With Shaggy, Jr Gong, Stylo G and many more...

The latest goings on in dancehall and reggae 
with Clash’s queen of the scene, Reshma B…

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This month marks two years that Vybz Kartel has been behind bars on two murder wraps. With no bail granted for this period of time the Worl’ Boss has still managed to drop some good tracks, supposedly all recorded before his arrest. Last month he even released a triple album called ‘Kartel Forever: Trilogy’.

But the timing of his most important release – getting released from prison – remains unclear. He had a breakthrough on one case when he was found not guilty and was awaiting trial for the second charge, the one his lawyer feels most confident about. But then, just when it seems like he's on his way out the cell, there comes a new accusation.

Police are investigating whether he was somehow involved in the murder of producer Patrick ‘Roach' Samuels, his former road manager, who was shot to death at a gas station on September 15th. “The injustice system of Jamaica is trying to use me as a scapegoat for crime… So they’re trying to build a case that doesn’t exist,” said Kartel on the matter, adding ironically, “Please bear with them.”

Jamaican singer Tessanne Chin rocked US talent show The Voice. During the blind auditions she came out and wowed all four judges causing Christina Aguilera, Adam Levine, Blake Shelton and Cee Lo Green to spin around in their chairs and desperately pitch her to join their team. In the end Tessanne chose to be mentored by Adam who said she ‘‘could easily win this year’s competition’’.

Grand Theft Auto V was released on 17th September and made over US$1 billion in three days for its publisher, becoming the highest-grossing video game in history. Amongst the game’s featured radio stations is the Blue Ark, its playlist put together by legendary producer Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, founder of The Black Ark recording studio. The Blue Ark’s playlist includes plenty of Scratch selections but there are also dancehall tracks from the likes of Konshens, Chronixx and Tommy Lee.

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Seems like Jr. Gong has been on the grind recently, voicing collaborations with Shaggy (pictured) and Sean Paul. This time he's pairing up with Cham on a Madhouse production called ‘Fighter’. You already know both artists can toast hard, but Damian sings on this one and leaves the DJing to Cham. Still, their message comes through loud and clear. “We grind because the system does not favour the common man,” Jr. Gong wails and Cham comes in to complete the thought: “Politics, we done it.”

Popcaan released his newest track on October 1st. Produced by New York beatmaker Dubbel Dutch, ‘Everything Nice’ is the first single off Papi’s forthcoming debut album, due in 2014. It’s a step in a new direction for the Hotskull – here’s what he has to say about the record and what to expect from the rest of the project…

And check out his ‘Everything Nice’ here…

On the UK front, Stylo G has just dropped a video for his latest tune, ‘Badd’, featuring Sister Nancy. And it looks like London’s lyrical badman took over the Notting Hill Carnival good and proper.

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The hottest new riddims this month include Ghetto Youths International’s ‘Bloodclot’ featuring voicings from Jo Mersa, Aidonia, Agent Sasco, Frisco Kid and Wayne Marshall, who sings the hilarious title track. Marsheezy goes in for the guys who get themselves into pure stress with girls who max out their Mastercards and leave them with nothing but “bloodclot inna me heart”.

Konshens teams up with his brother Delus and Javada for ‘Shell weh’ on the ‘Win’ riddim. “We’ve been working so hard – one life we get. Nah, live twice!” Other voicings on the riddim include Beenie Man, TOK, Bugle and Voicemail. Sounds like a big win.

Cashflow’s ‘Better Way’ riddim sets a cool tempo with conscious tunes like Bugle’s ‘Unnecessary Hype’ and Romain Virgo’s ‘When You Cry’, but the top pick of the bunch is Jah Vinci’s ‘Tower of Strength’. We all need a bit of that now and then.

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This summer Gyptian got some good news with his single ‘Hold Yuh’ being certified gold in the US after selling over half a million copies. The artist now releases a new album on VP Records titled ‘Sex, Love & Reggae’, featuring duets with Angela Hunte as well as a track called ‘Anything You Want’ with Mary J. Blige and Busta Rhymes.

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After mashing up the Big Apple, Chronixx is heading to this side of the Atlantic for some UK dates, including stops in Leeds (Arena, Radio 1 Xtra Weekend, October 10th), Bristol (Malcolm X, 11th), Birmingham (The Drum, 12th) and London (Scala, 13th). This young roots rebel has been on a crazy roll since he dropped that big hit tune ‘Behind Curtain’, but it should come as no surprise since he grew up in a musical family. Check here to see where he gets his swag from…

Shaggy, Agent Sasco, Mykal Rose, Konshens and Tifa will be blowing up Wembley Arena on October 19th with rhythms courtesy of Sly & Robbie. After Shaggy pulled it out the bag last month by bringing Super Cat along as his special guest for New York’s On Da Reggae Tip, anything can happen. UK, get ready! In the meantime, here’s the latest video for Tifa’s ‘Lyrically Educated’…

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Apparently Shaggy ain’t slept in days since the release of his new album with Sly & Robbie. Ever since ‘Out Of Many, One Music’ hit the streets so has his whole Ranch studio crew. After their record release party in New York, Team Ranch jetted from NYC to Kingston, Jamaica. On September 28th, Rae Town’s regular Sunday night street dance was taken over with Shaggy’s album launch JA style. The block was on lock. People, check! Drinks, check! Music, check!

The rain cleared just in time for the show to begin as a crowd of local TV crews, as well as a sprinkling of international press, joined locals as they bubbled in the road to juggling by the mighty Stone Love sound system. Mr. Boombastic finally took the stage and introduced his star girl Samira to Jamrock as they performed their collaboration ‘Till I Kissed Ya’. Then Jimmy Cosier joined him for their track ‘All We Need is Love’.

The vibes kept flowing all night, and there was no shortage of special guests. First to come through was Konshens, then Assassin and Tarrus Riley – all touching the stage to sing their songs from the album, along with a few extra treats. The frenzy in the crowd doubled as next to arrive was Wayne Marshall, who came through with Jamaica’s international TV star of the moment, his sister-in-law Tessanne Chin. Wayne performed ‘Go Hard’ before Tessanne tore up the stage with her latest track ‘If You Love Me’.

The cheers were still echoing through the street until the early morning hours, as the local authorities were good enough to relax the noise abatement laws for this special evening. Even after Shaggy and crew had loaded into their rides to head home – before catching their next flight to their next destination – the good times were still in full swing. It’s safe to say that Rae Town knows how to party, and that Shaggy’s name will be ringing in a few ears for some time to come.

See ya next month!

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Words: Reshma B

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