Leroy Young: The Grandmaster - Just Like That... - CD
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Leroy Young: The Grandmaster
- Just Like That... (Stonetree)

Somewhere in the continuum between the Lost Poets and contemporary hiphop, leroy Young and his rock solid, unmachined ensemble crank out hard, heavy rhythms, intense melodies and a stream of consiousness verbal onslaught of political, social and instrospective poetry from Belize. Highly Recommended!Accompanied by real musicians (no beat-machines here!), playing Creole, Garifuna and African percussions, Maya Ke'kchi guitars, lap steel and electric guitars and guitarron, there is a raw, local sound that is highly contemporary without imitating pop sounds from other lands. Highly Recommended!

Tracks: (highlighted are mp3 samples)

1) pressure
2) time
3) puppet on a string
4) different different
5) as the world turns
6) i cry
7) a few dollars more
8) black & white
9) unsolved mystery
10) generation x
11) how come
12) my way
13) same script, different cast
14) nothing but love
15) yerri so (gossip)
16) que sera sera (whatever will be...)

The artist says:
Welcome to my world. Leroy Young. Born in Belize City, Central America on the 7th of August 1967. The youngest son from a family of seven, three brothers, three sisters. My father, a honest and hard working man and a loving mother Bernadean Young, who passed away one year ago, may God bless her soul.

I attended St. Mary’s primary school then enlisted at St. Michaels Collage (all boys), which later amalgamated with St. Hilda’s Collage (all girls) now known as Anglican Cathedral collage. After high school I joined Belize’s pioneering Rap group Fresh Breeze Krew with Kenny Morgan and his brother Turbo.

Growing up in one of Belize’s most notorious, dreaded and feared neighborhoods (Majestic Alley), I was exposed to real ghetto life. Upfront and personal in 3D. I’ve seen many mimed, killed, chopped, jacked, robbed. A very close friend died in my arms on the way to the hospital after being shot five times due to an audio cassette. I have seen and taken part in burglaries, selling of drugs and have partaken in various jackings. What can I say? I was young, stupid and adventurous.

Who said life was fair? The wrong lane I took and I got hooked. Twice I attempted suicide. Went to rehab clinic. On my return I started washing cars in front of Radisson Fort George Hotel where I wrote my first poem, (at the time I just called it a “taught”) Problem.

I was a regular feature on Channel 7, performing my poems after the local news, after which I was approached by the Image Factory with an offer that brought forth two poetry books “Made in Pink’s Alley” and “Generation X”. Now through Stonetree Records my dream is about to become reality. My bread is about to be buttered with jam, now here I am. What more can I say, it’s my way. Tit for tat, here’s where I’m at, Just like that…

Press from the record label:
JUST LIKE THAT… the debut album from Leroy “The Grandmaster” Young, Belize’s finest dub-poet. JUST LIKE THAT… includes sixteen songs based on some of Grandmaster’s best-known poems, accompanied with an eclectic mix of instruments ranging from Creole, Garifuna and African percussions to Maya Ke’kchi guitars, Lap Steel and Guitarron.

“This has been one of the most gratifying recording experiences I have ever had” commented producer and musician Ivan Duran. “I hope this album marks a new departure for our music, where lyrics will become more meaningful and relevant. I believe this is the most straightforward and innovative album ever produced in Belize” added Duran.

With topics dealing with issues such as corruption, police brutality, poverty, love and politics, the album also stands to become a controversial one.

“Freedom of speech? Why we say we have freedom of speech if we are afraid to say what we really want?” comments Grandmaster. “In this album I tell it like it is, raw, Just Like That… I know people will respect that”.

The compact disc also includes a multimedia portion that when inserted into a computer gives the user full transcriptions of the lyrics along with several artist photos, a web-link and a surprise bonus track. The elegant digipak carton package also includes a 24 page booklet with lyrics and song credits.

This album is part of the Creole Experience Recording Project from which Stonetree Records will release between 2003 and 2006 several new albums featuring Belize’s most important Creole artists. Work has already stared on the next album of the series, based on traditional river bank songs of the Macal and Belize Rivers arranged by guitarist Sam Harris of the World Culture Band. This project has been kindly supported by HIVOS.

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