Author Archive

HEAR THIS: Stephen “Ragga” Marley ft. Jo Mersa & Cedella Marley “Revelation Party”

HEAR THIS: Stephen "Ragga" Marley ft. Jo Mersa & Cedella Marley "Revelation Party"

Ragga, Joseph & Nice Time Keeping The Party Of Their Life

Talk about right on time. Between terror attacks and fearmongering folly-ticians, the world seems to have gone mad in recent days and weeks. Leave it to the Marley fam to bring about a cure for our ills—even if only for a while. Today Stephen Marley dropped his latest full length effort, Revelation Vol II: The Fruit Of Life. A handful of singles have been preceded today’s long-awaited release. The latest highlighted single, “Revelation Party,” proves to be a potential anthem not just for our current time, but for any future not so pleasant day ahead. The song is a real family affair as it features Stephen’s son Jo Mersa Marley and his sister Cedella Marley. The earliest versions of this song took the form of a father-and-son acoustic duet between Stephen and Jo Mersa, but this official album version features full-scaled live band. The instrumentation generates more life—a different kind of energy—accentuating the spirit and hope that drives this song. And weaving Cedella’s harmonies through the fabric of this recording maximizes this songs’ potential in a way I don’t think the acoustic version could’ve done. And that’s coming from someone who is a pretty big fan of the acoustic version. The song says it’s OK to celebrate life in a dark time. Thinking about it, what better time is there to celebrate? A dark time can manifest as a result of the lack of celebrating our every day to day. So consider “Revelation Party” both a cure and a preventative to any potential dark or hard day ahead. We all hope to avoid them, but should that next dark day come, rest assured you have a musical outlet to alleviate the stress.  Audio After The Jump… Read more »

HEAR THIS: Chronixx “Out Deh”

HEAR THIS: Chronixx "Out Deh"

Straight Outta Spaintown

Teased on the masterful Roots & Chalice mixtape released earlier this year, the official full length version of the latest Chronixx single to touch the road is here. “Out Deh” showcases Di Steam Ministah hitching a ride upon the Shiah Records’ rugged “Lion Paw” riddim with a true king of the jungle flex. Chronixx does what he does best, displaying his knack for paying subtle if not outright homages to the reggae/dancehall days of old, wrapped in the cloak of swag that defines today’s younger generation. Stepping up with a nod to Shabba’s classic King Jammy’s selection “Get Up Stand Up and Rock,” Chronixx tips his hat to the Rankin as if to say I, Chronixx, am the reggae future as well as the reggae now—because I & I never forget I roots—and yes those roots reach all the way into the street. (Folks keep filing his music under “roots revival” although Chronixx has always maintained that “me’s a dancehall man.”) The riddim—produced by Shiah Coore, son of Third World’s guitarist/cellist Cat Coore, and musical director for Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley—is fierce. Chronixx’s vocals are crisp and laced with grit, his lyrics both “wise and street smart” as the tune specifies. The stage is being set for a full-scale Chronixx uprising. Our  job is to make sure we stay tuned and don’t miss the opportunity to witnesses what’s next. Audio After The Jump… Read more »

HEAR THIS: Ricky Blaze ft. Mr. Easy & Dean Fraser “Dance”

HEAR THIS: Ricky Blaze ft. Mr. Easy & Dean Fraser "Dance"

What A Way The Tune Rest Pon Mi Mind!

Sometimes you hear a song that you just want to share with others. That’s all this is. I stumbled across “Dance,” taken from Ricky Blaze’s latest album, Conquer The Moment, and all that’s been on my mind since hearing it for the first time is that I have to share it. (Patois translation: “What a way the tune rest pon mi mind!”) I’ve been on a texting, and Facebook messaging and Tweeting frenzy over the past couple days to every possible member of my reggae family, trying to make sure this song doesn’t slip through the cracks. Brooklyn-based producer Ricky Blaze has been one of the more creative and consistent talents in the modern reggae and dancehall scene (need we mention Gyptian’s “Hold Yuh”?) and this song perfectly captures his knack for cultivating a unique reggae sound with the aid of influences from a multitude of other genres. The song “Dance” features BK veteran Mr. Easy and saxophone master Dean Fraser. The song doesn’t try too hard. It’s easy, it’s breezy, it’s light, yet it’s sophisticated. If joy could be captured in sonic form, I think that sound would be this song. My only task is to make sure the Boomshots crew, receives that message. Riddim up! Audio 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 »

HEAR THIS: Chronixx “Ghetto People”

HEAR THIS: Chronixx "Ghetto People"

All A We Ghetto People

It has been a while since we last heard from Chronixx. It’s nice to hear from the yute every now and again as he tells us what he’s up to and what’s on his mind. Namely, teaming up with Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley, the mastermind behind the “On The Corner” riddim juggling, with “Ghetto People” as the end result. Dare I say, a proper result. Good to hear from you dread, indeed. Tidy and to the point, “Ghetto People” thrives in its simplicity as it deals with some rather complex issues. Call it a “reggae revival” or call it whatever you will, but now that Jr. Gong is rolling with this movement there’s no way Rasta can lose. Until we hear from you again dread, riddim up! Audio After The Jump… Read more »

Shaggy Shows Off On Fallon

Shaggy Shows Off On Fallon

Mr. Boombastic Is Still Fantastic

Shaggy made an appearance on The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon the other night. The appearance was good for a couple of laughs and also promoted his latest smash single, “I Need Your Love,” featuring Mohombi, Faydee, and Costi. (Did you ever notice that Shaggy is always making hits with artists you never heard of?) In a well-over-twenty-year mainstream career, Shaggy still finds himself basking in a very positive limelight, and that makes me happy. People can say what they want about who is badder than who but Shaggy remains the hero that dancehall never really knew it needed—and the one dancehall culture ultimately deserves. In an era where too many of our musical heroes have been remixed into villains, Shaggy is still here to prove that Jamaica has  maintained her joy. So what if he’s clashing Higgins instead of Ninjaman? (And don’t sleep on Hig’s skillz by the way) The man’s got a sense of humor. And it’s always a good look to see Jamaica shine. Respect Mr. Boombastic. Video After The Jump… Read more »