Wednesday, November 30, 2011

I-Wayne: Reggae's J. Cole?


In mid-October, I-Wayne - born in Portsmore, JA, as Cliffroy Taylor - released his third album, "Life Teachings."Arguably, I-Wayne is most known for his unique voice and superb lyrics. If you ask me, he's also known for being the most allusive big name in reggae music, seldom found on any riddims and releasing a new album every four or five years (Sizzla, on the other hand, releases a new album every four or five days). With that said, when he does release an album or hop on a new riddim, he kills it. Truthfully, I-Wayne represents a lot of what reggae music is missing these days: lyrical skill and a coherent message that is meaningful and relatable.

Above is a 25 minute mini-doc about I-Wayne, promoting his latest album, "Life Teachings." Depending on how fluent you are in Patois, this one is hard to understand at times. However, you don't need to understand every word that is spoken to take away the overall message behind the piece. 

I don't want to be misunderstood here. I'm not being so bold as to say I-Wayne is up to par with J. Cole, but I do believe there are many similar characteristics between both artists that are reinforced by many testimonies in the documentary above. Assassin praises Wayne as a true artist in the way that he can uniquely rhyme four or five syllables and at the same time preach a coherent, cohesive message that the massive can relate to. This is something that first attracted me to J. Cole in hip-hop, the unique way can make a verse rhyme fluently while still telling a story that relates to myself and to my demographic. Cole and Wayne are also similar in the way they talk about "real" things. They talk about life, about their lives - certain trials and tribulations that they actually have gone through, and that some of their audiences have gone through. They don't talk about how much money they have, how nice their cars are that they drive, or how good-looking the women they have are. These are qualities that are becoming more difficult to find in both hip-hop and reggae today.
The artist and their livity, in this time, often become schizophrenic. The artist will say one thing, but his livity, the way he actual acts, is the next thing [he doesn't practice what he preaches, in other words]. In I-Wayne, we see, conversely, it is his livity that propels his music... it is really hard to find a reggae artist that is philosophical, and yet, is living that philosophy in the truest sense of the word (Mutabaruka).
I-Wayne has the potential to be the future of reggae music. It's really up to him, though. He needs to be more proactive about getting out new, diverse music. Right now, he's rarely in the studio, and when he is, a lot of his production sounds too alike. All musical greats exert diversity, and that is definitely something I-Wayne is lacking. I'm interested to see if this new album has inspired him in any way to step it up into a higher gear and get busy in the studio with new, different sounds. In the words of Bob Marley, though, "only time will tell."



"The beautiful thing about his lyrics that I particularly like is the anticipation, the suspense - not quite knowing what he's going to say, but you know he's sure going to say something deep and profound."
-Elise Kelly

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

"Wheel It!" (Back To '08/'09)

How this one slipped past us, I don't know. We here at Rudeboy have been huge supporters and followers of Itation Sound/Itation Records for many years now. The group is comprised of a number of members from across the nation, but originated in our hometown of Burlington, VT as a sound system. Fast forward to the present day, and Itation Sound is now better known as Itation Records, and has worked with countless renown reggae artists to produce five hit riddims and one full-length album. My personal favorite of these projects - the label's debut riddim - is The Higher Meditation Riddim, released in 2007.

What I never knew, however, until just now, is that in 2008/2009, Missy Elliot and Jazmine Sullivan collaborated with Itation Records to sample the Higher Meditation riddim on the duo's single, "Need U Bad." With this hit single, Sullivan was nominated for the Best Female R&B Vocal Performance at the '09 Grammy's, and received an ASCAP award.

The song itself is impressive. Jazmine Sullivan absolutely kills the track with her vocals, which play well with the heavy bass line and dubby-style drum beat. Big tune if I do say so myself! Look for the sampling of the Higher Mediation Riddim around min. 2:35. And for those who can't recall what the riddim sounds like, pre the riddim mix below.

New Tarrus Riley Video!



Depending on how much you follow Rudeboy Reggae, you may have realized that Tarrus Riley is easily one of our favorite artists on the scene.  So anytime he drops a new music video - especially directed by the highly respected, Storm - it's going to be posted.  The tune is "Come Ova" on the Sex On Di Beach Riddim, and unlike most reggae videos, this one really impressed me.  Blending in some Tarrus acappella, and featuring artists such as Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley and Dean Fraser, it has a real professional feel.  Check it out!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Is Turbulence Back?


Turbulence gives us some nice vocals over a gritty production by Angry Stuff Records entitled the "Buss no gun" rhythm. I'd never heard of this label, but apparently they're a small group stationed in Paris, France with a handful of European artists on their roster. With the current reggae scene being dominated by Dancehall, hopefully more long-standing artists like Turbulence, Anthony B, and Sizzla can link up with European production to keep roots reggae moving forward.

In the past five years or so Turbulence hasn't really given fans anything to sink their teeth into. However, with his track on the "Think Twice" rhythm and this latest release, it begs the question if he is back for good.

-Etac


Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Daylight Riddim

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Introducing, The Daylight Riddim - another November release from NOTICE Productions. This one's a nice, low-key riddim. It reminds me a bit of the Automatic Riddim from 2009; both have similar vibes. I'm going to have to take Jemere Morgan (yes, of the Morgan Family) as the best on this riddim - the second artist on the mix above - with his track, "Sunshine Glow."

Ras Penco - "Do U Right"
Jemere Morgan - "Sunshine Glow"
Gappy Ranks - "Daylight"
Gyptian - "Through My Window"
Daylight Riddim Version

BOOM TUNE OF THE WEEK

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Bob Marley in the Studio

What great footage this is of Bob Marley in his infamous, "Tuff Gong Studios." This 4.5 minute clip highlights some of the Wailers working on a few of their classics, such as, "Zion Train," "Could You Be Loved," and "So Much Trouble." The actual quality of the video is nothing to brag about, but it's always exciting to see a musical legend like Bob in this light - hard at work, in the purest, most natural, creative environment that is the studio.


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

R&B Artists and Reggae

Ever since I started listening to reggae, I've always wondered what some of the popular R&B artists would sound like on an old-school roots rhythm, a guitar-laced Don Corleone production, or even a hard-hitting Dancehall beat. The likes of John Legend and Estelle have released a handful of reggae tracks which managed to catch the attention of many dedicated R&B fans. Legend's collaboration with Buju Banton on "Can't Be My Lover" is a party anthem, while his duet with Estelle entitled "No Other Love" is a great way to set the mood with a special lady friend.

This summer, I came across these two tracks during a long road trip listening to XM Radio. Anthony Hamilton keeps with the theme of love on his uplifting track, "Everybody." Next, John Legend teams up with Philadelphia's own The Roots to cover the Royal Rasses' song "Humanity." The YouTube description of this track sums it up best by saying:

"Fantastic to see R&B artists like John Legend and Anthony Hamilton incorporating reggae music into theirs."

Can you imagine Tarrus Riley collaborating with John Legend? I think R&B and Reggae fans will both agree that more fusion between the two genres will only have positive results for music as a whole.

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Rebelution Releases Free Tracks Off Of Upcoming Album, "Peace of Mind"


California's reggae powerhouse, Rebelution, has released four free tracks on their website to help promote their upcoming triple album that includes dub and acoustic versions of their music. The album, "Peace of Mind," is set to release January 10th, followed by their US tour - January through March. The tour spans from East to West coast, hitting many cities of the reggae massive, but also visits a few of the lesser known states of the genres followers, like Minnesota, Iowa, and Kentucky. They will be accompanied in the East by PEPLove & The Grouch, and PepLove and The Green in the West.

The new tracks have definitely not strayed from Rebelution's distinct sound. I really enjoyed the tracks with guest artists. Hip-Hop infused, "Closer I Get," featuring John Popper of Rock Band "Blues Traveler," "Meant to Be" with Jacob Hemphill of SOJA, and I especially liked "Good Vibes" featuring Jamaican artist, Lutan Fyah. I love the concept of releasing a triple album to help diversify the sound and emit the acoustic and dub vibes on top of the normal music.

Check their website at Rebelutionmusic.com to download the tracks and see the upcoming tour dates in a city near you!


Monday, November 21, 2011

"It Is What It Is"- Irie Love ft. Fiji



Here's a new single from up-and-coming Hawaiian female singer, Irie Love, featuring Fiji: "It Is What It Is" I really dig the music on this track. Irie Love's voice mixed with Fiji's soulful presence make this duet a keeper. Check it!



Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Heart & Soul Riddim



OK, Chuck Fenda. Where have you been since the Hard Times Riddim? It's definitely been a minute since we've heard anything worthy from this guy, but his track on the new Heart & Soul Riddim is what we've been waiting a long time for from the elusive Brooklyn-native.

The Heart & Soul Riddim, produced by NotNice Records, is a pretty middle-of-the-line culture riddim - not bad by any means, but nothing that stands out in my eyes as exceptional. At least that's my initial take on it. Something tells me though, this is one of those riddims that grows on you with every listen, and I'll probably retract that statement down the road a ways. I think the riddim could absolutely shine if we saw some bigger names on the production. Aside from the three tracks from Chuck Fenda, Busy Signal and Jah Cure, the riddim has no quality artist support. The rest of the tracks are fairly weak, and is thus why they weren't included on the riddim mix above.

East Park Reggae Collective



In light of the recent post about "non-Jamaican reggae," I'm stoked to introduce East Park Reggae Collective, all the way from Leeds, England.  The nine-piece band just dropped their second full length album, Three Stripe Science on iTunes.  The band has a unique sound that is arguably completely new to Reggae.  The fact that the lead vocals come from a British woman is groundbreaking enough, as she provides a soulful, old-fashioned sound unlike any other you will hear in the genre.  Of course vocals aren't all it takes, and the band is getting quite the reputation for putting on an awesome live show.  From the sound of their recorded tracks and the fact that they have a four-piece horn section, I can't imagine a reason why they wouldn't be a good time.  Check out the leading track from their album, "Love Radar".

Saturday, November 19, 2011

New Dancehall Track For Tarrus



You gotta love when Tarrus Riley tries his hand at a dancehall riddim. We've come to know and love Tarrus for his unique voice and  his ability to use his pipes in ways most of us can only dream of being able to do. Every now and then he'll hop on a dancehall track and vocally dominate it, the same we see him do on the more rootsy reggae tracks he's more accustomed to.

This is Tarrus' single - "Don't Fight Me Down" - off of Chimney Records' newest dancehall release, The Intensity Riddim.

Friday, November 18, 2011

BOOM TUNE OF THE WEEK



Everyone knows Collie Buddz's hit single, "Come Around," which single-handedly put him on the reggae map. However, many have never heard Alborosie's take on the same riddim. In my opinion, it's just as good, if not better.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Hawaiian Band "Hot Rain" Drops Self Titled Debut Album!


Hawaii's music scene has given rise to yet another top caliber Reggae band with its newest phenom, a band hailing the name "Hot Rain." The band's members have been playing music with each other since high school, offering some deep rooted musical chemistry, and despite running on some serious Hawaiian time, have finally released there self-titled debut album. The delay coming from extended time as a backing band for artists like J-Boog, Tanya Stephens, Cas Haley, Don Carlos, and several others. I guess thats acceptable...


Hot Rain has produced a sound that has once again raised the bar for Hawaiian Reggae. Smooth vocals, heavy jazz influences, Polynesian swag, and a dash of comedy is what makes Hot Rain's music irresistible. From start to finish, it's a stylish compilation of music. Check the album on iTunes and look for them to be heading on a national tour sometime hopefully in the not-so-distant future. Even in Hawaii the sun isn't always shining, so until then enjoy the rain!

Take A Breathe

So Pure

Romain Virgo and Don Corleone Team Up


Famed producer Don Corleone out of Manchester, Jamaica has linked up with my favorite artist, Romain Virgo, with his release of the "Antique Riddim." On paper, this rhythm is loaded with star power including Tarrus Riley, Proteje, and Kymani Marley. However, many of these superstars don't seem to bring the same energy and unique hooks they've been known for. Below is the link for Romain's track "Never go under," where he spreads a strong message regarding the power of love in hard times. It's great to finally see one of the next big names in reggae and a legendary producer team up for a BIG TUNE! 

PlayNever Go Under (Antique Riddim) | Romain Virgo


UPDATE:  I just couldn't leave this post alone without giving props to Ky-Mani Marley, and his version of the riddim, "Be Smart."  Ky-Mani has been impressing me with many of his releases these days.  His voice seems to consistently stand out on riddims, and his take on the Antique Rididm exemplifies that.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Ginjah - "Souljah"




For some reason, I love this guy. I don't get why though. He only has maybe two or three good songs that I've ever heard, and the rest are almost un-listenable for me. But at the end of the day, I'm always rooting for him, and every time I see a new single out by him, I can't wait to hear it in the hopes that he'll surprise me with a hit.

This new single from him, "Souljah," isn't quite a "hit" in my opinion, BUT I do like it nonetheless. It's very different from anything we've heard from Ginjah in the past, but it works for him on this one. Check it out.

Love & Affection Video


Check out the new music video for one of The Green's singles, "Love & Affection," off of their newest album, Ways & Means, which remains steady killin' it at the top of the Billboard Reggae Charts. Pretty cool, entertaining idea for a video huh?


For all you Green fans in the greater Boston area, these guys will be in town this Saturday, November 19th, at The Middle East, 'longside Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad and special guest, Cas Haley. This is definitely gonna be a show you don't wanna miss!

GET TICKETS HERE

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Also, check out The Green's website - they've got us quoted on there from a post we did a while back about Ways & Means!



Tuesday, November 15, 2011

New Mix From Nickel B


Nickel B is finally back on the reggae scene, introducing the 35th edition of his self-titled collection - this one subtitled, "Boom Skeng." This mix incorporates a selection of both Culture and Dancehall tunes that span from 2010 to 2011. The one thing you can always expect from Nickel B is a solid collection of current music and quality mixing, and this mix is no exception.

It's been a long time coming since we've seen this guy get busy with some reggae, as he's been consumed recently with his Dubstep endeavors. However, I'm hoping this new release is a sign of more mixes to come down the road.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

NPR Article: "Non-Jamaican Reggae"

NPR posted an interesting article about non-Jamaican reggae. The article explores the phenomena of reggae today being an international sound, with many artists coming from outside of the genre's birthplace. The big question of the article asks, "should we respect these non-Jamaican acts?" Silly question if you ask me. Should we not respect The Beatles because Rock 'n Roll was born in America? From Gentleman to Katchafire, Groundation to Midnite, Steel Pulse to Dry & Heavy, Reggae has firmly established itself outside of Jamaica. If anything, this should be an indication of the powerful allure behind the musical force known as Reggae, and ultimately give more credit to that small island in the middle of the Caribbean for being the birthplace of it all.

The truth is that Reggae today is listened to and played by people from all different cultures around the world and has been infused with different musical genres throughout the spectrum. Reggae in the new millennium can really only be attributed as the underlying style amongst the vast array of music that defines the genre. Even Bob's very own son - Damian - has been on the forefront of breaking through Reggae's boundaries with hybrid projects like Distant Relatives and Superheavy.

As Reggae moves into the 21st century and its torch is passed to the next generation, we realize that it no longer represents one color or culture of people. A concept that Reggae's founding fathers like Marley, Tosh, and Cliff had envisioned from the very beginning... A music that brings unification. So here it is. Reggae being embraced from Japan to Jamaica, Canada to Brazil, by Rich, Poor, Young, Old, Liberals, Conservatives, Gays, Straights, Rastas, Jews, Christians ... The roots will always be in Jamaica, but the tree continues to grow!


"I love the development of our music; that's what I really dig about the whole thing. How we've tried to develop, y'know? It grows. That's why every day people come forward with new songs. Music goes on forever."
~ Nesta Marley

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Daily Dose of Dub


It's not often we post Dub tracks on Rudeboy, but today, I'm in the dubby mood. These two tracks were both produced sometime in 2011, but reflect a classic rootsy/dub style that brings you right back to the early days of reggae music. Enjoy.
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NOTE: Ignore the creepy intro on "Zion Train." Once you get past that, it's a great tune!



Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Tarrus Riley Interview

"Its all about waking up and hearing the roosters...and not eating them..."
-Tarrus jokes about waking up at his home in St. Thomas



Mid-October, Tarrus Riley (and his sidekick, the saxophone genius and debonair, Dean Frazer) met up with David Rodigan on the Kiss100 Reggae Show from the UK. Above, the trio discusses Tarrus' background - both personal and professional, his music, his beliefs, his family and friends, etc. All the bases are covered in this hour long session. The dialogue is intertwined with a number of Tarrus' hit singles over the past 5-6 years. You should recognize most. This one is definitely for the reggae heads - those like myself who are really passionate about reggae music, specifically Tarrus Riley and his music.

Shout out to Bennie B who was gracious enough to post this link and share the vibes first. Give thanks!

Friday, November 4, 2011

BOOM TUNE OF THE WEEK



An old classic for your listening pleasure as we enter the weekend. Enjoy!

"Coming In Hot!"



This song's been around for a while, and I've been trying to get my hands on it for some time now. I first heard this  tune - "Hot" by Fantan Mojah -  on DJ Big Dog's "We Love Radio" show on Burlington's independent radio station, WRUV 90.1FM . It's got undeniable energy - something you can always expect from Fantan Mojah. It screams "Boom Tune of the Week," and was going to be, until I stumbled across an old classic last night that I couldn't deny the Boom Tune title this week (coming later today). I needed to post this one as well though, this tune is too wicked not to...

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Big thanks to Big Dog for helping me get a hold of this track. You can follow him via SoundSurvivor.com, and through his radio show every Saturday night from 10pm - 12am (est) at wruv.org. And of course, you can always find him at the controls every Sunday night at Necatars' Reggae Night in Burlington, VT.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Green Drops 2nd Album: "Ways & Means"



One year later, “iTunes Best Reggae Album of 2010” winner, The Green, has just dropped their second full-length album, “Ways and Means,” to defend their belt in 2011. One listen through and you can tell that "sophomore slump" isn’t even in The Green's vocabulary. The album came out swinging and it's no fluke that the first week of its release has been busy occupying the #1 spot on the iTunes reggae chart.

From the roots jams “Love is Strong” and “Transparent People” to the more progressive tracks like “Keep On” and “Love & Affection,” to the smooth love songs such as “Decisions” and “Come In,” all the way to the Ska sounding jams like “Ways & Means” then back to the lovers rock style of “She Was The Best” and the captivating pieces of “Jah Love” and “That’s the Way”, you’d be hard pressed to find any band in any genre that emits as much diversity under one album. "Ways & Means" not only showcases the style and power that they have come to infuse in their music, but also the tremendous growth of the band's sound since its debut. Another fresh addition to the album is the tempo changes in songs like "Decisions" and "Gotta Be" helping keep the music alive and away from the repetitiveness that Reggae is often cited for. As far as the listeners' comments, there has been so much variation on the top tracks that it seems like the only consensus is that the album is nothing short of exceptional!

My only critique is I would have liked to see a few more guest appearances from other artists. Regardless, "Ways & Means" is a monumental transition for The Green into the next level of musicianship that can’t help make you wonder where this band is destined for. But talk is cheap, so get the album on iTunes or Amazon and listen for yourself!

No Doubt Riddim



After its highly anticipated release, the No Doubt Riddim is finally here! Now available for full download on iTunes! We posted about this one a few weeks back before it officially made it onto the market, and I'm finally just now getting my hands on it.

I love this riddim. It's just another testimony as to why France makes the best reggae music today. Hands down. Nothing competes with French production these days. Don Corleon (Jamaica) obviously is up there, but all his culture hits sound too similar after a while. And Itation Records (USA) has traditionally had consistent, quality culture rhythms, but much of the musical genious behind those hits is due to the French production groups that they collaborate with on those projects.

Anyways, super excited to finally have this riddim in my pocket. Big ups to Dub Inc who was the mastermind behind this one; you can link them here to hear more from 'em.

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My pick off this riddim is Busy Signal with "Worldwide Love." Pressure and Capleton's singles both bring the high heat as well though...


PlayNo Doubt Riddim Mix | Jah-Love


Busy Signal - "Worldwide Love"
Pressure - "Put Down Your Gun"
Capleton & Bakey Clifton - "A So We Stay"
Tarrus Riley - "No Doubt"
Dub Inc - No Doubt Riddim Version
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