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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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“Dreams To Remember” Happy Birthday Toots

"Dreams To Remember" Happy Birthday Toots

Memories of A Legend On His Earthstrong

 

“Ready?” asked the drummer. “Yes sir!” Toots Hibbert replied.

The year was 1968, and Toots and the Maytals were about to make history at Federal recording studio in Kingston, Jamaica.

The drummer, Winston Grennan of Beverley’s All-Stars, counted off “1, 2…” and the band began to play a brand new sound. The fast-paced ska beat that took Jamaica by storm in the early ’60s had given way to a slower, sweeter sound known as rock steady around 1966. But on this day, the Maytals — a vocal trio comprising Toots and his friends Henry “Raleigh” Gordon and Nathaniel “Jerry” Mathias — were cutting a song called “Do the Reggay.”

Where rock steady songs were more delicate and romantic, the reggae beat was raw and muscular.

“I want to do the reggay with you,” Toots sang, his powerful voice cutting through the rhythm.

“Yeah yeah!” Raleigh and Jerry harmonized.

“Is this the new dance?” Toots went on. “Going around the town?” As soon as their song hit the streets, everybody in Kingston town wanted to do the new dance too.

Toots said the name was inspired by Jamaican slang for girls you see on the street. “From streggae to reggae,” he explained.

If you can sing a song that spawns an entire genre, that’s something. But if that genre goes on to impact global culture for the next half a century or so, you must truly be something special, someone astonishing. “Reggae has gone around the world now,” Toots told me in 2016. “And I never copyright it. If I had charged like a few cents, one cent, I would be a millionaire now.” Full Story After The Jump… Read more »

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: Runkus “Quarantine Slide” Official Music Video PREMIERE

WATCH THIS: Runkus "Quarantine Slide" Official Music Video PREMIERE

Facetime Flexin’ with the Ladies

Fresh off the success of his futuristic posse cut “5Gz,”—which featured the lyrical onslaught of Kabaka Pyramid, Jesse Royal, Royal Blu, and Munga Honorable—Runkus returns on a solo flex with fresh sounds called “Quarantine Slide.” Son of the brilliant if under-rated dancehall DJ Determine, Runkus was surrounded by music from an early age, and raised in an era where Jamaican youth were exposed to diverse outernational influences. “Our generation grew up on MTV and BET, so anything the international market showed us is what we drew to,” he told The Gleaner last year. “The first rapper I loved on my own was Missy Elliott, then I got into Timbaland productions, Lil Wayne, Notorious B.I.G., Tupac… At the same time, I got into other sounds, like Erykah Badu, Nina Simone, Justine Timberlake, all while listening to Vybz Kartel.” The dreamy synth-driven production on his latest release—courtesy of Runkus and Universal Zinc Fence from the Soul Circle family—bears traces of those diverse influences, including shout-outs to the WorlBoss and Shawn Storm. “The song was just an inspiration of the times,” says Runkus. “For those who are stuck inside with their significant others and for those who are stuck inside on their own, wanting to slide [lol]. We have to move forward but I wouldn’t advise anyone to get used to this as the ‘new normal’ but to create a new normal for themselves and loved ones, cause we only have each other.” Today Boomshots proudly premieres the brand new music video from Runkus. “The video was inspired by just being stuck inside,” says the artist / producer, “and thinking of the best most efficient way of displaying wanting to slide in the quarantine time — hence the constant calls.” Video After The Jump… Read more »

WATCH THIS: Sizzla “Without You” Official Music Video PREMIERE

WATCH THIS: Sizzla "Without You" Official Music Video PREMIERE

Some Sweet Love Songs From Kalonji

“Righteousness will always get a fight,” Sizzla Kalonji once told me, “and that is only to make you stronger.” That conversation took place in 1997, he year Sizzla electrified lovers of reggae and dancehall music with two landmark albums, Praise Ye Jah and Black Woman & Child. Sizzla has gone on to become one of the most prolific artists of his generation, releasing his most recent album, Million Times in September—a collection of 12 sweet love songs, touching on the sounds that made songs like “Just One of Those Days” and “Give Me A Try” so legendary. “Beautiful people want to listen to the beautiful reggae music,” Sizzla told me. “And you know reggae bashes against corruption. It’s not just a music to sing spirituality only and to make you feel good and sing love songs, conscious songs. And it’s good for social commentary, a very good music to be used for social commentary. And any little thing happen to the poor people, we’re quick to express ourselves on dancehall riddims and on the one-drop roots rock reggae riddim. And what we’re explaining and expressing is the total truth. It’s a music that can be used for expressing our innermost feelings and thoughts.” Today VIBE and Boomshots proudly premiere the new music video from the album “Without You.” Big Up Kalonji every time.  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 »

Ziggy Marley Votes For The First Time Ever

Ziggy Marley Votes For The First Time Ever

Music To Inspire A Movement

No more long talking from politicians. Today, the people have their say at the ballot box. Judging by the number of voters who showed up early this year, the 2020 election is going to smash all records for voter participation. With a deadly pandemic, wildfires, floods, economic pressure, and a struggle for survival playing out from the tweets to the streets, the stakes have never been higher. All of which goes to show why Ziggy Marley decided to vote this year for the first time ever. Video After The Jump…

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Murda She Wrote October 2020

Murda She Wrote October 2020

Unruly Boss Covers Reshma B’s Column on Tidal

At the end of each month, the Reggae Girl About Town rounds up the top tunes for her “Murda She Wrote” column on Tidal. If you’re looking for October’s wickedest selections, you’ve come to the right place. This month’s lineup features certified Boomshots by Popcaan, Chronixx, Spragga Benz & Konshens, and Skillibeng. It’s Murda!

Jamaica is a small island with an outsized impact on the world. “We likkle but we tallawah” is the local phrase that sums it up best. “Likkle” means “little,” of course, while “tallawah” is a patois term describing someone who’s “strong-willed, fearless and not to be taken lightly.” All of which is a good description for Popcaan, the 5-foot-6 musical giant who looms larger than ever over the global dancehall scene.  Music After The Jump… Read more »

WATCH THIS: Elephant Man “Skankers” Official Music Video PREMIERE

WATCH THIS: Elephant Man "Skankers" Official Music Video PREMIERE

“Dis Yah One Yah Make The Dancer Dem Madd”

“All of us put in work to try leave the ghetto,” said Elephant Man as he made his debut in the pages of VIBE back in April 1998. “That’s a feeling that really can’t leave you.” Posing in the photo shoot with an iced-out pachyderm pendant dangling from his next, Elly and his bredrens from the Scare Dem Crew—Boom Dandimite, Harry Toddler, and Nitty Kutchie—made it all the way from Seaview Gardens, one of Kingston’s hardest neighborhoods, to a full-page write up in VIBE’s NEXT section, the magazine’s showcase for “People on the Verge.” It was a good day—but Elephant was just getting started. The legendary dancehall icon would go on to share stages with Usher and Chris Brown, collab with Missy Elliott and Lil Jon, perform live on the nationally televised VIBE Awards, and sign a deal with Puff Daddy’s Bad Boy Records. Throughout it all, he continued repping Jamaican dancehall culture to the fullest. They say an Elephant never forgets.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: Agent Sasco ft. Bounty Killer & Kabaka Pyramid “Loco” Official Music Video PREMIERE

WATCH THIS: Agent Sasco ft. Bounty Killer & Kabaka Pyramid "Loco" Official Music Video PREMIERE

“New Generation A Come Up Now”

Ever since Sasco linked up with TeflonZincFence to create “Loco,” it was clear that this was a special record. Teflon’s stripped-down beat hit like blunt force trauma, inspiring the artist formerly known as Assassin to serve up some of his hardest lyrics since Hope River. While speaking from a streetwise perspective, Sasco’s witty rhymes also expressed his concern for the youth—somewhere between Whitney’s “Greatest Love of All” and Slick Rick’s “Hey Young World.” The song took on a life of its own, as great songs do, and the streets demanded a remix. (One YouTube commenter suggested Sasco link up with Koffee and call the tune “Cocoa,” but I digress.) As fate would have it, Sasco recruited Killer and Kabaka for the remix, delivering a lyrical onslaught that was every bit as mad as the title suggests. Today Boomshots premieres the highly anticipated visuals for the remix—somewhat reminiscent of Biggie’s classic “Sky’s The Limit” video. “I’m very excited about the release of the ‘Loco Remix’ video,” says Sasco. “We went for a different concept which has my son, Joshua performing as me. He’s definitely excited for the release. It’s gonna be Loco!” How did Joshua do in his first starring role? As Sasco’s mentor dancehall legend Spragga Benz observed, “Weezy have di bounce.” Video After The Jump…
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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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