Monthly archive December, 2015

Billboard’s Best Reggae Albums of 2015

Billboard's Best Reggae Albums of 2015

Boomshots Selects The Year’s Essential Reggae Discs

As reggae lovers mark the 70th anniversary of Bob Marley’s birth, the music that the Tuff Gong spread around the globe has come full circle. While dancehall permutations from Major Lazer to Justin Bieber reverberate throughout pop culture, and Brits from Joss Stone to Keith Richards try their hands at Jamaican sounds, the land of this music’s birth is rediscovering its roots. Billboard enlisted Boomshots to pick this year’s best reggae albums, and the results may surprise you: Almost all are Jamaican productions, and almost none have anything to do with dancehall. And just because Bob’s latest live album takes the top ranking spot doesn’t mean this music has any less bright of a future than it did when he walked the earth. As the dreads say: Nothing before the time. Audio After The Jump…
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The Biggest Riddims of 2015

The Biggest Riddims of 2015

Who Run The Place? Johnny Wonder, CEO of 21st Hapilos, Counts Down The Year’s Top Juggling

When pressed to identify his most influential rhythm track or “riddim” of all time, the late Clement S. “Coxsone” Dodd chose the “Real Rock.” And Downbeat ought to know, half a century ago his house band, Sound Dimension, laid down an instrumental track that provided the blueprint for countless reggae classics, as well as hits by international artists from The Clash to Boogie Down Productions. Such is the power of a great riddim. Fast forward to 30 years ago, when King Jammy’$ first released the mighty “Sleng Teng,” ushering in dancehall’s digital era. Such is the power of a great riddim. So where does reggae and dancehall music go from here? Few people are better qualified to predict the music’s future than Johnny Wonder, CEO of 21st Hapilos Digital, the leading digital distributor of new reggae and dancehall music. As the man who breaks most big riddims first, Johnny Wonder’s  ranking is based strictly on sales—never payola or political influence. So if you want to know who ran the place in 2015, look no further. Audio & Video After The Jump… Read more »

WATCH THIS: Lady Bee & Noise Cans ft. Mr. Vegas “Bucka” Official Music Video

WATCH THIS: Lady Bee & Noise Cans ft. Mr. Vegas "Bucka" Official Music Video

Mr. Vegas Puts the “V” in “Versatility”

Clifford Smith, better known to reggae and dancehall fans worldwide as Mr. Vegas, put the V in versatility. Earlier this year, he released the critically acclaimed Lovers Rock and Soul album, an excursion into vintage reggae. After that he dropped a classic ’80s-style dancehall track (set to King Jammy’$ “Magic Moment” riddim) with a gospel message called “Jesus Train.” Now, on his birthday, we present something completely different. Collaborating with Lady Bee and the mysterious Gombey-masked frontman of Noisecans, a Bermuda-based hybrid of EDM, trap, reggae, dancehall, and carnival sounds, the year-to-year dancehall star reworks one of his earliest hits, “Hot Gal Today,” a duet with Sean Paul on Steelie & Clevie’s immortal “Street Sweeper” riddim, Vegas slows it down. from the label Dim Mak Records. The anonymous frontman of the electronic dance act NOISE CANS talks his Bermudan origins, his new EP Bucka. Video After The Jump… Read more »

PREMIERE: I-Octane “Hello” Mixtape

PREMIERE: I-Octane "Hello" Mixtape

Download A Musical Holiday Present From Conquer The Globe X Street Team

“Them say we would not turn a star but we now become an icon,” sings I-Octane on his aptly titled rub-a-dub selection “Life is What You Make It.” Since setting his mission statement in the establishment of Conquer The Globe productions, the “Hot Ras” has wasted no time moving toward his stated goal. Along the way, I-Octane has proven to be one of those rare artists who are equally adept at classical reggae and straight-up dancehall, one who can keep it conscious while always maintaining his presence in the streets. (Never selling out “the linky” yet managing to stay away from “the waste man dem.”) Witness the artist’s latest mixtape, titled “Hello,” which Boomshots proudly premieres tonight. Mixed by DJ Cory of Street Team (Alkaline’s official tour DJ), this 43-track juggling comprises a succinct survey of Octane’s latest & greatest recordings to date, ranging from reality tunes like “Time Will Come” and “It’s Alright” featuring Gentleman, all the way to  hardcore tracks like “Flick Duppy” and “Straight Stinger” not to mention “Above Dem,” Octane’s big collab with the Gully Gad and Alkaline. For the diehard fans, call it a holiday present. For those who haven’t been paying such close attention, consider it a wake up call. HELLO! Audio After The Jump… Read more »

HEAR THIS: Jacob Miller & Ray I “Natty Christmas” LP

HEAR THIS: Jacob Miller & Ray I "Natty Christmas" LP

Sounds Called Bruk Pocket Day We Never Feel No Way

There’s nothing quite like Christmas in Jamaica, but no matter where you are celebrating this day, you can do it inna rub-a-dub style. And there’s no better way to do that than with the rockers master Jacob Miller alongside the Inner Circle Rhythm Section plus rootical DJ chanting courtesy of the man called Ray I. Reggae musicians have blessed the world with plenty of great holiday selections, but nothing quite tops this 1978 vinyl LP. Click forward for nuff more Yuletide selections and bless up yourself. Audio After The Jump… Read more »

WATCH THIS: Lucas DiPasquale ft. Popcaan “No Talking” Video Shoot Behind-The-Scenes

WATCH THIS: Lucas DiPasquale ft. Popcaan "No Talking" Video Shoot Behind-The-Scenes

Video After The Jump…

Growing up in Markham, Ontario, which lies within the greater Toronto metropolitan area Lucas DiPasquale was exposed to a certain amount of Caribbean culture and Jamaica patois without even trying. But when he posted his “Popcaan mashup” on YouTube back in April 2014, few understood how a skinny white kid could perfectly master the Unruly Boss’s slippery slang, and sing it back with such sensitivity while accompanying himself on acoustic guitar. Fast forward one year and the yute has gotten himself a major label record deal. Like Omi, he’s careful to point out that he’s “not a reggae artist,” even though “Do It Like,” the first single from his Post-Secondary EP, featured Konshens, Stylo G & Kardinal Offishall. “When Popcaan invited me to perform with him in Jamaica it was just unreal,” he told Reshma B when the Boomshots crew caught up with him in NYC earlier this year. “But I have my own style and my own singing voice that I want to show the world.” Lucas links up with the Bad Chargie once more on his single “No Talking” and Boomshots has the exclusive behind-the-scenes footage. No long talking—run it! Video After The Jump…
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HEAR THIS: Super Cat “Ever Ready”

HEAR THIS: Super Cat "Ever Ready"

In Comes A Classical Wild Apache Selection Produced By Jah Thomas

A few years ago the Boomshots massive bucked up Jah Thomas chilling backstage at Reggae Sumfest 2012. The foundation reggae DJ and pioneering producer said he was the “happiest man on the planet” because his production, “Dance in New York” by Super Cat, had recently been sampled by Salaam Remi for the hit Nas tune “The Don.” [Check the full story behind the making of that song HERE.] During the interview Jah Thomas casually mentioned that he still had some unreleased Super Cat joints on tape. This came as a revelation to Wild Apache fans who haven’t a new Cat tune since 19-how-long… Well, good news: one of those 1984 Midnight Rock masterworks has now surfaced on the Internet. Give thanks & praise. Audio & Video After The Jump… Read more »

Album Review: Iba Mahr’s “Diamond Sox” LP Inspires Hope For Reggae’s Future

Album Review: Iba Mahr's "Diamond Sox" LP Inspires Hope For Reggae's Future

Sighting the Greatness of Iba Mahr From Afar

I consider myself spoiled by the reggae age in which I was raised. Bob Marley & The Wailers LPs, Peter Tosh LPs, 45s on the Volcano and Joe Gibbs labels set a pretty high bar with the way their music perfected the reggae sound. The excellence of Junjo’s and Joe Gibbs’ productions—and the way they served as a bridge between the reggae and  dancehall age that was to come—cannot be overstated. Their musical foresight was nothing short of miraculous. But in this season of reggae music’s evolution, the standard that I’m accustomed to is an increasingly hard thing to find. Full Review and Video After The Jump… Read more »

Download the House of Marley x Boomshots
Welcome To Jamrock Reggae Cruise Zeen

Download the House of Marley x Boomshots Welcome To Jamrock Reggae Cruise Zeen

Our 2015 Zeen Is The Next Best Thing To Being On Board

“All in the Same Boat,” Bob Marley sang on The Wailers’ 1971 Boomshot “Don’t Rock My Boat,” produced by Lee “Scratch” Perry, “Rockin’ on the same rock / Got to get together, loving each other.” This lyric isnpired the title for the 2015 Welcome to Jamrock Reggae Cruise Zeen, the official guide to who’s who and what’s happening on our second annual seafaring excursion. The limited edition Zeen contains origjnal interviews and full-color photos of all 23 acts on board—Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley, Stephen Marley, Julian Marley, Ky-Mani Marley, Third World, Sly & Robbie, Maxi Priest, Super Cat, Bounty Killer, Popcaan, Elephant Man, Cham, Tarrus Riley, Morgan Heritage, Protoje, Tanya Stephens, and many more—plus all 10 champion sound systems. It also contains QR code links to exclusive Boomshots content—interviews and live performances direct from the cruise.  If you didn’t make it on this year’s cruise, the Zeen is the next best thing to being there. There’s even a discount code for House of Marley audio gear. Download Link After The Jump…
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Welcome To Jamrock Reggae Cruise 2: Twice As Nice

Welcome To Jamrock Reggae Cruise 2: Twice As Nice

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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Remembering J Capri

Remembering J Capri

The untimely death of a rising dancehall artist 

The most difficult news to grasp is the untimely death of a young, ambitious, big thinker. These are words friends of Jordan Phillips aka J Capri use to describe her. She reminded most of a young Patra, she definitely had “crossover potential”. Her musical sound was a fusion of dancehall and rhythm and blues. It looked like the stars were aligned for this fairly new artist. Her music ignited on the  dancehall scene with collaborations with Sean Paul, Vybz Kartel, Konshens, Charly Black and other international artists. In these collaborations and her solo songs, J Capri held her own and captivated audiences with sultry vocals and vivacious live performances.

More After The Jump

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