Words by King I-Vier
Photo by Juan Gomez
Much respect Large Up! This is King I-Vier from Jah Warrior Shelter in San Francisco. Resident DJ at the top Bay Area reggae/dancehall parties Bless Up Tuesdays at The Milk Bar, SF & Reggae Gold XL 2nd Saturdays at The New Parish, Oakland. Coming up you can find me playing with Protoje live March 16th at The Independent, and at the internationally-known Mixologi party on March 18th with Major Lazer’s Walshy Fire, at 1015 Folsom.
I also stay busy with my record label Royal Order Music, which I co-own with selector/producer Jah Yzer. Real excited about what we have to be released this year. Plus I’m A&R at an independent distribution company here called IDC independentdistro.com: A great option for indie artists, and labels of all genres.
When I’m DJing, I do my best to premiere and get people familiar with new artists and songs, among all the established hits and requests. Here are 14 favorite tunes — seven roots and culture tracks, and seven dancehall hitters — from my crates right now.
Mortimer – Warning
An artist who in my opinion is going to be one of reggae music’s brightest stars, Mortimer was introduced to many by Protoje, who featured him on the song “Protection,” from Ancient Future. (A song I also push.) “Warning” is a tough modern roots tune that keeps people dancing. Look for a some tough Royal Order Music collabs soon.
RSNY – Fighting For
The Rock Stars of New York. This group is musically brilliant. If you don’t know about them yet, I highly recommend you get familiar. They have many dope tracks but this song is from our label on the Social Riddim built by Coop D’Ville and Yzer. It also helps that the track gets a lot of love from selecting legend David Rodigan on BBC. The Social Riddim was released last year and also features J Boog, Sizzla, Iba Mahr, Gappy Ranks, Keida and Prestige, plus a wicked dub mix from our family Loud City.
Chronixx – Roots and Chalice
Great song from the mixtape of the same title by Federation Sound. The original riddim is one of Black Uhuru’s big songs “Party Next Door.” This song gets stuck in my head. I’m look forward to playing it throughout the year — it’s bound to be a classic.
Jahmeil – Great Man
A stellar tune with a back-to-basics formula plus some hip-hop flavor, this is one of those songs I had to keep on repeat when I first got it. It connects with the dancefloors here when I play it, and seems to be doing very well in JA and internationally. Jahmeil is well on his way up.
5 Star – Warn Dem
Warn Dem is a tough track from the legendary label Digital-B Records. Shout out to Giark Digital, his father Bobby Digital, and the whole family. I play this song as much as possible, and it connects everytime I do. 5 Star is an artist I really look forward to see rise from now. Video is badd as well.
Ras Demo – Sekkle Up The Score
A badd badd song, this one really caught my ear. He goes in on the Papa San, Lt. Stitchie influence. Great riddim produced by the bredren Frenchie on his (in my opinion) legendary label Maximum Sound out of the UK. Although released last year, the tune is a highlight as part of the wicked Armour Riddim juggling featuring Gappy Ranks, Mr Williamz, Iba Mahr and Addis Pablo.
J Boog feat Stephen Marley – Good Feeling
What more can be said about my bro J Boog’s smoky, smooth voice. Combine it with the great Stephen Marley, and the classic Humanity Riddim, and you get nothing but the highest grade in reggae music. Shout out to the family at Wash House Music.
Mr Easy – Bashment Gal
A big song for the veteran Mr Easy, on a retro 90’s-style riddim with a Konshens/Wayne Wonder collab to go with it. This type of original dancehall style connects with our crowds well here in the Bay.
Alkaline – Champion Boy
This is one of those songs that I see will be a standard at a lot of parties. It seems to be doing quite well internationally. The Bay Area crowd is getting familiar still, but usually the yardies in the building give it forwards!
Bugle – Rasta Party
Always great for me & my sound when a top Dancehall song drops with conscious lyrics. This tune beats nice & load in the party.
Nesbeth – My Dream
Hands down, this is currently one of the biggest new reggae/dancehall songs worldwide, with a very positive message for every hard working person. Condolences to Nesbeth’s family, for their recent loss.
Aidonia and Govana – Chartered Flight
One of my favorite artists Aidonia does it again, this time alongside Govana with another sick ganja anthem. His song “Kush Inna Mi Brain” got a lot of rotation from me and the crew.
Bryka – Place A F*%$ Up
This has to be one of my favorite new artists to spin at the party. I feel a lot of people don’t know him yet but he’s so lyrically sick, he’s bound to earn his way up. Also check out the songs “Dutty Livity” and “Dem a Fight Youths,” if you don’t know them.
Rihanna – Work
Constantly requested. It’s songs like these that help pull new fans into Dancehall and Reggae parties.
Bonus: Randy Valentine feat. Kabaka Pyramid – Not For Sale
This one stays on repeat at the crib. Make sure to check out Randy Valentine’s new mixtape, Radio Music. Real sick & every track on classic Hip-Hop beats like these. I have no doubts that Randy Valentine will be a household name in the near future.