Foundation

SPECIAL REQUEST: Willi Williams “Armagideon Time”

SPECIAL REQUEST: Willi Williams "Armagideon Time"

Don’t Mix Up The Studio One Star With The First Black LAPD Chief, Who Passed Away Today

What’s in a name? Willie L. Williams became Los Angeles’ first African American police chief in the aftermath of the 1992 riots,  died today of pancreatic cancer at the age of 72, reports the L.A. Times. Williams stepped into the top job at the LAPD at a sensitive time, as the department reeled from criticism over its handling of the riots and Los Angeles struggled to mend racial divides. He replaced Daryl Gates, who had long been criticized for running a department that mistreated minority groups, particularly blacks, in Los Angeles. Williams helped usher in a series of reforms in the wake of the Rodney J. King beating. Under him, the department grew by 2,000 officers and the LAPD adopted more “community policing” strategies that were designed to be less confrontational than Gates’ methods. He won credit for restoring confidence to the department. “I was the guinea pig” he once told a Times reporter. Audio After The Jump… Read more »

Reasoning with Capleton: “Music Is A Mission”

Reasoning with Capleton: "Music Is A Mission"

Throwback Q&A with The Prophet • New York City 2000 A.D.

I had been listening to Capleton for years before I got the chance to interview him at Def Jam Records offices on Varick Street in Manhattan. He sat smoking beedies and a spliff with his manager Stuart Brown a.k.a. African Star in the record label conference room. Capleton’s first album for Def Jam, Prophecy, consisted of pretty much straight hardcore tracks from Jamaica, although the new one, I Testament, was a bit more “smooved out” shall we say, showing more influence from label A&Rs. But King Shango’s mental state was the same irresistible force it has ever been. He was named after a well-known local barrister, the lawyer Capleton, and the DJ’s reasoning is always forceful, like a prosecutor giving the closing argument on the biggest case of his life. Interview After The Jump… Read more »

The Don Dada Returns To NYC: Super Cat Confirmed for Memorial Day Performance

The Don Dada Returns To NYC: Super Cat Confirmed for Memorial Day Performance

Irie Jam Productions Confirms Super Cat For Oracabessa Festival 2016

Although it took root in the ghettos of Kingston, Jamaica, Reggae has always been a majestic music. From the days of Bob Marley and Dennis Brown there have been certain artists who always bring that royal vibes to forefront. And while many great artists have played their part within the music fraternity, many shall be called and few chosen. These are the artists whose every public appearance, every performance, indeed every utterance is a major event for lovers of reggae music. In the dancehall era  living legends live Shabba Ranks have carried the music forward to the highest heights. Another such name is that of the Wild Apache, the Don Dada, Super Cat. Today Irie Jam Productions confirmed that Super Cat will take the stage at the Oracabessa Music Festival in Jamaica Queens this Memorial Day—Monday, May 30th. Mr. Cat joins an all-star lineup that includes Mavado, Ken Boothe, The Mighty Sparrow, Nesbeth, and rising star Vershon making this all-day festival a must-see event. Video After The Jump… Read more »

HEAR THIS: Bongo Herman “Drum of Long Story”

HEAR THIS: Bongo Herman "Drum of Long Story"

Mek Rolling Stone Dem Know—Half The Story Has Never Been Told

Just the other day Rolling Stone published a list of the supposed Greatest Drummers of All Time. Carlton Barrett of the Hippy Boys—a two-man duo comprising him and his brother Aston “Family Man” Barrett, who once backed Scratch Perry at the Black Ark and would go on to tour the world with Bob Marley as The Wailers—and Sly Dunbar of Sly & Robbie fame both made the RS list—ranking at Nos 29 and 65 respectively. Even as reggae fans give thanks for a likkle bit of recognition from a mainstream pub like Rolling Stone, we know that half the story has never been told. No Style Scott. No Horsemouth. No Santa Davis. No Lloyd Knibb. And no Bongo Herman, who sold me a copy of his own CD during a recent pass throug 56 Hope Road. Perhaps the best US$10 I ever spent. Herewith a highlight, throughout which the legendary Mr. Herman beats the skins in a percussive reinterpretation of Keith & Tex’s “Oh It’s a Long Story” produced by Derrick Harriott on his musical chariot. The intro is everything. Audio After The Jump… Read more »

WATCH THIS: Jimmy Riley “Rougher Yet”
Live in Tivoli Gardens 2008

WATCH THIS: Jimmy Riley "Rougher Yet" Live in Tivoli Gardens 2008

Rest In Power Jimmy Riley (1954–2016) Music Alone Shall Live

Martin James Norman Riley, a distinguished singer and songwriter known to music lovers the world over as Jimmy Riley passed away around the dawning of March 23rd. Mr. Riley grew up in the musically blessed and economically stressed Waterhouse section of Western Kingston, and attended school with Slim Smith, with whom he would later record the timeless “My Conversation.” He was a member of seminal Jamaican harmoney groups The Sensations and The Uniques, and applied his rich soulful voice to classic solo recordings with Sly & Robbie including “Love & Devotion” and a cover of Marvin Gaye’s “Sexual Healing” which topped the UK reggae chart. His musical legacy is further enriched by the fact that he is the father of the great Tarrus Riley, with whom he often shared the stage. “Tarrus always gravitated toward music,” Jimmy Riley told the New York Times in 2009. “He learned to play the piano and grew up right there in the midst of things. Most of the veteran singers were friends of mine, so he knew them all.” Tarrus and his father appeared onstage together as recently as last Spring’s Oracabessa Festival in Queens, with the elder Mr. Riley in a wheelchair, but still full of life. Check this video of Jimmy in top form. Notice when the band tries to change the riddim, Mr. Riley reminds them, “Me ah the singer!” Don’t you ever forget. Music alone shall live. Video After The Jump… Read more »

WATCH THIS: Chronixx x Eesah “Perfect Tree” Official Music Video

WATCH THIS: Chronixx x Eesah "Perfect Tree" Official Music Video

Chronixx x Eesah Engage in a Melodic Steam Session

Chronixx opens with horns blazing, as he rides effortlessly over the beat from Black Star’s “Respiration” exhaling words of righteousness: “High grade never hurt nobody. Let herb be free on earth nuh daddy.” You’ve guessed it: it’s another ganja anthem, but this one requires a higher meditation to fully comprehend the meaning behind the “Perfect Tree.” Let’s begin with origins of Rastafari and the Legalize It movement. Bob Marley and the Wailers advocated for the legalization of herbs for the masses. Peter Tosh was a vocal proponent of green living throughout the ’70s. Before the Wailers, a man by the name of Leonard Howell built the Pinnacle as a sustainable community in colonial Jamaica with an economic base of agriculture and yup, marijuana. Video After The Jump…

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Eye of A Tiger: New Song Highlights The Style of Reggae Veteran Tiger

Eye of A Tiger: New Song  Highlights The Style of Reggae Veteran Tiger

New Twin of Twins Song  Shines A Bright Light On Tiger’s Classic “When”

“Bun Again” by Twin of Twins comments on tumultuous relationships in dancehall.  Mr. Vegas, Foota Hype and Gully Bop are featured in the video,  along with  their close encounters with infidelity and domestic violence. The song discusses these serious topics in a satirical way. The beginning of the song also lyrically makes reference to 2016 Grammy Nominated Artist, Barrington Levy  and his classic “Too Experienced.” Produced by Anju Blaxx, the intro is the classic song “Woman is Like A Shadow” by The Meditations.  Moreover, the entire song is a remake of “When” by  living legend, Tiger.  More After The Jump Read more »

Reasoning with Sister Nancy

Reasoning with Sister Nancy

Dancehall’s Original Muma Talks “Bam Bam,” Rihanna, and Kanye West

Quick: what’s the most sampled song in reggae history? If you guessed “Bam Bam” by Sister Nancy you know your stuff. Her 1982 album cut has provided raw material for dozens of records for artists ranging from Chris Brown to Too $hot to Diamond D. The latest may be the biggest tune of all:”Famous” by Kanye West featuring Rihanna and Swizz Beatz, off The Life of Pablo. Yep, that’s the song where Yeezy disses Taylor Swift–the one everybkdy’s chatting bout although few have actually heard it. When Boomshots caught up with Muma Nancy for a recent Billboard piece the legendary foundation DJ had not heard the tune yet. Not that she’s in much of a hurry to do so. She’s unimpressed with the whole sampling thing, much preferring a live session. But trust and believe she will be picking up that royalty check. Pree the full reasoning below. Interview After The Jump… Read more »

HEAR THIS: Reggae Rajahs “Pass The Lighter”

HEAR THIS:  Reggae Rajahs "Pass The Lighter"

Even in India, Where Ganja is a Way of Life, The Struggle Continues

Based in the beautiful seaside state of Goa, Reggae Rajahs represent reggae music throughout India. It’s only right, considering the massive influence of Indian culture with Jamaica in general, plus reggae and Rastafari in particular. In this track from the Rajah’s December 2015 EP, Reggae Beach Party, the five-man posse utilizes the classic Studio One riddim “High Fashion Dub” to advocate for the legalization of marijuana in a country where ganja has been considered a holy sacrament since 2000 B.C. Go deh Rajahs! Audio After The Jump… Read more »

HEAR THIS: Raging Fyah “Milk and Honey” PREMIERE

HEAR THIS: Raging Fyah "Milk and Honey" PREMIERE

New Music From The We Remember Dennis Brown Album

It’s been just ten days since V.P. Records announced the highly anticipated roots reggae project, We Remember Dennis Brown, which will see a range of Jamaican and international artists paying tribute to the Crown Prince of Reggae, Dennis Emmanuel Brown by recording some of his classic cuts. Today Boomshots is proud to premiere the latest track from the album, an all-new version of the Rastafarian anthem “Milk and Honey” as performed by the red-hot Jamaican reggae ensemble Raging Fyah. Audio After The Jump… Read more »

Ten Great Bob Marley Songs You Probably Never Heard

Ten Great Bob Marley Songs You Probably Never Heard

The Songs That Made The Gong A Legend Are Not All On Legend

Bob Marley’s greatest hits collection Legend is the top-selling reggae album of all time, with at least 15 million copies sold—according to the RIAA website. It’s a good bet the actual numbers are a lot higher, but let’s just say that the 15 tracks on that album have served as most people’s introduction to the Tuff Gong—and to reggae music overall. But like the song says, “Half the story has never been told.” Even if you’ve collected all of Marley’s albums for Island Records you could still spend a lifetime exploring his work with Scratch Perry, Coxsone Dodd, Leslie Kong, Danny Sims, or Randy’s Studio 17. In honor of Robert Nesta Marley’s 71st Birthday, we’ve gathered some of our favorite rarities and under-rated Marley classics. Most will come as a revelation to your average Legend listener. A serious reggae fan will have heard at least a few before. If you know all ten of these already, nuff respect. Rock on, Tuff Gong. Audio After The Jump… Read more »

WATCH THIS: Richie Stephens “Rain From The Sky” Official Music Video

WATCH THIS: Richie Stephens "Rain From The Sky" Official Music Video

Lost Tape From Steely & Clevie’s Studio One Sessions

This is a pretty good week for Richie Stephens. First came news that Rihanna’s producers had sampled his “Sail Away” riddim for her latest duet with Drake. (In other words Pot of Gold Productions must nyam some good food.) Now he’s seeing the release of a 14-year-old recording project—and the tune sounds nice! Stephens recorded this cover of the Studio One classic “Rolling Down” back in 1992 when ace prodcers Wycliffe “Steelie” Johnson and Cleveland “Clevie” Browne were working on the album Steelie & Clevie Play Studio One Vintage. Released on Heartbeat Records in 1992, that album would go on to score a major chart hit with Dawn Penn’s “No, No, No,” but the whole album was wicked. Somehow this recording got misplaced on one of the studio reels and was recently rediscovered while SilverHawk Sound was getting its dub collection back into order. (More on that later, but all dibby dibby soundbwoys you have been warned.) In the meantime let’s rock and groove to the voice of Mr. Richie Stephens singing a heartical Studio First selection. Cue the trombone Mr. Hornsman! Video After The Jump… Read more »