Words by GabSoul
Las’ lap of 2018! The year may be coming to a close, but the vibes cyah done. Allow us to bless you with one more round-up of new music from across the Caribbean diaspora.
It’s story time, as Bunji announced on Instagram with the release of his spin on the Badang Riddim. Thank Jah the “viking with de lyrical axe” came through and finally found the time to get to the studio to deliver us this fire! Badang Riddim, produced by Keshav and DJ Rakka, also features tunes from Machel Montano, Olatunji, Ricardo Drue, MX Prime, Chromatics and Kevin Lyttle.
Preedy wins good samaritan of the year with his new tune “Lost & Found.” It’s what he considers “a civilized and clever way to ‘tief a wine.’” He was so inspired from his experience on his last trip to St. Lucia that his creative versatility and love for sokah led him to experiment with a different sound. Issa certified 2019 Carnival anthem for sure.
Tarrus Riley ft. Mykal Rose – Guess Who
Tarrus Riley linked up with fellow reggae veteran Mykal Rose to pay homage to Black Uhuru’s classic tune “Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner.” Uncle Tarrus glides over this Black Uhuru dub with a trap flow, yet still maintains his own reggae soul. It’s always refreshing to hear artists experiment with their sound and delivery while staying true to their style.
The empress Jah9 is speaking that mystical language on her latest tune “Heaven.” She reminds us to keep our heads up, eyes forward and our energy balanced. To give thanks for our universal gifts and blessings, and don’t give in to badmind. It’s time for liberation; we’re ready to feel free.
Born in Spanish Town, Jamaica, 16-year-old Koffee is an eclectic talent and light of positivity. The young artist has already been tapped by reggae icons like Coco Tea, Protoje and Chronixx. Her new song “Toast” is a reminder that gratitude is a must; that we must give thanks for life and all our blessings. This is a great anthem and attitude to close out the year with.
Another one from the Marley Empire. Jo Mersa links up with Jr. Gong for a righteous tune honoring perspective, whether it be father, son, brother, mother, sister, daughter, etc.; and upholding honorable morals for humanity’s sake.
When I first watched and listened to IFÉ’s Tiny Desk acoustic performance, it was a vibe I haven’t felt before. This band from Puerto Rico is so rich in diasporic culture and honors it in their art through funky fusions. The song “The Tearer (Bembe)” explores the energy of Oyá, the Yoruban goddess of storms and guardian of the cemetery gates. She brings the winds of change, reminding us that from chaos and destruction comes rebirth. The video pays tribute to Stan Lee and Storm, X-Men’s black female superhero.
Hailing from Sangre Grande, Trinidad, Kaz Fuego has set out to find a sound that represents him best; a sound that is authentic and blends all the cultures he’s been exposed to and molded by. He teamed up with Brooklyn Decent alongside guitarist Isaac Cozier to produce his new song and tap into his Caribbean and Nigerian roots. “Wahala,” which translates as trouble in a Nigerian dialect called Yoruba, has an electro-R&B/hip-hop feel over an afrobeat, sort of giving a nod at his London influence.
KG ft. Jay Nahge – Loyal (prod. 1st Klase)
A T&T original! This is such a dope collaboration and representation of Trinidad’s new wave of artists and producers killing their respective music scenes. Produced by the “Trapikal Gawd” himself 1st Klase, and co-written by Trini hip-hop artists KG, Jay Nahge and Chopikal, “Loyal” is a fusion of afrobeat-dancehall and hip-hop; and an ode of gratitude for KG’s special gyal friend.
One of the sweetest soca voices out of Barbados, Marvay killed this groovy love song. Whoever the lucky lady is, he assures that she’s in for a treat if she gives him a try, and maybe a sweet wine. Produced by Advokit Productions, the Twin Flame Riddim also features Kes, Olatunji, Angelique, Inzey, Azaryah and Sekon Sta.
Pressure Busspipe ft. Pediko – Who Feels It Knows
Pressure Busspipe’s musical interpretation has always been unique to me, being able to go from roots, reggae, lovers rock and even toss in a flare of hip hop. Produced by Andre Roots and Soundbank Music, “Who Feels It Knows,” pays homage to 2Pac with a dope reggae interpretation of “Changes.” Like Pac, Pressure also recalls the climate of the times and empathizes with the daily struggles of his people. The song title also nods to the great Bob Marley and The Wailers’ 1965 classic “Who Feels It Knows It.”