As dancehall makes further inroads onto the American urban charts, a question has been circulating for some time: Which artist will finally bring both styles together without compromising the integrity of either? The answer may lie with a New York-based, Iranian-American producer named K-Salaam.
Born Kayvon Sarfehjooy in 1976, Salaam and production partner Beatnik will drop their album Whose World Is This July 29 on VP Records. The all-star album unites reggae and hip-hop legends Talib Kweli, Papoose, Dead Prez, and Rakaa from Dilated Peoples alongside Buju Banton, Sizzla, Capleton, Anthony B, Luciano, Richie Spice, and more.
If that weren’t enough, as a preview, Salaam is circulating the NY Is Burning mixtape, which features old and new tracks, remixes and side productions. The duo’s music mixes classic East Coast hip-hop beats (think Pete Rock, Beatminerz, and Just Blaze) with modern dancehall vibes. The mixtape takes its inspiration from the reactions in New York and elsewhere to the acquittal of the three police officers in the Sean Bell homicide case.
Social justice and political consciousness are threads continued on the forthcoming album as well. As Salaam explains on his site: “The album represents the idea that all people who have had our freedom, our rights, and our land stolen from us must take back what is rightfully ours. In the making of this album, I wanted to create something that would serve as a voice for people who do not have one. We have to stand up for ourselves at all times, but even more important, we must stand up for those who have it worse off than us. Only then will we be free.”
A. K-Salaam & Beatnick Present "NY Is Burning Intro"
B. K-Salaam & Beatnick Present: "Buju Banton & Trey Songz "StreetLife"
C. K-Salaam & Beatnick Present: "Dead Prez "Bigger Than Hip-Hop 2008"
D. K-Salaam & Beatnick Present: "Mos Def & Sizzla "Victory"
E. K-Salaam & Beatnick Present: "Young Buck "My Hood"
F. Collie Buddz "Come Around" (Beatnic & K-Salaam Homegrown Remix)
G. Richie Spice "Open The Door" (Beatnick & K-Salaam Open Mind Remix)
H. Richie Spice "Marijuana (Politics Remix)
I. K-Salaam & Beatnick Present: Outlawz "We Want In"
J. Buju Banton "Sinsimilla Persecution" (Down & Out remix)
K. Bounty Killer "Fed Up" (If I Ruled The World Remix)
L. K-Salaam & Beatnick Present: Junior Kelly "Freedom"
M. Capleton "Tour" (Jackin for Beats Remix)
N. Damian Marley "Jamrock" (High Grade Remix)
O. Dead Prez "Bigger Than Hip-Hop" (Jamrock Remix)
P. K-Salaam & Beatnick Present: Outlawz "Only Life I Know"
Q. K-Salaam & Beatnick Present: Mos Def & Sizzla "Victory Rmx"
R. K-Salaam & Beatnick - NY Is Burning Outro