Jamaica

Buju Banton Covers VIBE x Boomshots Collab

Buju Banton Covers VIBE x Boomshots Collab

A VIBE x Boomshots Collab: Redemption Songs
Jamaica’s Undefeated Champion Returns

Forward ever,” the late great Jacob “Killer” Miller used to sing. “And backward never.” Reggae music has always been about forward motion, the movement of Jah people, up from downpression and forward to Holy Mount Zion, because freedom is a must. Still, every once in awhile, it doesn’t hurt to take a glance over your shoulder, if only to take the measure of one’s progress. Just to remember the long walk, and to make sure that history is not a mystery. Some stories have got to be told. Story Continues After The Jump…  Read more »

Buju Banton and Stephen Marley Speak on “Duppy Conqueror (Yes Mi Friend)”

Buju Banton and Stephen Marley Speak on "Duppy Conqueror (Yes Mi Friend)"

A Celebration of Real Friendship, 50 Years After The Wailers Original

“Yes me friend, we deh pon street again.” 50 years after The Wailers’ original “Duppy Conqueror,” Stephen Marley and Buju Banton lift up their voices and join together in one harmony to create a crucial selection off Buju’s highly anticipated new album ‘Upside Down.’ After watching them perform the song together for the first time on the Welcome to Jamrock Reggae Cruise, Reshma B reasoned with Ragga about the story behind the song. A few monthe later she caught up with Buju at Gargamel Studios in Kingston to hear his perspective on this powerful new song with a timeless vibration. Let the reasoning begin. Video After The Jump… Read more »

WATCH THIS: Chronixx ft. Kabaka Pyramid “Same Prayer” Official Visuals PREMIERE

WATCH THIS: Chronixx ft. Kabaka Pyramid "Same Prayer" Official Visuals PREMIERE

“Look deep within ourselves”

Do not be deceived by the gorgeous vistas of Jamaican mountainscape displayed in the visuals for “Same Prayer.” This subtly crafted song is more concerned with navigating the treacherous terrain of humanity’s inner landscape than enjoying the view outside. And it’s definitely not all zen, yoga, and spirulina. “There’s so much good in the world,” Chronixx sings, “And still evil a lurk.” The song finds him beseeching the Almighty (JAH) to protect him and his loved ones (I and I) “from the ones who nuh care ’bout the fact we share the same air / and the blood that we bleed is alike.” In other words, it’s a song for this exact moment. When people are dying every day and nobody seems to have the answers. A time when we all do what we need to do. Seen? By the end of the third verse, Chronixx is  crying a river of tears and hoping Jah Jah hears. Then it’s time to touch the road—”Tuck it inna me waist and start up the bike.” Today Boomshots and VIBE proudly premiere the official visuals for “Same Prayer.”  Video After The Jump…

Read more »

Richie Spice Running “Red Hot” on ‘Together We Stand’

Richie Spice Running "Red Hot" on 'Together We Stand'

Singing Music With A Mission

“The almighty savior was a poor man,” says roots reggae icon Richie Spice “but still rich because he ruled all of the earth, air, and water — which we don’t have control over. He was born in a manger. So the message is: no matter how poor you born, you can still be a great person in life.” Richie Spice himself has risen up from humble beginnings to establish himself among the leading reggae artists of his generation over the past two decades. His latest single, “Valley of Jehoshaphat (Red Hot),” continues his mission of singing righteous songs for the upliftment of mankind. “When Jah come from Bozrah with his garment dipped in blood / It a go red hot, red hot, red hot down in Jehoshaphat,” he croons passionately on the Clive Hunt-produced single, driven by commanding horns and a steady bassline that anchors Richie’s message. The song has a slew of biblical references, something which Richie hasn’t shied away from throughout his career, in keeping with his Rastafarian faith. (Burning Spear referenced the same passage from the Book of Revelations in his classic 1975 track “Jordan River.”) The song’s official music video—directed by Samo Kush-I Johnson—follows an elder through lush scenes of nature that is interspersed with fiery images of our world crumbling before our very eyes. Video After The Jump… Read more »

Dre Island Elevates With Debut Album ‘Now I Rise’

Dre Island Elevates With Debut Album 'Now I Rise'

“We rise to the top… cause we know what it takes”

“We rise to the top,” Dre Island sings on “We Pray,” his massive collab with Popcaan, “cause we know what it takes.” Building on that theme of musical and spiritual elevation, the multi-talented musician—singer, deejay, songwriter, producer, and pianist—has just released his debut album Now I Rise. The project features the aforementioned “We Pray” as well as crucial collaborations with the likes of Jesse Royal and Chronixx. “Ah mi family dem deh,” says Dre Island, who has toured Europe backed by Chronixx’s band Zincfence Redemption. A graduate of Kingston’s Calabar high school—alma mater of both Jr. Gong and Vybz Kartel—Andre Johnson aka Dre Island is a living link between the vaunted “roots revival” movement and the sound of the Jamaican streets. “The revival is really within the people,” he says. “Reggae music never stop. Reggae artists always been touring. So it’s just the people’s awareness.” During a time when reggae and dancehall stand at a crossroads, Dre Island has emerged as one of the few artists capable of bringing together dancehall vibes and the ancient roots traditions—not to mention outernational connections like “People” his collaboration with UK talents Cadenza and Jorja Smith. “An island is a small land mass surrounded by water,” the artist told Boomshots correspondent Reshma B in their first interview. “But if you read further it’s also a place where you go to find yourself.” Video After The Jump…  Read more »

Tune For Tune: Breaking Down Bounty & Beenie’s Verzuz Battle

Tune For Tune: Breaking Down Bounty & Beenie's Verzuz Battle

Jamaica Won, The Culture Won—no doubt about it—But Which Selections Won?

 

Why was this night different from all other Verzuz battles? Streamed live from Kingston, Jamaica, the Memorial Day “Soundclash Edition” of Swizz Beatz and Timbaland’s flagship IG Live series was easily the most exciting and entertaining yet, as well as the first to delve into dancehall reggae. Considering the fact that Jamaican sound systems pioneered the sort of “beat battles” have made Verzuz a social media sensation well over half a century ago, the creative decision was more than fitting. By pitting two icons of the genre, Bounty Killer and Beenie Man, in head-to-head competition, this Verzuz battle did not just showcase two of its most respected lyricists ever to hold a microphone, it also tapped into an epic rivalry that stretches back more than a quarter of a century. Audio & Video After The Jump… Read more »

The Art of War: Bounty Killer Verzuz Beenie Man

The Art of War: Bounty Killer Verzuz Beenie Man

Dancehall Icons Speak on Rivalry & Respect 

Ever since the whole Swizz Beatz and Timbaland created social media battle platform Verzuz wave kicked off, bringing a much-needed spark of joy and excitement to the dreadful pandemic grind, those of us who love and respect dancehall music and Jamaican sound system culture have been asking ourselves when (if ever) the world would finally recognize that this whole digital sensation was based on the concept of sound clash. Which is to say that it’s all rooted in the rich history of Jamaican music, which gave us cultural icons like Bob Marley (respect is always due) and Kool Herc, who became The Godfather of Hip Hop by transplanting Yard-style sound system tactics/techniques/technology to the Bronx, and King Tubby the Dub master (who really invented the remix way before Puff Daddy) and Daddy U-Roy, who became the world’s first “rap star” by recording three chart-topping hits in 1969 that served to “Wake The Town and Tell The People” that “deejay” music was not just a matter of toasting and boasting in the dancehall, it was an art form unto itself. Video After The Jump… Read more »

WATCH THIS: Sean Paul “Back It Up Deh” Official Music Video PREMIERE

WATCH THIS: Sean Paul "Back It Up Deh" Official Music Video PREMIERE

Peep SP’s IGTV Interview With Reshma B

As the first—and only—dancehall artist to appear on the cover of VIBE magazine, Sean Paul has been making history and breaking down musical barriers throughout his career. The Grammy-winning hitmaker has collaborated with some of the biggest stars in urban music, from Beyoncé and Rihanna to DMX and Busta Rhymes, but his come-up was driven by raw uncut dancehall straight off the streets of Jamaica. After more than 20 years in the game, Sean is still going strong, dropping his dutty flow alongside the likes of Stefflon Don, Jhene Aiko, and Dua Lipa. But he’s not just the go-to for a hot yardstyle 16, he’s also an accomplished producer. Sean’s Dutty Rock Productions label has released riddims like “Rope,” “Gang Gang,” “No Caption,” and “Callaloo.” Today VIBE premieres Sean’s latest production, “Back It Up Deh,” a song that pays tribute to the dancehall queens who bust moves when the riddim drops. “I used to want to go to see what the ladies was wearing,” Sean Paul recalled in an exclusive interview with Reshma B. “It was just very sensual outfitting. And then the dancing, it was so free. That’s what I really loved about the culture as a kid. You got involved.” Although street dances are on pause during these quarantine times, Sean’s latest release, and the high-energy video might just have you backing it up while you shelter in place. Video After The Jump… Read more »

WATCH THIS: Etana “Truly” Official Music Video PREMIERE

WATCH THIS: Etana "Truly" Official Music Video PREMIERE

“First Time I Saw Your Eyes…”

The first we heard Etana sing we knew she had a special gift. This was back in the mid2000s when the young vocalist had stepped out from her role providing harmonies for Richie Spice to sing her own songs. Etana had stopped by the NYC offices of VIBE magazine to drop off her new video for a powerful song called “Wrong Address” and decided to bless us with an acapella performance. Wow. The sheer power of her delivery left no doubt in anyone’s mind that we were truly in the presence of greatness. Since then we’ve watched the rest of the world catch onto what we understood that day. Etana has grown into a world-renowned recording artist who made history for women in reggae with her 2018 Grammy nomination. So it gives Boomshots a great sense of satisfaction to present the world premiere of Etana’s new music video today. “‘Truly’ was written to inspire more strength in Love,” the singer says. “This one takes my mind into a place where love is deep and sweet.” As Etana lets her voice fly over a warm & easy lovers rock groove the result is magic—and the visuals match the vibe perfectly. Ready for some real Lovers Rock? Video After The Jump… Read more »

UTG Carry On Family Legacy With ‘Skinny Jeans’ EP

UTG Carry On Family Legacy With 'Skinny Jeans' EP

Likkle Addi & Likkle Vybz Bring That UpTown Greatness

As a new decade dawns in 2020, a new era in Jamaican music has arrived with the rise of UTG, also known as Uptown Greatness. Over the previous 10 years, Vybz Kartel set the standard as dancehall’s undisputed World Boss, re-branding his Portmore ends as “Di Gaza” and sparking a cultural movement that bubbled up from the streets and shifted global pop culture. Now Likkle Vybz and Likkle Addi are taking that energy to another dimension, blessed to live a lifestyle made possible by their father’s success and their mother’s loving guidance. Building on that solid foundation, the teenage brothers are stepping up to carry the torch with their debut album ‘Skinny Jeans’ produced by Short Boss Music and distributed by Johnny Wonder. The album dropped today and the brothers are already featured on the cover of Tidal’s Dancehall Rising playlist. Audio After The Jump…
Read more »

Busy Signal Is “Blessed With Versatility” On ‘Parts of The Puzzle’

Busy Signal Is "Blessed With Versatility" On 'Parts of The Puzzle'

New Album Shows Off Turf President’s Creativity

Busy Signal shows off the full range of his creativity on his long-awaited album Parts of the Puzzle which drops today on V.P. Records. Displaying his mastery of hardcore Dancehall, smooth Lovers Rock, and classic Roots Reggae, Busy also ventures into the Afrobeats space. The 17-track set opens with Busy’s smash hit “Stay So” (which has racked up close to 35 million views on YouTube) and goes on to include bangers like “Dolla Van” and “Got to Tell You” as well as collaborations with Afro B, dancehall O.G. Josey Wales, and Busy’s longtime mentor Bounty Killer. In short it’s a full-course musical feast that no reggae or dancehall fan should miss. During a recent visit to NYC Busy joined the Reggae Girl About Town at Negril Village restaurant. They tested out the hot sauce while discussing all the ins and outs and intricacies of the Hot Head’s creative process. Video After The Jump…

Read more »

WATCH THIS: Bulby x Christopher Martin x Beenie Man “Lots of Signs” Official Music Video PREMIERE

WATCH THIS: Bulby x Christopher Martin x Beenie Man "Lots of Signs" Official Music Video PREMIERE

Brand New Visuals Off The Master Blaster Album

Originally recorded for Sugar Minott’s Youth Promotion label, “Lots of Sign” was one of those extra-special tracks that made Tenor Saw a legend of Jamaican Music. The song’s timeless message, encouraging listeners to “face reality all the time,” inspired producer and engineer extraordinaire Colin “Bulby York” to update the tune on his recent Master Blaster project. “It was an honor get Chris and Beenie Man to rework this Tenor Saw classic,” says Bulby who blesses the Boomshots massive with today’s exclusive premiere. “Now the video will document the vibes for eternity.” Having worked with many of the legends of Jamaican music—as well as international acts like Chaka Khan, No Doubt, and Rihanna—Bulby chose Christopher Martin for the lead vocal. “When I was first contacted, it was awesome to receive that call,” says Martin, “and then it was incredible to find out that Beenie Man was included on it.” The Doctor offered a similar diagnosis of the process: “Working with Bulby is always magic—mi longtime friend,” says Beenie. “Is like Chris ah mi bredda. We just show up and boom! It done. One take. Laughs and vibes.” As for the video itself? Martin describes the shoot as “effortless,” adding that “the final product really tied everything together. Now I’m just looking forward to people watching it and loving it as much as I do.” Video After The Jump… Read more »