Hate it or love it, Hip Hop music has a major fan base in our small island. The genre, birthed out of the Bronx in New York City during the 70’s, is regularly featured in fetes and on our radio stations -mostly outside of the Crop Over season. In that percentage of the fan base, a few (but respectable) amount of people are in tuned to the works of local rappers. Hate it or love it, the biggest local rapper is none other than the critically acclaimed Teff Mayweather. With his bravado and wit, Teff has dominated the scene from Burberry Cologne to DreamWorld. No Floyd, but Mr. Mayweather has the confidence and bravado of the prized fighter in his music. Whether he is stating the fact that he is among of the small percentage of local lyricists getting air play (“Only rapper I hear is Teff on the radiooooo”) or reminding you why he is the best (“Think greatest of all time and sue me if you don’t”), Teff is certainly one of the most recognized artistes outside of the soca genre in Barbados. Don’t act like you never heard “Starz.”
I pitched this idea to Teff after an event and he was down for the cause from the get go. After a few emails back and forth to hash out the particulars, a time and place was agreed and on an extremely hot summer day I played tourist in Christ Church. I finally reached my destination and waited for the pickup like Jesse from Breaking Bad. I almost caught a heat stroke until Teff and Revere (Head producer and engineer. Big ups to Black Noize), came through and saved a brotha with the air conditioned ride. We hit up Cane Field Studios where most, if not all, of the project has been recorded to conduct our one on one session. Shout out to Shane Free for passing through. Before our chat I found out that Teff is just not only a musician/promoter, he flexes his entrepreneurial muscle with his concierge business iLuvBarbados and his own label Island Life (“Don’t forget the island” – Revere).
After our chat I asked if I could get a preview of the project but with a wry smile Teff politely declined. Albeit being a gracious host Mr. Mayweather was holding this one close to his chest. It’s under more security than Fort Knox. However, I got the chance to sit through the bass session with Elton Wharton for the next single “Take 2” (feat. Island Life artist Qwase Anderson). This song is insane! The charismatic Revere worked the sound boards as Elton strummed away to the Mohamed Haniff production. Everyone in the room just couldn’t help but bob their heads. A broad smile came over Teff’s face as he whipped out his iPhone to record the moment and gushed over his bars as if it was the first time he was ever hearing them. I still hum the tune from time to time, look out for that one (Of course we’ll have it!). Just as we were about to leave after the session, Teff let me hear his verse on a new tune from Gallest called “Ke… ‘I’ll keep that one as a surprise, Ha!
Carlos Brathwaite is the Founder of 246Mixtapes. Follow him on Twitter.