Jul 25, 2014
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Toppa Top 10: Spooky Reggae!

Words by Eddie STATS Houghton


This year Halloween fell on a weekend (sorry, it had to be said) and Subatomic Sound and J. Rockaz have inspired me to compile this top 10 list of spooky reggae jams to drop between “Thriller” and Fela’s “Zombie” at your haunted houseparty. Anything related to duppies, ghosts, vampires, zombies and other undead creatures is fair game and the truly scary thing is how many classic reggae tunes there are that fall into this ghoulish category once you start um, digging. Maybe there are heaps of spooky soca and merengue jams I just don’t know about but it certainly seems like the supernatural is a recurring theme in Kingston, a town that has produced crews called Monster Shack and Scare Dem–not to mention Ghost! Whatever the reason, there are way more than 10 so let’s get started. Grab that flashlight and follow me, kids!

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Oh My: Vampires, Informers and Elephant Man

Words by J. Rockaz


Boogidy boogidy BOO! It’s Thriller time once again my friends and that means you got to get your “Boogie On” on the dancefloor and elsewhere, ’cause otherwise …BOO! (got you again). Let’s face it, there will always be a soundtrack for the shadows and darkness of a truly foggy All Hallows Eve. Those of us who appreciate this spooky time of year also love a song that slaps the fangs out of Dracula’s mouth and sends Jason and Freddie running through the streets crying for their mamas. Enter the rudeboys of Subatomic Sound (NYC) and People’s Records (JA) with a fresh musical mix.

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Mas Appeal: Dalton Narine Puts Carnival on the Silver Screen

Words by Eddie STATS Houghton

The Merry Monarch

If you weren’t checking for the New York International Film Festival this summer, you probably haven’t seen Mas Man, Dalton Narine’s documentary on award-winning designer of mas paraphernalia Peter Minshall, much less heard the news that it took the title of Best Short Documentary when the NYIFF awards were announced just a few weeks ago. We only got put up when we paid a visit to Harlem’s best haberdasher, who happens to be a proud Trini named Bun (more on him soon). If you haven’t seen the doc, you probably don’t know that Trinidadian-born and bred Minshall has been the artistic director for three Olympic games running–even winning an Emmy for his work in Salt Lake City–bringing to the international stage the unmatched flare for color and spectacle he still nurtures every year with the creation of mas costumes and set-pieces for Trinidad carnival.

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Just For Fun: Trevor Off-Key’s Dancehall Parodies

Words by Martei Korley

trevor off-key

In the often gritty, serious AND cartoonish dancehall world, Trevor Off-Key takes a somewhat different approach–no less cartoonish, though. Seemingly honing an ambition to become the Weird Al Yankovic of dancehall, he has created spoofs of a number of chart-toppers, even some with “official” videos. Take a load off and kick back with LargeUp for a few laughs…(watch after the jump).

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LargeUp TV: Better Mus Come Director Storm Saulter

Words, Photos and Video by Martei Korley


[UPDATE: LargeUp is presenting the official US premiere of Better Mus Come at Lincoln Center on Feb. 16, 2012. Get your tickets and more info here.] I first met Storm while on assignment in Kingston for Trace Magazine‘s Jamaica issue, by the pool of the Hilton Hotel. Surrounded by cool creative people, the summer of ’05 lent its own special magic to the scene. Jah Cure had a top song in rotation on Hot 97, and Turbulence was storming up international charts with 77Klash’s groundbreaking punk-infused production on “Notorious.” Storm’s casual and humble demeanor belied his talent, but such is often the case with truly gifted people. He contributed a stellar photo of then Deputy Commissioner of Police, Mark Shields for the issue. Very memorable indeed, and in hindsight a precursor of greater things to come.

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Only in Brooklyn: Kosher Jerk Chicken

Words by Eddie STATS Houghton, via The Daily News


The particular mix of Rastas and Hassidic Jews that defines the cultural mix of the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn is well-known to longtime New Yorkers but even they do a double-take when the identities Jewish and Jamaican reside within a single body. That is clearly the case, though, for Sarah Attias–a Sephardic Jew of Spanish extraction who also happens to be a born and bred Jamaican. She and husband Zev put their “Jew-maican” pride on display at Monday’s West Indian Day parade, offering free comedy with every purchase of their kosher jerk chicken.

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