The latest round up...

The Month's Goings-On In Dancehall and Reggae...


Jamaica celebrates its 50th year of independence on 6th of August, and readers of this column known that London will be enjoying 12 days of back-to-back reggae, ska, dancehall, and dub concerts at the indig02 starting July 26th. But that’s just the beginning of the celebration here in the UK. Olympic City in Stratford will host a major Reggae Exhibition from July 27th to August 12th. London’s Maryland Complex will play host to a full slate of amazing events. First off it’s Lovers Rock, the concert on August 29th. Then on August 1st-3rd a musical theater version of the yardie film classic 'The Harder They Come' will be staged there. Then on August 6th a sound system blues dance will take place at the same venue. Finally on August 7th the alternative reggae sounds of NoMaddz will take the stage. You may remember these guys from their apearances in Puma commercials and the film 'Better Mus Come'. They are not to be missed! Hit up for full schedule and ticket info.

The BUSY SIGNAL case took a major turn on July 19th when the DJ—who was taken detained in London last May and accused of traveling with false documents—pleaded guilty to one count of failure to appear in court. Currently awaiting a sentencing date, Busy faces a year to a year and a half in prison and a fine of up to $30,000. The good news for him is that the U.S. does not have jurisdiction to prosecute him on the drug charges that caused him to flee from the States 10 years ago. Once he serves his sentence he’ll have 45 days to leave the U.S. or the artist who gave us Reggae Music Again could be re-arrested on the cocaine rap. Stay tuned for further updates.

SNOOP DOGG has announced that his first-ever reggae album will be titled 'Reincarnated', and that he will change his name to Snoop Lion. Produced by Major Lazer - with tracks by DIPLO and DRE SKULL - 'Reincarnated' will be accompanied by a documentary shot on location in Jamaica. But apparently not everybody is looking forward to the release. Dancehall star SIZZLA recently dropped a diss track called “Burn Out The Smithsonians” that turns up the heat on Snoop. “Who the bloodclaat Snoop Dogg a try fool?” sings the fiery DJ. No response from Snoop so far, but having lived through the Death Row vs. Bad Boy beef, at least he has some experience with these sorts of situations.


The Poolside riddim is currently enjoying some good rotation, especially the KONSHENS tune 'Siddung'. Sure the lyrics are a bit rude, but lots of girls seem to love it. Could this be the next 'Gal a Bubble'?

Other new hot releases include the 'ANT’Z NESS riddim'—featuring PATEXXX's hot new track 'Talk A Talk'. Also bubbling hard are the 'Talk di Tings riddim' & the 'Overtime riddim'.

One to look out for is Dre Skull's brand new Kling Klang riddim, which just dropped on the 24th, featuring voicings by POPCAAN, BEENIE MAN, TIFA, SUKU and DEVA BRATT.


It feels like the boys are not messing about this month.

'Go Hard' - WAYNE MARSHALL, Jr. GONG, BOUNTY KILLER, AIDONIA, ASSASSIN, I-OCTANE, and VYBZ KARTEL on one slamming track? Wow what a lineup! This new release from the GHETTO YOUTHS camp is definitely on point with the name as the boys “go hard and done” on this one.

'Dweet Again' - BEENIE MAN has put out more hit songs than most dancehal stars, and won a Grammy Award too. But when someone asked him “what’s next” he decided to tell em in a song. The track, produced by Snowcone (the man behind Sean Paul’s #1 smash 'Temperature') is pretty much self-explanatory, innit? Confidence will get you everywhere.

'Tom & Jerry' - There is nothing cartoon about TOMMY LEE as the former Portmore Empire member showed us on Dancehall Night at this year’s Reggae Sumfest—repping hard for Di Teacha. Tommy Lee is the name on the streets at the moment, and being Kartel’s protege, that’s a recipe for success I reckon! Here's what he had to say about his performance and his feelings on Kartel not being on the bill.

'Summer Is Back' - Only a few weeks ago it might not have been the track blaring out of everybody’s speakers, but it seems like there might just be some summer left in the UK. So STYLO G's summer tune can be put back on the playlist.

'La La La' - The first track off the Dogg’s—or, make that the Lion’s—new reggae album is a nice mellow duet with an unidentified young lady. I like what I hear so far.

'Wanna Touch' - Course there is also a track for the ladies—and mind you, this is the clean version—either way, LADEN has the girls on lockdown with this one.


Out of nowhere the dancehall veteran CUTTY RANKS has just dropped a new album called 'Full Blast' featuring combos with BERES HAMMOND ('Way To Go') LUCIANO ('Long Life') and a combination with the late American R&B vocalist GWEN GUTHRIE. Glad to see the Cutter back at it.


It’s all about the UK this month as we are hosting the Olympics, celebrating Jamaica's independence in style, and to add a few more to the list.

On August 4th-5th the Sheftival kicks off in Sheffield, featuring Toots & the Maytals, Macka B, The Lightning Seeds, Dodgy, and The Beat. Check their website for full info

Then on August 12th-14th, we’ve got the One Love Festival in Kent, which is billed as the UK’s biggest reggae/dub. Check out their website for more details

And before you know it it will be time for the Europe’s biggest street party, the Notting Hill Carnival extravaganza on the bank holiday of August 26-27. Last year things were a bit subdued in the wake of the riots but this year I’ve got a feeling the whole party is gonna “tun up.” And remember it’s not just 2 days of street parties—we’ve also got the pre & post mash ups to look forward to. All the info you need can be found here:

If you are looking to venture out of the UK one of the biggest festivals of the year takes place in spain. The Rototom reggae festival takes place 16th-22nd August check out their website for all info


This year Jamaica is on the celebration tip. Sumfest was celebrating its 20th anniversary just ahead of the country's 50th anniversary of independence. This year Sumfest’s International night included international act TREY SONGZ, who did a great cover of the BOB MARLEY track 'Turn Your Lights Down Low'. And although R KELLY may have turned up an hour late, and dressed super casual in a pair of jeans and t-shirt, and was not helped by the fact he told the crowd to bear with him as he 'had been drinking on the beach all day” somehow Robert was able to pull off a great performance. He was on point with all the tracks and even got a little emotional when the audience sang all the lines to 'I Believe I Can Fly'. From where I was standing in the press pit I could hear Beenie Man belting the tune out in his thick Jamaican accent. Guess everybody was feeling Kells that night.

But of course the major highlight was the return of SHABBA RANKS, who had not performed in Jamaica for 11 years. JA was so excited to see the Dancehall Emperor he had a crazy turnout of people to see him arrive at Montego Bay airport. And when he took the stage at Reggae Sumfest he did not disappoint, thrilling the crowd with classics like 'Trailer Load of Girls' and 'Mr. Loverman'. Here’s what Shabba had to say straight off the stage:

See ya next month!

Words by Reshma B (@ReshmaB_RGAT)

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