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Pon Di Wire: Collie Budz, Sean Paul, Paul McCartney

Orlando’s Uncle Sam has been raising eyebrows with his confident vocal tunes that strongly resemble those of Sanchez or Tristan Palma. The Caucasian singer joins Bahamian Collie Buddz, UK-based YT, and Germany’s Gentleman in a recent wave of multicultural international attention. While some decry the “whitewashing” of reggae, many Jamaican fans are embracing the colorblind ethic, judging by the number of major stage shows in Jamdown that have invited international reggae acts.
 
In a recent interview with the Jamaican Gleaner, early-’90s DJ sensation Tiger admitted that it’s unlikely he will return to a full recording career. The gruff-throated artist was nearly killed in a motorcycle accident in 1994 and still suffers speech and movement impairments. While dancehall MCs Kiprich and Left Side recently impersonated the Tiger-esque Zebra on a humorous single, it hasn’t inspired the real Tiger to bear his claws in retaliation.

BBC1Xtra’s Robbo Ranks opened his show last week with a collaborative track featuring The Beatles’ Paul McCartney with Lady Saw and Sizzla. “Nod Your Head” is an aggressive dancehall-rock hybrid. Watch out–reggae gone Boomer!
 
Win $5000 and other prizes in VP Records’ new pirate-inspired contest–the Reggae Gold 2007 Scavenger Hunt–to support the new RG compilation. The collection features hits from Sean Paul, Munga, and Movado.

VP is also prepping the September 18 release of Morgan Heritage’s Mission in Progress. The album is slated to be the group’s most diverse work yet, including forays into rock, lovers rock, and hip-hop influenced songs. It arrives after the band’s second stint on the Vans Warped Tour. Says member Peter “Jahpetes” Morgan: “A lot of those punk bands we’ve toured with, when you put their records on, it’s the same energy that you get [on ours]. We generate such a vibration at our concerts that it’s unreal, so we’ve learned that you can get that on record.”
 
Gay magazine The Advocate reports  that reggae/dancehall artists Beenie Man, Sizzla, and Capleton have all signed the Reggae Compassion Act, promising to end their use of anti-gay lyrics in their music. By agreeing to the terms of the act, the artists pledge to "respect and uphold the rights of all individuals to live without violence due to their religion, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, or gender.”

Riddims galore fill the store this week as roots and one-drop vibes charge back. The Pete imprint’s Swinging My Love features Half Pint, Jah Mason, and Lutan Fyah, amongst others. It sounds a little like the classic Lecturer riddim. Pam Hall, Roger Robin, and Maxi Priest get harmonious on a new lick of Beres Hammond’s Full Attention (Joe Fraser). Pleasure Beat’s latest version of Majestic scores big with conscious cuts from Luciano (“Throw Down Your Arms”), Norris Man, and Lukie D–great horns and instrumentation. Penthouse’s version of the classic Channel One M16 riddim (so named for Sammy Dread’s lyric “Bad bwoy a fire M16/ police dem a fire AK47/ but soldierman, dem a fire LSR") is timely, with hits from Tony Rebel. Germany’s Pow Pow label’s Overstand is a deep roots riddim with 7”s from Gentleman, Anthony B, and newcomer Ray Darwin. Gwine go find dem!

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