IS HIPHOP REGGAE REALLY DEAD???
Does anybody listen to reggae music anymore? Has urban radio finally committed a musical homicide? Hmmmm? Hip-House hasn't been seen since 1989, so has hiphop reggae suffered the same fate! Personally, when I think of reggae music in general, two artists come to mind right off the back! They are Bob Marley and Shabba Ranks! Bob Marley is like the father of the whole reggae music movement in my eyes. Bob Marley is a legend that deserves his respect, not only for his musical genius, but for his revolutionary consciousness as well! I don't think anyone will ever have the effect that Bob Marley has had on this genre of music. Not comparing the two, but Shabba Ranks (a.k.a Mr. Loverman) also did a lot for reggae music's emergence in the United States. He took the meaning of success in reggae music to another level. Shabba's music was getting much airplay on the radio and video shows on BET. His sexually charged lyrics made most women blush, and made the men hold their women just a little bit tighter? "Wicked In The Bed" is still a Shabba Rank's classic! Mr. Loverman made reggae seem cool, which opened up the doors for other reggae artists to get their chance to capitalize, and created opportunities for collaborations with major artists from other genres of music. Shabba was the rude buoy of the day back in the 90's dropping hit after hit!
While Bob Marley was being a revolutionary, and Shabba was singing about his trailer of girls, there was another rude buoy that was hard at work trying to make his nitch in the reggae game as well. His name was Super Cat a.k.a Wild Apache a.k.a The Don Dada! Super Cat is from the streets of Kingston, Jamaica, and he was already making noise in the music industry back in the late 80's. But, it wasn't until the early 90's when he made his presence felt in the United States. Did you know that Super Cat was the first reggae artists that used a sample for a reggae record? Now, it's very common to hear samples in reggae tracks these days! He is the true father of the hiphop reggae genre of music as we know it today! Not just because he was the first reggae artist to collaborate with a well known hiphop artist, but it's the way his urban sound revolutionized the music itself! Super Cat's grimey-smooth riddums just meshed perfectly with any hiphop beat. Plus, he's worked with some of the top hiphop artists from back in the 90's like Method Man, Biggie Smalls, Heavy D, Puff Daddy & Kriss Kross (remember them). That's not to mention all of the countless remixes that he's been apart of.
Soon after the flooding of the industry by other reggae artists like Buju Banton, Born Jamericans, Beenie Man & Mega Banton trying to capitalize on this new genre of music in the mid 90's, Super Cat's presence was less dominant? These cookie-cutter reggae artists were dropping songs left and right, which saturated the industry with mediocre material (in some cases)! Don't you hate when that happens?? Super Cat also had a run-in with the law that almost ended his music career, when he was suspected of murdering another reggae artist by the name of Nitty Gritty in New York City? He was never charged for the murder, but it did hamper him from making music for a while. In 1997, Super came back hard with a hit collabo with the group Sugar Ray called, "Fly." The new millenium has been decent to Super Cat as well? He's collaborated with well respected artists like The Neptunes, Jadakiss & India Arie. In 2004, The Don Dada released a multi-cd tribute album entitled, "Reggamatic Diamond Allstars" that features many great artists! I am happy to see that Super Cat is still making moves!
Now, I can answer the question: Is hiphop reggae really dead? Hell naw! Artists like Beenie Man, Sean Paul & Damien Marley are still keeping it alive! Will it ever be the force it was back in the 90's? Probably not! Major labels are not really looking for the next big reggae star these days. They're too busy trying to find the next 50 Cent or the teenie bopper that's willing dress half naked to get a record deal!
I have a few favorite hiphop reggae records that I still enjoy even today! One of them would definitely be the Super Cat classic, "Dolly My Baby" remix featuring Notorious B.I.G, Puff Daddy, Third Eye & Mary J. Blige! Can't go wrong with that one!
I put a mix together some of my favorite hiphop reggae tracks in a mix 4 your enjoyment!
HIPHOP RAGGA MIX TRACKLISTING
1- Terror Fabulous - Yaga Yaga (Remix)
2- Buju Banton - Champion (Remix)
3- Bounty Killer - Not Another Word (Dexterity Remix)
4- Super Cat feat. Heavy D - Dem No Worry Me (HipHop Mix)
5- Skeeta Ranx - Shovel (6 Feet Deep Mix)
6- Whitey Don feat. Phife & Chip Fu - Artical (Posse Remix)
7- Mega Banton - Money First (Norfside Mix)
8- Super Cat - Girlstown (HipHop Mix)
9- Fugees - Fu-gee-la (Sly and Robbie Mix)
10-Born Jamericans - Yardcore (Remix)
11-Capelton - See From A Far (Taxman's Mix)
12-Super Cat feat. Method Man - Scalp Dem (Wu Tang Mix)
13-Lady Apache - Rock & Comeen (HipHop Remix)
14-Mad Cobra - Big Long John (Remix)
15-Super Cat feat. Mary J. Blige - Dolly My Baby (HipHop Remix)
16-Shabba Ranks - Rough Life
17-Capelton feat. Method Man - Wings Of The Morning (Duo Mix)
18-Spider - Nappy Roots (Mad Mix)
19-Cutty Ranks - A Who Seh Me Dun (HipHop Mix)
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For you reggae music lovers out there, please leave some titles of your favorite hiphop reggae tracks in the comments section located below.