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Popcaan, “The City Yeah” Pt Twice (Official Video)

8 Jun

It’s been a year since “Wagwaan Popcaan” transcended into the international platform with “Clarks” and “Dream” and while many were still stuck pondering the playfulness of Vybz’s catchphrase, Popcaan was busy at work improving his lyricism and flow.

Several tracks emerged since the new year with the more matured sound of an artiste venturing out from under his mentor’s wings. Popcaan released “She Gone” off the Yung Riddim (Notnice) about a lover who’ll never get a man like him- “remember every gyal waan Popcaan”- and then coincided the single with “Tun Up the Scheme” and “No Sponsor“, both from Notnice.

Kartel’s entourage has slowly diluted since the peak of its franchise. With Kim, Lisa Hyper, Ryno, Former Manager Cory Todd, Merital Family and most recently producer Notnice and artiste Jah Vinci all leaving the camp to pursue their own projects (often with bitterness and controversy fueled by Kartel). Some are still lurking in the shadow of Jamaica’s most talked about deejay, Kartel, while others, freshly relieved from the troop, are imagining up new ventures. And the struggle to stay afloat will be difficult, not because they don’t have the potential, but because Kartel is an eclipse of a personality with an endless supply of production capabilities.

The young Popcaan, who recently shot down rumors that he too was leaving the Gaza, is quickly developing an artiste rapport with his fans that rivals those of his mentor’s generation. Still Jamaican fan’s grapple with the complexities of dancehall tribalism. Comments from “The City Yeah” youtubes highlight these conflicts within Popcaan’s fan base:

“Popcaan is a talented youth but it all will seem futile when associating with people who favor the devil’s work!!!!!!!! Now all is said and done..Popcaan your talented my youth……” – Black 56104

“Only reason why me listen to gaza cause of popcaan always droppin mad tunes nah lie.. JOP MI SEH Str8 always” -Gucci Thing

Despite the hesitance from the “other” side, Popcaan keeps getting more intriguing. And why not? An evolution on the scene would be welcomed with open arms. You can only listen to the same five deejays so many times before you crave something newer, something less embattled. After all, Popcaan says, “Mad still in Adi city yeah, but me haffi say, I’m kicking it the happy way.”

Konshens, “Buss a Shot” Official Video

8 Jun

Always a great artiste with a consistent stride, Konshens does a well-produced heartfelt track for those dancehall/reggae artistes lost in the last year to sickness, tragedy and as Konshens points out in the video, greed. Using his crisp voice (don’t come looking for autotune here) Konshens encapsulates the depth of Jamaica’s musical losses this year. Brap Brap. See also the clean version, Buss a Blank.

Tarrus Riley, “Shaka Zulu Pickney”

10 Feb

Another beautifully imagined video from Director Storm Saulter has emerged for Tarrus Riley’s roots track, “Shaka Zulu Pickney.” Evoking Garvey, Malcolm X, Nanny, Sam Sharpe and other Black American and Jamaican heroes in his track, Tarrus Riley continues to stay on the path of good virtue by keeping the content conscious.

I had the opportunity to do a video interview with Riley once a few years back (a video that lingers somewhere in the FADER/Suite 903 archives never to emerge). At the time, Riley, a man of medium build who sports small square glasses, wore a green army jacket pocked with picture pendants of Garvey, Marley and other Jamaican national heroes. It’s refreshing to see he is a man who sticks as squarely to his values as he does to his choice in optical styles.

In related news, check the trailer for Storm Saulter’s feature film, “Better Mus’ Come” with English subtitles below. Look for the film to be released in New York in late March with a week’s full of festivities at Gallery 151 in SOHO.

Elephant Man, “Vampires and Informers” Mini Album

26 Oct

Photo by Christopher Harty

I mentioned a fluctuation in Jamaican sound in my post for TheFADER.com the other day. Prodigal Entertainment just released a grimy track by Wiley called “It’s Wiley” on their soon to be released Showa Eski Riddim and it had me thinking how good the mish-mashing off Jamaican sound is with other genres when it’s done well. Prodigal gave Showa Eski just the right rhythmic wax and wane on this bouncy crossover beat and Wiley navigates it with the ease of an MVP.

Wiley, “It’s Wiley” (Showa Eski Riddim)

Then I discovered the dubmatic clash of dancehall and heavy bass in the new Elephant Man, “Vampires and Informers” mini album from Subatomic Sound System (New York) and Peoples Records (Jamaica). The mix features 8 tracks from the riddims of Subatomic Sound System, Stereotyp, Dubblestandart, Kush Arora, & Ming (of Ming+FS). You can get the entire album on Itunes or Amazon, but peep the preview mix below.

Sani Showbizz Buss!

7 Sep

Lately it seems video director and itinerant photographer, Peter Dean Rickards, has been cooking up his own little dancehall industry in the backwoods of Stony Hill. Interviews with Sani Showbizz, a remarkably familiar-looking Jamaican musical artiste (aka Prince Zimboo in a suit), have been leaking onto the photographer’s youtube site. In what appears to be a performance art parody on dancehall culture, Sani Showbizz adds a little levity to the heavy fog that has become the Jamaican music industry. In this video, Showbizz’s blustering swagger apologizes for nothing as he dances his way through the interview to “I know”, a Sani Showbizz original. Until the interviewer asks him about Zimboo, and just like a hothead, Sani losses his cool.

(via Annie Paul Twitter)

Videos Releases

6 Sep

Popcaan, “Dream”

Despite the fact that more then one of my male friends has said those street Gaga sunglasses, “sell off”, I will forever not take Popcaan seriously because of them.

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Sex Appeal Medley featuring:
Ryno, Flexx, Chase Cross, Serani, Stein, Bounty Killer


Serani doing right by me here. This is why he gone farin.

(via Dancehall.mobi and JJevafrass)

Konshens, “Bounce” (Official Video)

16 Jun


(via dancehallmobi)

If you’ve ever watched a NOLA bounce video then you’ve seen Konshens’ new video for his appropriately titled track “bounce.” While Konshens’ “bounce” is a little more wine n’ bubble then NOLA bounce, it’s no less mesmerizing. Current TV did a mini-documentary with Diplo about the bounce seen in New Orleans but the best site to get that bounce action is Nolabounce.com.