Jamaican-Canadian Pop Star Reconnects With Her Dancehall Roots
Kreesha Turner’s debut album Passion was an instant smash in her native Canada. Back in 2008 her single “Don’t Call Me Baby” became the most played song on Canadian radio and hit number one on Billboard‘s U.S. Hot Dance Club Play. Nominated for “Best New Artist” and “Best Pop Album of The Year” at that year’s Juno Awards, her future seemed all mapped out for her. But there is another side to this perfect pop princess, a girl who grew up between Edmonton, Canada and Spanish Town, Jamaica. “Before I got signed I was in the underground hip-hop scene, and everything I did was a mixture of dancehall, hip-hop, and R&B,” she explained to the Reggae Girl About Town over lunch at Strawberry Hill. “When I got signed, the label took me all the way opposite to what I was. They got me to start straightening my hair. I went to media training and they told me not to speak in Jamaican dialect.” Now managed by Nick Cannon and signed to Universal Republic, Kreesha’s third album brings her full circle, diving into the dancehall, hip-hop and R&B sounds she loves. Her first single, “Sexy Gal,” features the Jamaican dancehall supergroup T.O.K. Watch for the official music video premiere March 31 on Mass Appeal. In the meantime, check out Reshma B’s exclusive interview, and enjoy the view! Video After The Jump… Read more »
Who’s That Girl?
This tune is the first we’ve heard of Mink Jo. All we can say for sure is that the Jamaican chanteuse is easy on the eyes—and she and Konshens definitely have some, um, creative chemistry bubbling on this track, courtesy of Dre Day Productions. Something about her voice sure sounds familiar. Critics have branded her a Rihanna wannabe, but with the BNM team in her corner she’s aiming to blaze her own trail. Keep an eye out for Mink’s Boy Girl Love mixtape and meanwhile keep this tune Pon di Replay. Audio After The Jump… Read more »
FME Capo On Some Next Flex—Again. Try & Keep Up!
Sparking his spliff at the top of his latest track, Rick Bleezy re-introduces himself: “My name is Ricky Blaze—baddest bumbaclaat producer.” Not that he requires any intro. You already know this is the man responsible for dancehall bangers like Ding Dong’s “Badman Forward” and Gyptian’s “Hold Yuh,” the first reggae/dancehall cut to be certified gold since Jr. Gong’s “Welcome to Jamrock.” This is the guy who sang “Just You & I” on the same riddim, the youth who gave us “I Feel Free.” Restlessly innovating as he pushes the music forward, his new tune “Mighty” finds Blaze dropping gems: “Don’t confuse it, caw me fuse it… If you have a privilege don’t abuse it / Timing is everything, use it.” The sound is dark, dreamy, brooding—oh, and the whole thing ends with an ill guitar solo. R U ready? Let’s go. Audio After The Jump… Read more »
Ting A Ling A Ling, School Bell Ah Ring
”There is a lack of consciousness from what the music used to be,” says the legendary Cocoa Tea. “it’s becoming what it is not to be.” But rather than criticizing or complaining, the singer is fighting back with word sound and power. “If one of my songs can be remembered and or quoted, and be of inspiration or guidance to anyone, then I shall be forever happy with my contribution musically.” After pursuing work as a jockey and a fisherman, it was the birth of his first child back in the early ’80s that strengthened Cocoa Tea’s decision to launch into music full time. And with this tune, he continues his legacy of teaching the youths consciousness through music. All proceeds from “Stay in School”—to be released by VP Records—will be donated to charity. Audio After the Jump… Read more »
Turf Prez Giving Back To The Hospital Where He Was Born
St. Ann’s Hospital in St. Ann’s Bay, Jamaica is giving thanks for a new initiative, spearheaded by none other than popular dancehall artist Busy Signal. The dancehall phenomenon will be launching the Busy 20/20 Helping Hands Foundation April 2. The charitable organization’s first order of busi is to help the hospital to fulfill its needs, which are plentiful, including implementation of vital X-ray/CAT scan equipment, which Busy describes as a device used “for detecting cancer.” The pricetag? J$12 million—or just over US$100,000. Details After The Jump… Read more »
The Kid Is Back. Deal With It.
Cham has never been lacking in the confidence department. But in his new video the swag is just disgusting. Pushing a Rolls-Royce through South Beach? Stop it! But don’t get it twisted: “Even though me have the Ghost and the Phantom,” the DJ chats. “Still haffi keep me likkle crib pon the Waltham.” The boasy new visuals pave the way for the release of Cham’s third studio album Lawless, which will be produced by dancehall mastermind Dave Kelly and features appearances from Mykal Rose, Bounty Killer, Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley and Miss O. All eyes on this. Video After The Jump… Read more »
It’s a Dancehall Dilemma: Experience vs. Youth? The G or the Bop?
“Right now me feel good, how me come a England and them just embrace me,” states JA sensation Gully Bop as the DJ continues his rise from sufferation and obscurity to the top of the game. “Big big BBC radio a play Gully Bop non-stop and invite me in them studio. Me a get support at every show, every one of them pack! People swarm me like bees fe take picture everywhere me go. Is a thousand things and more a go on right now, so me have to give God thanks.” He even found time to link with ranking UK Yardie Stylo G. Just like Michael Jackson & Paul McCartney, and Home T, Cocoa Tea, and Shabba, Stylo and Bop seem to have a
small serious disagreement on their hands. The affections of a young lady are at stake. Experience vs. Youth. The G or the Bop? Which one ah dem she want? StarTraxx & Adde on the riddim. Audio After The Jump…
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Thirty Five Years Ago Today Reggae Music Lost A Great Soldier
On this day in 1980 legendary #reggae singer Jacob “Killer” Miller died in a tragic car accident on Hope Road in Kingston Jamaica. “I was sitting with my father in Hope Road when he heard the news on Sunday,” recalls Rohan Marley. “Jacob and my Father always spend time together on Sundays.” Miller was one of reggae’s greatest performers. His merry, manic brilliance shines through clearly in the crucial 1980 concert doc Heartland Reggae, particularly the performance of “Tired Fe Lick Weed In A Bush” during which he puffs a huge spliff on stage while using his microphone to taunt the cops at the venue before somebody hands him a police cap and he starts chanting “Babylon, Babylon falling down.” Jakes spent just 27 years on earth but the #Rockers music he made with Inner Circle and Augustus Pablo shall live forever. In fact, one of his classic cuts with the Bad Boys of Reggae, “Tenement Yard,” is enjoying a major resurgence 40 years after its release. Audio After The Jump… Read more »
Metro Media Top Selector Talks Welcome to Jamrock Reggae Cruise Sound Clash on the Sea
Jimmy Metro, aka Haldane James, took over Metro Media in 1976 after the sound’s original founder, Lou Gooden, emigrated from the island. Building up the sound’s following in the Woodford Park area of central Kin, Jimmy had a great ear for raw talent. He discovered future superstar DJ Peter Metro in 1981 and later Tanto Metro (who would go on to become an international hitmaker as a duo with Devonte) not to mention Zuzu, the late great Massive Dread, Ashman, Chicken Chest, Dickie Ranking (aka Snagga Puss), and Niggah Mikey. The X-factor for the sound was Dominic, a British journalist who fell in love with dancehall culture and became the first bonafide white artist in Jamaican music. The sound soon added a young selector named Skyjuice whose belly and reputation would increase considerably in years to come. Father Metro was able to quit his job at Dynamic studios when the sound got big enough to tour England in 1984. “That really helped us build a foundation overseas,” he told the Jamaica Gleaner. “And we haven’t looked back.” Metro may be experienced overseas, but this coming November they will be playing on the seas when Metro Media clashes Bass Odyssey and Mighty Crown during the Welcome to Jamrock Reggae Cruise’s first-ever Sound Clash on the Sea. Boomshots spoke with the dancehall pioneer as his year-to-year sound prepares to make history all over again. Interview After The Jump… Read more »
Mighty Crown vs Metro Media vs Bass Odyssey—Some Selector Get Chuck Overboard
From the moment Jr. Gong first announced the Welcome to Jamrock Reggae Cruise, the concept was clearly a game-changer. Bringing an outernational audience of reggae lovers on board a luxury liner with a stellar lineup of reggae and dancehall talent made last year’s maiden voyage such a success that this year the cruise will set off from Miami to Jamaica and back not once but twice. As crucial as the main deck stage shows were, a huge part of the cruise’s unique vibes were the spontaneous sound system freestyle sessions. And this year the sound systems will play an even bigger role. Stone Love Movement and Jammy’$ Super Power will return again—Papa Jammy promises to bring a few surprise guests along this year. Shinehead will return as well, having made a powerful impression with Kingston 12 sound. The UK champion sound Saxon Studio will be making its first appearance on the cruise along with fast-chat DJ legend Papa Levi of “Mi God Mi King” fame. But perhaps the most exciting announcement is that this year’s cruise will include the first-ever Soundclash on the Sea. Which sounds will have to walk the plank? Details After The Jump… Read more »
The First Voice Heard on Kendrick Lamar’s New Album Is An Old-School Jamaican Legend
When Kendrick Lamar’s eagerly anticipated album To Pimp A Butterfly dropped unexpectedly last weekend, it was streamed 9.6 million times the first day alone, breaking the record for the most streams per day in Spotify history. The first voice all those listeners heard, above the delightful sound of crakling vinyl, was Boris Gardiner singing the phrase “Every Nigger Is A Star” over and over to open the song “Wesley’s Theory,” which kicks off K.Dot’s hip-hop masterpiece. But who is Boris Gardiner? Like so many other Jamaican musical innovators, his work is much better known than his name. Let’s rectify that situation right now. Video After The Jump… Read more »