Outernational

WATCH THIS: Skip Marley “Let’s Take It Higher” A Boomshots Documentary

WATCH THIS: Skip Marley "Let's Take It Higher" A Boomshots Documentary

Awards Are Nice, But This Two-Time Grammy Nominee Answers To A Higher Calling

“Live if you wanna live,” Bob Marley declared at the outset of his landmark album Rastaman Vibration, released almost 45 years ago, in April 1976. In the years before Legend, Bob Marley & the Wailers’ 1984 greatest hits collection, which remains the best-selling reggae album of all time, Rastaman Vibration was the record that broke Marley to American audiences, becoming the first Marley LP to reach the Top 10 on the Billboard 200 albums chart.

On the second track, “Roots Rock Reggae,” Marley took new listeners by the hand and introduced them to a new sound from the faraway island of Jamaica. “Play I some music,” Bob sang, and the I Threes—Rita Marley, Marcia Griffiths, and Judy Mowatt—replied in unison, “This is reggae music.”

At the start of the second verse, the Tuff Gong pleaded with industry gatekeepers and radio programmers. “Play I on the R&B,” he sang. “I want all my people to see. We’re bubbling on the Top 100 just like a mighty dread.” Bob’s prophecy was fulfilled when the song reached No. 51 on Billboard’s Top 100, but R&B radio would prove harder to penetrate. The top R&B song of 1976 was “I Wish” by Stevie Wonder, who had performed with Marley at Jamaica’s National Stadium the year before. But even white groups like The Steve Miller Band, The Bee Gees, and Hall & Oates were getting more love on American R&B radio than Bob Marley at the time. By 1980 Bob was booked as an opening act for The Commodores at Madison Square Garden, and famously upstaged the headliners but Marley’s earthly mission was soon cut short, to be continued.

In May 2020, Bob’s grandson Skip Marley reached the top of Billboard’s Top Adult R&B Songs airplay chart with a gorgeous duet called “Slow Down” featuring R&B superstar H.E.R. The artists’ creative chemistry and song’s video made the track a fan favorite. “Slow Down” is nominated for Best R&B Song at the 2021 Grammy Awards this weekend. Skip’s debut project Higher Place is also nominated for the Best Reggae Album Grammy, a milestone in the 24-year-old singer/songwriter/musician/producer’s career.

In “Let’s Take It Higher,” a new Boomshots documentary premiering today on VIBE.com, Skip reflects on the honor of being nominated for the prestigious awards and of carrying on a mighty legacy in his own unique style. Video After The Jump…
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WATCH THIS: Jada Kingdon “Green Dreams” Official Music Video & Exclusive Interview

WATCH THIS: Jada Kingdon "Green Dreams" Official Music Video & Exclusive Interview

Twinkle Secures The Bag

2020 will not go down as the easiest year in history, but Jada Kingdom has made the best of a tough situation. “It’s been a difficult year for everybody,” she says, “but I have channeled all my energy into being creative.” The Jamaican recording artist and swimwear designer can look back over a year of successes, from her mixtape E-Syde Queen: The Twinkle Playlist to  features on Popcaan’s red-hot Yiy Change Fixtape and Vybz Kartel’s soul-baring To Tanisha project. Back in August we premiered the music video for “Budum,” her first single for Diplo’s Mad Decent label, and watched her career launch to another level. She recently graced the cover of Tidal’s 2020 Reggae & Dancehall Rising playlist. And today she wraps the year up with a brand new music video, “Green Dreams.” Video After The Jump…
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WATCH THIS: Stonebwoy and Davido Connect In The “ACTIVATE” Music Video #PREMIERE

WATCH THIS: Stonebwoy and Davido Connect In The "ACTIVATE" Music Video #PREMIERE

Ghana x Nigeria Link Up

We last tapped in with Ghana’s Afro-Dancehall monarch Stonebwoy when he premiered his “Blaze Dem” freestyle on VIBE x Boomshots to follow up the victory lap for his Anloga Junction album. Now he’s joined forces with Nigerian Afrobeats superstar Davido, who’s fresh off the relase of his album A Better Time, which features collabs with Nicki Minaj, Young Thug, Chris Brown, Nas and Hit-Boy. “The inspiration behind this song is to ACTIVATE positive energy,” says  Stonebwoy. “To ACTIVATE love and to ACTIVATE on the dance floor and see the combination of Afrobeats and Dancehall take over the world.” Stone & David have known each other as far back as 2015, but “Activate” marks their first time collaborating. More than just popular entertainers, both artists are using their platforms for positive works. Davido has been on the front lines of the resistance movement against Nigeria’s abusive SARS police unit, while Stonebwoy recently led a massive march to promote peace and unity and good health in Ghana. The song was born out of a spontaneous vibe whilst Davido was on a weekend trip from Nigeria to Ghana. The video was shot the following day.​ VIBE and Boomshots are proud to premiere the visuals. Watch as two African icons come together to create musical magic. Video After The Jump…
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WATCH THIS: David Lyn “Keep Moving” Visualizer PREMIERE

WATCH THIS: David Lyn "Keep Moving" Visualizer PREMIERE

Straight From Miami Via Tuff Gong Studios

David Lyn grew up in Miami, surrounded by music from an early age. A Jamaican-American youth who loved Michael Jackson and Usher as well as the stars of his island homeland, David was 13 years old when he got into the studio with his stepbrother, Andron Cross, now known to the world as Grammy-Award Winning Producer IzyBeats. Today Boomshots premieres the latest step on his musical journey, the visualizer for his song “Keep Moving,” recorded in Kingston Jamaica at Bob Marley’s legendary Tuff Gong recording studio. The song will be part of David Lyn’s forthcoming EP, Any Day Now. “Smooth seas never made a skilled sailor,” David points out. “No matter how big the waves get we must stay the course and keep moving.” Video After The Jump… Read more »

Untold Stories: How Johnny Wonder Buss Bounty Killer

Untold Stories: How Johnny Wonder Buss Bounty Killer

“Big Up Yourself Johnny Wonder”

You don’t have to be a dancehall head to know Bounty Killer. He featured on No Doubt’s Grammy-winning pop smash “Hey Baby” and lit up Instagram this May during his epic Verzuz battle with Beenie Man. Arguably the most influential artist in modern dancehall history, Bounty Killer is thoroughly respected for many reasons—his prolific catalog of recordings, his stylistic impact on the art of deejaying, his advocacy for ghetto youths, not to mention the many artists he personally helped to “buss,” or break into the music business. Even the most casual dancehall fan should be aware of the major stars who benefited from Killer’s support early in their careers. Without Killer’s co-sign the world might never have experienced the talents of Elephant Man, Mavado, Busy Signal, or Vybz Kartel—to name just a few. With no Kartel we’d have no Portmore Empire, no Popcaan, and so on and so forth. But who helped Bounty Killer buss? The usual answer is to that question is King Jammy, who did produce Killer’s breakout hit “Copper Shot.” But how did that song become a hit? As Peter Tosh once sang, “half the story has never been told.” The world might not know this legend of Jamaican dancehall if not for an Italian youth from Brooklyn named Johnny Wonder.   Full Story After The Jump… Read more »

WATCH THIS: Toyé ft. Jada Kingdom “Attitude” Remix Visualizer

WATCH THIS: Toyé ft. Jada Kingdom "Attitude" Remix Visualizer

“I’m Not The Type To Play With”

Born in Atlanta and raised in Nigeria, Toyé jump-started his career in 2018 when he began freestyling with friends in a recording studio. Before he knew it he was working with Ace Harris, the Grammy-winning producer whose resume includes work on Koffee’s Rapture, Lil Wayne’s Tha Carter V, and Nicki Minaj’s The Pinkprint. Harris teamed with Atlanta’s underground producer DJ Tag to produce Toyé’s first official single, “Shayo.” The follow-up “Attitude,” now has a remix featuring Ms. Twinkle herself, rising dancehall star Jada Kingdom. Toyé describes his musical style as “Afrofusion, a blend of Afrobeats, R&B, dancehall and elements of traditional Nigerian Fuji music. He showed her versatility with a remix of Swae Lee and Drake’s “Won’t Be Late” titled “Don’t Be Late.” In the short space of two years Toyé has had the opportunity to tour with some of the biggest names in African music, including Burna Boy, Mr. Eazi, Davido, and Olamide. His first headlining show in Atlanta was sold out, building anticipation. The visuals for his “Attitude” remix just dropped today, another step on his climb to the stars. Video After The Jump…
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HEAR THIS: El Dusty ft. I-Octane “Vampire” PREMIERE

HEAR THIS: El Dusty ft. I-Octane "Vampire" PREMIERE

“Blood Dem A Seek Out Deh”

Based in Corpus Christi, Texas, El Dusty is a DJ and producer who lets his ears explore widely and  his mind float freely as he builds an encyclopedic sample library, preserving exquisitely eclectic moments drawn from a diverse catalog of presumably dusty vinyl, then chopping and pasting it all together on his trusty MPC2000. The Latin Grammy nominee is often credited as a pioneer of a sound called “Nu Cumbia” or “Cumbia Electronica,” a modern style which is loosely based upon Cumbia, the Afro-Latin genre that traces its roots back to the 17th century where it was born along Colombia’s Caribbean coast and spread throughout South America and all the way through Mexico into the Texas borderlands. El Dusty has previously collaborated with Puerto Rican reggaeton artist DJ Blass, Trinidadian vocalist Angela Hunte, and Mexican sonic adventurer Toy Selectah, so it was only a matter of time until he made his way to Jamaica. Today Boomshots presents the first of his collaborative efforts, a tasty slice of digital dub called “Vampire,” which features passionate vocals courtesy of I-Octane, the dancehall star who’s been burning out blood-suckers from early in his career. “I-Octane is the first of many reggae collaborations coming out of Jamaica,” says El Dusty. “We’ve got tunes coming with Anthony B, Blaze Mob, New Kingston, Runkus & more!” In the ominous lyric video, Dusty dresses up as Dracula 🧛—a full month ahead of Halloween—apparently untroubled by the fact that one of Octane’s earliest hits promised to “Stab vampire with a peg.” Perhaps it’s no accident, then, that the Hot Ras is nowhere to be seen. Audio & Video After The Jump…
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WATCH THIS: Tessellated ft. Crayon “No Ansa” Lyric Video PREMIERE

WATCH THIS: Tessellated ft. Crayon "No Ansa" Lyric Video PREMIERE

“Lock Off The Phone”

“No follow nobody,” advises Tessellated, the Kingston-born, L.A.-based songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist whose genre-bending creations include the 2017 Amindi K. Fro$t and Valleyz smash “Pine & Ginger” and Jada Kingdom’s breakout track “Banana.” His surging piano-driven “I Learnt Some Jazz Today” topped Billboard’s Jazz Digital Song Sales chart and appeared in an Apple AirPods commercial that’s up for an Emmy this weekend. Today Boomshots premieres the visualizer for his latest joint, “No Ansa” featuring a cheeky guest verse from Crayon out of Lagos, Nigeria. The song is all about a girl whose whining skill leaves a lasting impression, but then leaves you hanging on the line. “For the video, I really just wanted to capture the situation of the song in a whimsical kind of way,” says Tessellated. “The place we’ve all been, calling with no answer—and the monotony of trying again and again with the same result.” The song is the first single off of Tessellated’s upcoming EP, due November 6. With fans like Diplo and Camila Cabello, this guy’s phone is gonna be ringing off the hook. Video After The Jump… Read more »

Stefflon Don Speaks On Making a Dancehall “Move”

Stefflon Don Speaks On Making a Dancehall "Move"

“Something Hype, Feisty & Rooted”

Stefflon Don is getting back to her bashment roots with a new single called “Move,” produced by Troyon the dancehall hitmaker who crafted Sean Paul’s worldwide smash “Gimme The Light.” We linked the UK bad gyal who spoke on her latest release for Quality Control Music / Motown. “‘Move’ is inspired by the old me, the Steff that the world was first introduced to,” says the artist who made waves with her late 2016 mixtape Real Ting. “I felt like it was needed to come back with something hype, feisty and rooted.” Check out Stefflon Don’s latest video right now. Video After The Jump…
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WATCH THIS: Skip Marley ft. Ari Lennox & Rick Ross “Make Me Feel” Official Music Video

WATCH THIS: Skip Marley ft. Ari Lennox & Rick Ross "Make Me Feel" Official Music Video

“When it Hits You Feel No Pain”

The voice you hear speaking on the haunting first track of Skip Marley’s debut EP Higher Place is that of his legendary grandfather Robert Nesta Marley, who once went by the nickname “Skip” himself. “Is something higher,” Bob says in an excerpt from a 1979 interview, seeking to explain the magnitude of a profound worldwide reckoning that he knows is coming. “Is something no man can stop.” On the title track of his EP, which was released last week on Tuff Gong / Island Records, Skip sings of his own burning desire to go higher. So what is this higher place all about? “The betterment of mankind,” Skip explained during a recent telephone call from Miami. “A world community where each one do him part and live right and live upful as we should. And it nah go’ happen unless you make that decision today. Cause it start within you first. For yourself. And you have to take I and I higher, forward.” Think of this body of work as a call to action. Video After The Jump…
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WATCH THIS: Troublesum & Ronnie Homer ft. DJ Spider “Push” Official Music Video

WATCH THIS: Troublesum & Ronnie Homer ft. DJ Spider "Push" Official Music Video

On Labor Day 2020, Will You Push Yuh Bumpa Pon Me?

Labor Day 2020 is here, and without a big parade on Eastern Parkway, we all have to find our own ways to celebrate. Good vibes coming from Troublesum and Ronnie Homer featuring DJ Spider, this one is called “Push.” The uptempo feel-good video Was shot by Deus Beni and features beautiful women in abundance enjoying themselves frolicking alongside the featured acts beachside and streetside. “Push” is currently available on all major streaming platforms. Is it still cool to push yuh bumpa pon me if I promise to wear a mask? Video After The Jump…

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WATCH THIS: Super Cat and Salaam Remi “Push Time” Official Music Video

WATCH THIS: Super Cat and Salaam Remi "Push Time" Official Music Video

The Wild Apache Rides Again

Between the viral pandemic, murderous police, and corrupt politricksters shamelessly fanning the flames of racial hatred, the first eight months of 2020 have been absolutely dreadful. In times such as these it helps to hear from people who have survived hard times before. People who know what it means when the “Ghetto Red Hot.” People who know that when times get rough, Some tan so back while others Rally back.” People like William Maragh aka the Don Dada aka the Wild Apache aka Super Cat. One of the first dancehall legends to link with hip hop superstars like Heavy D, Puff Daddy, and Biggie Smalls, Super Cat made an indelible impact on both cultures with his charismatic style, rude boy demeanor, and cultural lyrics. Just in time for Labor Day Weekend in Brooklyn—and elections in Jamaica— Super Cat has joined forces with producer extraordinaire Salaam Remi to release his first  new music in over a decade. “Since the 90s Super Cat and I have always been able to reason,” says Remi, who’s renowned for his work with artists as diverse as Nas, Amy Winehouse, and The Fugees. “And recently reasoning about the state of the communities and worldwide unrest led to this song.”

The new single, “Push Time”—set to Remi’s adaptation of the Wild Apache classic “Cabin Stabbin“—speaks eloquently to the political climate which surrounds us. The song will be featured on Remi’s upcoming LP Black on Purpose which also features NaS, Jennifer Hudson ,Case, Teedra Moses, Bilal, Busta Rhymes, Chronixx, Spragga Benz, MuMu Fresh, and Doug E Fresh along with more from Black Thought, Stephen Marley, Cee-Lo Green, and Anthony Hamilton. As Mr. Maragh once told me, “It’s not like we just get up this morning and start sing about gun. It’s something that we LIVE through and survive, and who didn’t survive DIE, and who didn’t die go to prison.” Super Cat has had to learn the hard way, but he’s vowed to share the fruits of his experience so that others will not make the same mistake twice. “I & I graduate from GHETTO-ology,” he says. “In my time I had to stop go to school because the politics friction was breaking out in the school. Even TEACHER was shot in the school compound. Guns was swinging around like crazy. It’s not that we go to rude boy school and groom to become rude boy,” says Cat. “Rude boy ting it come to WE in the ghetto.” Check out the new video, shot in the streets of Hollis Queens under the watchful eye of Jam Master Jay, Tenor Saw, and Nico Demus, and the whole of the DJ in shut eye country. Respect in all aspect. Video After The Jump… Read more »