Monthly archive May, 2012

A Brief History of Dancehall Apologies

Beenie Man Is Not The First Reggae Star To Reach Out To Gay Listeners—And He Won’t Be The Last

Late last week, Beenie Man made headlines around the world by releasing a statement on YouTube that was billed as a “video statement” but has been universally described as an “apology.” Listen keenly and see if you hear the word “sorry” or “apologize”… Read more »

Brigadier Jerry Live & Direct

On This Monday’s Strictly Boomshots Show, Welcomes The Original Dancehall General

This past Monday Romain Virgo niced up the Strictly Boomshots show with some sweet vocals and slick selecting skills. Virgo was a hard act to follow, but we found somebody who’s up to the challenge. And so this coming Monday we’re taking it back to the foundation as we welcome the original dancehall General, Brigadier Jerry. When you talk about the greatest, most influential DJs in dancehall culture, Briggy’s name has to appear right up near the top of the list. And for all the great records he’s made, Briggy is at his best when he’s flinging down lyrics live & direct. There’s no telling exactly what will happen this Monday, but it’s sure to be crucial. Read more »

Interview: Reasoning With Rodigan Part 2

The Rudeboy Gentleman’s Long & Winding Road From King Tubby’s Dub Studio To Buckingham Palace

David Rodigan is sometimes referred to as the rudeboy gentleman, a nickname that sums up the apparent contradictions that make the veteran UK selector and radio personality such a singular character. Who else can say that they have cut dubplates in King Tubby’s studio, juggled tunes in King Jammy’s yard, and received royal honors from the Prince of Wales inside Buckingham Palace? Youth like Prince Harry will have to practice long and hard before they can test Rodigan. Because Rodigan has always been more than a DJ—he’s a cultural historian and educator who elucidates the nuances of Jamaican music to a wide audience (and whose dubplate collection is a veritable musical museum.) He’s also a rigorously trained professional actor on stage and television who might have easily chosen another path in life. Last week the selector talked about how he’s reaching the dubstep generation and paid respects to the late, great King Stitt. In part 2 of our series of exclusive interviews, the legendary selector and radio presenter reveals how his girlfriend first landed him a gig on the radio, how his background in theater helps him as a reggae DJ, and why he never talks patois on the air. OK, let’s get to it. [And if you somehow missed REASONING WITH RODIGAN PART 1, fret not thyself.]

Read more »

WATCH THIS: Da’Ville “You Got Di Ting” VIDEO

Da’Ville Pops Bottles And Sings For The Ladies On The Overproof Riddim

Da’Ville’s voice is smooth enough to make the simplest lyrics sound good, and his light & breezy take on the Overproof Riddim hits the sweet spot just right. The video finds him casting three lovely ladies for the cover of his new magazine and you can probably guess the rest. It’s sort of like The Bachelor, but with more wining—and even better acting. Da’Ville’s popping bottles, but they’re not bottles of Ting. Looks like he has a whole different “Ting” in mind. Read more »

HEAR THIS: Patra ft. Delus “Come Ova”

The Queen Of The Pack Is Back—And Well Slack!

Maddest combination we’ve heard in a minute. Patra dials up Delus—aka the brother of Konshens—and tells him she’s in need of his full attention. (Damn—some guys have all the luck.) It’s good to know Patra’s back in the mix. We’ve been feeling Patra since she was Lady Patra, straight through to her “Queen of the Pack” days. And not just because of all the “wuk” she put in to push dancehall into worldwide pop culture. Something about that husky voice and, of course, the whining skill just gets us every time.

Read more »

WATCH THIS: Ilhame ft. Ky-Mani Marley “Still Waiting” Video

French Moroccan Beauty Flips The Classic Marley Love Song From A Female Point of View

Ilhame is a Paris native with Moroccan roots and an outernational vision. “Still Waiting” is the first single from her debut album Just Wish It, due this summer. llhame (pronounced Eel-um) captures the feeling of Bob’s original with her own soulful, feminine flavor. Ky-Mani Marley adds his own unmistakable touch with his sweetly scratchy vocals. And isn’t that Karen Marley sipping champagne with Ilhame on a sunny L.A. afternoon? Though she’s singing in French and Arabic, the message is clear: if you love somebody, don’t keep them waiting.

Read more »

The Wisdom Of Lee “Scratch” Perry

Win Tickets To See The Artist Formerly Known As Pipecock Jaxson in NYC This Thursday

Long before Lil Wayne started proclaiming that he was “not a human being,” Lee “Scratch” Perry had the whole self-mythologizing thing down to a science. Unfortunately Scratch the character—order your limited edition vinyl… action figure before midnight tonight!—has very nearly eclipsed Lee “Scratch” Perry the man, who just happens to be a bonafide musical genius. His influence on legendary artists ranging from Bob Marley to The Beastie Boys has been well documented, still the cult of personality persists. But when Scratch takes the stage to perform live tonight in Washington D.C., he might just remind a few people what all the fuss is about. (Check the tour dates below.) If you happen to be in New York City tomorrow night, answer our million-dollar question for a chance to win tickets to the May 17th show at NYC’s Gramercy Theatre. And even if you can’t make it to any of these gigs, read on to pick up some pearls of Perry wisdom, as reported by the man called Emch, whose Subatomic Sound System has toured the world with Scratch.

Read more »

WATCH THIS: Romain Virgo “Not Today” Acoustic Version & Interview

The Singer Celebrates The Release Of “The System” On Radio Lily’s Strictly Boomshots Show

Last night Romain Virgo celebrated the release of his sophomore album The System with a live performance on Radio Lily’s Strictly Boomshots show. Shaggy, Rayvon, DJ Kue, and 77 Klash were all in the building with the lady who put the P in V.P. Records, Miss Pat herself plus Chris Chin along with Clive Chin—not to mention the original Miss Lily’s fam (too much name, can’t call nuh name). Photos and video by the man called Gizmo after the jump. Read more »

Romain Virgo Album Release Party

All Roads Lead To Miss Lily’s, Where Romain Virgo Will Perform Live On The Strictly Boomshots Show

Tonight at Miss Lily’s Variety in NYC, see why the critics are raving about Romain Virgo’s new album The System, when he stops by the Strictly Boomshots show. This one is not to be missed. So if you can’t pass through, make sure you tune in to Read more »

HEAR THIS: Wilfred Limonious “Young Love”

Who Knew That Dancehall’s Greatest Graphic Artist Was A Wicked Singer Too?

When Matt Goias sent me this tune via email the subject line read simply “Peep The Singer,” I had no idea what to make of it. On first listen “Young Love” sounded like just another reggae rarity — a slightly randy lover’s rock selection about a lonely old man man who’s had his eye on a pretty young thing for years. But then Matt forwarded the seven-inch single’s label, lovingly rendered in shades of blue. No doubt about it, that’s the work of Limonious, the undisputed champion of dancehall album art. The prolific—and sadly now deceased—artist has attracted something of a cult following.  And that was before we knew he could sing too.

Read more »

HEAR THIS: Sizzla “Mama Mek Me Deya So”

For Sizzla Kalonji Every Day Is Mothers’s Day

Who bigs up the mothers of creation more than Sizzla? From his mid ’90s breakthrough album Black Woman & Child straight straight through to his latest cut on Breadback Productions’ crucial “Long Life” Riddim, Sizzla represents for the divine empresses every time.  Read more »

WATCH THIS: Stephen Marley ft. Wale & The Cast of Fela “Made In Africa” Video

Ragga Marley Takes It Back To The Motherland In His Epic New Video

Walking back through Goree Island’s infamous Door of No Return, Stephen Marley flips the script on his epic video for “Made In Africa,” the opening track from his Grammy-winning album Revelation Part 1: The Root of Life. Shot on location in Ethiopia and Senegal, the cinematic video blends historic and modern footage to majestic effect. If this is the Root, we can’t wait for the fruit. Read more »