Sep 25, 2011 at 10:27 pm #1279811
How you like me now Ken?! :P
Inspired by Ken Helwig's thread, which has already reached an astonishing 231 posts, I decided to ask how many dedicated ULer's also claim Gully Side(The Alliance) or The Gaza(The Portmore Empire).
I'm guessing, I'm likely the only one with thoughts on the matter.
Seriously.. Vybz Kartel or Mavado? or perhaps more appropriately, Bounty or Beanie? Yes massive, you be the judge! ;DSep 25, 2011 at 10:54 pm #1783591Sep 26, 2011 at 12:35 am #1783595
Nah disrespect bredren, but di I selection ah pure conscious chune rasta, which I an I prefer fi dissociate wit ah mi less endearin vice fi dancehall, seen?
In my opinion, best riddim for 2011 so far is:Gaza World Riddim
Best Dancehall mix of the year thus far, is tied between: Chinese Assassin & Black Chiney – Yardy Cup; Real Badman Edition and Chinese Assassin DJs, DJ War, Imega, Wildcat – Yard Cup April Edition
Best straight chune(one-drop seen!): Washroom Entertainment/Wayne Marshall/Fambo/Tifa – Swaggin
Best conscious/culture mix: Agony Hifi – Kush & Kulture Mixtape
Unfortunately Itation Sound has seemingly dropped off the map, without any recent updates to their Riddimcast series of culture mixes, which is pretty much the same as my other mainstay selector, BMC.
It's kind of a weird year for all styles of reggae music, which is to be expected, since the overall genre has been really evolving of late.Sep 26, 2011 at 4:50 am #1783608
Dancehall only? Nothing Rootsy in here? Give me some suggestins.
Edit: two l's..Sep 26, 2011 at 5:13 am #1783612
Roots are what got me into reggae, my love of dancehall came from djing out for a couple years.
Some of my favorite roots…
I can never get enough reggae to be honost, Javan I hear what you are saying but can't really push myself to play straight dancehall just because i think some of the lyrics are so ridiculously bad. Rum and redbull a shot, hold ya too, vybz is super talented but fell off harder than anyone I have ever seen/heard.
I like DJ Kenny's take on things.
Also javan, you should check out my friend dj fujun, he throws some great parties in minneapolis and remixes some nice tracks/crossover – http://soundoffujun.podomatic.com/Sep 26, 2011 at 6:18 am #1783617
@eugeneiusLocale: Nuevo Mexico
Eek a Mouse, Levy, Banton, have all kept my ears and feet shuffling for years, always in my mix of jams.
Bounty Killer circa 98 was sick, loved that stuff. Sizzla also makes my cut.
I could go on.Sep 26, 2011 at 1:04 pm #1783717
Yeah, there's no arguing it, modern dancehall's basic premise is completely absurd, and pretty much about as good for jamaican culture in general as gangsta rap was for american. =
Tons of talented DJs, but the straight dancehall songs tend to be pretty base (especially when you understand all the lyrics), that you can't help but feel really really guilty listening to them sometimes. ;)
It's also ironic, since the export nature of all jamaican reggae styles has DJs voicing on both dancehall and culture tracks. Although to be honest, I've come to realize more and more, that it's afflicting all modern reggae, even the cultural/conscious tracks. There's a lot of insecurity and resentment bleeding out of all the tracks, even the so called positive ones.
Still, there's no denying the raw energy of it. I used to be strictly into roots myself, and disliked all modern reggae, but it has a way of taking hold of you. The interesting thing is the evolution, even though Kartel has become a seriously polarizing figure based on the controversy of some of his actions, you can help but acknowledge his talent, and the fact that he's single handedly forcing a debate on a lot of cultural taboos, and the evolution of the genre secondly with higher production values, and a lot of flair. It's deeply fascinating the sheer amount of cache he's created, and he seems to be focusing it on an totally individualist ethic, however in a totally strange way. His rejection of the right of a deeply insular and judgmental society to tell him what he can and can't do is totally valid. It's just hard to recognize that as being the point when he chooses to exercise his freedom in regard to the whole bleaching scandal, but it's undeniably creating a dialogue, just as are his lyrics in regards to sexuality, intensely challenge other long standing and deeply entrenched taboos.
Kartel is of the dancehall equivalent of electro shock theraphy while acid tripping; there's no way you're going to come away from the "experience" without some serious changes to your world view, one way or another.
Also the drama is hilarious, and even though I'm disgusted by the celebrity drama of the US, I guess since I find it embarrassing personally as a part of that society, I can't help but be entertained with the dancehall beefs.
Anyway yeah. Dancehall is truly my one guilty pleasure. It's not something I'm even remotely proud of.
;”,jdempsey”Sep 26, 2011 at 1:28 pm #1783729
We should have a separate thread for roots, because I kind of hate to tarnish the good name by associating it with dancehall at all.
Some of my classic favorites:
The Abyssinians (Satta Massagana being one of the all time top 10 roots albums ever produced)
Culture (who's work only got better right up until Joseph Hill died, with Humble African being one of the all time best "modern" roots reggae albums in my opinion)
The Twinkle Brothers
Steel Pulse (but I only truly loved Handsworth Revolution, which is another in the top 10 all time IMHO)
etc, etc, etc, the list goes on.
I'd also like to point out some modern groups like Midnite, Groundation, and all the St Croix/Virgin Island artists that collaborate with the Bambu Station Studio.
If you like classic roots, you'll absolutely love pretty much any of the artists coming out of I-Grade Records label. I'm particularly found of Niyorah, and Abja. However, all of the earlier albums of Midnite are some of the most important works of reggae, as is the same with Groundation (although they're totally unrelated groups).Sep 26, 2011 at 2:01 pm #1783737
Good post Javan, the slackness in dancehall doesn't bother me at all and has been a part of reggae from the very start. I have more issue with shoot the batty boy, gun talk and violence towards women. Posturing like american rappers.
I am really feeling these artist right now in the dancehall front: bugle, g whiz, popcaan, spragga benz black rhino, egg nog, pressure, jah vinci, khago, i-octane.
See the thing now is that most every artist records every type of tune. Sizzla on a gun track, Vybez on a conscious track it makes everything pretty confusing when it comes down to it. identity crises all over.
Oh and to answer your earlier question, I'll go with Beenie Man today. Might feel different another day.Sep 26, 2011 at 5:00 pm #1783801
@tacedeousLocale: East Bay, CA
was looking for some new tunes thanks guys!
not dancehall, but I sure love some matisyahu! brought him up to mt whitney few weeks ago, made for an awesome sunrise!Sep 26, 2011 at 5:03 pm #1783804
Dancehall puts me off. The sexist and misogynist lyrics I cannot get past.
That said rocksteady and early reggae are my second love to punk rock. Lee Perry and The Upsetters, early Bob Marley and The Wailers, Toots and The Maytals, Paragons, Melodians, etc to Max Romeo, Junior Murvin, to dub like Mad Professor, Lee Perry, King Tubby, U Roy. Sunday evenings are dedicated to the good vibes of these sounds….it is a great way to wind down a weekendSep 27, 2011 at 1:51 am #1783910
Haha yeah, honestly I was being facetious Ken. Although I do admittedly love/hate dancehall.
Most of your selections are pretty obvious, with a distinct lean toward the classic studio one sound, and it's dubbed out dopplegangers, but I'm definitely interested to see U-Roy in there.
"Mi nuh try impress no one, mi just a Rastaman! Troddin thru Babylon, accordin to Jah Jah plan."
Words to live by. U-Roy is my favorite toaster.Sep 27, 2011 at 2:04 am #1783912
James; Don't forget Konshens. Jah Vinci and he are my favorite new artists. As much as everyone is obsessed with Octane recently, I'm not so much.
Another dancehall dj that's highly underrated IMHO is Flexxx, but that has a lot to do with the lack of organization of the Gully, compared to Gaza. Kartel makes sure all the artists get play, even if they constantly give him homage, Mavado isn't doing the same to promote the Alliance crew.
As to the homophobia, that and finger pointing in general, are something I take major exception to in jamaican culture, and it runs deeper than dancehall, and roots (of which it's very present also, if less blunt). It's a social problem however, the lack of acceptance, and one we struggle with constantly in our own culture, even if we try to pretend that it's all but gone. Western culture in general, is rife with judgement.
Even the most roots'd out classic tracks can have some seriously judgmental lyrics if you listen to them.Sep 27, 2011 at 7:18 am #1783949
@hellbillylarryLocale: southern appalachians
^^ that's because reggae at it's core is religious music. Their religion doesnt approve of homosexuality, They have no reason to be PC.
Ken, I saw lee perry live a few years back. It was simply amazing. The guy is completely insane. Loved it.Sep 27, 2011 at 7:30 am #1783950
I disagree with the assertation that reggae music is religious music. Certain artists are rastafarians or are associated with the Ethiopian coptic church, but just as much of reggae was born out of soul records and sexually suggestive claypso.
The issue of homophobia in jamiaca is widespread among christians and most rastas, attitudes towards women lags behind as well, I don't see this as being caused by the religions, i see the religion being used as an excuse for speaking on a social/cultural norm.
To be honest, it is refreshing to have people speak their beliefs outright, my issue is there are whole genres of dancehall based around batty boy hate and inciting violence towards gays. I think this is done strictly for record sales.Sep 27, 2011 at 8:01 am #1783954
W I S N E R !Participant
This is a sticky one for me.
Not all reggae is religious, but plenty of it is, and with that seems to come all sorts of weirdness (in my humble opinion). I love roots reggae especially…the rhythms, the music, etc. But when I start paying attention to the lyrics of a lot of this stuff…I have to question what in the world I'm listening to (given I don't have the most sympathetic attitudes towards religion/mysticism/etc.).
I find it odd that many hipsters, hippies, and music aficionados would be uncomfortable or scoff if they got in my car and I started rockin' some 80s christian praise metal or megachurch worship songs…
…but if it's got that sweet reggae beat, they wouldn't think twice about about a thick-accented man praising Jah ad-nauseum, talking of Babylon and the destruction of Satan…
But at the end of the day, I suppose it's really no different than anything else we make lyrical exceptions for. I also love me some early Slayer (I'm certain that South of Heaven has to be one of the best metal albums ever)…but it doesn't mean I support chaos, Satan, the undead, death, and destruction….
(but then again, it's fantasy; they're not writing those lyrics out of a genuine belief or religious conviction)….
Sticky stuff indeed….Sep 27, 2011 at 8:16 am #1783961
I feel similarly to Craig on this. I love rootsy reggae, the music and rhythm. When I was younger I was fascinated by the rest of it, THEN I lived in a big "hippy" household with a good sized Rastafarian contingent, both young white kids and the real Jamaican deal, or close to it. Still loved the music but the whole sexist thing turned me off as did the praising of Haile Selassie.
Now I am back to just enjoying the music.Sep 27, 2011 at 8:44 am #1783966
"THEN I lived in a big "hippy" household with a good sized Rastafarian contingent, both young white kids and the real Jamaican deal, or close to it."
Kat, this is so funny, I lived in a hippy house of 10 people (one of whom was named kat p) with a rasta from antigua and an assortment of dready people. How common can this scenario be?Sep 27, 2011 at 9:12 am #1783974
That is funny. Wasn't called the "Morning Glory" house, was it? We called it that because it was covered with the beautiful vine.Sep 27, 2011 at 4:25 pm #1784130
Javan, most of the stuff that I listen to is from 1967-1971. When ska was turning into bluebeat and then to rocksteady and then of course reggae. Rocksteady was a from of music that had the bands slowing down their rhytm down.
As Craig mentioned about the religious part, the stuff that I listen to has more in commonn with do whop from the 50's and calypso music from the carribean.
Others would be Prince Buster, Desmond Dekker, Alton Ellis, Delroy Wilson, Symarip etc
Funny how the conversation about what type of people listen to reggae music. Most don't know and DO NOT understand that skinheads in the UK around 1967-1969 listened to ska, and rocksteady exclusively. Music made by Jamaicans. My punk collection is one of the biggest that I have ever seen, but my reggae collection aint too bad either!
Great topic. Sorry to hijack, as I know this has nothing to do with dancehallSep 27, 2011 at 4:27 pm #1784132
and Craig, you are right about South Of Heaven….HEAVY. Though I would throw in Mater Of Pupppets or Reign in Blood or anything Motorhead has doneSep 27, 2011 at 6:34 pm #1784187
I'm just going to point out, that most if not all Rastafari would take major exception to the description of their faith as a religion.
It's also really not accurate to make blanket terms about the faith, as it's also primarily an unorganized individualist faith, with an emphasis on knowing the truth in your own heart, as opposed to what anybody else tells you.
Many would say, myself included, that no true Rasta would accept intolerance or judgement, however, as mentioned, it's an individual faith that intermingles deeply with your own society and culture. Those issues at it's core in Jamaica may be religious, but bear in mind that the huge percentage of Jamaican's are "Christian", and not Rastafari.
The vast majority of reggae (all sub-genres) artists may talk about Jah Jah and what have you, but as you can tell by looking at almost any of them, very few are serious about it. It's just part of the export culture of Jamaican music and the preconceptions and misconceptions of Rasta as something of an international "brand".
The exception in the more rootsy side of things is that there seems to be a fairly large number of Bobo Ashanti, which is a semi organized group of "believers of Jah", whom have some pretty specific tenants, and definitely bely that in the message of their music.
The difficult thing for many who have a strong faith, personal ethic, or whatever, is balancing the desire for understanding while not tolerating what we perceive as slackness, and as much as Rastafari at it's core is truly about singular individual pursuit for truth, our entire world of societies, are about living under the perview, laws and expectations of others, which doesn't really encourage the pursuit of someone's individual truth.
The fact that anybody can claim to be a rasta and then spout some opinions with fervor, makes for a lot of misconceptions about what it means to be a rasta to the very few that actually feel that word describes their faith. However, the more I explore my own heart, the more I realize, that no one I"ve ever considered to be a true rasta, would ever do such a thing.
Take that for what you will. I don't like to label myself in ideology, or faith, but I've spent a very long part of my life pondering this particular topic.Sep 27, 2011 at 6:36 pm #1784188
@lopezLocale: San Gabriel Valley
This forum never ceases to amaze me. Back in the 80s my garage was 24-7 rudies, skins, greasers, punks, death rockers, everything. Early reggae stuck with me the most, roots, rocksteady, early ska, its alright.Sep 27, 2011 at 6:40 pm #1784192
How funny Adan, you and I parellel soooo much in music.Sep 27, 2011 at 6:41 pm #1784194
Javan, that was sooo well written. I enjoyed reading your post!
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