This is our 200th official episode of Reggae Lover. We talked about “Upside Down 2020,” the long-anticipated album from Buju Banton.
There’s such a thing as an instant classic, and this Buju Banton new album is that. Listen to our in-depth analysis of every track.
Buju Banton New Album, Sales and Streams
We also talked about record sales and chart performance. The album got close to 3000 sales in its first week. That includes all physical copies, digital downloads as well as streams. What is a “stream?” What is the stream worth? A stream is a fraction of a sale. So you need a certain amount of streams, whether it be songs or the entire album, in order for it to equal one sale.
It was actually a strong debut compared to other releases from Jamaican artists. We look at the fact that Vybz Kartel released his album on the same day as Buju. His album, “Of Dons and Divas,” sold a little less than half that of “Upside Down 2020.” Koffee’s “Rapture,” EP which won the Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album had less than 600 first week sales.
We have had episodes about Billboard, sales, and what it means for Jamaican reggae artists. Music is actually the marketing tool for touring, merchandise sales, etc. In that case, Buju is in good hands with Roc Nation. I’m sure they’ll exploit this album very well.
The Buju Banton new album, “Upside Down 2020” debuted in the number two position on the Billboard reggae chart. Also, on the Itunes chart for reggae music, it debuted at number two. At the time, Bob Marley held the number one slot on both of those charts. Vybz Kartel’s “Of Dons and Divas” debuted at the number six position on both charts.
The Tastemaker Segment
Last week’s episode, we didn’t get to go into this segment at all. As a result, there were a few things that I wanted to make sure that we mentioned.
Firstly, the Dré Island album, a debut album that features Popcaan on the “We Pray” single. The name of the album is “Now I Rise.” I bumped it or a good little while when it first came out. He’s doing press for the album right now. Go look for “Now I Rise” from Dre Island. Very good music.
If you’re a fan of Chronixx or Damian Marley, you’ll definitely love Dre Island. He’s very talented in his own right. He has a song out with Tory Lanez. So he has crossover songs as well.
Secondly, there’s an awesome release from Grammy nominee, Etana. An album entitled “Gemini,” which debuted on June 19th, distributed by Kojak WorldWide. That album is official. Very good production. “Gemini” brings a strong balance of dancehall, reggae, and lovers’ rock. There is some roots reggae flavor as well.
Kabaka Pyramid has a feature on there. Nomadz has a feature on there along with an artist known as Yhasha. This may be her best album to date. It’s definitely one of my favorites. Every song has a good vibe. I would add the whole album to my quarantine playlist. Take my recommendation. This is good, solid music.
Thirdly, we have to talk about Koffee. Her new single entitled “Pressure” is an inspirational song for the times. She speaks to the ghetto youths, but she’s also talking to every man. Every one of us is under pressure, if not now, at some point. It’s that type of message that can help to pull you through that kind of a situation. So I love it. She’s singing. She’s deejaying. It’s message music. A music video for that is also out.
In addition, Koffee is on “Bigger Love,” John Legend’s new album, released June 19. The song that features coffee is “Don’t Walk Away.” This song a breakup love song duet between the two of them. The curious thing is, so far, Koffee’s material hasn’t been love songs. There’s Justin Bieber’s, “I don’t care” remix where she appears alongside Chronixx. That would be the first but is more pop dance.
“Don’t Walk Away” is more of an R&B style song. Definitely check that out. And of course, if you’re a John Legend fan, we talked about him earlier with this feature on the budget album. He’s got a big project out right now.
Finally, we’ve got a new song from Anthony B entitled “Black and Proud.” This is not a protest or a revolutionary song a la “Fire Pon Rome.” He’s not telling you who needs to get burnt up in the fire. It’s a revolutionary song along the lines of just making this simple statement. I’m black and I’m proud.
If you follow the news you know that saying “Black Lives Matter” is offensive to many people. So saying things like “black power” or “black and proud” is also going against the grain. These are the messages that we want to hear from our reggae artists, especially our cultural artists. And Anthony B is known for being that guy.
This one is on the new World Rebirth rhythm produced by Reggae Vibes Music. It’s a brand new song released on July 8th. Anthony B’s “Black and Proud.” Please check it out. It’s awesome. Good reggae music. Good for the heart, the soul, and the brain.
Sound System Update and Wrap up
We also gave a very concise recap of some recent sound system, soundclash live online events. In conclusion, we announced next week’s special guest will be Walshy Fire of Major Lazor.
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Seen as one of the greatest Jamaican singers and talked about as a top sound system dubplate artist, Johnny Osbourne, the dancehall Godfather climbed to the top of the reggae mountain over 30 years ago and remains there today.
SOUNDCLOUD: CLICK TO DOWNLOAD, OR PRESS PLAY BELOW TO LISTEN NOW.
The Answer Riddim is a reggae instrumental produced by Clement “Coxsone” Dodd.
Answer Riddim Mix, Episode 64 of the Reggae Lover Podcast by Highlanda Sound
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.
Sister Nancy – Transport Connection
Philip Frazer – Never Let Go
Al Campbell – Turn Me Loose
Brigadier Jerry – Jamaica Jamaica
Supercat – History
Johnny Osborne – Keep On Moving
Slim Smith – Never Let Go
The Answer – Lone Ranger
Marca Griffiths – I Shall Sing
Buju Banton – No Respect
Gappy Ranks – Pumpkin Belly
Macka B – Never Played A 45
Warrior King – Melody (Tell Me How Me Sound)
Tarrus Riley – Protect Your Neck
Sugar Minott – Feel The Rydim
Sanchez – Take Your Time
Anthony Malvo ft. General Degree – Comforter
Sizzla – In My Thoughts
Beenie Man – Fassy Try To Dis (Too Bad Mind)
Edley Shines – Lead Out (dub plate)
Anthony B – Global Awareness
Junior Kelly – Ghetto Region
Half Pint – She’s Fever
Marcia Griffiths – Cry No More
Sanchez – Groove Me
Pinchers – Lift It Up Again
Supercat – Vineyard Party
Stephen Marley ft. Damian Marley and Buju Banton – Traffic Jam
SOUNDCLOUD: CLICK TO DOWNLOAD, OR PRESS PLAY BELOW TO LISTEN NOW.
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.
MORE FIRE! Top Reality Songs in 1990s Reggae Dancehall Music | Reggae Lover Podcast Episode 60
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.
Top Reality Songs in 1990s Reggae Dancehall Music
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!
The original styles of the most popular riddims in dancehall history are all right here in this mix. Most of the mega hits from the 1980s and 1990s dancehall era’s were remade digital versions of the classics you will hear in this mix.
The Greatest Studio One Riddims in Dancehall Mix by Highlanda Sound, Reggae Lover Podcast Episode 56
If you downloaded Ultimate Studio One Riddims – Reggae Lover Podcast Episode 55, then this will be a great companion. This segment is more uptempo and even more iconic in content with no songs repeated from the previous mix (except my Little Pinchers dubplate which is on a different riddim). If you should enjoy, please do leave a comment and share.
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
Featured within this episode are a hand-full of rootsy downtempo one-drop riddims with the best singers of the era from 1977 to about 1982. Catch Them Jah Jah, Three Blind Mice, Ain’t No Sunshine, Worries In The Dance, and Jumpy Girl are the riddims highlighted.
The great Lee Perry, Scientist, King Tubby, Dr. Alimantado, and Augustus Pablo are all in the mix with different dubwise versions here so a variety of effects and styles are presented along with toasting and singing from Frankie Paul, Leroy Smart, I Roy, Barrington Levy, Jacob Miller, Yami Bolo, Junior Reid, Anthony Johnson, Jah Thomas and more.
Here is a mix that many Reggae Lover listeners have been looking for. Freddie McGregor is one of reggae’s most prolific and successful artists. With roots in the 60’s at Studio One and a stellar career established over decades of tremendous success, Freddie is a living legend and continues to record and tour the world today.
The songs compiled here share the themes of love and relationships and the mix is absolutely crucial. I’m keeping the show notes short on this one, but the mix runs for almost an hour.
Please leave a comment here or email firstname.lastname@example.org to let me know if the music sounds as good to you that it does to me.
Freddie McGregor Playlist:
1 Big Ship
2 When I’m Ready
3 Come Now Sister
4 Curly Locks
5 Curly Dub
6 Stop Loving You
7 Little Nut Tree
8 Nutmeg Dub
9 Sweet Talking
10 Mr. Fix It
11 Fix Him Dub
12 Give Me The Right
13 The Right Dub
14 Can I Change My Mind
15 Your Love (Change In Me)
16 Every Day Is Just a Holiday
17 Holiday Dub
19 I See It In You
20 Lovers Rock
21 Push Come To Shove
22 Undying Love
23 Undying Dub
24 Breaking Up
25 Breaking Dub
26 A House Is Not A Home
27 Gatepass To Your Heart
28 Take Time To Know Her
29 Come On Little Girl
30 Big Girl Dub
31 One More Dance
32 Danger In Your Eyes
33 You Have Caught Me
34 Let Him Try
35 Just Don’t Want To Be Lonely
36 How Can I Forget
37 Loving Pauper
38 Not Giving Up On You
39 Moving Away
40 I Was Born A Winner
41 Falling In Love With You
42 Falling In Dub
43 You’re Gonna Lose
44 Losing Dub
45 Westbound Train ft. Jacob Miller
In this episode we feature the multi-talented singer and producer of many hits, Anthony Malvo, along with pioneering dancehall icon Little Twitch.
Anthony Malvo began his singing career in the early 1980’s in Kingston Jamaica on the Legendary Black Star Sound System. Malvo later moved on to perform, and record with the Reggae Producer and label King Jammys during their prime.
It was on King Jammys Sound System that Anthony Malvo often teamed up with Little Twitch among others as they dominated the Jamaican dancehall scene for most of the 1980s with many jam packed sessions and sound clash victories.
Here is a sampling of the many hits performed by both artists. Anthony Malvo’s latest single “I’m Not the Only One” which was produced by Ed Robinson is also featured in the mix.
Please enjoy this episode and look out for Little Twitch and Anthony Malvo to appear in Atlanta for ROCKSTEADY at the Sound Table on Sunday May 3, 2015.
1 Anthony Malvo and Sizzla – Cyaan Draw Wi Out
2 Anthony Malvo and Capleton – One Day Rude Boy
3 Little Twitch – Spanish Fly
4 Little Twitch – Devil Send You Come
5 Sluggy Ranks and Little Twitch – Jah Is Guiding I
6 Little Twitch – Respect Due
7 Anthony Malvo – Bad Minded People
8 Anthony Malvo – All of Me
9 Anthony Malvo – Is It Love
10 Anthony Malvo – I’m Not The Only One
11 Anthony Malvo and Daddy Lizard – Greatest Gal Lover
12 Little Twitch – Py Py Love
13 Anthony Malvo and Tiger – Come Back To Me (Summer Love)
14 Little Twitch -Watch Your Friends
15 Anthony Malvo and Daddy Lizard – Take You To The Dance
Hear some essential works from the 60s and 70s by the predecessors of rappers and today’s dancehall artists. Who was the first DJ (dancehall deejay)? This is often debated and I’m not going to get into the argument, but I personally credit U-Roy as the DJ daddy.
If Daddy U-Roy wasn’t the 1st, then he certainly had the earliest and largest impact with toasting (rapping) over previously recorded instrumentals in the live dancehall setting. Coxsone Dodd, among many other innovations to his credit, pioneered the recording and production of DJs at Studio One.
This mix merely touches upon some of this important dancehall history and I intend to thoroughly exhibit more of the talented foundation artists in future episodes of the Reggae Lover Podcast.
There are too many DJs to name who rose to prominence by delivering rhymes over beats on the Jamaican music scene long before The Sugar Hill Gang‘s ‘Rapper’s Delight‘ was released in 1979 as the first ever rap record.
1 Junior Byles – Beat Down Babylon
2 Lyricson and Dennis Alcapone – Alpha and Omega
3 Cuture – Zion Gate
4 Prince Mohammed – 40 Leg Dread
5 Johnny Osborne – Murderer
6 Lone Ranger – Keep On Coming A Dance
7 Mighty Diamonds – Pass the Kutchie
8 Charlie Chaplin – Bubbling Telephone
9 Carlton and The Shoes – Love Me Forever
10 Dennis Alcapone – Forever Version
11 Dennis Brown – Money In My Pocket
12 Big Youth – Ah So We Stay
13 Barrington Levy – Mine Your Mouth
14 Louie Lepke – Late Night Movie
15 Alexander Henry – Please Be True
16 Johnny Osborne – Sing Jay Stylee
17 Big Youth – Dread Is Best
18 Delroy Wilson – Never Conqueror (Cousins version)
19 Dennis Alcapone – The Conqueror (Studio One version)
20 Dennis Brown – How Could I Leave
21 Prince Mohammed – Bubbling Love
22 The Heptones – Pretty Looks
23 Michigan and Smiley – Compliment To Studio One
24 Larry Marshall – Throw Me Corn
25 Rude Boyz International – Bring Back The Loving (dub plate)
26 The Techniques – Queen Majesty
27 U-Roy – Chalice In the Palace
28 Gregory Isaacs and U-Roy – Love Is Overdue
29 Jacob Miller and U Brown – Keep On Knocking
30 Freddie McGregor – Bobby Babylon
31 Lone Ranger – No Call Me Cracky
32 Dennis Brown – Sitting and Watching
33 Ranking Dread – Lots of Loving
34 Willie Williams – Armageddon Time
35 Michigan and Smiley – Nice Up the Dance
36 Slim Smith – Never Let Go
37 Lone Ranger – The Answer
38 Horace Andy – Fever
39 Jim Brown – Cure Fi the Fever
1 Affairs of the Heart
2 One to One
3 Make You Mine
4 Good Lookin’ Gal
5 I Wanna Be Loved
6 Love Sponge
7 Don’t Give Way Me Tings
8 Miss Ready Body
9 Can’t Be My Lover
10 Love Me Brownin
11 Love Black Woman
12 If Loving Was A Crime
13 Go If You Want
14 Girl U Know
15 Good Body
16 Try Offa Yuh
17 Buy Love
18 Paid Not Played
20 Gone A Lead
21 Water Man
22 Your Night Tonight
23 It’s All Over
24 Love Haffi Request
25 Be My Love Tonight
26 Love You Like
27 Make My Day
28 Red Rose
29 Sense of Purpose
30 Hush Baby Hush