Thursday, July 13, 2006

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!


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)

Download the SoundNexx HipHop Ragga Mixx Here (4 A Limited Time Only!)

For you reggae music lovers out there, please leave some titles of your favorite hiphop reggae tracks in the comments section located below.


Daniel R said...

Good post ... however calling Buju cookie cutter shows that you lost contact with the music somewhere along the way. Check out 'Til Shiloh. Also hip-hop reggae has to include Sizzla. And Sean Paul's mutli-platinum success is the commercial apex of reggae.


SoundNexx said...

@ daniel r - When I use the phrase "Cookie-cutter" I am not trying to be disrespectful to the artists, but it's a term that I use to describe artists that came after the original! "Til Shiloh" is a great Buju album (hiphop driven), but you should listen to his previous album "Voice of Jamaica" and you will notice it is more traditional reggae music? His change on "Til Shiloh" was based on the success of the other hiphop-reggae artists like Super Cat..and that is why I used the term cookie-cutter!

Yes, Sizzla is definitely on my list for great hiphop reggae artists from back in the day! Mad Lion and Sean Paul are two others. I just didn't have enough space in my mix to include them this time around, but I will on the next one!

Thanks for stopping thru and leaving a comment!

Daniel R said...

Well taken point ... however there is only one straight hip hop track on 'til Shiloh ... the remix of Champion. Buju did indeed come after Supercat but Voice of Jamaica had a duet with Busta Rhymes and a hip hop mixed "Make My Day." Shiloh actually marked the beginning of Buju's transition to rasta music ... The Don Dada did set the trend for real.


SoundNexx said...

@daniel r - Since, you had brought up the "Til Shiloh" album, I listened to that album again, and you are correct in your statement! It is more dancehall driven than I originally remembered?

Thanks for you insight on the subject, which actually made me dig out that great Buju album again! Obviously, you are a Buju fan, and I'll give you props for that alone.

I have a question for u! What is your opinion about the state of reggae music in the U.S. these days?

Daniel R said...

Reggae is doing good right now ... see Sean Paul, Damian Marley for e.g. The gay campaign against certain artists (see Buju Sizzla) is hurting the music to some extent (or changing it for the better depending on your position on that debate) but progress continues ... there hasn't been a year without a reggae based hit since the start of the millenium. I don't think mainstream radio dedicated to reggae in the U.S. will ever come about but as long as hip hoppers play reggae the best artists will get a chance.

Top 5 crossover reggae hip hop jams

1. Ghetto Story (remix f/ Akon)-- Baby Cham
2. Tables will Turn --- Foxy Brown
3. Road to Zion (f/ NaS) --- Damian Marley
4. Get Low Remix --- Lil' Jon Elephant Man

and a classic

5. Wings of the Morning Remix (Capleton & Method Man)


SoundNexx said...

I feel you...I my opinion, Reggae will always have a place in the mainstream just because it is something different from the American pop that normally gets played!

I have too many crossover hiphop reggae joints that I love, but 2 that would definitely be in top 5 are:

Mad Lion - Take It Easy (this track was serious!!)

Mad Lion feat. KRS-One - Double Trouble (Remix)

I never heard that Baby Cham feat. Akon track tho! I'll have to check 4 that one.

Thanks for the info!

Anonymous said...

Great blog. Would you be able to re-up the HIP HOP RAGGA MIX TRACKLISTING for me? I'm sure some other folks wouldn't mind this tracklisting too :)

Thanks in advance,


Analog HiFi said...

I just came across this blog today!
I did want to say that yes indeed Shabba and Supercat did a tremendous job in bringing the real deal to USA. But keep in mind the participation of Buju, Mega Banton, Bounty Killer Etc were very crucial in solidifying the movement. Don't forget BDP's Mad Lion and also Snow who were very instrumental. The answer to your question of hip hop dying comes from seeing an epic era sadly ended and transitioned to a new era of complete 180.
The 80's and Early to mid 90's was and Alwaysevil be referenced as the golden era of urban music and dancehall culture as well.
The Golden era was mainly ruled by east coast hip hop where it all started, New York City where legends like Kool Herc and KRS 1 had originally taken the original Lyrics patterns and convert this into an Ebonics flow for the new York platform.
And while rap music was using funk breaks, it also took lessons from an existing lyrics pattern that existed in Jamaica since the 50's. Now when u see hip hop reach it's golden peak, as well as dancehall reach it's golden peak, then you see a great era in the whole that was amazing