Reasoning

NO LONG TALK: Stephen “Di Genius” McGregor on the Red Bull & Guinness Decade

NO LONG TALK: Stephen "Di Genius" McGregor on the Red Bull & Guinness Decade

Dancehall’s First Podcast Hits #10 In Fine Style

To commemorate the series tenth episode, Man Like Marvin Sparks drew for the decade’s defining producer, Stephen “Di Genius” McGregor. 2016 marks ten years on from his classic breakthrough riddim, Red Bull & Guinness. The riddim boasted voicings from Vybz Kartel, Wayne Marshall and Sizzla to a then-emerging singjay called Mavado. “Weh Dem A Do” went on to become an immovable anthem which still draws gun fingers and pull-ups as it did all those years ago. Audio After The Jump… Read more »

Reasoning with Beenie Man: “The music is Jamaican; the problem is, America can make it too.”

Reasoning with Beenie Man: "The music is Jamaican; the problem is, America can make it too."

The Doctor Talks Drake, Popcaan & Kartel

“Drake from Canada—Beenie Man from Jamaica—dah one yah a murda! Zagga.” When Drake’s album Views dropped at the end of April, Popcaan fans were surprised to hear a new voice on “Controlla”—a vintage Beenie Man sample appeared where Popcaan’s lyrics used to be. With Drake’s album topping the charts and breaking sales records this was obviously a big deal, and it set off all sorts of debates about why the 6 God made that move—and whether he truly respected reggae and dancehall or was just tapping into the flavor of the moment. But Beenie Man is not bothered. Having collabed with the likes of Wyclef and Janet Jackson the Grammy-winning DJ who dropped the single “King of the Dancehall” back in 2004 is taking the whole situation in stride and focusing on his new album Unstoppable, which features collabs with Sean Paul and Busta Rhymes among others. We caught up with Beenie near the end of his European tour to talk about Drake, Popcaan and his thoughts about Vybz Kartel’s new album title. (In case you missed the memo, Kartel’s dropping an album tomorrow provocatively titled King of the Dancehall.) “The name of an album and the name of a person different,” said Bounty Killer during a recent appearance On Stage. “But me know say it provoking still. Him provoke Beenie fe true, just like when Beenie Man say him ah de king, him did provoke Yellow Man. And tell you what: is not one king. You have the king of all kings, but there are several kings. Kings come down different generations. So I guess Kartel is trying to say that him ah the king of this generation.” Pressed on the point Killer admitted that his former protege Kartel (who he’s definitely had some issues with over the years) is now ruling the dancehal. “He is the king of this generation, you can’t deny that. Weh you ah go do, fight it? For the last ten years, ah him. Me can’t say nuttin’—him ah de young king deh. If him wan’ piece of the king ting—him can hold on pon the young king. He’s not no prince anymore, after a decade. I’m not being biased. Him a young king, mon.” Let’s see what Beenie has to say about that. Interview After The Jump… Read more »

That Time Drake Almost Got Arrested With “Mava-Dado” & Other Exciting Tales

That Time Drake Almost Got Arrested With "Mava-Dado" & Other Exciting Tales

40 And The 6 God Regale Nardwuar With Dancehall War Stories

Earlier this week Drizzy linked with fellow Canadian phenom Nardwuar aka the Human Serviette for a typically epic interview/gift-giving-b/show-and-tell session. Amongst many highlights gleaned by the good folks at Billboard were several dancehall-related anecdotes—including a massive big up for the World Boss Vybz Kartel. But not until we watched the video did we come to fully appreciate certain gems like Nardwuar’s question about “Mava-Dado.” (Must be seen to be believed.)  To be fair Nardwuar seems to be more of an old-school cat, as he presents Drizzy with a King Tubby’s Dance Hall Style Dub album on vinyl. Nuff respect. Video After The Jump… Read more »

Reasoning with Sly Dunbar: “I’ve Seen All The Changes”

Reasoning with Sly Dunbar: "I've Seen All The Changes"

The Master Drummer Turns 64 Today

Perhaps the most celebrated drum and bass duo in history—regardless of genre—Sly Dunbar and Robbie Shakespeare were both accomplished studio musicians before they met in the mid 1970s. “You know that record that goes ‘I am the magnificent!’?” says Dunbar, speaking of Dave & Ansel Collins’ 1971 smash “Double Barrel,” the second Jamaican single ever to top the UK pop charts. “I played drums on that when I was 15 years old.”  Robbie, meanwhile, was rocking with the Aggrovators, producer Bunny Lee’s ace session band.  But once the “Rhythm Twins” linked up at Channel One studio on Maxfield Avenue in Kingston, Jamaican music would never sound the same again. Interview 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 »

Reasoning with Popcaan:
“We Godly, But we Unruly Same Way”

Reasoning with Popcaan: "We Godly, But we Unruly Same Way"

EXCLUSIVE: The Unruly Boss Kicks It With Boomshots

Long before Andrae Sutherland was known as Popcaan, back in primary school—the Jamaican equivalent of elementary—he wrote a letter to God. He asked the Lord to “open my brain in school” and to let him prosper in life. Moreover he asked God to allow his parents and grandparents and his brother and sister live to inherit whatever he received. While cleaning house recently, his grandmother found the piece of folded notebook paper amongst some books and gave it to him. He posted it on Instagram with a message to his 444,000 followers: “God is real and he did answer that prayer I pray to him a long time ago🙏🏼 #givethanks.” That #GiveThanks hashtag comes straight out of Poppy’s song “Unruly Prayer,” released last May. “Look how much youth deh a jail house,” he sings on the record. “Me never haffi deh a road/Look how much youth deh a grave yard/Me never haffi deh yah don’t… So me haffi give thanks yeah… Tell the devil keep him distance yeah.” Late last month Popcaan posted a 10-minute video to his Vevo channel, the first part of a documentary called “Abundant Life.” Nursing a fat spliff before a roaring bonfire, his intricate braids unbound, allowing his hair to burst forth as an unruly bush, the artist formerly known as the “Raving King” read from Psalms 40 and 59 above the sound of a crackling fire and the throbbing beat of Niyabinghi drums: “I waited patiently for the Lord, and he inclined to me and heard my cry. He also brought me out of the horrible pit and out of the miry clay. He set my feet upon a rock, and established my steps. He has put a new song into my mouth…” Just as we were about to post this interview, the Internet put a new song from Drake and Popcaan into our ears. Read on to find out why this surprise release was really no surprise at all. Kick Ouuuut! Interview After The Jump… Read more »

Real Talk With Tanya Stephens: “I’m Telling The Truth—That’s The Only Thing I Know”

Real Talk With Tanya Stephens: "I'm Telling The Truth—That's The Only Thing I Know"

Maybe You Can Handle The Ride—But Can You Handle The Truth?

It may be true that women are far and few between in the reggae industry. But there’s no disputing the fact that Tanya Stephen is one of the best in the business. And not the good for a female—she’s one of the greatest songwriters Jamaican music history, full stop. Tanya has written some of the baddest tunes ever and has never let herself be pigeonholed into other peoples perception of what an artist should be. Whether singing about taking another woman’s man or exploring other sensitive real-life situations, Tanya continues to keep it all the way real, bringing her listeners along wherever her imagination takes her. After two decades in the game she’s still growing as an artist, and we still haven’t found anybody to rival her talent. During the latest Welcome to Jamrock Reggae Cruise, she blessed Boomshots with an in-depth interview with no subject off limits, from sex to religion to general stupidness and why she doesn’t like to clash. She even shared her true thoughts on marriage—”whoever decided that marriage should be an institution should be instituionalized!”—despite the fact that she is currently married. Tanya  will  be performing at SXSW during this year’s Irie Jam x Boomshots SXSW Reggae Showcase. Whether you’re in the house or not, take a moment to get to know one of the most fascinating minds around. Just make sure you fasten your seatbelt, cause this is going to be a wild ride. Videos After The Jump…

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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 »

WATCH THIS: Cham Exclusive “When I’m In The Studio I’m Floating—And I Don’t Smoke”

WATCH THIS: Cham Exclusive "When I'm In The Studio I'm Floating—And I Don't Smoke"

Live From The Reggae Cruise, The Kid Chops It Up With The Reggae Girl About Town

On board the second annual Welcome To Jamrock Reggae Cruise, Boomshots caught up with Cham for an exclusive in-depth interview. We got the inside scoop on Lawless, his first album since the classic Ghetto Story, scheduled to drop in early 2016. (In the meantime you can download the Lawless mixtape after the jump.) “When I’m in the studio I’m floating,” says Cham. “And I don’t smoke—I go wherever I want to go, musically.” Cham also gave us a sneak preview of his latest tunes live—and found out why he and legendary producer Dave Kelly are returning to hardcore dancehall.  He also spoke about his classic cut “Ghetto Story,” and why it resonates all around the globe. Cham broke down how he and Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley came to collaborate on the song “Fighter,” what their link means for both artists in the future. Finally Cham gave us some guidelines for living lawless pon di cruise: “No time for resting in the days,” he says. “And in the night we go all flippin’ night.”  Video After The Jump… Read more »

No Long Talk: Daddy Ernie On Freedom of Choice: “Who Want Vex, Vex!”

No Long Talk: Daddy Ernie On Freedom of Choice: "Who Want Vex, Vex!"

Host of UK Radio’s Superjam Reflects On His Legacy

If you weren’t in London from the ’90s, you may not be aware of Daddy Ernie or the power of his radio show, SuperJam. As he says: “Who’s Daddy Ernie? Some black DJ who used to be on a station in Brixton that everybody used to wear big gold chains and rings.” What you should know is he’s one of the most respected and important British contributors in the history of Jamaican music. He’s also the only person in history to present a reggae show Monday to Friday on a legal radio station. And it was prime time from 1990 to (about) 2003/2004. The way things are, it’s likely he’ll be the sole claimant forever. Daddy Ernie’s SuperJam ran alongside Choice FM’s lifespan (1990–2013), becoming one of the stations most listened to shows and amongst the highest paid specialist DJs on the station.  Podcast After The Jump… Read more »

No Long Talk: Serani Relives the Anger Management Riddim

No Long Talk: Serani Relives the Anger Management Riddim

Ten Years After Daseca’s Breakthrough Riddim, Serani Reflects

Multi-instrumentalist and producer Serani (former one-third of Jamaican producers Daseca) reminisced on the creation, influence and legacy of Anger Management riddim on its 10th anniversary. Though officially released towards the end of 2004, it buss (a.k.a. impacted) in 2005. Made on a PC via a Triton keyboard in not much time (approximately 15mins), it went on to become one of the most memorable, gun finger-raising (critically-acclaimed) riddims of the noughties. The era-defining riddim spawned hits by legends Bounty Killer (“Gun Heaven”) and Sizzla (“No Way”), an establishing star in Vybz Kartel (“War Nah Talk Over”) and kick -tarted the career of a young talent from Cassava Piece by the name of David Brooks, better known as Mavado (“Real McKoy”). Everything was light prior to Anger Management. And things in the dancehall became a helluva lot darker after it ruled the airwaves and the streets. Audio After The Jump…
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WATCH THIS: Reasoning with No-Maddz:
“Breadfruit is the new Bread, Baby!”

WATCH THIS: Reasoning with No-Maddz: "Breadfruit is the new Bread, Baby!"

The Puku-Poo Posse Bugs Out With The Reggae Girl About Town

Last year No-Maddz burst on the international scene with a debut album, Sly & Robbie Presents: No-Maddz, that Billboard magazine (with an assist from Boomshots) ranked as one of the Top 10 Reggae albums of 2015. In fact we’ve been rocking with No-Maddz from long time—ever since we first bucked up Sheldon, Heavy, Birdie, and O’Neil on the set of Better Mus’ Come it was clear that these Bongo youths were destined for greatness. So when we caught their first performance on the big stage at Reggae Sumfest—shortly after the release of their 2012 EP NBO (New Bread Order)—their reasoning with the Reggae Girl About Town was something special. Check out the vibes for yourself.  Video After The Jump… Read more »