Thursday, September 6, 2007

Events and Concerts Update September 06 2007

Jah Cure and Tarrus Riley in London October 20 2007--Brixton Academy

Eindhoven and the reggae Sundance was perhaps a little far for some to see Jah Cure on scene. London is much closer, and one should find much our compatriots in Brixton Academy of the English capital, where Jah Cure will stop at the time of Freedom Tour.

An event in oneself, and all the more tempting as it will be accompanied by Tarrus Riley, which will precede it on scene, on Saturday October 20.
Marcia Griffiths & Diana King Headline Trinity Tour 2007
Fort Lauderdale, FL, September 04, 2007
Jamstar Productions and Jamaica Arts Holdings have announced that the Trinity Tour, featuring some of Jamaica’s premiere female artists, will take place in major North American cities this fall. The tour will allow fans to appreciate live, and intimate, performances by Marcia Griffiths (the Queen of Reggae), Diana King (Reggae/R&B Superstar) and a third emerging Jamaican female artist to be announced. The Trinity tour project was developed in an effort to increase the awareness of talented female artists in the reggae music industry. These phenomenal women represent some of Jamaica’s most prolific talent and their pioneering creativity will be showcased in this unprecedented tour.

The North American tour will begin October 18th on the east coast.

Marcia Griffiths’ career spans over 40 years highlighted by #1 hits in every genre of Jamaican music including ska, rock steady, reggae and dancehall. Her most recent album, “Melody Life: Reggae Anthology”, is an epic anthology and comprehensive insight into the works of one of Jamaica’s first female recording artists. The album is currently ranked #1 in NY, Jamaica and South Florida reggae chart. She is also one of the first female solo recording artist in the reggae industry, and she hit the Billboard chart with “Electric Boogie Song” and created a world class dance, the Electric Slide. She has also toured the world as a member of the I-threes with Bob Marley and the Wailers.

Fans will remember Diana King from her monster hits, “Shy Guy” from the Bad Boys soundtrack and “I Say a Little Prayer” from My Best Friend's Wedding soundtrack. Diana’s new label, Think like a Girl has pre-released six new singles online that are now available on three of the artist's websites:, www.myspace.comkingsing and www.myspace.comthinklikeagirl.
The tracks which will be on her new album include “Yu Dun Kno” featuring Gunjan and produced by Handel Tucker with acappella and remix versions; “Spanish Town Blues” with acappella version and “Bounce” co-produced with Sly & Robbie; “No Fear” and live tracks “Feelz Right” and “Secret Lover”, are taken from her 2006 Japanese tour.

Reggaewire News Network

STUDIO ROOTS--Soul Jazz Records

Latest Soul Jazz/Studio One Records release featuring a killer selection from the classic roots period at the foundation label of Reggae.

Roots music flourished in the 1970’s as Rastafarianism, Black consciousness and self-determinization became the most important aspects of Reggae music. Bolstered by the international success of Bob Marley and Burning Spear (both who began their careers at Studio One), Roots music became the major musical development of Reggae in the 1970’s.
Coxsone Dodd and Studio One’s connection to Rastafarianism had begun long before the arrival of ‘roots music’ as a distinct genre that arrived at the very tail end of the 1960s. By the start of the 1960’s Coxsone Dodd was making his way to Count Ossie’s Wareika Hills Rastafarian compound to hear Rastafarian drummers play whilst the Skatalites’ front-line horns – Tommy McCook, Don Drummond, Johnny Moore would jam alongside.
Similarly, Count Ossie would appear during Sir Coxsone’s dancehall sessions, performing live at the height of the evening.
This is the third in the series of Rastafarian inspired music from Studio One, and features classic foundation artists alongside some seriously rare tracks from the label. With the involvement of the crack studio house bands – be it the Sound Dimension, the Soul Defenders or the Brentford Road All-Stars – as well as Clement Dodd and Studio One’s seriously high quality control, these tracks are all a healthy addition to the pantheon of roots music at Studio One
Shaggy teams with Akon, Sizzla on new album due in October.
Dancehall superstar Shaggy launches a new joint venture with Big Yard and VP Records with the Oct. 16 release of his forthcoming album, "Intoxication."

For the project’s first single, "Bonafide Girl," Shaggy recruits "It Wasn't Me" partner-in-crime Rik Rok and Tony Gold. Other guests on the album include Akon, Collie Budz, Kalonji, Mischieve, Nasha and Sizzla.

"While creating the album I wasn't signed to any particular label so I didn't have the usual interference into my creative process." Shaggy tells "That's what I was trying to get back to with 'Intoxication' -- both hardcore dancehall and reggae. It's a climatic musical roller coaster ride for all to enjoy."

Other tracks on “Intoxication” include "Can't Hold Me," "Out of Control" featuring Rayvon ("Angel"), and "Church Heathen," where Shaggy criticizes organized religion. Lyrics in the song include: "Preachers dip into the collection basket for Benz payments / and women doing the Dutty Wine Saturday night look for salvation on Sunday."

Akon sings the chorus to the breakup song "What's Love," while Budz and Sizzla reggae-chat about social ills on "Mad Mad World."
Reggae's First Showband Was Ahead of Their Time--By M. Peggy Quattro
It's about time! Zap Pow always struck me as the most progressive, talented band I've ever heard come out of Jamaica. Listen to their music and you'll understand what I mean. Thirty years after the band sadly broke up, Prime Minister Simpson honored the members August 6, 2007, at her Independence Day Gala in Kingston. Then Zap Pow and friends honored Jamaica with their performance.

The Jamaica Gleaner featured an article on August 30, 2007, where the surprised co-founder, lead guitarist, vocalist, and writer, Dwight Pinkney, expressed that "it's better late than never." Pinkney acknowledged the absence of co-founder Michael Williams, aka Reving Mikey Zapow, who passed away a couple years ago. Mikey named the group ZAP POW in 1969. He lived for the music, for the band, and for the recognition of the quality music they produced and performed.

ZAP POW - members noted by Mikey on bottom
I know this because Mikey and I were partners in the early-80s, drawn together by the music of Zap Pow. To this day, I am a major fan. In addition, Mikey Zappow co-created Reggae Report with me in '83, and is also the father of my beautiful daughter, Arielle.

With a line-up that included Mikey Zappow on bass, Dwight Pinkney on guitar, David Madden on trumpet, Glen Da Costa on sax (both horn players went to Bob Marley's Wailers afterwards), and lead vocalist Beres Hammond, it's no surprise they produced the most progressive music of that time. It still stands the test of time, as proven by the usage of the powerful "Last War" riddim into "Come Around," a song that propelled DJ Collie Budz to the top of the charts.

ZAP POW - Jamaica's 1st showband is still unsurpassed

The popular band performed throughout Jamaica, the Cayman, Guyana, Suriname's Carifesta, Mexico, Canada, Bermuda, and the U.S. Pinkey recalls, "We grew until we were the highest paid band in the land." He noted that they went through quite a few vocalists, including Third World's Bunny Rugs and Inner Circles's Jacob Miller, before adding Beres Hammond, "our best vocalist ever."

To understand what Zap Pow is about, check out the CD Zap Pow: Reggae Rewind-Certified 1973 on VP Records. All my favorites are there, including Mikey's self-penned anthem "This is Reggae Music," the upbeat "Sunshine People," the haunting "Last War," as well as "Rootsman Reggae," "Bubblin Over," "Some Sweet Day," and more.
Hail Zap Pow - Reggae Rules!
Box Elders
Jamrock Revisited
Three reggae classics, ahead of their time then, deserving of yours now
by Elena Oumano
Chalk one up for the old farts mourning the days when riddims were slow- pumping and juicy, lyrics tough and high-minded. Freshly minted reissues of Alcapone's impeccably timed toasts on 1971's Forever Version, the Lone Ranger's equally keen rhythmic sensibilities throughout 1981's On the Other Side of Dub, and Culture's thundering reggae gospel on 1977's Two Sevens Clash—three collections of Jamrock too raw, too original for most of the world to get the first time around— now aim to give the world another chance.
Dennis Alcapone
Forever Version: Deluxe Edition

The Lone Ranger
On the Other Side of Dub

Two Sevens Clash: The 30th Anniversary Edition

Culture: Humble, pitch-perfect, human
Shanachie Entertainment
Studio engineer King Tubby rendered a tremendous service when he pulled the vocals on simple two-track recordings in and out of the mix, thereby inventing dub and leaving space on the instrumentals for sound-system deejays to provide their own lyrical commentaries. Studio One owner "Coxsonne" Dodd captured the results on wax, and Forever's "combination" tracks (singer–deejay duets)—Studio One mixes released for the first time on CD—showcase not just Alcapone's irresistible rude-bwoy drawl, but also seminal riddims like "Nanny Goat" and tantalizing melodic bits from the likes of John Holt, Delroy Wilson, Alton Ellis, and Leroy Sibbles.
One reggae generation later, along came the Lone Ranger, spitting halfway between posh Britspeak and to-the-bone patwah. True to his name, he rode solo, his "ribbits, bims, and boinks" precluding the need for a singer's sweetening. But it was the '80s, and a crack pipe knocked him out of the saddle. What's amazing, though, is that Other Side doesn't begin to hold the string of other boomshots the Ranger produced during his brief spin on Planet Reggae, like "Love Bump" and "M16."
Culture lead vocalist Joseph Hill was on board from reggae's early glory days, and seemed destined to last forever until he passed last year at 57 while on tour. His group flew just under the radar, but this 30th-anniversary reissue of Two Sevens re-introduces one of the most transcendent roots-rock albums ever. Hill's anecdotal accounts of human struggle from a humble Rastaman's POV, delivered in a grainy, pitch-perfect baritone, enshrine a glorious moment in music history, one that will hopefully enrapture a few young farts along with the old ones.

The mystic soprano sound of I-Wayne will disarm fans once again with VP’s sophomore release "Book Of Life," set to be released in November 2007. Not many roots and culture artists can say that they have landed a hit on major urban/hip-hop radio as I-Wayne did in 2005 with his fiery single,"Can't Satisfy Her," on heavy rotation at New York's Hot 97 radio station; or receive critical acclamation on their debut album as he did with "Lava Ground." I-Wayne has undeniably raised the bar for roots reggae of this generation by captivating the world with his distinct sound and deep insight.

On his eagerly awaited release "Book Of Life," I-Wayne polishes his enchanting smooth sound over airy instrumentals with simply yet profound lyrics that remind listeners of an essential truth—that life is a gift for which we can be grateful. The title track, which is the CD’s first single, provides an overview of the set, expressing everything I Wayne has learned in his 28 years of life and his desire to share his experience—a glowing example of the personal rendered universal.
This uniquely positive world view comes across most clearly in "Life Is Easy," in which I Wayne flips the script on reggae's usual recounting of the sufferer's trials by reminding listeners that the way out of suffering is to give thanks for the blessings nature gives us. He also covers domestic violence in "Jealousy and Abuse," (featuring the great Lady G); male and female intimacy in "Need Her in I Arms," and worldwide divisions and anarchy in "Politics and Religion." Following his philosophy throughout "The Book of Life," I- Wayne advises all to "Just appreciate life as it is and praise it." "We need to care for life more. We can't have too much love for material because then we disregard life. I'm not hear to force anyone but to share some of life's knowledge--just being "naturous ," he said. Posted by yardFlex

African Reggae
An overview by Wayne Whitwam

Lucky Dube
At one point when I first began preparing this article, I formulated a controversial, and dare I say, bold statement about the state of Jamaican reggae. It sucked. Reggae music, the music associated with irie feelings, dreadlocks and sunsplash, was dried up and gone, replaced by dancehall techno drivel that had no place on home stereo equipment. Unfortunately, my bold opinion has been shared others, millions of others, namely the record buying public that swallowed up Israel Vibration, The Meditations, Aswad, Burning Spear, Luciano and Michael Rose. And continues to purchase the timeless music of Bob Marley in any shape or form.
The record producing industry, through the effort of countless meetings and research consultants, began to realize that this dancehall style reggae had outlived its novelty. The reggae rap was a crazy kick for awhile. But soon the Shaba Ranks started sounding like the Nardo Ranks. Who could tell the difference? And did anyone really care?
The result of this singular realization was to produce more "roots" reggae. The results of which have burst forth onto the American market, top-quality albums from The Mystic Revealers, Luciano, Michael Rose, Kreyol Syndikat, Nadine Sutherland, and many more. The second, less expensive alternative, was to re-release classic records on CD, a slurry of which have been produced by Heartbeat, Island, Blood and Fire, all big sellers, and good returns for the investment. Unfortunately, the sound production remains very primitive compared to today's standards. The third alternative has been to license in America previously recorded material produced by African reggae artists.
Africans have been making real "roots" reggae for 20 years, and it's fantastic stuff, largely unnoticed by an international market. Reggae has always been big in Africa. But the musical genre really took off sometime after Bob Marley's concert on Zimbabwe's independence. Africans still talk about that 1980 concert in Harare, much like Americans talk about the 1964 Beatles' tour of this country. Today, reggae bands play in every region, with most of the activity in South Africa, Ivory Coast or Nigeria. Although it may seem like there is little difference in the African versus the Jamaican sound, when you listen to a lot of reggae music, the difference is considerable.
For one, reggae exported from Jamaica often identifies with the American sound. In the 1970's, Bob Marley tried desperately to capture the American R&B market. These days, Kingston artists shadow their Urban music counterparts here in the States. Slack-ness (obscenity) is the key, and the ragga (rap) style permeates into every song. Lyrics glamorize sex and violence, while the roots sound had, until recently, been left to the dinosaurs. The Jamaican studios are a highly prolific lot, but turn out more garbage than gold. This industry is primarily a singles market, with many of the "good" singles---the ones that have made it big at dancehalls---thrown together as part of collections. You have no doubt seen the CDs. The covers sport some dancehall queen, with the music on the inside produced by an electronic sequencer---often just a simple rhythm track. The DJ toasts in the raggamuffin style. And that's it. You may even hear the same rhythm track used two or three times with a different DJ.
Whereas, the Africans have carried on the tradition that was planted in Harare by Bob Marley, although it would be unfair to say that ragga has not increased in popularity. The overall result is a fresher, livelier, and innocent sound, yet embracing controversial topics, such as Alpha Blondy's "Abortion is a Crime," that one cannot help but admire their idealism. The sound identifies less with American music and more with the current trends in popular African music. For example, Côte d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast) native, Alpha Blondy incorporated West African rhythms in his album "Apartheid is Nazism," an album that launched his international career in the early 1980's. More recently, Malian native Askia Modibo, took on a very traditional approach, melding reggae with the pentatonic music of the Wassoulou on "Wass-Reggae," released in 1995. Even the more Jamaican sound of the Nigerian band The Mandators, and later of their lead guitarist Majek Fashek (pronounced "ma-JEEK fa-SHEEK") still emotes an African ambiance. Besides better quality production, the songwriting is clearly superior.
With the obvious differences in lyrical sound and crisp production, African reggae stands out as a refreshing alternative to what has become Big Business in Kingston. - Wayne Whitwam
While many African artists have incorporated some reggae into their material, here are some reviews of some recordings by African artists who make reggae their main music. See the Reggae Pages for more.
Alpha Blondy Jerusalem
Alpha Blondy Dieu
Alpha Blondy Apartheid is Nazism
Manu Dibango Gone Clear
Lucky Dube Taxman
Majek Fashek Spirit of Love
Majek Fashek Rainmaker
Ismaël Isaac Treich Feeling
Askia Modibo Wass Reggae
Various Artists Reggae Africa (Hemisphere compilation)
Various Artists Fly African Eagle (Shanachie compilation)
Fly African Eagle (The Best Of African Reggae) - Various Artists
1 CD(s) - Reggae - Label: Shanachie - Distributor: Proper - Released: 06/05/2002 - 16351453327

Titles on disc 1
1.: Cocody Rock - Alpha Blondy
2.: Prisoner - Lucky Dube
3.: Baribou - Mussa, Abraha
4.: Africa Unity - Fashek, Majek
5.: Fly Way - O'Yaba
6.: Baby Cocoa Zin Zin - Jah Leak Roy
7.: Sweet Reggae Music - Harley & The Rasta Family
8.: Thanks And Praises - Mandators
9.: Toubab Bile - Adio
10.: John Bri - Kassy, Serges
11.: Emma - Toure Kunda
12.: Fire In Soweto - Okosun, Sonny
13.: Immortal Words - Comforters
14.: Rastafari Chant - Ras Kimono
Sean Kingston comes up against protest
By: J.Koni
They want Sean Kingston's mega hit "Beautiful Girl" to be cut from radio play lists! Yes, Joan Murphy, chairman of the New Mexico Suicide Prevention Coalition, while addressing reporters, protested that, "Record companies that promote artists whose message is that suicide is an acceptable solution to problems, don't help reduce the incidence of suicide anywhere. Radio stations have a responsibility to be sensitive to this issue."

A member of staff at the state Department of Health said local radio stations were e-mailed letters reminding them of the dangers of glorifying suicide in song. "I haven't received any response," Murphy said Monday, a week after the letters were sent out.

"Beautiful Girls" reached the No. 2 spot on the national Top 40 play list. It has dropped in popularity but is still in the top 10, said Justin Riley, program director at KKOB-FM (93.3).
The station had the song in heavy rotation, playing it about 30 times a week, he said. It is now being played far less - a reflection of ever-changing listener taste. Riley said he received no e-mail from any person or organization complaining about the content of the song.

"These kinds of issues come up from time to time," he said. "Somebody could find something wrong with nearly every song that gets played. We are a mass appeal radio station and have a lot of factors to consider."

"We apologize to any person who gets offended by any song, but at the end of the day if a song is popular it's likely going to get played. A song doesn't become No. 2 in the country without people calling to request it."

The Suicide Prevention Coalition works with the Department of Health. "Our mission is suicide prevention," Murphy said, adding, "We provide education, support and advocacy to reduce the suicide rate in New Mexico." Murphy said suicide is the 11th leading cause of death in the country and the leading cause among people age 10 to 24.

New Mexico consistently ranks among the top five states per capital in suicides, with a rate 1.5 to 2 times higher than the national average. Suicide is the ninth leading cause of death for New Mexicans. Darleene Edwards, vice chairperson and treasurer of the coalition, said New Mexico is also "the lowest state in the country for the amount we spend on mental health care."

Her message to everyone involved in the media - the recording and movie industries, radio and television stations and newspapers is to "use the issue of suicide in a responsible manner and not glorify it and make people think it's the best option for people when they're in pain or when their life isn't going as they like.

"Suicide should be portrayed as the tragedy it is," she said.Posted by yardFlex
DVD Review: Various artists Deep Roots Music 1

The subtitle of this self-described DVD: The Definitive Story of Reggae and Jamaica’s Musical Culture is divided into two parts: Part 1 Revival; Part 2 Ranking Sounds.
As an anthropologist, first introduced to the subject of slave archeology at U. of Mississippi, in Oxford, Mississippi, part one “Revival” caught my attention from the first frame. I am deeply familiar with the history of Africans in America, and with the African religions that hold ancestor worship dearly. There is also a belief in the very rebirth of those ancestors. And it is the rituals of slavery, by way of Africa, that gave rise to original music from black people the world over. Thus a series such as this one could not “speak truth to power,” without the inclusion of African religions and slavery experience in the Americas.
Deep Roots is the authority on Jamaican music and reggae (a generic term). It was originally shot in the 1980s just after Bob Marley’s untimely death. The film-maker Howard Johnson conducted the interviews of some of its biggest stars. He interviewed cultural historians, folklorists, musicologists and toasters. Johnson also interviews those who helped to create this Jamaican-borne music, and produce the records of a sound heard ‘round the world.
Deep Roots Music 1 series is the essence of black roots—mother Africa. Jamaica, just as America, was equally infused with slavery, African religions and cultures. One must pluralize all three because history tells us that blacks from Africa were brought from more than one locale within Africa. While few if any came from countries such as Zimbabwe, South Africa or east Africa, most slaves did come from west Africa and parts of the interior. One thing that many enslaved Africans held in common: religion, either Muslim or indigenous African religions, which featured possession (or riding) of the worshipper by one of its many deities.
Revival - Part One
“Revival” details, with footage, the dancing and singing of musical and ritual forms common to African slaves. Some of the names, such as kumina, poco, and burru may be unfamiliar to most. However, make no mistake, black Africa alone informs reggae music, and the reggae-style dancing which accompanies it. The dance form known as “ska” has its genesis in the mocking by blacks of white dance forms. It may not be ballroom dancing, but it fits the music.
Ranking Sounds Part 2:
“Ranking Sounds” part 2: Here a little history is in order: Ras Tafari. This movement was born of a music that also became its anthem. However, it is not only the Rastafarian who loves his reggae. Everyone knows that the “Rasta” typically grows his/her hair into long dread locks; not uncommon in other Asian and middle eastern religions—hair as religious icon, or commodity. It is precious therefore never cut. But for the black Rasta, it looks unique. And in the form of dreads, it is pure invention. But most may be unaware of its other features—vegetarianism; the smoking of marijuana, and worship of the former Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie. Some little-known trivia comes by way of this name: Ras Tafari. Actually, Emperor Haile Selassie’s name, before he became Haile Selassie. Thus the movement took his name and combined it with worshipping him as the reborn Jesus Christ. Bob Marley, while not the creator of reggae, is probably most iconic to this music. Bob Marley is the interview the DVD may be lacking. But the beat goes on. Why? Because the entire island and the people of Jamaica give themselves holistically to this musical genre: It genuinely infuses the people and imbues completely the culture.
Frankly, I did not quite get "Ranking Sounds," the part two of the DVD. It was not nearly as interesting as part one. The interviews and footage were mostly of the Skatalites. Its two main members were black men, drinking from little cups, wearing dark sunglasses and dancing the dance of ska—in American-style polyester suits! The tempo of Reggae, by this time, had slowed down considerably. I prefer the faster version. Raw, really typifies part two. But I did learn one thing: why the beat moved from fast (originally) to a much slower tempo. When Johnson asked about this, a simple reply came that “the original musicians were getting old.” In other words, it takes a great deal of energy to keep up that musical pace. So, the jamming sessions slowed down, evolving to the more familiar sound.
Raw footage about the Jamaican people, documents daily life—a purely psycho-sexual embrace of African dance and music. It, combined with the history of the “amazing origins of deejaying and toasting,” is a special experience. One of the most famous deejays is a man named Jack Ruby. What makes him and others like him local heroes? The equipment. They have the ability to produce the loudest echo with large amplifiers and the paraphernalia that accompanies live sound. Here is “the man,” no doubt.
I can still highly recommend this soon to be released musical DVD that clocks in at 100 minutes. Why? Because its claim of being “the best” i.e., a thorough investigation of the roots of reggae—rings true.
KCRW’s 6th Annual Reggae Night At The Hollywood Bowl --A Night of Legendary Performances--Review and Photos by Jan Salzman
The line-up for the night’s festival was really exciting. All of the artists have been recognized by the Grammy’s NARAS (National Academy of Radio Arts and Sciences). Two have won the coveted award: Burning Spear for Calling Rastafari in 1999 and Sly and Robbie, featuring Black Uhuru, won the first ever Reggae Grammy for the album Anthem.

The legendary Riddim Twins - Sly & Robbie

The long-awaited reunion of The Wailing Souls led the night’s performance, and filled the huge Hollywood Bowl stage with their magnificence. They borrowed a few musicians from Ziggy Marley’s band (Santa, Pablo and Mikey) and they were unsurpassed on this evening. Showcasing those wonderful harmonies, Bread, Pipe, Garthie, and Ziggy (Soul) crooned us through a selection of 14 songs, including the vintage “War,” “Firehouse Rock,”

A Wonderful Wailing Souls Reunion
Jan Salzman
and “Jah Jah Give Us Life.” Then they pounded us with the hit “Shark Attack,” from their Grammy-nominated CD All Over the World. Their final number was “Nah Nah Nah Nah…Good bye.” Because of time constraints, the Hollywood Bowl does not allow encores…although they surely deserved one.

With no time to waste, a revolving stage spun around and delivered the “Riddim Twins,” Sly Dunbar and Robbie Shakespeare. They performed classic Taxi Gang instrumentals, driving their unforgettable riddim home. Midway through their set, singer Cherine Anderson came

Burning Spear and the Burning Band
Jan Salzman
onstage wearing a beautiful flowing scarf dress. She delivered a set of Reggae, Dancehall, Soul, and R&B. She opened with her rendition of Bob Marley’s “Redemption Song.” Included was her first single, “Good Love,” and her most recent “Kingston State of Mind.” Sly and Robbie are renowned producers and musicians with credits too numerous to mention. Their history spans all categories of the music industry.

The crowning performance of the evening was Burning Spear. Winston Rodney, a.k.a. Burning Spear, is Reggae’s most prolific history teacher. He spreads the word through his lyrics and music. His marvelous musicians, including the famous horn section, filled the Bowl with excitement, drawing the crowd to its dancing feet. He performed such classics as “Marcus Garvey,” “Jah No Dead,” “Christopher Columbus,” “Slavery Days,” and “African Postman,” to name a few. He pounded out rhythms on the congas in between vocals, and his energy abounded as he danced across the stage, his gravely voice penetrating the cool night air. The message he communicated to the packed audience…Love each other!

The show ended promptly at 10 p.m. (due to the residential neighborhood), leaving all fulfilled with the wonderful performances by these Reggae super stars. Thank you to KCRW and the Hollywood Bowl for this thrilling event!
General Degree keeps highest standards with clothing line and new release
General Degree returned to the forefront of Reggae culture with firstly, his clothing line and now, he is completing his latest album, "Bedroom Bully." In an interview yesterday, he promised that as the name insinuates, the album would be one that is a vintage General Degree stylistic, with great wordplay, catchy lyrics and good quality rhythms. A date of release is not yet confirmed, but Look out for it!
Born Burt Cardiff on April 28, 1968 in the parish of Manchester, Jamaica, General Degree's love for music began at age six when as a child he often hid from his strict Christian parents in order to get a taste of what was happening on the airwaves. As he grew older he played the radio a little louder, listening keenly to the lyrical styles of Lt Stitchie, Papa San and Professor Nuts and he developed his own unique style of comical story telling/DJing.
General Degree developed his stage name by adopting the "General" from "General Trees" one of his mentors, and the "Degree" because of its "University Rank" meaning, which evidently describes the standard by which this hard hitting entertainer works. After sneaking out at nights to dances and hanging around the sound systems, the tailor by day saved enough money to travel to Kingston to make his first recording entitled "Circle Mandeville." He instantly became one of Mandeville's hottest talents. To achieve his dreams of international success General Degree moved to Kingston, the capital of the dancehall music.
He came out with a blockbuster hit "Granny," a dialogue between a granny and her grandson. In order to move to the next level, and not to be stereotyped, Degree wasted no time. No longer using his granny voice, he went on to work with some of the best reggae producers in the business, such as Donovan Germaine (Penthouse), Bobby "Digital B" Dixon, Dave Kelly (Madhouse), Sly and Robbie, along with Steelie and Cleevie. At the close of 1993, Degree signed a management contract with Main Street Records. He once again combined his talents with Danny Brownie on "Pianist" dubbed the most controversial song for 1993, which went up the charts.
After his 1997 self-entitled work, "Degree", General worked on his new album "Bush Baby" which featured some of Degree¹s best work ever. "Bush Baby" featured 16 tracks like Miss Gotti, Traffiic Blocking, Boom Boom, Pleasure Tour, the title track, Bush Baby, and lets not forget his duets with Red Rat and Maxi Priest.
In music in general and in dancehall in particular, sometimes only the sound of an artist's voice sets him or her apart from others, and Degree's hearty chatting is appealing in its forceful yet fun-loving zeal. Bush Baby is a nice display of his talent, a showcase of strict dancehall undiluted by pop sentiment (save perhaps for the irritating Maxi Priest duet "Baby Boo" and the cutesy title cut). Aside from the two previously mentioned tracks, highlights include the rousing "Signal" and "She Miss Mi Now," which has a crossover edge, along with the Ward 21 produced "Bag a Things" and "Buss Mi Door," which rides the Heavy Metal riddim used on Buccaneer's "Bruk Out".

Down Sound set to drop Gunman riddim
Down Sound Records is set to drop their latest project, a remake of the Gunman rhythm, a stirring one-drop
Anthony B, who recently had the number one song in the country, brings the goods with ‘Not Inna We Crew’, a caustic undressing of questionable males. I-Maroon warns of an ‘Angry Revolution’, while newcomer Warren impresses with ‘Show Us The Way’. The usually cerebral and witty Tony Rebel shines with ‘No More Than So’ while Turbulance is simply brilliant with ‘No Other Way’. Turbulance’s singular ability to find catchy hooks and infectious sing-along melodies is once again on display here with this juicy cut.

The ‘blonde ras’ Harry Toddler may finally be waking out of his slumber and his conscious ‘No More Killing’ is a salve to anyone who has ever been exposed to the deadly gun violence perpetrated by the marauding gangs that control much of the Kingston Metropolitan area’s ghetto communities.

“The riddim is very good and the reggae community has been responding positively to the project, and I suspect that Down Sound is going to score two or more hits from it. It is very strong and a return to the hardcore sound that made us successful. It is a remake of a popular riddim and it is perfect, you can’t make a better one-drop than this, so we pay homage to it, “Down Sound Records CEO, Josef Bogdanovich, said.

The Gunman riddim has spawned hits over the years like ‘No Weh No Betta Dan Yard’ by Sister Carol (1984), Paul Elliott’s ‘Bad Bwoy’ (2000), Ninjaman’s ‘Me Nah Move’ (1991) and Yellowman’s ‘Duppy Or Gunman’ for producer Henry ‘Junjo’ Lawes in 1982.

The songs on DSR’s reincarnation of the Gunman riddim are: Anthony B’s ‘Not Inna We Crew’; I Maroon’s ‘Angry Revolution’; Queen Ifrica’s ‘Mi Nah Rub’; Lion Cub’s ‘Across The Ocean’; Bugle’s ‘Nah Sell Out’; Warren’s ‘Show Us The Way’; Tony Rebel’s ‘No More Than So’; Turbulance’s ‘No Other Way’; Harry Toddler’s ‘No More Killing’.
Dubbing With The Royals

LP (Item 357672) Pressure Sounds (UK), Late 60s/1970s -- Condition: New Copy
Another great set from Pressure Sounds! They really got us open when they pulled together their first set by the Royals, Pick Up The Pieces, and this dub and Dee Jay outing makes a perfect companion set. Excellent dubs rendered by the heaviest of the heavy mixologists: Tubby, Jammy, Scientist, Lee Perry and Errol T plus some rare, rare DJ versions from Prince Far I and I Roy, all packaged to the usual high Pressure Sounds standards. 19 tracks casting the Royals soulful reggae in a new light, 68 minutes of music in all, with rhythms built in Kingston by the cream of Jamaica's session players. Check the massive track list: 2 versions of "If You Want Good": "Negusa Nagast" featuring Knowledge & Prince Far I, dub mix by Scientist and "Nose Hole" with a dub mix by Ernest Hookim, "Waizero" ("Facts Of Life") dub mix by Scientist, "Wigwam" ("Blacker Black") dub mix by Scientist at Channel One, 3 versions of "Pick Up The Pieces": "Llongo" dub mix by Lee Scratch Perry & King Tubby, "Pride Of A Black Man" by Gladdy Anderson, and "Monkey Fashion" chatted up by I Roy, "Land Of Milk & Honey" ("Promised Land") dubbed by Errol T at Randy's, "Manna From The Sky" ("Malnutrition") dubbed by Prince Jammy, "Peace, Love & Dub" ("Peace & Love") dubbed by Ernest Hookim at Channel One, "Tirang" aka "Only For A Time" dub, "Tekla" with King Tubby being dubby on "Sufferer Of The Ghetto", "MIA" a dub of "Way Of Life" by Gregory Isaacs, "Jemima Antonia Dub" a dub of "Oh My Love", 2 versions of "Ghetto Man" "Sugar Candy" by I Roy and "Oongaan" by King Tubby, "Janhoi" featuring Knowledge & Prince Far I versioning "Make Believe" and "Jammy's Dub" with Prince Jammy dubbing the same rhythm and "Dub The Wrong" ("When You Are Wrong") dub mix by Ernest Hookim at Channel One
A Place Called Africa by Various Artists

Songs Of The Lost Tribe :
1 Going Back Home Al & The Vibrators
2 I've Got To Return Home Lewis, Alva
3 Pretty Africa Dekker, Desmond & The Aces
4 Africa Eccles, Clancy
5 I'll Never Get Burnt Ethiopians
6 Come Ethiopians Come Melodians
7 Place Called Africa Byles, Junior
8 Africa Stand Dennis Alcapone
9 Going Back To Africa Ellis, Alton
10 African Herbsman Marley, Bob & The Wailers
11 Africa Is Paradise Conscious Minds
12 Don't Cross The Nation Little Roy
13 Selah Ethiopians
14 Rocking To Ethiopia Dennis Alcapone
15 Repatriation Rollens, Audley
16 Musical Drum Sound I-Roy
17 True Born African Ellis, Alton
18 Adisababa Wilson, Delroy
19 Black Gold And Green Boothe, Ken
20 African Descendant I-Roy
21 Africa Wants Us All King, Allan
22 Rasta Man Going Back Home Flowers & Alvin
23 Africa We Want To Go Brown, Dennis
24 Zion Land Dadamah
25 Africa We Are Going Home Time Unlimited
26 I Man A African Sons of Selassie
27 We Got To Forward Home Andy, Horace
28 Africa Heywood, Winston & The Hombres
29 Ithiopians Lizzard
30 African People Righteous Flames
31 Ethiopian Land Lewis, Peter & Paul
32 Got To Go Home Davis, Ronnie
33 Land Of Love Sons Of Light
34 Moving On To Zion Clarke, Johnny
35 Africa Is The Black Man's Home Minott, Sugar
36 Garden Of Life Sibbles, Leroy
37 Majority Rule (For Africans) Riley, Jimmy
38 Africa Is For Black Man Thompson, Linval
39 Africa Ranking Dread
40 African Roots Rock Reggae Dillinger
Various Artists, Africa Rebel Music: Roots Reggae and Dance

Various Artists
Out Here Records
Some snobs claim that true reggae must come from Jamaica, probably spending too much of their time memorising Studio One matrix numbers to notice the many quality international artists to have emerged in the past 2 decades. Sadly the contents of African Rebel Music will only confirm the prejudice of such narrow minded listeners.
This collection pulls together artists from across Africa, but the nobility of theidea outshines the quality of the content. Ugandan Peter Miles tiptoes through "Owange RMC", like a work-shy Kevin Lyttle, whilst East African Reggae Bashment Crew's MC is clearly out of Strepsils.
There is a rich seam of African reggae that appears to have been passed over in favour of less well known artists: there's no Alpha Blondy or Lucky Dube featured here.The search for the new seems to of become an excuse for releasing some mediocre material.
Simon Coates (2007-06-21)
1. Owange (remix)
2. Africa Unite
3. Bad Boy
4. Tonton d'America
5. Wachita Over
6. Handsome
7. African (feat. Zubz)
8. Sensimilla
9. Bless My Room
10. Wouty Zion (feat. Carlou D & Country Man)
11. One Vibe One Flow, Part 2 (feat. Positive Black Soul)
12. Wooyo
13. We Must Rebel (feat. Suns of Light)
14. Shashamane on My Mind
15. Gatyeni
16. Love Somebody (feat. Robert Slay)
17. Lambari (feat. Gogome)

Play that reggae music, white kids
You don’t have to be obviously non-Jamaican to be at the cutting edge of reggae, our writer finds - but it helps--Sophie Heawood c/o www.
You could say it began when Boy George brought his take on reggae to the 1980s pop scene, or when Joss Stone, blonde, barefoot and from Devon, won Best Urban Act at the 2005 Brit Awards. Or indeed, when the Rolling Stones covered Bo Diddley, and John Lennon fatuously declared “before Elvis there was nothing” – but white musicians have always generated controversy (and record sales) by taking black genres to the top of the charts.
Last year Lily Allen continued the trend, using reggae samples and calypso backdrops in her pop hits. In doing so, she may well have opened the floodgates for a new wave of white reggae stars.
Bobby Kray, a 27-year-old former schoolbus driver, says that he sees nothing exotic about reggae, as it represents his own roots. “I grew up in Ladbroke Grove, and if you live in Ladbroke Grove you don’t have to go to the Notting Hill Carnival – it comes to you,” he explains. He adds that it was his father who first got him listening to the music of Dennis Bovell, who is now his producer.
Kray was in his twenties when he started hanging around the Brixton record store Blacker Dread, where he became known as the skinny white boy who could sing – hence the title of his debut album, Tales from a Skinny White Boy.
He says that his colour is not a problem: “It rarely comes up, to be honest. It’s never been an issue for me or my audiences. I think some people who see it from an outside point of view might think, hang on, he’s white and he’s singing reggae, but I love the music and all I’m doing is trying to represent it. If people have an issue with it then they obviously have other issues to deal with.”
Kray also points out that lovers’ rock – the sweet and easy pop reggae that influenced him – was a London phenomenon, gaining popularity in the British scene while a more politically conscious reggae was taking hold over in Jamaica. “I didn’t tune into pirate radio stations or go online and listen to Jamaica FM or whatever stuff is out there nowadays. The resources now are phenomenal, but you didn’t have that 20 years ago. All I’ve known is what came out of London.”
Janet Kay, who got to No 2 in the UK in 1979 with her lovers’ rock hit Silly Games, is a particular hero of his, and he was overwhelmed when she came onstage with him at last year’s carnival to accompany him on his version of her song. (He was less than thrilled, however, when his friend and fan Lily Allen jumped onstage with him this year – uninvited – and he ended up pouring beer over her head while she tried to hog the mike in a comedy Jamaican accent. Seems the old multiculturalism may have a little way to go yet.)
Kray has toured as a support act for UB40, and says that they have paved the way for somebody such as him. “They probably did take a lot of the pressure off that I may have faced now had I been the first person to do this – but they were also so organic in what they did. Maybe if they had been a gimmick then there would have been stuff to deal with.”
UB40’s frontman, Ali Campbell, says he feels his band have helped this new generation. “Yes, I feel we have done our bit.” He is not convinced, however, that perceptions today have vastly improved. “It was more annoying for the black half of UB40 being called white reggae artists than for me. We took that racist crap for 25 years from both black and white journalists alike, which does not seem to be abating, despite reggae being played now by all nationalities around the world.”
More recently, Kray toured with his mate Amy Winehouse (and says she was unlike any other headline act he knows – not because she failed to appear, but because she went into the audience to dance along to his set every night.)
The Chester upbringing of new reggae singer Ava Leigh, real name Hayley Carline, makes her relationship to the genre harder to fathom. She is now signed to Virgin, a label that Richard Branson originally set up by going to Jamaica to sign reggae artists. Recording with Sly and Robbie in Jamaica recently, she was taken to the studio of reggae star Sizzla, in a village where the police don’t dare to tread, but where chickens and children run amok among music. “At first I was a bit, Oh my Lord what’s happening, but the love of music over there is so strong – it was unlike anything I’d experienced in England.”
As a white English girl she didn’t feel too out of place, though. “A lot of reggae singers old and new are so supportive of anybody who does it, if you believe in it. Reggae is so much about the vibe, they welcome everyone who wants to give it a go.”
John Eden is the editor of Woo-fah, a new magazine that covers reggae, dancehall and dubstep, and says that reggae is opening up. Indeed, when Jamaica’s crowned Queen of Dancehall for two years running is Japanese; when a Hasidic Jew known as Matisyahu is wowing Brooklyn with his dub, and when some of the world’s biggest reggae festivals are being held in Germany, it’s clear that things have changed.
“In the past you had white artists doing this sort of thing but it was very pop and not very credible, and there was also this sense within reggae of fairly militant black consciousness,” Eden says. “Anybody white was treated with a certain amount of suspicion. Now it’s easier for people to prove that they are just into the music. And in London you have black and white people who’ve grown up cheek by jowl, gone to the same dances and heard the same music.
“It’s easier to have credibility when you have a shared experience – you don’t get seen as a tourist.”
Bobby Kray’s album Tales from a Skinny White Boy is out now (V2). Ava Leigh supports UB40 on Sunday, Peterborough Embankment (01733 552 439). Ali Campbell’s Running Free (Crumbs The Label) is on Oct 8
Music In The Air by Matumbi

1. I Can't Get Enough Of That Reggae Stuff
2. Brother Louie
3. Running In And Out Of My Life
4. Man In Me
5. Can't Satisfy
6. Take It From Me
7. Law Of The Land
8. After Tonight
9. Music In The Air
10. Guide Us Jah
11. Bluebeat And Ska
12. Hook Deh
13. Black Civilisation
14. Come With Me
15. Living In A Dream
16. Point Of View
Disc 2

1. Gloria
2. Tell Me Again
3. Ten Green Bottle
4. Call In Alcapone
5. Wipe Them Out
6. Go Back Home
7. Chatty Chatty
8. Raindrops Falling
9. Wishing On A Star
10. My God Is Real
11. You Turn Me On
12. Time For Loving
13. Man Sized Rocker
14. Everybody Out Except Julie
15. I Will Never Let You Down
16. Dear John
17. I Can't Get Enough Of That Raggae Stuff (alternate version)
The Interview: Sizzla

KOCH Records
The presence of cultural upliftment, righteousness, and wisdom are on the verge of extinction in reggae music. Sizzla is one of the few Jamaican dancehall artists that continues to propagate the original sound of rockas from its Rastafarian roots since its inception and global recognition from the days of Robert Nesta. Being considered the king of reggae as Mr. Marley once was and in most cases still is, Miguel Collins a.k.a. Sizzla humbly accepts the responsibility of reggae royalty while continuing to churn out hits unlike any artist in any genre of music. His commitment to his strict rootsman beliefs enhances his individualism, especially as the sole reggae act on DDMG (Dame Dash Music Group). Putting out as many albums as most people put out songs in a decade long career, Sizzla is back with "The Overstanding", his first release on DDMG. In his deep rootsman, patois slang, Sizzla kicks it with about his devout religious laws, his musical motivation, and the love he's received from Damon Dash and crew.

ShaBe: What's up, lion?

Sizzla: Yeah, man. Everything is fine. We're doing good.
ShaBe: You're being called the king of reggae. That's a prestigious title that nobody has been given since the great Bob Marley. How do feel about that?
ShaBe: I heard you got locked. I don't know what exactly it was for, so give me a little rundown about what happened.

Sizzla: Rastafarians might burn a little spliff or somthin' like that, you know what I mean? That's what I've been locked up for. I haven't been locked up for anything else and absolutely haven't been in jail, so..
ShaBe: Oh, because I heard it had something to do with you swearing or cursing on stage or something like that.

Sizzla: I have been locked up for that. That's been a long time. I done a show in St. Thomas and it was Easter. I done a show and went to the station. We were doing a lot of performances and they say I curse bad word. Naturally, sometimes when we're there, just the vibes, just the few words, just to get the energy and the boost of the people. It's not very easily obvious.

ShaBe: Did you hear about the murder of the Black man on his wedding day here in New York?

Sizzla: Yeah, I heard about it.

ShaBe: What's your feelings about that?

Sizzla: They're supposed to be innocent and they haven't been convicted or they didn't find them with any weapons or things like that, so I don't think you should go about doing it like that. You've been investigating all these people, you've been observing these people. You should know if they've got any weapons. You're there! Just give the people their justice... You can't expect to be respected and treated courteous by law abiding citizens doing all these things. Things like this are gonna cause people to riot or something like that.

ShaBe: Do you think we should have our own law enforcement from within our communities or the minority from outside of our communities which is the police department to enforce the law?

Sizzla: We as the people are the first rulers. I've got to govern myself. I've got to have principles about myself, respect for myself. If individually I've got respect for myself and we all have respect for ourselves, on a wide scale, we can rule ourselves. Then again, you're still gonna need people to be appointed in office to look over the people so they can run the system that govern the country and things like that. So, we must all unite as one people 'cause we the people got the power fe put the government in and after we put the government in, they can't be like mistreating us... We the people from the higher society and we the people from the lower society should unite because we all are the same people of the country.

ShaBe: You are a strong advocate through your music of the ills we face in our society. Just let the readers know what influences your sound.

Sizzla: Truthfully, my influence on the youth is for them to be more educated about themselves and for them to eradicate poverty and ignorance. You know you got to be educated.. We've got to be inspired. Inspire ourselves... My influences on the youth is for them to be educated, have love and respect for themselves and others. They've got to realize that this is a world where everyday knowledge increases. So, we've got to be on top of these things. They need to be motivated. They need to be positive. So when I make music, I make music to make all these people conscious of it so they can exercise it in their daily lives. Yanahmean? So it's just more love and joy and respect of person and redemption I and I come to give to the people.

ShaBe: How does the Bobo Ashanti Rasta that you represent differ from the other Rastas?

Sizzla: They're not different. They're the same. it's just a more physical order with the Bobo Ashanti way... The high priest must not uncover his head am, ongst any brethren. Those who wear the turban, they are appointed by Rastafarian communities. If you're not appointed, you don't wear the turban... Being recognized by the church, those who keep the sabbath know that you're trustworthy and truly devoted to the nation and the Most High. They appoint you, you wear the turban, you keep the sabbath, you're a priest. So you got the Bobo Ashanti basic foundation. Every Black man and Black woman in Egypt and Africa teaches you the principles of Rastafari and the sabbath. They're all one.

ShaBe: How much does the use of marijuana influence the differences. I know some Rastas that don't even smoke..

Sizzla: First of all, we know that marijuana can be used for a whole lot of different things. Some of the purposes are clothing, industrial uses, but naturally the herb is given by the Most High. We, the Rasta people have been known to have all the great knowledge from that time. We know the uses of all the herbs in the earth. This is a special herb from that time given by the Most High and none of us have control over it. It is natural. Nothing made.. a natural seed. From that time, Black people been studying herbs, so centuries ago they've known all the properties for herbs, especially this herb. So, they use this herb for spiritual sacrament whenever a time they're giving praises or for sacrament burnt offering, so that's the use of the marijuana.. even though not a lot of people could stand the strong substance of it, you know?..We use that holy and sacred herb when giving praises unto the Most High for spiritual blessings.
ShaBe: You been credited for single-handedly re-establishing roots and culture in reggae. What's your take on music and movies such as "Shottas" and their influence on the world view of Jamaican culture?
Sizzla: Well, truthfully, this is what you have to understand. We as entertainers, a lot of artists are being robbed, killed, so sometimes it's like the vibes of an artist would have to defend themselves verbally. Not in the sense to come out and disrespect people, but to show that we are warriors... On the other hand music is just enjoyment. Freedom of the mind, soul, spirit, the whole body entirely. We use lyrics to motivate the heart and soul of the people when they're down. My take on the music is that we unite with Blackman... Sometimes you might go out there and have a rival gang act that might upon you, so you might not go out and act upon them and retaliate.. but you could use words to show that you're strong and you shouldn't be doing this 'cause you could be doing that also. So it's music and just lyrics. Keep it in the music. So my take on the music is that it's joy, ya know? People use music to do a lot of things. Express themselves, for prayer... a whole lot of things
ShaBe: You have done over 30 albums in your career. Looking through your discography, you had six albums in 2004. How did you manage to put out so many albums in such a short period of time?

Sizzla: The vibes, brethren! The vibes!! The vibes of the people and the love! When you get that vibe going, you can't stop it. You just keep writing. You got so many people in the world linking us on the internet, on the phones with interviews, radio stations boostin' I and I like that... Sometimes when we release an album, we look for some sort of incentive from it.. for it to be sold. Certain amount of units so we can get money to feed ourselves domestically so we can aid and assist our people. So when we put out an album, we look to get money from album sales and from the tour. Sometimes it's not really that vast, so I have to put out more albums to make that money again because the music is the legal and honest way of making the money, yanahmean? And a next thing. Whenever an artist goes on stage, the people want that vibe from him. If an artist only got one hit song, he's not always gonna draw a crowd and when he gets off stage, he might not have been pleasing to the crowd and the crowd might be saying he didn't deliver properly. The thing is to have a lot of music and when you're touring the world, you can't tour on one song, one album. It's just the vibes that keeps motivating us to do music. That's been my strategy. Always in the booth, always having new words in their mouth, on their lip, ya know?

ShaBe: Dame Dash is infamous for his flamboyant persona with the jewelry, women, and the liquor and you're humble and closer to reality in terms of how everyday people can relate to you. How did you even hook up with Dame having such contrasting ideals?

Sizzla: We all have to wake up to reality. We're all human beings. I've become recognized worldwide for pushing the consciousness. The educated, raggamuffin dancehall artists are still gonna know Dame Dash. We're gonna want to know him because he's representing the people... The links come when I was trying to come out with the reggae music more on a wider level to reach out to the world. You got a lot of respectable people pushing this reggae music. I don't think I should be put into one corner, having such a great response from my music to just be silenced like that. So I tried to reach out to see what good I could get. What help I could get to come out with the reggae music and music from my side of the world. My culture. So I went and I met Jay-Z and I tried to get a deal from Def Jam and didn't get it. Dame Dash got me the deal through Def Jam. They didn't want to put out the album again. I said alright. Next thing, Dame told me he got a deal with Koch with the album. Sizzla Kalonji is an extension of the company. I'm signed to my own company. So I got a distribution through Koch through Dame. So we just work and produce music for the people because we just have to keep producing music, brethren. That's all me know about in the music.

ShaBe: So are you happy with how you're being handled over there with Dame Dash and DDMG?

Sizzla: Truthfully, yes. When I see what he's doing as a youth from that side of the world is the same thing as any radio disc jockey does when they're on the station. 'Hey, Sizzla is here, my people! Let's go, new music!' Dame really put me on the link and that's really good. I respect that because you have to have connections in this time to help your people and I mean people that's really looking out proper for our people. Everything is all fine over there. I really love those guys even though I'm on an independent company. As long as I can continue to come up with new rhythms, and it sounds good with a good beat and can go mainstream and I can put something conscious or something intimate for the ladies on it, I'm gonna do it. Dame in a sense makes his artists recognized by the world, so I'm just happy to be down, ya know? We use music for spiritual healing and at the same time, we try to use the music to make money to help the people that suffer, so I really respect the strength of DDMG. From Fatis, Spliff Star, Xterminator, they all help Sizzla. So when I see people willing to give that help, I don't turn it down. Because you have a lot of youth from the ghetto that can sing good, they can DJ real good, they can rap good, but they don't get that break, so when I see it, I make good use of it. I don't waste no time.

ShaBe: What is the concept of "The Overstanding"?

Sizzla: Righteousness. Spirituality. Pointing out things that we really have to think about as youths in the ghetto, in the projects where we suffer, yanahmean? Teaching the people to be humble and have tolerance because life is pain and life is joy, ya know? It comes with both entities. Blame no one for your faults. Blame no one for your shortcomings. Blame no one. Just get up, stand up and go out there. At the same time, give continued respect to the ladies and spiritual people who give praise to the Most High. Just a nice album for them to rock whenever they're in their offices, or whatever time they're at home doing anything domestic, or whenever they're traveling the world. It's a nice album. That's what I contribute to the music industry and I always will be contributing sounds that the people can sing along. It's a very good album intended to inspire us and help us to be a better person, ya know?
Vinyl ALBUM - Jah Mason - Most Royal- JWLP026-


Though Belizean reggae artists haven't had a huge presence on, the Belizean reggae scene has been steadily growing with a host of talented artists and producers on the rise. On "Dancehall Outta Belize," fans are able to get a good feel for this exciting scene.

Though this compilation is mainly composed of dancehall tracks, there is a small roots presence on the album with songs such as "No More Gods" by Spiritual Chef. Over a strong bass line and smooth one-drop riddim, Spiritual Chef sings in a culture/sing-jay style about his dedication to Christ. Track 8, "Fill This Vessel," by the well-known D-Revelation is another strong roots track with a lush, uplifting, chorus.

The dancehall that dominates this album can definitely stand up to the dancehall from other Caribbean countries with artists such as Mikal, Jacob Diggz, and Lady Indie flexing their talents on songs such as "Been There Done That," "Tell Them No," and "You And I." One this is certain about this release: every featured artist has a strong desire to serve Christ and use their talents to the fullest. This release should definitely satisfy dancehall fans and even some roots fans too!

Reggae from Abidjan
One of the good things about reggae is that it can be written in any language and it still sounds good. That is mostly true of the album Black System (Stern's) by Ismael Isaac, a 33-year old singer from Ivory Coast. The music, produced by renown music doctor Ibrahim Sylla, is sung in a combination of languages including French, Malinke, Dioula, and Bambara. Hugging close to the classic reggae rhythm of Marley and the explosive lyrics of countryman Alpha Blondy, Isaac's voice radiates a kinetic sweetness. He is especially lethal in the slower genre when the instruments let up to allow the voice more room. My favorite track is the title song in which the call-and-response is truly matched by the keenly tuned instrumentation.
The rest of the album, however, suffers from too much production, which gives it a kitschy quality. The percussion is overpowered by the keyboards and programming, when a good dose of the real drums, tama and djembe might have been the solution. Still, this is as good as it gets on a debut effort.

Sierra Leone's Kru/Krio Calypso Connection
Original Music
If there is a measurement of pure joy, perhaps it is in the music on this disk, twenty two tracks of unadulterated delight. The style of Sierra Leone is probably best known through the recordings of S.E. Rogie, but Original 's J.S. Roberts has dug deep for some exhilarating early 78s by Ebenezer Calender, "Famous" Scrubbs and a number of tracks of less known Kru and mandingo artists. Palm wine music is a close relative of Trindad's calypso, developing in the same period, and influenced or becoming an influence on that popular island style in the fifties. The music grew from the jamming of African sailors, Caribbean soldiers and locals in the bars of Freetown, and the easily stowed instruments they favored like the mandolin, guitar, accordion, and banjo became the backbone of the music. With the addition of percussion, and some wonderful brass sections, these songs mirrored not only the rhythms of calypso but also its topical tendencies, with stories of local events, politics and everyday life. It's a real "chicken or egg" thing, and Robert's investigation into the roots of the music related in the liner notes do little to clear up the mystery. Irrelevant! The Calender cuts with his Maringar Band are great, with renditions of familiar tunes like "Fire, Fire, Fire" coaxed on by a tuba bass line and a chorus. The wonderful penny-whistle and mandolin sound of the Kroo Young Stars' "O Gi Te Bi" is pure exhilaration. The sound of Mandingo band of A. Cambah is unusual, very European in its trumpet part, and yet heavily African in its call and response vocals. The Kru group Amukoke could well have had relatives in Memphis jug bands of the twenties. While the roots of the music may remain shrouded in history, the music itself is no mystery at all. It is simple, open euphoria.

Screwdriver returns with 'Road Block'
After a six-year absence since his last release Prophecy in 2001, the dynamic singer and gifted musician Screwdriver is back with ‘Road Block’. Executively produced by Lloyd and Michelle Campbell of Joe Fraser Records, the album will be marketed and distributed by VP Records. One thing is for certain, there is not a boring moment on this multi-faceted CD which ranges from the conscious vibes, to relaxing reggae groove, to some real dancehall beats.

The artiste’s versatility and skill in music manipulation stand out in the tracks on the album.
Screwdriver takes the classic favourite ‘Sherron’ and wheel and come again with it – the result – nuff niceness again!

The album kicks off with the title track ‘Road Block’, a jazzy uptempo song that leaves the listener energized. It’s the kind of songs that creates a mellow groove. A really good note to start off the album on ensuring that listeners stop in their tracks and pay attention to the offering!

‘Murder She Wrote’ doesn’t live up to the pace set by its predecessor, but the same cannot be said of track number three ‘Driver Reply’. It’s Screwdriver like you have never heard him before!

It’s different vibe with ‘Mad Man Deh Yah’ as Screwdriver takes a bite out of the system. In this social commentary he chants about the madness going on in the society.

Track five is the very enjoyable remix of ‘Sherron’, followed by ‘Stress Out’ which has a distinctively revival feel to it once again showing the creativity of the Screwdriver.

Among the other tracks on the album are ‘Ganja Killer’, ‘Africa’, ‘Man Is Just A Man’, ‘Roots Man’, ‘War’, ‘Have A Good Time’, ‘Spar With Me’, ‘Poor Man Dream’ and ‘Owe Me’.

‘Road Block’ is definitely worth the ear time and deserves to sit in any credible reggae music collection.

Fly African Eagle (The Best Of African Reggae) - Various Artists
1 CD(s) - Reggae - Label: Shanachie - Distributor: Proper - Released: 06/05/2002 - 16351453327

Titles on disc 1
1.: Cocody Rock - Alpha Blondy
2.: Prisoner - Lucky Dube
3.: Baribou - Mussa, Abraha
4.: Africa Unity - Fashek, Majek
5.: Fly Way - O'Yaba
6.: Baby Cocoa Zin Zin - Jah Leak Roy
7.: Sweet Reggae Music - Harley & The Rasta Family
8.: Thanks And Praises - Mandators
9.: Toubab Bile - Adio
10.: John Bri - Kassy, Serges
11.: Emma - Toure Kunda
12.: Fire In Soweto - Okosun, Sonny
13.: Immortal Words - Comforters
14.: Rastafari Chant - Ras Kimono
Brick & Lace
Beautiful, gritty, talented
By: Garfene Grandison Observer

The world has been taken by storm by the hot and sexy sibling duo of Brick and Lace (B&L). Based in Fort Lauderdale, which they call their second home (Jamaica being the first), they come to Jamaica on a regular basis to take a break from all the stresses of international stardom. On their recent visit to Jamaica they took the time out to talk to TEENage and here was what they had to say:

Nyanda (left) and Nailah Thorbourne form Brick & Lace.
TEENage: What are your full names?
B&L: (Giggles) Nyanda and Nailah Thorbourne.
TEENage: Where did you grow up and what schools did you attend?
B&L: We grew up in Kingston in a complex across from Blue Cross. Nailah attended St Andrew High School for Girls and Nyanda went to Campion College.
TEENage: Some people have been reluctant to call you Brick & Lace because they say that your physical and facial attributes adds a softness so they prefer to call you 'Satin and Silk' instead. What do you have to say about that? What is the inspiration for your name?
B&L: (Gasps).
We are very touched by the comments of the people about 'Satin and Silk', but it's the first time we have ever heard that, but nonetheless we are flattered. However, the name Brick and Lace derives from the different sounds that can be heard in our music. The brick side represents the gritty edge in our music, which is born in us because we are Jamaicans while the lace side represents our smooth harmony.
TEENage: Initially it was a trio, what happened to the other member who used to be a part of Brick and Lace?
B&L: That's our sister Tash. She has moved to Toronto, Canada, but she is still apart of the everyday activities of Brick and Lace, that is, the movements and the songwriting especially. She was recently on the set of our new single Love Is Wicked issuing directions and advice. All in all, she just wanted a more behind-the-scenes approach. To us though and to the people of Jamaica she will always and forever be a member of Brick & Lace.
TEENage: What events did you partake in prior to your international success/debut?
B&L: From a very young age, we used to sing in church at the Hope Gospel Assembly as well as at church barbeques. We also did a bit of background singing for Beres Hammond and Diana King at Reggae Sunsplash. When we were about 13 or 14, we opened for Robertha Flack at her concert. We participated in all these ventures simply because it was fun and we loved it. We didn't mind the negative things that people said, we were just grateful for the opportunities granted to us.
TEENage: How has the international success been for you?
B&L: We have been taking it in strides, but it has been a gradual process. We always saw the light at the end of the tunnel so right about now we feel blessed and deserving. Not to sound too over the top but we didn't realise the impact that we have on the people with our music and we are grateful and loving it. It's a surreal feeling, but it's been a good journey. All we are going to continue to do is to keep on making music because that's what it's all about. We have reached the peole with our music and gotten their positive feedback so that in itself is 'success'.
TEENage: Tell us, what do you like to do in your spare time?
B&L: Working out, reading, going to the beach, movies and of course playing Scrabble (laughs). We are Scrabble nerds. As a matter of fact, during Dean we were playing Scrabble in the candlelight.
TEENage: How was the transition between your first video and your latest success, Never Never? Were there any inspirations?
B&L: There was a lot more funding, but Ras Kassa showed his creativity and what he could do on a low budget.
Our sister was in Done It To Me so it means a lot to us, plus, it was our first video as Brick & Lace so that makes it extra special. Never Never had a lot more opinions as well as more people on the set. We had more say in Done It To Me. On the bright side we got to work with Tamesha Scott, who has choreographed international celebrities such as Beyoncé Knowles and Sean Paul. She incorporated the Caribbean flavour in most international videos. What we would love to do though is work with more upcoming Jamaican choreographers.
TEENage: How did it feel to be finally signed to a major record label after your first introduction into the music industry?
B&L: Well, we were signed to Jive first, but it didn't work out so we were used to the feeling. Jive didn't understand our vision, they admitted that we were talented, but they just didnt know how to market us. We were glad that they were honest with us from the start. We loved the way Geffen embraced us and our vision. There were lots of obstacles, this journey was definitely not without its challenges. What people need to know though, is that there are pros and cons to being signed to a major record label. However, what we do need here in Jamaica are more companies to ensure that the artistes are treated fairly.
TEENage: How do you handle the negative criticisms from the Jamaican public about your American citizenship as well as your crossover shown in your music video?
B&L: Well, our mom was born and raised in New York City and our dad is Jamaican so we have been travelling to and from New York ever since we were little. That's who we are and we can't change that. In terms of our video, our production crew was trying to showcase places that possess a large Jamaican presence and we all know that New York City has a Jamaican feel to it.
TEENage: Are any of you in a relationship? If so, how do you balance the time when you are always away on tours, concerts, etc?
B&L: (Laughs). We have close friends. Yeah, close friends, but we will see if it will mature. However, you have to make time for the love aspect of your life.
TEENage: What's the next step for Brick & Lace?
B&L: We have our new single that debuted on Entertainment Report last week entitled, Love Is Wicked. Our soon-to-be released album is also entitled Love Is Wicked. We feel like it's a classic album, one that we are extremely proud of. It is, however, geared towards the female gender.
Nailah and Nyanda grew up in a musical family because their mother is a soloist in the church choir and their father was in a gospel group called Branches of Divine.
Both parents play an avid role in their careers because they like to edit their songs and offer their opinions on certain matters. They both looked up to their father as an artiste and as a songwriter. When asked if they will be pursuing solo careers, they said it would have to be in a situation like Outkast, where they had two CDs with different sounds in the same compilation. They went on to further state that they are two different individuals and it is when these two individuals come together you get Brick & Lace.
When asked to give their views on the politics here in Jamaica they replied, "Portia Simpson Miller no doubt inspires the women of Jamaica. People voice their opinions but at the end of the day it should be non-violent. However, whatever the outcome of the elections, PNP or JLP, we hope that they can rule with integrity and goodwill."
To find out more about Brick & Lace and to buy ringtones visit their website at and check out itunes for their new single Love Is Wicked.

Lamin & Tamala / African Roots
Latin / Reggae / Afro-beat

About Lamin & Tamala / African Roots
"LAMIN AND AFRICAN ROOTS" is a 6 piece band comprising of keyboards, guitar, bass, drums and vocals, playing roots reggae straight from its original African source. Heavily influenced by the music of Bob Marley, Barrington Levy and Burning Spear African Roots lays down a conscious, heavy, spiritual groove fronted by the Sene-Gambian born vocalist, master drummer and guitarist Lamin Jassey. Africian Roots is a spirited, diverse, high energy band comprising of International Musicians from three continents. Their sound can be compared to Alpha Blonde, Lamin has even been nicknamed African Tosh after the great master Peter Tosh. Lamin and African Roots have performed at the Glastonbury and Womad festivals as well as touring Europe. "LAMIN AND TAMALA", TAMALA is the Madinka word for "traveler", reflecting the rich diversity of the musicians and the roots of the music, which has travelled the world. TAMALA, featuring Lamin Jassey, is an 7-piece band comprising of international musicians from three continents, and fronted by the Sene-Gambian born vocalist, master drummer and guitarist Lamin Jassey. TAMALA is a spirited, high energy dance band using African and Latin percussion, piano, bass, guitar and violins, led by Lamin's distinctive soaring vocals. The band plays their own original compositions, combining Mbalax, Soca, Funk, Cuban Salsa, Charanga, Merengue and Highlife, to create their own unique brand of high energy African Salsa.

Saturday 08 September 07
Presented by:

Kolumn (jam), Zoe (d) & The Okada Supersound, Killdem Crew (fra)

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