Hip Hop

Reasoning with Jah Bami: “I Focus So Much on Musical Integrity”

Reasoning with Jah Bami: "I Focus So Much on Musical Integrity"

Multi-talented Musician & Burgeoning Business Mogul Builds His Brand

Jah Bami, born Marvin Walters in Trinidad and Tobago, learned to play instruments at a young age-including the guitar, piano, drums and steel pan. His mastery of instruments earned him a musical scholarship  to the University of the West Indies, which provided him a plethora of opportunities to take his career to the next level. Now he tours the world solo and as part of his deejay group, Suns of Dub. Furthermore, Jah Bami owns a record label, clothing line and brand of smoke wrapping papers. We spoke to Jah Bami about his many hats in the entertainment business. Interview After The Jump… Read more »

HEAR THIS: Major Lazer ft. PartyNextDoor & Nicki Minaj “Run Up”

HEAR THIS: Major Lazer ft. PartyNextDoor & Nicki Minaj "Run Up"

In Which Nicki Suffers a Patois Malfunction

Major Lazer dropped their latest Tropical House sureshot today, a musical thing called “Run Up” featuring OVO’s resident yardman PartyNextDoor alongside Nicki Minaj.  “It’s always important for us to work with people who are on the same wave,” Diplo said in a statement. “Nicki and Party really helped us bring the classic Major Lazer style to create this perfect party record.” Nicki’s verse hints that the Trini-by-way-of-Queens pop star is now working on her fourth album. Barb’s bars include her usual femcee-baiting and designer-label-name-dropping as well as charming non-sequiturs like “I don’t put sugar in my spaghetti sauce.” Even more confusing is her foray into Jamaican patois, highlighted by the song’s official lyric video: “Fire Bun The Obea[sic] Man Church,” she spits at one point, an apparent nod to Beenie Man’s “Betta Learn,” a 1999 selection on Shocking Vibes’ Bada Bada juggling from back in the days when Capleton and Moses were going hard at each other. The original lyric is actually “Fire burn up the obeah man shirt,” a criticism of certain Rasta DJ’s tendency to “burn out” all forms of corruption. But hey, it’s 2017 —maybe obeah men now have churches which they’re setting on fire. “Run Up” did 350K+ on Youtube its first day, so who cares if Nicki’s patois is a little shaky? The tune still ah shot. Audio After The Jump… Read more »

Unsung Hero of the Year: Sister Nancy

Unsung Hero of the Year: Sister Nancy

What a Bam Bam!

Boomshots sends a special year-end shout out to Dancehall’s Original Muma, Sister Nancy. Alongside featured artists Rihanna and Swizz Beatz, Nancy is the unsung hero of “Famous” by Kanye West, one of the year’s biggest tunes, nominated for two Grammy Awards. For well over a minute of the 3:16 track, Nancy’s voice plays on repeat, the melody slightly pitch-shifted to match RiRi’s, but otherwise unaltered from the 1982 album cut that made her name famous. Big up yourself Muma Nancy. Watch for an in-depth profile coming soon! Video After The Jump…
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WATCH THIS: Kabaka Pyramid “Kabaka vs. Pyramid” Official Music Video

WATCH THIS: Kabaka Pyramid "Kabaka vs. Pyramid" Official Music Video

Accurate Lyricist Drops Battle-Rap-Themed Video

Kabaka Pyramid continues the trend of Rastafarian artists rapping over boom bap hip-hop beats. In this video, aptly titled “Kabaka vs. Pyramid,” the artist pays homage to battle rap and stages a rap battle with himself. Hip hop has a long history of alter-egos, from Tupac/Makavelli to Eminem/Slim Shady, and even T.I. vs. T.I.P. Will the Bebble Rock spitter continue the trend in dancehall? Rockin’ over Biggie’s “Gimme The Loot” riddim, one persona keeps it patois while the other is twangin’ like a youth who spent time in Miami as he was coming up. Watch the video and find out who wins. Video After The Jump…
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The Making of Bounty Killer’s “My Xperience”

The Making of Bounty Killer's "My Xperience"

Remembering A Game-Changing Album Twenty Years Later

All Eyez On Me. The Don Killuminati. Reasonable Doubt. The Score. It Was Written. ATLiens. Nineteen Ninety Six was an epic year for hip hop album releases. It was also a decisive year for dancehall breaking through to urban America. Twenty years ago this month, Bounty Killer released My Xperience on Blunt Recordings, a new joint venture between perennial reggae powerhouse V.P. Records and TVT Records, a New York-based indie specializing in “TV Tunes.” Featuring collabs with some of the biggest rappers and producers in hip hop—The Fugees, Mobb Deep, Raekwon, RZA, Busta Rhymes, Erick Sermon, Jeru the Damaja—My Xperience did that and more. The album truly changed the game for dancehall in the hip hop space. In an exclusive Boomshots interview, Bounty Killer calls it “the greatest album” of his illustrious career and shares his memories of working on the historic project. We also spoke with Killer’s then-manager Johnny Wonder, now the V.P. of 21st Hapilos Digital Distribution to share his experiences making My Xperience. Interviews After The Jump… Read more »

WATCH THIS: Protoje Talks “Can’t Feel No Way”

WATCH THIS: Protoje Talks "Can't Feel No Way"

Diggy British Talks “Royalty Free”

Since Protoje’s remarkable Ancient Future joined the legions of crucial reggae albums overlooked by the Grammy Awards, Diggy British hasn’t slowed down at all. The five songs comprising the B-side of his latest release, Royalty Free, have set the Internets ablaze since it was uploaded to his Soundcloud, demonstrating the full range of the artists’ creative powers. One track in particular, “Can’t Feel No Way,” produced by Tracker John, M.D., stood out from the rest—promptly getting added to BBC Radio 1 and showcasing sicker than your average flows and rhyme patterns that far surpass any “reggae revival” limitations. Today Boomshots proudly premieres the visuals for said track, along with Reshma B’s exclusive interview with Protoje, wherein Diggy British details the albums’ diverse influences, from Makaveli’s Seven Day Theory to Twin of Twins Stir It Up, and confirms for the record that he does in fact, feel no way whatsoever. Videos After The Jump… Read more »

HEAR THIS: Kabaka Pyramid “Accurate” Mixtape DOWNLOAD

HEAR THIS: Kabaka Pyramid "Accurate” Mixtape DOWNLOAD

Walshy Fire & Kabaka Pack ‘Nuff Fire

If your summer was missing a proper mixtape that perfectly blends dancehall riddims with hip-hop instrumentals, this Major Lazer-stamped soundclash between Bebble Rock’s Kabaka Pyramid and the mighty Walshy Fire is right up your alley. Kingston’s Kabaka doesn’t shy from any banger that Walshy throws his way, coasting over everything from the Desiigner’s “Panda” to the legendary “Dipset Anthem,” and Biggie’s “Gimme the Loot,” as well as original tracks from Major Lazer, KickRaux, and Walshy himself. There’s even enough room on the mic for guest lyricists including Raekwon, Jahdan Blakkamore, and Chronixx. The combined forces of Walshy and Kabaka are massive enough to make you cop another pair of speakerboxes, as this might be too much heat for weak systems. Audio After The Jump… Read more »

Mixpak Wins Red Bull Culture Clash

Mixpak Wins Red Bull Culture Clash

A Big Assist From Popcaan & Drizzy Drake

Friday night at London’s O2 Arena four sound systems representing Dancehall, Hip Hop, UK Garage and Grime battled before a 20,000 seat venue for the 2016 staging of Red Bull Culture Clash. Wiley’s Eskimo Dance and UK Garage All-Stars featuring So Solid Crew had the place rocking with the hometown hits, and Wiz Khalifa’s Taylor Gang linked with Supa Dups and Black Chiney Sound to drop some big dubplates, but in end Brooklyn NY’s Mixpak sound who took the trophy with support from dancehall stars Tony Matterhorn, Spice, Kranium, and Popcaan. The Unruly Boss sealed the win in the final round with a Drizzy Drake dub plate of One Dance that done the place. Video After The Jump… Read more »

WATCH THIS: Rakim Bigs Up Stephen “Ragga” Marley: “He’s Keeping It Lit For The Next Generation”

WATCH THIS: Rakim Bigs Up Stephen "Ragga" Marley: "He's Keeping It Lit For The Next Generation"

The Making Of Revelation Part 2

“Doing a song with Rakim, I couldn’t do it lukewarm,” says Stephen “Ragga” Marley. “It still did haffi rock heavy.” The song in question is “So Unjust” the third track on Revelation Part 2: The Fruit of Life. The long-awaited sequel to Ragga’s Grammy-winning 2011 album Revelation Part 1: The Root of Life picks up where part one left off, highlighting Ragga’s versatility and expanding his sonic terrain with a wide range of styles and collaborations, from roots reggae to dancehall, hip hop, soul, R&B and dance music. Complex Media enlisted acclaimed director Stephanie Black to document the process of making the album. “Something to wake up the masses,” is how Rakim describes this parrticular track. “That’s right up my alley.” The hip hop icon goes on to praise Stephen’s role as a producer and a cultural force “It’s like the Bible of music, when the Marleys speak,” says Rakim, who estimates hip hop’s current consciouness level “at zero.” Although Rakim says he means no offense to the artists who are out today, in his words “Something ain’t right…. We definitely need conscious music and it has to come from the superiors, you know what I mean? Stephen Marley is definitely one of them cats who can stand anywhere with a bullhorn, and say Hey!” says Rakim. “It’s a blessing to be part of the march.” Video After The Jump…
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Remembering “The People’s Champion” -Muhammad Ali

Remembering "The People's Champion" -Muhammad Ali

A Champion of All Champions

According to Matthew 22:14, “many are called but few are chosen.” Born in the first month of the year, in Louisville, Kentucky, Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr. seemed to be destined for greatness. He began his boxing journey at 12 years old and by 22 years old, he was the World HeavyWeight Champion (1964). The “People’s Champion” was kingly by nature, and his confidence was inspiring especially for people of African descent, because his title was preceded by the passing of the Civil Rights Act in the same year. His accomplishments left an indelible mark on history, culture and the globe. More After The Jump

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HEAR THIS: Stephen “Ragga” Marley
ft. Waka Flocka “Scars on my Feet”

HEAR THIS: Stephen "Ragga" Marley ft. Waka Flocka "Scars on my Feet"

Ragga x Flocka Connect and Reflect

If you’re paying attention you already know that the long-awaited final chapter of Ragga Marley’s two-album epic is set to arrive July 22nd. Today team Ragga revealed the full track listing of Revelation Part 2: The Fruit of Life and offered these thoughts about the overall project: “The Fruit is about the different branches; there are many pages within my mind, many colors and ideas” says Marley. “We come from a versatile generation that can’t be put in a box.” As if to underscore that versatility, Marley also teased a new track from the album, featuring ATL trap star Waka Flocka Flame, bringing out the Brick Squad rapper’s revolutionary side. Stephen’s duet with dreadlocked turn-up king is available now with a pre-order of the album pon iTunes.  Audio and Track Listing After The Jump…
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Super Cat Remembers “Dolly My Baby” Collab With Biggie Smalls, Sends a Message To Puffy

Super Cat Remembers "Dolly My Baby" Collab With Biggie Smalls, Sends a Message To Puffy

A Dialog With The Don Dada

Today we celebrate what would have been the 44th birthday of hip hop’s G.O.A.T., Christopher George Latore Wallace, better known as The Notorious B.I.G. aka Biggie Smalls. (The day is now an official holiday in Brooklyn.) One of the first big looks for the fledgling rapper came in 1993 when he got the chance to drop lyrics on Puff Daddy’s remix of “Dolly My Baby,” a single off Super Cat’s classic Don Dada album. As a youth of Jamaican descent, Biggie fully overstood what a special opportunity this was to rhyme on a record with a living legend of Jamaican dancehall culture. Sadly Biggie’s career would end four years later, but Super Cat lives on—he will perform May 30 at the Oracabessa Festival in Queens, NY. In honor of two lyrical heavyweights, we pulled this interview from the Boomshots archives. Respect in all aspect. Interview After The Jump… Read more »