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The Biggest Dancehall Riddims of 2016

The Biggest Dancehall Riddims of 2016

Who Run The Place? Johnny Wonder, CEO of 21st Hapilos, Counts Down The Year’s Top Juggling

With Rihanna’s “Work” dominating mainstream airwaves all year, you might think Richie Stephens’ “Sail Away” riddim would take the top spot. Yes that was hot in the streets ten years ago, and shout out to OVO for bringing it back. But here at Boomshots we’re all about the music’s progress forward into the future—and celebrating the innovators over the imitators. After all the Tropical House hype dies down, where does reggae and dancehall go from here? Few people are better qualified to chart the music’s movements than Johnny Wonder, CEO of 21st Hapilos Digital, the leading digital distributor of new reggae and dancehall music from Jamaica. As the man who breaks most big riddims first, Johnny Wonder’s ranking is based strictly on facts—streams and sales—and never payola or politricks. So if you want to know who ran the place in 2016, look no further. Riddim Countdown After The Jump… Read more »

WATCH THIS: Chronixx “Majesty” Official Music Video

WATCH THIS: Chronixx "Majesty" Official Music Video

Chronixx Chooses Love Over Lust

Inspired by the Studio One Soul Selection, I’ll Be Around” by Otis Gayle as well as The Techniques“Queen Majesty,” Chronixx song “Majesty” is a beautiful love ballad from the “Roots and Chalice” mixtape, a collaboration with Federation Sound. The lyrics emphasize developing a spiritual before physical connection which opposes  the message perpetuated through  popular music today—across all genres. The emphasis of a mental and emotional bond between a man and woman, are woven intricately throughout the lyrics of the song. Messages of monogamy stand out boldly along with the paradigm that true love should emanate from a pure and humble place. Now fans have the opportunity to view the visual interpretation of this song. Video After The Jump…

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Xana Romeo Talks About Her Debut Album “Wake Up” and Finding Her Own Way

Xana Romeo Talks About Her Debut Album "Wake  Up" and Finding Her Own Way

A Reggae Legend’s Daughter Creating Conscious Reverberations

Forty years ago Maxwell Livingston Smith, better known as Max Romeo, released his classic album War Inna Babylon on Island Records. The album featured classic hits like “Chase The Devil”  (which would later be sampled by Kanye West for Jay Z’s song “Lucifer”). This song sent fans into a frenzy with its balance of  spiritual and conscious lyrics over the Lee “Scratch” Perry–produced riddim. Max Romeo “put on his iron shirt” and chased the Devil out of Earth with his lyrical prowess—and he’s still making music to this day. Now, four decades later, it should come as no surprise that his daughter is stepping forward along a similar  path. Azana Makeeda Smith, aka Xana Romeo, brings a unique feminine fierceness with her incendiary lyrics. She has a great vocal range and her enunciation is clear and precise, adding to the palpable power of her music. With her  debut album, Wake Up releasing today, we linked with Xana Romeo, CEO of Charmax Music to discuss her debut album. Interview After The Jump…

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HEAR THIS: Major Lazer x Bad Royale
(ft. Toots & The Maytals) “My Number”

HEAR THIS: Major Lazer x Bad Royale (ft. Toots & The Maytals) "My Number"

“The Dons of Caribbean Bass” Shamelessly Jack “54-46”

The latest Major Lazer heat rock comes courtesy of living legend Toots Hibbert, the man who popularized the term “reggae” on his 1968 song “Do The Reggay.” As such, you might think Toots would be afforded a certain amount of respect—perhaps even have his name mentioned in the song’s credits. Well, um, think again. The new release, attributed only to Major Lazer and Bad Royale (an L.A.–based crew signed to Diplo’s Mad Decent imprint whose PR reps call them “the dons of Caribbean bass”) is essentially a wicked dubplate of Toots singing his classic “54-46” over the original Leslie Kong–produced track from 1969. Then, in keeping with the time-tested Major Lazer blueprint, about 90 seconds in there’s a big, dramatic drop after which the whole song morphs into a tweaked-out EDM twerkgasm. Premiered by Ebro on Beats 1, “My Number” (whose title is borrowed from the chorus of “54-46”) went on to rack up over half a million YouTube streams in 24 hours and reportedly broke the Spotify view counter. There is no doubt that the song is a banger. Still, it’s hard not to feel some type of way that neither Bad Royale nor Major Lazer felt the need to credit Toots in some form or fashion. Audio After The Jump… Read more »

American Reggae Acts Dominate 2017 Grammy Nominations

American Reggae Acts Dominate 2017 Grammy Nominations

Three Out of Six Nominees Are Based in the U.S.A.

Earlier today The Recording Academy announced the 2017 Grammy Award nominations. Beyoncé topped all nominees with nine nods while Drake, Rihanna, and Kanye West snagged eight each. Rihanna & Drake’s dancehall cut “Work” was nominated for Record of the Year, although Drizzy’s chart-toppers “One Dance” and “Controller” were snubbed. Tory Lanez’s “Luv”—based on Tanto & Devonte’s dancehall classic “Everyone Falls In Love”—was nominated for Best R&B Song. Sia’s No. 1 single “Cheap Thrills”  featuring Sean Paul was nominated in the Best Pop Duo Performance category. As usual the Reggae category was full of surprises, with three of the five nominations going to U.S.–based acts.   More Details After The Jump…
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HEAR THIS: “Super Hi-Fi Plays Nirvana”
(Full Album Stream) PREMIERE

HEAR THIS: "Super Hi-Fi Plays Nirvana"(Full Album Stream) PREMIERE

Grunge In Dub With Nuff Trombone

Back when Ezra Gale—the bassist for undergound Brooklyn ensemble Super Hi-Fi—was in college, another band he played in opened for Nirvana. Now, 25 years after the Seattle trio’s classic Nevermind, he and Super Hi-Fi decided to put a very different spin on Kurt Cobain’s songbook. Super Hi-Fi Plays Nirvana will be released tomorrow on Gale’s boutique label Very Special Recordings via digital and cassette only. The throwback format is not just about retro cool, it’s also highly affordable, allowing for creative freedom and experimentation. “I hate cover versions that just sound like the original,” says Gale. “So with Nirvana, it seemed interesting to make something new out of something so familiar.” With Jon Lipscomb on guitar, Madhu Siddappa on drums, and trombonist Rick Parker dueling with Curtis Fowlkes, Robert Stringer and Alex Asher on 2nd trombone, Super Hi-Fi recorded instrumental versions of six Nirvana tunes (including Shocking Blue’s “Love Buzz” and LeadBelly’s “Where Did You Sleep Last Night,” both signature Nirvana covers) plus one original cut, entitled “Space Needle.” The sound is even more of a departure than Little Roy’s beloved reggae version of “Lithium.” Instead of Cobain’s guitar shrieks and Grohl’s chest-pounding drums, Super Hi-Fi (who describe themselves as “Brooklyn’s premiere two trombone dub experience”) serve up woozy horns, and heavy dub mixes courtesty of Nicola Stemmer, Victor Rice, Doctor Sub, and Prince Polo. Having a hard time imaging it? Well fortunately, you don’t have to. Boomshots is proud to premiere the full album right now. Audio After The Jump…
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WATCH THIS: Elephant Man x Starface
“Tek Wuk” Official Music Video PREMIERE

WATCH THIS: Elephant Man x Starface "Tek Wuk" Official Music Video PREMIERE

When Elephants Play The Grass Gets Trampled

“The main idea was to paint a vivid picture of a twisted fantasy,” says director Peter Parkkerr of his latest video. “Starface played the role of a sexy French maid who serviced Elephant Man’s room. It’s definitely gonna light up your TV screens.” After one glass of wine, Elly’s mind starts to wander. And after that, well… one wine won’t do. Boomshots proudly premieres the mad new music video from Energy God Productions: Elly alongside a fresh new face on the dancehall scene: Starface. “This was a fun video to shoot,” she says. “The acting part is always what I enjoy, to be someone else for a minute. I appreciate Elephant Man reaching out to me as a new artiste to represent on his track.” Dancehall’s Energy God was impressed with the new artist. “I wanted a bad female for this track,” he says. “When I made checks the feedback I was getting was all saying to choose Starface. Send her the track and she proved herself on it.” But don’t take his word for it. Check “Tek Wuk” for yourself. Video After The Jump… Read more »

HEAR THIS: Tarrus Riley “Crime-Free Christmas”

HEAR THIS: Tarrus Riley "Crime-Free Christmas"

Singy Singy Prays “Don’t Let Bloodshed Bruk The Vibes”

“All I want for Christmas is to stay alive,” sings Tarrus Riley on this brand-new holiday boomshot, “Can’t take the sound of the 45!” Visions of yuletide merriment and “a new brand ride with a thick empress inside” are interspersed with heartfelt pleas for peace over a bouncy dancehall track produced by Lamont “Monte” Savory and mixed by Shane C. Brown of Jukeboxx Productions. “Seasons greetings” the song’s intro states. “Uptown, Downtown, we no wan’ hear no gun sound.” Audio After The Jump… Read more »

Half Pint Speaks on the Making of “Greetings”

Half Pint Speaks on the Making of "Greetings"

“You may be raggedy and poor, but you are still rich in spirit”

If you’ve ever been to a reggae party, it’s pretty much impossible that you’ve never heard “Greetings,” Half Pint’s raggamuffin anthem. Released in 1985 on George Phang’s legendary Powerhouse label, the song finds Half Pint representing for poor people over a hard-driving Sly & Robbie digital remake of the immortal “Heavenless” riddim. While preparing this year’s Welcome to Jamrock Reggae Cruise Zeen, we reached out the singer who gave us the story behind this classic dancehall anthem. Audio & 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 »

WATCH THIS: A-Game “Everyday” Official Music video

WATCH THIS: A-Game "Everyday" Official Music video

In Comes Swing Ting With A Next Mad Sinting

You may recall the UK-based label Swing Ting aka “the big bad sound outta Manchester” from that Devin Di Dakta “Bubble” joint we premiered a while back. They’re back at it with another bass-heavy digital excursion pon the version. This tune features an artist known as Alexx A-Game, who got his start in the business as a member of Konshens’ touring band. A-Game dropped a mixtape in 2014 and has been steadily building a core fanbase with his uplifting soulful lyrics. He also featured on “Gangsters,” a next Swing Ting release with UK producer Famous Eno and MCs Serocee & Fox, which showcased “a rawer side to his delivery,” as Swingting’s own Balraj Samrai puts it. The new tune is livicated to “every breadwinner who ah work for the cheese and butter.” The video includes scenes from the Rooftop Dayrave party, a joint venture between Equiknoxx & Swing Ting that took place in Downtown Kingston earlier this year. In this brave new world of Brexit and Trump, the hustling can’t stop, cause from you have life you have needs. Video After The Jump…
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HEAR THIS: Slim Smith “Rougher Yet”

HEAR THIS: Slim Smith "Rougher Yet"

Special Request to the Trump Posse

Those who happened to be in London when the Brexit vote went down will recognize the sense of disbelief sweeping America on this morning after. It soon became clear that many people didn’t actually understand what they had voted for. (Google searches for “What is Brexit?” and “What is the EU?” spiked just AFTER the referendum was passed.) The same holds true in this disgraceful presidential race, and as with Brexit, the repercussions of Trump’s victory are just beginning. Audio & Argument After The Jump… Read more »