Pics from Kingston recording sessions

More pictures of Monkey Marc downloadable here

Vital sound

Would hip hop have existed without Jamaica?

Since DJ Kool Herc brought sound system culture from Jamaica to the Bronx as a young teenager, hip hop and reggae have had a long history together. Reggae toasting, versioning and other Jamaican production techniques influenced sampling, rapping and other classic elements of hip hop.

Australian/UK producer Monkey Marc is paying homage to the intertwined roots of reggae and hip hop in his latest project, Vital Sound (2018).  Equally inspired by these two world-changing musical genres, he recorded the upcoming album in Kingston, Jamaica in late 2016.

The album will feature artists including Sizzla, Capleton, Iba Mahr, Dre Island, Ninja Man, Turbulence, Lutan Fyah, Sashae, Spring Wata and Jah Thunder over Monkey Marc’s classic hip hop production, digital dubs and bass-heavy reggae riddims.

no surrender Riddim ep

EP: No Surrender Riddim
PRODUCER: Monkey Marc
RELEASE DATE: 17/3/2017
LABEL: Digi Killaz
LEAD SINGLE: No Surrender feat. Sizzla, Capleton, Fantan Mojah & Mista Savona
GENRE: ragga hip hop

Australian producer Monkey Marc combines tough ragga vocals from the streets of Kingston, Jamaica with classic hip hop production on this new single and EP, with an epic dance video filmed on Orange st, downtown Kingston hitting nearly 1 million views in a week.

No Surrender is a ragga hip hop EP by Melbourne producer Monkey Marc. Recorded in Kingston, Jamaica with reggae and dancehall legends as well as artists from the burgeoning ‘reggae revival’ movement, Monkey Marc combines the sounds of Jamaican reggae with classic hip hop production.

The title track, ‘No Surrender’ featuring Sizzla, Capleton and Fantan Mojah (with additional production by Australian reggae producer Mista Savona) is the first release from the project. With an energetic and unrelenting music video featuring some of the top dancehall dance crews in Jamaica, the single has received close to one million views in a week.

The track begins with Capleton chanting down Babylon and Fantan Mojah welcoming the listener to ‘the streets of the tough life’. The track takes its name from Fantan’s impassioned vocals declaring, ‘To survive in the streets, them ask how we do it? We tell them, No surrender, no retreat!” Sizzla voices a war-cry for the poor and oppressed in Jamaica, as he calls on both the young and old to stand up and 'make your life better’, encouraging his Jamaican community to stay positive, work hard and find a way out of poverty and sufferation.

In an era of throwaway digital production throughout the modern music industry, Monkey Marc’s production stands out for its analog studio quality, hearkening back to the classic sound of golden era hip hop and the raw energy of 90s dancehall. No Surrender was produced on an MPC3000 and an ATC1 analog synthesizer, and tracked through a vintage BBC broadcast mixing console.

No Surrender is the first riddim release off the Soundclash Inna Kingston Town full-length album, slated for release in late 2017. Other artists on the album include Iba Mahr, Dre Island, Ninja Man, Turbulence, Lutan Fyah, Prince Allah and more. 

Track listing:
01 No Surrender feat. Sizzla, Capleton, Fantan Mojah & Mista Savona
02 Babylon Days feat. Capleton
03 Blessed feat. Sizzla
04 In the street feat. Fantan Mojah
05 Homelessness feat. Spring Wata
06 Mosquito feat. Jah Thunder
07 Riddim version feat. Mista Savona

Official music video

The official music video of the lead single from the No Surrender EP has received a huge response around the world with close to one million views in a week.

It was filmed on iconic Orange st in downtown Kingston, Jamaica. Orange St was once buzzing with Jamaica’s influential record shops and recording studios, such as Prince Buster’s infamous Record Shack, driving an outpouring of reggae, ska and rocksteady from the island.

Produced by Warrior Films and directed by Dameon Gayle, the video brings to life tough ragga vocals from reggae legends Sizzla, Capleton and Fantan Mojah, singing about life on the streets of Kingston over producer Monkey Marc’s classic heavy hip hop beats and driving bass lines.

The music video is a vibrant snapshot of the Jamaican dancehall dance scene. Tightly entwined with dancehall music, dancehall dance grew out of the creative backdrop of Kingston in the 1980s, with iconic dancers such as Bogle and John Hype defining the scene. Evolving in the intensely competitive environment of the nightly Kingston dancehall parties, young dancehall crews have continued to drive the development of the dance form into international popularity.

The ‘No Surrender’ video features some of the most iconic dancers and dancehall crews from across the island. It pays homage to oldschool dancehall dance with legendary dancers Colo Colo, Boysie Roses and Koolkid, as well as featuring powerful female dancer Kimiko Versatile, and highlighting the younger generation of newschool dancehall crews (Supreme Blazers, Xqlusiv, Kriptic Klique and Outshine).

The music video is accompanied by five behind-the-scenes videos of the five crews. 

TRACK: No Surrender (Monkey Marc feat. Sizzla, Capleton, Fantan Mojah & Mista Savona)
PRODUCTION: Warrior Films
DIRECTOR: Dameon Gayle
CONCEPT: Kim Suree
LOCATION: Downtown Kingston, Jamaica
DANCERS AND DANCE CREWS: Colo Colo, Boysie Rosies & Koolkid; Kimiko Versatile; Supreme Blazers; Xqlusiv; Kriptic Klique & Outshine.

Australia - Haven't felt so inspired by a music vid in I can't remember how long!
Greece - One love for the Jamaican dancers that fight everyday for their culture!!!
Spain - A video with some of the best dancers of all time! Great work!
USA - The choreography and the music are over the top.
Canada - so passionate and beautiful, full of vibrant humanity
France - This is dance! No lie, in the streets with a beautiful message.
Australia - Absolute force.


“I’m not sure exactly where “No Surrender” won me over. Could it be the throbbing bassline, the catchy hook, the tough verses, or the enthralling vibe? Or choose your own explanation, all are valid.

This dance hall destroyer finds Australian riddim-maker Monkey Marc working with the skilled Mista Savona, plus a trio of Jamaica’s best vocalists to craft what you wish you’d already heard.

“No Surrender” has layers of souped-up future-synths thriving on its potent bass, delivered with a militant urgency that suits the rapid-fire verses on socioeconomics, police corruption, and abject poverty.”

Read the review in full here: 



Intro/  Capleton

Babylon days are numbered
I see dem a fall and slumber
I heard dem a bawl and blunder
So easily dem going down.
Babylon days are numbered  
I see dem a fall and slumber
I hear dem a bawl and blunder
So easily dem going down.

Verse 1/  Fantan Mojah

Welcome to the streets of the tough life
As a warrior me grow up wid a rough life
When wi touch di caana, we nuh run drama
Real gangsta nuh love spotlight
When me step to the food no joke about it
Hot fire start blaze and dem cyan come out it
Anything inna me way betta move
Cause if you mek a move to me place.

Chorus/  Sizzla

And me say bless up fi di poor
Make your, make your life better
Money fi di poor me say, and through the weather
Bless up fi di poor
Make your, make your life better
Better, better, better

Verse 2/  Capleton

Hey Babylon a crosses
Well the wrong set of youths them go fuss with
Woi! Them a snake under grass with
Nuff a them guh go bow to the bosses
Well a fireman a bun them ago scorch with
So we ago bun dem to ashes
A nuff youths them have as hostage
Say dem wah fi shoot dem like a portage
With them cartridge
(Deh one yah name)


Verse 3/  Sizzla

Poor people a suffer so long me observe it
Morning to night them a offer them service
Do it for the children, well make sure preserve it
Poor people more than willing and worthy
Give them everything and give them more than that
Give them everything, and give them more pan that
Poor people foundation, and me sure bout that
From the floor to the top.


Verse 4/  Fantan Mojah

Gangster rules, haffi know how fi hunt fi eat
You haffi pressure the road, seven days a week
To survive in the streets, them ask how we dweet
Tell them no surrender, me say no retreat
We living in the days of the mob
Ain’t no informing ting
Don’t call the 5-0
They will kill you for the money weh you have
When you hand the gold to make the dough
You better lie low.

Bridge/  Sizzla

Every ghetto youths affi reach somewhere
Every ghetto youths affi reach somewhere
Every ghetto youths affi reach somewhere
Every ghetto youths affi reach somewhere


Pray for the best
Pray for the best
Pray for the best
Pray for the best