The Month's Goings-On In Dancehall and Reggae...
DAVID RODIGAN resigns from KissFM. Late last month the veteran broadcaster suddenly stepped down from the gig he has held for more than 20 years, posting a statement on his website that quoted Bob Marley’s lyric about “the stone that the builder refused will be the head cornerstone.” In the only interview he has done since this decision, the DJ spoke on the topic to Chin of the sound-clash promoters IRISH & CHIN. Rodigan explained how he was not up for having his slot moved from 11pm to 12 midnight start, pushing his show into the twilight hours, which he considers a disrespect to reggae music. His long-running program was rescheduled by the station to accommodate a new show from Miami by R&B star Craig David. No word yet what Ram Jam will do next, or whether KISS FM will schedule a new reggae presenter.
The Grammy nominees for Best Reggae Album are out. The 5 final names up: 'Rebirth' by JIMMY CLIFF, 'Miracle' by THE ORIGINAL WAILERS, 'Tomahawk Technique' by SEAN PAUL, 'New Legend — Jamaica 50th Edition' by SLY & ROBBIE & THE JAM MASTERS, 'Reggae Got Soul: Unplugged On Strawberry Hill' by TOOTS & THE MAYTALS. As usual the announcement has led to a whole heap of second-guessing and coulda-shoula-woulda conversations, but let’s just say congratulations to all the finalists and keep it moving. The Grammy Awards take place in L.A. on Feb 10th 2013.
Following the release of his song and music video 'Bare Tingz'—both inspired by his very public baby mama drama— MR VEGAS has launched a website to promote his new novel with the same title. It looks like Mr Vegas is gonna go all the way—he’s decided to release a fictional book about a lady who cheats on her man in his house - sound familiar? And judging by the teaser found on his website, there’s a lot more scandal where that came from. The book is due out this spring. [www.baretingz.com]
Bloody hell!! LADY SAW announced she’s leaving the industry—or at least switching into gospel mode—and just when we were looking forward to her sexy new album, 'Heels On'. Apparently she’s had some unpleasantness with some of the other females in the industry. Saw’s announcement comes shortly after MACKA DIAMOND released a song called
'40 & Fabulous' that mentions Saw’s name (along with Macka) as being extra fit despite her age. Macka has also gone public with complaints about a rivalry, but we’re still holding out hope that Saw can get over here issues with a big “Whatever” and drop some more heat for her fans. Nobody does it better.
Since his release from prison last month its seems like BUSY SIGNAL has been Busier than ever–the DJ sure has been living in that studio. He's churning them out in his sleep! Some of his standout tracks include 'Any Man', 'Bout It', 'Jail Juice', and 'Think Man an Idiot'. But his latest release is a remake of Shabba's classic 'Bedroom Bully' produced by Kirkledove and Jukeboxx Music. No mystery about it, this is one sexy track. Busy’s in “real top gallis” mode, telling the girls to “wine and cock up.” - You know the song is good when Mr. Loverman himself gives Busy respect for his talents. Big man tings!
SPICE and TIFA recently dropped the video for their track 'Why Yuh Mad' on Washroom Entertainment’s 'Dog Bite' riddim. Yep its exactly what it says on the tin—this pair of dancehall hot gals are giving all their haters plenty of reasons to keep on hating. As if the sexy teacher, nurse and housewife outfits ain’t enough, they’re not holding back on the real talk—don’t be madd!! check out Spice chatting about her dancehall style & how she manages keeps things oh so fresh http://www.boomshots.com/index.php/2012/11/watch-this-spice-interview/
PUSHA T just released his new song 'Blocka' off his upcoming mixtape “Wrath of Caine.” The gangsta track—produced by Chicago heatmaker Young Chop—features a crazy intro from Jamaica's party boy POPCAAN. The rap star (who appeared on the G.O.O.D. Music smash “Mercy,” which also had a strong dancehall flavour) was in Jamaica filming the music video for the song and turned up at “Bounty Sunday” – Bounty Killer’s weekly party night where the crowd got a preview. Nothing like being in the right place at the right time! Here's what Popcaan had to say about his party status last time I caught up with him:
Talking about Bounty there's a new song from Alliance Next Generation artist KALADO. His track “All Night” has caught the ladies’ attention. Let’s keep an eye on this young artist. He seems to have all right moves.
''show me this dream....tic toc to the whine''
SNOOP LION has just released a banger called 'Lighters Up' featuring Mavado and—you guessed it—Popcaan. Seems like the Hotskull is making all the right moves lately. Gotta love this track and the message of unity in the lyrics.
LADY CHANN drops new visuals on her song “Feel Calm,” a singing track from the third volume of her “Dun Dem Season” mixtape trilogy. We all know Chann can spit hot fire, but her singing skills are no joke either. How Nang is that?
Hot riddims in rotation this month include the 'Corner Shop' riddim. My fave is CECILE's 'Upgrade.' Guys, if you aint getting what you need it's time to upgrade – I'm looking forward to the counteraction! Maybe something for the ladies who need their man to step it up!
The 'Rep JA' Riddim has been mashing up the place right now. With voicings by Gyptian, Laza Morgan, RDX, KArdinall Offishall and Los Rakas, this track is taking JA to the world. Represent!
JAH CURE's new album 'World Cry' is finally released! OMG, after three years, this masterpiece has finally made it out the other end. When the title track was first released it featured a duet with RnB star Keri Hilson. But the new version is a solo session by Cure on a different beat – which one’s better? Does it matter? The album is finally out!
PREZIDENT BROWN has teamed up with the band Axx of JahPostles to release 'I Sound Is From Creation' on Tads Records. Fans of classic roots and old-school dancehall should find that this release tickles their fancy.
If you're in the UK Friday December 21st University of Dub presents the Jah Youth, Channel One and the Mighty Aba Shanti-I @ the Scala, 279 Pentonville Road, 10pm - 6am.
BERES HAMMOND will be performing with MAXI PRIEST and SHAGGY at New York’s Barclays Center later this week. This is the brand new stadium where JAY-Z’s Brooklyn Nets play basketball, so it’s nice to know that Beres will be nicing up the place with his own brand of soulful lovers’ rock. As part of the run-up to the show, Beres will make his first American TV appearance. He’s set to be the musical guest on 'Late Night with JIMMY FALLON' performing with the house band THE ROOTS. You know if RIHANNA is constantly tweeting the man’s lyrics and DRAKE wants him to perform at his wedding, the whole nation is going to be tuning in for this show! Beres’s new album, 'One Love One Life' dropped last month here’s what he had to say about his Love and Life after he performed to a very happy Wembley arena here in the UK last month.
Meanwhile in Jamaica it’s all about Sting on Boxing Day, December 26, and as usual it is going to be crazy. For weeks now the talk has been about whether Bounty Killer and Tommy Lee would clash but now that Killer has returned his advance money and made it clear he’s not going to perform this year, Uncle Demon is wondering who he will be battling. But with a re-energized Busy Signal back on the island he's been dropping hints that he might be the one to step up to the challenge. This is one Sting you don’t want to miss.
AND TO WRAP UP....
Stylo G has released a remake of “Press Up,” the dancehall classic made famous by his dad Poison Chang. ''I've been wanting to do a remake of my fathers track for a while,” he told me in an exclusive interview. “I now have enough people listening so I thought its a good time.” Stylo shared some memories of his father & growing up beside him in Spanish Town JA. Oh, and Stylo says his dad was all about the ladies. We now see where he gets his swag from! Check out here which girls he says can ''press up'' the best
And here’s Stylo again Talking di Tings on a new video with Mancunian lass Jodie Connor – watch out Stylo—she looks like she might be a Thug!
See ya next month!
Words by Reshma B