Monthly archive March, 2016

Dre Island “M-16” Video Shoot Behind-The-Scenes

Dre Island "M-16" Video Shoot Behind-The-Scenes

The Official Music Video Premieres Tomorrow on Mass Appeal

Named one of Mass Appeal’s “16 Artists To Watch in 2016,” the Jamaican artist and producer Dre Island is known for a lyrical attack that’s both “hard and heartical, streetwise and sensible.” On “M-16,” the first track from his highly anticipated Now I Rise project, Dre uses his rapid-fire lyrics like an automatic weapon to inspire his listeners to eradicate the negative energies that support and uphold the Babylon system. Tomorrow he will premiere the music video for the track, directed by Steezy for RD Studios, on Mass Appeal. In the meantime, pree this mini documentary about the track, produced by E5 Records, and check Nickii Kane‘s behind-the-scenes photographs from the video shoot at Old Theatre in Harbour View, Jamaica. Photos After The Jump… Read more »

WATCH THIS: Jahmiel “Where Were You” x “Great Man” Official Music Video PREMIERE

WATCH THIS: Jahmiel "Where Were You" x "Great Man" Official Music Video PREMIERE

Oh Why Oh Why? You Get a Fight When You Start Try

The road to “overnight success” is usually longer than it seems, and it’s not without pitfalls and stumbling blocks along the way. Just ask Jamiel Foster, aka Jahmiel, a youth known to true dancehall fans as one of the music’s most promising new voices. After years of tirelessly writing, voicing, and promoting his music by all means necessary, last year’s tune “Gain The World” for Quantanium Records elevated Jahmiel to stardom. Ever since we caught his show-stealing guest spot on this year’s Rebel Salute, we’ve been big supporters of the artist. We know he’s not frightened fe Benz and Beamer—but what about badmind and bandwaggonist?  Videos After The Jump… Read more »

WATCH THIS: Mighty Mystic “How Many Miles” Official Music Video PREMIERE

WATCH THIS: Mighty Mystic "How Many Miles" Official Music Video PREMIERE

The Never-Ending Journey of Love and Loss

“This song symbolizes that there is no length of time, distance or space one is willing to travel to get back to or find the person they love—no matter the cost,” says Mighty Mystic, the Jamaica-born, Boston-based reggae singer who released his third album The Art of Balance earlier this year. True to the album’s title, this song is a complete departure from the previous single, a light-hearted ganja tune “Something Bout Mary,” although it’s also about a powerful male-female relationship. “When my brother played the first note on the keyboard it sent chills down my spine and immediately felt pain,” relates the singer, who parents named him Kevin Holness (his brother is actually the newly elected Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness). “I’m not talking ’bout stubbing your toe pain—I’m talking ’bout a deep pain like losing someone you love type pain. So on the heels of that emotion I wrote ‘How Many Miles.'” Today Boomshots premieres the music video, directed by Marlon O, which Mystic describes as “a mysterious reflection of the song.” Video After The Jump… Read more »

HEAR THIS: Drake ft. Popcaan “Controlla!”

HEAR THIS: Drake ft. Popcaan "Controlla!"

The Long Awaited 6 God x Unruly Boss Collab Is Here At Last

Popcaan and Drake have been bigging each other up for so long it feels like this tune—which leaked today—is long overdue. First Drake started dropping “Y Pree” in his lyrics. Then Drizzy’s boys shot a music video for Poppy up in Toronto. After that the OVO posse jetted down to Jamaica and shot a short documentary, “6 in the 876”—snippets of which ended up on Drake’s acclaimed mixtape If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late. Just the other day Boomshots caught up with Popcaan, and asked him point blank if there would be any unruliness on Drake’s upcoming album Views From The 6. At the time he answered no, but added “anything is possible.” Which makes us think this track—something shimmy joint fe de gyal dem—which leaked unofficially and hit all the blogs today, must have been completed fairly recently. Drake opens his verse with an O.G. Poppy reference “My eye just changed.” Anyway, no more long talking. The ting shot. Wickedness Increase! Audio After The Jump… Read more »

Reasoning with Popcaan:
“We Godly, But we Unruly Same Way”

Reasoning with Popcaan: "We Godly, But we Unruly Same Way"

EXCLUSIVE: The Unruly Boss Kicks It With Boomshots

Long before Andrae Sutherland was known as Popcaan, back in primary school—the Jamaican equivalent of elementary—he wrote a letter to God. He asked the Lord to “open my brain in school” and to let him prosper in life. Moreover he asked God to allow his parents and grandparents and his brother and sister live to inherit whatever he received. While cleaning house recently, his grandmother found the piece of folded notebook paper amongst some books and gave it to him. He posted it on Instagram with a message to his 444,000 followers: “God is real and he did answer that prayer I pray to him a long time ago🙏🏼 #givethanks.” That #GiveThanks hashtag comes straight out of Poppy’s song “Unruly Prayer,” released last May. “Look how much youth deh a jail house,” he sings on the record. “Me never haffi deh a road/Look how much youth deh a grave yard/Me never haffi deh yah don’t… So me haffi give thanks yeah… Tell the devil keep him distance yeah.” Late last month Popcaan posted a 10-minute video to his Vevo channel, the first part of a documentary called “Abundant Life.” Nursing a fat spliff before a roaring bonfire, his intricate braids unbound, allowing his hair to burst forth as an unruly bush, the artist formerly known as the “Raving King” read from Psalms 40 and 59 above the sound of a crackling fire and the throbbing beat of Niyabinghi drums: “I waited patiently for the Lord, and he inclined to me and heard my cry. He also brought me out of the horrible pit and out of the miry clay. He set my feet upon a rock, and established my steps. He has put a new song into my mouth…” Just as we were about to post this interview, the Internet put a new song from Drake and Popcaan into our ears. Read on to find out why this surprise release was really no surprise at all. Kick Ouuuut! Interview After The Jump… Read more »

HEAR THIS: Kanye West ft. Rihanna & Swizz Beatz “Famous”

HEAR THIS: Kanye West ft. Rihanna & Swizz Beatz "Famous"

Don’t Watch The Swift Diss—Watch The Beat. What a Bam Bam!

Before anybody knew anything about Kanye’s remarkable TLOP album they heard that he had dissed Taylor Swift. Then the news was all about how you couldn’t find the album anywhere except on Tidal. Well, now that “Famous” is finally available on Apple Music and Spotify we thought we’d take a moment to vibe the tune and reflect on how dope this song truly is. Rihanna’s feature is a strong as anything on Anti and Swizzy kills the ad-libs. Kanye’s raps are on point as ever—the Taylor Swift diss being the least interesting part of this intriguing meditation on the flipside of fame and fortune. But for the reggae massive, what Kanye does with the sample of Sister Nancy’s “Bam Bam” is the highlight. This man gets down on the production like nobody else. Respect.   Audio After The Jump… Read more »

WATCH THIS: Kelissa “Best Kept Secret” Official Music Video

WATCH THIS: Kelissa "Best Kept Secret" Official Music Video

Kelissa McDonald “Best Kept Secret” Video Celebrates Her Earthstrong and Women’s History Month

Big up to Kelissa, one of the Caribbean’s favorite rising talents of the reggae revival. You may remember this lovely young empress from her Vogue feature on Jamaica’s resurgence of conscious music. Lately, this African queen has taken a break from touring to record more classic music and create engaging visuals for fans. In the latest video for her single “Best Kept Secret” Kelissa demonstrates her outstanding vocal ability, youthful appearance, and queenly character for the ladies seeking love in the Spring. Video After The Jump… Read more »

WATCH THIS: Jimmy Riley “Rougher Yet”
Live in Tivoli Gardens 2008

WATCH THIS: Jimmy Riley "Rougher Yet" Live in Tivoli Gardens 2008

Rest In Power Jimmy Riley (1954–2016) Music Alone Shall Live

Martin James Norman Riley, a distinguished singer and songwriter known to music lovers the world over as Jimmy Riley passed away around the dawning of March 23rd. Mr. Riley grew up in the musically blessed and economically stressed Waterhouse section of Western Kingston, and attended school with Slim Smith, with whom he would later record the timeless “My Conversation.” He was a member of seminal Jamaican harmoney groups The Sensations and The Uniques, and applied his rich soulful voice to classic solo recordings with Sly & Robbie including “Love & Devotion” and a cover of Marvin Gaye’s “Sexual Healing” which topped the UK reggae chart. His musical legacy is further enriched by the fact that he is the father of the great Tarrus Riley, with whom he often shared the stage. “Tarrus always gravitated toward music,” Jimmy Riley told the New York Times in 2009. “He learned to play the piano and grew up right there in the midst of things. Most of the veteran singers were friends of mine, so he knew them all.” Tarrus and his father appeared onstage together as recently as last Spring’s Oracabessa Festival in Queens, with the elder Mr. Riley in a wheelchair, but still full of life. Check this video of Jimmy in top form. Notice when the band tries to change the riddim, Mr. Riley reminds them, “Me ah the singer!” Don’t you ever forget. Music alone shall live. Video After The Jump… Read more »

Phife Dawg’s Dopest Reggae & Dancehall Quotables

Phife Dawg's Dopest Reggae & Dancehall Quotables

Man Like Mutty Ranks Inna The Area

I woke up this morning in a pretty good mood until I heard the news that Phife Dawg had passed away. Although we all knew the 45-year-old “funky diabetic” had been battling health issues for years—he even addressed the fact in his touching music video “Dear Dilla”—the news still came as a shock. When I had the privilege of kickin’ it with A Tribe Called Quest last November, Q-Tip was mad late but Phife’s sense of humor shone through. While Tip was Tribe’s undisputed front man, sonic visionary, and certified genius, Phife was always my favorite. The group got better and more cohesive as he came into his own as a microphone controller. There was something about his hardboiled wit, the bluntness of his boasts, and his take-no-prisoners approach to competition—”steady eating booty MCs like cheese grits”—that never failed to bring a smile to my face. Plus the fact that he was always spitting some type of random patois. I knew that ATCQ were reggae fans, not just because of their “Chase Vampire” remix of “I Left My Wallet in El Segundo” but also because Jarobi used to hang out during my reggae sets on the rooftop of a five-story NYC club called Mars back in the day, but nobody repped Caribbean culture like Malik Isaac Taylor aka Phife Dawg aka Mutty Ranks, the Trini yute from Queens. Much will be written about this vastly under-rated and endlessly entertaining MC, but I’d like to focus on some of my favorite instances of the Five Foot Assassin coming with that Roughneck Business. Audio After The Jump… Read more »

HEAR THIS: Beniton “Work” InstaMix

HEAR THIS: Beniton "Work" InstaMix

The Man Called Jack Frostt Nah Ramp With Lazy People

Since its release in January, Rihanna’s “Work” off her eighth studio album “Anti,” has seen a fair share of underground street mixes from the likes of A$AP Ferg and Dave East. However, neither rapper was successful in making a lasting impression on the final product. This isn’t because the aforementioned recording artists’ lack talent, but moreso because “Work” is a dancehall record and out of their lane. Much like the original version of “Work,” the spinoffs that circulate the net lack authenticity—that is until Jamaican deejay Beniton aka Jack Frostt stepped inside the booth to add some real island flavor to the mix, a necessary ingredient that could only be provided by someone who is of the culture, rather than a fan who simply enjoys the music.  Audio After The Jump… Read more »

WATCH THIS: I-Voltage “Hustler” Official Music Video

WATCH THIS: I-Voltage "Hustler" Official Music Video

Video After The Jump…

Rising reggae singer I-Voltage livicates this tune to all the hard-working people who hustle every day to put food on the table and support their families. The ones who create their own job, cause they know they’re not gonna tief and rob. From the bag juice man to the high grade and grabba, from Coronation Market to Arcade—you can’t knock the hustle. Video After The Jump… Read more »

HEAR THIS: The Movement “Golden”
ft. Elliot Martin PREMIERE

HEAR THIS: The Movement "Golden" ft. Elliot Martin PREMIERE

Peep The Poetic Title Track From The American Reggae Ensemble’s Forthcoming Album

“This is the life for me,” proclaimed Joshua Swain on the bouncy single “Set Sail,”, backed by the rhythm section of  Jason “Smiles” Schmidt on bass and Gary Jackson on drums—who together comprise The Movement. The members of the band, who hail from Columbia, South Carolina and Philadelphia, PA, do not speak in patois or pretend to be Rastas. They express their love for reggae simply by making good music. Since “Set Sail” The Movement’s music and fanbase have evolved considerably. The first single from their forthcoming album, Golden is called “Dancehall,” and while it features our bredren UK Mr. Williamz  the slow-burning tune is not really a dancehall cut per se, and it’s actually all about a girl, as so many of the best things in life are. Today we premiere the title track of the new album (which drops April 8 via a intriguing new nonprofit reggae foundation called Rootfire Cooperative.) “Golden” features guest vocals from Elliot Martin of John Brown’s Body. Swain explains why “Golden”—with those frenetic junglistic drums (played live by the way)—is his favorite track on the new record: “Elliot Martin really adds something special that takes this song to another level.” The song itself is a a play on a Robert Frost poem dating from 1923. almost a rebuttal. We’re trying to say that some things that are “gold” can stay. Hearts, souls, emotions, and energy can linger forever even if only in another dimension beyond our understanding.” Got it? Good. OK, let’s get to the music.  Audio After The Jump… Read more »