With Friends Like These, Who Needs Enemies?

VICE Defends Reggae To White People Who Don’t Like Reggae

So you’ve decided you don’t like reggae. I can respect this decision. There’s some good thinking involved in this decision. Whenever I talk to a fellow white person who has decided they don’t like reggae, they usually make the following points: 1. I don’t really smoke weed, so it doesn’t really do anything for me; 2. I find it repetitive and unvarying, two qualities I don’t appreciate in music because see point 1; 3. I am white; 4. people who are “really into reggae,” especially white people who are “really into reggae,” are annoying little dipshits, and based on social programming, I wish to avoid being seen as an annoying little dipshit; 5. Bob Marley Legends is the fucking WORST. Actually the title is Legend, but whatever; More after the jump…

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Buju Banton Jurors Would Say “Not Guilty” On Gun Charge

The Banton Faces Resentencing Later This Month—But Will Justice Be Served?

The Broward/Palm Beach New Times is reporting that at least four of the jurors who served on Buju Banton’s drug case would have found him not guilty of gun charges. Chris Sweeney’s latest blog post is a must-read: “Terri Wright has been called to serve jury duty seven times,” Sweeney writes. “But none of the cases compares to the federal drug and gun trial of reggae singer Buju Banton. That one “took the cake,” as she puts it. She still talks to coworkers about the murky back story of the federal snitch, Alex Johnson, and says she couldn’t sleep at night when deliberating.” The Half That’s Never Been Told After The Jump… Read more »

Jury Finds The Banton Guilty

Buju Banton Thanks Tearful Fans As His Attorneys Plan Appeal

Just a week after celebrating his Grammy win for Best Reggae Album, Buju Banton was convicted today by a 12-person jury in a Federal Court in Tampa, Florida. After deliberating last Friday and again today for a total of eleven hours, the jurors found Buju—born Mark Myrie—guilty of conspiracy to possess five or more kilos of cocaine, of using a telephone to facilitate drug-trafficking, and of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug dealing offense. Buju was found not guilty of possession with intent to distribute cocaine—and in fact, he never did possess the drugs in question. But then again, he didn’t possess a gun either. Read more »

Lil Wayne Walks; Buju Still In Bondage

Weezy Freed After Eight Months; Banton Weighing Bail Options

After serving eight months of a one-year gun charge, Lil Wayne was released from Rikers Island this morning, and will soon be on his way to Miami for a massive welcome home party. “FREE AT LAST!!!” tweeted his manager Cortez Bryant at roughly 10am as fans around the world—including President Bill Clinton—celebrated. “I was never scared, worried nor bothered by the situation,” Lil Wayne said Tuesday through his official fan site Weezythanxyou.com Read more »

WATCH THIS: Buju B “Sensimilla Persecution”

“Why They Fighting Sensimilla Making Way For Coke To Come?”

While Buju’s legions of detractors celebrate his arrest this weekend on cocaine trafficking charges, those of us who actually listen to his music—all of his music—have been left in a state of shock, grappling with the possibility that his booming voice may be silenced. Who’s gonna tell those “Untold Stories” now? Read more »

HEAR THIS: Early B “DJ Origination”

Special Request To The Original Doctor, Going Down In Dancehall History

One more reason to remember September 11: Seven years after Peter Tosh’s 1987 murder in Kingston, the foundation dancehall artist Early B The Doc was killed by a stray shot in a Boston dancehall session 15 years ago today. To call Early B a dancehall legend doesn’t nearly do the man justice. He was a DJ’s DJ, a styistic innovator, a mentor and sparring partner of Super Cat the Don Dada, and a vast repository of information who crammed as much raw data into his lyrics as possible. He was also an ardent student of the culture he chronicles in this 1983 cut on the Sonic Sounds label. “Now I dedicate this style to all the DJs over the years who have been champions, from Daddy Roy straight down to King Yellowman, from Josey Wales and Chaplin and even I Early B the Doctor. Laaaaaawd.” Let it go… Read more »

WATCH THIS: Major Lazer “Pon De Floor”

Skerrit Bwoy Stars In a Dazzling Digital Daggering Dramarama.

First time we heard it on the Major Lazer album, we thought it was a Kartel tune called “Bestest Wine,” but looks like Di Teacha nah represent for da one yah. So them send for the one Skerrit Bwoy. Him well fit and flexible, but mad, sick, head no good. Read more »

Mr. Cee Says Squash The Beef

A Hip Hop Legend says “Caribbean Music Can Be A Monster,” However…

I got a chance to reason with a Hip Hop Legend last Friday, the one and only Mr. Cee. Depending on the depth of your knowledge of hip hop culture, you may know Cee as Big Daddy Kane’s DJ, or as the man who recorded the demo tape that got Biggie Smalls his deal with Puff Daddy. Or you may just know him as the influential radio personality at New York’s #1 radio station, Hot 97 FM. Besides playing great hip hop and R&B, Cee has been influential in helping break many dancehall records on the international market. Hot 97 plays more reggae than most of the urban format stations in America. So I had to ask him the $64,000 question:

You were involved in hip hop before it was a major major money industry. Do you feel like reggae can ever reach that same level of prosperity internationally? It seems like it always stays in the grassroots and in the underground moreso than rap.

AND THIS IS WHAT HE SAID. I know that reggae probably can be just as lucrative or just as successful as hip hop is, or maybe even beyond. I know that it could. But the one thing that’s the biggest downfall for reggae right now…

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HEAR THIS: Baby Wayne & Leroy Smart ‘Money Friend’

Special request to all hypocrite and parasite.

Sometimes the trials and tribulations of life are really blessings in disguise. For one thing they let you know the real people around you, and help you weed out the hypocrites and parasites. Case in point: I was a founding editor of a little magazine called VIBE. Maybe you’ve heard of it. Put in mad work there for 16 years. If you don’t know, ask somebody. Read more »

Mutabaruka Distressed Over Daggerin’

Dub poet sez: “Some wild beast animal ting ah gwan inna Jamaica.”

“This no civilized Rasta,” says the bare-footed dub poet famous for classics like Outcry and Dis Poem. Read more »

My God! Twin of Twins Locked Up

Dancehall provocateurs now being held in Half Way Tree jail cell.

Twin of Twins live at Reggae Sumfest. Photograph by Stella Magloire.

At 2pm this past Tuesday afternoon, the mercilessly hilarious, always controversial dancehall artist/satirist/ghettologist duo known as Twin of Twins were arrested on Half Way Tree Road in Kingston JA. Read more »

Assassin Responds to Red Stripe Fiasco

During this past Saturday’s Red Stripe Live concert in Kingston Jamaica, Assassin was pulled offstage in midsong for what the show’s organizers termed “questionable lyrics.” His use of the word “fish”—the latest dancehall euphemism for homosexuals—was widely speculated as the cause of the conflict. But the artist’s side of the story has not been heard until now… Read more »