Sunday, August 30, 2009

Yasus Afari says 'Kiss Mi Neck'

Yasus Afari wears many turbans - artiste, author, philosopher and motivational speaker. But what he is best known as is a poet - an 'artical', Rastafarian dub poet.

He is also becoming a guru of portmanteau words. He calls his craft edutainment - educational entertainment - and recently successfully merged comedy and poetry in a performance format, 'Pomedy'.

His latest work, Kiss Mi Neck, a poetry album rich with the stories of prose, but laced with poetic rhythm, is another noteworthy achievement for Yasus Afari. He veered from the customary drums, horns and guitars that complement dub poetry and, as he said, "relied on the rhythm of the words".

The issues on Kiss Mi Neck include the full gamut of life topics: politics, poverty, global warming, culture and love. And all the poems are delivered with sublime enunciation and gentle flicks of intonations that rhythmically convey the message.

Of course, Yasus Afari is too much of a deep thinker for one album to contain all his ideals.

Dub poetry is normally accompanied by music, but your album is basically a cappella. Why?

This is my sixth album and the others were 'normal', and with the vision and memory of the ancient future, I like to defy definition rather than conform to normality or convention. Actually, this album, to an extent, is in response to the demands of my supporters and fans in the many countries (Jamaica, England, Wales, Barbados, St Lucia, The Gambia, Japan, New Zealand and Australia) that I've toured in recent years.

Read Complete Article here

Source - Jamaica Gleaner

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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Bolt 'on the Berlin Wall'

Jamaica's Usain Bolt is given a piece of the Berlin Wall by the Mayor of Berlin Klaus Wowereit for his achievements at the 12th IAAF World Championships in Athletics

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Bolt Shoes Speeding off the Shelves

Jamaican record-breaker Usain Bolt's shoes sprinted into the shops in Japan yesterday as German sportswear maker Puma began selling a limited-edition version of his spikes.

A day after Bolt stormed to his second world title in Berlin, the bright orange "Puma Street Yaam" shoes - a name apparently inspired by the yam vegetable he ate as a child - were flying off the shelves in Japan.

The limited edition shoes went on sale here three days ahead of their global launch, and dozens of pairs were sold about an hour after shops had opened, said Puma Japan spokesman Takayuki Goto.

"Some customers bought the shoes believing that they would bring a good omen and that - because Bolt became the number one sprinter - youngsters would also make their future dreams come true," he said.

Bolt wore Puma spikes when he won the world 100m and 200m titles at the World Athletics Championships in record times this week.

The "Puma Street Yaam" shoes, which bear Bolt's signature, are priced at 9,975 yen (around 106 dollars) a pair.

Imperial Blaze

After four years, Sean Paul is back. From the dapper black and white outfit on the album cover, to the more diverse lyrical content and flow, deejay Sean Paul has shown that he hasn't spent the last four years since the release of The Trinity in 2005 sitting around twiddling his thumbs. The artiste's fourth much-anticipated album, Imperial Blaze, showcases Sean's formula for cross-over success with catchy dance-oriented songs, but also his desire to expand his style.

Known for bridging the gap between dancehall and mainstream American pop, it is undeniable that Sean Paul has a heavy burden to bear. For any pop artiste, four years is a long time without an album, but unlike other artistes, Sean Paul doesn't pack the album with collaborations with big names to grab attention - he instead stands alone. Dancer-turned-deejay Chi Ching Ching opens the album with his usual slick rhymes with a heavy rock guitar strumming in the background. Chi Ching Ching hypes up the album boldly declaring, "Imperial bebble right now. Yuh know what bebble mean? It mean Sean Paul sharp. Yuh know what sharp mean? It mean Imperial is a razor. yuh know what razor mean? It mean Imperial is a good cut. Sean Paul suit cut ... . Imperial Blaze bad, eeh."

From the second track, Lace It, on talented young producer Stephen 'Di Genius' McGregor's 'Day Rave' rhythm, it is obvious that a lot of Imperial Blaze is all about the girls. A slew of club dance songs, but with a heavy dancehall influence, follows, including Don't Tease Me on the 'Work Out' rhythm , Daddy's Home and Birthday Suit, which both have a strong dancehall feel, as well as Running Out Of Time and Private Party for Don Corleone. The album's first single, So Fine, set the right pace for the album with a futuristic dance feel that keeps you moving, which will be followed by Press It Up.While The Trinity comprised mainly club pop-style songs, Sean Paul branches out across the 20-track album making Imperial Blaze his most diverse effort thus far. Pepperpot, which many might be familiar with, has a nice mellow feel that manages to be summery and Caribbean. Hold My Hand stands out as a love ballad from the deejay who showcases his singing talent in the song for producer Arif Cooper. The unrequited love in the lyrics is new ground for Sean Paul, a sign of diversity, which is seen in Straight From The Heart, a touching tribute to his mother.

On the production side of the album, Sean Paul utilises Jamaican talent with producers who are currently at the top of the their craft, including Don Corleone, who worked with the deejay on The Trinity, Craig 'Leftside' Parkes, Jeremy Harding, Arif Cooper, DJ Delano from Renaissance Disco and the deejay's brother, Jazon 'Jigzagula' Henriques of Coppershot Disco. Most of the production, however, goes to Stephen McGregor with him handling eleven songs. The beats throughout the album are without a doubt infectious, which will have countless persons wanting to bob their heads.

Imperial Blaze, as the name suggests, shows that Sean Paul is confident in his merit as an artiste and ability to blaze a trail in music. Overall, the album is well produced and shows the deejay's improvement in 'riding' a rhythm. Lyrically, the focus isn't as diverse as it could be, but works well for Sean Paul's target market, and has tracks that have the potential to hit international televisions and clubs.

Source - Jamaica Gleaner

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Serani Breaks into billboard yet again

Multi-talented Alliance member Serani has scored his second successive Billboard hit with "She Loves Me," the second single from his upcoming album.

Debuting this week at number 82 on the Billboard Hot Hip Hop/R&B Chart, She Loves Me is in heavy rotation on the station that breaks Dancehall records in the US - New York's HOT 97, as well as at other urban and crossover formats across the country as it begins to pick up speed.

"Its a great time for Jamaica right now," said Serani. "Our athletes are on top the world and we're continuing to make huge strides like Usain with our music! 2009 has been a great year for me and for Jamaican music, now I am just readying up to drop the album and try to move some units!"

Source - Outaroad

Diplomatz Summer Endz Mix

Riding on a high from a string of successful playouts for summer 2009, Dj Charm and Diplomatz sounds drops the 'Diplomatz Summer Ends Mix. Check it out from the links below.

Tracked Version - Download Here

Single Track Version - Download Here

The Diplomatz Summer Ends Mix is Endorsed by A.I.M Inc.

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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Bounty Killer “Ungrateful Hell Bwoy”

“Blessed is the man who walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly nor stand in the way of sinners, nor sit in the seat of the scornful.” Word to the wise: Once the Warlord starts quoting scripture on you, you’re in serious trouble.

In the wake of the Alliance’s decisive victory at last week’s highly anticipated Champions In Action stage show—during which Beenie and Kartel took the stage together and received a chorus of boos—Bounty Killer is savoring his victory with tune that puts the whole Gaza / Gully rift in perspective. Rather than just hurling insults, “Ungrateful Hell Bwoy” attacks Kartel strategically, focusing on the roots of the conflict. “Traitor” “Judas” and “Bag O Wire” are the epithets Bounty employs to highlight the fact that he first brought Vybz Kartel to the public’s attention. History can recall the night at Delano’s Revenge, many years ago, when another big DJ tried to chase young Kartel from the stage saying “tek weh yuself, big man ah work.” Bounty rushed to Kartel’s defense, saying “the Boys today are the men of tomorrow… And a my son this.” Funny how things turn around, isn’t it?

Source - Boomshots

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Tuesday, August 18, 2009


Mouthing "Gaza Mi Seh" to television cameras during his usual pre-race antics, Olympic gold medalist and world record holder Usain Bolt hailed his favorite Dancehall deejay moments before shattering another 100-meter world record in Berlin on Sunday. Today, ace lyricist and leader of the 'Gaza'-based Portmore Empire Vybz Kartel celebrates Bolt's victory with "Lightening Bolt' a clever tribute to Bolt's outstanding world championship triumph--crossing the finish line in a startling 9.58 seconds.

"Yuh neva know Jamaicans nuh play / when yuh see that flag ya clear the way / Black, green, Usain get the gold / just bring back a silver to USA" Kartel rhymes on "Lightening Bolt," incorporating Jamaica's national colors and poking fun at the US's second place finish at the World Championships.

Also known as "Di Teacha,' Kartel's superior lyrical skill and colorful verbage has been lauded among Dancehall afficianados. "Ramping Shop," his fiesty duet with Dancehall deejay Spice, is currently bubbling on the Billboard Top 100 Hip Hop and R&B singles, jumping twenty notches since its debut to its current position at #76. A savy business man, Kartel owns the Vybz Rum and Daggering Condom brands, and heads the Portmore Empire. Based in his hometown, the Empire is Kartel's stable of sizzling new Dancehall talent--including popular deejays Blak Ryno, Jah Vinci, Shawn Storm, and Popcaan-- situated in an area of Portmore known as 'Gaza' in Jamaica's parish of St. Catherine.

Source - Ms. Raine Inc.

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Time to blaze, Imperially

Imperial Blaze, the latest album from international dancehall sensation Sean Paul hits stores across the world today. The long-awaited release from the platinum-selling superstar is his fourth studio album, and was recorded and produced in his homeland, Jamaica, and features 100% Jamaican production.

Producers on the 20-track set include Jeremy Harding, Stephen ‘Di Genius’ McGregor, Delano Thomas, Don Corleon, Craig ‘Leftside’ Parks, Arif Cooper, and Jason ‘Jigzagula’ Henriques.

The album is already available on major music websites, such as, and is also available for digital download from his own website –

Sean Paul, who already has Grammy, Billboard, and American Music Award trophies in his cabinet, is the most commercially successful Jamaican artiste of all time – with several chart topping singles such as Temperature and Get Busy, an impressive catalogue of collaborations with artistes such as BeyoncĂ©, Estelle and Blu Cantrell, and a slew of Top Ten hits including Gimme The Light and We Be Burnin’.

Imperial Blaze is expected to do well, continuing the trend of the singles released from the album so far. So Fine and Press It Up have been making chart movements around the world, with So Fine being the number one club song in Germany, and a radio favourite all over the Caribbean, US, and Europe. Press It Up is already finding its way to turntables in clubs and on radios around the world, although it only became available on iTunes last week.

The success of the singles and the expected success of Imperial Blaze are testament to the extensive promotional tour Sean Paul is on, with performances, radio promotions and television appearances.

“It’s been really hectic, but music is what we deal with, and music is what we love, so it has to be done,” SP said about the tour.

“I’m looking forward to today, and I'm really looking forward to a break in my schedule when I can go back to Jamaica and chill out for a few days, until I hit the road again. We blaze imperially!” he laughed.

Tonight, an album launch party takes place in New York City’s Highline Ballroom where Sean Paul will officially introduce his fourth album to the music world.

Source - Headline Entertainment

Check out the video from the lead single - So Fine below

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Friday, August 14, 2009

Tarrus Riley Unleashes Contagious Third Album

Awarded Best Male Vocalist and Best Song at the 2008 International Reggae and World Music Awards, Tarrus Riley is the more promising of the second generation of Jamaica roots reggae singers. With his August 4, 2009 release of his much-anticipated third set Contagious on Cannon Productions, distributed by VP Records, Tarrus Riley reaffirms that he is one of finest singer/songwriters of his generation, irrespective of musical genre.

The son of Jimmy Riley, Riley's songs retain ties to the Jamaican roots tradition while still managing to sound distinctly contemporary. In addition, his strong stage presence gives him crossover appeal and marks him as a coming force on the international reggae scene.

The album is grounded in a roots reggae tradition that is recast with a gleaming 21st century sheen courtesy of the album’s primary producer, venerable saxophonist Dean Fraser and created by Grafton and Tuff Gong studios sovereignty including Sly and Robbie on drum and bass, guitarists Mitchum “Khan” Chin and Cat Coore, keyboardist Robbie Lyn and Dean Fraser’s impassioned sax styling. Contagious remarkably shifts between smoothly crooned lover’s rock and artful Rastafarian declarations, provocative commentaries and dancehall’s combustible edge, its cohesion provided by Tarrus’s spectacularly emotive vocals and reliably inspiring words.

As its title indicates, this highly infectious collection of 18 songs is characterised by symptoms of melodiousness, rapturous roots rhythms and hard hitting lyrical realities that are transmitted through repeated spins, resulting in a high grade musical fever from which you will not want to recover.

“The reason why I called it Contagious is because I would love for everyone to catch it,” says Tarrus. “I don’t want my music to have boundaries of race, age, nationality or religion; I represent reggae, live music, and I want everyone to catch on to its positive, good vibes.”

Standout tracks are easily spread throughout Contagious. Tarrus returns to the rapid-fire deejaying of his Taurus days on Good Girl Gone Bad (featuring rising dancehall star Konshens) produced by Tarik ‘Russian’ Johnston. On Don’t Judge, Tarrus cautions harsh judgments often times leads to reckless actions. Random brutality, war and an array of social injustices prompts the contemplative Why So Much Wickedness?. A simple yet stirring invocation to His Majesty is expressed on King Selassie and the title-inspired track Love’s Contagious reworks the majestic one-drop rhythm from Bob Marley’s immortal Coming in From the Cold as it details that untreatable sweet sickness.

Tarrus forthrightly addresses the wicked act of violence against women in Start A New (produced by Shane Brown), urging the song’s female protagonist to leave her abusive man. As a means of calling greater attention to this malady, Tarrus has established a non-funded, anti domestic violence campaign, Start A New in which he, Blak Soil, Majah , the Area Yutes Foundation, Miss Jamaica 2007 Yendi Phillips and an assortment of artists regularly visit schools and speak to children from some of the island’s most troubled communities about the violence which many of them are exposed each day. “We put on plays, perform and talk to the kids about things that touch their lives and violence is a part of that,” he explains, “and they really appreciate that we would take the time to do that.”

Like his father, Tarrus has a sweet, nuanced tenor vocal style, he taught himself to play keyboards and several percussion instruments and began writing his own songs, many of which had strong Rastafarian and consciousness-leaning themes. His 2004 debut album Challenges was an impressive introduction to the Jamaican market deserving of a much wider audience. His sophomore effort Parables featured the most popular reggae song of 2007 “She’s Royal”, won critical praise throughout the Caribbean Diaspora and almost single handedly heralded a roots reggae renaissance.

Source - Headline Entertainment

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Thursday, August 6, 2009

Rapper Shyne to Get 'Free Papers'

[Jamal Barrow the rapper known as Shyne learned recently] that he will be given the minimum in regards to his parole, according to his attorney, Oscar Michelen. Through an interview with HipHopDX, Michelen informed all of the conditions and arrangements made as it pertained to his parole release.

“He gave him two-and-a-half [years], which was the minimum. The D.A. had requested the maximum, five years… [Shyne] got a chance to address the court today. He did address the court and asked court to consider not giving him any post release supervision at all. But the court said that it was obligated to do so. And [the judge] pointed out that he agreed with our argument [and so] he's gonna give us the minimum… And we're just thankful that the court read our sentencing memorandums and agreed with our position. We now wait for his release, which should be October 6th.”

Some may question why the sentence is coming now, especially since the rapper has already served 8 _ of his 10 required years. Michelen explained that when he was sentenced in March 2001, he wasn't given a parole sentence which was actually mandatory. As a result, the Correction Department made a request for the court to re-sentence him.

Life behind bars has caused a change in the rapper. Spiritually, the man once known as Jamel Barrow has now become a devout Orthodox Jew and changed his name to Moses Michael Leviy.
Initial fears came from the client and his attorney if Shyne were given the full five year parole term it would limit him from making rounds and even making a consideration to music as he would not be allowed to leave the state of New York and he would have constant surveillance on him as he would have to be given permission to engage in most activities as an artist. He will, however, still have particular restrictions to deal with after his release in October, according to Michelen.

“[The] parole [board] will decide [any restrictions],” he noted. “The usual parameters are you can't leave the state without prior permission. If you change your address you have to give them notice. You can be randomly drug tested. They could even search your home randomly without notice. And the most important [parameter of parole] is if you were to commit a crime, or get re-arrested for anything, you can face jail for the full two-and-a-half years of your PRS [post release supervision].”

Although the last thing that might be in the mind of Shyne is music, there have been rumors that he has been in talks with Jay-Z to be yet another recruit for his new Roc Nation imprint. The rapper allegedly went to speak with Shyne last Friday to discuss the possibility of him signing. Nothing has been confirmed from this rumor, however.

Shyne has been incarcerated since his involvement in a shooting on December 27, 1999 at Club New York. At the time he was under the Bad Boy label and was in the company of then Puff Daddy and his former girlfriend Jennifer Lopez. Although there seems to be no need for worry or retaliation, Shyne has stated that he knows his former boss had a hand in him living behind bars and snitched on him in some form.

Source - Hip hop Wired