Peep my post about Diplo at FICTION on Wednesday night on TheFADER.com here.
This Vybz Kartel song dropped about a week ago from the mixer of Jamaican mega producer, Don Corleon. While the beat moves at a quicker tempo then the more characteristic Vybz songs, Kartel has no problem keeping up– although it seems his wallet may have a problem keeping up with his woman deh. Get the track here and follow Don Corleon on twitter here for updates on new drops he’s brewing up.
This bootleg youtube video for Vybz Kartel’s, “Black Child” cuts out at 2:33. It marks a point in the song when Kartel is in mid-phrase of asking, “ten years from now, tell me wha gun happen to ma daughter?” Unintentional, but it still leaves you with goose bumps bewilderment from a blunt cut off. “Black Child” is reiterating what every parent worries about, that their child– that Jamaica’s children– are at threat of being children of Sisyphus. If you recall the Greek myth of Sisyphus, a king, who was cursed to push a huge boulder to the top of a hill, only to get there and watch the boulder roll back down again. In the story he inevitably has to repeat the process for infinity in his strife to get the boulder to the top, to succeed against all odds.
Last Sunday, an article in the Jamaican Observer surfaced from journalist, Mark Wignall asking, “Is DJ Music Just Irrelevant Noise?” The article gives a concentrated background of Jamaican rootz and reggae artists and for a substantial part sites the words of essayist/reader Sherman Escoffery, who in turn diminishes any thoughtful messages or talent that musicians or producers associated with deejays have to offer from the eighties on. Basically undermining the beginning of the deejays/DJ’s musical helm in Jamaica and internationally (also often seen with rap and hip-hop too). Wignall maintains humility in the conversation by offering an anecdote of his journalistic approach– the narrative ends asking “why should I believe that my values are better than those espoused by others and thus should be imposed on others?” Still, the thesis of the entire article is based off quotes from Escoffery’s discreditation of DJ music. Genre in box anyone? Listen, there is always an exception and music journalists, enthusiasts, culture wavers or JUST SOMEBODY will always find it. In dancehall’s case there are many. Why we always having this continuous battle between the hybrid or new version and the memorable, nostalgic version (Read music editor Pete Macia’s article on this here.) Music reflects what is happening around us doesn’t it? It could be about the globalization of music, the progression of a state or nation OR EVEN spandex fashion and the beef in our backyard.
This constant argument that DJ music propels kid’s ideas into immorality is faulted. It is true to an extent but it would be nice to think that the DJ isn’t raising children and that contributors like preachers, teachers, theorists, parents, ect. have a substantial impact as role models. Doesn’t it even seem that statements like, “At some stage the badness and the business merge and the result is all too often what is demanded by a brain-dead population: crappy music” contribute to the problem by undermining everyone that doesn’t agree with your music tastes. If DJs are resurfacing the evils of the world (greed, violence, illicit sex), maybe it’s culture that they are responding to.
Vybz Kartel’s new album, “Pon di Gaza,” comes out this Friday. “Black Child” will be on it and probably a lot of other songs about doing it, shooting guns, hating people, loving people and resenting people. Vybz question about his daughter resonates still because after all, the man just wants to make sure, when his daughter gets to the top of the hill, that boulder nuh go nowhere.
ED NOTE: Major credit should be given to the curmudgeon Pete Macia and his “Internet Hangover.”
Di Genius just dropped his new Bad People riddim and it’s spreading like wild fire over the internet. Tracks by Aidonia, Elephant Man, Busy Signal, Bramma and Chino can be found in the first wave of the riddim’s release but other tracks are popping up on the odds and ends from Mavado (above) to Kibaki. You can get the first set here (via JWonder). Keep an eye out for other tracks as “Bad People” catapults into dancehall webland.
UPDATE: Get the full riddim here with tracks from Beenie Man, Flexxx, Laden and more.
If “itttssss Chaaaaarly” Black’s intention was to brainwash us into believing he’s Jamaica’s fastest rising deejay, it worked on me. Between the catch phrases about getting “rich this year” or being “multi-talented” or how “dem cyaan stop deh country bwoy”, Charly Black has somehow made himself into the Bruce Willis of deejay one liners. Aside from within Jamaican corridors, he hasn’t been given much notice internationally– although it was encouraging to see him in Eddie Stats column mix this week. With an upbeat snap and lowly reverb, Black builds this new track, “Traitor Dem,” into a finely balanced pace of swagger and flow. Other tracks like “Rich this Year“, “Money Dreama“, “Bubble” and “So Mi Like It” just prove Charly Black is growing at double speed. After all, the fastest man in the world is from Charly’s very own Trelawny.
MP3: “TRAITOR DEM“
Tifa has had a serious year working her ass off. Somehow between stacking up jams for 2009 and walking away with a “most improved artist” at the EME’s, she also manages to look Grade A. Something, dudes, you may not notice, but probably should a little more ’cause being a female deejay ain’t no piece a cake. Just saying. Her new track with Ward 21 artist, Kunley McCarthy, evokes a seventies edge. A little Barry Manilow, a little Diana Ross… a lot of ganja. Get it here.