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Eric

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Caribbean Music thread
« on: May 10, 2014, 07:24 »
VR without a reggae thread? Impossible!



I love reggae/dancehall, soca, and zouk :D
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  • The best album ever: itunes.apple.com/us/album/riddim-driven-sleng-teng-extravaganza/id76251384

    Eric

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    Re: Caribbean Music thread
    « Reply #1 on: May 10, 2014, 07:35 »
    Also starting to get into kizomba, which, strictly speaking, isn't Caribbean - it's from countries like Cape Verde and Angola, Lusophone nations on Africa's west coast. But it is massively influenced by zouk (which is music from Francophone islands in the Caribbean like Guadeloupe), so I count it as Caribbean music anyway :D



    Zouk/kizomba is so relaxed.
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  • Eric

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    Re: Caribbean Music thread
    « Reply #2 on: May 13, 2014, 04:52 »
    Looks like it's just me by myself in here. You guys suck :P



    Loving this new song by Ky-Mani Marley. Especially since I condone the message entirely :P
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  • Eric

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    Re: Caribbean Music thread
    « Reply #3 on: May 16, 2014, 12:17 »
    Vespertine likes some of this stuff :D

    Here's an oldie I came across in a movie


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    Re: Caribbean Music thread
    « Reply #4 on: May 24, 2014, 13:26 »


    Fantastic.

    I like to create playlists and I also like to write album reviews. When I get the time, I'm going to do one of this here on VR:



    Which is all kinds of brilliant. Chronixx is such a monstrous talent.
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  • Eric

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    Re: Caribbean Music thread
    « Reply #5 on: May 24, 2014, 13:32 »
    I might give you all a preview of my reviews. I did this one a while ago on another forum:

    Quote
    Here's a new column in my blog, one I hope will become a regular fixture. Listen Dis, vol. 1.

    As the name gives away, this is a musical installment. First up, a review of dancehall superstar Mavado's 2009 album, Mr. Brooks... A Better Tomorrow.



    Tracklist:

    01. David's Psalm ft. Grincha & Diamond - Produced by JonFX/Neil 'Diamond' Edwards
    02. Every Situation - Produced by Daseca
    03. On The Rock - Produced by Trevor 'Baby G' James
    04. So Blessed - Produced by Stephen 'Di Genius' McGregor
    05. So Special - Produced by Linton 'TJ' White
    06. Life of a G - Produced by Lloyd 'John John' James, Jnr.
    07. Welcome to the Armagedeon ft. Grincha - Produced by JonFX
    08. Gangster Don't Play - Produced by Linton 'TJ' White
    09. Real Killer - Produced by Stephen 'Di Genius' McGregor
    10. Chiney K - Produced by Stephen 'Di Genius' McGregor
    11. Jailhouse - Produced by Stephen 'Di Genius' McGregor
    12. Don't Worry - Produced by Daseca
    13. Money Changer - Produced by Shane Brown
    14. Money - Produced by Stephen 'Di Genius' McGregor
    15. In di Car Back - Produced by Stephen 'Di Genius' McGregor
    16. Which Gal - Produced by Stephen 'Di Genius' McGregor
    17. Overcome - Produced by Stephen 'Di Genius' McGregor

    The album was released in March 2009, meaning that most of the songs came from the preceding 18 months or so. 2008 was an immense year for Mavado, his 2008 vintage stands today, six years on, as his best work. The success came with tumult, though. 2008 was the year that Bounty Killer's dancehall supergroup, The Alliance (founded in 2003), started to break apart. At its peak, The Alliance once counted Vybz Kartel, Wayne Marshall, Elephant Man, Busy Signal, Mavado, the trio Daseca (in turn, consisting of David Anthony Harrisingh; Serani, and Craig Andrew Harrisingh); and the general himself, Bounty Killer. I'm going to go off on a tangent here, but The Alliance really was something special. A collection of established legends with promising up-and-comers. Some of the biggest names in dancehall, backed by the exceptional production talents of Daseca. They churned out so many hits between them that there was concern among other dancehall artists (most notably Ninjaman, who had a famous clash at the Sting reggae music festival on Boxing Day, 2003; with Vybz Kartel. Things got really heated, culminating in Kartel throwing punches. View the clash .) that The Alliance was unfairly dominating the dancehall subgenre by choosing which riddims to voice.

    Things were going down for The Alliance some time before 2008, as Vybz Kartel departed in acrimonious circumstances in 2006, followed by his good mate Wayne Marshall; the former set up a rival bloc, which came to be known as the Gaza Empire and in time dominated the dancehall scene in much the same way as The Alliance once did. In the end, it was always a doomed concept. Bounty Killer, for all his incredible talent, is a bit of a pr*ck, who can't handle any threats to his supposed position of being the king of dancehall (he is/was flipping amazing, but pull your head in, mate; dancehall has seen many titanic figures in its ~30 year existence, none of which can honestly lay claim to being the subgenre's best ever). Sticking himself alongside guys destined for stardom, like Kartel, Mavado, and Busy Signal; really wasn't ever going to end well.

    Anyway, back to Mavado and 2008. As The Alliance began crumbling upon itself, Mavado found himself involved in a bitter feud with Vybz Kartel. The duo could by this time accurately call themselves the biggest names in dancehall; and also taking into account their history and allegiances (Gaza v Alliance), it was really no surprise that 2008 became the battlefield for these two wonderful talents to confront each other. And confront they did, each spewing out a series of increasingly hateful (but at the same time, world class) diss tracks. All of this buildup culminated in perhaps the greatest clash of all time (I rank it only behind the frankly mindblowing exchanges between Super Cat and Ninjaman at Sting 1991; and Shabba Ranks and Ninjaman again at Sting's 1990 edition), at Sting (as always) that year. Oh my. Watching it gives me goosebumps. I can't call a winner, as with many others, I think it was a draw. Bear in mind that all Sting clashes are impromptu, freestyle verses being spat against each other; their fluency here really is top class.



    The Kartel - Mavado feud (or as it came to be called later, Gaza v Gully) was serious business. It literally divided Jamaica's ghetto youth into two factions, and violence often resulted because somebody dissed Gully in the wrong neighbourhood or somebody threw a batty allegation at Gaza in front of a crowd of Gaza supporters. flipping hell. There really is no hope for a country when its young men start beating each other up over a goddamned music feud.

    But I digress. Long story short, 2008 was a year of great productivity for Mavado, and as such, the album is absolutely brilliant. None of the diss tracks made it onto the album (probably because the duo negotiated a truce in March 2009, when the album was released), and it was characterised by a much more spiritual Mavado than on his 2007 debut album, Gangsta For Life: The Symphony of David Brooks. There are some really deep, religious messages conveyed by the Cassava Piece born artist, which permeate through the entire album. Largely gone is the slackness and the gun talk that characterised Gangsta For Life, but it's still there - after all, this is dancehall, not roots reggae. I paraphrase US rapper Ice-T: "This ain't R&B, this is gangsta rap; bitches get smacked, bustas get capped".

    01. David's Psalm

    A short introduction to the album, it is largely an instrumental track, with some biblical phrases thrown in. It sets the tone for what is, as I mentioned earlier, a fairly religious album. This has some really deep meaning to it, Grincha is adopting the persona of Mavado's father, who was tragically murdered in Switzerland in 2006. A devout Rastafarian, Mr. Brooks enjoyed a strong relationship with his son, and his untimely death shook the artist to the core. Though Mavado is a traditional Christian and not a follower of Rastafari, religion has always played a big part in his music. He first started singing in a choir at a local church in Cassava Piece, and the style of gospel singing is apparent in a lot of his songs - especially in this album.

    02. Every Situation

    This is the start of the album, proper; and it continues on from where David's Psalm left off. It is a defiant song, as Mavado slams his critics, citing that in every situation, 'Jah tek mi out'. An interesting and powerful riddim is ridden deftly by Mavado, as he adopts a slow tempo here. Admittedly, he could have done a better job here, as the riddim had such potential that he never really tapped into.

    03. On The Rock

    Recorded on the more intense and rapid Mission riddim, Mavado continues the spirituality. What is most striking about this song is the difference in cadence he uses, speeding up in time with the riddim for the main verses, slowing down and singing the chorus. Another excellent display of his masterful control. Jehovah guide me.

    04. So Blessed

    On the eponymous So Blessed riddim, produced by Di Genius, Mavado churns out another of his trademark singjay songs (singing the chorus, deejaying [rapping] the rest) here. It is an inspirational, uplifting track, whilst remaining ever-defiant to the doubters and the badminds. This is one of the best songs on the album, melodic, and showcases Mavado's exceptional lyrical talents.

    05. So Special

    On TJ's catchy Unfinished Business riddim, this song was one of the biggest tunes on the album. It is somewhat of a gunman song - at least, the deeply religious tone that set the trend for the early part of the album has been largely abandoned here. The chorus is ridiculously catchy:

    "I'm so special, I'm so special so special so special;
    Dats why mi strap wid mi .45 special dem waan pree mi,
    Fi gal and dem waan taste gal special but jah,
    I'm so special, I'm so special so special so special;
    Tell 'em mi nuh fear two face expression guy fi know,
    Dutty mouth caan trace nor dettol all it same thing."

    06. Life of a G

    Dis mad! Mavado isn't Mavado if he puts away the slackness. And it's back here in full force for the first time in the album, resulting in a massive hit on the Shoot Out riddim, produced by John John. The gritty, rough, and deep vocals make a return (Mavado has a wide variety of voices that he adopts and drops at will). It is such a shame he doesn't make songs like these anymore. The riddim suits his vocals down to a tee here (or more accurately, it's the other way round - mass produced riddims aren't designed to suit the unique needs of an individual artist, it is the artist who must conform to the scope of the riddim, not the other way round), as he utilises a slow, booming chant.

    07. Welcome to the Armagedeon

    Another short skit, again featuring Grincha as Mr. Brooks. It's darker than the first skit though and sets the tone for the upcoming section of the album, which is vintage Mavado. Still, the biblical verses are there, but this time, they refer to a vengeful God, one who will punish Mavado's enemies and destroy things that stop his rise to the top.

    08. Gangster Don't Play

    Oh my goodness. Incredible. This one is certainly not for the faint hearted, though. This is some hardcore, buss gun stuff. On the Beast side of the Beauty & The Beast riddim (another TJ production), lyrics like 'Bullet inna head and bwoy flat like a ply' are a throwback to Gangsta For Life. It almost goes without saying, but yet again, the riddim is perfectly ridden. This certainly takes the honours on this album as the best slack song. If you don't like it, dancehall probably isn't the scene for you, but I don't care, because I love dancehall and I love songs like this. Not that I want to put a bullet in anybody's head #bulletheader. Condemning dancehall artists for supposedly glorifying violence (they're not, I'll get to that later) is really ignorant and unfair. They are simply expressing themselves, relating experiences from their childhood, discussing how fliped up the places they came up in are. The overwhelming majority of dancehall artists originate from garrison (ghetto) communities in Jamaica. They grow up with an endemic culture of violence, where murder rates are out of control, and entire communities are quite literally governed by gangsters, who provide all the services the Jamaican government should be providing - education, welfare, healthcare, employment, even justice. It's a unique environment. These environmental factors are compounded in the case of some artists (such as the legendary Buju Banton, Maroon on both sides), who are descended from the Maroons - runaway slaves who carved out their own state in the inland mountains of Jamaica and for a period of over 150 years, violently resisted attempts by white settlers to recapture them. Their society was quite similar to Sparta in classical antiquity, in that everybody was expected to be able to hold their own in battle. The Maroons have entered Jamaican folklore as a heroic example of resistance against injustice, and even today, their militaristic background shapes the culture of the descendants of the Maroons. Long story short, violence is as 'natural' to the average Jamaican as a marijuana plant - they're surrounded by it. It is not wrong on the part of an artist to express what surrounds his or her life every day.

    09. Real Killer

    This song is unique (for this album, the rest of Mavado's work, dancehall and even the broader reggae genre in general) in that it doesn't have a chorus. Considering it was reggae music that introduced the chorus to rap/hip-hop in the States in the early 70s, a song without a chorus is almost unheard of. Despite breaking with tradition, it's a wickedly good song, although not as good as the preceding track. A big song on Di Genius' huge Day Rave riddim.

    10. Chiney K

    Another badman song (the last in this album), and another fun one at that, on the eponymous Chiney K riddim (produced yet again by Di Genius, who provides the vast majority of the beats for this album). I'm actually not sure what Mavado is up to here - the title is a Patois slur for an East Asian person, but nowhere in the song does he actually pursue a racist agenda (I would have been amazed if he did - Jamaicans are usually very tolerant when it comes to race, and as a deeply religious man, it would be well out of character for Mavado). Having examined the lyrics, I can only conclude that Mavado is condemning the usage and proliferation of cheap, Asian manufactured submachine guns in Jamaica.

    "Ah di law mi see firs' wid ah big gun,
    Wen mi ah 4 mi see di firs' man get fling down"

    He's talking about how it was the police who first came into the garrison with these imported SMGs, and how he witnessed his first murder at the age of four (presumably a cop shooting somebody). The last thing Jamaica needs is for badmen to be able to put their hands on SMGs at an affordable price.

    11. Jailhouse

    A return to spirituality (of sorts - this is closer to social consciousness than anything) after that exposure to Mavado's badman side. He sings this entire song, something he should do often - he has an angelic voice (at least relative to the standards of dancehall, which is all about big, deep, rough voices). I don't know who provides the backing vocals, but they're lovely, too. The riddim (by, you guessed it, Di Genius) is slow, haunting, tinged with influences from R&B, and it sits up nicely for Mavado to dispatch.

    12. Don't Worry

    This is, hands down, the best song on the whole album. It's a shoutout to the Gullyside (the nickname of Cassava Piece, the Kingston ghetto from which Mavado hails from). Poignant. The riddim (by Daseca), as well, wow. It's dark, suiting the reflective, almost mood of the song. Tinged with hip-hop and goth influences, it's a shame Daseca didn't mass produce this one - it was made specifically for this Mavado song, and it hasn't been adopted by anybody else. Daseca created a great piece of work here.





    This is home for Mavado. And he loves it.

    13. Money Changer

    Brilliant song. On the MAMMOTH Warning riddim, produced by Shane Brown. The riddim is so good, I use it as my ringtone :D. It's the bass-heaviest track on the album, and easily the biggest hit Mavado scored from his insanely good 2008. The thrust of the song is basically that the fact that he is now wealthy won't change him - he will remain humble, he will remain true to his roots and not get caught up in his own hype. The introduction to the song spells that out plainly:

    "Make money,
    Make money,
    Make money,
    But don't bow fi it, never never"

    14. Money

    I suppose this was designed as a continuation to Money Changer - it outlines why money can be a bad thing, that it generates loads of fake 'friends'; flunkies who only want to rip you off. Mavado extols the virtues of righteousness, keeping in tune with the spiritual mood of the album, but really, this song was a bit overkill. Don't get me wrong, it's a decent enough listen, but it's too predictable. On the plus side, as always, Di Genius came up with the excellent Advocate riddim, upon which the vocals were recorded over.

    15. In di Car Back

    She said push, David, push! This is the first and only raunchy, slack song in the album. Mavado wasn't really known for making gyal tunes prior to this (it's all he does now, and as with everything else he dabbles in, all he touches turns to gold), but this changed that rather quickly. Quality dancehall, on Di Genius' Work Out riddim.

    16. Which Gal

    This is an aberration for an otherwise excellent album - it's dreadful. As I said, Mavado wasn't the greatest at gyal tunes 6 years ago, and here's something wank to balance out the masterpiece that was In di Car Back. The Bee Hive riddim, by Di Genius (I'm getting so sick of typing that) isn't one of his better ones, after all; but Mavado absolutely vomited all over it here. Must avoid.

    17. Overcome

    The final song in the album, Overcome rescues the album from having a dreadful finish, and instead provides a brilliant sign off. As with the opener, this is another religious song. It's a bit Rasta, which I found strange - he throws out references to the hated Babylon, which isn't really canonical with traditional Christianity. There are definitely strong influences from soul music here, with the chorus consisting of a soul choir providing syncopation (another concept taken right out of soul music) with the lyric 'We Shall Overcome'. It's a sufferers anthem, on the aptly named Di Genius creation, the Brighter Day riddim.


    Now comes judging time. The system I like to use is a simple, five star one. An album can only get five if it appeals to both casual/uninitiated people, as well as those that are deeply invested into its genre, and unfortunately, despite being exceptional, Mr. Brooks... A Better Tomorrow doesn't really fulfill that. It's a common curse of the modern day reggae musician, those that are dependent on their lyrical genius (which means, Patois heavy stuff that the international market doesn't bother with), like Mavado, often suffer from having to have their talent go ignored on the world stage, while less talented but more 'catchy' guys like Kevin Lyttle score massive international hits.
     
    While it isn't as technically perfect as Gangsta For Life was, it still ranks as the better of Mavado's to date two albums, in my opinion. It really showcases how wide his range is; Gangsta For Life was mostly just slackness, gunman tunes - dark, evil stuff. Don't get me wrong, Mavado excels in that part of dancehall, but he is no one-trick pony, and it was this album that proved that, as well as legitimately opening a new area for him to explore with his art. Of course, the concept of an album is not really one that is popular with dancehall artists - riddim albums (i.e. one beat, and loads of different artists recording distinct songs over it, and the resulting album being released as a compilation) and singles are usually how they go about their business. With that in mind, you won't find much of Mavado's best material in here, but nonetheless, the presence of such superb songs as On the Rock, Gangster Don't Play, Money Changer, and Overcome; there's definitely enough in here for me to give it a rating of four. In other words, if you're into dancehall, this is going to be one of the better albums you are ever likely to hear. If you aren't, it isn't for you.


    I hope those who bothered to read it liked my writing :)
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    Re: Caribbean Music thread
    « Reply #6 on: May 24, 2014, 14:01 »
    I like Reggae, and any thread that is about regional not globalized music.

    From the other side of Carribean music ;)



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  • Despite the self-serving data benders and associated propaganda to the contrary, I am led to believe that there are pockets of organised, highly sophisticated dopers, even within 'new age' cycling teams. Personally, I don't accept that the 'dark era' has ended, it has just morphed into a new guise.

    hiero

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    Re: Caribbean Music thread
    « Reply #7 on: May 24, 2014, 14:46 »
    first song is a nice couple of dancers - good show. If I could ever get back to dancing - I'd have to try and copy some of those moves.
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  • Faut y croire!

    Eric

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    Re: Caribbean Music thread
    « Reply #8 on: May 25, 2014, 11:47 »
    first song is a nice couple of dancers - good show. If I could ever get back to dancing - I'd have to try and copy some of those moves.

    It's called wining. Jamaican girls are crazy for it. Here are some more examples:








    One of the reasons I would like a Jamaican girlfriend one day :P :D
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    Re: Caribbean Music thread
    « Reply #9 on: May 26, 2014, 02:53 »
    It's called wining. Jamaican girls are crazy for it. Here are some more examples:








    One of the reasons I would like a Jamaican girlfriend one day :P :D

    I think/hope he meant my first vid, since he said "couple".

    Could be wrong though.
    But if the case
    first song is a nice couple of dancers - good show. If I could ever get back to dancing - I'd have to try and copy some of those moves.
    It's bachata, a basterdised form of salsa from the Dominican republic
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    Re: Caribbean Music thread
    « Reply #10 on: May 30, 2014, 15:28 »
    I think/hope he meant my first vid, since he said "couple".

    Could be wrong though.
    But if the caseIt's bachata, a basterdised form of salsa from the Dominican republic

    Oops. sorry - I wasn't clear, was I! I WAS referring to the bachata. I love zydeco, and by extension - pretty much any dance music that incorporates accordion. Salsa and the various latin rhythms are great enjoyable, although I've never really attempted to dance any of them. I'd like to some day.

    The wining is nice to watch, but I'll never attempt any of those moves, I think. I can understand longing for a Jamaican girl! Whooh!

    Interesting to get some nice music from the Caribbean. We don't usually get much exposure to it in the US. But when I do, I usually find lots of stuff to like.
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  • Eric

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    Re: Caribbean Music thread
    « Reply #11 on: June 13, 2014, 05:39 »
    I am loving the roots revivalists.

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  • Eric

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    Re: Caribbean Music thread
    « Reply #12 on: June 26, 2014, 13:37 »


    One of the most influential songs to come out of Jamaica. Spread around the Caribbean and Central America like a fire, inspiring entire genres in its wake.
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  • Eric

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    Re: Caribbean Music thread
    « Reply #13 on: June 30, 2014, 13:00 »
    I picked up Popcaan's debut album the other day (you can get it in high quality 320kb bitrate for like $12 Australian from junodownload.com, who do a great deal in selling HQ music in a variety of genres, iTunes and Amazon don't compare at all), Where We Come From and it's absolutely fantastic.



    Inspirational
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  • Eric

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    Re: Caribbean Music thread
    « Reply #14 on: July 03, 2014, 09:26 »


    Probably my favourite rhythm
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  • Agempiesent

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    Re: Caribbean Music thread
    « Reply #15 on: September 22, 2016, 10:41 »
    wao really awesome song
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  • « Last Edit: October 01, 2016, 12:25 by Agempiesent, Reason: nothing special »

     



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