Jamaica

SILVER FOX ARTIST PROFILE #18

Thugsy Malone

Jamaican dancehall artist Thugsy Malone is known for his ability to express a high standard of creativity in his music. Christened Donovan Drysdale in Kingston Jamaica, Thugsy grew up in 11 Miles Bull Bay, St Andrew and attended St Benedicts Primary School and then went on to Donald Quarrie High School. As a teen he migrated to the US where he continued his schooling at Prospect Heights High School in Brooklyn New York. Coming from a family that have a deep love for Reggae music, Thugsy would purchase records from his weekly allowance so that he could listen to dancehall reggae artists such as Shabba Ranks, Bounty Killer, Mad Cobra andBuju Banton.

He would then DJ on the instrumentals until he found the confidence and courage to begin competing in talent shows. After entering and winning quite a few of the contests his cousin suggested that he return to Jamaica and take his career seriously. After entering and winning quite a few of the contests he was encouraged return to Jamaica and start a career in music. In 2002 Thugsy Malone built a relationship with dancehall icon Bounty Killer, who worked with Thugsy (who was known at the time as BugsyMalone) and gave him the inside scoop of the music business. Bounty Killer eventually became Thugsy musical mentor teaching him how to approach the stage, deliver his music and introducing him to key figures in the reggae industry.

Most of Thugsy music at the time was hardcore dancehall but after his brother was killed he was inspired to pen the track Memories of a Gangster. Thugsy brother was not a gangster but Thugsy wanted to create a song that would appeal to a wide audience. This track was embraced by the people in the inner city but Thugsy could not get any airplay because he called names of Jamaican gangsters in the tune and the recording industry said it wasn’t fit for radio as it was sensationalizing criminals. So realizing that he needed radio love as well as love on the streets, Thugsy thought about the Icons of Reggae music who had paved the way for so many Reggae artists today and he wrote Memories of an Icon. The track most certainly has been embraced by radio and is currently the anthem song in the B.V.I. It is also being played in Virginia, NY, Florida and other popular radio station in Jamaica.

Throughout the strive to reach success, Thugsy Malone remains an untiring advocate of ambitious ghetto youths which led him to start one of his most recent project D.G.P DUTTY GHETTO PICKNEY which interacts with young men from his community and surroundings as well as the larger public that can relate via music and entertainment. Thugsy describes his new sound as hardcore dancehall with a more melodic style.

Thugsy Malone is currently Independent and is working hard in the studio with producers to be mentioned upon the release of future projects. There will also be a EP and singles which he says will be focused on good vibe and will surely be embraced by all.

Thugsy Malone Contact Information:

www.facebook.com/thugsymalone
thugsymalone@gmail.com
Barry Focus: 1-876-879-6612


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Thorpido

Thorpido

Marvin Lloyd Thorpe (born July 23, 1986), better known by his stage name *Thorpido. Thorpido *is a Jamaican Reggae Recording Artist & songwriter. He is best known for is Hit single *Teach them the way**,* which peak at # 1 on CVM TV Hit List video Chart. He is said to have taken his stage name from his surname. *Thorpido* was born in Kingston Jamaica. In 1991 he moves to Pembroke Hall St. Mary. At the age of nine while enrolled at Jeffery Town All Age school. He developed a passion for music while listening to the likes of Buju Banton, Capleton, and Bounty Killer. *Thorpido* would write songs consisting of four lines and sing aloud with his brothers.

He finished high school where he represents Tacky High in both football and cricket. From there then *Thorpido* continued his musical journey where in 2004 he started recording songs with his brothers and friends. His friend would use a cassette recorder to record his songs. These songs played in his community which enrolled him to perform at concerts.

By 2007* Thorpido* had written dozens of songs and had performed on stage shows. In 2010* Thorpido* released his first single, song titled *”Evil Deeds” *on the Assault riddim under the *Kaos Production Label*. He performed on *TVJ smile Jamaica roll out* and gets radio played also.

Thorpido releases other single Such as *Missing you*, *Love and let’s grow*, under The Kaos Production and Pic-Axe Production. Also *”Down in Jamaica”* on the Bitter Winds Riddim under *Doobie Sound*, a label from Sweden. Thorpido is upliting and teaching people through music across the world.

Facebook Page
https://twitter.com/ThorpidoThorpe


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Bob-Marley-dreadlocks-150x120

Bob Marley

Tom Hill

Reggae’s most transcendent and iconic figure, Bob Marley was the first Jamaican artist to achieve international superstardom, in the process introducing the music of his native island nation to the far-flung corners of the globe. Marley’s music gave voice to the day-to-day struggles of the Jamaican experience, vividly capturing not only the plight of the country’s impoverished and oppressed but also the devout spirituality that remains their source of strength. His songs of faith, devotion, and revolution created a legacy that continues to live on not only through the music of his extended family but also through generations of artists the world over touched by his genius.

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Robert Nesta Marley was born February 6, 1945, in rural St. Ann’s Parish, Jamaica; the son of a middle-aged white father and teenaged black mother, he left home at 14 to pursue a music career in Kingston, becoming a pupil of local singer and devout Rastafarian Joe Higgs. He cut his first single, “Judge Not,” in 1962 for Leslie Kong, severing ties with the famed producer soon after over a monetary dispute. In 1963 Marley teamed with fellow singers Peter Tosh, Bunny Livingston, Junior Braithwaite, Beverly Kelso, and Cherry Smith to form the vocal group the Teenagers; later rechristened the Wailing Rudeboys and later simply the Wailers, they signed on with producer Coxsone Dodd’s legendary Studio One and recorded their debut, “I’m Still Waiting.” When Braithwaite and Smith exited the Wailers, Marley assumed lead vocal duties, and in early 1964 the group’s follow-up, “Simmer Down,” topped the Jamaican charts. A series of singles including “Let Him Go (Rude Boy Get Gail),” “Dancing Shoes,” “Jerk in Time,” “Who Feels It Knows It,” and “What Am I to Do” followed, and in all, the Wailers recorded some 70 tracks for Dodd before disbanding in 1966. On February 10 of that year, Marley married Rita Anderson, a singer in the group the Soulettes; she later enjoyed success as a member of the vocal trio the I-Threes. Marley then spent the better part of the year working in a factory in Newark, DE, the home of his mother since 1963.

Youtube

Upon returning to Jamaica that October, Marley re-formed the Wailers with Livingston and Tosh, releasing “Bend Down Low” on their own short-lived Wail ‘N’ Soul ‘M label; at this time all three members began devoting themselves to the teachings of the Rastafari faith, a cornerstone of Marley’s life and music until his death. Beginning in 1968, the Wailers recorded a wealth of new material for producer Danny Sims before teaming the following year with producer Lee “Scratch” Perry; backed by Perry’s house band, the Upsetters, the trio cut a number of classics, including “My Cup,” “Duppy Conqueror,” “Soul Almighty,” and “Small Axe,” which fused powerful vocals, ingenious rhythms, and visionary production to lay the groundwork for much of the Jamaican music in their wake. Upsetters bassist Aston “Family Man” Barrett and his drummer brother Carlton soon joined the Wailers full-time, and in 1971 the group founded another independent label, Tuff Gong, releasing a handful of singles before signing to Chris Blackwell’s Island Records a year later.

1973′s Catch a Fire, the Wailers’ Island debut, was the first of their albums released outside of Jamaica, and immediately earned worldwide acclaim; the follow-up, Burnin’, launched the track “I Shot the Sheriff,” a Top Ten hit for Eric Clapton in 1974. With the Wailers poised for stardom, however, both Livingston and Tosh quit the group to pursue solo careers; Marley then brought in the I-Threes, which in addition to Rita Marley consisted of singers Marcia Griffiths and Judy Mowatt. The new lineup proceeded to tour the world prior to releasing their 1975 breakthrough album Natty Dread, scoring their first U.K. Top 40 hit with the classic “No Woman, No Cry.” Sellout shows at the London Lyceum, where Marley played to racially mixed crowds, yielded the superb Live! later that year, and with the success of 1976′s Rastaman Vibration, which hit the Top Ten in the U.S., it became increasingly clear that his music had carved its own niche within the pop mainstream.

As great as Marley’s fame had grown outside of Jamaica, at home he was viewed as a figure of almost mystical proportions, a poet and prophet whose every word had the nation’s collective ear. His power was perceived as a threat in some quarters, and on December 3, 1976, he was wounded in an assassination attempt; the ordeal forced Marley to leave Jamaica for over a year. 1977′s Exodus was his biggest record to date, generating the hits “Jamming,” “Waiting in Vain,” and “One Love/People Get Ready”; Kaya was another smash, highlighted by the gorgeous “Is This Love” and “Satisfy My Soul.” Another classic live date, Babylon by Bus, preceded the release of 1979′s Survival. 1980 loomed as Marley’s biggest year yet, kicked off by a concert in the newly liberated Zimbabwe; a tour of the U.S. was announced, but while jogging in New York’s Central Park he collapsed, and it was discovered he suffered from cancer that had spread to his brain, lungs, and liver. Uprising was the final album released in Marley’s lifetime — he died May 11, 1981, at age 36.

Posthumous efforts including 1983′s Confrontation and the best-selling 1984 retrospective Legend kept Marley’s music alive, and his renown continued growing in the years following his death — even decades after the fact, he remains synonymous with reggae’s worldwide popularity. In the wake of her husband’s passing, Rita Marley scored a solo hit with “One Draw,” but despite the subsequent success of the singles “Many Are Called” and “Play Play,” by the mid-’80s she largely withdrew from performing to focus on raising her children. Oldest son David, better known as Ziggy, went on to score considerable pop success as the leader of the Melody Makers, a Marley family group comprised of siblings Cedella, Stephen, and Sharon; their 1988 single “Tomorrow People” was a Top 40 U.S. hit, a feat even Bob himself never accomplished. Three other Marley children — Damian, Julian, and Ky-Mani — pursued careers in music as well.


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Flawless Snypa

Flawless Snypa

SFDC Media which comprises of Flyers & Tickets HQ, SFDC Radio, Silver Fox Promotions & MekAYaaD Promotions has endorsed Flawless Snypa.

Flawless Snypa

Flawless Snypa started his career in his early 20’s in 1998 with his first recording “Could neva be ur Style”, using the moniker “Flawless Snypa”, a homage to a movie which changed his life views on how to appeal to his fans with his unique and hardcore lyrics and melodies that will connect to every age group.

Jennings was later part of the group “Hitsquadd”, however, left to pursue his solo career and now has written and recorded countless hits and has shared the stage with other established artists in the industry.

Flawless Snypa rose to prominence in 90’s after a string of dancehall clash wins in club Act 3 in the Bronx, New York City. The year culminated with several stage shows in the Tri – State area. In the midst of Flawless Snypa’s hype he went to college where he successfully got his bachelors in Business Management.

Flawless Snypa

The artist came smashing back on the scene in 2014 with his hit Money Up released on the Mr. Tod Five Star Muzik net, shortly after recording the song he then incorporated the young and talent Paradotic Phoenix Team to shoot the video which soon gave popularity to the song.

Keep expecting the unexpected from Flawless Snypa.


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SILVER FOX ARTIST PROFILE #13

Bramma

When he first emerged on the local Dancehall music scene back in 2004 he was still in school and called him self ‘Sinister.’  He was introduced by a close friend to an industry personnel to “make things happen”, but he was still in school about to sit his final year exams.  He was advised to “finish up, complete the exams and return” he did just that and more determined than he ever was.

Lloyd Brammer grew up in Maxfield Gardens, one of Kingston’s toughest communities. He attended one of Kingston’s prominent traditional schools, Calabar High.  There Brammer spent much of his spare time entertaining his school mates free styling to rhythmic sounds they created from hitting the top of a desk with the hand.  One of his very good friend at school who believed in him and lived within close proximity of the home/office of one leading entertainment companies in Kingston where artistes such as Bounty Killer his then role model, spent most of his days, took him to meet Bounty Killer.  Brammer wanted a piece of the Dancehall entitlement, he wanted a break and this would have been his very first meaningful effort.  Visiting the offices of Solid Agency where he hoped to meet the head of that company, Bramma instead met Ms. Sharon Burke’s Assistant, Sophia McKay.  Brammer was still in school and had his final year exams coming up and was advised by Sophia to complete the exams and return; This he did and subsequent to that Sophia McKay became his manager. Young to the business and without a song Bramma’s first challenge was to get recorded. He was introduced to the Leftside and Esco duo, producers/djs who decided that then stage name ‘Sinister,’ sounded a bit off, and called him ‘BRAMMA.’

April 2005, Bramma’s music first hit the Dancehall scene in Miami which became one of the first places young Bramma got some love. His manager who had gone there to work for Togetherness Records and with the assistance of a dj called Shams from that camp launched the promotional campaign. The internet also became an excellent medium from which to network; so they made good of the opportunities created hitting sound system and radio djs far and wide. It worked! Daddy English of Benevolent International in the United Kingdom and Jan Haze from Sensi Movement in Germany are just two of the many djs that assisted in creating an underground base in certain Dancehall saturated UK and Europe markets. The feedback was encouraging but back home, BRAMMA was still unknown.

In 2006, and the Bramma was not getting enough studio time to record it was a challenging time plus personal family issues that involved the death of a loved one took a toll on young Bramma and his mother, Myrna Brammer. Through it all, the young deejay held on to his dream. Management had returned to Jamaica and the Marley/Sophia/Bramma team reunited and hit the streets in an effort to get the attention of the Jamaican audience. It was during this time that Marley’s family moved to a new address in Kingston, close in proximity to the studios of Big Ship. On one of his visits to Marley’s, BRAMMA met Steven McGregor.  Steven worked with Bramma and his crew, both were young and eager to make music.  Bramma’s first official recording was on what could have been Steven’s first official production, called the ‘Cartoon rhythm.’ The experience was great, young Bramma nurtured his craft at Big Ship, there he learnt much and had come to know and respect the head of the Ship, Freddie McGregor who motivated and encouraged him to work on his craft while reminding him that only good music last forever.

BRAMMA spent many nights in Big Ship studios not wanting to be left off a new rhythm or because it was too late to go home, he had no transportation.  Steven’s credibility grew with his innovativeness so when the young producer created the, Powercutt riddim, a young dj, hungry for a break, brought to life the very first track that created his first official buzz within the local industry, the track was called Last Man Standing.” The track got much attention as it had come during a time when all hell broke loose between Vybz Kartel and the Bounty Killer lead Alliance.  Vybz Kartel broke away from Bounty Killer’s Alliance group to form his own and many artistes started taking sides.  Many artistes except BRAMMA, who though had been approached to join a particular side refused and made it known with his shot at the riddim. He held his own, stood his ground and vowed that at the end of the war he would be the “Last Man Standing”.

While the song created an impact on the industry and prompt Bramma to create other war type tracks which was good for making money from dubplates, Bramma’s team decided that it was too early in his career to create limits as to what he was able to do. He wanted to explore Reggae and Dancehall and this he made known when he released another attention grabber track called, ‘Heading to the Top’, on the Party rhythm produced by Steven McGregor.  The buzz began in Jamaica but the feedback on the outside was even greater, a follow up video helped ‘stepped things up a notch’ and success looked inevitable.  Early 2007 Bramma met Jordan McClure of Chimney Records another young producer and recorded his first single.  The track entitled, “Value of a Lady” gave Bramma his first major international buzz. Bramma made a full page feature in the November 2007 issue of Riddim Magazine, which is by far, the most important magazine with a worldwide readership, published both in a German version released across Germany, Switzerland and Austria. An agreement between Bramma’s management and the magazine’s Pete Lilly, saw to the distribution of bonus copies of Value of a Lady on cd and included in the issue hit stands worldwide. December 2008, Bramma did his first individual tour of Europe.  He performed in Amsterdan, Rotterdam in Holland, Cologne, Bon Germany and Berlin in Germany and France before returning to Jamaica to perform on STING dubbed the greatest one night Reggae/Dancehall show on earth.

2008 ended well for the artiste, fresh off a European tour, great reviews from his STING performance in several local newspaper and nominated in the category of Best New Artiste for the 2008 EME Awards in Kingston. The buzz had started looking positive in Jamaica. The vibe was good as he started recording with several other producers and released numerous tracks that impacted the local scene.  These included tracks such as “Its Wat Eva”, ‘Why’ and Guided by the Masta produced by Steven McGregor, Daggaration on Beauty and the Beast rhythm, Whine on Wire Waist rhythm and a slew of other tracks and singles by various producers

Around 2009, Bramma signed a management contract with Steven McGregor. Both accomplished much; Bramma performed across Europe, Canada, Africa and the United States while he continued putting out music that have impacted different regions across the Reggae/Dancehall music scope. Summer 2012, Bramma signed a second management agreement between S-Lock Entertainment and Steven McGregor.  S-Lock Entertainment a London base company with a base in Jamaica identified Bramma as a potential Reggae/Dancehall star hence their interest in undertaking certain “management aspect” of his career.  Moving forward, touting a new slogan, ‘Bramma Da Gorilla‘ that best identifies his Dancehall persona, S-Lock Entertainment and Steven McGregor now look forward to putting out Bramma’s debut album early 2013. While Bramma’s work on the album, he is preparing for his third European tour scheduled for January 2013 with his Big Ship crew.

https://www.facebook.com/bramma.d.gorilla

https://twitter.com/Bramma1


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SILVER FOX ARTIST PROFILE #14

IjahBollyn

The parish of Portland on the beautiful island Jamaica, was blessed to produce a musical genius in the late 50s by the name Bollyn Thompson. He grew up with his aunt and spent his early life in rural Portland and attended school in the Mount Pleasant community then after migrating to the United States of America, attended the Miami Dade Community College to learn the proficiency of music.

In 1979, Bollyn going by the alias IjahBollyn produced his own song, thus the year he officially became a recording artiste and producer. IjahBollyn was chosen by music and not the other way around as he normally says. He was motivated and mentored by the likes of; LUCKY DUBE, ALPHA BLONDY, JACOB MILLER, BOB MARLEY, BARRY DUFFAE from RIPPIT RECORDS, engineer and producer STEPHEN STANLEY, producer COMPUTER PAUL, engineer ANDY CARR, engineer BUNNY TOM TOM and GARRY JONES of HIPASIDE RECORDS.

Bollyn looks up to; Smokey Robinson of Motown Records and Chris Blackwell of Island and Sony Records as people of motivation and great music status.
IjahBollyn’s first notable project was the remix of Reggie Stepper’s album 1999-2000. Involved in this project were; Clay D, Reggie Stepper, Barry Duffae, and Stephen Stanley who all made it a success. His most recent album BREAK THE CHAINS was produced by Triple Platinum Productions and Hipaside Records in Jamaica; the promotion is ongoing to strengthen the success of the new release. IjahBollyn’s most successful project to date though is BAD GIRL done by Etana, Jamaica’s reggae princess. It also appeared as a background song in the movie G starring Blair Underwood. There has been financial and emotional difficulties plus some personal issues that delayed some of these processes and achievements but, Ijah was always able to overcome with the help of the most high to which he gives the highest credit for his success. Also being credited are, Vince McCartney of Compass Point studio, Chris Blackwell and Stephen Stanley.

IjahBollyn is a stern, honest, loyal, royal and fair individual who is striving for the best in life as we all should so look out

https://www.facebook.com/IjahbollynSongs

https://twitter.com/IJahBollyn


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SILVER FOX ARTIST PROFILE #15

Bounty Killer

Bounty Killer (born Rodney Basil Price June 12, 1972 in Kingston, Jamaica) is a Jamaican reggae and dancehall deejay. He is the founder of a dancehall collective, known as The Alliance.

EARLY LIFE AND CAREER

Price moved to Kingston at an early age, along with his mother his siblings. His father owned and ran the Black Scorpio sound system and Price started his musical career as a sound system deejay in his early teens. At the age of 14, Price was shot by a stray bullet during a gunfight between rival political factions, and while convalescing in hospital decided on the name Bounty Killer. After recovering, he increased his performances on a greater number of sound systems, and turned his attention towards recording.

1990s

During the early 1990s, Price was encouraged recorded at King Jammy’s studio in Kingston. Price eventually recorded with King Jammy, the first session being in Spring 1992. One of his first tunes was the “Coppershot”, which Jammy was unwilling to release due to its lyrics glorifying gun culture. Jammy’s brother Uncle T disagreed and released the single himself; it became a hit in Jamaica and was heard by New York-based Johnny Wonder, who instantly recognized the potential of its appeal to the urban markets Stateside.

In 1993, Price performed at the annual hardcore festival Sting held in the days after Christmas. He and singer Merciless got into a fist fight on stage during the Sting festival in 1997, and Price made headlines throughout Jamaica for the rivalry with Beenie Man; both claim that the other has stolen his act. They settled their differences after both realized the negative effect their feud was having on the industry.

He increased control over his output in 1995 by leaving Jammy and setting up his own Scare Dem Productions company and Priceless Records label.

During the 1990s, Price voiced for several producers and labels in Jamaica, releasing songs such as “Defend the Poor”, “Mama”, “Book, Book, Book”, “Babylon System” and “Down in the Ghetto”. At about this time, he became known in USA and in Europe, recording with such artists as Busta Rhymes, [No Doubt], Masta Killa, The Fugees, Wyclef Jean, Mobb Deep, Capone-N-Noreaga, Swizz Beatz and AZ.

In the mid-1990s, he began releasing albums, with four released in 1994. His 1996 album My Xperience was hugely successful, spending six months on the Billboard reggae chart.

In 1998, contributed the song “Deadly Zone” to the album Blade: Music from and Inspired by the Motion Picture.

Price has expressed disdain for popular rap, which he called “embarrassing to reggae,” even while collaborating with Wu Tang Clan, Mobb Deep and others he considers hardcore.

2000s

In 2001, Price collaborated with No Doubt on their single “Hey Baby”. Further success followed with albums such as Ghetto Dictionary Volume I: Art of War and Ghetto Dictionary Volume II: Mystery, the latter receiving a Grammy nomination. In 2006, he signed with VP Records and released the compilation album Nah No Mercy – The Warlord Scrolls on November 7, 2006. He has been credited with having inspired many young artists such as Vybz Kartel, Mavado and Elephant Man and several other members of The Alliance.

In 2003, Price canceled two of his concerts after the LGBT magazine Outrage! petitioned Scotland Yard for his arrest, claiming that the homophobic content of his lyrics — including four songs about killing gays — would incite violence and harassment against the gay community.

PERSONAL LIFE

Price was arrested twice at the annual Reggae Sumfest: he was arrested but not charged in a 2001 altercation with another performer and arrested and charged in 2008 for using profanity during his performance. He was also arrested in February 3, 2009 after allegedly running seven traffic lights in Kingston, Jamaica and charged with refusal to take a breathalyzer test and disobeying red lights.

Price was arrested by police in June 2006 and charged with assaulting the mother of his child. According to the Jamaica Star, “The complainant was allegedly punched in the face several times, dragged some distance away and her head slammed into a wall.”

Bounty Killer was arrested on Monday, April 5, 2010 in relation to an alleged assault on a girlfriend. He is scheduled to be arraigned on April 7, 2010.

Discography
Albums

* Roots, Reality & Culture (VP Records) (1994)
* Jamaica’s Most Wanted (Greensleeves Records) (1994)
* Guns Out (Greensleeves Records) (1994)
* Face to Face (VP Records) (1994)
* Down in the Ghetto (Greensleeves Records) (1994)
* No Argument (Greensleeves Records) (1995)
* My Xperience (VP Records/TVT Records) (1996)
* Ghetto Gramma (Greensleeves Records) (1997)
* Next Millennium (VP Records/TVT Records) (1998)
* 5th Element (VP Records) (1999)
* Ghetto Dictionary – The Mystery (VP Records) (2002)
* Ghetto Dictionary – The Art of War (VP Records) (2002)
* Nah No Mercy – The Warlord Scrolls (VP Records) (2006)

EPs

* Raise Hell on Hellboy (PayDay Music Group) (2009)

Singles
US singles
Year Title Chart Positions Album
Hot 100 US R&B/Hip-Hop
2005 “P.S.A. B.K. 2004” (feat. Jay-Z) – 75 –
2002 “Guilty” (Swizz Beatz feat. Bounty Killer) – – Presents G.H.E.T.T.O. Stories
2001 “Hey Baby” (No Doubt feat. Bounty Killer) 5 – Rock Steady
1997 “Hip-Hopera” (feat. Fugees) 81 54 My Xperience

https://www.facebook.com/BountyKillerDancehallLivingLegend

https://twitter.com/GrungGaadZillA


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SILVER FOX ARTIST PROFILE #16

I Wayne

Roots and culture artists have long been a constant in Jamaica, from the influence of legends like Bob Marley to conscious dancehall singers like Garnet Silk. However, in the summer of 2004 a new and powerfully distinct voice emerged on the reggae music scene. With a fresh timbre, substantive lyrics, and a passionate performance, this singer almost single handedly led a new wave of roots and culture reggae music that swept the island of Jamaica.

I Wayne, born Cliffroy Taylor in the working class Kingston suburb of Portmore, Jamaica, officially hit the international scene with his #1 hit “Can’t Satisfy Her,” the first track by a cultural reggae artist to be added to Hot 97 in New York, a station noted for its hip hop preference. The tune then caught on in several markets and spent over 22 weeks on the Billboard Hip Hop/R&B Hot 100 chart. I Wayne followed up that firey description of a desperate Jamaican reality comprised of prostitution, poverty, and sexually transmitted diseases with “Living in Love” on the Stephen Gibbs and Errol Thompson-produced Hard Times riddim (VP2272).

It may seem as if I Wayne suddenly burst onto the scene, but the 28 year old has been refining his craft since age 7. Coming from a musical family, it’s not surprising that I Wayne’s first performance venture with local group Vibes Machine took place when he was a student at Greater Portmore High School. The collective of singers and DJs performed at afterwork parties held at popular Kingston clubs like Cactus and Asylum, until one night, when his bandmates were late, and I Wayne was forced to take the stage alone. The response was tremendous, so he perfected his solo act, incorporating his keen appreciation for singers like Sade, Bob Marley, Dennis Brown, Marcia Griffiths, Beres Hammond, and Sizzla Kalonji, into his developing style and honing his craft by chanting DJ style with local sound systems like Diamond Cruise and The Legend, as well as performing at Garveymeade, an annual Portmore event held on December 24th for the past 10 years.

His distinctively fluid yet controlled vocals won him a record deal with VP Records in 2004, and his debut album, “Lava Ground,” hit stores in the summer of 2005. It yielded two hit singles, “Can’t Satisfy Her” and “Living in Love,” as well as the critically praised title track. Slipping and sliding through the higher notes of the scales with a jazz singer’s assurance and a reggae chanter’s rough-riding rhythmic sensibilities, I Wayne’s meteroic rise and his lyrical gift for piercing the veils that cloak Babylonian hypocrisies sparked a new wave of enthusiasm among the industry for this young generation of roots and culture singers and songwriters and eager anticipation for his second set, The Book of Life (releasing November 6).

This time around, a set of spare, light-as-air roots instrumentals, produced by the finest of Jamaica’s young mixing board talents, provides an elegant showcase for I Wayne’s even more dazzling singing/chanting, richer melodies, and more penetrating lyrics. Says Neil Edwards, the project’s executive producer, “For the past year, a lot of artists have been glorifying death and destruction, so I Wayne flipped that and focused on life.”

Where many are didactic and full of condemnation, this time around, I Wayne simply wants to remind listeners of an essential truth—that life is a gift for which we can be grateful. “I just praise life, just deal with it naturally,” says I Wayne. “There’s nothing wrong with praising the sun, moon and stars and the wind, and all that create balance. Life is love and love is life.”

The philosophy may seem simple yet “Life’s” topical range—I Wayne’s detailing of where natural balance has been lost—is typically far-reaching and deep. He covers domestic violence in “Jealousy and Abuse” (featuring the great Lady G); male and female intimacy in “Need Her in I Arms”; and wordwide divisions and anarchy in “Politics and Religion.” The title track, which is the CD’s first single, provides an overview of the set, expressing everything I Wayne has learned in his 28 years of life and his desire to share his experience—a glowing example of the personal rendered universal. This uniquely positive worldview comes across most clearly in “Life Is Easy,” in which I Wayne flips the script on reggae’s usual recounting of the suffera’s trials by reminding listeners that the way out of suffering is to give thanks for the blessings nature gives us.

“Just appreciate life as it is and praise it,” he explains. “I’m against anyone who wants to change that. When one wants to tear up the Book of Life, they mess with the elements, the universe. Scientists are killing to make millions and giving false information. Just love life as it as it is and don’t try to destroy. We need to care for life more. We can’t have too much love for material because then we disregard life. I’m trying to keep it simple and real, just sharing some of what life has taught I. I’m not hear to force anyone but to share some of life’s knowledge–just being ‘naturous’.”

https://www.facebook.com/OfficialIWayne

https://twitter.com/realiwayne


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