Words by Natalie Weiner—
About a year ago, LargeUp introduced you to Island Boy Cartel, a “supergroup” including reggae-loving, Jamaican-Canadian rapper Kardinal Offishall and prolific USVI pop composers Planet IV (formerly known as Rock City). Together they’ve released a few tracks and remixes since then, ranging from soca to trap. The overall sound, though, is somewhere between hip-hop, dancehall, and pop.
“Pretty Paper” is the group’s most heavyweight release to date, featuring guest verses from Assassin and Raekwon. Both of whom have been using their talents of late fill in the space between hip-hop and dancehall, via genre-bridging tracks like Kanye’s “I’m In It” and Rae’s “Soundboy Kill It” (also featuring Assassin, alongside Melanie Fiona). Kardi’s flow is from the classic Pinchers song “Bandelero,” while the music comes primarily from DJ Premier‘s beat for Bahamadia’s “Wordplay” with a few other ’90s breakbeats thrown in.
It’s a slow grooving hip-hop/dancehall medley that pays tribute to a topic everyone can relate to: money. The record is packed with both vocal and production talent, and lucky for us, it’s just a taste of what’s to come — IBC is planning on releasing an album in 2014 featuring Bunji Garlin, Verse Simmons, Lady Leshurr, Kissinger, and Assassin, among others. Look out for it — in the meantime, listen to this laid-back track, and tell us what you think.