Apr 20, 2014
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Posts tagged: Kingston

Impressions: The Jamaica 50 Independence Grand Gala

Words by Jesse Serwer, Photos by Martei Korley—


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Independent Film: Jamaica Doc “One People” Premieres in Kingston, NYC + London

Words by Jesse Serwer—


Today marks the 50th anniversary of Jamaican independence, a milestone being celebrated in various ways not just across Jamaica, but across all of the diaspora capitals, and around the world. One of the many events celebrating the milestone is the world premiere of One People, a public-sourced documentary (meaning regular people, as well as some professionals, were asked to film and submit their own footage in the spirit of inclusiveness) premised around the simple question (as asked to Jamaicans and “friends of Jamaica locally and oversea), “What does Jamaica mean to you?”

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Throwback Thursdays: General Trees, “Eye No See”

Words by Simone Serwer—

In the late 80s, my family began revisiting Jamaica for the first time since we’d immigrated to South Florida in 1980. Before these trips back to my birthplace, my cultural heritage had been somewhat foreign to me: I finally got to know my own culture firsthand, through unfortunate circumstances. The initial trip back was for my maternal grandfather’s funeral in Yallahs, St. Thomas, right outside of Kingston.

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Video: Beenie Man, “Hot Like Fire”

Words by Jesse Serwer—

Dre Skull and Mixpak Records aren’t playing around when it comes to hyping this summer’s Loudspeaker riddim. Just a week after releasing the first video, for Popcaan’s “The System,” from the riddim, already they’ve got a second for us, in Beenie Man’s “Hot Like Fire.” In fact, Dre has suggested that there may be videos for each of the four songs from the riddim—the others being Machel Montano’s “Go Down” and Natalie Storm’s “Rock the Runway” in the wings.  Along with the usual Kingston visuals, “Hot Like Fire” also takes us to a side of Kingston (or more specifically the villages on its outskirts) we can’t ever recall seeing in a dancehall video before: a bauxite mine.

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Throwback Thursdays: The Large on Beenie Man’s “World Dance”

Words by The Large

DJ/writer/publisher/visual culture expert The Large is truly a “jill” of all trades. Her latest score is co-curating (along with Al Fingers) the super hype “Art in the Dancehall” exhibit currently on display in Birmingham, England, featuring the works of people like Limonious, Jamaal Peete, Tony McDermott, Sassafras, Robin Clare, Ellen G and more. Here she shares her thoughts on one of her aesthetic (and audio) inspirations, in Beenie Man’s “World Dance.”

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Burrrrrrrruppppp!: LargeUp Interviews Nardo Ranks, Part I

Words by Jesse Serwer—

Nardo Ranks’ “Burrup” is one of those underground street classics that hit in NYC and other major U.S. cities right as dancehall was first starting to be embraced by hip-hop and the broader market. It’s seminal status remained in evidence when rapper Pusha T quoted the song’s lyrics (and sang its hook) in “Mr. Me Too” by the Clipse a decade and a half later. Though “Burrup” was not a major hit in his native Jamaica, with a catalog that also includes still-relevant tunes like “Them a Bleach” (the first song to directly address the topic of skin lightening treatments in Jamaica) and “New Jersey Drive” (a combination with Jr. Demus that tackled police harassment of Jamaicans), Nardo is truly “one of dem originals” and a legend in the dancehall.

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