Spotlight on Mr. English
Terrance King is better known to most people as Mr English,
an MC and poet. He coined his moniker due to being born in London,
England, and was raised in the East end area of Hackney until he
reached his teens. He then moved to Florida in 1983 with his mother,
and eventually settled in California.
Mr English classes himself as both MC and a poet because he
believes "It takes a little of each to do either one." He became a
MC after progressing from writing poetry to writing lyrics. He was
not inspired by just one person, but by many, including Peter Bouncer
from Eastman sound in London and the rapper Rakim. He recalls,
"Peter Bouncer ... did make me want to chat a lot, even though I
couldn't and still haven't quite followed the style right. Rakim ...
has the sickest flows for me."
It was in the mid-80s when Mr English got into the business.
He started off solo, then put together a crew called F.T.M. (For The
Money) comprising of himself and two others. His partners were Baron
and MC Coke. The crew broke up due to "an outside influence" who
convinced Baron and MC Coke that Mr English didn't have the same
dream as them. He says, "I called rapping a hobby and certain others
didn't like my thinking, so I decided to stay solo from that point
on." After a number of years, Mr English met R.A.W. of U.T.G., who
helped him out in the business.
In 1989, Mr English met KiYoshi through a mutual friend and
he did some MCing for him. The pair don't work together on a
full-time basis, but have done things over the past five years.
Mr English has worked with other people, including Jah Fear,
Spank Loc, U.T.G. and others on the underground scene. He has
featured some of these artists on his album English Distinguished,
which was released in July 2001.
The poetic side of Mr English started when he was around the
ages of 11 or 12. He started to write down his feelings to begin
with, and this led to his own style of "ragga rap.” He would say his
poetry is Spoken Word, but as yet he has not had any of his work
Musically, Mr English writes all his own lyrics as he feels,
"I can't get to trust another person thinking for me." He also has
no set way of doing things so says, "It's best for me to handle my
off track thoughts alone." His lyrical ideas are a "gift from God"
and he says most of what he writes comes out his "mental from an
unamenable place." The lyrics and ideas flow and Mr English tries to
"catch the spillage."
Mr English would classify himself into the Hip-Hop genre with
a little bit of Dancehall mixed in. His album is mainly Hip-Hop. He
says he tries to "find a sound that I think might be missing on a
track, then use it for my style." His style can be a mixture of
rapping and chatting.
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He also does other musically oriented works and has recently
written lyrics for De' Sha, a R&B singer in California. Otherwise,
Mr English says, "I'm just concentrating on my product." He's not
aiming for anything specific in the music business apart from opening
up the field a little and if he can make a decent living for himself,
then he will look into expanding.
During the Summer, Mr English performed at several shows
alongside the likes of Jiggalo, U.T.G., R.A.W., C-Money, Dirty Walt
and Young D. He also did some shows with Spank Loc and Jah Fear.
Some of the shows were at the Cactus Club in San Jose. His last show
was alongside acts such as Dubwise, Steel Pulse, Mighty Diamonds and
Mikey Dread at the Monterey Bay Reggae Festival. He feels he got his
best response at the festival.
Some of Mr English's favourite artists include LL Cool J, Biz
Markie, Bob Marley, Lauryn Hill, Nelly, Missy Elliott and Busta
Rhymes. He believes some of the latter-named MCs have "taken more
time to change." He also has a liking for some Reggae artists such
as Yellow Man, Admiral Bailey, Shabba Ranks, Super Cat and Buju
Banton, to name a few.
Mr English is not in the music business full-time as he still
works full-time for UPS, whilst doing his music in the evenings and at
weekends. He says, "I haven't done quite enough to quit the day job
He advises up and coming artists to "take your time, be very
patient. Please don't look to get rich quick, life isn't a video ...
respect yourself and your talent."
For the future, Mr English plans to "take each day as they
come" and do all he can to get heard. We sincerely hope he gets
heard sooner rather than later.
To book Mr English, contact Francisco Alcaraz on 831-905-9458
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