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Lila Ike Pon Dem

Welcome, welcome, welcome! Have you experienced the gem that is Lila Ike? Yes? No? Well, either way, grab your favourite pair of earphones and let’s dive into sweet reggae bliss. Follow mi now…

I first encountered Lila at Heart in the Art a little over a year ago. Royal Blu called her on stage to perform their song “Believe” and introduced her as his favourite songbird. What a girl can sing. Mi seh, she coulda sing about a potato and her voice woulda still be captivating.

lila

She’s a heck of a writer too! Dreamchasers everywhere can find her first single “Biggest Fan” relatable, I beg yuh check it out fi mi deh This song tells the story of Lila’s mother’s hesitation towards allowing her to pursue a career in music and shows how her mother eventually became her biggest supporter.

Now, let’s take a minute to discuss her most recent release, “Gotti Gotti”.

 

If you have made it this far in life without your granny saying “Wanty-wanty nuh getty and getty-getty nuh wanty” then you need to hit the re-do button, because you did life wrong. The proverb essentially means that those with the greatest need never get the things they want and those with an abundance no longer see or appreciate the value of their possessions. Ovas? Good!

In the song, Lila Ike says: “You gotti-gotti but yuh eva wah wah.” She puts her twist on the above proverb to highlight the greed that plagues Jamaica. “Gotti Gotti”, in a nutshell, brings to the surface the tactics used by the wealthy to keep their pockets fat whilst selfishly disregarding the needs of the poor. When Lila says: “When yuh flossin’ wid yuh bloodymoney roun’ di nation” she hints at the corruption in the country while she simultaneously tips her hat to her mentor, Protoje.

Speaking of Mr. Ancient Future, this song shows us exactly why Lila Ike is a part of the Indiggnation Collective. Indignation means anger that is provoked by unjust treatment and with “Gotti Gotti” Lila Ike drape up Babylon ganzie good and propa. Well done!

I can’t wait to hear more magic from Lila and her team. Singles, EP, mixtape or album, sen’ dem all because di fan dem ready! Until then, listen to all of the above songs, lemme know what you think and I’ll see you next time.

Photo Credit: Universal Reggae

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Truths & Rights

Protoje had been hinting that new music was coming our way for a while and this week he finally fulfilled his promise. On Tuesday, he tweeted that he would make a link to his new song available on Soundcloud until midnight. Unfortunately, I didn’t see his tweet until the next morning. Mi seh mi did vex! My anger was short-lived though because on Wednesday evening, Diggy went live on Instagram and mi did deh-deh pon mi yiylash. Following the live stream, his new song “Truths & Rights” was made available on Soundcloud. Check it out!

The song was produced by Winta James and is on a riddim that one can’t help but skyank to. At first, it seems simple, but there are so many things happening that each time I listen to it, I hear something new. For example, it wasn’t until my 20th time listening that I noticed a group of people having a discussion in the background of the intro. Mi nuh know a how mi did miss dat! Then there is the trumpet solo at the end that seal di message while adding nice flare to the song. Time and time again Winta manages to find the sweet spot between the riddim and the lyrics as through it all,  he makes it clear that the lyrics are the main focus . Big up yuhself every time Winta!

You remember how every time Katz from Courage the Cowardly Dog appeared in the series, he had his own theme song? Well, every time I see Protoje now, I’m going to hear the “Truths & Rights” dub playing in my head. Why? Because the song embodies the musician’s mission. Protoje has been promoting new and young creatives from photographers, to artists, to musicians , to bloggers for as long as I can remember; this song was just his way of letting his fans know that he didn’t plan on stopping any time soon. He will continue to give a voice to those who have the most to say but are constantly overlooked “until the day that his soul takes flight.” Diggy, we hear you loud and clear!

Yes, we know from long time seh Protoje a big bad awtiste, so right now I want to bring some attention to Mortimer.  I first heard him in “Protection” on Ancient Future where he more than proved his vocal abilities with a chilling chorus. In “Truths & Rights” he sings the chorus and parts of the second verse and every time I listen to it, I find myself looking forward to hearing him.  Unnu hear how di man voice sound sweet? Mortimer’s voice is smooth like honey with an underlying hint of raspiness that gives the song an added edge. I’m looking forward to hearing more solo projects from him. Him get di Lexxi Stamp of Approval, him a guh far! 

Well, that’s all for now friends, but hopefully you won’t have to wait long for the next review. That’s right! Protoje says new music from Lila Ike and Sevana will be coming soon and you can rest assured that as dem drop, mahguh let you know weh mi think.

 

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Jamaicans Know How fi Live

I guess I’m feeling a bit homesick today, so I’ve been daydreaming about the wonderful summer vacation I had. Can’t wait til I’m back home!


This summer, my mom, my dad, a couple of good friends and I loaded into the car and set off on a journey across Jamaica. Our destination was Boardwalk Village for the tday.tmrw concert featuring Protoje, Sevana and Runkus. We left home at noon, and arrived in Ocho Rios at about 2. We splashed around for a bit at Dunn’s River, did touristy things, had lunch and then we embarked on the second leg of our trip. Next stop, Negril! *cue music*

Yo, Negril far enuh! We were in the car for 3 hours straight and it did feel like wi neva wudda reach. We made it to the concert just in time to see the first act, Runkus, take the stage and it was a fantastic show but that’s not really what this post is about. The day after the concert, we become full-fledged grung tourists. I had only been to Negril once when I was 5 and after the long ass car ride, I don’t think I’ll be back anytime soon so I had to make the most of it.

Every stop we made reminded me; Jamaicans know how fi live! We are a resilient people and that is what this post is about.

7 Mile Beach, Negril

First up was the craft vendor on the 7 mile Beach. So we were walking along minding our business when this man walks up to my father and says: “Long time mi nuh see yuh!” Mind you they had never met before so technically he was right. The man then guides us to a shady spot and starts promoting his friendship bracelets.

Friends, I kid you not, two seconds into our conversation I looked down on my wrist and one of his bracelets was on me. When I looked back up he was asking me for money. I forgot the word no existed. I paid the man his money and four months later, as I sit here typing, I still don’t know how the bracelet ended up on my wrist. But eh, artisans haffi mek a money too and dis man, did know how fi live.

Middle Quarters, St. Elizabeth

Now you can’t pass through St.Bess without stopping at Middle Quarters for peppa shrimp. Our car pulled up on the roadside and they were off! There was a mad dash to the car and hands holding bags of shrimp poked into our window.

Da one ya fi ‘undred 

Then our minds had to work overtime to connect that voice to one of the ten hands in front of us. Oh the chaos! I LOVE IT! So then we tried to support everyone but there was only so much cash. We had to tell someone no 😦

Yuh really nah buy from me? An’ a me run di hardes’? Mi all nearly jap

We’ll carry more money next time, but I’m not worried because the vendors at Middle Quarters all know how fi live. I mean seriously, dem run afta speedin’ cyar like dem tink dem a iron man.

Melrose Hill, Manchester

Somewhere between St. Bess and Manchester a hell rain did buss. Mi seh ,wi drop inna one pothole crater that was masked by the rainwater and di drop did sound expensive. Brejin, mi neva know pothole cudda mek suh. But I digress.

Because it was raining so heavily, we thought our stop at Melrose Hill would have been much more tame than our Middle Quarters stop.

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People ran out balancing bwail cawn, roast cawn, roast yam, saltfish , juice and dem umbrella! The vendors at Melrose hill know that come rain or shine money haffi mek! Dem know how fi live!

Times are hard but day in day out my people are doing what they have to to keep food on the table. So if you’re a DJ, musician, artisan, vendor, lawyer, doctor, student, electrician, whatever it is, keep putting in the hard work! Why? Because, Jamaicans know how fi live.

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Live from Kingston

The original Bongo Crew consisted of myself and my three friends Autumne (Tummy), Rashida (Shida) and Minkah. All of the original members are still present but the group has definitely increased in size. Since my last year of high school, Abbey, Denni, Shanice and Shantel have joined the crew. It just goes to show that music is a universal language that brings together people from all walks of life.

All of us, with the exception of Minkah, went to Live from Kingston at Hope Gardens on Saturday December 20. Rashida, Autumne, Denni and I got to the venue at the same time. Shanice and Abbey arrived shortly after us but Shantel didn’t arrive until after the show started. By the time we entered the venue a decent crowd had already formed. We opted to stay at the front so that we could interact with the musicians as they did their thing on the stage. Although there were no barriers, the audience naturally formed about two metres away from the stage. This all changed when Jason, the owner of Base Kingston and co-organiser of the event, came on stage and emphasised there were no barriers for a reason. He invited us to come closer and we eagerly obliged.f The newly evolved Bongo Crew stood so close to the stage that we could lean on the speakers for support.

The event stared at around 8.30pm without a hitch when Runkus, also known as Paula’s Son took the stage. The 20 year old walked onstage with his little brother who doubled as his flagman for the night. His set was energetic from the beginning to the end. In between songs the sound technicians would play pre-recorded audio of what I assumed was his mother either speaking highly of her son or inquiring whether or not he did his chores. This helped lighten the mood and aided in transitioning between songs of different tempos. Although this was the first time I was hearing most of his songs I could not help being drawn into his performance. His set tackled topics of love and politics with powerful and witty lyrics. I can definitely see a bright future ahead of this young act.

The thing about live music is that band changes are a must. The MC for the night, Donisha Prendergast (Bob Marley’s granddaughter) came onstage to help kill time. After what felt like forever the audience was finally able to welcome the Beautiful and talented Sevana. She opened with what she called her sob story (I cant remember the title :(). It was a song that told of the struggles she faced growing up. She then put all sadness aside as she dived into her line-up of love songs. She did a cover of Bob Marley’s Satisfy My Soul and two of her original songs ‘Chant It’ and ‘Bit Too Shy’. She glided around the stage in a white mini dress and a fabulous pair of tan heels. Her set was short and sweet and she certainly left the audience wanting more.

After another band change a group I have seen perform a million times came on stage. No Maddz have created a new genre of music which they call Bongo Music (They were the inspiration of the name ‘Bongo Crew because our outings started because we would go places just because they were performing). No Maddz are dub poets with a twist and their performance could go from comedic to serious to romantic in a matter of seconds. No matter how many times I’ve seen them perform, each performance is different and even if they perform the same songs over and over there is bound to be some adjustment that makes each time different. Despite technical difficulties which delayed their performance this group kept the audience moving. They performed new songs like ‘Shotta’ and ‘Romance’ as well as old songs like ‘Ganja Stain’. The Bongo Band  closed their performance with the crowd favourite, ‘Rise Above Profanity (Poo Puku Poo)’.

No Maddz (From Left: Birdeye, Sheppie, Onie P, Evie)

No Maddz (From Left: Birdeye, Sheppie, Onie P, Evie)

Next to take the stage was Kabaka Pyramid. This man is a lyrical genius. He too juggled topics of love, romance and politics. The crowd stood in silence as they listened keenly to how he twisted and morphed words to suit whichever purpose he chose. Words were his weapon and the audience would erupt in cheers as he cut away at the social, political and economic issues which plagued the island. He held his audience’s attention from beginning to end. His band, the Bebble Rockers aren’t to be forgotten as without them, Kabaka’s set would not have been as effective. Their playing was on point! I really am glad that they’re finally getting the recognition they deserve.

Kabaka Pyramid :)

Kabaka Pyramid 🙂

Protoje was the last performer for the night. He expressed how glad he was to be back home after spending such a long time on tour and then he jumped right into his performance. He sang songs like Rasta Love and Arguments from his first album, Who Dem a Program and Hail Rastafari from his second album and Styling and Resist No Evil from his yet to be released third album. He gazed into the audience in amazement as we sang his songs word for word. Before finishing his set he called onstage the guest artiste of the night, Chronixx. The two sang their song ‘Who Knows’ after which Kabaka Pyramid came and sang ‘Mi Alight’ with Chronixx. They thanked us all for coming out and showing our support and just like that a wonderful show came to an end at 2am.

Protoje

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From left: Chronixx, Kabaka Pyramid, Protoje

Thanks for stopping by!

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