The month in Reggae & Dancehall...

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

Boy, what a month! With the JA Jubilee celebrations still ringing in people’s ears a well-deserved congrats to Jamaica for breaking the world record in the relays and taking home gold, silver, and bronze at the London Olympics. Apparently the party hasn't even started in Jamaica yet as they are still waiting for USAIN BOLT to return home - you already know this is going to be an all-nighta!

Caribbean cinema brings it to the UK. As the athletes step out the filmmakers step in to take over the city. The first weekend of september will see the UK debut of STORM SAULTER's critically acclaimed period piece Better Mus Come alongside the world premiere of Ring Di Alarm —a series of short film by 6 different directors. Here's the trailer:

Meanwhile, the Lost archives of Randy’s Studio 17 will be releasing some of its finds this November. BBC Radio 4's Front Row premiered a selection of what’s to come. Listen here.

SEAN PAUL's album 'Tomahawk Technique' is about to make its US release on 18th September (interview to follow). The Dutty boy has mixed up the flavour on his new album which has already seen releases in other countries. If you've been playing it already you'll know its an all round Dutty love—from signature sounds like 'Wedding Crashers' featuring FUTURE FAMBO to sweeter collabs like 'How Deep is Your Love' ft KELLY ROWLAND. But the one that gets the rewind is 'Got 2 Luv U' featuring ALEXIS JORDEN, which has already been dominating the airwaves. I reckon it might even make it as one of the carnival massive plays this year - got to hear that one all day!! And if that ain’t enough, then ladies start to form that queue cause Sean's coming to crash the carnival!

“You alone me ah start fe make you moan & groan''

Sean Paul - Got 2 Luv U Ft. Alexis Jordan

He has been off the grid for a while, but WAYNE WONDER is set to release 'My Way', his first new album in years on his own SingSo label. And judging by the singles we’ve heard so far it’s going to be another classic.

After trying the solo thing for a minute, MORGAN HERITAGE are releasing their new EP 'The Return'. My fave track has to be 'The Girl Is Mine.' With Morgan Heritage, sweet reggae music is always a family affair.

If you thought KONSHENS’ tune 'Gyal A Bubble' was hot, then be sure to download his new mixtape 'This Is Your Konshens' cause there’s plenty more heat where that came from.

And on the topic of mixtapes on the UK front THE HEATWAVE dropped a special one in keeping with the celebrations - 'Five MIllion Rewinds' – a mix showcasing 50 years of Jamaican rave music – check it out.

After kicking off the series of RespectJA50 concerts earlier this month at the Indig02, The Ghetto Youths International crew left the London massive singing along to a few tracks that are still on my personal repeat playlist. JR GONG headlined both nights along with his bros Julian & Stephen, but the rest of the camp made a big splash as well. WAYNE MARSHALL is a new addition to the GYI family (find out here how they got KARTEL to voice on his 'Go Hard' track), along with BLACK AM I, Stephen Marley’s son JOE MERSA & London’s own CHRISTOPHER ELLIS, who stormed the IndigO2 with a special appearance by GAPPY RANKS as they kicked it with 'Knock Knock Knocking' on the 'Jah Army riddim'. Mr. Ellis also performed a new track 'Don't Change Your Number' that’s been my lips ever since...

“Even though I’m gone from time to time, you’re always on my mind, don’t change your number... The time has passed me by, and you found some other guy, don’t change your number.”

Gaza's TOMMY LEE drops a track in honour of the man of the moment, USAIN BOLT. It’s called 'Psycho Bolt.' I think Tommy Lee is definitely carving out a very individual style and sound. There’s certainly nobody else in Dancehall who sounds quite like him. Gotta love that psycho stylee.

Finally, it might not be the official song for Jamaican Independence celebrations but JR GONG, TARRUS RILEY, WAYNE MARSHALL and TOK have their say on where they think the country is at with their new song 'Independence.' Reggae music is all about speaking your mind freely, and they’ve definitely done that on this tune—without any apology.

Summer’s not over yet, and the reggae riddims are coming fast and furious. One of my faves is Fresh Ear productions’ 'Eva Ready Riddim'. ASSASSIN kicks things off with 'Ever Ready Hot Girl' and CHARLY BLACK has a nice one with 'Close Wine', but the pick of the pack has to be TIFA with with 'Hot Gal Sit’n.' You already know - it’s all about the gals innit?

Adde Productions steps up with a nice warm & easy one drop track, aptly titled the 'Sweet Sounds Riddim'. Must be sumfing about the way CHRISTOPHER MARTIN sings about laying his lady down in 'White Sheets.' If you can’t feel that tune, then you’ve never been in love. The other baddest tune on this riddim is CECILE 'When Love Is Right'—with a title like that, how could she go wrong? Not to be outdone, STYLO G drops not one but two tracks on the riddim, 'Hustle Pon The Corner' and 'One One Coco' with HYA P. Looks like the UK Yardie’s working harder than ever.

Lastly, Dreday Productions gives up The 'Baddest Riddim', and yes the music lives up to the title. I’m feeling Aidonia's cut 'Militancy' as well as Kiprich's 'Wine Up' and newcomer BABY TASH, who gives up the 'Champion Bubble.'

Hopefully the heat wave lasts long enough to see us through the last bit of Summer and the Notting Hill Carnival this bank holiday Monday. Whatever the weather may be, you already know this year is gonna be fly! Seems like London has been the international hub over the last few weeks especially & the trend is sure to continue with DIPLO & MAJOR LAZER, SEAN PAUL, DRE SKULL are just some of the names flying in to join the party. West London Tun Up!

CHRISTOPHER ELLIS will be performing for one night only at London’s Jazz Cafe on September 1st. If you missed him at the indig02 then stop playing around and get your ticket.

JA fever continued on the other side of the pond as MAVADO electrified the audience at BET's 106 & Park performing his new song 'Suicidal Thoughts.' For the release of DJ KHALED's new album, Kiss The Ring, the whole WE THE BEST crew killed it on set. Trust & believe you could smell the testosterone.

Just before the big event RGAT caught up with the GULLY GAAD for a slam-dunk exclusive sit-down interview. He gave us the latest scoop on his movements with FRENCH MONTANA, FABOLOUS, BUSTA RHYMES, BIRDMAN, CRIS CAB, SNOOP LION - just to name a few. And that’s just scratching the surface! Probably the most surprising was when he bigged up the Werlboss. “Shout out to VYBZ KARTEL there in the pen. You done know freedom is a must.” Wow—didn’t expect that. Check out the full interview here.

See ya next month!

Words by Reshma B (@ReshmaB_RGAT)

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