Monthly archive July, 2020

Koffee Opens Up About “Lockdown”

Koffee Opens Up About "Lockdown"

“Where Will We GO?”

There’s still a lot of time left in Summer 2020, but on this last day of July we are declaring Koffee’s “Lockdown” Boomshots official 2020 Summer anthem. Produced by Dane “Raygad” Ray from the Unruly camp, the song finds Koffee asking all of the questions everybody in the world is asking themselves right now. What will the future be like “when the quaratine thing done and everybody touch road?” As soon as we heard this tune we knew it was outta here! (That was way before we saw the video with cameos from Popcaan and Dre Island.) More than just a Covid-era contemplation, “Lockdown” is also a poignant love song that speaks to the challenges of romance during a time of viral pandemic. As such, it represents a milestone in Koffee’s catalog. At the ripe old age of 20, the youngest Reggae Grammy winner in history has given us her first love song—and without overthinking it one bit, she might just have given us a follow-up to rival her breakthrough smash “Toast.” When you hear Koffee sing “if you love me, you should let me…” it’s clear she is in her feelings on this one. Of course everybody wants to know who this song was inspired by, but all we can say about that is just cool. In her first interview since “Lockdown” dropped, Koffee tapped in with Reshma B via Instagram Live and spoke about the inspiration behind the tune.  Video After The Jump… 

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WATCH THIS: Tarrus Riley “Fresh Prince of JA” Official Music Video

WATCH THIS: Tarrus Riley "Fresh Prince of JA" Official Music Video

Pandemic Got You Feeling Blue? T-4000 To The Rescue!

Versatility is Tarrus Riley’s middle name. Just the other day he previewed a soul-stirring acoustic prayer called “Remember Me” that was inspired by the trying times all of us have been going through amidst this dreadful pandemic. That was a glimpse of Tarrus in Singy Singy mode, the world-class songwriter, Jimmy Riley big son. Today he’s flipping the script to T-4000 mode, Tarrus hip hop alter ego, with Fresh Prince of JA off the Money Matters / Dutty Rock productions juggling of the same name. This tune will have you rewinding back forward to 1992 when Will Smith was taking over the television as The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Check out Tarrus’ take on Will Smith’s funky fresh theme song, with a beat riddim produced by News, son of dancehall legend Papa Michigan (who also makes a cameo in the video). The visuals are giving us some serious Tippa Lee and Rappa Robert vibes. Even when times are dread—especially when they are—we all need to have some fun now and then. Video After The Jump… 

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Junior Gong Pon Di Strong

Junior Gong Pon Di Strong

Reasoning With Zilla 25 Years Ago

Damian Marley was never intimidated by great expectations. Born  on this day in 1978, the youngest son of Robert Nest Marley did not hesitate to follow in some very large footsteps, entering the music industry at an early age. He started out singing in a group called The Shepherds, along with the children of reggae stars Freddie McGregor, Judy Mowatt, and “Cat” Coore of Third World. Former Shepherd Shiah Coore still plays bass in Damian’s band to this day.

During the mid 1990s Damian stepped out as a solo performer under the name Jr. Gong. On January 23 1995 he passed through New York City to promote the album Positively Reggae, a compilation of conscious tracks by dancehall artists like Shabba Ranks, Mad Cobra, Bounty Killer, and Patra with proceeds going to benefit Leaf of Life, a Jamaican organization for HIV-positive children.

This photo, shot by Brian Jahn during the same press run, gives you an idea of what his hair looked like back then. Today his dreadlocks are so long he has to tuck them into a backpack when he plays soccer. I had a chance to reason with Damian that day for my Boomshots column in VIBE. He seemed like a cool youth at the time, but I had no idea this convo would be the start of such a long-lasting friendship. After all he’s accomplished since then, D remains remarkably chill. The interview has never been published in its entirely. 25 years later seems like as good a time as any. Big Up Jr. Gong. Blessings pon di strong. Interview After The Jump…
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Vybz Kartel Speaks Of Dons and Of Divas

Vybz Kartel Speaks Of Dons and Of Divas

Crocodile Skin Sneakers

Little known fact: the very first post on Boomshots.com went live February 10, 2009. The title? “Don’t Ramp With Kartel.” Adidja Palmer and Grace Hamilton’s smash collab “Rampin Shop,” an X-rated excursion on Ne-Yo’s “Miss Independent” version, was taking the streets by storm and had the internet  spinnin’ like a satellite dish—just as a new platform for dancehall and reggae was born. VIBE magazine had not yet ceased print publication but the mighty Boomshots brand, which started as a monthly column in Quincy Jones’ glossy hip hop magazine, was already leveling up on the digital frontier—at the same moment Kartel and Spice were about to elevate hardcore dancehall to new heights. Over the years Boomshots and Kartel have kept in touch. The first of our timeless interviews, “Reasoning with Di Teacha,” was just the beginning. Boomshots founder Rob Kenner published a profile of Kartel in The New York Times in 2011. From time to time we would link up with the Worlboss and various representatives of the Portmore Empire—search BoomshotsTV for a refresher if you’re playing catch-up. Back in 2013 we held a reasoning via email due to circumstances beyond our control, which would be Kartel’s first interview behind bars. He has come a long way since then. Check the stats: Over half a billion streams, 100+ #1 songs in Jamaica, not to mention all the dancehall stars he brought to the world’s attention, from Popcaan to Tommy Lee to Gaza Slim—and the list goes on straight up to Sikka Rhymes and UTG. And don’t forget the international collabs with the likes of Rihanna, Missy, Beyonce, Nicki Minaj, Major Lazer, Akon, and Eminem. And just the other day Kartel received his first solo plaque from the Recording Industry Association of America for the certified gold single “Fever” off his album King of the Dancehall. In honor of this accomplishment, not to mention the release of his latest magnum opus, Of Dons & Divas, the time seemed right to catch up and hold a reasoning with Adi. Interview After The Jump…
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WATCH THIS: Bob Marley “No Woman No Cry” 2020 Visuals

WATCH THIS: Bob Marley "No Woman No Cry" 2020 Visuals

A Fresh Look at a Classic Tune

Amidst outbreaks of viral pandemic and police brutality, the best thing anyone can say about 2020 is that it’s the year of Bob Marley’s 75th Birthday Celebration. And while the year has been terrible and dreadful, Bob Marley’s music has offered much-needed inspiration. The Tuff Gong’s 1984 greatest hits collection Legend has topped the charts every week since mid January when it knocked Stick Figure out of the top spot. What more relevant soundtrack for these trying times than Bob Marley. Today is July 1, International Reggae Day, and what better way to celebrate than by rediscovering one of Marley’s classic songs, “No Woman No Cry”? Today Boomshots and VIBE proudly present a brand new official music video, directed by Kristian Mercado Figueroa and shot in Jamaica and New York City. The poignant, verite visual tells the tale of a family divided by geography yet connected by love and a shared commitment to providing a better life for their youths. In Jamaica, a strong and loving Mother strives to look after her children while their Father works tirelessly as a cab driver in New York City, grooving to Bob Marley while he prepares a barrel to send home. Video After The Jump…
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