When you’ve battled the likes of Jay-Z,
shared stages with Hip-Hop’s elite including DMX, Outkast, Roots and Eminem; collaborated with luminaries such as KRS-One, Estelle, Omar, Roots Manuva, and Skinnyman;
Represented both The Bronx and Brixton, and gone on to win awards in multiple sectors including music [MOBO, UKHip-hop], community [SLP’s Our Heroes], and business [Prince Charles’ BiTC]...
This is when you've earned the title of “Multipreneur.” So, Who is Paradise? A man of many talents.
This was a return to form that saw Paradise charted across VH1’s, MTV European Networks and considered by several music critics to be a seminal addition to hip-hop. “Beautifully spectral and inspirational hip-hop” –DJ Mag. “deeply positive, almost spiritually up-lifting, but always remaining absolutely real” –Rago Mag. “the music speaks for itself and stands alongside any of today’s artists” –HHC. “The sort of creative endeavor that only comes around once every few years and makes it clear what entertaining should be about” –Ann-Marie Nicholson, The Source.
Paradise’s acting spotlight shun to dazzling splendor when he starred as lead in Glyndebourne’s critically acclaimed £400,000 International Mozart Hip-h’opera, ‘School 4 Lovers’. “He controlled a Cosi fan tutte such as Glyndebourne has never seen before” -Hilary Finch, The Times. “Donnie is played by the charismatic Paradise, who sets up exactly the right buzz of expectation”. -Michael Church, The Independent.
In 2010, WhoIsParadise placed, ‘Runner Up’ Our Heroes Award for his community work with at risk youth in the London borough of Lambeth. His work at HMP Feltham, Young Offenders Institute is recognised as a model of "effective practice" by the Ministry of Justice, Youth Justice Board and has allowed him to put meaning & purpose to his own troubled past. Working alongside Young People Matter [YPMCharity] founder, Kemi Folarin as a community advocate is his calling. As an artist, he is in a unique position of earned street credibility when championing a lesser kudos’ sociopolitical subject matter. In 2012, WhoIsParadise won a prestigious ‘Highly Commended’ award at Prince Charles’ Business in The Community Awards, Race for Opportunity for his leadership role on the Hyde Plus/ YPMCharity employability program.
In 2013, the Entertainment mogul made the decision to not only record, but to also write his biopic memoirs.
-The real life hustler, artist, CEO and activist delves deep into his own personal life experiences and extracts a confessional, reflective & definitive philosophical work of art.
BY MARCUS DAWES | PHOTOGRAPH BY iPHONE 5
Life & Times
in Exile Bio
FROM BRONX TO BRIXTON
In a classic superhero scenario, the entities known as Marcus “PD” Dawes and Paradise The Prolific are one in the same. The British born/ NYC raised hustler, rapper, poet, actor, writer and community activist began his music career literally on the streets of South London after 18 years as a Tri-state resident, the last three of which were spent in the custody of NY’s State & Federal Institutions before inharmoniously departing the US. Transplanted from The Bronx, NY housing projects to the council estates of Brixton, UK proved a rich translation of not only accents, but of culture, mind state and inner city customs.
Having developed a self-introspective style of ‘prison poetry’ as a conduit to imaginatively express the otherwise unimaginable; with-in months of returning to the UK in 96’, Paradise, with the help of producer-label owner, Charlie Parker was able to set the soundtrack to his life to Parker’s pensive musical backdrops.
An immediate industry & street buzz was created by singles “M.O.N.E.Y.” “Boomerang” and “Et Tu’”. The duo cemented Hip-Hop foundations whilst quietly cultivating a select few local mcs into one rap supergroup. As frontman to the eight core strong British rap collective, 57th Dynasty, Paradise released his critically acclaimed, MOBO nominated debut album The Spoken Word.
Between debut and Sophomore release of Boro 6 Vol. 2, A Dynasty Truly Like No Other [which feat multi-platinum selling Estelle], The 57th Dynasty toured extensively at home (Glastonbury, V2000) as well as abroad, including Finland, Germany, Netherlands, Italy, Belgium and Switzerland alongside such stars as DMX, The Roots, The Lox, WuTang & Eminem.
The group would eventually split leaving a legacy of DIY self-manufacturing, distributing and producing that infected an entire new generation of "Urban" British artists. 57th Dynasty’s discography of classic material includes: “Love of Hip-hop”, “Break Free”, “Lil Bro”, “Boro 6”, “Pattern 57”, “Estates”, “Still I Rise,” “Hold Strong” + more.
After a two year hiatus, Paradise returned, armed with a new ethos of marrying art with purpose, he created The Good Samaritan Music Project. His Edutainment venture spawned partnerships with YMCA, BPA, BTWSC, Princess Trust and more. The collaboration between himself and US & UK rap luminaries KRS-One, Skinnyman and MCD on the Charlie Parker produced classic, “U Must Learn UK” was the project's crescendo.