Monthly archive July, 2014

WATCH THIS: Duane Stephenson “Cool Runnings”

WATCH THIS: Duane Stephenson "Cool Runnings"

Duane Stephenson Adds A Retro Inspired Visual To His Rendition Of The Bunny Wailer Classic

Jamaican singer-songwriter Duane Stephenson drops his stylish, retro-flavored video complete with ice green and gold marina.  Directed by Ras Kassa, “Cool Runnings” is the first single off  Stephenson’s upcoming album Dangerously Roots, slated to drop September 23, 2014 on Greensleeves. Stephenson took the classic Bunny Wailer tune and sprinkled his own flava on to it. Check it out, Video After The Jump… Read more »

Return of the Queen: Ms. Lauryn Hill Brings Bob Marley Forward to Brooklyn Bowl

Return of the Queen: Ms. Lauryn Hill Brings Bob Marley Forward to Brooklyn Bowl

Don’t Call It A Comeback—More like a Come Forward

In Jamaica the Rastas will remind you that nobody ever goes back—as one Jacob Miller song put it, “forward ever, backward never.” Which suits Ms. Lauryn Hill just fine. As her recent two-night stand at the Brooklyn Bowl demonstrated, she’s all about forward motion even as she remains firmly rooted in great musical legacies of the past. Ever the restless creative spirit, she resists any hint of becoming a nostalgia act. And no matter how much they still idolize L-Boogie circa 1998, even Ms. Hill’s devoutest fans are starting to get used to the idea of forward motion too.  Full Review After The  Jump… Read more »

Reggae Sumfest 2014: Party Tun Up

Reggae Sumfest 2014: Party Tun Up

REGGAE SUMFEST marks changing times in dancehall, hip-hop, and the leveling of the pop playing field

Whenever the third week of July rolls around, reggae lovers know it’s that time again—the time when Reggae Sumfest takes over Mobay for 3 solid days of entertainment. Though it’s dubbed “the greatest reggae show on earth,” Sumfest has never been limited in terms of genre. Every year the organisers go all out to pull together a blend of the best homegrown and international talent. Acts such as Jay Z, Missy Elliott, Rihanna, Chris Brown and Nicki Minaj have all graced the Sumfest stage over the past 22 years, often sharing that stage with Jamaica’s biggest stars to create once-in-a-lifetime moments that don’t happen anywhere else. Full Text After The Jump…
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Reasoning with Wiz Khalifa: “I Get it Grown For Me”

Reasoning with Wiz Khalifa: "I Get it Grown For Me"

Taylor Gang Boss Rocks Reggae Sumfest In Montego Bay, Readies Blacc Hollywood Album

This past weekend Wiz Khalifa made his first trip to Jamaica to rock Reggae Sumfest 2014. Before the big show he sat down poolside with RGAT to talk about his love for Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer. Listen as Wiz weighs in on whether yard weed stacks up to Khalifa Kush, plus he reveals which reggae artist he’d like to collaborate with. Then watch him shell down International Night 1 in the same black and yellow shorts he was chilling in by the pool! Videos After The Jump… Read more »

WATCH THIS: QQ “Tweety Bird (Turn Me On)” Official Music Video

WATCH THIS: QQ "Tweety Bird (Turn Me On)" Official Music Video

QQ and Russian Link Up To Prove That Two Birds In The Hand Are Worth A Whole Lot, Uzeet?

QQ has been on a major roll since the former child star popped up last year with the monster hit “One Drop.” Since then it’s been hits pon top of his with this Head Concussion production being the latest example of the youth’s dancehall dominance. With Spanish-flavored guitars and sultry whispers, the tasteful production brings a new dimension to QQ’s artistry. Anyone who’s waiting for the beloved cartoon character Tweety Bird to make a cameo in this video will be disappointed. But that would be weird anyway. Aside from some unwanted blurriness here and there, this video is just fine as is. Video After The Jump… Read more »

Johnny Gourzong’s Reggae Sumfest Preview

Johnny Gourzong's Reggae Sumfest Preview

Sumfest Boss Shares His Personal Highlights—And Says Octane vs Vegas Was “Blown Out of Proportion”

It’s that time of year again. As most reggae lovers around the world know by now, during the third week of July all roads lead to Montego Bay for Reggae Sumfest. And with just one more day to go before the 22nd staging of “The Greatest Reggae Show on Earth,” anticipation is reaching a fever pitch. Between Sean Paul returning to the Sumfest stage for the first time in a decade, international pop star Jason DeRulo tweeting pictures from the emergency room, and I-Octane and Mr. Vegas trading barbs like Beenie and Bounty in the ’90s, this year’s festival promises to be entertaining in more ways than one. To get the inside scoop we reached out to the big man himself, Mr. Johnny Gourzong, executive Director of Summerfest Productions, who shared his personal thoughts on which acts he’s most looking forward to—and let us in on a few possible surprises. If you can’t make it down to MoBay tomorrow night, don’t worry—you can still purchase a live stream of all the Dancehall Night action. Full Story After The Jump… Read more »

Reasoning with Buju Banton: “My Life is an Open Book”

Reasoning with Buju Banton: "My Life is an Open Book"

Celebrating The Gargamel’s EarthStrong with a Classic ’95 Boomshots Interview from the Til Shiloh Era

Forty one years ago today Mark Myrie was born in Kingston, Jamaica. By the time he was 19 he’d become the biggest dancehall star on the island with two smash albums—Stamina Daddy and Mr. Mention—under his belt. He soon signed to a major label and began to tour the world, a ghetto youth expanding his horizons in every imaginable way. And then in 1995—19 years ago this Friday July 18th—he released Til Shiloh, an album that marked a turning point in his career. With songs like “Untold Stories,” “Murderer,” and “Til I’m Laid To Rest” Buju announced a musical and spiritual rebirth, shaking off the bad boy pose that had stigmatized him in certain circles. Today Buju sits in federal prison, having become the target of a convicted coke dealer turned informant who ensnared him in an elaborate sting operation. The artist was convicted despite a highly problematic trial. We offer this interview (which first appeared in Ego Trip magazine) as a reminder of the artist that many know and love and a ray of hope for the future. If as he says his life is an open book, perhaps the final chapter has yet to be written.  Interview After The Jump… Read more »

WATCH THIS: Konshens’ “Don Daddy” Video Shoot Behind-The-Scenes EXCLUSIVE

WATCH THIS: Konshens' "Don Daddy" Video Shoot  Behind-The-Scenes EXCLUSIVE

Konshens Pays Tribute to the Wild Apache and The ReggaeGirlAboutTown Scores An All-Access Pass

Jukeboxx Productions’ “Greatest Creation” Riddim is all about reaching for the next level in dancehall. From Shabba Ranks to Lady Saw to Tarrus Riley and Sasco, the lineup on this juggling is straight toppa-top status. Inspired by such prestigious company, Konshens decided to up the ante by making his tune a musical homage to Super Cat‘s 1991 smash “Don Dada,” subtly retitled “Don Daddy.” Boomshots got the invitation from for an exclusive visit to the video shoot and headed for downtown Brooklyn—only to find that the location had been shut down. But with Konshens jetting off to Europe the following morning, rescheduling was not an option. So the entire production team headed straight down Utica Avenue to Nova nightclub—who opened their doors in the wee small hours of the morning—but the journey was well worth it. (Shouts to producer Ronnie Tomlinson, director Anju Val, and nuff respect to Maximus R. Irving who created the wicked Super Cat painting seen above DJ Kevin Crown.) Roll with the ReggaeGirlAboutTown as she chats with Konshens about why it’s so important for dancehall’s new generation to pay respect to the icons in the business, or rather culture—and she even got to kick it with Colenol Josey Wales himself. Because a Don is a Don, and not a Dondelion. So while you wait for the official video to drop, pree the World Premiere of this exclusive teaser. Video After The Jump… Read more »

WATCH THIS: Mr. Vegas & Latty J “Who Rule” Official Music Video

WATCH THIS: Mr. Vegas & Latty J "Who Rule" Official Music Video

The Battle of the Sexes Rages On With A Music Video And All-New Lyrics

Vegas and Latty’s creative chemistry nah stop bubble. Ever since Vegas linked up with the feisty young singer and DJ from August Town Lane (formerly known as Digicel Rising Stars contestant Latoya Jackson, who was bigged up by Tessanne Chin for her performance) the veteran artist and his protege have been on a roll. Their first duet, “Who Rule,” has taken #TeamHustle to another level. MV Music’s hilarious battle of the sexes, voiced over a riddim reminiscent of Shabba’s vintage dancehall track “Twice my Age,” now has a music video, directed by DeeGo and Colin Young. The lyrics for the music video version are brand new—and while no less humorous they are somewhat less scandalous than the original raw version first heard on Boomshots. Moving from bedroom capers to kitchen and laundry (with a light touch of sexual innuendo) this second installment of the oldest argument in the world promises to become a modern classic. Video After The Jump… Read more »

RGAT x Anya Collab to Create CANYAval Chains

RGAT x Anya Collab to Create CANYAval Chains

Reshma B and Anya Ayoung-Chee Set The CANYAval Off With a Fly New Collab

When it’s carnival time in Trinidad everything tun up… The music, the drinks, and of course the girls. Who knows that better than Anya Ayoung Chee and Reshma B? The fashion designer who won Project Runway a couple years ago is also a former Miss Trinidad who has shot fashion stories on the road in Port of Spain Trinidad while playing Mas same time. Meanwhile in the UK Reshma B, who came up right in the heart of London’s Notting Hill Carnival, the biggest street fair in all of Europe, is now internationally known as the Reggae Girl About Town [RGAT], a blogger and fashion designer whose line of chains has been seen on the necks of celebs from Lauryn Hill to Lady Saw… and even Popcaan. ANYAxRGAT linked up to create an exclusive design for Anya’s CANYAval event in NYC. She’s just posted the design on her official Instagram. In case you didn’t make it out to Milk Studios for the big event, you can still cop an exclusive chain while supplies last. Video, Photos, and Buying Details After The Jump… Read more »

WATCH THIS: Playing for Change “Reggae Got Soul” Official Music Video

WATCH THIS: Playing for Change "Reggae Got Soul" Official Music Video

Toots Hibbert, Ernest Ranglin & Taj Mahal Join Musicians Around The World To Make a Soulful Noise

Lots of people talk about how music is a “universal language,” but few have put the concept into practice as effectively as the organization Playing For Change. Conceived in 2002  by Mark Johnson and Whitney Kroenke, the original idea was to hit the streets Alan Lomax style with a mobile recording studio—plus some video cameras, which Lomax did not have back in the day. What began as an award-winning documentary, Playing for Change: A Cinematic Discovery of Street Musicians, has evolved into an ongoing creative and humanitarian project that encompasses live concerts, albums, DVDs, and a charitable foundation, all tapping into the power of music to unite people around the world for a good cause and a good time. Among the songs included on PFC3: Songs Around The World, there is a noticeable preponderance of reggae—”if everybody was going to join hands and march through the streets for a cause, reggae would be a good soundtrack for that,” Mark Johnson explained after a recent screening. One of the standouts is this Toots & The Maytals classic, as interpreted by a variety of singers and players both known and unknown—hailing from Japan, L.A., Congo, Jamaica, Harlem, and Italy. The recording, which debuted on the PFC Youtube channel last night, appears on Boomshots today for the first time.  “We brought together Toots, Taj Mahal, Ernest Ranglin and many many more musicians [click through the gallery above to see a few of them] to contribute to this worldwide reggae anthem,” writes Mark Johnson.  “Turn it up, spread it around and support Playing For Change by purchasing our new album, PFC 3: Songs Around The World“, and sharing it with everyone you can!” Video After The Jump…

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Reasoning with Protoje: “It’s Our Time to Govern the Music”

Reasoning with Protoje: "It's Our Time to Govern the Music"

“There Is A Rising Consciousness that’s Obviously Happening. There Is a Movement As Well.”

While passing through the concrete jungle the other day, Protoje dropped by Plex HQ to reason about life and the state of the music. We started off discussing his big tune with Chronixx “Who Knows,” and how Storm Saulter—of Better Mus Come fame—came to direct the song’s epic music video. Diggy said Winta James came up with the video’s basic concept, which he described as “You start off with everything and as the day goes on you lose stuff, and it’s either you’re gonna turn around and go home or keep pushing forward.” So it’s all about the Bounce Back, which is a fitting transition to our discussion of the shift within Jamaican music right now. “We want to change the perception of what people think reggae is,” Protoje explained. “Cause I see what people think the genre is, and the reality of what it is now—and It’s far.” Protoje made the point that he’d rather not be pigeon-holed within the category of reggae just because he is from Jamaica. “Chronixx and I make two different sounds,” he asserted. “Sonically our music sounds different, but we’re still under the same heading of reggae music.” He calls his current sound—which has amassed a huge following in Europe, where he will be touring this summer—”a real hybrid,” citing Junjo Lawes and Jimi Hendrix as infuences. Nevertheless, he goes on to state that he and Chronixx and s number of other like-minded artists and producers are all part of a cultural movement within Jamaica right now.  “There is a rising consciousness that’s obviously happening. There is a movement as well… 2010 to 2020 is our time to govern them music.”  Video and Summer Tour Dates After The Jump… Read more »