March 18, 2015

Words by Jesse Serwer
Photo by Martei Korley
Video by Birhan Tonge

If you know about the reggae community that’s “bussing up like a volcano” out of St. Croix right now, you know about I Grade Records. The Christiansted-based label and its affiliated projects (including the two latest Midnite albums, Beauty For Ashes and Ride Tru, as well as Pressure’s 2014 LP, The Sound) are at the center of the U.S. Virgin Islands reggae explosion recently featured on LargeUp.

Behind the label is producer, musician, lawyer and all-around good guy Laurent “Tippy I” Alfred. For his latest venture, Tippy has taken his studio wizardry to the stage as I Grade Dub, a live dub experience that is the engine behind the already-legendary series of outdoor dub events (Dub in the Rainforest, Dub at the Fishmarket, etc.) that have been happening around St. Croix over the last few years.

With word of these ethereal open-air experiences spreading far and wide, Tippy is taking I Grade Dub on the road, beginning with a pair of US dates last year, including this appearance at the Dub Champions Festival in Brooklyn, with MC Aba Shaka. LargeUp was on hand to witness the audio-visual experience, and we can assure you that you’ll be seeing a lot more of I Grade Dub here in the future. Watch the video shot by Birhan Tonge (director of Midnite’s recent “Credited” video) below and look out for our interview with Tippy right here tomorrow as part of our Virgin Islands Nice series.