Saturday, June 20, 2015

Chronixx/Jah Cure announces new tour dates

Both Chronixx and Jah Cure have announce new tour dates commencing in July through to August. Coming off his extended Capture Land US Tour, Chronixx will head to the UK where he is expected to perform in Manchester, Birmingham, Brighton, Oxford, Leeds, Bristol and Glasgow. In his own words here's how he explains his duty and show his appreciation, "Every night we give a offering of new songs. That's how we say thanks for this gift of music that has been bestowed upon I an I." Following Chronixx and his peers (Iba Mahr, Jesse Royal, Protoge, Kabaka Pyramid, Nesbeth and others) on social media is very enlightening. Their words and attitude towards their musical journey is worth the ride. So ride on!!!!

Out now is a new video by Shaggy featuring Chronixx off the Out of Many, One Music album. Both artistes cross paths while on tour last year in the US and performed the  single entitled, 'Bridges' and produced by Sly and Robbie for the first time at the Uprising Reggae Festival in Slovakia.

Cure again! Oh my word, Jah Cure announced a July 10th release date for his upcoming 'CURE' album on VP Records label and 'TheCURE Tour' across Europe from July 3 - 19. The 'CURE' album tour will be passing through Portugal, Poland, Italy, France, Germany, Holland, Sweden and Spain

To keep up with who's on tour' throughout the summer click our "Artistes on Tour Summer 2015" listing.


Friday, June 19, 2015

Flash Back Friday - Reggae Sumfest Feature

Its Flash Back Friday!
Reggae Sumfest is one of the most anticipated festivals in Jamaica
Check out this performance by 
"Sophia Squire" 
on Reggae Sumfest 2013

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Ketch Up... Gyptian for Summer Stage and BET Experience; Beenie Man album settingz and more

What's up with Gyptian? Gyptian drops a brand new video for his latest single, "All On Me." This month, he will be performing in NYC at Central Park SummerStage and Los Angeles (LA) at the BET Experience Festival June 27 and 28 respectively.

School is Out - Konshens roll out his school tour which has gone viral across social media due to the strong support he's received from his 'co-workers'  "Di amount a joy weh dis gimmi fi a do tings fi dem youth yah a swear... Money cyaa pay fi dah feeling yah. An fi see mi artiste fren dem
roll out fi give dem support...WOW" the Subkonshus Music boss post on IG. In show of support the following artistes were present:- Popcaan, Aidonia, Ding Dong, Foota Hype, Beenie Man, Tarrus Riley, Delus, Romain Virgo, Vanessa Bling, Denyque, Dexta Daps, Voicemail and more. #DanehallCaanStall

Get Ready...King Beenie Man is giving away hints about an upcoming album.  The doctor shared an in studio shot of himself and prominent Dancehall producer Tony 'CD' Kelly and Ceegee Music and #AlbumSettingz

Hellerrrr...I am loving this artiste from the Magnum Kings and Queens of Dancehall competition called Innovata. I can't wait for the track "Dem Fi Gweh" and certainly hope he hit mainstream no lie, he's got talent and he's Dancehall 100. 

The Teecha is poppin - I swear Vybz Kartel's 'Dancehall' track is timeless. A tribute to the genre and fans, the 'Teecha' has created an anthem that augurs well for the music and all the artistes who aspire to be great doing it #DancehallCaanStall A whoa!


Wednesday, June 17, 2015

This is what's up - Insta Hot Picks

Samantha J in an interview backstage with JAMN 94.5 crew at Summerjam in Boston recently

Kranium got a piece of the huge crowd's attention at Summerjam 2015, he performed his hit song, 'Nobody Haffi Kno' as well as the remix featuring Ty Dolla Sign

Love or loathe her, Ms Money Oooo Macka Diamond continue to do her thing and feeling/looking good as she go about it. Back on the island from a performance in London, the veteran Dancehall artiste hit the streets to promote new track 'Masquita One' inna one silky tight up skirt shorts

Three souls...One element. Just love the energy they bring. No wonder they are among the 11 Acts Keeping Roots Reggae Alive. Chronixx shared his stage recently with Iba Mahr and Jesse Royal. This is fyah!

Chronixx tun man! So Chronixx shared this IG post and disclosed he has been waiting for the day he looked like this.  Chronixx you looking like Dennis Brown here bruh!

Haven't seen Khago in while but here he is with one of Dancehall's most talked about selector Foota Hype

10 years before or 10 years after The Cham and Hot 97/Massive B DJ Jabba does not look a day older, or dey do. What you think? 

Musical brothas! Kabaka Pyramid and Iba Mahr before embarking on their US 'Young Lions' tour 


Monday, June 15, 2015

Chart Wise - Shaggy climbs into the Top 20 with "I Need Your Love"

Well what do you know! Shaggy once again proves why he is one of Jamaica's music heavyweight when his sizzling summer single, "I Need Your Love" featuring MOHOMBI, FAYDEE and COSTI moves up from 21* - 19* effectively entering the Top 20 of the US Top 40 charts. This is a re-entry for the It Wasn't Me artiste who entered the chart at #39 in March see more

We have been watching Omi's chart run on the Rhythmic chart, with a view that it can make the Top 40 chart #1 spot when we notice a familiar name to Jamaica's music industry, popular DJ/Producer Major Lazer's entry and quick moving pace up the charts as well.  This week Major Lazer also enters the top 20 in their fifth week on the chart with "Lean On," up from 23* - 17* ahead of Shaggy, in spins (top 15 in audience), and up 1025 spins.

OMI also goes Top 15 at Rhythmic with "Cheerleader" and is still poised for hit at the top of the US Top 40 charts.

On Billboard Reggae Albums chart:
Bob Marley and The Wailers "Easy Skanking in Boston 78" remains at #1. The album hit #1 last week and is now in it's second week ahead of Rebulution's "Count On Me" 52 weeks running album. Etana's "I Rise" album holds the #6 spot on the Billboard Top ahead of Morgan Heritage 'Strictly Roots" now at #7 and Chronixx "Dread and Terrible" at #8 and running a 51 weeks long marathon on the chart.


Sunday, June 14, 2015

That "Dancehall Appeal" is Real!

"why celebrate soca/carnival music in the streets of Jamaica while the music of island is tucked away in the 'dancehalls?"

"The music is called Reggae and Dancehall is the culture. Dancehall is a revolutionary place because when disc jockey bwoy never waan play we music pon radio a Dancehall we haffi carry we music go play..." ~Chronixx~ Dread n Terrible USA Jul 2014~. 

And that's how it all unfolded but overtime, different elements of the reggae genre, started to take shape and in the same manner in which it embodies elements of ska, mento and RnB, Dancehall evolved. From what was a 'revolutionary place' for playing reggae to the Jamaican branded 'Dancehall' genre, a more sparse version of Reggae than the roots styleAs time went by, one was able to see clearly, why a distinction between the genres was inevitable.

People embrace music the way they want to hear it. The sounds, lyrics, creativity all come together in a moment and a decision is made. Both genres basically covers the sames issues/topics but appeal to different audiences at times. For example, the music of Agent Sasco formerly Assassin who has stuck to positive, conscious lyrics over a hard hitting dancehall beat. And Queen Ifrika, who singjay the same positive, conscious lyrics but mainly over reggae beats. Both artistes are loved and respected in their own rights but are classified as Dancehall and Reggae artistes. So the distinction made there is between beats. Or, as in the case of Chronixx and Vybz Kartel. One would never describe Chronixx as 'mad' reggae or Dancehall. Instead, his music and form of expression is called roots/reggae, conscious reggae or Reggae in general. Chronixx lyrics can be thought provoking but subtly expressed and his choice of beats are mostly reggae. Whereas, Vybz Kartel 'mad dancehall' expression is aggressive, hardcore, stylish, trendy, hard hitting and controversial laid over hip gyrating, splits and puppy tail uptempo beats. Two totally opposite artistes who have also earned their respects in their own rights. Other examples are, Junior Gong, Protoge, Nesbeth, Jesse Royal, Kabaka Pyramid, all Roots-Reggae artistes who are deejays (toast over a mic) or singjay (fuse deejay and singing). Their styles are commonly associated with the Dancehall genre however, these artistes only create reggae music. 

Now this genre called 'Dancehall' has battled for life for a number of years. One can easily draw motivation from it's journey, if choose to look at it as a character. Like Reggae, it is also a true expression of Jamaicans; an art-form that expresses struggles, social injustice, religious beliefs, sex and sexual practices, happiness, trends and overall cultural practice of a people. There are times when I as a Jamaican feel strongly about certain music and probably wish it never made it out the studio but it is what it is. My own perception, appreciation or the lack thereof for a particular song, cannot be the only reason it should remain in, or not make it out of a studio, it's music.

We've often heard how Reggae is dying, oh! Scrap that, reggae music created by Jamaica's   artistes are dying, and even worse, Dancehall is dead! If you choose to believe that is so, ask yourselves, "then why has the 'Dancehall appeal' been as real as the fact that Bob Marley is one of, if not, the greatest artiste/musician of all times?" I can go back in history to the 90s era to make my point. But for the purpose of this article, will just take a few steps forward to more recent times. A vast majority of the Hip-Hop/rap community in the United States have now sampled, remix a song or collaborate with a Jamaican Dancehall artiste.  These songs, have also made their Billboard #1 albums and I said recent haven't I? Yes, Kanye West, Kendrick Llamar, Jay Z are all Hip-Hop heavyweights who have incorporated lyrics by a Dancehall artiste into their songs which made their US Billboard Top 100 Chart, #1 selling albums. Why have they sampled Dancehall on their albums? What is the significance of this? Well let me try not to answer this myself but refer to a statement made recently by someone of international stature, one of music's legends, the great Mick Jagger of the Rollingstones. In explaining why Vybz Kartel and Jay-Z are his favourite Hip-Hop artistes , Mick Jagger has not only categorized Dancehall drawing references between the twobut also made an interesting statement. He said, 'the appeal for Dancehall' is his reason for doing so.  What 'appeal' is he referring to? Is it the same 'appeal' felt across the world? 

It is a fact that Jamaicans have started to capitalize on our natural ability (talent/skills) and rightly so after missing the mark with the global appeal of the great Bob Marley's music and a wealth of knowledge by pan-Africanist, the Most Honourable Marcus Garvey. As we grow, even painfully slow, the interest placed on our athletes over the past few years and, the introduction of local music societies/organisations such as JaRIA, JAMMS and more recently, the Jamaican Government's initiative, National Registry of Entertainment and Creative Industries Practioners (I feel fire in my neck for this one but let me continue), film festival, major fashion shows and the herbs (LMAO), is a thrust in the right direction. After-all, it is better to be late than never right? But with those efforts now evident, so much more needs to be done to nurture Dancehall and Reggae music on the island. That 'appeal' that has drawn 70 year old Mick Jagger, Drake, Beyonce, Jay Z, Kendrick Llamar, Kanye West, Snoop Dogg, Rihanna, Nicki Minaj and so many other world reknown superstars is up for grabs. 

While I embrace soca/carnival, another music of the Caribbean that is strongly felt across the length and breath of the region; A lyrically suggestive but more than often, raunchy music like Dancehall, "why have the gatekeepers of the Jamaican music industry allowed a designated season to celebrate soca/carnival music in the streets of Jamaica while the music of island is tucked away in the 'dancehalls?" This is like flying the flag of another country in your country with little or no regards for your own flag. 

Soca/carnival music is embedded in young Jamaican music fans as it should, it is music of Caribbean origin. But Jamaica's music, a music, "that has inextricably linked since its origin in the 1960s with Jamaica and considered to be 'the heart and soul' of the country's entertainment landscape and hold an important place in the country's history. It's contribution to the island's cultural development is significant and cannot be discredited."~Professor Carolyn Cooper~

I'm calling for a Reggae/Dancehall JAMboree season on the island too, with just about the same stipulations and credence given to soca/carnival music in other islands. During that season, only Reggae and Dancehall music should be played/featured across all media and celebrated in our streets in the same manner as 'Cropover in Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago CarnivalThese islands have dedicated a whole season to observe and celebrate their culture. We need to experience floats moving across the island displaying the different era of our music and the various artistes that contributed to its success as well. The intricate elements of the Reggae/Dancehall culture should be put on full display for the world to see. Such an event can be regulated and appreciated in the same manner as soca/carnival. I once heard a radio DJ said some of our young people don't know who is Pinchers? This is why there is no identity for some of the music we now hear and why we see news headlines with reference to artistes at odds with one another for stealing marketing strategies to promote their pornographic content. How lame is that? "A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots" ~The Honourable Marcus Garvey

Some artistes are still in the blocks watching Gully Bop network, tour and make money because they're lost. This should not be, the founding fathers of this music have left the greatest of legacy for them to make good with. If many of these artistes grew up on the music of their forefathers even today, they would have been able to enhance the model. And this is mostly attributed to Dancehall artistes because the Reggae artistes have done their homework and is reaping the benefits already. So those who are serious about making it out those blocks, meditate on some of the lyrics of our greats "If you know your history, then you will know where you're coming from"....~Bob Marley~ and might I add, where you're going.

"Jamaica will always have the real thing, but it's what the industry does with it that determines its rise or fall." ~Copeland Forbes~
We continue to fight ourselves, giving little or no assistance to our entertainers in Jamaica. But with the help of social media, they are able to market their brands at nightly events. The overall showcase is then package in audio/visual formats and exported via Youtube and other online outlets across the world. This is how resilient and persistent the successful artistes are. It is from the exposure of this self reliant system, that most Dancehall entertainers reap their reward and in return are able to, feed their families and other families as well as provide employment for many. See charities spearheaded by some Dancehall/Reggae artistes

While some Jamaicans continue to feel 'cute' about who they are, other nationalities embrace our culture shamelessly. Like reggae music, the wise person(s) who sees value in the 'Dancehall' genre have started chipping away elements of it, graciously capitalizing on it's global appeal. There are speculations that Rihanna (who's debut single, the dancehall-reggae infused "Pon de Replay" marked her Billboard chart debut), might be teaming up with Dancehall artistes for her long awaited, upcoming album R8. Rih has demonstrated times over, that Dancehall and Reggae music is a part of of who she is, and understandably so, she's Caribbean and these genres are the most dominant in the region. But in so doing, Rihanna has evoke great interest in the genres among her millions of fans. As recent as around June 8, a Snapchat story and IG videos of the Bajan and world superstar shaking her a$$ and doing her cute, 'Thotty Pebbles' rock went viral. She was dancing to a Dancehall Tony Curtis remix If You Were Here and Vybz Kartel Dancehall tracks which were on full blast Flintstone themed, birthday party.

The video sent fans scrambling across Youtube to find these song. In a recent article entitled, Rewinding the charts and posted on the 'Diamonds' singer website, "Pon de Replay" is described as a folky song that continued Rihanna's trademark sonic exploration, which has, in addition to dancehall, encompassed dance/pop, hard-hitting hip-hop and soaring ballads. Ten years ago, young Rihanna when asked in an interview which Caribbean stars she would collab with, said Sean Paul and Vybz Kartel.

This publication is not a, 'Columbus's discovery' as Jamaicans would say when being sarcastic about a discovery that never was. The effect of the Dancehall genre on people across boundaries is nothing new.  Several artistes from it's inception in the 60s to current, have successfully contributed to it's far reaching effect. Some of who includes Shabba Ranks, Chaka Demus and Pliers, Lady Patra, Bounty Killer, Beenie Man, Lady Saw, Sean Paul, Mavado and Vybz Kartel to name a few, Yet, it seems, even after so long, we are still not able to identify what aspect of this music is so alluring and even if some of us do, have not been able to make it a sustainable asset? 

So, if one allows media perception to replace reality in every aspect of life then who needs common sense? Here we have been rocking this giant genre with mass 'appeal' in a stroller and, has given it a pacifier hoping it will remain quiet. Meanwhile, the rest of the world recognize the giant it is, embraces it and has moved to capitalize on it's infectious quality that causes people to like it

By: Sophia McKay