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WATCH THIS: TeeJay “Rags to Riches” Official Music Video PREMIERE

WATCH THIS: TeeJay "Rags to Riches" Official Music Video PREMIERE

“UpTop Means Progress Overall”

The first time TeeJay linked up with Boomshots he was chilling out in the Bronx, braffin’ as usual, having just returned from a shopping spree with some fresh gear. During a streetside interview, Reshma B asked him the meaning of UpTop. “UpTop means progress overall,” he explained as cars drove past. “You know, if you up, you showing progress. Staying up, going up on a different level in life. I’m always going up in life.” The youth born Timoy Janeyo Jones was raised in the Glendevon section of Montego Bay and grew up in a musical family, recording songs with his older brothers from an early age. Since signing with Romeich Entertainment he has continued to level up, emerging as one of the most versatile dancehall stars of the new generation. Today Boomshots premieres the music video for his latest hit “Rags to Riches,” produced by Damage Musiq. “I came up with a bit of fusion reggae drums and R&B synth that gave that island vibe feeling where you just want to reminisce and be happy,” says the producer whose Billionaire Sheik Riddim provides the musical backdrop for the tune. “What inspires me to sing ‘Rags to Riches’ is the things that I have been through in life back then an’ where I am now today,” says TeeJay. “The people I am surrounded by and the things that we do, I used all those things and turned it into art. Poverty was an inspiration to me, so I wrote this song to motivate other people to show them that nothing is impossible in life an’ they should never give up.” Shot on location in MoBay by Xtreme Arts, the visuals show the UpTop boss leveling up from zinc fence streets to mansions and pool parties. Video After The Jump… Read more »

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 »

WATCH THIS: Jada Kingdom “Budum” Official Music Video PREMIERE

WATCH THIS: Jada Kingdom "Budum" Official Music Video PREMIERE

“Them call me Muma Heavy”

The Jamaican expression for someone who is not afraid to speak what’s on their mind is that they “nuh tek back chat.” That phrase describes Jada Kingdom perfectly. While she often speaks in a gentle voice, her words can be as soft as water or as hard as rockstone. “Full time we firm up we meds,” she sings on “Execution,” one of her deceptively delicate tracks from last year, shouting out the girls from her part of town, Kingston’s East Side. “Yo Rockfort, Harborview, Bull Bay, gal a St. Thomas, whole a E-Syde, mek dem know say we mad and bad.”

In the space of three years, Jada Kingdom has carved out a unique creative space for herself, nestled in a sweet spot somewhere between dancehall, R&B and pop. Her jazzy, neo-soul vocal style is more reminiscent of Erykah Badu than Lady Saw. And while she’s never afraid to show her vulnerability or to channel her pain into powerful art, she can turn the attitude up to 100 at the drop of a dime.

Today Jada embarks on a new phase of her burgeoning career, the release of her first single under a deal with  Diplo’s Mad Decent label. Fresh off the success of her mixtape E-Syde Queen: The Twinkle Playlist and features on Popcaan’s red-hot Yiy Change Fixtape and Vybz Kartel’s soul-baring To Tanisha Jada is perfectly poised for her moment. All she needs is a massive tune to kick things off. Something like, say, “Budum.”

“It’s been such a crazy year with the pandemic I just wanted to release a song that is fun and will make people happy and want to dance again,” says Jada Kingdom says about the track. “Hopefully ‘Budum’ will have everyone whining their waists and rocking their bodies again and help us to forget some of the craziness going on around us.”

Produced by the German-born, Jamaica-approved producer known as Emudio, “Budum” is the anthem that should be rocking ever late-summer fete from Uptown Mondays in Kingston to Notting Hill Carnival in London to the Eastern Parkway Labor Day Parade in Brooklyn. Even if your end-of-summer rave is a socially distanced house party, “Budum” is the soundtrack—a sexy blast of self-love and female empowerment from a Queen who knows her body is a Kingdom. Today Boomshots and VIBE premiere the visuals, directed by 300K.

“We just went for a fun, happy vibe for the video to reflect the song,” says Jada. “We also wanted to incorporate the cover art so we built out a crazy set literally overnight for that scene. ‘Budum’ is a track that makes people dance and feel good and hopefully the video makes people feel the same way.” Video After The Jump…
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WATCH THIS: Kabaka Pyramid “Nice Up Di Dance” Official Music Video

WATCH THIS: Kabaka Pyramid "Nice Up Di Dance" Official Music Video

Nice Up Di Dance

When I asked Clement S. Dodd, the founding father of the Jamaican music industry, which of his many recordings he was proudest of, the producer known as Sir Coxsone paused and stroked his white-whiskered chin. ”There is so much, getting back to ‘One Love’ and ‘Simmer Down,’ ” he said, mentioning two of The Wailers’ first big hits, recorded when a short-haired teenager named Bob Marley was living in a room behind Dodd’s studio. From legendary reggae bands like the Wailers and Burning Spear to the Skatalites, Studio One became Jamaica’s answer to Motown. Of all the great tracks he produced, Mr. Dodd finally selected his favorite. ”Real Rock,” he said, then began laughing. ”Oh God. ‘Real Rock’ really strong. It’s on top.”

Originally recorded by the ace Studio One reggae band known as Sound Dimension, the “Real Rock” rhythm track that has been used for countless classic tunes, from Willi Williams’ “Armagideon Time” (1977) to Dennis Brown’s “Stop The Fussing and Fighting” (1977). None was more entertaining than Michigan & Smiley’s “Nice Up The Dance.” Papa Michigan & General Smiley’s rollicking combination brings the joys of a live dancehall session to life. It takes a certain caliber of artist to handle a rhythm like the “Real Rock.” So when producer Jeremy Harding was challenged to remake the Michigan & Smiley 1979 classic for the forthcoming VP Records project Dancehall Anthems, there was really only one logical choice—Kabaka Pyramid. An ace lyricist equally adept at classic roots reggae, hip-hop, and dancehall, Kabaka does full justice to Michigan & Smiley’s original while infusing its classic verses with his own unique energy and verbal wizardry. Video After The Jump…
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WATCH THIS: Protoje ft. Wiz Khalifa “A VIBE” Visualizer

WATCH THIS: Protoje ft. Wiz Khalifa "A VIBE" Visualizer

Bares Vibes An’ Ting

You know how when you blaze a spliff in the morning and you hold A VIBE but then later on your forget what you did the whole rest of the day? Protoje’s new album is kinda like that. It’s titled In Search of Lost Time, and it’s rolling out via his Indigg Collective partnership with RCA. That’s a big deal since because when was the last time a Jamaican artist set up their own international joint venture? Take a minute, think about it, and let us know if you can think of anybody else ever. Protoje’s always been about his business. Back in 2016 he told Boomshots “If you can’t own your masters, lef’ the slaveship.” So he stuck with that vision and leveraged an agreement for himself and Indigg artists Lila Ike and Sevana. Respect is due for making moves to ensure that reggae music is treated with respect. Fresh off his collaboration with the Unruly Boss “Like Royalty,” Protoje is back with another high-profile combination. For the latest joint off In Search of Lost Time, Diggy links with Wiz for a smoked-out session that could only be called “A VIBE.” Check out the full interview with Protoje and Reshma B after the jump. Visualizer After The Jump…

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The ‘Marley’ Movie Premiere

The 'Marley' Movie Premiere

Reshma B Reporting From Emancipation Park in Kingston—April 19, 2012

This Friday, Kevin MacDonald’s acclaimed 2012 documentary film Marley will be re-released via virtual cinemas and drive-ins across the country as part of the year-long celebration of Bob Marley’s 75th anniversary. According to film’s distributor Blue Fox Entertainment, information about digital screenings of Marley can be found on MarleyMovie.com starting July 31. (Appropriately enough, Jamaica celebrates Emancipation Day on August 1.) The emotional and inspiring story follows Robert Nesta Marley from his upbringing in the rural Jamaican village of Nine Mile through his journey to Kingston’s tough Trenchtown neighborhood, where his musical career began. Featuring rare concert footage and exclusive interviews with Marley’s family and close friends, MacDonald’s goal was to get behind the legend and show us Marley the man. On April 19, 2012 the film had its Jamaican premiere at Kingston’s Emancipation Park, and I was one of the privileged few who attended the special screening. There were many VIP guests, including his wife Rita Marley and Island Records founder Chris Blackwell, who signed Marley to an international record deal, and of course Kevin MacDonald himself.  Video & Story After The Jump… 

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