Words by Tony Lowe, Video by Tony Lowe and Taliesin Gilkes-Bower—
For the first time in years, dancehall has some competition in Jamaica. Touching down in Kingston over the last year, the energy of the “new roots” movement was impossible to miss. Chronixx’s smash-hit “Odd Ras,” an anthemic manifesto for the young and righteous, rang seemingly on repeat from every sound, and increasingly common live performances by Jah 9 and Protoje blazed with mythic power. Armed with Rasta philosophy and criss Rockers style, this tight-knit but massive crew of young musicians—which also includes Jesse Royal, Addis Pablo and the Suns of Dub, Kabaka Pyramid, the No-Maddz, Raging Fyah, Kelissa, and more—are bringing roots and culture back into focus.