Squash’s family-first mentality makes him dancehall’s hottest artist

September 9th, 2019

In early August of 2018, Squash, born Andrae Whittaker, was detained by the Jamaica Constabulary Force during a state of emergency sweep in Montego Bay, due to a rise in crime and violence. Without a formal charge or clear reason as to why he was picked up, the 28-year-old spent five months at the Freeport Police Station in MoBay. But during this difficult time of incarceration, his songs “Mek It Shake” and “6ix Boss” started to spread in the streets like a mad virus. He was finally freed in January, and since then, the aptly dubbed 6ix Boss has made a beeline straight to the top of the dancehall food chain. “It’s not something that I planned y’know,” he says of his rise when we speak over the phone in late July. “Growing up, I always liked to sing at home in my bathroom. It was just natural.”

via Squash’s family-first mentality makes him dancehall’s hottest artist.

Inna de Yard review – a poignant tale of resistance, resilience and reggae

September 9th, 2019

Potentially tricky territory here. Back in 2017, the white British film-maker Peter Webber travelled to Jamaica to document a musical reunion destined to remind seasoned arthouse patrons of Wim Wenders’ Buena Vista Social Club. The Inna de Yard sessions gathered reggae veterans on a rickety porch in Kingston to re-record their best-known standards acoustically – mirroring that unplugged tradition prevalent in MTV circles almost since the electric guitar’s invention, while venturing a Jamaican analogue to the Great American Songbook.

via Inna de Yard review – a poignant tale of resistance, resilience and reggae.

Reggae Legends Convene Soul Summit On “Red Gold Green & Blue” – Rolling Stone

July 15th, 2019

One of the greatest rhythm sections to ever rub-a-dub on planet Earth, Sly and Robbie’s client roster has included Dylan, Madonna, Serge Gainsbourg, and No Doubt. But the team’s best jams are the most deeply rooted in the Jamaican music they helped invent — at the core of Peter Tosh’s band; with the Compass Point All-Stars; and on their own Taxi Records sessions, source of some of the reggae canon’s mightiest sides. Their ur-grooves justify from the get-go Red Gold Green & Blue, a set of blues, r and b and soul covers of the sort that might otherwise land like pro-forma, unessential nostalgia.

via Review: Reggae Legends Convene Soul Summit On “Red Gold Green and Blue”.

THE BEST OF RITA MARLEY “LIONESS OF REGGAE” RELEASED VIA ZIGGY MARLEY’S TUFF GONG

April 1st, 2019

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Award winning singer, musician, philanthropist and reggae icon Mrs. Rita Marley, OD will release a career retrospective of her most well-known material. The Best of Rita Marley ‘Lioness of Reggae’ will be released exclusively on limited edition vinyl, Friday May 3.

“I felt this was a project that needed to be done, her musical legacy, message and vibe is unique to her and an important part of reggae’s history. This is a way for us to highlight and share her beautiful art”, says Ziggy Marley.

via THE BEST OF RITA MARLEY “LIONESS OF REGGAE” RELEASED VIA ZIGGY MARLEY’S TUFF GONG.

The high stakes of reggae superstar Buju Banton’s return

April 1st, 2019

I was three years old when dancehall superstar Buju Banton released his third album ‘Til Shiloh and his music became the soundtrack of my childhood in Jamaica. At seven, I remember being puzzled at how the song “Untold Stories” hypnotized every adult to bust out in the reggae-rock-shimmy-dance favored by Caribbean parents after a few glasses of rum.

I was 13 when Bruce Golding ran for Prime Minister using Buju’s song “Driver” as his campaign tune, a song about a ganja man trying to escape from the police (Golding won). I was 19 when Buju went to jail in the U.S. for intention to distribute cocaine. And seven years later, on March 16th, I saw Jamaica welcome home a national hero with his first comeback concert, Long Walk To Freedom.

via The high stakes of reggae superstar Buju Banton’s return.

Iset Sankofa found her tribe – with NTS Radio

March 25th, 2019

Iset Sankofa has introduced a new Kingston subculture, and in just a few years, has established herself as a beacon to those seeking a music space steeped in rhythm, dance, and an afro-centric ambiance. Now, she’s planning to broadcast her eclectic musical tastes and mixes to the world with the support of major online radio platform NTS.

Sankofa Sessions has become the go-to event to hear afrobeat, afropop, and reggae on dub. It began in late 2014 when Iset introduced the sessions as a limited series. “We had the idea first in 2013, when we did a summer residence at Redbones. They were the first ones to say that they liked what we’re doing,” she told The Gleaner.

Though the residency seemed to fill a gap for some attendees, Iset had no experience with hosting events on a regular basis. So she put it on hold until she could figure it out. The next year, she found Nanook – a creative culture hub in the heart of Half-Way Tree (Burlington Avenue), where fine artist Matthew McCarthy added his expertise to the experience. “He brought the live art component,” she explained.

via Iset Sankofa found her tribe – with NTS Radio.

Buju Banton Removes Infamous Homophobic Song from His Catalog

March 25th, 2019

Reggae icon Buju Banton banned his 1992 dancehall hit, “Boom Bye Bye,” from his music catalog, according to UrbanIslandz.com.

Although the Jamaican-born artist has not performed the song since 2007, the anti-LGBT song has been at the center of several debates on its language. On the recording, he raps “boom bye, bye inna batty bwoy head,” which translates to putting a bullet through a gay man’s head.

via Buju Banton Removes Infamous Homophobic Song from His Catalog.

VP Records Opens “A Reggae Music Journey” in Jamaica

February 14th, 2019

VP Records, a reggae music company, along with artists Christopher Martin, Raging Fyah and Kemar Highcon, took part in a ribbon cutting ceremony opening "A Reggae Music Journey" at Jamaica’s Sangster International Airport. The multi-media exhibit is part of the label’s yearlong celebration of its 40th anniversary and chronicles its history of working with some of the biggest artists in reggae music. The grand opening included impromptu performances by Christopher Martin and Raging Fyah, as well as remarks by Chief Executive Officer of MBJ Airports Limited, Dr. Rafael Echervarne, and VP Records Co-founder Patricia Chin. 

via VP Records Opens "A Reggae Music Journey" in Jamaica | Travel Agent Central.

More than a music festival – Rebel Salute ready to set the tone for the next 25 years

January 18th, 2019

After a quarter of a century, Patrick ‘Tony Rebel’ Barrett is still intricately involved in organising the hallmark event – Rebel Salute. Held this year under the banner of ‘The Preservation of Reggae,’ Tony Rebel and the Organic H.E. A. R. T. Group of Companies have developed the event into much more than a reggae music event.

Speaking to The Sunday Gleaner earlier this week, Rebel was occupied with meetings at the St Ann Parish Council, readying the town for the influx of patrons to Grizzly’s Plantation Cove on Thursday and Friday January 17 and 18. Settling in a quiet area, he revealed exactly what is to be expected from this year’s signature event and for the next 25 years."We need to set the precedent, not just of a show – but a holistic festival, where people come for everything – camaraderie, food, art, entertainment, knowledge of the herbs, reggae music, and culture – and to preserve it more than what UNESCO has said. That is the tone we’re setting," he said.

via More than a music festival – Rebel Salute ready to set the tone for the next 25 years.

Sister Carol: “Reggae Inna Mi Blood”

November 12th, 2018

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Sister Carol, respectfully and affectionately known as the “Black Cinderella” and “Mother Culture,” is both a pioneer and pillar of reggae music. The last of three female reggae artists to ever be nominated for a Grammy award, Sister Carol is one of the most highly accomplished, glass ceiling-shattering, charismatic, and unique figures in the entirety of reggae’s rich, robust history.

I was fortunate to interview Sister Carol after she headlined the first ever L.A. Reggae Vegan Fest, held on the first Sunday in October. The many topics we discussed included: veganism and living an “ital” lifestyle; Jamaica and some of the problems it’s confronting; marijuana; different “mansions” of Rastafari and the diversity that exists in Rastafarian beliefs and practices; respect for women; her fondest memories of late reggae superstars Dennis Brown and Sugar Minott; and much, much more. What follows is a transcription of the interview, modified only slightly for clarity and space considerations.

via Sister Carol: “Reggae Inna Mi Blood” .