Thursday, January 21, 2010

Classic Ragga Hip-Hop Mix

Ragga '92 Style: 
A Classic dancehall and Hip-Hop Radio Mix

Listen or download here.

In 1992 I was a few years into hosting Reggae Music Forward, a weekly reggae radio show on KXLU Los Angeles. The program focused on new dancehall and modern roots music, with some foundation and old cuts in thrown in as well. But 1992 was also a turning point for reggae in general; it was a peak moment of the newly ascendant dancehall era and major American labels had been on a dancehall and reggae artist signing binge for a few years. Tiger, Mad Cobra, Supercat, Shabba Ranks and others all cut major label deals and their music began being remixed and merged with other urban genres. 

Hence, a good portion of this broadcast features reggae-hip-hop remixes that were popular at the time. These tracks are mixed back to back, using the station’s rudimentary belt-drive Techniques turntables. The blends are not all perfect, but live mixing was an innovation back then, especially on college radio. 

The set was recorded to cassette and I have edited out the breaks and back announcing. I believe this set is a good representation of not only the prominent styles of the time, but also reggae's strong ties with hip-hop and vice-versa. It’s amazing to think that “Murder She Wrote” – which is possibly the world’s most recognizable dancehall anthem -- had only just come out. Bogle-dance rhythms like Shabba’s “Ting A Ling” were dominant. 

At the same time, roots singers like Cocoa Tea and Garnet Silk were starting to revive the dormant melodic reggae scene. All in all, this is a snapshot of ragga 92-style, blasting from the Los Angeles nighttime airwaves. I hope you enjoy this radio selections, and I plan to bring a few more from this era forward this year. [DJ Tomas, January 2010]

Ragga 92 Style – A Radio Mix Track Listing
Reggie Stepper – Soldierman
Buju Banton – Bring Yu Body Come
Cutty Ranks – Open Up
Apache Scratchy – Girls Look Good
Jamalski – Lets Do It In The Dancehall
Fu Schnickens – The Generals
Nubian Crackers – Two For The Time
Whorl’ A Girls – X-Amount
The Rhythmmasters – The Rush
The Ragga Twins + Navigator – Lock Up
Nicodemus – Ride In A Town
Chaka Demus & Pliers – Murder She Wrote
Skullman – Je t'aime
Delly Fresh – Ungrateful Lover
Cutty Ranks – A Who Say Mi Done
Chaka Demus & Pliers – The Boom
Shabba Ranks – Ting A Ling
Terror Fabulous – Satisfaction
Wayne Wonder – Heal The World
Sugar Black – Mama Africa
Cocoa Tea – Forward To Africa
Jack Radics – I’ll Be Sweeter
Freddie McGregor –Artebella
Wailing Souls – Shark Attack