Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Rap Discovers Reggae

Just got done listening to a new Junior Reid track "More Money" featuring Fat Joe -- the latest liaison between the roots reggae singer and a rap artist.

Reid was, of course, lucky enough to find himself limply singjayin' on Mims' "This Is Why I'm Hot" Remix. Lets just say that those past two outtings haven't been Reid's finest moments.


Reid has had a history of interesting cross-over albums including 1990's "Progress"( Big Life) -- featuring production from CJ Mackintosh , Coldcut and Richie Rich -- and '91's "Long Road" (Cohiba).

So this is nothing new, nor is hip-hop -- and now rap's symbiotic relationship with reggae. The mutual admiration really dates back to the mid-1940s when the signals of R&B radio stations from New Orleans and Miami could be picked up in Jamaica and elsewhere, and following WWII, the US experienced a Caribbean fascination of its own ala Harry Bellafonte.

There have been some very interesting under-the-radar rap-reggae combos of late:

Rsonist (of The Heatmakerz) "Revolution" (sampling Dennis Brown) --track by the Cam'Ron production associate.

RED 1 featuring Barrington Levy "No Fuss No Fight" --reminds me of Poor Righteous Teachers.

Foreign Mind feat. Milli d Don "Roll It" x-amounts of shouts to the "Dutty South."

Benisour "Shinning" feat Junior Reid -- one of the stronger club tracks, great production and lyrics.

Red Cafe feat. Mr. Easy "Children of the Ghetto" --mentioned in an earlier Forward post)

And of course New Yorker and Iranian b-boy K-Salaam's whole hip-hop/reggae album with Sizzla, Mos Def etc...has been shelved to be re-released later this year by VP Records.

So there it is -- a full-fleged renassaince of rap and raggae as a new generation discovers the power of cross-cultural collabos.