So… Another Rapper’s Dabbling in Dancehall?
This past Friday, you may have noticed all those hipster blogs breathlessly reporting that Riff Raff aka Jody Highroller had “gone reggae.” OK, fair enough—these “Yankee rappers dabbling in dancehall” posts are surefire crowd pleasers. Why should we even be surprised when a kid from Houston born Horst Christian Simco signs with Mad Decent and decides to switch up his bugged-out raw flow and try singing over a reggae beat? But can we honestly claim that the guy has “gone reggae.” I mean, what ever happened to Snoop Lion? When Big Homie first aappeared on the Strictly Boomshots show, he was all about that Rasta life. Now he turns up on a reggae track produced by The Cataracs (the duo who made “Like A G6”) rappin’ like Snoop Dogg? Riff Raff’s in Jody Highroller mode, Snoop’s in Dogg mode… Hold up—we’re getting confused. Wasn’t Snoop suposed to be Bob Marley reincarnated or something? Thank God Collie Buddz sounds like himself on this one. Audio After the Jump… Read more »
Brand New Dance Inna The Place
Ah wah gwan? Brand new dance inna the place—Ding Dong and Octane connect with DJ Frass for a musical thing called “Hold Yuh Own.” Hot Ras and Ravers Clavers link up… When you see them in the dance just give them space. Audio After the Jump… Read more »
The Hotskull Finds An Empress To Cool Him Down
The latest visual offa Poppi’s Where We Come From album is all about the love between one man and one woman. “Love Yuh Bad” (produced by Dre Skull) was the first track leaked off Popcaan’s debut album on Mixpak Records, and the accompanying video finds Hotskull and his queen in the rain forests of St. Thomas where the natural vibes flow (inna back-to-nature Adam and Eve style). This video should really be picked up by the Jamaica Tourist Board because after you watch it you will want to book two tickets to paradise like Eddie Money. Watching Popcaan and his lady boiling bananas, burning spliffs, and playing in the river serves as a timely reminder that you don’t have to have a big fat roasted turkey in the oven to give thanks. Video After The Jump… Read more »
All The Turf President Wants for Christmas Is a Bag of Money
You already know about Busy Signal’s versatility. He can sing you a country & western classic, chat pon a Major Laxer production, blaze up a cutting-edge dancehall riddim, or ease into roots rock reggae music. In his latest release “Money Flow” Busy takes it back to classic rub-a-dub dancehall style, riding the “Wah Do Dem” riddim made famous by Eek a Mouse and brandishes the “Ribbi Dibbi” flow made famous by Super Cat over Half Pint’s “Greetings” riddim. What better way to make preparations for the Yuletide season than by stacking paper? Run that… Video After The Jump… Read more »
Island Records Founder Reflects on a Friend Who Had Nothing And Still Had Everything
Most reggae fans know the Reggae Cult Classic film Countryman, but it’s less well known that the star of the film is real person. The 1982 film, which will be streamed online next Friday night, December 5th—following an exclusive BoomshotsTV chat with one of the original cast members, veteran Jamaican actor Carl Bradshaw—was directed by Dickie Jobson, and stars a Rastafarian Indian Tamil fisherman who lived in the seaside community of Hellshire outside Kingston, Jamaica. Island Records founder Chris Blackwell, who backed the film project, reflects on the man he knew, a real Rastaman who truly undersood the meaning of the term Thanksgiving, and embodied it in his simple life and his every word and deed. Video After The Jump… Read more »
Rico Vibes of Natural Vibes and Da Flava Radio Pon The Megamix
Over the past 35 years, VP Records has established themslves as the dominant distributor of Jamaican music, and the 50th and 51st installments of their Strictly the Best compilation series drops today. As per usual, the first volume focuses more on roots and lovers rock singers while the second dives direct into the dancehall. And because this year marks a landmark anniversary for VP—or simply to tickle the fancy of the “Don’t make em like they used to” posse—each volume of the anthology includes a second disc jam-packed with classic selections culled from earlier STB editions. Today we present a megamix of Volume 50 cuts curated by selector Rico Vibes. From Half Pint‘s Greetings and Luciano‘s “Sweep Over My Soul” straight back to Etana‘s “Trigger” and Jah Cure‘s “Life We Live,” this one is total niceness. No matter how cold it is where you are right now, press play and prepare yourself for a virtual vacation to Jamaica’s sunny shores. Audio After The Jump… Read more »
The Reggae Pioneer Tells The Fader About New Music, Old Studios, and Negative Influence
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Word, Sound and Power—Plus It’s Accurate
Whenever Kabaka Pyramid grips the mic, the first word heard tends to be “accurate.” Known for dropping immaculately crafted rhymes addressing topics with real relevance to real people living real lives, Kabaka has distinguished himself as a powerful voice for the voiceless. Much like his namesake, the lyrical architect crafts his music creations to stand the test of time. “Me’s a man, my music different,” he says on the intro to his debut mixtape, aptly titled The Lyricist, which we proudly premiere today. “I have extra appreciation, cause my music is not party music. Is serious things I and I ah talk ’bout.” And not only does he make music, he can articulate his points of view in an interview or defend them with passion in a debate.
Mixed by Livity Movements sound and produced in association with Destine Media and the Parris Agency, this 24-track compilation brings together the lion’s share of the work that has earned the young DJ recognition as a integral part of the so-called “Roots Revival” currently unfolding within Jamaican music. From the political insights of “No Capitalist” to the furious flows on “Choppingz” featuring Massicka to the sheer firepower of “Selassie Souljahz” featuring Sizzla, Chronixx, and Protoje, Kabaka’s densely wrought rhymes always shine through, charting a path toward the future of reggae music. Audio & Video After The Jump… Read more »
They Said “What Happens On The Cruise Stays On The Cruise”—But They Were Wrong!
Having successfully completed its second annual mission, Damian Marley’s Welcome to Jamrock Reggae Cruise goes down in history as another amazing experience for lovers of reggae and dancehall music. This year featured not one but two back-to-back cruises loaded with no fewer than 23 different acts—not including guest artists—plus another 10 “sound systems,” three of whom engaged in an epic battle dubbed the first ever “sound clash on the sea.” Not a single detail was overlooked: from the movies showing in the ship’s theater to the music playing in the hallways when you step out of your cabin—even the buckets of Guiness sold hot or cold—everything was chosen to appeal to lovers of Jamaican culture. Roughly half the passengers hailed from the United States, with twenty or so other nationalities representing the UK, Europe, Asia, South America, the Pacific Islands, and of course the Caribbean. Rumor has it that there was even an early morning Niyabinghi session on the uppermost deck of the ship at dawn.
For the second year in a row, the Boomshots team was on board to catch all the action. Check out the photo gallery above and watch this space for highlights of performances by Super Cat, Ragga Marley, King Jammy’$ Super Power and much much more. Video After The Jump…
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Ragga Talks Roots, Fruits, and Revelation With The Reggae Girl About Town
The master producer, musician, and vocalist known to his brethrens as “Ragga” is a man of few words who normally lets his music do the talking. In this exclusive chat, live and direct from his Lion’s Den studio in south Florida, Stephen Marley reflects on his next musical creation, and the legacy he lives each and every day. Interview After The Jump… Read more »