In this episode, we talk about what really validates a reggae artist to a reggae fan.
Click image for a direct download.
Click image for a direct download.
Slim Smith & The Uniques recorded the tune “I’ll Never Let You Go” at Studio One studios in 1967. Selectors, deejays and backing bands have enjoyed playing the instrumental ever since.
Also known as the Never Let Go, this riddim has been remade many times during the past decades. A staple in dancehall music, songs on the Answer riddim still get spun nightly by many DJs and Sound Systems.
It was a time when Bounty Killer was given the title “Poor People Governor” and had a streak of hit songs banned from radio airplay in Jamaica because he spoke out against corruption and divisiveness in political policies and sang about ineptitude and abuse by local law enforcement. There was a resurgence of lyrical protest songs uniting and re-energizing the dancehall followers in the streets of Jamaica with positive messages earning the biggest crowd responses. Buju Banton, who emerged as the “Voice of Jamaica” delivered words of wisdom and warning to his fan base and his lyrical ideals deepened right along with his Rastafarian faith.
The same went for Capleton who was dominant and was dubbed “The Fire Man.” Capleton burned the hottest fire with a string of releases that dissected and illustrated all the faults he found with “Babylon system” and during his live stage performances, massive eruptions of energy occurred. Artists such as Sizzla, Luciano, and Anthony B were also extremely influential within this conscious movement of the 1990s.
The up-tempo (dancehall) riddims being produced in this era of Jamaican music offered very diverse story lines so there were songs about the latest dance moves, gunman tunes, girls anthems, and ganja dedications surrounded by songs about spirituality, African liberation, “burning out” current corrupt government officials and taboo trends, or the struggles of the poor in the ghetto.
This mix focuses on the danceable selections of that period that kept it real. Reality tunes, similar in content to the roots reggae standards of reggae’s foundation era, but aligned with the most popular riddims that dominated the dancehall. This was the music that could be heard at the climax of sound system sessions primarily from the mid-1990s to the early 2000s. Please press play and take a brief trip back to “fire time.” More Fire!
1. Amazing Sound – Mikey General (dubplate)
2. Love is A Feeling – Earl Sixteen
3. Give Praise – Luciano (dubplate)
4. Heptones Gonna Fight – The Heptones
5. Give Love A Try – Barry Brown
6. Here I Stand – Carlton Livingston
7. Pretty Looks Isn’t All – The Heptones
8. The Girl is Mine – Frankie Paul
9. Never Give Up – Sugar Minott
10. Compliments to Studio One – Michigan and Smiley
11. Babylon Bridge – Dillinger
12. Bobby Babylon – Freddie McGregor
13. No Call Me Cracky – Lone Ranger
14. Take a Ride – Al Campbell
15. Truths and Rights – Johnny Osbourne
16. Automatic – Lone Ranger
17. Created By the Father – Dennis Brown
18. New Millennium – Wayne Marshall
19. I’m Just a Guy – Alton Ellis
20. Vanity – Sugar Minott
21. Rub a Dub Style – Michigan and Smiley
22. Highlanda Kill Your Sound – Warrior King (dubplate)
23. Ram Dance Master – Brigadier Jerry
24. She Gone She Gone – Linval Thompson
25. Program – Frankie Paul
26. You A Fool Boy – Angela Prince
27. Deliver Us – Half Pint
28. Rougher Yet – Slim Smith
29. Come To Me – The Jay Tees
30. Our Love – Yami Bolo
31. Love Bump – Lone Ranger
32. No Say So – Little John
33. Feel Like Jumping – Marcia Griffiths
34. Greatest Sound In The Dance – XO (dubplate)
35. Highlanda Run Yah So – Little Pinchers (dubplate)
36. Highlanda Bus – Sluggy Ranks (dubplate)
37. Render Your Heart – Sluggy Ranks
38. Armageddon Time – Willie Williams
39. Lend Me The Sixteen – Johnny Osbourne
40. Nice Up the Dance – Michigan and Smiley
41. Keep On Moving – Johnny Osbourne
42. Never Let Go – Slim Smith
43. I Shall Sing – Marcia Griffiths
44. The Answer – Lone Ranger
45. No Regrets – Carlton Livingston
47. Can’t Buy My Love – Johnny Osbourne
48. Consider Me – Jennifer Lara
49. I Don’t Know Why – Doreen Shaffer
50. No War – Johnny Osbourne
51. Jah Jah Children – Sugar Minott
52. Far East – Barry Brown
53. Jam It Up – Carlton Livingston