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.
Konshens could be one of most malleable deejay/singjays in Jamaican music right now, even more so then Chino or Wayne Marshall who have a striking appeal to international listeners. Last week, he released the second part in his “Realest” mixtape series with a brief mention on the Jamaican music site Dancehall.mobi and few other sites dotted here and there. Nothing showy, just a soft release.
Around the same time Konshens returned from a three week tour in Japan, where in 2005 he sat comfortably on top of the singles chart with “Pon di Corner” and now again with his Gachapan produced “Out the Ghetto”, which you can find on the new mixtape. The most phenomenal thing about Konshens as a musician is that he is versatile. The artiste took his musical trade and didn’t just sit happily in a tight niche, he negotiates with style– much the way Busy Signal has learned to do– in ways that make him attractive across multiple markets.
While the mixtape itself is somewhat repetitive with older tunes that rested comfortably on Jamaican radio rotation for well over six months, it does contain a few sparklers. Two of my tops are completely opposite in tone and content, “Do It Back Again” and “No More Tears”. The mixtape opens with the Karim Hype produced “Do It”, your basic sexy ladies track. It’s no frills, just the basics to get your hips moving: a looping piano, then a winding simplistic beat with Casio style synths. On the other end of the spectrum, the mixtape ends with “No More Tears” off the Rebellion Riddim, which is unusually classic in its roots reggae sound and content. I can’t make out who is on the track with him. Queen Ifrica possibly. Point being, the mixtape, if anything, is an example of the vast capabilities of Konshens as an artiste. Something that newer artistes would be smart to take note of as the dancehall industry expands and contracts anew.
“Out the Ghetto”
“Do It Back Again”
“No More Tears”
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.
You may have thought I was sleeping on dancehall this week, but really I’ve been quietly observing its anxious shuffle from the passenger seat. This week in dancehall we saw a shift in economics with the launch of 2010’s biggest riddims onto Itunes and Amazon. Twitter was all a buzz with hope and excitement from the industry mavens and fans were giving play by plays of every new track they purchased (and probably already owned through freeload.)
I also spent a pretty penny in US dollars on tracks I already had – including the Jafrican riddim, one of my favorite’s for the year– and also stuck to my word and purchased Daseca’s Genesis riddim which snow-balled the onslaught of riddim purchase with its global radio marketing scheme– since then I haven’t stopped listening to Serani’s “When I’m Around You” from Genesis and on his new mixtape, Future II. It also appeared as online purchases picked up speed, freeloads slowed to a halt and promoters where finally starting to lasso in media hoarders. But a select few media giants are dropping a spare amount of goodies for freeload, just enough to feed our salacious appetites.
One track coming from Johnny Wonder’s realm is a Konshens’ “Survivor.” Last Sunday I saw Konshens at Hillshire in Portmore and later tweeted that the man CAN sing, which came out in my broken americanized version of patois as caann (aka can’t). Point being, I intended to emphasize that while many artistes lose their clarity and confidence singing live because they don’t have that warm snuggly to envelop them– also known as Autotune– that’s not the case for Konshens. Something you can see in his new “Survivor” track.
Get it here: “Survivor” MP3
Busy Signal, “Dem Call The Police”
Konshens, “Tek Yuh Time”
I love the dub feeling from this Kirkledove produced Jump Drive riddim. Kirkledove aka Kirk Bennett’s expertise as a drummer– including work as the house drummer for Beres Hammond–materializes best in the bouncy bass notes overlaid with the tight tap taps of the high hat. I included two of the tracks off the riddim. One from three of Busy’s renditions, and also Konshen’s “Tek Yuh Time.” Not included here, but equally as good, are tracks from Mr. Vegas, Elephant Man and Degree. Get the full riddim here.