Outernational

WATCH THIS: Bob Marley “No Woman No Cry” 2020 Visuals

WATCH THIS: Bob Marley "No Woman No Cry" 2020 Visuals

A Fresh Look at a Classic Tune

Amidst outbreaks of viral pandemic and police brutality, the best thing anyone can say about 2020 is that it’s the year of Bob Marley’s 75th Birthday Celebration. And while the year has been terrible and dreadful, Bob Marley’s music has offered much-needed inspiration. The Tuff Gong’s 1984 greatest hits collection Legend has topped the charts every week since mid January when it knocked Stick Figure out of the top spot. What more relevant soundtrack for these trying times than Bob Marley. Today is July 1, International Reggae Day, and what better way to celebrate than by rediscovering one of Marley’s classic songs, “No Woman No Cry”? Today Boomshots and VIBE proudly present a brand new official music video, directed by Kristian Mercado Figueroa and shot in Jamaica and New York City. The poignant, verite visual tells the tale of a family divided by geography yet connected by love and a shared commitment to providing a better life for their youths. In Jamaica, a strong and loving Mother strives to look after her children while their Father works tirelessly as a cab driver in New York City, grooving to Bob Marley while he prepares a barrel to send home. Video After The Jump…
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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 »

Bounty & Beenie on Verzuz: Jamaica’s version of ‘The Last Dance’

Bounty & Beenie on Verzuz: Jamaica's version of 'The Last Dance'

What Could Top This Legendary Moment?

 

The VERZUZ series led by Swizz Beats and Timbaland has been an oasis in the midst of a pandemic. Week after week, music lovers have enjoyed the nostalgia, the spontaneous comedy, and the opportunity to bring the proverbial roses to their favorite artists. 

The anticipation was at a fever pitch when it was announced that dancehall giants, Beenie Man and Bounty Killer, would headline VERZUZ for a Memorial Day soundclash. 

Excitement mixed with anxiety. Dancehall fans have always wanted our music to receive its proper due on the global stage. It is a great genre that has birthed hip-hop, reggaeton, Afrobeat, influenced the sound of songs on the top 40 but does not always receive its rightful recognition. 

For these legendary artists, their fans, and dancehall culture overall, the stakes were high, to say the least. Would the VERZUZ audience, primarily Hip-Hop and R&B fans, receive these giants well? Would their misunderstanding—or even worse, ridicule—lead to embarrassment? Story Continues After The Jump…
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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: Kemikal “Gwaan” Music Video PREMIERE

WATCH THIS: Kemikal "Gwaan" Music Video PREMIERE

Enigmatic Equiknoxx DJ brings “Gal power from the man dem” 

We always take time out to check the vibes from Equiknoxx co-founders Gavin “Gavsborg” Blair and Jordan “Time Cow” Chung. Today we’re proud to premiere a brand new release from Kemikal, an enigmatic artist whom Gavsborg describes as “a lab experiment between Big Pun mixed with Tiger.” Take a moment to let that sink in. OK? Good. Part of the Equiknoxx crew since the 2010s, Kemikal has scored hits superficially with the Polish dancehall community such as “La La La” on the Jim Screechie Riddim. He also recorded cuts on classic Equiknoxx riddims such as: Kamera Trick, White Label, Wash Belly, Gypsy Time as well as collaborating with the likes of Alozade, Chico, J.O.E & T.O.K. Now that you’re up to speed, pree the brand new sup’m called “Gwaan.” Contempt for “peeping toms” and “the male gaze” might seem unlikely within dancehall, but “Gwaan” says freedom of female expression is a must. No social media body shaming round yah so! Video After The Jump…  Read more »

Top Shotta: Video Director Kieran Khan

Top Shotta: Video Director Kieran Khan

“Success is no accident”

Born in Guayana, raised in the Bronx, and now based in Toronto, Kieran Khan has built a reputation as one of the most in-demand video directors on today’s dancehall scene. The umbe and hard-working visual craftsman is fond of quoting football legend Pele, who once said, “Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do.” When Kieran suddenly found himself catapulted into success as the official videographer to international stars like Sean Paul and Cardi B, it was a moment that had been over a decade in the making, but which unfolded in the blink of an eye. Ten years of focus, perseverance, sacrifice, learning on the fly and prompt turnaround, combined with his down-to-earth, charismatic persona has finally paid off. But Khan’s work ethic continues to be his driving force. Consistently rising to the occasion even under strenuous circumstances, Khan has learned that dreams can come true in the blink of an eye. Fresh off the release of his latest collaboration with Sean Paul, “Back It Up Deh,” Boomshots asked Kieran to share some of the stories behind his most memorable productions. Check out the first edition of our new series, focusing on the visual artists who bring the music to life, “Top Shotta.” Videos After The Jump…
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WATCH THIS: Salaam Remi x Mumu Fresh “EmOG’s” Viral Video

WATCH THIS: Salaam Remi x Mumu Fresh "EmOG's" Viral Video

#StayYoAssInside

Salaam Remi is a creative force who specializes in timeless sounds—but as fate would have it, the visuals in his directorial debut are extremely timely. Never one to chase trends, the producer who’s collaborated with iconic artists like Nas, Amy Winehouse, The Fugees, Spragga Benz, Miguel, and J Cole prefers to Do It For The Culture. Appropriately enough, the most recent full-length release on Remi’s own Louder Than Life imprint is entitled Do it for the Culture 2 —a collection of 25 singles that showcase the producer’s mastery of diverse musical styles ranging from Hip Hop to Jazz, and of course Dancehall. His latest collab, a lilting R&B joint called “EmOGs,” showcases the yearning vocal stylings of Maimouna Youssef aka Mumu Fresh. Recorded back in November—just as the Corona Virus was first wreaking havoc in China—the song’s original concept was the familiar dilemma of a loyal girlfriend pleading with her man to stay off the corner. “You’d rather hug the block than hug me,” Mumu sings. “This ain’t Paid in Full in the 80s / You see what that did to DC / That Ain’t work out good for them OG’s emOG’s.” Fast forward to mid-April, and the song is dropping just as America has become the epicenter of a global Covid-19 pandemic. As a result, discussions about whether to step outside have led to life and death decisions in a whole new way. Remi recognized the opportunity to share an urgent and message and decided to flip “Em OGs” to “emojis,” creating a viral video about the importance of self-quarantining. The visuals were created in one day via iPhone whilst artist, actors, and producer/director were all socially distanced in their respective bunkers. The music video has morphed into a PSA that’s been shared by celebrities including Nas, Common, and Niecy Nash with the no-nonsense hashtag #StayYoAssInSide. Spoiler alert: fans of The Wire should watch the video until the very end! Video After The Jump…

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HEAR THIS: Unified Highway “The Truth” PREMIERE

HEAR THIS: Unified Highway "The Truth" PREMIERE

Brand New Sounds From The Dynamic Duo

In the words of Robert Nesta Marley, “The truth is an offense, but not a sin.” The lyrics of Bob Marley’s song “Jah Live ” ring out even truer than ever in this era of fake news and propaganda spin with lives hanging in the balance. The latest single from Unified Highway finds the dynamic duo of Eric Rachmany (lead vocalist for Rebelution) and DJ/remixer Amp Live (formerly of Zion I) opens with an uncomfortably harsh statement “You’ve been lied to.” One of the last songs written for UH’s new album Headlines, which drops April 24th, “The Truth” floats along on a stark digital rhythm driven by synth chops as cold as a politician’s heart. “It couldn’t come at a more relevant time considering all the different statistics and statements presented by government and media,” said the band via email. “It makes you wonder what truly is factual. Even without lyrics, this song tells its own story instrumentally.” Audio After The Jump…

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WATCH THIS: Morgan Heritage “Beach & Country” Official Music Video PREMIERE

WATCH THIS: Morgan Heritage "Beach & Country" Official Music Video PREMIERE

Total Niceness From São Vicente, Cape Verde

“I listen to my favorite song on the radio, in my little cottage on the beach,” as the unmistakable voice of Peter Morgan rings out on the new single from Morgan Heritage, “Beach & Country.” The Grammy-winning family describes Beach & Country as “a song to take away musically anytime of the year to a tropical oasis. Music has a way to contribute to our emotions and we hope our new single takes everyone on a journey down memory lane for those that don’t live in a tropical destination.” The tune was produced by Jugglerz, Haegi and Morgan Heritage, while the video was filmed on location in Sao Vicente, Cape Verde and directed by Mojo Morgan & Adilson Ramos. Today Boomshots proudly premieres these sunny visuals for the new single from Morgan Heritage’s anticipated Loyalty album, due to be released August 2 on the Morgan Family’s CTBC Music Group imprint in association with Membran and Empire. Check the vibes. Video After The Jump…
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An Evening with Stephen Marley… On a Mission

An Evening with Stephen Marley... On a Mission

Tonight’s NYC Meet & Greet Will Benefit Ghetto Youths Foundation

Stephen Marley’s acoustic tour stops in New York City tonight, and the evening at Sony Hall is shaping up be a real “Revelation Party.” Not only will Ragga be performing selections from his newly released album One Take: Acoustic Jams, but following the Nov. 15th stop of the multi-city U.S. tour, “An Evening with Stephen Marley,” the mutiple-Grammy-winning artist, second son of Bob and Rita Marley, will take part in an exclusive Meet and Greet to benefit the Ghetto Youths Foundation’s global mission to provide aid and opportunity. This is your chance to meet Ragga up close and personal. Details After The Jump… Read more »

Estelle Talks ‘Lovers Rock’ and Why Reggae Should Never Be Called “Tropical Music”

Estelle Talks 'Lovers Rock' and Why Reggae Should Never Be Called "Tropical Music"

100% Real Talk When Two Girls From West London Link

Estelle’s brand-spankin-new Lovers Rock (released her own label Established 1980 Inc and VP Records) has been described as the Grammy-winning UK singer’s most personal album to date. We’ve been looking forward to this one since last year, when she first told us about it. The album is not only a retelling of her parents’ love story, but also her first time tapping fully into her West Indian roots with a full-fledged reggae album, with touches of Afro-beats, dancehall and soca and features from the likes of Tarrus Riley, Chronixx, Hood Celebrityy, Kranium, and Konshens. Just don’t call the sounds “tropical” or “island pop”! Having grown up steeped in England’s reggae culture—her father produced on Louisa Mark’s debut album—Estelle is not jumping on anybody’s bandwagon, and being a West London girl she is not one to hold her tongue or to suffer fools gladly. Every time Reshma B and Estelle link up it’s 100% real talk. Don’t believe us? Check out the reasoning right now. Video After The Jump… Read more »