Turf Prez Inna Soca Style
Back in 1984 when Byron Lee and the Dragonaires created their classic hit, “Tiny Winey,” they could not have predicted that this song about a provocative dancer could inspire another soca tune, thirty-one years later. Busy Signal explains that he particularly enjoyed the tune’s exuberant narrative—as well as its infectious riddim—and wanted to create a song, similar in style. This gave rise to his recent release, “WhatsApp” which is getting heavy rotation throughout the Caribbean, particularly in Trinidad and Tobago. The lyrics don’t stray far from the topic of “wining, ” as in “Tiney Winey,” but they also address the impact of social media on today’s society. The man stays busy—so it’s no surprise to hear another crossover hit from this artist. Audio After The Jump… Read more »
UK Bad Gyal In The Mood For Murderation
If you ever met Chann you wouldn’t ever believe so much fire could come outta her. How can someone who’s so pleasant in person pick up the mic and just murder everyTING? Not that we’re complaining, mind you. Chann’s nice with the lyrics, and her energy is mad as per usual. This time she teams up with grime veteran Diesel D-Power. #Nang. Audio After the Jump… Read more »
Nah Tell No Lie, Konshens Haffi Give Thanks to the Most High
As the late great Tenor Saw once sang, life is one big road with lots of signs. It’s tempting to imagine that everything would be easier if you were rich or famous—as if money and fame would solve all the problems in life. But just ask Tenor Saw, the reality is that it’s not easy living one’s life in the spotlight. Not everyone is built for it. On the good days it’s very good, but on the not-so-good days it can feel pretty lonely. Konshens’ latest video reflects on those quiet moments, away from the raving and the madness, when the darkness sets in, solitude, self-doubt, and all those mental obstacles that can be even tougher to overcome than the physical ones. But with God at your side, there’s nothing you cannot achieve. Uzeet?!? Video After The Jump… Read more »
Brand New Visuals From The Young Raggamuffin
Jo Mersa continues to step up lyrical game as he trods forward amongst his father Ragga and uncle Zilla. Bob Marley’s 23-year-old grandson is emerging as a wicked DJ who’s blazing his own trail with a fresh youthful approach that still respects the family legacy. His new video—shot by dread director Ras Kassa (the man responsible for Jr. Gong’s “Welome to Jamrock” visuals)—intercuts archival footage of His Imperial Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie I with glimpses of kids riding skateboards in downtown Kingston. The bass-heavy rub-a-dub riddim with its echo-chamber horns should have the sound systems vibrating while Mersa touches on social issues from rape and pedophilia to dirty politics, yet still keeps the energy upful. “I wanted to show the alternative of how beautiful life is,” states Mersa, “to love it and appreciate the gift of life. His toughest tune yet couldn’t have arrived a at a better time—just as the Ghetto Youths tour prepares to touch the road in support of Set Up Shop Vol. 2. Video After The Jump… Read more »
The UK Dub Master Breaks It All Down in this In-Depth Interview
Dub was born in Jamaica where the bold audio experimentation of pioneers like King Tubby’s, Augustus Pablo, and Lee “Scratch” Perry shook the foundations of recorded music. These ideas spread around the globe and took root in fertile ground, places like the UK where many Caribbean immigrants brought sound system culture with them. Dub-minded youths like Adrian Sherwood began standing outside blues dances watching the walls shake and eventually got a chance to spin a few records himself—a bit of novelty reggae with James Brown and “Funky Nassau”—progressing and learning every day as he restlessly expanded his musical horizons. He would go on to tour as mix engineer for The Clash and The Slits, and found no fewer than four labels—Carib Gems (established in 1975 when he was 17 years of age), Hit Run, 4D, and the legendary On-U Sound. His mind-blowingly mic’d, mixed and mastered recordings with in-house groups like Singers and Players, African Head Charge, New Age Steppers, Creation Rebel, Scratch, and Bim Sherman and more are the stuff of legend. And he’s still at it, having just released a critically acclaimed album in collaboration with Pinch.This conversation took place some two years ago, but it’s still every bit as current as when it happened. Like a great dub track, Sherwood moves from deceptively simple to infinite depth in a flash. Interview After The Jump… Read more »
Accurate! As Riverton Dump Blazes, Kabaka Buns Out Overpopulation & Waste Mismanagement.
“Music is the Weapon of the Future,” Fela Kuti once declared, and he used his power as an artist to bring about immediate political change for the good of the people. Kabaka Pyramid follows in that proud tradition with his latest song, the sarcastically titled “Well Done,” which was produced by Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley. In the tune, Kabaka blazes a fire on Jamaica’s political leaders for selling out the people and leaving the island nation in a serious predicament. “I don’t want it to look like I’m on a all-out attack against the government, but I want people to be aware that they have a say in the governance of the country,” the prolific lyricist said when asked by the Jamaica Observer newspaper. “It might be a harsh statement but I see no inclination that politicians are interested wholeheartedly in the welfare of the people.” The song makes mention of the IMF debt as well as lopsided development deals with Spanish and Chinese interests that Kabaka blames for shortchanging Jamaica. But since smoke from the Riverton dump fire began fouling the air, the waste management debacle has given the song fresh meaning. Kabaka took to Instagram today to make the connection. Audio After The Jump… Read more »
Stream Chronixx Di General Alongside Zinc Fence Redemption Live Online
This Summer Chronixx and his band Zinc Fence Redemption will tour the world, including stops at some of the most exclusive gigs in the U.S., from NYC’s Governor’s Ball to the Roots Picnic in Philly, but tonight they’ll be rocking the hometown crowd in Kingston City. Following successful gigs in Negril and St. Elizabeth, the “Capture Land JAMAICA Tour”—named after his Dread & Terrible selection—rolls into town tonight before wrapping up tomorrow in Portland on Sunday March 15. Good news for all those who cannot make it to Kingston tonight: the show will be streaming live (details below). This is more than a tour, it’s a mission with a message: the upliftment of Jamaica’s cultural product. “We are doing tours and events in makeshift venues,” Chronixx recently stated without apology. “Which means there is no form of movement that acknowledges the fact that we are the main export. It’s not bauxite, it’s not tourism. It’s music.” Video After The Jump… Read more »
First Kardinal, Then Kanye and Kendrick—Assassin Is the Go-To DJ for Dancehall Features.
He’s your favorite rapper’s favorite dancehall artist. But chances are you’ve never heard his name. That’s because Assassin aka Agent Sasco — his secret-agent alter-ego — has basically gone undercover for his two biggest records: Kanye West’s “I’m In It” off the Yeezus album, and Kendrick Lamar‘s latest single, the lyrical tour-de-force “The Blacker The Berry,” Although Assassin was not properly credited for either feature, word gets around and the DJ is very much in demand. Boomshots caught up with him by telephone to hold a reasoning, and wrote a piece for NPR about it. The full transcript is right here. Interview After The Jump… Read more »
Grappling With Kendrick’s Enigmatic Imagery & Quarrelsome Queries
Just before 1 a.m. Wednesday morning Kendrick Lamar set all of hip-hop social media ablaze by uploading an image to his official IG account. The black-and-white photograph depicts K-Dot standing on the White House lawn surrounded by his peoples, a happy throng of young, shirtless black men clutching large wads of cash and bottles of champagne. The image was accompanied by a series of enigmatic questions attributed to “Lil Homie”—who might just represent anybody in the photo, maybe even that cute little white baby in his arms. Lil Homie’s Got Questions? Let’s find some answers. Alarming Revelations After The Jump… Read more »
Diggy British Scores Big as Ancient Future debuts Pon Top of iTunes Reggae Chart
“Sharp like the thorn crown pon Christ head,” Protoje spits on “Protection,” the opening track of his new album Ancient Future, “And you know the flow Hardo like slice bread.” True, that. The artist’s third album, which dropped today and shot to the top of iTunes reggae chart, marks a quantum leap in his lyrical prowess, not just in terms of flows and patterns but also in thought-provoking ideas (“drastically free from hypocrisy I say yeah”). Anybody sleeping on this youth needs to wake up fast. Between Protoje’s endless cascade of pause-and-rewind punchlines and Winta James’s sophisticated soundscapes, the album stands out as a breath of fresh air in the modern Jamaican music scene—which has elders like Sizzla so deeply vexed. In Jamaica many reggae lovers use the term “Ancient” to describe artists of the 70s and 80s, and Protoje clearly taps into that era for inspiration. Mark you, this remarkable album is not a throwback, but rather a leap forward—hence the second half of its aptly chosen title. As Ancient Future week continues on Boomshots, Reshma B quizzes Diggy about the levels of meaning behind his tune “Stylin.” Video After the Jump… Read more »
Kick Off Ancient Future Week With a “Bubblin'” Selection and Reshma B’s Epic Interview
“We radically transforming the landscape of Jamaican Music on March 10th,” reads the official IG feed for the man called Protoje aka Diggy British. Well, so much for managing expectations. But that’s Protoje for you. Every since he first began bubbling under the reggae radar around 2010 or so, it was clear he was on some next next level movements—even if, especially if, they weren’t perfectly in tune with what everybody else was doing at that moment. He was always himself up on stage, never playing a role, never pretending to be too cool, fearlessly blending sincerity and complexity and militancy and rock-solid roots and dub sonics. Long before folks were chatting about a “reggae revival,” Diggy was quietly putting in work. From the Seven Year Itch to the Eight Year Affair it’s been a long journey. Recently he and several other like-minded bredrens formed like Voltron and started making noise as a collective, combining old school musical values with state-of-the-art social media savvy to wage asymmetrical musical warfare. Then last year Diggy and his longtime parring-p Chronixx dropped a certified Boomshot known as “Who Knows.” From that point it was on and popping. “Now is our time to govern the music,” Diggy told us late last year. We’re expecting big things, so we’ve declared Ancient Future week on Boomshots. Keep it locked. Audio & Video After The Jump… Read more »
Could Legalizing Ganja Really Make It The Healing of The Nation At Last?
Four decades ago Peter Tosh sang “Legalize It” and countless Rastafarians have suffered at the hands of the law for the sake of the holy sacremental herb. Now the Jamaican government is taking steps to decriminalize ganja with an eye to full legalization and industral production of medical marijuana. At this historic moment the Boomshots crew caught up with a few musicians in Jamaica who have been spreading the message on behalf of the “Healing of the Nation” to get their views on this big news for the Legalization movement Video After The Jump… Read more »