Monthly archive September, 2020

Reasoning with Skillibeng “I’m Still Trying To Write My Best Song”

Reasoning with Skillibeng  "I’m Still Trying To Write My Best Song"

“New Flows Always”

“Victory with an easy entrance” proclaimed Skillibeng on his dubplate for Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness ahead of the landslide victory in the 2020 election. Likewise, Skilli himself has been victorious this year in spite of the global pandemic, establishing himself as Jamaica’s new force, specialising in elevating lyrical standards. Seen by many as a face of the rising Trap Dancehall wave, the 23-year old reflects influences ranging from Vybz Kartel to deceased US drill bastion, Pop Smoke, paying tribute in remix of club-smash “Dior.”

Born in the eastern parish of St. Thomas, his passionate East Syder fanbase grows exponentially on a daily basis, drawn in by inventive flows and sharp lyricism. The vibrant countryside parish, better known historically for Paul Bogle, the Morant Bay Rebellion and rich Afrocentric traditions, is one of the trending regions for talents in dancehall. Skillibeng is the latest attraction alongside 6ixx’s Chronic Law and the unstoppable OVO-signed, Gaza-alumni star, Popcaan.

With co-signs ranging from Jamaican pocket rocket Koffee, incarcerated reigning dancehall king Vybz Kartel to rapper Young MA, the lyrical technician is making huge strides in his relatively new career. Since breaking through in early 2019 with the acclaimed Prodigy mixtape, a slew of releases including guest spots on Jada Kingdom’s popular mixtape E-Syde Queen: The Twinkle Playlist, the weed ode “50 Bag” and “Mr. Universe,” along with controversial hit “Brik Pan Brik” sparking debates around Scamming songs (songs about the lifestyle of lottery scammers—an increasingly popular hustle tied to organized crime in Jamaica), all aided the young talent in establishing himself as a forerunner among the new generation.  Marvin Sparks speaks with Skillibeng about his year 2020 rise in lockdown, Popcaan friendship, collaborating with Vybz Kartel, lottery scamming culture and recording a dubplate for the Jamaican Prime Minister. Q&A After The Jump…
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WATCH THIS: Tessellated ft. Crayon “No Ansa” Lyric Video PREMIERE

WATCH THIS: Tessellated ft. Crayon "No Ansa" Lyric Video PREMIERE

“Lock Off The Phone”

“No follow nobody,” advises Tessellated, the Kingston-born, L.A.-based songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist whose genre-bending creations include the 2017 Amindi K. Fro$t and Valleyz smash “Pine & Ginger” and Jada Kingdom’s breakout track “Banana.” His surging piano-driven “I Learnt Some Jazz Today” topped Billboard’s Jazz Digital Song Sales chart and appeared in an Apple AirPods commercial that’s up for an Emmy this weekend. Today Boomshots premieres the visualizer for his latest joint, “No Ansa” featuring a cheeky guest verse from Crayon out of Lagos, Nigeria. The song is all about a girl whose whining skill leaves a lasting impression, but then leaves you hanging on the line. “For the video, I really just wanted to capture the situation of the song in a whimsical kind of way,” says Tessellated. “The place we’ve all been, calling with no answer—and the monotony of trying again and again with the same result.” The song is the first single off of Tessellated’s upcoming EP, due November 6. With fans like Diplo and Camila Cabello, this guy’s phone is gonna be ringing off the hook. Video After The Jump… Read more »

WATCH THIS: Stonebwoy “Blaze Dem Freestyle” Music Video

WATCH THIS: Stonebwoy "Blaze Dem Freestyle" Music Video

“Defend The Turf An’ Ting…”

Stonebwoy had nothing much to prove when he and his entourage—known as the BHIM Nation—rolled up on a fleet of motorbikes this past weekend to a highly anticipated battle with Shatta Wale, his chief rival for the title of Africa’s Dancehall King. Stonebwoy has come a long way since his humble beginnings in Ashaiman, a seaside town on the outskirts of Accra, the capital city of Ghana. The internationally renowned West African artist developed his own distinctive musical style, which he describes as Afro-Dancehall, fusing Jamaican dancehall  and patois with Afrobeats, hip hop slang, and his native dialect Ewe. He established his own independent company, the Burniton Music Group, as well as a charitable organization, the Livingstone Foundation. He’s also earned numerous accolades over the course of his career. He was named Best International Act at the 2015 BET Awards. He has won several Ghana Music Awards, including Artist of the Year. He collaborated with Morgan Heritage on the group’s Grammy-nominated 2017 album Avrakedabra and recorded singles with many of Jamaica’s top dancehall artists, including Grammy-winners Sean Paul and Beenie Man. His latest album, Anloga Junction, features a hit collab with VIBE cover artist Keri Hilson as well as Nasty C, a South African rapper who signed to Def Jam in March. Stonebwoy entered the clash arena wearing a full-face gas mask, leaving no doubt that he was taking this competition very seriously. Video After The Jump…
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What A Bam Bam! The Tune That Made Toots a Star

What A Bam Bam! The Tune That Made Toots a Star

“Fight For The Right and Not The Wrong”

The best singers don’t need too many words to make their point. Otis Redding could let loose with a sad sad song like “Fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-fa” and get you all in your feelings. Bob Marley got pulses pounding with his “Whoi-yoooo” rebel yell. Gregory Isaacs melted hearts with nothing more than a gentle sigh. Toots Hibbert, who died last Friday at the age of 77, could sing just about anything and make it sound good. One of the world’s greatest vocalists in any genre, Toots paired his powerful voice with the understated harmonies of Raleigh Gordon and Jerry Mathias to form The Maytals, a vocal trinity that never followed fashion and remained relevant throughout the evolution of Jamaican music—from the ska era to rock steady straight through to reggae, a genre named after The Maytals’ 1968 classic “Do The Reggay.” Whether they were singing a sufferer’s selection (“Time Tough”), a churchical chant (“Hallelujah”), or the tender tale of a country wedding (“Sweet and Dandy”), The Maytals blew like a tropical storm raining sweat and tears. The lyrics to Six and Seven Books,” one of The Maytals’ earliest hits, are pretty much just Toots listing the books of the Bible. “You have Genesis and Exodus,” he declares over a Studio One ska beat, “Leviticus and Numbers, Deuteronomy and Joshua, Judges and Ruth…” Having grown up singing in his parents’ Seventh Day Adventist Church in the rural Jamaican town of May Pen, Toots knew the Good Book well. Full Story After The Jump…
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Stefflon Don Speaks On Making a Dancehall “Move”

Stefflon Don Speaks On Making a Dancehall "Move"

“Something Hype, Feisty & Rooted”

Stefflon Don is getting back to her bashment roots with a new single called “Move,” produced by Troyon the dancehall hitmaker who crafted Sean Paul’s worldwide smash “Gimme The Light.” We linked the UK bad gyal who spoke on her latest release for Quality Control Music / Motown. “‘Move’ is inspired by the old me, the Steff that the world was first introduced to,” says the artist who made waves with her late 2016 mixtape Real Ting. “I felt like it was needed to come back with something hype, feisty and rooted.” Check out Stefflon Don’s latest video right now. Video After The Jump…
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WATCH THIS: Skip Marley ft. Ari Lennox & Rick Ross “Make Me Feel” Official Music Video

WATCH THIS: Skip Marley ft. Ari Lennox & Rick Ross "Make Me Feel" Official Music Video

“When it Hits You Feel No Pain”

The voice you hear speaking on the haunting first track of Skip Marley’s debut EP Higher Place is that of his legendary grandfather Robert Nesta Marley, who once went by the nickname “Skip” himself. “Is something higher,” Bob says in an excerpt from a 1979 interview, seeking to explain the magnitude of a profound worldwide reckoning that he knows is coming. “Is something no man can stop.” On the title track of his EP, which was released last week on Tuff Gong / Island Records, Skip sings of his own burning desire to go higher. So what is this higher place all about? “The betterment of mankind,” Skip explained during a recent telephone call from Miami. “A world community where each one do him part and live right and live upful as we should. And it nah go’ happen unless you make that decision today. Cause it start within you first. For yourself. And you have to take I and I higher, forward.” Think of this body of work as a call to action. Video After The Jump…
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WATCH THIS: Troublesum & Ronnie Homer ft. DJ Spider “Push” Official Music Video

WATCH THIS: Troublesum & Ronnie Homer ft. DJ Spider "Push" Official Music Video

On Labor Day 2020, Will You Push Yuh Bumpa Pon Me?

Labor Day 2020 is here, and without a big parade on Eastern Parkway, we all have to find our own ways to celebrate. Good vibes coming from Troublesum and Ronnie Homer featuring DJ Spider, this one is called “Push.” The uptempo feel-good video Was shot by Deus Beni and features beautiful women in abundance enjoying themselves frolicking alongside the featured acts beachside and streetside. “Push” is currently available on all major streaming platforms. Is it still cool to push yuh bumpa pon me if I promise to wear a mask? Video After The Jump…

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WATCH THIS: Super Cat and Salaam Remi “Push Time” Official Music Video

WATCH THIS: Super Cat and Salaam Remi "Push Time" Official Music Video

The Wild Apache Rides Again

Between the viral pandemic, murderous police, and corrupt politricksters shamelessly fanning the flames of racial hatred, the first eight months of 2020 have been absolutely dreadful. In times such as these it helps to hear from people who have survived hard times before. People who know what it means when the “Ghetto Red Hot.” People who know that when times get rough, Some tan so back while others Rally back.” People like William Maragh aka the Don Dada aka the Wild Apache aka Super Cat. One of the first dancehall legends to link with hip hop superstars like Heavy D, Puff Daddy, and Biggie Smalls, Super Cat made an indelible impact on both cultures with his charismatic style, rude boy demeanor, and cultural lyrics. Just in time for Labor Day Weekend in Brooklyn—and elections in Jamaica— Super Cat has joined forces with producer extraordinaire Salaam Remi to release his first  new music in over a decade. “Since the 90s Super Cat and I have always been able to reason,” says Remi, who’s renowned for his work with artists as diverse as Nas, Amy Winehouse, and The Fugees. “And recently reasoning about the state of the communities and worldwide unrest led to this song.”

The new single, “Push Time”—set to Remi’s adaptation of the Wild Apache classic “Cabin Stabbin“—speaks eloquently to the political climate which surrounds us. The song will be featured on Remi’s upcoming LP Black on Purpose which also features NaS, Jennifer Hudson ,Case, Teedra Moses, Bilal, Busta Rhymes, Chronixx, Spragga Benz, MuMu Fresh, and Doug E Fresh along with more from Black Thought, Stephen Marley, Cee-Lo Green, and Anthony Hamilton. As Mr. Maragh once told me, “It’s not like we just get up this morning and start sing about gun. It’s something that we LIVE through and survive, and who didn’t survive DIE, and who didn’t die go to prison.” Super Cat has had to learn the hard way, but he’s vowed to share the fruits of his experience so that others will not make the same mistake twice. “I & I graduate from GHETTO-ology,” he says. “In my time I had to stop go to school because the politics friction was breaking out in the school. Even TEACHER was shot in the school compound. Guns was swinging around like crazy. It’s not that we go to rude boy school and groom to become rude boy,” says Cat. “Rude boy ting it come to WE in the ghetto.” Check out the new video, shot in the streets of Hollis Queens under the watchful eye of Jam Master Jay, Tenor Saw, and Nico Demus, and the whole of the DJ in shut eye country. Respect in all aspect. Video After The Jump… Read more »