Founded in Brooklyn in 1983, King Addies was one of the first U.S.-based sound systems of international renown, and a major factor in the development of sound clash culture worldwide. With an alumni list that includes Tony Matterhorn, Lion Face and other notable selectors, Addies has stood the test of time and continued to evolve. Its current lineup consists of Danny Dread, King Pin, KillaBoo, Swugee Don, Viper, Ob Ras, Maphead, Neco Glock and Wynterfresh.
Kingpin brings the selections on FAAWUD! which features a selection of fresh dancehall from the likes of Teejay, Popcaan, Vybz Kartel, Rygin King and Govana, among other heavyweights. Listen here, and read on below for the track listing and an interview with King Addies. If you’re in New York City tomorrow night (2/6), King Addies will be hosting a FAAWUD soft launch party at OYO’s Bar and Kitchen, 637 Nostrand Ave. in Crown Heights, Brooklyn from 8pm to 1am, with Kingpin Addies on the 1s and 2s.
LargeUp: Can you give us a brief rundown of King Addies sound?
Shinez (Manager of King Addies): Originally Addies HiFi, we were established in 1983 when dancehall was just beginning to bubble in NYC and artists were toasting live on sound systems. Our family of artists that toasted live on our sound was pretty serious—Supercat, Nicodemus, Frankie Paul, Sluggy Ranks, Tenor Saw, the Gullyman Crew and so many more.
We were renamed KING Addies by our fans in 1989 after killing the then “King of New York,” Downbeat, in a soundclash. Back then, reggae and dancehall wasn’t played on the radio, and the internet/streaming wasn’t a thing yet, so we became an informal grassroots music distributor for the culture. Artists like Bounty, Buju, and so many others are a part of our story. After locking NYC, we toured all over the world, playing parties and killing the world’s top sound systems. You name them, King Addies has clashed and killed them. King Addies changed the game by being the first, and really the only, foreign-based sound to truly dominate the sound clash arena versus sounds around the world, including some of Jamaica’s most notable sounds.
In the 90’s we became known as the “Billboard Sound” for having a major hand in a cultural revolution—custom recorded tracks (dubplates) featuring the mash-up of dancehall artists and Billboard-charting artists like Anita Baker, Toni Braxton, Nas, Lauryn Hill, The Fugees, Wu-Tang, Snoop, Doug E Fresh, Jodeci, McFadden & Whitehead, and so many more. Ambassadors of sound system culture and reggae music from the very beginning, in 2019 we are beginning our 36th year in the music industry as North America’s most dominant sound system.
LU: What was the concept behind this mix?
KingPin (Selector of King Addies): FAAWUD is the debut of a new King Addies mixtape series featuring current and new music, so, it’s a FAAWUD look at dancehall and includes some of the hottest songs out right now. Also, it’s something fun you can vibez up and bussa FAAWUD to.
LU: You just celebrated 35 years with a string of events/projects. What’s next for King Addies?
Dinero (Manager of King Addies): We celebrated our 35th Anniversary the entire 2018 with all kinds of projects, and raised the bar as a brand. However, for 2019, we have something even more special for our fans—we’ll be dropping some new music on our record label, King Addies Music.