Ibo Cooper dreams of cash-rich Reggae Month

February 4th, 2018

Ibo Cooper said that he is longing for the day when Reggae Month will bring about the kind of buzz that could boost the country’s economy in a significant way."I’m dreaming of a Reggae Month where thousands of visitors flock the island to participate in the different activities, where every gas station run outta gas because dem burn out in carrying people around the place," he said."I want you to envision a Reggae Month when all the jerk chicken sell off and everybody a lick dem finger … , the jerk chicken man and Mr CB, and everybody else. Unless we have vision, we perish, and I want us to realise that this is where we want to go," he added.

via Ibo Cooper dreams of cash-rich Reggae Month.

Lee “Scratch” Perry at the Ground Miami January 13

January 8th, 2018

Most Americans might not be aware of him, but Jamaican producer Lee “Scratch” Perry may be the most influential musical artist alive. Whether it’s seen through the iconoclastic, no-fucks-given punk ethos of the Clash, the tripped-up, spaced-out sounds of the first Gorillaz record, or in the sonic adventurousness of electronic artists like the Orb – themselves Perry collaborators – Perry’s legacy can be glimpsed across the musical spectrum. On January 13, Miami audiences will have the opportunity to catch him live and in the flesh at the Ground.

Having collaborated with such foundational reggae artists as Bob Marley & the Wailers and Max Romeo, Perry is widely regarded as one of the chief architects of both reggae and dub music. The latter genre, commonly understood to be atmospheric, instrumental-heavy music with extended running times, has grown far beyond its initial Jamaican roots and is now readily associated with musical experimentation in any and all forms. If your favorite track has a longer, more rhythm-oriented version with prolonged instrumental freak-outs, it’s likely considered a dub version. And in Miami, an international city where rhythmic dance music and club culture reign supreme, the extended instrumental is a fact of everyday musical life, something we all have the innovations of Perry to thank for.

via Lee "Scratch" Perry at the Ground Miami January 13.

How Marcia Griffiths’ ‘Naturally’ Made Her Jamaica’s First Lady Of Song

December 3rd, 2017

Walls of huge speakers delineate the outdoor dancefloor, the warmth of the air matched by the warmth of the bass: This is a Jamaican soundsystem dance. One of the best things to hear at one of these events is the powerful, smooth sound of Marcia Llyneth Griffiths’s voice floating over the rhythms.

Hers is a voice that can be trusted, relied on; powerful, experienced and wise, but with such pure tone. It feels like it wraps itself around you, reassuring you that everything will really, truly be all right.

via How Marcia Griffiths' 'Naturally' Made Her Jamaica's First Lady Of Song.

Reggae in Taiwan: Jamaican dancehall icon Sister Nancy makes a visit to the island

December 3rd, 2017

Taiwan may not be the first place people think of when they think of reggae music, but the genre appears to be gaining popularity slowly and steadily across the island.

The community of reggae music lovers may be small, but it is growing, and the island geography and laid-back atmosphere of Taiwan, which are reminiscent of Reggae’s birthplace Jamaica, make it a perfect place for the seeds of reggae music to be planted.

In fact, they were planted long ago, and are now bearing some excellent fruit.

via Reggae in Taiwan: Jamaican dancehall icon Sister Nancy makes a visit to the island.

Reggae, dancehall and the culture of violence

December 3rd, 2017

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Ninjaman, dubbed as the Gold Teeth Don Gargan of dancehall, will not be celebrating a Merry Christmas in 2017.A seven-person jury found Desmond “Ninjaman” Ballentine; his son, Jahneil Ballentine, and a friend, Dennis Clayton, guilty of the murder of Ricardo Johnson, and they will be sentenced on December 15, 2017 more than likely to life imprisonment with not much of a possibility for parole.

Ninjaman was born on June 20, 1966 in Annotto Bay, St Mary, and migrated to Kingston as a teenager. As he has specified in his dancehall lyrics, he grew up on Marl Road and, paradoxically, that’s where the murder took place in March 2009. He was locked up for three years, then given bail and was re-jailed when the murder trial commenced in 2017. Who the court designated as ‘Witness A’ provided the damaging testimony as that ‘Witness A’ was at the scene of the crime.

via Reggae, dancehall and the culture of violence.

Jamaican cuisine comes to Okemos

September 24th, 2017

There’s a picture on the wall of Louise Bennett. 

Not Bob Marley. Louise Bennett, a Jamaican poet and folklorist.

"She is the first iconic female to take the language of Jamaica global," Shawn Fearon said. "She paved the way for Bob Marley.

I have a soft spot in my heart for females, because I grew up with a single mom. I appreciate talented, hardworking women."

The art on the walls, which shows Jamaica’s Blue Mountain, Dunn’s River Falls, a bobsled team, cricket and the Reggae Boys tells a story of Jamaica, he says.

via Jamaican cuisine comes to Okemos.

An oral history of Holy Bob; So Much Things to Say reviewed

September 24th, 2017

The Harder They Come, Jamaica’s first (and still finest) home-grown film, was released in 1972 with the local singer Jimmy Cliff as the country boy Ivan Martin, who becomes a Robin Hood-like criminal outlaw amid the ganja-yards and urban alleys of the Jamaican capital of Kingston. The film’s director Perry Henzell, a ganja-smoking white Jamaican who had been sent to board at Sherborne school, was influenced by the gritty ‘newsreel’ school of Italian neo-realism (Bicycle Thieves, Obsession), which aimed for a documentary immediacy off the street. The soundtrack, assembled by Henzell in under a week, effectively introduced reggae to white British audiences.

Without the soundtrack album, it is fair to say, reggae would not have taken hold in Britain in the way it did.

Fashionable dinner parties in early 1970s Britain often enjoyed a musical accompaniment of the Maytals’ gospel-hot ‘Pressure Drop’ or Desmond Dekker’s ‘007 (Shanty Town)’. Earlier, in the 1960s, scooter-riding Mods had adopted Jamaican ska as a supplement to their diet of imported American soul, but reggae was a ganja-heavy newcomer, whose strangely hymnal, incantatory quality insinuated itself happily into the middle-class hippie culture which Mods (and indeed skinheads) professed to despise.

via An oral history of Holy Bob; So Much Things to Say reviewed | The Spectator.

Damian Marley talks new solo music, marijuana business

August 7th, 2017

Damian Marley shot the music video for his new song “Medication” in a medical marijuana farm.

The reggae singer, who is part owner of a medical marijuana company, exalts the drug’s benefits in “Medication,” which appears on his newly released album “Stony Hill.”

It’s his first solo record in 12 years, but don’t call it a comeback. Marley said it’s the natural next step after years working on collaboration albums.

via Damian Marley talks new solo music, marijuana business.

Music industry welcomes JCDC’s support of street dances

August 7th, 2017

Music industry players have welcomed the JCDC’s decision to endorse all of the island’s popular street dances this year.According to insiders, the support from JCDC is way overdue and more government-affiliated bodies should help to develop the music industry instead of tear it down."We think it is a nice move, and it helps the youth and young artistes.

One of the festival winners performed at Weddy Weddy and it went well. We are backing JCDC 100 per cent and they are doing some excellent work," said Dwayne Pow of Stone Love.

via Music industry welcomes JCDC's support of street dances.

Chronixx Is the New Golden Boy of Reggae

July 16th, 2017

It is a strange thing to be a Jamaican artist trying to break into the American music scene in 2017. For many American listeners, their knowledge of reggae begins (and ends) with the name Marley (right now, half of the albums in the iTunes Store reggae top 10 are old Bob Marley albums). On top of that, Jamaican sounds are unusually trendy in North American pop music these days—just ask Calvin Harris, Drake, Luis Fonsi, Justin Bieber, or anyone using patois slang and "tropical house" grooves in their Billboard chart-climbing hits.

That’s not the case for 24-year-old Jamar McNaughton, however. Better known by his stage name of Chronixx, McNaughton just released his debut LP,

Chronology, a 16-track collection bringing together songs from across his musical career, some dating back to 2011. Now he holds the No. 1 spot on the iTunes reggae top 10. It is a potentially stressful moment to be trying to make a breakthrough, but Chronixx remains unbothered and optimistic.

via Chronixx Is the New Golden Boy of Reggae.