MusicDish e-Journal - January 19, 2020
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Spotlight on Mr. English
By Lady Zimma, Dainty Crew
(more articles from this author)
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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 published.

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."

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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.

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 yet".

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 or 831-444-6210.

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