After dispelling several rumors, including one that he had checked into Kington’s Ward 21 psychiatric hospital with a “confused state of mind,” producer Donovan “Don Corleon” Bennett announced the start of a U.S. and Japanese tour with Munga, Pressure, and Alaine. Bennett will release his new Secrets riddim next week, with songs by Queen Ifrica, Morgan Heritage, Jah Cure, and Buju Banton.
Dancehall singjay Wayne Marshall (pictured above) will soon release a new mixtape called True Story. The title is a play on the singer’s signature song intro, “tr-true-true!” The tracks are mixed by Federation Sound’s Max Glazer and feature an all-star guest roster that includes Bounty Killer, Busy Signal, Mavado, Stephen Marley, and Future Fambo. Marshall says: "Most of the tracks [have] never been heard before,” adding, “A DVD is also included in the package, to give fans a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the CD."
Mr. Vegas is back with another big tune and video for his single "Mus Come a Road". The song rides a new cut of Barrington Levy's 1982 smash "Prison Oval Rock;" Levy also makes a cameo in the video. Utilizing vintage wardrobe and street backdrops, the evocative video was shot by Winston Mayhew, whose credits include Busy Signal’s "Jail," Morgan Heritage's "Nothing To Smile About," and Duane Stephenson's "August Town." The song decries Jamaica’s justice system and appeals to jailers to free those charged with low-level offenses.
The Wailers band finally gets its due in a new book by noted reggae writer John Masouri. Wailing Blues: The Story of Bob Marley's Wailers (Wise Publications) tells the story of a band that was largely overshadowed by its charismatic leader, Bob Marley, and unfairly compensated for its contributions to his legacy and music.
The Queen of England has officially recognized the Funki Dread. Soul II Soul’s Jazzie B was bestowed with an O.B.E. by Queen Elizabeth for his contributions to British black music and work to support youth in music and sport. Known for its number-one hit, “Back To Life,” Soul II Soul remains active as a recording group and soundsystem. Jazzie B also compiled the new vintage reggae collection, School Days, out June 9 on Trojan Records.
Jamaican artist Prophecy has topped the Italian music charts with his cover of Black Uhuru’s “Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner.” Produced by Delroy 'Worm' Nevin on his Jah Birth label, Prophecy teams up with deejay Delly Ranx on this song, which is receiving heavy rotation on Italian radio.
In other new music news, Sean Paul’s hypeman, Farenheit, released his latest Josh One-produced single, "Hit 'Em" (featuring Sean Paul and Jigzagula), last week via iTunes. Reggae Gold 2008 (VP) will drop June 17 and feature news songs by Mavado, Serani, Bugle, Wayne Wonder, plus an exclusive bonus DJ mix disc created by Mighty Crown Sound System.
Michael Franti and Spearhead will issue their new, heavily reggae-produced album, All Rebel Rockers, September 9 on Anti- Records. Recorded in Kingston, Jamaica with Sly & Robbie, the new release channels hybrid dub-infused soul flavors and features Zap Mama founder Marie Daulne and Jamaican soul/dancehall star Cherine Anderson.
Reggae Sumfest returns this year on July 13-19 in Montego Bay, Jamaica. Dancehall Night, on Thursday, July 17, will feature Beenie Man, Bounty Killer, Elephant Man, Mavado, Busy Signal, and Vybz Kartel, alongside newcomers Erupt, Demarco, and Serani. Friday’s Reggae Night features roots artists Queen Ifrica, Richie Spice, and Jah Cure, while Tarrus Riley and songbird Etana round out the International Night on Saturday, July 19.
Hot 107 Richie B’s Reggae Top Ten Chart
1. Lust “Just As I Am” (Born Music)
2. Black Judah feat. Warrior King “Mercy Please” (Teflon Blood)
3. Daville “Yesterday” (Fashowzy)
4. Terry Linen “Mood For Love (Missing You)” (Uplifting Music)
5. Prestige “I'm Bless” (Timeless)
6. Jr. Reid feat Andrew & Wada Blood “Want Tek Life” (JR Music)
7. Queen Ifrica “Choppa Grade” (Nice Time)
8. Sophia Brown “Love You Pure” (Cell Block/321 Strong)
9. Etana “Warrior Love” (Freemind)
10. Tony Rebel “Love Fire” (Taxi)