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A Love We Can Feel: Respect To John Holt

A Love We Can Feel: Respect To John Holt

Early Sunday morning, Reggae Legend, John Kenneth Holt, died at the age of 67 in London. Even after collapsing onstage during a performance at this summer’s One Love Festival in the UK, he insisted that his health was fine and said “I’ll be back.” Born in Kingston, Jamaica in 1947, he entered talent competitions at an early age, throughout the island. Holt recorded his first single, “I Cried A Tear,” a song about lies and heartbreak, in London, 1963. This melancholy first tune, foreshadowed numerous follow up hits. More After The Jump…

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Top Ten At-Sea Selections

Top Ten At-Sea Selections

A Boomshots Playlist Inspired By The Welcome To Jamrock Reggae Cruise

“Jamaica is an island in the Caribbean sea,” Super Cat once observed. “In case you never know, it fulla mic MCs.”  The Land of Wood and Water is also full of boats and fishermen and as such it’s inspired countless reggae songs about the sea. Here’s a few of our favorite selections for all you Nautical Dreads. Audio After The Jump… Read more »

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Gunman World: Inside Jamaica’s Shotta Culture

Gunman World: Inside Jamaica's Shotta Culture

Exclusive Excerpt from Mass Appeal Mag Cover Story by Rob Kenner, Photography by Ruddy Roye

Jesquan Spence was not quite two years old when he saw the police kill his father. “The soldiers come in and take ’way the phones and say everybody fi sit down,” says the child’s grandmother, Michelle Davis, recalling that fateful Monday, May 24, 2010. “Then some police come in. Them say, ‘How many man in here?’ And them point ’pon me son.”

Jesquan’s dad, Errol Spence, was 22 years old, the only adult male in the Tivoli Gardens household where 17 family members and neighbors had been waiting out a government-imposed state of emergency for a week. Michelle Davis and Jesquan’s mother Jesean Williams will never forget the cops’ chilling words: “Them turn to us and say, ‘You know the good haffi suffer for the bad.’”

“But me no badman,” Errol Spence protested as three heavily armed police officers ordered him out of his seat and walked him into the kitchen. “Dat you say?” one of them replied. “You gwan dead today.” Continues After The Jump… Read more »

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WATCH THIS: I-Octane “What a Way We Shattin'” Official Music Video

WATCH THIS: I-Octane "What a Way We Shattin'" Official Music Video

The Shot Heard Round The Globe

As mentioned in the latest Mass Appeal cover story, “Gunman World,” Jamaican music has a long tradition of songs in which a metaphorical gun salute is the highest form of praise. The title of I-Octane’s latest track, “What a Way We Shattin,” voiced on DJ Sunshine’s “Wul Dem” riddim, roughly translates to a Khaled-esque boast along the lines of “We The Best.” And Octane is more than capable of backing up his big chat. Video After The Jump… Read more »

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HEAR THIS: Black-Am-I “In The Ghetto”

HEAR THIS: Black-Am-I "In The Ghetto"

Life Rough Rough Rough Rough Rough But The Music Sweet

Striaght out of Nine Mile, birthplace of the King of Reggae, comes a new recruit to the Ghetto Youths Intl’ crew, Black-Am-I. You may remember his standout cuts “Modern Day Freedom” and “Samson Strength,”‘ but the rootical Rasta singer is just getting started. His latest release is a demand to ease the suffering of ghetto youths through the healing power of music. “More dance fe keep,” sings Black-Am-I over an energetic, upbeat riddim track. Between this tune and Jr. Gong’s “Hard Work,” we are definitely looking forward to the  “Set Up Shop Vol 2″ anthology. Audio After The Jump… Read more »

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WATCH THIS: Mavado “My Own” Official Music Video

WATCH THIS: Mavado "My Own" Official Music Video

“Cars A My Own, House A My Own”

The visuals for the Gully Gad’s tune “My Own”—off ZJ Liquid’s big bad Good Book riddim—dropped this weekend. The latest video from We The Best Films features Mavado and Dj Khaled poppin’ bottles of Ricky Rozay’s Belaire bubbly, while flossing beside what might just be Mavado’s own Lamborghini. There’s also a brief clip showing Mavado and Vybz Kartel sharing a laugh together during their famous meeting with the Prime Minister of Jamaica to call a truce in the Gully vs. Gaza feud. The use of this clip is particularly intriguing since it was recently reported that Mavado visited his one-time friend turned musical rival in prison. Even before the verdict in Kartel’s trial was handed down, Mavado told Boomshots his fans should “Pray for Addi.” Since then there’s even been rumors that the two might release a collaboration—but that’s another story for another day. Right now just check the visuals and reflect on how far a youth from Cassava Piece has elevated himself. Video After The Jump…

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HEAR THIS: Cham “Buss Face”

HEAR THIS: Cham "Buss Face"

Yuh Mad? Nuh Care How Dem Bad…

Wow-wow…. The kid is back with a brand new bad-man tune off the forthcoming album #Lawless. You already know Cham is the girls dem pet. But anytime him ready, he can turn on the badness. So don’t perplex the youth tranquility when him hold a meds pon base. As the songs says: “We no stand up an’ trace, we buss a bwoy face.” Audio After The Jump… Read more »

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HEAR THIS: Alaine “Make it Home Again” PREMIERE

HEAR THIS: Alaine "Make it Home Again" PREMIERE

Alaine Brings Something Sweet and Strong to DJ Frass New “7venth Heaven” Riddim

Alaine Laughton is one of those firmly established talents who’s blessed us with so many great songs over the years that we tend to take her for granted. Even though we don’t know what we’d do without her delicate but powerful voice and her gift for creating indelible melodies. But when we hear a song like “Make It Home Again,” a sudden thought flashes through the brain: do we really give her the full appreciation and props she deserves? No, we don’t. Boomshots is proud to premiere this song today, just as DJ Frass’ warm-and-easy “7venth Heaven” Riddim hits iTunes. This one goes out all the standing soldiers, questing travelers, and all the lost souls—just to let you know, no matter how far you roam you can still make it home. Audio After The Jump… Read more »

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Reasoning with DJ Khaled: “I’d Love to Make a Record with Bounty Killer and Mavado”

Reasoning with DJ Khaled: "I'd Love to Make a Record with Bounty Killer and Mavado"

Live From We The Best Studios in Miami, Khaled Talks Mavado, Killer, and Rinses Some Dubs

You already know that all DJ Khaled does is win, win, win no matter what, but did you know the founder and CEO of We The Best Music, who has produced some of the biggest anthems in the history of hip-hop, has deep roots in the dancehall soundclash game. Long before he got down with Terror Squad or YMCMB or became president of Def Jam South, the Miami-based hitmaker was cutting dubplates and flying down to Jamaica to compete in clashes like Fully Loaded. Boomshots made the link with Khaled from those days so you dun know our interview is gonna be different than all the rest. Reshma B went deep with Khaled, discussing his work with Mavado, his deep roots with Bounty Killer, and how he’s navigating the friction between the Gully Gad and the Warlord. Khaled even dips into his dubplate collection to brandish some exclusive tunes for the Boomshots massive. Videos After The Jump… Read more »

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Reasoning with Lee “Scratch” Perry, The 2nd Chapter: “Too Much Weed, So I Get Crazy”

Reasoning with Lee "Scratch" Perry, The 2nd Chapter: "Too Much Weed, So I Get Crazy"

Scratch Shares His Thoughts on Sex, Ganja, and the Illuminati

When we last caught up with the Upsetter, he was sharing his thoughts on music—both his latest releases, and his seminal early recordings at the Black Ark. Of course, Scratch being Scratch, the conversation also veered into related topics such as Duppies, the true racial identity of God, and his everlasting battle with the Devil. Just hours before the man called by many names (including, notably, Pipecock Jaxon) take the stage at Brooklyn Bowl with Subatomic Sound System as part of the annual Dub Champions Festival, we proudly present the second installment of Reshma B‘s exclusive interview—in which the living legend/mad genius talks about what sort of girl he does not want to see in his bed—and names one in particular who would make him “vomit.” Scratch also admits that he was once addcited to marijuana, a fate that he hopes his fans will avoid. In fact, he says too music music and/or fire and/or weed in his head made him crazy. “They want to find out whether it’s me singing or the ganja singing,” he says. “It’s better when me sing. If the ganja can sing, it ah go take you to a height that you can’t come back.” The ReggaeGirlAboutTown even convinces Scratch to remove his remarkable hat and show her what’s inside. So fasten your seatbelts, it’s going to be a wild ride. Videos After The Jump… Read more »

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Mr. Vegas “Reggae Euphoria” Album Preview

Mr. Vegas "Reggae Euphoria" Album Preview

A Track-By-Track Breakdown of The Dancehall Hitmaker’s Latest Release

Few artists in the Jamaican music fraternity can rival the track record established by Mr. Vegas since he exploded on the dancehall scene with his 1998 debut album Heads High. Just last September the year-to-year hitmaker delivered Bruk It Down 2.0, a blazing set of high-energy cuts that rode the wave of his international smash “Bruk It Down,” whose accompanying dance move was a favorite of Nicki Minaj among others. While his new album Reggae Euphoria contains plenty of dancehall energy, it presents the full range of his artistry—with elements of roots reggae, mento, rock steady, R&B, hip-hop and gospel and inspirations ranging from Delroy Wilson to Leonard Cohen to Miley Cyrus. No matter what style of music, Vegas is quite simply a master hitmaker with a rare gift for crafting compelling melodies that stick in the brain year after year. The term “Euphoria” refers to a state of extreme happiness familiar to all dancehall fans who’ve had the pleasure of catching Vegas live in concert. It was origianlly a medical term for “the condition of feeling healthy and comfortable (especially when sick),” and derives from the Greek euphoros meaning “power of enduring easily,” or literally “bearing well.” Whatever may be ailing the listener—whether heartsickness, lack of inspiration, or a chronic case of musical mediocrity, Reggae Euphoria is the perfect prescription. Today Mr. Vegas will be launching the album at Miss Lilys, so if you’re in NYC it’s time to head on down to Houston and Sullivan Streets. But if you can’t make it in person don’t worry we’ve got you covered!  Live Stream Link After The Jump…

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WATCH THIS: Jah Cure “Life We Live” Official Music Video

WATCH THIS: Jah Cure "Life We Live" Official Music Video

Much has been said about a “roots revival” going on in Jamaican music at the moment. Artists like Chronixx and Protoje and Jesse Royal have created much excitement with their fresh take on reggae music, but let’s not forget that these talents have built upon the efforts of elder artists who have been putting in work for a longer time to make sure that the roots would never fade away. Jah Cure is one such steadfast soldier on behalf of classic reggae music. Groomed by the master music maker Beres Hammond, Cure has grown into a major talent whose live shows are second to none. The first single from his forthcoming album, The Cure—a dubby, dreamy take on the immortal “Heaveneless” riddim, produced by ‘Sketch’ Carey for Iyacure Productions—became an instant hit on the sound system circuit. Cure mentions Bob Marley’s name in his lyrics, which might be ill-advised for the average reggae singer. But Cure is anything but average, and he’s in rare form on “Life We Live.” Today we proudly premiere the music video, most of which Cure spends riding in the back of a pickup truck while life unfolds everywhere around him. There’s nothing flashy about this video, but it might just be the most inspiring three and a half minutes you spend today. So let it play and live your life. Video After The Jump… Read more »

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