Sunday, May 13, 2012

3 The Hard Way: Cutty, Vegas and Kabaka

Veteran DJ Cutty Ranks is back, and sounding strong as ever. His new song and video for "Full Blast" is a classic Cutty reflection on the state of crime and violence in Jamaica. The track features a well-built one-drop beat, which sees the formerly ragga-centric artist embracing reggae's traditional roots sound. He has a few other tracks that presage a new album dropping soon; get a taste of his new material here.

Speaking of veterans, Mr. Vegas releases an ambitious 2-CD set titled Sweet Jamaica (MV Music/VP Records) on May 29. The album is a well-timed run-up to Jamaica's 50th independence celebrations in August, as well as the London Olympics (July-August), an event that also shines a positive light on the island. Judging by advance press materials, it's going to be a great album, and the acrobatic and aerobic new video for "Bruk It Down" is already causing a stir.

As the press release explains: 

2012 is a milestone year not only for Jamaica, but also for international Jamaican reggae dancehall artist Clifford Smith, aka Mr Vegas (“I Am Blessed” “Heads High”). In the spirit of togetherness, Mr Vegas’s new album, ‘Sweet Jamaica’, set to release May 29 in digital and hard copy, unites reggae and dancehall in an unprecedented double-disc set. From 15 tracks of real roots reggae to 16 more of electrifying dancehall, ‘Sweet Jamaica’ is not only a complete listening experience, it’s a visual one too, just check the cover and album art done in retro event poster style. Including guest spots by Grammy winner Shaggy, roots standard bearer Luciano, the ‘General’ Josie Wales, Nadine Sutherland, sax maestro Dean Fraser and pop sensation Jovi Rockwell, the album presents a seamless mix of up-to-the-time dancehall foundation one drop hits and unreleased original interpretations of reggae classics (“Sweet & Dandy”, “You’ve Made Me So Very Happy”) and more. 
And lastly, Kabaka Pyramid's video for "Free From Chains" is out now. Catch it below and subscribe to his YouTube channel too!