Jul 23, 2014
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Posts tagged: Jamaica

Righteous Excursion: Jesse Royal Meets Sly, Robbie and Chinna

Words by Jesse Serwer—

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Jesse Royal is one of the key figures bringing reggae into the future, but he’s working closely with some of the music’s past giants to get there. For “Little Did They Know,” a track on Living HeART, the exceptional new compilation LP celebrating 25 years of XTerminator Records and the life of its late founder Philip “Fattis” Burrell (buy here), Jesse teamed with three of reggae’s greatest musicians: Sly Dunbar and Robbie Shakespeare, and Earl “Chinna” Smith.

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Double Agent: Download Assassin’s “Day In Day Out”

Words by Natalie Weiner—

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Jamaican dancehall artist Assassin isn’t exactly known for sunny reggae tunes—he’s built his reputation going in hard on tracks like “Idiot Thing That,” “Anywhere We Go,” and helped bring the edge to Kanye’s dark Yeezus track, “I’m In It.” After all, they didn’t start calling him Assassin for nothing.

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Vegas Improv: Mr. Vegas + Cipha Sounds at Upright Citizens Brigade

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Unlike most dancehall artists, Mr. Vegas lets it all hang out when it comes to his personal life. For better or worse, the singjay behind “Bruk it Down,” “Heads High” and other hits has been known to give some of the most personal, hilarious, sad and occasionally uncomfortable interviews, making him a popular guest on all variety of radio shows.

One of his most memorable interviews occurred on New York hip-hop station Hot 97′s morning show with Cipha Sounds and Peter Rosenberg in 2012, when Vegas broke down in tears discussing being cheated on by his wife. Since then, he’s been something of a regular guest on that show.

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Visual Vibration: Bob Marley x Shepard Fairey

Words by Natalie Weiner—bob-marley-shepard-fairey

Bob Marley’s image has become almost as important a part of his legacy as his music—both are ubiquitous worldwide, and accordingly represent many people’s first exposure to Jamaican music and culture. Now, Bob Marley: Giant, an exhibit currently at the Known Gallery in L.A., aims to shed new light on the face that’s inspired so much more than just countless red, yellow, and green t-shirts.

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Sound Supplement: Chronixx Goes Green with “Spirulina”

Words by Natalie Weiner—spirulina-jesse-royal

Getting ready for swimsuit season? Detoxing after a long winter of Netflix and takeout? Well it looks like Jamaica’s Chronixx is on a health kick, too—the latest song from the artist’s upcoming Dread & Terrible EP is an eponymous ode to the “superfood” spirulina. The supplement, derived from an algae, is said to have uses from preventing allergies to promoting weight loss. For Chronixx, (at least according to the song) it’s what keeps him going during a long tour—he’ll even choose it over a Red Stripe!

“Spirulina” is just one in a long tradition of reggae songs about maintaining a healthy lifestyle. In Horace Andy’s late 1970s tune “Ital is Vital,” for example, he extolls the virtues of a traditional Rastafarian diet; Early B kept the nutritional advice going in the 1980s with “Certain Food We Eat.” And no, they’re not metaphors for satiating another kind of appetite…

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Now Things: An Interview with Liam Bailey


Words by Kieran K. Meadows, Photos by Kevin Ornelas—

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