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Thursday, October 29, 2015

The Big Explaination!

   Some of you may know him as the country singer who the finished out the VP Record Co's Reggae Gone Country drop with The Gambler but now that the year 2013 is almost over I can without hesitation tell you that Mr Busy Signal is without a doubt my big star of 2012! The man showed up strong in places where he has never been. Places like MTV. I'm talking pop tart crossovers with Gwen Stefani's NO DOUBT. Although that sorta forgettable but not regrettable tune probably introduced the man to so many new fans, it was his island hopping over to Trinidad and Tobago that caught my undivided attention. Now SOCA has always been in my peripheral hearing. How could I deny my ears the pleasure of the very voluptuous sounds of Alison Hinds? Or my eyes for that matter! Busy brought that completely into focus. And I spent the last half a year further educating myself on the musical genre's past and present.
   With complete confidence I can tell you that this Studio 758 drop will be the best SOCA release of 2013! It has all choice talents voicing big riddims but it is that "new comer" to the scene that has me absolutely enthralled. 
   Let me explain....When Beenie Man guest stars in another type of sound he sounds exactly that, like Beenie Man doing his usual thing inna guest staring role. By the way Beenie shows up at least once in every genre of music. Everything from Rap Francais to Polka. And I'm sure if given the chance he would even lend his talents in a Taylor Swift duet. Imagine Beenie Man exposing himself to the tween demographic.
   Now Busy he sounds like he came of age in Trinidad carnivals and fetes. He sounds  completely indifferent to something the Jamaicans call Dancehall. It's like he's steeped in the sounds and the sites that Bunji Garlin and Machel Montano call home. He approaches the musical tradition from the inside and not as visitor. 

   Interestingly, Nico favorite ANTHONY B dropped a Soca single celebrating the Trinidad and Tobago festival simply titled Carnival. Now Anthony B sounds exactly like Anthony B and that mi friends is good thing. Different rules apply when dealing with that Bobo chanter. 

    I can't tell you what my top contender for the reggae record of the year 2012 was. Maybe in the year two thousand twenty I'll scratch my chin and for a moment get lost in deep in thought. Then BAM! without hesitation mention Mr Vegas's double disc. A drop that caught me by complete surprise. I've always dug Mr Vegas's current take on classic Barrington Levy style. But this collection goes beyond mere homage.

If I take the diplomatic approach...this double disc wins both heads and tails. It celebrates Jamaica's birthday. It will also appeal to fans of both kinds of music. Both Reggae and Dancehall...

Not sure of what I did or how I got here but I haven't been able access my blog since 2013!

Thursday, April 4, 2013


Because of this man-

        I haven't listened to Dancehall or Reggae in weeks! 


This may have something to do with.....I'll um...explain.

Sunday, January 27, 2013


Continuing my online community service-

A big shout out to the BOOMRUSH PRODUCTION crew of GERMANY. Find them here in the mean time.

A teaser...


 A few years ago VP Records dropped a batch of releases by some of my favorite heavies. I snatched up RICHIE SPICE'S Book of JOB immediately and spun it thru the week. Sadly it just didn't carve itself as deep into my memory as it should of. It still remains sorta half forgotten. 

LADY SAW'S My Way has landed in my CD player maybe a half-a-dozen times since that initial drop. I should say fall. ( I know I was feeling more optimistic in my original review.)(Wait...I review records?) Now her record from the year 1997 (aptly titled) PASSION, that one I spin like it's still fresh on the airwaves. 

Could it be that some of the Reggae Dancehall's big veterans were becoming stale? Uninspired maybe?

So with all those concerns weighing on my mind the rumour that Capleton's big disc for 2010, his long awaited I-Ternal...I should expect it to be a slight disappointment. I heard the few big teaser singles like "Acres" that preceded the initial drop date....everything sounded good but I foolishly waited till the price become more budget friendly. I mean I-Ternal didn't top any of the trusted lists. There were no reports that I-Ternal overheated stereo components and set speakers ablaze. So I waited patiently...


He goes by King Shango, The Fyahman and of course Capleton. His birth certificate reads Clifton George Bailey III but that is a degrading name from left-over colonization. Whatever you call him ...don't call I-Ternal Fire anything less than masterpiece!

I-Ternal is a different kind of fire. Quieter perhaps but no less hot. And was most definitely a top 5 drop of 2010. And another brilliant disc in a long succession of Fyah themed VP Record releases.

Nothing is ever that simple is it? Mr. Sizzla Kalonji, a professed devout Rastafarian, spews out Dutty Mouth with as much equal lust as he gives Thanks and Praise to Jah. Where as Capleton never leaves you in doubt that he loves his woman, he just does it with polite manners using tunes like "Good in her clothes!" off of MORE FIRE. He safely swerves around those dangerous curves! 

Sizzla, by virtue of his massive schedule, is bound to make a few minor mistakes! He has percentages working against him. Although it is never his skill level or his taste that betrays him. It simply that we have heard it before. Usually by him. Maybe even a multitude of times. Generic Sizzla? Say it ain't so!

Already thinking a dozen records ahead!

If ya thought that ACHIS is an over achiever check this page! 


SIZZLA did commit some heartfelt sentiments to disc in order warm up the cold world of plastic coated digital recordings.

A Kalonji / VP Records joint effort.


I guess following on the heels of his spectacular SCRIPTURES these two discs entered the world with a little less fanfare. Both are truly strong foundation statements. IN GAMBIA and THE CHANT deserve your full attention. Give it! Both these discs are an aural snapshot of his "return" to Mama Africa. 

I came across a handful of Sizzla tracks on SOUNDCLOUD before AFRO-JAM dropped THE CHANT.  Production by Kemson Macgyver Fenton's ICE REIGN RECORDS. These tunes ended up being my most played Sizzla tracks of 2012. Period. Amazing stuff from out of nowhere! Well from Harare Zimbabwe actually. Do check this link out...and do your ears a favor. 


Anthony B- I don't know what to say. Is it his voice? Could be. Is it his lyrics? Not sure. So what makes Anthony B so incredible? Damn good question. Is it that in a career that officially stretches back to 1996... in all those years...that he has never dropped a bad disc! Not a single one. 

Even the always dubious Penitentiary Records and their (Anthony B probably doesn't paid one shiny penny in royalties!) GATHER and COME collection of early random tunes is a massive disc. 

Is this release a less-than-lagal affair?

It is what it is and this disc melted my car stereo. The car's stock little unit couldn't handle the truth!

He knows


Anthony B's FREEDOM FIGHTER is most definitely a top drop of 2012.  A great production from the IRIE VIBRATIONS crew. 

I am planning on doing a "spotlight"write up FREEDOM FIGHTER in the near future. Or I could get lazy and wait for ACHIS to do a much more thorough job. 

Again...if I compiled this short list of favorites ten years ago...BUJU BANTON would of topped it at number one. Period. 

Sunday, January 13, 2013


When the mood strikes me to spin something that is happening right now, I sorta have my top unholy three must listens. And on the flip side I have my guilt free top three righteous choices. 
Modern Dancehall is sort of split between two mentalities with a bit of fuzzy thinking in between. Those two mentalities are the sacred and the secular. The turban Dreads versus the barbered fades and braids.

                                   AN UN-HOLY TRIO!

 MAVADO started out as my absolute fave of slack talk and gun play. His tunes stank of gritty and dark realities. Mavado is pure evil! But with only two brilliant long players to his credit and several fistfuls of hit singles, ranging from pure genius (produced by the DiGenius of course) too being merely average. Of course "average" Mavado is still far superior to most radio airplay. So Mavado slid down to third on my list. Besides spending to many studio hours stateside with Lil' Wayne's crew has gotten me nervous.

Please prove me wrong.

And in the beginning...

VYBZ on the other hand...well I must admit...I think he gets better and better as he continues too sell out! Well...past tense anyway since he traded his posh trimmings and plushy punnany for a room with iron bars and a boyfriend named Bubba. Don't drop the soap Adi. 

Vybz is a persistent fame whore. The network may of cancelled his TV show the "TEACHA'S PET." His brand of rum may of went dry. So has he failed stardom? I think he'll be around for a long time.

In need of some serious JAH GUIDANCE!

I played this all summer long. Then thru the fall. Then thru the winter.

BUSY SIGNAL has blown up from Gully apprentice to Jamaican supernova. The man can effortless shift between genres as seemingly opposite as Country to Dancehall.(Kenny Rodger's "The Gambler" on VP's REGGAE GONE COUNTRY fer instance.) Words like gifted and blessed are often used to describe him. Words usually used to describe the BOBO chanters. 
If I posted this list ten years ago, Bounty Killer most certainly would of occupied the top spot. But after years of being behind the scenes. Alright, he does on occasion poke his head out from behind the curtain to drop a guest vocal or tease us with glimpse of that hungry miser-rebel youth grown older.

Gifted and immensely talented.
Why does BUSY earn one of the top spots in my bad minded trio if he is all big heart and tender soul? This...

These tunes are as filthy as the soiled sheets from a LA porn set!

One of 2012's best if not the single best release of last year!

Part II coming very soon....


BABY DANTE here again...just a quick note...stop by http://www.reggaeville.com/ for a FREE 2012 yearbook in downloadable PDF and a bonus MP3 EP of the REGGAEVILLE RIDDIM!

                         That mi friend is a win win situation!