Monthly archive September, 2014

Reasoning with Lee “Scratch” Perry, The 2nd Chapter: “Too Much Weed, So I Get Crazy”

Reasoning with Lee "Scratch" Perry, The 2nd Chapter: "Too Much Weed, So I Get Crazy"

Scratch Shares His Thoughts on Sex, Ganja, and the Illuminati

When we last caught up with the Upsetter, he was sharing his thoughts on music—both his latest releases, and his seminal early recordings at the Black Ark. Of course, Scratch being Scratch, the conversation also veered into related topics such as Duppies, the true racial identity of God, and his everlasting battle with the Devil. Just hours before the man called by many names (including, notably, Pipecock Jaxon) take the stage at Brooklyn Bowl with Subatomic Sound System as part of the annual Dub Champions Festival, we proudly present the second installment of Reshma B‘s exclusive interview—in which the living legend/mad genius talks about what sort of girl he does not want to see in his bed—and names one in particular who would make him “vomit.” Scratch also admits that he was once addcited to marijuana, a fate that he hopes his fans will avoid. In fact, he says too music music and/or fire and/or weed in his head made him crazy. “They want to find out whether it’s me singing or the ganja singing,” he says. “It’s better when me sing. If the ganja can sing, it ah go take you to a height that you can’t come back.” The ReggaeGirlAboutTown even convinces Scratch to remove his remarkable hat and show her what’s inside. So fasten your seatbelts, it’s going to be a wild ride. Videos After The Jump… Read more »

Mr. Vegas “Reggae Euphoria” Album Preview

Mr. Vegas "Reggae Euphoria" Album Preview

A Track-By-Track Breakdown of The Dancehall Hitmaker’s Latest Release

Few artists in the Jamaican music fraternity can rival the track record established by Mr. Vegas since he exploded on the dancehall scene with his 1998 debut album Heads High. Just last September the year-to-year hitmaker delivered Bruk It Down 2.0, a blazing set of high-energy cuts that rode the wave of his international smash “Bruk It Down,” whose accompanying dance move was a favorite of Nicki Minaj among others. While his new album Reggae Euphoria contains plenty of dancehall energy, it presents the full range of his artistry—with elements of roots reggae, mento, rock steady, R&B, hip-hop and gospel and inspirations ranging from Delroy Wilson to Leonard Cohen to Miley Cyrus. No matter what style of music, Vegas is quite simply a master hitmaker with a rare gift for crafting compelling melodies that stick in the brain year after year. The term “Euphoria” refers to a state of extreme happiness familiar to all dancehall fans who’ve had the pleasure of catching Vegas live in concert. It was origianlly a medical term for “the condition of feeling healthy and comfortable (especially when sick),” and derives from the Greek euphoros meaning “power of enduring easily,” or literally “bearing well.” Whatever may be ailing the listener—whether heartsickness, lack of inspiration, or a chronic case of musical mediocrity, Reggae Euphoria is the perfect prescription. Today Mr. Vegas will be launching the album at Miss Lilys, so if you’re in NYC it’s time to head on down to Houston and Sullivan Streets. But if you can’t make it in person don’t worry we’ve got you covered!  Live Stream Link After The Jump…

Read more »

WATCH THIS: Jah Cure “Life We Live” Official Music Video

WATCH THIS: Jah Cure "Life We Live" Official Music Video

Much has been said about a “roots revival” going on in Jamaican music at the moment. Artists like Chronixx and Protoje and Jesse Royal have created much excitement with their fresh take on reggae music, but let’s not forget that these talents have built upon the efforts of elder artists who have been putting in work for a longer time to make sure that the roots would never fade away. Jah Cure is one such steadfast soldier on behalf of classic reggae music. Groomed by the master music maker Beres Hammond, Cure has grown into a major talent whose live shows are second to none. The first single from his forthcoming album, The Cure—a dubby, dreamy take on the immortal “Heaveneless” riddim, produced by ‘Sketch’ Carey for Iyacure Productions—became an instant hit on the sound system circuit. Cure mentions Bob Marley’s name in his lyrics, which might be ill-advised for the average reggae singer. But Cure is anything but average, and he’s in rare form on “Life We Live.” Today we proudly premiere the music video, most of which Cure spends riding in the back of a pickup truck while life unfolds everywhere around him. There’s nothing flashy about this video, but it might just be the most inspiring three and a half minutes you spend today. So let it play and live your life. Video After The Jump… Read more »

Reasoning with Monty Alexander: “The Party Don’t Stop”

Reasoning with Monty Alexander: "The Party Don't Stop"

The Jamaican-Born World-Renowned Jazz Pianist Celebrates His Reggae Roots

In the jazz world, Monty Alexander is recognized as a master pianist. In the reggae world, he is respected as a pioneer of Jamaican music, having played keys on countless crucial selections alongside such masters as Tommy McCook, Roland Alphonso, and Ernest Ranglin. Whenever he takes the stage, Monty loves to blend the best of all his musical traditions into a sublime blend of sounds and styles—and always staying open to working with new upcoming talents and what’s happening now. Just before opening “Jazz Around the West Indies,” his five-night stand at Dizzy’s Place inside Jazz at Lincoln Center NYC, Monty Alexander took time out to reason with the Reggae Grl About Town, reminiscing about his formative years as a session musician for the pioneers of Jamaican music, and explains why he considers Bob Marley to be a jazz man. Videos After The Jump… Read more »

Global Spin Awards Announce 2014 Nominees

Global Spin Awards Announce 2014 Nominees

Third Annual Award Show Honoring The World’s Best DJs, From Rap to Reggae to EDM

The 2014 Global Spin Awards held their press conference today at Midtown Manhattan’s Bryant Park Hotel to announce this year’s nominees for the third annual staging of the first award ceremony to focus on the cornerstone of hip-hop, dancehall, EDM, and so many other forms of youth music: The DJ. Boomshots was in the building to announce the nominees for Best Reggae DJ and a few other categories. After the festivities wrapped up, Reshma B caught up with DJ Funkmaster Flex, DJ KId Capri, and DJ Premier to speak about the awards and whether Paris Hilton deserved to be nominated. Nominees and Videos After The Jump… Read more »

Reasoning with Lee “Scratch” Perry: “The Black Ark Preserve Life and It Kill”

Reasoning with Lee "Scratch" Perry: "The Black Ark Preserve Life and It Kill"

“I think the devil is a goat,” and other thoughts of a living legend.

Whether you prefer to call him a madman or a genius, there’s no doubt that Lee “Scratch” Perry is a living legend. The man who gave the Wailers their “Natural Mystic” and pushed the frontiers of dub music at his Black Ark studio has never lost his creative mojo, even at the age of 78. Next week he will host his first New York art installation, followed by a live performance at Brooklyn Bowl with Subatomic Sound System as part of the annual Dub Champions Festival. In the first installment of Reshma B‘s exclusive interview with The Upsetter aka the Super Ape aka Pipecock Jaxson, he talks about two of his most recent collaborations—the Vibes EP, a collaboration with the Swiss musician Iguana, and the Back on the Controls project for which the London-based Rolling Lion team recreated all the exact recording equipment and techniques used at the Black Ark. “The Ark of the Covenant is a spirtual vibration,” scratch explains. “Ancient spirits speak… Everything is spirit. Because God is a spirit and Satan the devil also is a spirit. But Satan need competition.” In part one of the interview, find out why Scratch sprinkles white rum inside the studio before beginning a recording session. And in the second installment, discover who Scratch was taking revenge on when he built his own studio, The Black Ark, and find out how it had so many awesome powers: “It produce rain, whirlwind, hurricane, tidal wave, thunder, hailstone, earthquake, and it preserve life and it kill. It cripple, it cramp, and paralyze.” Videos After The Jump… Read more »

WATCH THIS: Chronixx “Capture Land” Official Music Video

WATCH THIS: Chronixx "Capture Land" Official Music Video

Chronixx and Zinc Fence Redemption Take It Back To The Real Rock

One of the toughest tunes off Chronixx recent Dread & Terrible project is this relentless roots rockers reality cut illustrating the concept once expressed by the dub poet who once observed: “If I build a fence round a coconut tree, that would cause you to steal from me.” In Jamaica the phrase “Captcha Land” refers to a grey area of real estate, known in the US as “squatting.” Basically if a parcel of land—perhaps a less-than-prime-location—goes unused for some period of time, less fortunate persons may decide to “capture” it by moving in and erecting zinc fence dwellings and other improvised syructures. But as Chronixx points out in this tune-—with a brand new video dirextwd by Jerome D (a frequent TDE collaborator) and all courtesy of the good folks at LRG (aka Lifted Research Group) — the whole of Jamaica and America is captcha land too. It all depends on who’s doing the capturing. Video After The Jump… Read more »

HEAR THIS: Damian Marley “Hard Work”

HEAR THIS: Damian Marley "Hard Work"

When Gongzilla Puts His Shoulder To The Wheel You Can’t Knock The Hustle

Damian Marley’s first selection off the Set Up Shop Vol. 2 compilation lets you know right off top he’s got his mind on his money and his money on his mind: “Rastaman a hustler so every dollar haffi flip.” But this song is not about flossing (although he makes sure his galfriend definitely gets her choice of beverages, from vintage bubbly to Viva’s roots). Really it’s all about influencing the youths to know anything is possible, bunning out all badmind, and serving notice that “all lazy bwoy fi get dismissed.” Putting in the hard work has always come naturally to the Tuff Gong’s youngest son. And he’s been on that Marcus Garvey since the first “Set Up Shop” days. The lively-up track builds to a wicked acapella breakdown at the 1:33 mark seasoned with a tasty acoustic guitar strum. This tune feels like a timely counteraction to any and all crab-in-a-barrell elements. “Nuff a dem will sell out their best friend’s purse, Zilla only sell out concerts.” Audio After The Jump… Read more »

WATCH THIS: LL Cool J ft. Mavado “The Hustler” Official Music Video

WATCH THIS: LL Cool J ft. Mavado "The Hustler" Official Music Video

The G.OA.T And The Gully Gad Link For Di Hustlas Dem

LL drops the visual to his long awaited single “The Hustler” off the highly anticipated “The G.O.A.T. 2.” An unlikely pairing, LL pegs Mavado to lend his distinct vocals to the gritty track. Not to be out done by his younger counterparts, LL reminds us why he’s known as “The Greatest Of All Time.” Video After The Jump…
Read more »

WATCH THIS: Shabba Ranks Rules On Da Reggae Tip 2014

WATCH THIS: Shabba Ranks Rules On Da Reggae Tip 2014

Beenie, Shaggy, Sanchez, and Spice Help the Hot 97 Crew Kick off Labor Day Weekend 2014

This past Friday, just like every other Friday before a Labor Day Weekend in recent memory, a galaxy of reggae and dancehall stars descended on Hot 97’s annual showcase On Da Reggae Tip. Just as in years past, the event was hosted by Bobby Konders and Jabba, whose Sunday-night reggae show has been a fixture on New York’s No. 1 hip-hop station since 1992. And as like in year’s past, there were a few surprise guests from the worlds of R&B, hip-hop, and classic dancehall waiting in the wings. But some things this year were very different, starting with the venue. Instead of the ornate but overcrowded Hammerstein Ballroom, where the perennially sold-out show has always been held, ODRT2014 took place at a much larger outdoor venue, JBL Live at Pier 97 on the edge of Manhattan’s Hudson River. As the sun set on a perfect late-summer evening, the show kicked off with blossoming pop stars like teenage sensation Samantha J, and Tessanne Chin, the Jamaican-born crooner who won the last season of NBC’s The Voice, as well as dancehall acts like Tifa, currently riding high off her single “Bak It Up” and Kranium, the Brooklyn-based DJ whose keep-it-on-the-downlow single “Nobody Has To Know” has made him a name to know. < Full Review And Videos After the Jump… Read more »