words by Eddie STATS Houghton
The other day we linked with Super producer Salaam Remi by phone from Miami, who confirmed the rumors that he is preparing to drop a full length album from dancehall veteran and original top shotta Spragga Benz for the first time in about forever (8 years by my count.) Any time Spragga touches a mic is an event but after such a long hiatus he and Salaam seem to be gunning for truly epic, because if we understood him right they will be filming a full video for EVERY SINGLE TRACK of the new project, titled Shotta Culture.
We are not talking about the tin pan greenscreen monstrosities that people stay putting out in this post-video era but full on productions with physical locations, flesh and blood dancers and directors who could be off doing feature films if they didn’t love dancehall so much. If you don’t believe, check some behind the scenes footage from the set of “Who Inna Middle”–the very first video to hit youtube–for which Spragga rented out Harlem’s infamous Cotton Club, enlisted Shottas writer/director Cess Silvera and co-Shotta Wyclef and had choreographer Tanisha Scott put her chorus line of dancehall queens into Betty Boops mode for the 20s-themed setpiece.
Even crazier (for us anyway), we are currently locking down an arrangement to make Large Up the exclusive home for these mini-masterpieces so check back here about every 2 weeks for the next installment. We got a sneak peak of a few of the tracks and you’ll just have to trust of us that they live up to the standards set by both Salaam–the evil genius behind Supercat’s “Ghetto Red Hot” remix, Nas’ “Made You Look” and other classics–and Spragga’s bottomless catalog of fire 45s. (In case you don’t remember, Spragga himself sings a few highlights in the intro flick, dipped head to toe in purple and looking like the Shottas equivalent of Deniro at the end of Casino with the Swifty Lazar glasses.
You heard it here first.