Author Archive

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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NO LONG TALK: Stephen “Di Genius” McGregor on the Red Bull & Guinness Decade

NO LONG TALK: Stephen "Di Genius" McGregor on the Red Bull & Guinness Decade

Dancehall’s First Podcast Hits #10 In Fine Style

To commemorate the series tenth episode, Man Like Marvin Sparks drew for the decade’s defining producer, Stephen “Di Genius” McGregor. 2016 marks ten years on from his classic breakthrough riddim, Red Bull & Guinness. The riddim boasted voicings from Vybz Kartel, Wayne Marshall and Sizzla to a then-emerging singjay called Mavado. “Weh Dem A Do” went on to become an immovable anthem which still draws gun fingers and pull-ups as it did all those years ago. Audio After The Jump… Read more »

No Long Talk: Spice “The Dancehall Heiress”

No Long Talk: Spice "The Dancehall Heiress"

Whenever You Hear “Scorrrrnnnn Dem!” You Know The Deal

No long talk has been out of action for a bit but they live by the quotes: “If you’ve got nothing constructive to say, say nothing” / “Better to say nothing than chat shit.” And no long talk has their first female. And who better than the hottest female out right now, Spice! “Scorrrrnnnn Dem!” Ahead of the #MoreLife2016 show in London’s o2 Brixton Academy (alongside Tarrus Riley and Assassin aka Agent Sasco), Spice speaks to No Long Talk about her gospel beginnings to X-rated dancehall, almost quitting, why her daughter “does not know who Spice is”, whether dark skin hinders progression in showbiz, and the importance of social media. Audio & Video After The Jump.. Read more »

No Long Talk: Daddy Ernie On Freedom of Choice: “Who Want Vex, Vex!”

No Long Talk: Daddy Ernie On Freedom of Choice: "Who Want Vex, Vex!"

Host of UK Radio’s Superjam Reflects On His Legacy

If you weren’t in London from the ’90s, you may not be aware of Daddy Ernie or the power of his radio show, SuperJam. As he says: “Who’s Daddy Ernie? Some black DJ who used to be on a station in Brixton that everybody used to wear big gold chains and rings.” What you should know is he’s one of the most respected and important British contributors in the history of Jamaican music. He’s also the only person in history to present a reggae show Monday to Friday on a legal radio station. And it was prime time from 1990 to (about) 2003/2004. The way things are, it’s likely he’ll be the sole claimant forever. Daddy Ernie’s SuperJam ran alongside Choice FM’s lifespan (1990–2013), becoming one of the stations most listened to shows and amongst the highest paid specialist DJs on the station.  Podcast After The Jump… Read more »

No Long Talk: Serani Relives the Anger Management Riddim

No Long Talk: Serani Relives the Anger Management Riddim

Ten Years After Daseca’s Breakthrough Riddim, Serani Reflects

Multi-instrumentalist and producer Serani (former one-third of Jamaican producers Daseca) reminisced on the creation, influence and legacy of Anger Management riddim on its 10th anniversary. Though officially released towards the end of 2004, it buss (a.k.a. impacted) in 2005. Made on a PC via a Triton keyboard in not much time (approximately 15mins), it went on to become one of the most memorable, gun finger-raising (critically-acclaimed) riddims of the noughties. The era-defining riddim spawned hits by legends Bounty Killer (“Gun Heaven”) and Sizzla (“No Way”), an establishing star in Vybz Kartel (“War Nah Talk Over”) and kick -tarted the career of a young talent from Cassava Piece by the name of David Brooks, better known as Mavado (“Real McKoy”). Everything was light prior to Anger Management. And things in the dancehall became a helluva lot darker after it ruled the airwaves and the streets. Audio After The Jump…
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