Saturday, April 20, 2013

Where is Taliban?

"A di baddest female artiste me hear fi years.........all some man you badda dan..... " said Aidonia.

She entered and won the 2012 Magnum Kings and Queens of Dancehall competition, aired annually on Jamaica most viewed television network, Television Jamaica. Her stage name is 'Taliban' but ever since walking away with the prize as well as leaving Jamaica's largest television audience in awe, Taliban is noticeably missing in action. 

The Magnum Kings and Queens of Dancehall competition is one which creates a launch pad for up coming Dancehall Kings and Queens by way of exposure many would have not been able to finance independently.  The winner of the coveted prize walks away with one million Jamaican dollars (J$1,000,000), a single and a video.  The final night of the competition is most anticipated as the curtain closes in true Dancehall fashion, a 4 part 'clash' series after which the public decides through a voting system who is their King and Queen of the Dancehall. 
A crowned Taliban on stage

Taliban's talent was evident from the start but as the lyrical battle between her and opponent 'Kayla di Diva' ensued during the clash, Taliban proved her worth going into overdrive and spat lyrics that were seemingly built on spot to destroy Kayla Di Diva's tough challenge.  Taliban's onslaught sent 'the diva' into oblivion and left the live television audience that witness it, in awe.  As Aidonia, who is highly regarded as one of the best Dancehall artiste currently in the game and a Judge for the competition had said that night, "A di baddest female artiste me hear fi years......" 

But after such a display of raw talent, and the outpouring of applause from across the island at Taliban's prowess, one would have thought the local music industry, it's gate keepers or the powers that be would have capitalize on this very promising female Dancehall artiste who has gone MIA (missing in Action). But no, that is not to be as one year after the competion questions linger, the one asked most, "where is Taliban?" 

By: Sophia McKay

Gentleman Drops New Album titled 'New Day Dawn'

It's finally here! The new album NEW DAY DAWN is here.  As a 12-track standard edition or as a 17-track deluxe edition, Germany's International Reggae artiste Gentleman has dropped yet another album now available on iTunes and there are even 11 additional instrumental versions!

The single, 'You Remember' by Gentleman that is also included on the album has already received over 1 million youtube views.  Live there are NEW DAY DAWN course.  Launched in the festival season in mid-May in France, then it goes on through Europe, Switzerland, Poland, Austria, Sweden, Italy, Holland and many other countries with appearances at Summerjam in Cologne and Sundance in Holland.  October to December is already had dates already scheduled for touring and more is expected to be added to the list.

Source: Gentleman Music Dot Com

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Professor Recommend that Vybz Kartel's Book Should be Included on CXC Social Studies Syllabus

Professor Carolyn  Cooper at the University of the West Indies (UWI) has suggested in an article published in the Jamaica Gleaner
recently, that incarcerated Dancehall artiste Vybz Kartel's booked entitled, 'The Voice of the Jamaican Ghetto' be added to the Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) social studies syllabus.

The story carried in the article read as follows:-

Vybz Kartel's arresting book, The Voice of the Jamaican Ghetto, co-authored with Michael Dawson of People's Telecom fame, gives a penetrating account of the deadly conditions endured by too many youth who are barely surviving on the margins of Jamaican society.  Claiming the authority of the traditional warner man, Kartel compels his audience to pay attention to his prophetic story.  You just can't put the book down.

Kartel's intention is not to entertain but to upset: "As strange as it may sound, I hope you do not enjoy this book.  I hope it disturbs you.  I hope after reading you realise there is something wrong with Jamaica that needs to be fixed. I hope you will never look at a ghetto person the same again."

Cynics have been asking if Kartel really wrote the book.  They clearly have not listened to his songs. there's and organic connection between the two: "...After seeing the crowd's response to my conscious songs, I wanted to tell more of the story that I could not capture in three minutes riding a riddim.  So I started writing, still unsure at the time if a book was what I wanted to do."

Thank you, Jah' is a prayer that every fundamentalist Christian in Jamaica can identify with - up to a point.  Kartel chants his gratitude to Jah in Old Testament lyrics.  But the song quickly changes tunes and tone. 'Thank you, Jah' becomes a damning judgement on the failures of modern Babylon.  Kartel's invocation of the psalm is decidedly ironic.

The Lord is certainly not keeping the city of Kingston.  Babylon labours in vain to build a city founded on injustice.  The so-called 'system' brutalises poor people in Jamaica.  The profound philosophical question the song raises is whether or not 'Jah tun him back.'  Are ghetto people the victims of divine indifference, as Babylon hopes?  The song condemns the conspiracy of Church and State to keep poor people in bondage.

In the book, Kartel has ample room to elaborate on the inequities of Jamaican society, especially the apparent willingness of the Church to postpone justice until 'Thy kingdom come.'  He gives a quick history lesson to demonstrate the origin of the racism at the root of imperial Christianity.

Kartel demolishes the myth of European conquest as a mission to save the souls of savages: "Sometimes, I wish Gaza was around in those days when these men came off their ships, dressed in their stockings, short pants and funny hats to tell Portmore people they are heathens so they should come and work for free and these men in stockings will show them salvation.  I am confident you could stay from the toll road and hear those sailors begging for mercy when the Gaza done wid dem."  Although Kartel doesn't want us to 'enjoy' the book, there's lots of humour.

The Garveyite and The Bleacher
In a telephone interview last week, Michael Dawson explained his role in the creative process .  He sees the book as a recording of the 'reasonnings' between himself and Adidja 'Vybz Kartel' Palmer.  In his 'Preface,' Dawson admits the ironies of the project:  "Many people have wondered how this improbable collaboration came about.  How could someone who is a known Garveyite collude with the 'Bleacher' to write a book?  

How did my Campion background find common ground with the Gaza?"
Dawson gives an intriguing answer:  "I realised what Addi was Reluctant to admit; that deep down he realised he had the gift of being a lyricist and the ability to put it on a dancehall rhythm like no one else had.  He feared, however (my observation), that being known as a conscious artiste would gain him a label that he did not want."

It was the opportunity to lecture at the University of the West Indies that changed Kartel's mind. Wilmot Perkins must be turning in his grave.  The 'intellectual ghetto' has clearly served its purpose, promoting dialogue between town and gown.

The Voice of the Jamaican Ghetto
Should be read in and out of school.  It ought to be on the CXC social studies syllabus.  It raises complex issues of social justice in an justice in an accessible way.  This book will engage the attention of every student, from Campion College to Gaza Secondary.  And Adidja Palmer needs to be given a fair trial.  Quickly! Otherwise, we run the risk of turning Vybz Kartel into a political prisoner, fulfilling the expectation of the book cover.

Source: The Gleaner

I-Octane Throws Down New Single 'Wuk Up Yuh Body' Free Download

Brand New single by I-Octane titled "Wuk Up Yuh Body" produced by Markus Records.  See the description below to download ***FOR PROMO USE ONLY***

Free Download:
Limited Time!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Although Forty Years Have Passed These Reggae Recordings Stood the Test of Time

As published in the Jamaica Observer the following Reggae Recordings have stood the test of time 40 years after release.

The Wailers 'Catch A Fire' and one of the seminal albums in Pop music.

Beat Down Babylon the debut album from singer Junior Byles, produced by Lee 'Scratch' Perry and released in Britain by Trojan Records, Contains the ominous title track.

Book of Rules produced by Harry 'Harry J' Johnson, this song is arguable the Heptones' finest moment and features Barry Llewellyn on lead vocals.

All I Have Is Love by Gregory Isaacs and produced by Phil Pratt paved the way for Gregory Isaacs success.  Gregory before it's release was not then known as, The Cool Ruler.

Funky Kingston by Toots and The Maytals also title track for an album which proved reggae was an international brand.

Everyday Wondering (Skanga) produced by Rupie Edwards, recorded by Johnny Clarke who was fresh out high school Jamaica College and became a minor hit in Britain.

Silver Words (Ken Boothe) and Westbound Train (Dennis Brown) both produced by Winston 'Niney' Holness and featured the Soul Syndicate band when they were on top of their game.

Source: Jamaica Observer

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Shaka Pow Ft. Joe Lickshot "Ol' Skool Vibes"

With Jamaica music slowly but surely returning to its vibes, Nicko Rebel Music has enlisted the services of veteran artists, Shaka Pow and Joe Lickshot to bring back the Ol' Skool Vibes Jamaican music and culture has been missing for far too long.
This collaborative single gives off a flashback effect with a sound reminiscent of the 1990s as Shaka Pow incorporates lyrics speaking straightforward of the issues that have caused today's society to be beleaguered. Chastising the declining economy, criminal trends and demonizing content in today's culture, Shaka calls for a turn back to the days when Jamaica gained popularity instead of notoriety. 
His call for a better tomorrow are based on his assessments on the island's former state, suggesting "Jamaica used to be sweeter, cleaner lyrics used to come through di tweeter, Jamaican did have less woman beater, drive carefully, children in di streets yah."
Shaka's thought-provoking words are followed by Joe Lickshot's unique vibe as the talented wordsmith makes his point clear that he wants no crime and corruption to hold Jamaica hostage, like it has for so long.
Ol' Skool Vibes embodies every Jamaican's yearning for better days and allows listeners to think back to the times when the island was truly IRIE and full of easy-going, fun vibes not infiltrated by negativity.
The song was released April 9th, 2013 and is available for purchase on iTunes as well as Amazon dot com.  It is a true throwback and will incite memories with every word verbalized on this groovy riddim, signaling the time to bring back the Ol' Skool Vibes to Jamaica Land We Love.