Pon Di Wire: Jah Cure, Renato, Perfect
Siccaturie Alcock, better known as roots singer Jah Cure, drops his anticipated new album, The Universal Cure, September 9 on Danger Zone/SoBe. The album is his first recorded work since his release from prison in 2007 and includes collaborations with Sean Paul, Busta Rhymes, Enrique Iglesias, and others. Album track “Journey” is also on the Journey Riddim compilation, available via iTunes on August 19.
Venerable U.K. reggae vinyl and CD shop Dub Vendor closed its West London branch at 150 Ladbroke Grove June 21, after 28 years in business. Dub Vendor continues to operate its South London store and also worldwide via its website. Over the years, numerous reggae luminaries have frequented the Dub Vendor and the iconic mural on the side of the shop has been the backdrop for countless photo shoots and several films and videos. Selectors Redman and Papa Face held a tribute dance for the shop on June 25 in London.
Sean Paul surprised a very lucky group of youth basketball camp attendees in Canada when he stopped by Montreal's Dawson College. The multi-platinum dancehall artist offered his personal advice on life to several hundred campers, telling them, "There are ups and downs in life, just like waves in the sea. When you're up on top, you're feeling good, but that's not the only feeling you need to get used to in your heart, in your brain, in your soul."
Dancehall vocalist Camar will release his new album Yard Soul on U.S. label Slip N Slide, home to radio rap artists Trina, Rick Ross, and Plies. New single “She Loves The Flava” is already making the digital rounds, and fans can download Camar's new mixtape, Taste the Flava, hosted by DJ Walshy Fire, for free.
The “Handcart Boy” Greg Rose, a.k.a. the singjay Perfect, will release his new album, Born Dead With Life in September on Europe’s Irievibrations Records. The album is exclusively produced by Irievibrations, who are known for their Lovebird, Caribbean, and Hit Drop riddims. Perfect’s new songs touch on black history, self-awareness, and Jamaica’s social ills.
New riddims pon road and heating up the dance include Big Ship producer Stephen "Di Genius" McGregor’s Work Out, and TJ Records’ Unfinished Business; the latter features Serani's “No Games,” Mavado’s “So Special,” and Assassin's “Jah Guide.” Also getting airplay and club spins are Jam 2’s Record Shop and Leftside's Sand Fly.
Deadly Dragon’s new roots reggae 7” releases from Luciano and Tarrus Riley are getting wider distribution. “This is our first attempt with pressing newer tunes on 7",” explained Dragon’s Jason DeBeck. “VP didn’t have plans to release any 7"s from [the Luciano or Tarrus Riley] LPs, and due to the requests from our elder Jamaican customers and the overall strength of the tunes, we decided to do a limited production. The first month or so, the tunes were exclusive to the shop, now they're available internationally through SoundQuake (Germany), Drum & Bass (Osaka), and Moodies (Bronx) all have stock.”
Deadly Dragon also celebrates Jamaican Independence Day with a special reggae dance on Wednesday, August 6 at Happy Ending Lounge in Brooklyn. The night called Out Of Many One People celebrates Jamaica’s forty-sixth post-colonial year with Downbeat The Ruler featuring veteran selector Tony Screw. Past sessions have seen reggae heavies like Johnny Osbourne and Ranking Joe pass through and touch the mic.
Billboard Magazine acknowledged Jamaica’s new roots music’s prominence last week. The article hails six albums that heralded the roots resurgence, including Tarrus Riley’s Parables, Rootz Underground’s Movement, Etana’s The Strong One, Taj Weekes and Adowa’s Diedem, Duane Stephenson’s From August Town, and Morgan Heritage’s Mission In Progress. Veteran saxophonist Dean Fraser and producers Scatta and Shane Brown molded many of the albums.
The lineup for Beenie Man’s signature Sizzle concert–to take place August 6 at Jamalco Sports Club in Clarendon–has been announced. Scheduled to perform are Anthony B, Capleton, Vybz Kartel and the Portmore Empire, Sanchez, Natural Black, Warrior King, Coco Tea, Jah Cure, Ninja Man, Chuck Fender, Perfect, Munga, T.O.K, Idonia, Voice Mail, Turbulance, Queen Ifrica, Lady G, and Mr. Vegas.
The 11th Annual Caribbean Sea Breeze Festival has moved from the Queen Mary Events Park to a new location and date. The event will now take place at Veterans Memorial Stadium (on the Long Beach City College campus) Saturday, August 9 from 12 p.m. to 10 p.m. The concert lineup features Sizzla and Elephant Man, Turbulence, Everton Blender, Sweet Tea, Black Judah, E-Dee, and more.
This summer’s reggae showcase at the outdoor Hollywood Bowl takes place on Sunday, August 3 at 7 p.m., with UB40, Beres Hammond, and Barrington Levy. Address: 2301 N. Highland Ave. Los Angeles.
Richie B/Hot 102 Jamaica’s Top Ten Dancehall Singles
1. Elephant Man “Gully Creepa” (Seanizzle)
2. Vybz Kartel “Nah Go Nuh Weh” (Big Ship)
3. Mavado “On The Rock” (Baby G)
4. Beenie Man “Wine Gal” (TJ)
5. RDX “Dancers Anthem” (Apt 19)
6. Mavado “Money Changer” (Juke Boxx)
7. Mavado “Chiney-K” (Big Ship)
8. Elephant Man “Nuh Linga” (Board House)
9. Stacious “Falling Down” (John John)
10. Serani “Stinking Rich” (Daseca)
Above: Camar. Photo by Ryan Lue-Clarke.