Author Archive

IShawna Still Fighting For “Equal Rights”

IShawna Still Fighting For "Equal Rights"

The Battle of the Bow Cats Rages On

Dancehall has long had  love/hate relationship with oral sex, but ever since Ishawna dropped her Ed Sheeran remix “Equal Rights and Justice,” a topic that’s been kept under cover for many years is not front and center. In an in-depth piece for Pigeons & Planes, the Reggae Girl About Town explores changes in social attitudes by-way-of song lyrics and insightful anaylsis.  “Most people think of dancehall as a very free and sexually charged genre, but Jamaica’s strong conservative Christian tradition extends to the music, particularly in “Bowcat” lyrics,” Reshma B writes. The story traces the origins of the Bowcat concept back to Shabba Ranks and traces it forward to Vybz Kartel and Wayne Marshall who sang: “Why you chewin’ it when you should be screwin’ it? I know you never see a curry or a stew in it!” With such a long-standing tradition Ishawna’s song was nothing less than a lyrical revolution with bars like ”Boy, me nah go compromise / Me wan’ feel how your head feels between mi thighs.” Coming 21 years after Lil’ Kim’s “Not Tonight” —the song where Queen B declared “You ain’t lickin’ this, you ain’t stickin’ this!”— “Equal Rights” has stirred up more backlash than Kim did in the ’90s.  Audio After The Jump… Read more »

HEAR THIS: Damian Marley “Caution”

HEAR THIS: Damian Marley "Caution"

When The Fire Starts, Don’t Say Gongzilla Didn’t Warn You

He’s given us three Set Up Shop compilations and one classic collaborative album with Nas, but it’s been a minute since Damian Marley’s last solo album, the multi-Grammy winning Welcome To Jamrock. Now here comes the first single, a hardcore slice of ghetto life reminiscent of Robert Nesta Marley’s “Dem Belly Full (But We Hungry)” The track for “Caution” is based on Black Uhuru’s “Youths of Eglington,” anchored by a solid Sly & Robbie bass line as Jr Gong kicks that real. Audio 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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Nah Pop No Style—I’m Strictly Lit

Nah Pop No Style—I'm Strictly Lit

ReshmaB Chains’ Brand New Collection Isn’t Just For The Herbalists

As the new collection rolls out for ReshmaB Chains you already know the Reggae Girl About Town has something in store for all the ganja girls. But her unisex street style accessories are more than just chronic. The exciting new designs include four-finger rings and layered colors. Since the launch of the brand in 2014 the pieces have expanded from chains to ear rings and body chains. This summer, following a successful show at Caribbean Fashion Week, British Designer Reshma B announced that she was working on something completely different.  Photos After The Jump…
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HEAR THIS: John Holt “My Heart Is Gone”

HEAR THIS: John Holt "My Heart Is Gone"

Celebrating The Birth of a Legend

On this day in 1947, Winston “John” Holt was born in Greenwich Farm, Jamaica. His destiny in music was clear before he hit his teenage years, and he soon became a standout at the talent show circuit. His first recordings included “I Cried A Tear” for producer Leslie Kong and “Rum Bumper” a duet with Alton Ellis, for producer Randy Chin. He would of course go on to become a founding member of The Paragons, as well as one of Jamaican music’s most successful and prolific songwriters in his own right. He penned a rich catalog filled with internationally known hits, and yet everyone seems to have their own personal favorite John Holt tune. Before he grew his dreadlocks and starting singing more rebellious songs like “Police in Helicopter,” he was known as a romantic balladeer with legions of female fans. Some consider him a pioneer of the lovers rock style of reggae that later caught on in the UK—where he made his home for many years. Somehow John Holt seemed to particularly familiar with the sadder side of love, as he displayed on songs like “Tonight” and this one, which he first recorded for Coxsone Dodd at Studio One, and then re-versioned for Phil Pratt’s Sunshot label. It hasn’t been quite a full year since John Holt’s death—and there’s something about that first birthday after someone passes away. Those of us who aren’t quite ready to let him go will know exactly what this song is all about. Audio After The Jump… Read more »

WATCH THIS: Live Pon The Reggae Cruise 2015

WATCH THIS: Live Pon The Reggae Cruise 2015

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…
Read more »

WATCH THIS: Sound Systems Pon The Reggae Cruise

HEAR THIS: TOK SELECTS

Reasoning With Stephen “Ragga” Marley

Reasoning With Stephen "Ragga" Marley

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 »

HEAR THIS: Black Scorpio

Reasoning With Saxone Sound

Reasoning With Ky-Mani Marley