easier. You see people get smoke it and just start laying on the floor shaking. It’s bad stuff but what else are you going to do?”.

I talked to him about his sentence and his plans for when he gets out, and whether he will stop smoking the drug or not. He plans to stop smoking it as soon as possible because he has a child on the outside that he has only just been allowed to see again, thanks to the mother.

Although I couldn’t help but feel for this individual, it’s still shocking how people like him can access these so easily. The other male also informed me he has access to a phone and updates his Facebook frequently.

Article -Otis

Ones to watch in 2017: Otis Mensah

2016 has been a big year from young Sheffield rapper Otis Mensah. He has released two major projects his mixtape ‘Days Over Damson’ and his Concept EP ‘Computers Outside’. In both of these projects he has displayed a huge amount of talent and potential to become successful in the music industry.

The music video for his track ‘Day Dream’ has racked over 11,000 views on YouTube and it is something I highly recommend that you listen to. His use of samples from the 1991 film ‘Slacker’ and even a line from biggie show that his music is a direct influence of his world, which is something I always look for in artists.

On these two projects the production and overall sound is some of the most professional I’ve heard from a very young, independent UK rapper.  Every track is polished and rehearsed to perfection, and his flow is undeniably solid.

In 2016 Otis has played a handful of live shows in Sheffield he is constantly growing, gaining more experience as an artist and developing his sound as such. 2017 should be a big year for him, in my opinion he deserves it, he had this to say when we spoke to him: ”2016 was a big year for me. I did my first live show and a load after that. I released those two projects that caught more attention that I ever could’ve thought”.

”It feels good to be getting a little bit of recognition. It makes you want to give back. That’s why I’m going to be working hard to make the best kind of music I can for the people who support me”.

If you’d like to listen to some of his music you can find it here: https://otismensah.bandcamp.com/

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