Reasoning

Koffee Opens Up About “Lockdown”

Koffee Opens Up About "Lockdown"

“Where Will We GO?”

There’s still a lot of time left in Summer 2020, but on this last day of July we are declaring Koffee’s “Lockdown” Boomshots official 2020 Summer anthem. Produced by Dane “Raygad” Ray from the Unruly camp, the song finds Koffee asking all of the questions everybody in the world is asking themselves right now. What will the future be like “when the quaratine thing done and everybody touch road?” As soon as we heard this tune we knew it was outta here! (That was way before we saw the video with cameos from Popcaan and Dre Island.) More than just a Covid-era contemplation, “Lockdown” is also a poignant love song that speaks to the challenges of romance during a time of viral pandemic. As such, it represents a milestone in Koffee’s catalog. At the ripe old age of 20, the youngest Reggae Grammy winner in history has given us her first love song—and without overthinking it one bit, she might just have given us a follow-up to rival her breakthrough smash “Toast.” When you hear Koffee sing “if you love me, you should let me…” it’s clear she is in her feelings on this one. Of course everybody wants to know who this song was inspired by, but all we can say about that is just cool. In her first interview since “Lockdown” dropped, Koffee tapped in with Reshma B via Instagram Live and spoke about the inspiration behind the tune.  Video After The Jump… 

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Junior Gong Pon Di Strong

Junior Gong Pon Di Strong

Reasoning With Zilla 25 Years Ago

Damian Marley was never intimidated by great expectations. Born  on this day in 1978, the youngest son of Robert Nest Marley did not hesitate to follow in some very large footsteps, entering the music industry at an early age. He started out singing in a group called The Shepherds, along with the children of reggae stars Freddie McGregor, Judy Mowatt, and “Cat” Coore of Third World. Former Shepherd Shiah Coore still plays bass in Damian’s band to this day.

During the mid 1990s Damian stepped out as a solo performer under the name Jr. Gong. On January 23 1995 he passed through New York City to promote the album Positively Reggae, a compilation of conscious tracks by dancehall artists like Shabba Ranks, Mad Cobra, Bounty Killer, and Patra with proceeds going to benefit Leaf of Life, a Jamaican organization for HIV-positive children.

This photo, shot by Brian Jahn during the same press run, gives you an idea of what his hair looked like back then. Today his dreadlocks are so long he has to tuck them into a backpack when he plays soccer. I had a chance to reason with Damian that day for my Boomshots column in VIBE. He seemed like a cool youth at the time, but I had no idea this convo would be the start of such a long-lasting friendship. After all he’s accomplished since then, D remains remarkably chill. The interview has never been published in its entirely. 25 years later seems like as good a time as any. Big Up Jr. Gong. Blessings pon di strong. Interview After The Jump…
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Aidonia Keeps It Real: “A Lot Of These People Are Afraid Of The Streets”

Aidonia Keeps It Real: "A Lot Of These People Are Afraid Of The Streets"

Genna Boss Gets In Depth With Reshma B, Talks Dat’s A Trap Mixtape

“Growing up, ’80s, ’90s dancehall was all about the street,” Aidonia tells Reshma B in a brand new interview for BoomshotsTV. “Most of the artists them no inna the streets no more.” The Genna Boss has been heating up the streets of Jamaica with smash hits like “Breeze” and he’s now preparing to drop a new genre-busting mixtape called Dat’s A Trap, featuring his futuristic flows over trap-style beats. Passing through NYC for Hot 97’s Summer Jam stage show, Aidonia also speaks on the disappointment of having his set cut short due to scheduling problems. “It hurts because we came all the way from Jamaica to come perform for the fans,” he says. “But at the end of the day you have to take a positive out of a negative… We still deh ya say we wan’ reach the next level.” Check out the full interview for Aidonia’s thoughts on the impact of Bounty Killer and the Alliance to his own career, the importance of unity within dancehall, and why he thinks rivalry is mashing up the business. Video After The Jump… Read more »

Reasoning With Estelle: “Reggae Is In My Soul”

Reasoning With Estelle: "Reggae Is In My Soul"

West London Singer Delves Deep Into Her Reggae Roots

The first time most of the world heard about Estelle Fanta Swaray, she was collaborating with Kanye West on the Grammy-winning smash “American Boy.” That song, which featured Kanye spitting his best soundboy slang—”Here comes the number-one champion sound!”—appeared on her 2008 album Shine, along with a handful of straight-up reggae tracks, like “Magnificent,” featuring Kardinall Offishall. Although she’s often described as an R&B artist, this West London girl, the daughter of a reggae session drummer, has always been as musically diverse as the city she grew up in, freely exploring genres from grime to dancehall. “Come Over,” her collab with Sean Paul showed another side of her versatility. After fielding requests for years, she’s finallyembarked on a full-on reggae album, with production by the likes of Supa Dups. Our first taste of the project, a collab with Tarrus Riley called “Love Like Ours” is nothing less than remarkable. After her surprise appearance alongside Tarrus  at Groovin’ in the Park 2017, Estelle invited Reshma B to hop inside her black SUV for  100% real interview. No subject was off-limits. Video After The Jump…

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WATCH THIS: Jojo Abot “To Li” Offical Music Video

WATCH THIS: Jojo Abot "To Li" Offical Music Video

Reasoning With Ghana’s Next To Bust

As the new year begins, so does the quest for which new artist will make an impact on the scene. One of those artist could be ghanaian singer/songwriter Jojo Abot who seamlessly blends electronica, indie-soul, reggae, house, and acoustic instrumentation on top of vocals sung in either English or Ewe, a language spoken in southern Ghana. Abot spends her time between three different locations, her native Ghana, Copenhagen, and New York City. The first part of 2017 already saw her performing at Global Fest on Jan.8th at Webster Hall in NYC, three days later at the JFK Center for the Performing Arts, and the MLH (Ms. Lauryn Hill) Caravan at Radio City Music Hall on Feb. 25th. For the latter performance, Abot will be opening for Ms. Lauryn Hill along with Little Simz, and Kehlani. Video And Interview After The Jump… Read more »

WATCH THIS: Jah9 “Unafraid” Official Music Video

WATCH THIS: Jah9 "Unafraid" Official Music Video

Lioness Order Lays Down The Law

A lot of times when an artist starts to grow in popularity they tend to avoid rocking the boat and shun material that some may find controversial. That isn’t the case with Jah9 who has just released a video for the song “Unafraid,” which deals with the taboo subject of child molestation. When she sings “Nasty likkle teacher bwoy touching on my nephew, stirring up the dragon in my head,” the outrage is understandable. But lines like “Willing to stick a head ‘pon a fence” will definitely make some people uncomfortable. Boomshots reached out to the artist for some insight. “We’re not promoting violence,” she explained, “but we’re not promoting complacency about such a serious thing.” Video and Interview After The Jump… Read more »

Reasoning with Jack Scorpio: “Good Music Come In Like The Bible”

Reasoning with Jack Scorpio: "Good Music Come In Like The Bible"

Heartical Words of Wisdom From the Founder of Black Scorpio Sound System And Record Label

Among the many icons, legends and superstars we were able to link up at Irie Jam’s recent 23 anniversary celebration concert was elder statesman Jack Scorpio of Black Scorpio sound. A giant in the industry and among men, this powerful pioneer has had his hands on the careers of a cornucopia of crème de la crème cultural current creators from Dennis Brown and Gregory Isaacs to Garnet Silk and Luciano to Beenie Man, Buju and Mega Banton to Capleton, Bounty Killer, Barrington Levy and Shabba Ranks of Jamaica’s Order of Distinction.  As a man who has launched legacies and banged out hits with the best of the best, Jack Scorpio knows a thing or two about the rules of engagement in the love and war of Dancehall and Roots and Culture Reggae. “My history too long fi talk,” said the tall man dressed in full white—but with a bit of perseverance, we convinced him to give it a try, and he took the time to share his insights with the BOOMSHOTS TV cameras.

Jack Scorpio doesn’t come out to events often, but he was pleased that he attended Irie Jam’s 23rd anniversary and had positive vibes to share, especially of rising sun, Jahmiel, who he wants to work with, and the things Jahmiel had to share in terms of critiques of the current Dancehall culture. Scorpio likened today’s Dancehall to destructive drug dealing and called for balance. “Good music come like the bible,” he says, and it’s time for artists, and the selectors who play the chunes, to take it to the next level and make immortal music. Turn on and tune in as Jack Scorpio reasons on Dancehall dimensions, trends on the changing winds, and why hit songs with stamina and staying power solidify like Holy Scripture. Videos After The Jump… Read more »

Reasoning With The Ranks:
“Every day, another star is born from the ghetto. A star isn’t born from the hills and society either. It’s from the ghetts that the youth dem ah push up.”

Reasoning With The Ranks: “Every day, another star is born from the ghetto. A star isn’t born from the hills and society either. It's from the ghetts that the youth dem ah push up.”

In Honor of Shabba’s Order of Distinction, We Present An In-Depth Interview with the Dancehall Emperor

“Triumphant,” said Rexton Rawlston Fernando Gordon, better known to music lovers as Shabba Ranks. “Dat a my feeling right now because, as my mother used to tell me from I was little, hard work does pay off.” The dancehall emperor, who now resides in the United States, returned to Kingston, Jamaica this week to receive one of his homeland’s highest honors, the Order of Distinction. According to the Jamaica Observer, the crowd cheered wildly as the impeccably attired Ranks appeared on the great lawn at King’s House, the opulent residence of the island’s Governor General. Sir Patrick Allen personally bestowed the honor on this ghetto youth who took dancehall music around the world, earning the genre’s first gold record and two consecutive Grammy Awards for Best Reggae Album. “So we can see dat de validation for hard work is jus’ greatness — good really begets good,” said Shabba. “For my island to look at me as one of those proteges and bestow the Order of Distinction pon me, when I first hear, it’s just delight, joy. It cause me to think about how, for so many years, me a work with the strength of my forefathers who did their work and still could not achieve dis in their lifetime… So mi jus’ proud.” The 50-year-old artist joins a distinguished group of  Jamaicans in the fields of music, art, sports, politics, medicine, and journalism. Fellow honorees include Usain Bolt, Sir Coxsone Dodd, and Lee “Scratch” Perry.  Interview After The Jump… Read more »

“LAVAAA!!!” The Irie Flame of I-Wayne

"LAVAAA!!!" The Irie Flame of I-Wayne

Lava Splash! Fire Dash! Everything Burn To Ash

Sunday September 4th marked Irie Jam’s 23rd Anniversary concert spotlighting Sizzla Kalonji’s return-to-New-York performance after eight long years of absence. The supporting superstar line-up to the sizzling stage show included an artist who personifies lines from Kalonji’s “King in the Jungle.”  Seated up so high, yet so humble, I-Wayne brought his celestial presence and the hard/soft balance of his cool and deadly style to the Irie Jam Radio massive in the leafy green confines of Roy Wilkins Park. Mainstream airwaves aren’t the lane for I-Wayne. As the Prophet Capleton once put it, he is on a mission, not in a competition. To see him truly manifest is to catch him live in the flesh. After a seething set that made knowledge born that his musical ministry is service to the people—not about bulleting Billboard or gaining Grammys—we linked up with the Loyal Soliders Promotion crew backstage. I-Wayne broke it down with Boomshots as to what the Irie Jam performance meant to him, burning a righteous fire, and shedding light on the livity of a lava lyricist. Video After The Jump… Read more »

Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley Speaks on the “Nail Pon Cross” Music Video Controversy

Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley Speaks on the "Nail Pon Cross" Music Video Controversy

Judge Not, Lest Ye Shall Be Judged

After premiering as a Tidal exclusive, Damian Marley’s powerful new video, “Nail Pon Cross” appeared on his Vevo channel earlier this week, bringing the disturbing visuals to the whole wide world. Although it’s not the first music video to feature a crucifixion scene—Damian told Billboard that he was inspired by his friend Nas’s “Hate Me Now” video—there’s still something shocking about watching Bob Marley’s son have nails pounded through his wrists and left on a telephone pole to die. A still from the video posted online generated a flurry of negative comments, especially from Christians who were offended by what they considered a sacriligeous image. “It’s ironic, because I’m being crucified for being crucified,” he recently told the Huffington Post in response to the controversy. Boomshots caught up with Jr. Gong to get his views on the visuals. Video & Interview After The Jump… Read more »

Reasoning with Christopher Martin:
“I’m a Lover from Birth”

Reasoning with Christopher Martin: "I'm a Lover from Birth"

“SssMartin” Speaks on Spearheading the Sugar Reggae Movement

Ever since winning Digicel Rising Stars way back in 2005, Christopher Martin has emerged as one of Jamaica’s premiere entertainers, topping the charts with hits like “Cheaters Prayer” and starring in the recent motion picture Destiny. But his rise to the top of the game stretches back long before he appeared on the television talent show. As he explains in an exclusive Boomshots interview, Martin started singing in church at the age of four, progressing through school choirs and glee clubs. “I sang every chance I got,” he tells Reshma B, “and it’s been niceness ever since.” The singer’s new album is due to drop on V.P. Records this October. The lead single is “Under The Influence,” a track on Anju Blaxx’s “Mildew” Riddim. He says he does in fact prefer making love under the influence—but not so much that he can’t remember the fun. Born on Valentine’s Day, Martin says he’s a “lover from birth” who understands that his core fanbase is female. “I feel like I do this type of music cause it’s real to me,” says Martin, who calls his specialty “sugar reggae” because it’s extras sweet. This coming Saturday Chris Martin will be pouring out some sugar at Reggae Sumfesr in Montego Bay. I the meantime check out the reasoning.  Video After The Jump… Read more »

Spice talks Culture Clash and Why She Doesn’t Want You To Call Her Queen of the Dancehall

Spice talks Culture Clash and Why She Doesn't Want You To Call Her Queen of the Dancehall

Just Call The Mad Gyal “Queen of the Stage”

One day before the Red Bull Culture Clash, Reshma B sat down with  Spice for an exclusive Boomshots interview. As usual the Mad Gyal and the Reggae Girl About Town kept it 100% real. In the first segment of their epic 3-part reasoning session, they speak about Spice’s huge international fanbase, her latest tunes to touch the road, and how to do the “Indicator” dance. In the second segment, they speak about whether Vybz Kartel is the new King of the Dancehall, what that means for Beenie Man, and why she doesn’t want to be called the Queen of the Dancehall. As usual the Mad Gyal and the Reggae Girl About Town kept it 100% real. In the third and final segment of their epic reasoning session, Spice shares her thoughts on the Red Bull Culture Clash, how she will do whatever it takes to win, and why Mixpak’s dancehall lineup should not be considered “under dogs” since Jamaica originated the whole clash culture. Video After The Jump… Read more »