Nov 27, 2014
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Empresses + Queens: Etana Speaks on Being a Woman in Reggae

Words by Etana/Photos by Martei Korley

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Green Screen: Jah9 Toasts To Fresh Food In Her “Avocado” Video

Words by Jesse Serwer

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Last year’s “Steamers a Bubble” was a big tune for singer Janine “Jah9″ Cunningham, and one of our favorite female-sung ganja anthems since Rita Marley’s “One Draw.” For her latest single,  “Avocado,” the Falmouth, Jamaica native turns her attention to a different sort of green. An avocado might seem like an odd object to serenade, but the track, produced by Rory Gilligan of Stone Love, is the latest in a long line of reggae songs celebrating healthy eating (see Chronixx’s “Spirulina” for another recent example).

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LargeUp Premiere: Notis + Iba Mahr feat. Tarrus Riley “Diamond Sox (Remix)” Video

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Years from now, when people think back on reggae and dancehall in 2014, they might actually find themselves remembering reggae and dancehall from an earlier era. That’s because vintage styles, both musically and visually, have defined Jamaican music this year, from the old-time riddims that have come back around to the ubiquity of mesh marinas, “Wallabee Clarks” and diamond socks—staple garments associated with earlier times that have become the height of fashion once more.

Embodying this phenomenon is Iba Mahr and Notis’ “Diamond Sox,” a tribute to those very fashion staples—and old-fashionedness in general. The track was turned into a Rockers-inspired mini-movie by video director Jay Will earlier this year, standing out amidst a flurry of similarly-styled clips with an engaging narrative featuring cameos from Evie of No-Maddz and Max Romeo. The tune itself has remained a favorite, spawning a recent remix featuring Tarrus Riley now the subject of its own video, which pares down the original’s eight minutes to a taut, 3:20 while putting a whole new spin on things.

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Now ‘Ere Dis!: Super Cat Meets Shaggy + Maxi Priest on “Night Flight”

Photo by Martei Korley
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It’s been 10 long years since we last heard new vocals from Super Cat. For some of you, that number may be closer to 15 years, since ‘Cat’s early 2000s output (the little-heard “Reggae Matic,” and a handful of mixtape tracks with the Neptunes) flew below many folks’ radar. But now hell has frozen over, and we have actual audio of a new track with Super Cat — alongside fellow reggae geniuses Shaggy and Maxi Priest, no less. The track, “Night Flight,” comes via Shaggy, who we hear had hoped to feature the tune on his last album, Out of Many, One Music. (It was also Shaggy who was responsible for luring ‘Cat out of retirement for his appearance at last year’s On Da Reggae Tip concert).

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LargeUp Premiere: Bunji Garlin + A$AP Ferg “Truck On D Road” Remix Lyric Video

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When one of soca’s biggest names, Bunji Garlin teamed up with game-changing newcomers Jus Now, the musical landscape of the 2014 Carnival season tipped off its axis a bit, resulting in the infectious and rhythmic manifestation of drum and bass that is “Truck On D Road.”

The ViKing’s lyrics and the production team’s innovative perspective resonated so well that the single not only elicited parodies (specifically one involving a “Cow on D Road”) but one of hip-hop’s biggest rising stars decided to add his flavor to it as well. A$AP Ferg, the Harlem rapper of Trini heritage who’d previously dipped his soca waters with his “Carnival Tabanca” remake “Petit Valley,” turned up on a Truck On the Road remix placing his dutty-minded vocals over a modified, hip-hop-meets-EDM version of the original beat.

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Sizzla Does Soca: Stream Kalonji’s “Trinbago (Come Closer)”

Words by Marcha M. Johnson

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With the 2015 Trinidad and Tobago Carnival Season picking up, producers have been steadily releasing riddims featuring soca’s biggest names and, in the case of the Forest Park riddim, one of reggae’s biggest names.

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