The Council and Tha God Fahim create the ‘Valhalla Doctrine’

Kingston, Jamaica’s MC super group, The Council, has unleashed a third single, titled Valhalla Doctrine, from its upcoming album, Nothing Else Matters. This time, the four-member crew connects with Atlanta-based Tha God Fahim on an ominous track produced by Inztinkz. In their usual fashion, all MCs display advanced, nuanced lyricism with their varying yet complementary styles.

Five Steez and The Sickest Drama (TSD) kick the song off with their own verses, followed by Steez with a hook, proclaiming him and his collaborators to be “gods of the mic”. Inztinkz, who produces all tracks for the group, delivers the third verse and is then joined by the guest, Tha God Fahim, who fits in perfectly at the table with The Council. After the second hook, Nomad Carlos closes the record, ending dramatically with his last line.

Working on the album in between their own solo projects, The Council first released the singles Council Arts in 2015 and The Final Countdown in 2016, followed by the surprise EP, Forgotten Parables. Nothing Else Matters is now complete and more singles are to come before the album release, which is yet to be announced.

The Council is a formation of some of the most revered rappers in Jamaica’s underground Hip Hop scene, all active for over a decade, staging Kingston’s premier Hip Hop event – Pay Attention – from 2012-2015 and, over the past three years, operating Gambling House Recording Studio, the local Mecca for the community. The crew is currently based in Kingston and New York, where Nomad Carlos resides.

Last modified on Tuesday, 31 January 2017 05:25

Build It, They Will Come

"Be the change you want to see in the world."

This quote, often attributed to Mahatma Gandhi, is excellent advice for all. As for artists or creatives, I believe it is important for each one to have a vision. One must know his or her direction and be guided by some philosophy. Many of us have ideas and emotions we want to share with others, however, sometimes, we are plagued by doubt, lack of resources and even basic infrastructure to execute some of our projects in the manner we envision them. Nevertheless, we must create. After all, it is what we do.

It can be frustrating as a lover of art – or in this case, more specifically, music – to experience monotony. In recent times, I have observed many who felt that way about the entertainment scene here in Kingston. Having grown tired of the typical party options, as well as some of today’s popular Dancehall, these people desired and flocked to alternative events and spaces.

This shift, I believe, is part of what gave rise to the ‘Reggae Revival’. And by this, I mean not so much the group of artistes we associate with the term, but the increase in live Reggae shows circa 2010 – 2013, followed by the spread of Dub events, which seem to have replaced the live shows. The Revival is a part, and is one of the first signs, of this shift, which is a deviation from the norm – Dancehall.

Another sign of this shift is the increased popularity of Soca among Kingston’s partygoers and the emergence of EDM events. I am neither predicting the demise of Dancehall nor do I want to see it, but there are clearly growing audiences of people attending events that may be new, unique or simply not the popular option. As an organiser of what has been Kingston’s most consistent Hip Hop event – Pay Attention, which ran from 2012-2015 – I know how hungry people are for a different experience and how satisfied they are when they discover it. I also saw it while playing my role in Manifesto Jamaica events during 2010-2011.

I never ever thought I would be a ‘promoter’. (That is why I always refer to myself as an ‘organiser’.) But it was Manifesto Jamaica that thrust me into that position and gave me the impetus to later start a Hip Hop event with my partners, since we wanted something like that to attend, as well as a platform to perform our music. The journey with Pay Attention has been incredibly fulfilling and it has taught me that if you build it, they will come. (Not saying you don’t have to ‘promote’ lol).

The Pay Attention team aka The Council (Photo by Yannick Reid)

In recent times, I have been pleased to attend other events that I would consider ‘different’, and most certainly, bold. In 2015, I had fun at Turn Up, a Trap and EDM party held by Innovo Entertaiment. I would love to see another. To me, it was very much a Hip Hop party, which is always welcome. Also, starting in that year was The Listening Party, a producer showcase series I am most excited about. The beatmakers featured on the three stagings so far have ranged from Hip Hop to EDM to Dancehall and I’ve enjoyed the event each time.

Another fresh series, New Wave, has a Making the Beat segment, which allowed the featured producers to not only play, but talk about their instrumentals. It also had an AUX cord segment in which anyone from the crowd could play a song they like. I found that interesting.

On Thursday nights, I like to pass through the live jam at Constant Spring Golf Club. It’s free, the bar has very reasonable prices (surprising for such an ‘uptown’ place), and sometimes, I want to hear some Rock, Blues etc. I wish the Poetry Society of Jamaica fellowship was every week, but whenever I am not in the studio on that last Tuesday of the month, I do my best to be there.

There are a quite a few alternative options for entertainment in Kingston once you keep your ears to the ground. Sometimes, I hear people – mostly those outside of my creative circles – complain that everything is the same. But they are the ones that think what radio plays is the only music out there and the events advertised are the only ones happening. I do not blame them for they know what they are exposed to. These are the people hungry for something different. So, build it, they will come.

I believe now is the time for any creative with a vision of something out of the ordinary to bring it to life. Let nothing stop you. You have something. And there are people out there that want it. You may have to go and find them. But at least build it, they will come.

Inztinkz of The Council / Pay Attention and Joan Webley at Nanook (Photo by Machel Witter)

Last modified on Tuesday, 03 January 2017 22:53

Here are a few shots of The Council (minus Nomad Carlos) at UPNess: Nothing Else Matters on Tuesday, December 6. It was our first event from Pay Attention in a year and a half, and the energy was just right. We did things differently this time around by partnering with others and incorporating Afrobeat into the mix, as well as live painting and breakdancing. The event was also a part of the RJR Communications Group's Kingston Music Week. Towards the end of the night, we spoke to the people for a while and then let loose some of the tracks from our upcoming album, Nothing Else Matters. Photos by Machel Witter.


Last modified on Friday, 16 December 2016 16:14

Nothing Else Matters but UPNess at Kingston Music Week

RJR’s Kingston Music Week will offer a unique, eclectic experience in the form of UPNess: Nothing Else Matters, a Hip Hop and Afrobeat party being staged by Nanook, Pay Attention and Wakeupstar, on Tuesday, December 6. The event, which begins at 8 p.m. at Nanook on 20 Burlington Avenue, will feature musical selections by Deadline, Inztinkz and Mz Lytes.

UPNess: Nothing Else Matters will also include live painting, breakdancing and a preview of the upcoming album, Nothing Else Matters, by local Hip Hop collective, The Council, which comprises Five Steez, Nomad Carlos, The Sickest Drama and Inztinkz.

“This year will be our second staging of UPNess,” says Joan Webley of Nanook. “We are creating a new experience this time around, fusing communities and vibes, and everyone will have a great time, hearing mind-blowing tunes across two genres.”

Patrons can expect good music with a difference and a vibrant energy throughout the event, which will be hosted by the multi-talented Racquel Jones.

Admission is only $500 and part proceeds go to the Alpha Boys’ School.

RJR’s Kingston Music Week is a week-long festival that boasts 19 events and will run from December 1-7.

Join the Facebook Event:

Last modified on Saturday, 26 November 2016 17:32


The Council unveils the Forgotten Parables

Kingston, Jamaica’s super group of MCs, The Council, has revealed Forgotten Parables, a two-track EP comprising unreleased music featuring its members – Nomad Carlos, Five Steez, The Sickest Drama and Inztinkz.

Both songs, produced by Inztinkz, were recorded at Gambling House Recording Studio, years prior to the formation of The Council.

The Council’s official album, Nothing Else Matters, from which it has already unleashed the singles Council Arts and The Final Countdown, will be released in 2017.

Last modified on Friday, 28 October 2016 17:51

Following the release of his HeatRockz EP with Mordecai, Five Steez has made available a remix of the project's last single, Gods Collide. This version is produced by Sosa, who also appears on the track alongside Nomad Carlos.

Last modified on Tuesday, 11 October 2016 05:04


The Council begins ‘The Final Countdown’

After releasing Council Arts a year ago, Kingston, Jamaica’s super group of MCs, The Council, has finally released another single from its upcoming album titled Nothing Else Matters. The new track, The Final Countdown, features Nomad Carlos, Inztinkz and The Sickest Drama (TSD) welcoming a new era over a suspenseful musical backdrop.

With a post-apocalyptic feel, reminiscent of the 1999 New Year’s Eve, Nomad Carlos, in the chorus, asks, “Could this be the year that our minds are free?” He later declares: “The time has begun / Either live long or you gon’ die young”.

The song’s verses from Nomad Carlos, Inztinkz and TSD describe different New Year celebrations in New York and Kingston, while paying tribute to various Reggae legends.

The Council is the four-member crew (including Five Steez who does not appear on this track) behind Kingston’s premier Hip Hop event which ran from 2012 to 2015. It is also part of the management of Gambling House Recording Studio, the Mecca of Hip Hop in Kingston.

The Council took a break from staging events to create an album together, after many years of collaborating as solo rappers. The release date for The Council’s album, Nothing Else Matters, is still yet to be announced.

Last modified on Friday, 23 September 2016 04:38

Two weeks after releasing HeatRockz – his new EP with producer, Mordecai – Five Steez has unveiled the visual for the lead single, Dirty Couch. The video, directed by Scotty Dreamkiller, centres around the couch in the hallway at Gambling House Recording Studio, the Mecca of Kingston, Jamaica’s underground Hip Hop community.

“People who pass through to visit always end up sitting in the couch or on top of it,” says Five Steez. “So we just showed what a regular day may look like.”

The video, shot in black and white with a yellow ‘Sin City’ effect, shows energetic performances from Five Steez and a vibrant hallway celebration with friends. In the song, the young MC taunts inferior rappers and those diluting the genre over a dusty-sounding “bona fide headnodder” crafted by Mordecai.

The EP HeatRockz is available for free download at and is also on iTunes, Spotify and other digital outlets. It is Five Steez’s most aggressive project to date and features ‘true school’ boom-bap Hip Hop bangers to keep heads nodding. “It’s really me having fun, flexing my skill and making high-energy music ideal to play in the car or hear me perform at a show,” says Five Steez. “Some think it’s my best work.”

Previous Five Steez projects include his three-part Momentum mixtape series with DJ Ready Cee, his 2012 debut album, War for Peace, and his 2014 EP, These Kingston Times.

Last modified on Tuesday, 13 September 2016 15:14

'Gods Collide' as Five Steez releases new EP

After releasing a single every two weeks since July, Kingston, Jamaica-based indie Hip Hop artist Five Steez has unleashed Gods Collide, the final track from HeatRockz, his new five-track EP with producer, Mordecai. The song features Steez alongside long-time collaborators Sosa and Nomad Carlos doing what they do best over a quirky but gritty instrumental.

In the song’s chorus, Five Steez says, “When you see the gods collide, we on a mission”, signifying a purpose behind the collaboration. He explains, “The three of us started out together in a five-member group over a decade ago in high school. Being the ones still doing music, and with Sosa and Carlos based in New York and me based out here, this was sort of a reunion and renewed merger of forces.”

With the release of this song, HeatRockz is now fully available for free download at The EP is Five Steez’s most aggressive project to date and features ‘true school’ boom-bap Hip Hop bangers to keep heads nodding. “This is my first project without that much of a theme,” the rapper says. “It’s really me having fun, flexing my skill and making high-energy music ideal to play in the car or hear me perform at a show.”

Previous Five Steez projects include his three-part Momentum mixtape series with DJ Ready Cee, his 2012 debut album, War for Peace, and his 2014 EP, These Kingston Times.

Last modified on Tuesday, 30 August 2016 05:07

Five Steez keeps it 'True School'

Independent Hip Hop artist Five Steez has released True School, his fourth track this summer, from his new EP, HeatRockz. Over an eerie sample expertly chopped by producer Mordecai, he dances in between the upbeat drums, delivering multiple punches, and pledging allegiance to ‘true school rules’.

“That’s the code we live by,” says Five Steez. “It’s not about old school versus new school. It’s about the true essence of the craft in both.”

Five Steez takes on everyone from so-called lyricists whose pen “went on vacation” to acts who “look and sound alike”. He raps, “I wouldn’t let them round the mic / I spit a few punches and the crowd is hype”. While the verses are laced with clever bravado, he shouts out his listeners in the song’s anthem-like hook.

On HeatRockz, True School is track #4, following Dirty Couch, Encore and Mic to the Check (in that order), which were released this summer. The EP is entirely produced by Mordecai and is said to be Five Steez’s most aggressive project to date. It will be fully available for free download on Tuesday, August 30 at

Previous Five Steez projects include his 2012 debut album, War for Peace – which received great reviews from various outlets, including digital store, iTunes – and his 2014 EP, These Kingston Times, listed by World Hip Hop Market as one of the year’s best international Hip Hop releases.

Last modified on Tuesday, 16 August 2016 13:54