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WATCH THIS: Sizzla “Without You” Official Music Video PREMIERE

WATCH THIS: Sizzla "Without You" Official Music Video PREMIERE

Some Sweet Love Songs From Kalonji

“Righteousness will always get a fight,” Sizzla Kalonji once told me, “and that is only to make you stronger.” That conversation took place in 1997, he year Sizzla electrified lovers of reggae and dancehall music with two landmark albums, Praise Ye Jah and Black Woman & Child. Sizzla has gone on to become one of the most prolific artists of his generation, releasing his most recent album, Million Times in September—a collection of 12 sweet love songs, touching on the sounds that made songs like “Just One of Those Days” and “Give Me A Try” so legendary. “Beautiful people want to listen to the beautiful reggae music,” Sizzla told me. “And you know reggae bashes against corruption. It’s not just a music to sing spirituality only and to make you feel good and sing love songs, conscious songs. And it’s good for social commentary, a very good music to be used for social commentary. And any little thing happen to the poor people, we’re quick to express ourselves on dancehall riddims and on the one-drop roots rock reggae riddim. And what we’re explaining and expressing is the total truth. It’s a music that can be used for expressing our innermost feelings and thoughts.” Today VIBE and Boomshots proudly premiere the new music video from the album “Without You.” Big Up Kalonji every time.  Video After The Jump…
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WATCH THIS: David Lyn “Keep Moving” Visualizer PREMIERE

WATCH THIS: David Lyn "Keep Moving" Visualizer PREMIERE

Straight From Miami Via Tuff Gong Studios

David Lyn grew up in Miami, surrounded by music from an early age. A Jamaican-American youth who loved Michael Jackson and Usher as well as the stars of his island homeland, David was 13 years old when he got into the studio with his stepbrother, Andron Cross, now known to the world as Grammy-Award Winning Producer IzyBeats. Today Boomshots premieres the latest step on his musical journey, the visualizer for his song “Keep Moving,” recorded in Kingston Jamaica at Bob Marley’s legendary Tuff Gong recording studio. The song will be part of David Lyn’s forthcoming EP, Any Day Now. “Smooth seas never made a skilled sailor,” David points out. “No matter how big the waves get we must stay the course and keep moving.” Video After The Jump… Read more »

Ziggy Marley Votes For The First Time Ever

Ziggy Marley Votes For The First Time Ever

Music To Inspire A Movement

No more long talking from politicians. Today, the people have their say at the ballot box. Judging by the number of voters who showed up early this year, the 2020 election is going to smash all records for voter participation. With a deadly pandemic, wildfires, floods, economic pressure, and a struggle for survival playing out from the tweets to the streets, the stakes have never been higher. All of which goes to show why Ziggy Marley decided to vote this year for the first time ever. Video After The Jump…

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Murda She Wrote October 2020

Murda She Wrote October 2020

Unruly Boss Covers Reshma B’s Column on Tidal

At the end of each month, the Reggae Girl About Town rounds up the top tunes for her “Murda She Wrote” column on Tidal. If you’re looking for October’s wickedest selections, you’ve come to the right place. This month’s lineup features certified Boomshots by Popcaan, Chronixx, Spragga Benz & Konshens, and Skillibeng. It’s Murda!

Jamaica is a small island with an outsized impact on the world. “We likkle but we tallawah” is the local phrase that sums it up best. “Likkle” means “little,” of course, while “tallawah” is a patois term describing someone who’s “strong-willed, fearless and not to be taken lightly.” All of which is a good description for Popcaan, the 5-foot-6 musical giant who looms larger than ever over the global dancehall scene.  Music After The Jump… Read more »

WATCH THIS: Elephant Man “Skankers” Official Music Video PREMIERE

WATCH THIS: Elephant Man "Skankers" Official Music Video PREMIERE

“Dis Yah One Yah Make The Dancer Dem Madd”

“All of us put in work to try leave the ghetto,” said Elephant Man as he made his debut in the pages of VIBE back in April 1998. “That’s a feeling that really can’t leave you.” Posing in the photo shoot with an iced-out pachyderm pendant dangling from his next, Elly and his bredrens from the Scare Dem Crew—Boom Dandimite, Harry Toddler, and Nitty Kutchie—made it all the way from Seaview Gardens, one of Kingston’s hardest neighborhoods, to a full-page write up in VIBE’s NEXT section, the magazine’s showcase for “People on the Verge.” It was a good day—but Elephant was just getting started. The legendary dancehall icon would go on to share stages with Usher and Chris Brown, collab with Missy Elliott and Lil Jon, perform live on the nationally televised VIBE Awards, and sign a deal with Puff Daddy’s Bad Boy Records. Throughout it all, he continued repping Jamaican dancehall culture to the fullest. They say an Elephant never forgets.Video After The Jump… Read more »

Untold Stories: How Johnny Wonder Buss Bounty Killer

Untold Stories: How Johnny Wonder Buss Bounty Killer

“Big Up Yourself Johnny Wonder”

You don’t have to be a dancehall head to know Bounty Killer. He featured on No Doubt’s Grammy-winning pop smash “Hey Baby” and lit up Instagram this May during his epic Verzuz battle with Beenie Man. Arguably the most influential artist in modern dancehall history, Bounty Killer is thoroughly respected for many reasons—his prolific catalog of recordings, his stylistic impact on the art of deejaying, his advocacy for ghetto youths, not to mention the many artists he personally helped to “buss,” or break into the music business. Even the most casual dancehall fan should be aware of the major stars who benefited from Killer’s support early in their careers. Without Killer’s co-sign the world might never have experienced the talents of Elephant Man, Mavado, Busy Signal, or Vybz Kartel—to name just a few. With no Kartel we’d have no Portmore Empire, no Popcaan, and so on and so forth. But who helped Bounty Killer buss? The usual answer is to that question is King Jammy, who did produce Killer’s breakout hit “Copper Shot.” But how did that song become a hit? As Peter Tosh once sang, “half the story has never been told.” The world might not know this legend of Jamaican dancehall if not for an Italian youth from Brooklyn named Johnny Wonder.   Full Story After The Jump… Read more »

WATCH THIS: Agent Sasco ft. Bounty Killer & Kabaka Pyramid “Loco” Official Music Video PREMIERE

WATCH THIS: Agent Sasco ft. Bounty Killer & Kabaka Pyramid "Loco" Official Music Video PREMIERE

“New Generation A Come Up Now”

Ever since Sasco linked up with TeflonZincFence to create “Loco,” it was clear that this was a special record. Teflon’s stripped-down beat hit like blunt force trauma, inspiring the artist formerly known as Assassin to serve up some of his hardest lyrics since Hope River. While speaking from a streetwise perspective, Sasco’s witty rhymes also expressed his concern for the youth—somewhere between Whitney’s “Greatest Love of All” and Slick Rick’s “Hey Young World.” The song took on a life of its own, as great songs do, and the streets demanded a remix. (One YouTube commenter suggested Sasco link up with Koffee and call the tune “Cocoa,” but I digress.) As fate would have it, Sasco recruited Killer and Kabaka for the remix, delivering a lyrical onslaught that was every bit as mad as the title suggests. Today Boomshots premieres the highly anticipated visuals for the remix—somewhat reminiscent of Biggie’s classic “Sky’s The Limit” video. “I’m very excited about the release of the ‘Loco Remix’ video,” says Sasco. “We went for a different concept which has my son, Joshua performing as me. He’s definitely excited for the release. It’s gonna be Loco!” How did Joshua do in his first starring role? As Sasco’s mentor dancehall legend Spragga Benz observed, “Weezy have di bounce.” Video After The Jump…
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WATCH THIS: Toyé ft. Jada Kingdom “Attitude” Remix Visualizer

WATCH THIS: Toyé ft. Jada Kingdom "Attitude" Remix Visualizer

“I’m Not The Type To Play With”

Born in Atlanta and raised in Nigeria, Toyé jump-started his career in 2018 when he began freestyling with friends in a recording studio. Before he knew it he was working with Ace Harris, the Grammy-winning producer whose resume includes work on Koffee’s Rapture, Lil Wayne’s Tha Carter V, and Nicki Minaj’s The Pinkprint. Harris teamed with Atlanta’s underground producer DJ Tag to produce Toyé’s first official single, “Shayo.” The follow-up “Attitude,” now has a remix featuring Ms. Twinkle herself, rising dancehall star Jada Kingdom. Toyé describes his musical style as “Afrofusion, a blend of Afrobeats, R&B, dancehall and elements of traditional Nigerian Fuji music. He showed her versatility with a remix of Swae Lee and Drake’s “Won’t Be Late” titled “Don’t Be Late.” In the short space of two years Toyé has had the opportunity to tour with some of the biggest names in African music, including Burna Boy, Mr. Eazi, Davido, and Olamide. His first headlining show in Atlanta was sold out, building anticipation. The visuals for his “Attitude” remix just dropped today, another step on his climb to the stars. Video After The Jump…
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HEAR THIS: El Dusty ft. I-Octane “Vampire” PREMIERE

HEAR THIS: El Dusty ft. I-Octane "Vampire" PREMIERE

“Blood Dem A Seek Out Deh”

Based in Corpus Christi, Texas, El Dusty is a DJ and producer who lets his ears explore widely and  his mind float freely as he builds an encyclopedic sample library, preserving exquisitely eclectic moments drawn from a diverse catalog of presumably dusty vinyl, then chopping and pasting it all together on his trusty MPC2000. The Latin Grammy nominee is often credited as a pioneer of a sound called “Nu Cumbia” or “Cumbia Electronica,” a modern style which is loosely based upon Cumbia, the Afro-Latin genre that traces its roots back to the 17th century where it was born along Colombia’s Caribbean coast and spread throughout South America and all the way through Mexico into the Texas borderlands. El Dusty has previously collaborated with Puerto Rican reggaeton artist DJ Blass, Trinidadian vocalist Angela Hunte, and Mexican sonic adventurer Toy Selectah, so it was only a matter of time until he made his way to Jamaica. Today Boomshots presents the first of his collaborative efforts, a tasty slice of digital dub called “Vampire,” which features passionate vocals courtesy of I-Octane, the dancehall star who’s been burning out blood-suckers from early in his career. “I-Octane is the first of many reggae collaborations coming out of Jamaica,” says El Dusty. “We’ve got tunes coming with Anthony B, Blaze Mob, New Kingston, Runkus & more!” In the ominous lyric video, Dusty dresses up as Dracula 🧛—a full month ahead of Halloween—apparently untroubled by the fact that one of Octane’s earliest hits promised to “Stab vampire with a peg.” Perhaps it’s no accident, then, that the Hot Ras is nowhere to be seen. Audio & Video After The Jump…
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WATCH THIS: TeeJay “Rags to Riches” Official Music Video PREMIERE

WATCH THIS: TeeJay "Rags to Riches" Official Music Video PREMIERE

“UpTop Means Progress Overall”

The first time TeeJay linked up with Boomshots he was chilling out in the Bronx, braffin’ as usual, having just returned from a shopping spree with some fresh gear. During a streetside interview, Reshma B asked him the meaning of UpTop. “UpTop means progress overall,” he explained as cars drove past. “You know, if you up, you showing progress. Staying up, going up on a different level in life. I’m always going up in life.” The youth born Timoy Janeyo Jones was raised in the Glendevon section of Montego Bay and grew up in a musical family, recording songs with his older brothers from an early age. Since signing with Romeich Entertainment he has continued to level up, emerging as one of the most versatile dancehall stars of the new generation. Today Boomshots premieres the music video for his latest hit “Rags to Riches,” produced by Damage Musiq. “I came up with a bit of fusion reggae drums and R&B synth that gave that island vibe feeling where you just want to reminisce and be happy,” says the producer whose Billionaire Sheik Riddim provides the musical backdrop for the tune. “What inspires me to sing ‘Rags to Riches’ is the things that I have been through in life back then an’ where I am now today,” says TeeJay. “The people I am surrounded by and the things that we do, I used all those things and turned it into art. Poverty was an inspiration to me, so I wrote this song to motivate other people to show them that nothing is impossible in life an’ they should never give up.” Shot on location in MoBay by Xtreme Arts, the visuals show the UpTop boss leveling up from zinc fence streets to mansions and pool parties. Video After The Jump… Read more »

Reasoning with Skillibeng “I’m Still Trying To Write My Best Song”

Reasoning with Skillibeng  "I’m Still Trying To Write My Best Song"

“New Flows Always”

“Victory with an easy entrance” proclaimed Skillibeng on his dubplate for Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness ahead of the landslide victory in the 2020 election. Likewise, Skilli himself has been victorious this year in spite of the global pandemic, establishing himself as Jamaica’s new force, specialising in elevating lyrical standards. Seen by many as a face of the rising Trap Dancehall wave, the 23-year old reflects influences ranging from Vybz Kartel to deceased US drill bastion, Pop Smoke, paying tribute in remix of club-smash “Dior.”

Born in the eastern parish of St. Thomas, his passionate East Syder fanbase grows exponentially on a daily basis, drawn in by inventive flows and sharp lyricism. The vibrant countryside parish, better known historically for Paul Bogle, the Morant Bay Rebellion and rich Afrocentric traditions, is one of the trending regions for talents in dancehall. Skillibeng is the latest attraction alongside 6ixx’s Chronic Law and the unstoppable OVO-signed, Gaza-alumni star, Popcaan.

With co-signs ranging from Jamaican pocket rocket Koffee, incarcerated reigning dancehall king Vybz Kartel to rapper Young MA, the lyrical technician is making huge strides in his relatively new career. Since breaking through in early 2019 with the acclaimed Prodigy mixtape, a slew of releases including guest spots on Jada Kingdom’s popular mixtape E-Syde Queen: The Twinkle Playlist, the weed ode “50 Bag” and “Mr. Universe,” along with controversial hit “Brik Pan Brik” sparking debates around Scamming songs (songs about the lifestyle of lottery scammers—an increasingly popular hustle tied to organized crime in Jamaica), all aided the young talent in establishing himself as a forerunner among the new generation.  Marvin Sparks speaks with Skillibeng about his year 2020 rise in lockdown, Popcaan friendship, collaborating with Vybz Kartel, lottery scamming culture and recording a dubplate for the Jamaican Prime Minister. Q&A After The Jump…
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WATCH THIS: Tessellated ft. Crayon “No Ansa” Lyric Video PREMIERE

WATCH THIS: Tessellated ft. Crayon "No Ansa" Lyric Video PREMIERE

“Lock Off The Phone”

“No follow nobody,” advises Tessellated, the Kingston-born, L.A.-based songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist whose genre-bending creations include the 2017 Amindi K. Fro$t and Valleyz smash “Pine & Ginger” and Jada Kingdom’s breakout track “Banana.” His surging piano-driven “I Learnt Some Jazz Today” topped Billboard’s Jazz Digital Song Sales chart and appeared in an Apple AirPods commercial that’s up for an Emmy this weekend. Today Boomshots premieres the visualizer for his latest joint, “No Ansa” featuring a cheeky guest verse from Crayon out of Lagos, Nigeria. The song is all about a girl whose whining skill leaves a lasting impression, but then leaves you hanging on the line. “For the video, I really just wanted to capture the situation of the song in a whimsical kind of way,” says Tessellated. “The place we’ve all been, calling with no answer—and the monotony of trying again and again with the same result.” The song is the first single off of Tessellated’s upcoming EP, due November 6. With fans like Diplo and Camila Cabello, this guy’s phone is gonna be ringing off the hook. Video After The Jump… Read more »