Words by Jesse Serwer—
Among the names already announced for this year’s Reggae Sumfest, Ryme Minista might be the least familiar, especially to those from outside Jamaica. On the island, however, the deejay’s name is quickly gaining currency, starting in his home turf of Montego Bay, where he’s shored up a loyal local base not unlike his associate Tommy Lee Sparta a few years back.
I first heard Ryme Minista—“one of Montego Bay’s most unorthodox artists”—on “Like a Ball,” from Truckback Records’ S5 riddim riddim earlier this year. I can’t say I loved the tune but his gruff, Fambo-esque delivery and aggressive use of onomatopoeias (yes, aggressive use of onomatopoeias) definitely left an impression. In Kingston last month, I heard Ryme Minista everywhere: at clubs, on the mix CDs Popcaan was playing when we drove out to Saint Thomas for his Fader cover story.
There’s sure to be a lot more talk about Ryme Minista in July when he performs for his hometown crowd in his Sumfest debut. Until then, we thought we’d put you up on things with a few of his recent releases, and his two-in-one video for “Killaz and Killaz” and “Shub Out.” While the visuals aren’t exactly up to par, these are some of the biggest tunes in the streets. It’s worth noting that his is a movement that’s essentially entirely grassroots at this point; the best stuff I’ve heard by him isn’t on the Internet.