Patrick “Curly Lox” Gaynor (left) and Paul “Tu Lox” Gaynor”(right)
Not many dancehall figures are willing to stand up for a moral cause and speak against social issues affecting everyone in Jamaica. When it comes to controversy, the dancehall duo Twin of Twins would be at the top. Growing up in a discipline environment from their grandmother and their mother, they would learn about the hardships of poverty; and years later after the blood, sweat and tears came 10 mix tapes, a movie, a novel, countless songwriters credit and how can we forget, dub poetry! For Paul and Patrick: The Sky’s the Limit!
Recently Stylz FM (Stylz It!) had the privilege of speaking with the dynamic duo as they prepared for their European tour. Also, Stylz It had to zone in on their innovative Kung Fu Movie titled ‘Ching Pow: Far East Yardies’.
Twin of Twins tells the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
Stylz It: How did the concept of ‘Ching Pow’ originate in terms of the structure? And what has been the overall response of the movie?
Patrick: We always try to go outside the box so reinvention for us is always a no brainer. The response to ‘Ching Pow’ has been phenomenal.
Stylz It: Have you received the corporate support for the project?
Patrick: Yes only from Slam XL who stepped up and was willing to work with us in our purest form.
Stylz It: You have a European tour coming up. How does Twin of Twins bring out their best in a European market that demands more reggae acts such as Chronix, Tarrus Riley etc. since dancehall seems to be on the backbench in europe?
Patrick: We just have to keep learning from those before us like bob Marley whose innovation and vision it was that broke down barriers and made reggae popular in Europe when I'm sure others thought it was impossible. We humbly take on this and much more challenges as we realize there's work to be done.
Stylz It: We have seen in numerous occasions where our artistes are trying different tactics to gain stardom or attention in the business, and where some have gone to the extreme. Is it that the business is too crowded to facilitate so much artistes or the media and industry not doing enough to help them?
Paul: No I don't think that it is because of overcrowding in the business etc. but in some cases I would say that the media has failed to promote and endorse good music that is solely based on talent or cultural upliftment but choose rather to indulge in the age old "promote what’s deemed palatable" by mostly the intellectually circumcised, and the people who gravitate towards the always undying "negativity" which never stops selling. Plus the new norm nowadays is artiste basically selling their souls to corporate entities who in return end up controlling every aspect of said artiste’s life. They basically hand you a script of your entire act / stage performance so that your actions will be in accordance with their product this watering down your craft. Basically what I'm saying is, mechanic can’t fly plane them only fix them, so corporate people need to invest in the craft without adding their unprofessional opinion.
So the artistes are not setting any example for the generation of artistes who are next in line, so these so called artistes don't see why they should be paying any dues or respect to their craft or even learn it, or even to those before them because subliminally they don't see why they the predecessor / artiste should be respected. So automatically he, she and the old lady becomes an artiste, there is no longer a guideline / rules of engagement so every man feel like them can just do ANY thing to achieve stardom even if it means 5 minutes or less of fame. Basically it’s no longer about the craft.
Stylz It: There was a time when the “Elder” artistes use to take a stance against certain social issues affecting Jamaica. But you hardly find that anymore. Except for dancehall icons like Bounty Killer. Is it a case where the elder artistes do not care anymore or is it up to a new breed to take up that challenge?
Paul: As I have already stated most of the artiste have lost the true meaning of what was once a “mission" to most involved. But these days it's left up to a hand full of artiste including my brother and myself who decided that keeping this precious music alive is a journey worth taking, while most lust after music’s lucrative promises. So the basic outcome is compliance with who are what is in control, just like the days of slavery when if you rebelled against slavery in any kind of way you would surely become an example. How the "master" does it these days is to show the world of music that you (rebel) voice any songs deemed to contain any kind of rebellion will be immediately banned even if it's done without violating any of the rules and guidelines of the Broadcasting Commission, then they (artiste) will never be placed on any major shows thus damaging your income significantly rendering you totally helpless to fight against the wrath of the master. And they do it in plain sight so everyone will see that you are not on any major shows thus leaving the crowd to think automatically that you are not currently doing well. If you look closely, even some of the new breed who everyone thought was supposed to take up the mantle of speaking for the poor has sold out before they even managed to achieve their first hit, even Rastafari has been significantly infiltrated, we now mostly see what we like to term as "Reggae Ras".
Stylz It: There was recently a social media feud between Minister of Youth and Culture Lisa Hanna and Chronixx about the government being "dumb" and not doing enough to support the music in terms of setting up a live music venue. Do you think the government is still not doing enough for the music industry?
Patrick: Yes I think the governing body on both sides hates the music industry because it originated in the ghetto. The truth is the biggest problem Jamaica has is classism. These people hate the unofficial rise to prominence for the downtrodden that the musical platform provides. The problem I think Lisa subconsciously has with Chronnixx's statement is that music especially where reggae and rasta is concerned has been totally remade into corporate's image and likeness and "Bun a fire artiste" are a thing of the past or so she thought. This was even evident in her statement where she said she "loves his music" because in the new world of reggae where corporate funds are the main motivation and not the voice of the people or Haile Selassie; artiste endorsed by corporate don't usually say these things.
Paul: Firstly, I must say that the Jamaican government’s respect for Jamaican music, reggae & dancehall was never and will never be accepted because of its origin, pain, poverty, poor, down trodden. So in a sense I call it the "give mi back my ball effect" meaning everybody gather to play some football but the owner for the ball forgot to take his proper shoes to play, upset about this he leaves with his ball and spoils it for everyone.
Most the government body are unable to relate to the pain and suffering of our music /origin, which in turn becomes infinite jealousy " thinking" a cah dem Likkle worthless ppl yah become the head cornerstone of Jamaica and the wider world. Thus hating Bob Marley" the forerunner / founding father of reggae even more. If and when they ever do anything at all for this music they feel pressured as if we are forcing them. So they develop constant rejection for ANYTHING ghetto including sports. But, I blame all the foolish sheep who are being abused constantly by our government after receiving their votes. So until the people start to accept that they have been deliberately manipulated by way of their lack of education & start to make steps of change within themselves everything will remain the same.
Stylz It: I understand that Patrick has a book working on and the release of your dub poetry. Is this showing your versatility as an artiste away from the humor or are you seeking a next venture away from dancehall music?
Patrick: My book is yet another innovative idea that I had from 2007 when Zion died and yes it does show versatility and also serves as another venture as I believe one should not be limited, and believe I will break the stereotype of how limited and boxed in everything is. The poem is also something I've always done from school days. I've decided that from henceforth I will do only what I feel and how I feel. At this stage in life my happiness is my number one priority, I won't allow fans to stop me from being my full self or reach my highest potential. I am more than comedy and dancehall and that's what my mission is.
Stylz It: There have been reports of Movado's career being stagnant on the local scene in Jamaica and he's focused on the international scene and the fact that the incarcerated deejay Vybz Kartel still has the airwaves locked. What’s your view on this issue?
There is more to dancehall than what they tell us with there media who ironically berated dancehall at every turn before it's eventual rise to prominence in 1991, the music is bigger than any one act or two. I've seen great acts give the invaluable contribution to the craft in order for it to move on it doesn't stop at any one person. Dancehall is stagnant now because it's being controlled by people who did not create it, artiste are still doing excellent music it's just that it's filtered and if the artiste doesn't fit their agenda they and their music is immediately sidelined.
Stylz It: When You reflect on the life and times of one of the most popular dancehall duos in regards to the countless mix-tapes, ‘Ching Pow’ movie, ‘Up With the Money’ music video, the death of your son “Zion” and your Mom. How does this motivate you and Paul to continue doing what you do?
We were hard wired for hard times, in other words we were trained for these moments, our life growing up prepared us for turmoil even though it doesn't make it easier but it helps us cope. Zion is never gone far from me, he's in my heart and thoughts every single day. Once upon a time the goal was for him now the goal is him. Our mother was one of our biggest fans and I know that she wouldn’t want us to give up because she didn't raise us that way. I'm motivated by carrying on for them in a way that's unexplainable.