Veteran roots artist Winston “Burning Spear” Rodney has received Jamaica’s National Order of Distinction (O.D.) and will unleash a two-disc-plus-DVD rarities collection. The O.D. was awarded in recognition of his service, through music, to Jamaican society. “This award was a long time coming and I am glad to receive the honor,” says Rodney. He has been in the studio with Parliament-Funkadelic legends bassist Bootsy Collins and keyboard maestro Bernie Worrell, preparing for his next album. Meanwhile, his label, Burning Spear Music, has issued a massive 25-song, two-disc-plus-DVD collection of rarities, outtakes, unreleased songs, and live recordings.
Reggae singjay Anthony B is wrapping up a busy 2008. The artist, who has released more than 22 albums, along with thousands of singles, is coming off a strong year in which he smashed stage shows, including California’s Reggae Rising and Atlanta’s Club Legacy. He followed his big ’07 album, Higher Meditation (Greensleeves), with the chart-topping, Mario C-produced singles “Tease Her” and “Bad From Long Time.” Catch Anthony B on stage at Jamaican concerts Reggae Campfire, Crystal Springs Family Fun Day in Buff Bay, and Negril Impact.
Bounty Killer, Munga, and Mavado will grace a solid dancehall showcase Wednesday, November 21, at Amazura in Queens, NY.
Portmore “don” (a neighborhood strongman) Mikey Pelpa has turned his talents towards creating positive music. The Jamaica Star carried a front-page report on July 30, 2007 of Pelpa and DJ Vybz Kartel making peace after being involved in a bitter feud; the paper branded Pelpa a Portmore shot-caller. Pelpa has since forged an alliance with Jah Cure’s Danger Zone Music Group, performed in October at Curefest, and released several conscious tunes, including “Emergency,” with Limey Murray on the Jam Down rhythm, and “Parental Guide,” on the Cloud Nine rhythm. "Di yute dem haffi show respect and remember seh dem parents a di real guide," remarked Pelpa to One876.com.
Continuing a big year of solid reissue projects is the just-issued 12” Rulers: Gussie Clarke Music Works 1987-1991, featuring Gregory Isaacs, Shabba Ranks, Dennis Brown, and more. U.K. label Greensleeves will next re-release Jamaican singer and model JC Lodge’s ’80s album, Selfish Lover. The Clarke-produced set was a high watermark for sophisticated lovers-rock reggae production and features the Billboard hit “Telephone Love,” as well as “Hardcore Loving” and “Lonely Nights.”
Jamaica’s venerable old-school soundsystem Metromedia has been lauded in the Gleaner for its steady, year-to-year success. The sound was created in the mid-1970s when Lou Gooden took over after the suicide of its original owner, Thomas “Tom the Great Sebastian” Wong. Haldaine James (Jimmy Metro) joined the crew, becoming Gooden's assistant disc jockey, and eventually took control of the sound. During the early 1980s, Jimmy Metro decided to take the sound to another level by adding Peter Ranking (Peter Metro), Zuzu, and Errol Turner, and year after year he added more DJs to the crew, which now includes Jimmy Metro, “Big Belly” Sky Juice, Oliver, Scratchy, Jiggy Hunks, Jacks, Platinum, Ribbs, and Scully.
Singer and deejay Kiprich is working on a second album for Shaggy’s burgeoning Big Yard label. The Waterhouse, St. Andrew-born artist also has a clutch of new singles out now that include “Bun Fi Bun” and “On My Mind,” on Big Yard, “Rosie Whine” on Birchell, and “40 & Over” on the Total Cil.
Catch the new Queen Ifrica video, for her hit “Below the Waist,” at YardFlex and other Caribbean video outlets now. Her new single, “Nuff Vibes,” is out now.
New Riddims Pon Road
The Q45 label’s Big Problem riddim, with singles by Lady Saw, Beenie Man, Capleton, and Elephant Man.
Soundbank Music’s Pure And Clean riddim features cuts by Turbulence, Jah Mason, Munga, and Natural Black. Buju Banton's Gargamel label has released his new “Cowboys” track, plus others on the riddim by Mr. G and New Kidz.
King Jammy’s son Jam 2’s new beat is the Tek Ova, with tracks by TOK, Idonia, and Wayne Wonder.
Main man Don Corleon has some new romantic selections on his Love Potion riddim featuring Alaine, Beres Hammond, Morgan Heritage, and Pressure.
Other hot riddims of note include a re-lick of Peter Tosh’s “African” on Chris Records, the speedy 5000g dancehall riddim on Free Willy, a tribute to Culture’s Joseph Hill on the Irie Ites label’s Down In Jamaica riddim, and the one-drop Devils Angel riddim on Supersonic.