Hold tight, I’ll soon return. Been busy with a whole heap a craziness.
We’re six months deep into 2010 and already I’ve started to mentally catalogue my favorite riddims of the year to date. While I’m not inclined to reveal them yet I will say that this Jim Screechie Equiknoxx riddim has started to sneak under my skin like a prowling “Jim Screechy”. I’m not repeating words here just to annoy you. “Jim Screechie” is a Jamaican colloquialism for a sneaky person.
The artists on this riddim took the title to heart and playfully expanded on it, using it to build their own plot lines about stealing away lovers for loving. Aidonia serves a fine example in “Jackhammer” with an explicit analogy about using his power tool. The songs that really caught my ear though were Kemikal, Spice and RDX because they utilized buzzing, teeth kissing, shhshhing, bubba waabble sounds and even breathy whispering to balance their voices against the rise and dip of the unconventional sounding riddim. Peep the tracks below and pree the whole riddim here.
Kemikal, “La La La”
Spice, “Jim Screechie”
RDX, “For The Girls”
While North America is in full summer swing, Jamaica has been receiving a beating from tropical rains, something that I’m not entirely opposed to considering the alternative of sweltering humidity. Well, I take no issue with it until it ruins beach activity. But one of the best things about summer–aside from the beach– is summer mixtapes. Two weeks ago I got a pretty nice Mavado and Vybz mix off a street vendor named Romeo in MoBay, but for those that don’t have street vendor access a barrage of summer mixtapes have made their way into the internet world to lighten your mood.
Two mixtapes were released today from Portmore Empire’s camp, one from the “Clarks” star Popcaan curiously titled, “Hot Skull Fry Yiy Boil Brainz” and another from his label mate, Shawn Storm titled, “The Sivva”. Local producers Razz and Biggy who released the First Born Riddim earlier this year did a feisty dancehall-heavy mixtape titled “Higgest Bidder” that leaves you just right for pre-party vibes. Lastly, RETv’s “Kruddy” from the Renaissance camp released his first mix called “Tilt the City” demonstrating his young Jamaica club sound and plenty of finely tuned dubs. Download them all below for your listening pleasure.
Not that long ago, before I dissolved from the U.S. to attend graduate school in Jamaica, I made a job of studying fashion blogs and mingling amongst the fashion masses alongside the lovely Chioma Nnadi, Style Director of The Fader. It was under these circumstances that I first came to Jamaica in 2008 as a guest to Caribbean Fashion Week and fell in love, not with clothes, but with Jamaican culture. It was our job as visitors to Kingston, Ms. Nnadi and I’s, to seek out style moments on the street to shoot for later posting in the website’s style section.
While “fashion” is not a term I particularly like, the term “style” seems more relevant because it has the ability to reveal true character, regardless of price tags. It was in Jamaica that I realized people had a very particular sense of personal style. Jamaicans make style their own by mish-mashing name brand with no brand and adding a lot of personal flare. More then anything, Jamaicans love posing for a camera, so it was a surprise to see there hadn’t been any “on-the-street” style blogs brewing.
Enter KingstonStyle.com, Jamaica’s on the street and style wise website about everything from shopping to new designers to fashionistas. Hosted by Kingston based Biggy Bigz, the website is never short on perfectly framed and nicely edited snapshots of Jamaican style. Thankfully, talented and stylish Jamaicans are finally receiving the attention they deserve.
See more after the jump or go to KingstonStyle.com