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The Reggaecountry.com Reggae Blog

The Reggaecountry.com Reggae Blog
The Reggaecountry.com reggae blog covers the people and culture of reggae music

Articles

Reggae Compassionate Act: Subjective?
2007-08-09 21:51:00
It is reported that Buju Banton, aka Gargamel has signed the Reggae Compa ssionate Act of the 'Stop Murder Music' campaigners. He joins fellow dancehall artists Sizzla, Capleton and Beenieman as endorsers of this Act. However, The Act gives rise to a few comments/questions: 1. Should it be reggae or dancehall referenced in the act? The cases and artists with whom there is a bone (no pun intended, seriously) of contention are all dancehall acts. One would think that they would have done their due diligence before making such a broad statement. 2. Jamaica has laws against buggery. Should the Govt and people of Jamaica then sign an Act of a similar nature?After all the law basically states that it is an 'almshouse thing' punishable by fines and imprisonment at hard labour.  3. If the Act is truly towards reggae artists, should reggaeton artists also be subject to this Act? After all reggaeton is reggae's cousin twice removed. 4. If the reggae or dancehall community c...
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Playing By The Rules
2007-07-14 14:36:00
Reggae artists are continually at the mercy of immigration officials whenever they have to travel overseas for shows and appearances. I cannot understand why granting work visas and permits for artists is such a huge issue. Reggae artists generally don?t ?run off? (disappear and not return home) when they travel, and have been excellent visitors, keeping their noses clean, when they travel to perform. Despite all of this however, from time to time artists cannot get work permits and visas for one reason or another. I think the artists in Jamaica should form an advocacy group that handles matters on their behalf as a whole. Nothing to replace their managers and agents, but rather a setup that would allow them to speak with one voice about issues that directly affect all of them. I know that that there exists a Jamaica Federation of Musicians, maybe even that group I think needs to beef up their diplomatic and lobbying skills to help fight issues that they all face as reggae artists.
More About: Rules , Rule , The Rules
Language Barrier
2007-06-07 14:26:00
Yeah reggae music is big, but would it bigger if non Jamaicans actually understood the words of the songs. We know that roots rock and lover?s rock singers do not have this problem for the most part given the fact that usually they are singing. The pulsating beats of dancehall music do help because rhythm translates in any language. The language (patios) of dancehall reggae music is a gift and curse. On one hand it adds authenticity and originality to the music and on the other it forms a language barrier.
More About: Language , Barr , Arri , Barrier
Anything Test Dead
2007-06-06 12:21:00
I was listening to some old Ninja Man songs on my Zune this morning as I made my way to the office. Hearing songs like ?Protection? and ?Border Clash? brought me back to when those songs were released and when Ninja Man was one of dancehall music?s brightest stars as he duked it out with Shabba Ranks for dancehall supremacy. Ninja Man (aka Desmond Ballentine) is one of dancehall music?s most complex stars. Talented, he mastered the art of the Sting (the annual one night show held in Kingston each year) performance as well the dancehall duet as is evidenced by his songs with Tinga Stewart. He was also troubled as we know by his numerous arrests. Yet he has managed to endure over all these years. His longevity is remarkable; I wonder if he had great management people behind if he would still be at the forefront of dancehall music.
More About: Dead , Test , Thing , Anything
More Partnerships Needed
2007-06-05 12:23:00
While reggae music on a whole is big business by all accounts, it seems to me that there are too many ?little players? within the reggae music sphere. That is not to say that I am not happy to see all these entities, because I am. My main concern with this is that companies/entities have not added the word partnership to their vocabulary and arsenal. Small businesses within the reggae sphere should pursue more partnerships with each other so that they may grow and flourish. If you look around the business landscape in general you will see that partnerships flourish and make the world go round. Even competing movie studios will get together to reduce the cost of making and marketing major motion films. There is a popular saying, live together or die alone.
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Reggae Music Hall Of Fame
2007-06-01 12:17:00
It seems that in today?s world anything worthwhile that involves human endeavor has a hall of fame. Various sports leagues around the world have halls of fame; Hollywood has the walk of fame, so it got me thinking, why is there no reggae music hall of fame. For all that reggae music is why is there  no hall of fame to honor the works and memories of all the great people who devoted their lives to honing their craft of creating great music? I submit that this situation needs to be resolved sooner rather than later.
More About: Music , Reggae , Hall of Fame , Hall , Fame
Reggae Music Hall Of Fame
2007-06-01 12:17:00
It seems that in today?s world anything worthwhile that involves human endeavor has a hall of fame. Various sports leagues around the world have halls of fame; Hollywood has the walk of fame, so it got me thinking, why is there no reggae music hall of fame. For all that reggae music is why is there  no hall of fame to honor the works and memories of all the great people who devoted their lives to honing their craft of creating great music? I submit that this situation needs to be resolved sooner rather than later.
More About: Music , Reggae , Hall of Fame , Hall , Fame
Sound Systems Vs The Internet
2007-05-28 15:28:00
Years gone by the main driving force behind the reggae music were the sound systems, like Stone Love, Jamrock and the Silver Hawk just to name a few. These sounds system would promote the music of both the popular and the not so popular artists. But with the invent of the World Wide Web, reggae music is now being distributed throughout medium such as podcasting, videos and streaming audio/video content. These features are reaching millions of listeners and viewers for free, with sites such as myspace.com, youtub.com and reggaecountry.com. The sound system will eventually be replaced, due to the part it plays in the grand scheme of things. Remember now there are sound systems packing a laptop with a MP3 library of songs, which shows that their delivery format is changing. There are more people being linked to the music via the internet, from a cell phone to a computer, than ever. There is feature offered by reggaecountry.com through DIDIOM that allows you listen to music via your ce...
More About: Internet , Sound , Systems , The Internet , Intern
Jamaican Major Reggae Label
2007-05-25 19:51:00
One of most artists? dreams is to be picked up by a major label. These labels, such as Epic, EMI, Sony, Geffen etc are mainly U.S. and European based.   What would it take for the establishment of a major Jamaica n label? Is it just resources? Industry knowledge? Or both?   With the increasing demand for reggae globally coupled with the need to keep our indigenous music ?Jamaicanized?, is that not impetus enough?   I have a dream, that one day, a major label developed by Jamaicans for Reggae will emerge as a giant in the cutthroat label industry. This label, lets call it Reggae Country Records, will have its own A&R, marketing, promotion and distribution teams. It will have locations in Jamaica and globally and will be the epicentre for the development and promotion of major reggae artists?.   This dream can become reality, with the proper support mechanism of course.   Believe me, we have the talent and industry knowledge to make it a success.
More About: Label , Major , Abel
Pick Of The Pack
2007-05-02 11:57:00
Many people who are new to reggae and maybe even some who are very familiar are not aware of the sub-genres of reggae music that exist. To most reggae is associated with the sound of roots rock popularized by Bob Marley. Reggae music actually has many different sounds. There is Dancehall Reggae which is often referred to as reggae rapping. Not sure that is an accurate moniker, but it is the partying arm of reggae music, kind of like what Hip Hop is to R and b. Given the high energy of dancehall music it is the most popular. Then there is Roots Rock, if Dancehall Reggae is the rebellious child, then Roots Rock is the staid parent. Roots Rock Reggae is usually dominated by singers and the lyrical content is usually uplifting and deals with social commentary, ala Bob Marley. The next sub genre of reggae music is Lovers Rock Reggae, which would be the R and B to Dancehall Reggae?s Hip Hop. This genre too is dominated by singers, and the lyrics as the name suggest deals with matters of ...
More About: Pick , Pack , The Pack
People Dead!
2007-04-26 16:04:00
That was once the signature intro of the self styled warlord, Bounty Killer. Dancehall music has often been derided as too violent, or vulgar. Violent lyrics are of course a fact of life in every genre of music, not just reggae. Violent lyrics in reggae music seems to be cyclical in the sense that, there will be a time for it, and when it becomes overwhelming or too much the industry self corrects and veers more in ?conscious? lyrics. If one were to consider all the sub-genres of reggae music, oldies/classics, lovers rock, roots rock, reggae gospel, and dancehall. Dancehall reggae is the only sub genre that delves into violent lyrics. The tricky part is the fact that dancehall often times is the more visible or audible J of all the genres. Quick mathematics shows however, that in terms of the entire reggae-sphere violent lyrics are only a percentage of a percent. While I advocate for violence free lyrics, art imitates life, and as long as violence is a part of life, it will be a par...
More About: People , Dead
People Dead !
2007-04-26 11:16:00
That was once the signature intro of the self styled warlord, Bounty Killer. Dancehall music has often been derided as too violent, or vulgar. Violent lyrics are of course a fact of life in every genre of music, not just reggae. Violent lyrics in reggae music seems to be cyclical in the sense that, there will be a time for it, and when it becomes overwhelming or too much the industry self corrects and veers more in ?conscious? lyrics. If one were to consider all the sub-genres of reggae music, oldies/classics, lovers rock, roots rock, reggae gospel, and dancehall. Dancehall reggae is the only sub genre that delves into violent lyrics. The tricky part is the fact that dancehall often times is the more visible or audible J of all the genres. Quick mathematics shows however, that in terms of the entire reggae-sphere violent lyrics are only a percentage of a percent. While I advocate for violence free lyrics, art imitates life, and as long as violence is a part of life, it will be a par...
More About: People , Dead
Lyrically Speaking
2007-04-25 16:05:00
Much has always been made about how women are depicted in mainstream media and in our particular case reggae music lyrics. In general I think women are treated more with respect than with contempt in the world of reggae. Musical lyrics on a whole reflect the emotions and thoughts of the authors, and for the most part women are revered in reggae music. Lyrics usually hinge upon things that are tied to relationships, whether a heart was broken, someone cheated, new love, old love getting stronger. There are also the uplifting lyrics about striving for success, and then yes there are those lyrics that would be considered less than stellar that speak about sexual prowess, and encourage ?lewd and lascivious? behavior, but many will argue it is all a part of a good time, no pun intended of course. The main issue here is that reggae music does not berate women, and call them ?hos, bitches, or sluts? for the most part anyway, and that is encouraging and something to be proud of.
More About: Speaking , Peak , Ally
Lyrically Speaking
2007-04-25 12:52:00
Much has always been made about how women are depicted in mainstream media and in our particular case reggae music lyrics. In general I think women are treated more with respect than with contempt in the world of reggae. Musical lyrics on a whole reflect the emotions and thoughts of the authors, and for the most part women are revered in reggae music. Lyrics usually hinge upon things that are tied to relationships, whether a heart was broken, someone cheated, new love, old love getting stronger. There are also the uplifting lyrics about striving for success, and then yes there are those lyrics that would be considered less than stellar that speak about sexual prowess, and encourage ?lewd and lascivious? behavior, but many will argue it is all a part of a good time, no pun intended of course. The main issue here is that reggae music does not berate women, and call them ?hos, bitches, or sluts? for the most part anyway, and that is encouraging and something to be proud of.
More About: King , Speak , Call , Speaking , Peak
Collaboration Co-operation
2007-04-17 12:31:00
Collaborations between two equals in the top tier of reggae music are rare, and I think too rare. Collaborations can produce some amazing music, the song that I keep thinking about as I write this is ?Another Level? which was done by Baby Cham and Bounty Killer. These two artists are now at odds with each other though I do not know the actual details of why, I can assume ego has something to do with it since it always does. Tracks like ?Another Level? are so rare, which is a shame because more often than not they are so good. They are good for the music as a whole, and they are good for the artists involved as well. I would put forward that, those marquee artists who for the life of their careers maintain grudges rob reggae music fans of collaborations that we would love to see. Imagine Shabba Ranks and Ninja Man doing a track together, imagine Bounty Killer and Beenie Man doing a hot track together, what about Lt. Stitchie and Admiral Bailey for example, these collaborations would ...
More About: Labor , Collaboration , Operation , Coll , Co-Op
Coming To The Stage
2007-04-10 11:52:00
One of the most exciting things in reggae music is to see artists perform live. It definitely allows you to feel the excitement of the music, and the enthusiasm of artists as they perform their hits. My only issue with live performances sometimes is that they are short and poorly done. I can understand the rush an artist gets when they start to perform a song and the crowd goes wild, it really is like a rush of adrenaline, then the song is pulled up (started over). I get that. But often times the song is cut short and another is rushed into and chopped as well. While I understand that artists who open on shows have a limited amount time to perform, in those instances performers should pick one or two songs to perform and perform them in their entirety and well.  There is also no excuse for a top reggae act to have poor performance and delivery skills. Managers should focus on this aspect of their artists development because everyone wins when patrons can count on world class pe...
More About: Stage , Ming
The Comeback Kid....Anyone?
2007-04-06 16:10:00
Of all the things that I have seen reggae artists accomplish, I have never seen one rise from the ashes like a phoenix. It would seem that once a reggae artists? career starts going down, that?s it they cannot regain their former status. It seems to be the kiss of death. Though artists who do great things in their careers are never forgotten, I would love to see once in a while where one storms the scene and brings back their old glory. I could mention a few names, but we can all count quite a few artists who fall in this category. Could it be that each artists success in tied a particular sound or a time period to the point where they cannot adapt when that particular sound changes? I am not sure about that because reggae producers seem to have much longer shelf lives than much of the artists they turn into stars. Given that dynamic one could make the argument that since producers have a lot to do with the sound of the music through the ages that artist styles could change. In any ...
More About: Anyone , Comeback
The Comeback Kid....Anyone?
2007-04-06 12:03:00
Of all the things that I have seen reggae artists accomplish, I have never seen one rise from the ashes like a phoenix. It would seem that once a reggae artists? career starts going down, that?s it they cannot regain their former status. It seems to be the kiss of death. Though artists who do great things in their careers are never forgotten, I would love to see once in a while where one storms the scene and brings back their old glory. I could mention a few names, but we can all count quite a few artists who fall in this category. Could it be that each artists success in tied a particular sound or a time period to the point where they cannot adapt when that particular sound changes? I am not sure about that because reggae producers seem to have much longer shelf lives than much of the artists they turn into stars. Given that dynamic one could make the argument that since producers have a lot to do with the sound of the music through the ages that artist styles could change. In any ...
More About: Back , Come , Anyone , Comeback
Garnet Silk, Gone Too Soon
2007-04-04 11:51:00
On April 2, 2007 Garnet t Silk would have been 41 years old. He unfortunately died on December 10th, 1994 under circumstances that are not yet truly understood, though we might deduce that some mistakes were made or bad luck occurred. Garnet Silk in the early nineties captured the imagination of reggae music fans like me with his music. His music was spiritual, thought provoking, and good. I had the opportunity to see him perform live at the University Of Technology in Kingston, Jamaica and I literally shook his hand afterward and told him how great his music was. He had the potential to become, back then, one of reggae music?s biggest stars given time to hone his art. Though time was indeed was not on his side, he did manage to leave his shortened mark on reggae music.
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Greatest Reggae Singer Of All Time
2007-04-03 10:57:00
Now I think I already know what you are thinking, why bother we all know it is Bob Marley. Ok then, let me ask the next best question, who is the second greatest reggae singer of all time? This is a tricky question for sure, similar to the greatest DJ of all time blog entry that I did last week. In pop music greatest artists are always easy to figure out since it is really a measure of popularity and success in an era where that artist stands out and then where their music is timeless, again, just like Bob Marley. There have been many reggae singers since Bob Marley, some of whom would have shined more if they were not foreshadowed by the legend himself. Some would say Bunny Wailer, Peter Tosh, I personally think Beres Hammond would get a vote from me as well. It is hard to pick a consensus second greatest. For now all we have are our personal favorites of all time. My second favorite of all time is of course Beres Hammond.
More About: Reggae , Time , Great , Singer , Sing
Rasta Business
2007-04-02 11:50:00
So Jamaica has selected a Rasta farian woman as the newest Ms. Jamaica. To most onlookers this would not seem to be a big deal since Rastafarianism and Jamaica are synonymous. To the learned and those in the know however it is a good step forward. Rastafarianism for most reggae acts go way beyond a hair style, it is after all a religion in its own right whether you are a believer or not. Rasta?s as a group has had a positive impact on reggae music through their message in the music about social consciousness, peace, and love. We need to look no further than Bob Marley and Buju Banton as examples. I chose Buju as an example because his career took a turn towards social consciousness with his commitment to the Rastafarian faith and his career has continued to flourish. The Rastafarian faith has been in the past not held in high esteem by some Jamaicans as they were seen as ruffians and ragamuffins. With the advent of Zahra Redwood?s notable win, Jamaica reaffirms it national motto, ?Ou...
More About: Business , Ness , Sine
Live From
2007-03-29 13:22:00
How cool would it be to have multiple reggae tours each year. Artists tour on their own and perform at various venues and festivals as promoted by various promoters around the world. But imagine having reggae tours during the tour season, usually the summer that boasts the best of reggae music in all of its sub genres (dancehall, lover?s rock, oldies, roots). I would pay good money to see that. Tours usually have big name acts as headliners with opening acts etc, while I may go see any top artist alone, it would be great to have a tour which showcases three or four acts on a smartly produced tour. That would allow me to see a longer performance by an artist since there are usually time constraints. This does not mean that I think there are any shortages of live reggae shows, but I think the absence of tours and ample performances have led to the big reggae festivals where we can get our fill in catching a performance of an admired artist.
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Reggae FM On Your Radio Dial
2007-03-27 10:41:00
The only place in the world that I personally know that currently has an all reggae all the time radio station is Jamaica. That is fitting of course since that is the original reggae country, it would border on embarrassing if Jamaica did not have all reggae all the time radio station. What about North America, more specifically the US and Canada. How is it that there are no primarily  reggae 24 hours a day radio stations. There are radio programs that are produced by independent producers on various radio dials, but no full schedule reggae radio on the FM dial. I know that some markets do not have enough listeners to support such a station, but there are areas like New York City, South Florida, parts of California, Ontario Canada for example that I am pretty confident could support 24 hours a day of reggae. I think entrepreneurs with the means and the resolve would not just do a great service to the reggae community, but they would also have a viable business.
More About: Radio , Reggae , Your , Adio , Dial
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