Posted in Album Review

Chronixx’s Chronology

About 5 years ago in an interview on Fame 95, Chronixx was asked when he would be releasing his first album. The reggae artiste responded that he wanted his first album to be like a photo album, where different points of his life could be commemorated. Finally, on July 7, 2017, Chronixx released Chronology, a reggae album with clear hip-hop influences, and it is safe to say he kept his promise.

From di fus drum roll inna “Spanish Town Rocking” I was mesmerised. Even though the song was released on the Roots & Chalice mixtape, it made it clear Chronixx was taking us on a walk down memory lane. He opens the album by painting a picture of what it was like growing up in Villa de la Vega, Spanish Town. The second track features Chronicle, Chronixx’s father and serves as a symbol of the artiste’s early exposure to music. The remaining tracks showcase other points in Chronixx’s musical journey. He sings of the beauty and shortcomings of Jamaica, believing in himself, Rastafari, black empowerment and making his mark in music.

I listened to every song on the album once and bawled livin’ yiy wata when I got to “I Know Love”;sixteen songs went by too quickly. Naturally, I restarted the entire album. This time I turned up the volume so the sweet basslines could rattle my mind, body, soul, mommy’s what-not and every unused glass, plate and crystal inside it.

The most impressive aspect of the album is that you can hear the time and effort put into every song from the writing stage straight through to production. You know how with some albums there is a song or two you don’t feel guilty about skipping? Well,with Chronology there is no want, desire, urge or need to do anything but let reggae music play.

I’d like to take this time to extend a virtual handshake to every member of Chronixx’s steam. How unnu suh bad? Special love goes out to every bassy on the album. It’s been a minute since I’ve heard such dynamic basslines and unnu manage fi dweet fi every song. Another thing is, if you really sit and listen to the instrumentals you can hear a million things happening at once – keys, guitars, percussions- all without being overpowering; the music can still breathe. Unnu gimme goosebumps! Again I ask, how unnu suh bad?

 

I can’t even talk about my favourite track because I love them all. I must admit the first time I listened to the album I wasn’t a fan of “Christina”. Then one day I found myself walking around the house singing “Oh Christinaaa I still believe in meee!” and from that point on, I was hooked. Don’t take my word for it, check the album out for yourself. How? Well Chronixx made it clear that him a dweet fi di love by making every track on the album available on Youtube!

If you haven’t already done so, mah beg yuh please guh tek a listen, and lemme know what you think.

That’s all for now folks! Stay tuned for more song and event reviews. Don’t forget to comment, like and most importantly share :).

Walk Good,

Alexia Blair

Universal Reggae

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Posted in Event Review

Protoje tmrw.tday Forever

After Saturday night, I can now cross attending a concert on the beach off my bucket list. I’d love to shake the hand of whoever’s idea it was to have the Protoje tmrw.tday concert at Boardwalk Village.The venue was perfect. The cool sand beneath our feet was the perfect contrast to the fire that blazed brightly with each performance. Yaadcore deejaying in the background helped set the tone for the musical journey we were on for the remainder of the night.

 

Runkus was the first to take the stage. His set included “Run”, “Move Yuh Feet” and the clear crowd favourite “Burn EverythinG”. Runkus start di fyah and it took every fibre of my being to resist the urge to kidnap his jacket when he threw it to the ground. Mi nahguh hide it, I’m a fangirl and I’m proud!

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Runkus

Following Runkus there was a quick band change (shout out to Monty, my guitsy bae) and the talented, beautiful and always well put together Sevana was next. She glided gracefully across the stage while crooning a few of her hits like “Chant it”, “Bit too Shy” and “Carry You”.

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Sevana

The Don Shepherd, our emcee for the evening came on stage to thank the sponsors, build suspense and perform “Raggamuffin”, one of the poems in his book Inna the Morning Yah. Then it was time for the main act, Protoje!

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The Don Shepherd

His supporting vocalists Keiko Smith and Racquel Stephenson marched on the stage in matching “Blood Money” shirts. The band’s intense intro made it clear that Protoje neva come fi kin teet. Diggy brought us hits from Ancient Future like “Protection” and “Sudden Flight”. He graced us with a medley of songs from Seven Year Itch, performed classics from the Eight Year Affair such as “Kingston Be Wise” and “Hail Ras Tafari” and made sure he gave us a taste of Royalty Free too. You know he couldn’t leave the stage without singing “Blood Money” during which he encouraged us to play our part in stopping corruption in Jamaica.

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Protoje

Protoje humbly interacted with us and at one point asked us to come closer. I didn’t need to be told twice, mi mek sure itch up right under di speaka box. Protoje told us he has done over fifty shows since the start of the year and he wasn’t tired! He jumped, danced and sang to prove to us that he was just getting started. Nuhbody cya seh di ras nuh fit!

 

At one point the song ended and the music stopped playing leaving Protoje skanking to the music in his head. I have no clue what song was playing but by the look on Diggy’s face mi know di song did sweeeeet. I was reminded of my favourite quote:

 

And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.- Friedrich Nietzsche

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All in all, it was a great show. The only problem I found was that Protoje did not perform my favourite song from Seven Year Itch, “Wrong Side of the Law”. Music did play though so I guess I can’t feel nuh way ;).

Love and respect to  Romario Lynch for the pics, you can find him @leBossLynch on social media

That’s all for now folks! Stay tuned for more song and event reviews.

 

Walk Good,

Alexia Blair

Universal Reggae

 

Posted in Song Review, Uncategorized

Kapital Stone’s “People”

Kapital Stone released his song “People” a couple weeks ago and after hearing the lyrics, I had to put pen to paper. Kapital gave new meaning to tek bad sinting mek laugh as he puts people who think they’re God’s greatest gift to man in their place. While listening to this song, I somehow planned a music video for it. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to my imagination…

So there’s this wise old man with his walking stick trodding down the road with his grandson whom he is telling about everyone’s least favourite kind of people. You know the type; they’re the folks who think they’re brilliant but everyone else knows dem dunce plus tax!

The more the old man describes this type of people, the more passionate he becomes about the topic. His passion turns to anger and when the chorus comes around, him fling weh him walking stick and seh:

“People! Mi cya deal wid people!”

That’s all I came up with so far. It is easy to see Kapital has an old soul as it shows in the words of wisdom that roll effortlessly off his tongue. I loved the way he combined this wisdom with humor to remind us not to take ourselves too seriously. That being said, here are some of my favourite lines:

Parading like you are the creator of greatness

 

Pretentious behaviour is preceded by the misleading guise of believing you are the reason the sun in the east will rise

 

While 7 billion other people on the planet though. Everybody else sick and yuh seem to be the antidote? Yuh hear how dat sound? Please shut yourself up!

 

Want more? Gwan guh listen di song!

As usual, I have to show some love to the producer, Kris Karz. This is one of the first productions I’ve heard from him and I am a fan! The riddim was simple and didn’t overpower Kapital Stone’s vocals. Don’t even get me started on that bass though! Much respect goes out to Kris Karz for this one.

 

Find Kapital on Social Media:

Facebook: Kapital Stone

Instagram:@kapitalstone

Soundcloud: Kapital Stone

Youtube: Kapital Stone

Photo Credit goes to Graffiti Emsi Photography (@graffitiemsi on Instagram)

Well, that’s all for now folks. Don’t forget to let me know what you think.

 

Walk Good,

Alexia Blair

Universal Reggae

Posted in Song Review

Claim the Crown

There I was, scrolling through my Twitter timeline when I stumbled upon:
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Yuh dun know who had to slide into the DM. Royal Blu sent the songs instantly and I knew I had to do a review; such brilliance had to be shared with the world!

I tried taking the easy way out by reviewing Blu’s favourite song, “Free Paper”, but he challenged me to write about my favourite.  What a piece a wickedness! I kid you not, I spent days with all 13 songs on repeat, trying to figure out which one was my favourite. I still have no clue which is, but I decided to write about “ Claim the Crown”. This is not to say this is the best song of the 13, but there were a few factors which influenced my decision.

  1. A sample of Bob Marley’s “ Dem Belly Full” is featured throughout the song. Anyone who knows me knows that I am Mrs. Marley so anything paying homage to the Legend hav mi hawt.
  2. As a Queen, I appreciate anything that acknowledges my regality so, naturally I was drawn to the mere title of the song.
  3. The song has a solid message that is creatively delivered in a way that showcases Blu’s lyrical genius.

“Claim the Crown” is the kind of song you listen to when you feel as though you’re on top of the world to remind you to stay humble. It is also the kind of song you listen to when it seems as if you keep hitting roadblock after roadblock, just to keep you motivated.

In this song, Lieutenant Royal Blu provides us with tactics for surviving the battle called life. He advises us that we are in charge of our destiny, but the onus is on us to decide whether we’re willing to stand up for ourselves or if we’d rather accept defeat. The calm, cool and collected Lieutenant points out that combat won’t be easy and that getting hurt is inevitable, but highlights that these experiences provide us with life changing lessons.

The message alone isn’t what makes this song profound. Royal Blu has a way of speaking that forces you to hang onto his every word. I’d also like to point out that he’s mastered an art that many musicians struggle with, and that is clarity. He somehow manages to clearly enunciate every single word despite the speed of his flows. In other words, mi nahfi wonder if a Gary, Bailey or Baby him seh! (Big up Busy Signal anyweh him deh).  

Well that’s all for now folks! I strongly recommend that you find someway to get your hands on all 13 songs because they’re fire! I promise you won’t regret it. Here’s “Free Paper” so you can see what I’m talking about.

Find Royal Blu on Social Media

Facebook: @TheRoyalBluOne

Instagram: @theroyalblu

Twitter:@TheRoyalBlu

Walk Good,
Alexia Blair
Universal Reggae

Posted in Song Review

Dat 100lb Ting

100lb dropped about a week ago and I’m sure we’ll have it on repeat for the coming weeks. The track features the lyrical styling of Kione Zaire, Jeeby Lyricist and Blvk H3ro, and each of the young wordsmiths brought their A-game.

Blvck H3ro’s soothing, fit-for-reggae vocals could make any woman feel like an empress and that’s exactly what he does when he praises a woman’s curvaceous physique in the 100lb chorus.

Jeeby Lyricist takes the mic for the first verse thus setting the pace for the song. “Cya rush baby-making.” he says as he reminds his curvy chica that it’s slow and steady that wins the race.

Kione hits the track at a jog and elevates his muse to goddess status because her evabless give life! His verse leaves listeners waiting for more but Kione, unwilling to show his cards too early, hands over the baton effortlessly to Jeeby.

Ladies and gentlemen, as if his chocolatey deep voice wasn’t enough to bring this 100lb goddess to the sky and back, Jeeby is packing avocado, a known aphrodisiac, for his late night rendezvous. Things are escalating here at the trackside!

Kione then grabs the baton and shot it for an amazing anchor leg. His sexual prowess and his lyrical stamina bring his Harley Quinn across the finish line with a great big SPLASH! What a race!

Let’s not forget that 100lb would not be the crowd favourite that it is without the new age production skills of Wavy Jones from Alpine Compound. His modern twists of 808’s and hard-hitting drums exquisitely complement the lyrical flow of the three gentlemen. Have a listen for yourself, 100lb.

All in all, this song gets the Universal Reggae stamp of approval and I’m dying to hear what you think about it. Keep an eye on our Facebook page for upcoming events, and event reviews. Until next time!


Walk Good,
Alexia Blair
Universal Reggae

Posted in Song Review

Protoje’s Blood Money

No one can deny the love Protoje has for Jamaica; his song JA is what made me a fan of his music. It was probably that same love for the nation that propelled him to make Blood Money. Check out the video below!

Blood Money has a simple riddim that seems to melt away until it becomes background noise once Protoje begins speaking. It is clear that the goal is for you to focus on his words. No fluff required. I was only reminded of the  riddim when Protoje cuts off into indiggnant 😉 silence leaving me with nothing but the outro: a reminder of the fire I was so eloquently served.

The song opens with “A nuff drugs money deh a Cherry Garden.” ‘Cherry Gardens’ here serves as a symbol for the wealthy Jamaicans who are some of the most corrupt people on the island. This track was released a few months after the controversial Kahjeel Mais case so it was hard not to draw parallels. This case proved that with enough money and connections, one could commit illegal and unethical acts and emerge scotch free. In situations such as these, poor persons are left to suffer in the aftermath with the limited resources they have. Blood Money is an excellent portrayal of this recurring cycle of injustice.

I would be remiss if I ended this post without mentioning Taj Francis’ artwork which is featured in the above video. Two images stood out to me: The picture of the Half Way Tree Clock Tower burning and the image of the Redemption Song statue as it melted before my eyes. These two visuals matched perfectly with the theme of the song. They represent the beauty of Jamaica which will be reduced if the corruption which plagues the island is left unchecked.

All in all, this was a fabulous song. Protoje once again managed to do everything right!

Keep in the know with all things Protoje. Follow him on Social Media

Facebook

Instagram

Soundcloud

Twitter

Well, that’s all for now folks! Keep an eye on our Facebook page for upcoming events, and event reviews. Until next time!
Walk Good,
Alexia Blair
Universal Reggae

Posted in Event Review

The “New Wave” Experience

 

It feels so good to be home once more after a four-month absence. The first order of business was to jump right into the live music scene. You can imagine my excitement when my best friend and fellow Universal Reggae writer, Shida, told me we were attending this year’s final staging of New Wave.

Tardiness has always been a defining characteristic of our friendship so it’s not surprising that we arrived just in time to see the last few minutes of Paris and Kongz’ live production set. It was interesting to watch the thought, musical intellect and trial and error that went into creating a musical masterpiece. I now have an even greater respect for the level of work required for production.

Once their set was complete, Shida and I chilled as the music JimmyQ played filled the air. We somehow lost track of time and were brought back to reality only by the sound of a guitar strumming behind us.  We turned around to see the band had set up and was ready and waiting to take us on a musical journey. The live performance for the night was from Jeeby “The Lyricist” and Di Vibe. I had never seen him perform before but Shida stressed that the man was greatness.

Jeeby the lyricist, new wave ja, di vibe, music,Jamaica, universal reggae,

Jeeby took the stage dressed in a camouflage shirt and army green pants; ready for war. His skillful lyrics were his weapon of choice and he was shielded by an impenetrable force field of confidence. The lyrical onslaught began and I sat there in awe. I was mesmerized as he strategically combined words to form sentences fit for battle. His lyrics had the same effect on those around me. The venue was filled with silence as everyone was captivated by his witty word play. Occasionally, my fellow patrons would erupt into screams and cheers when the lyrical attack became too much to bear in silence.

Jeeby the lyricist, new wave ja, di vibe, music,Jamaica, universal reggae,

It would be downright disrespectful for me to end this post without mentioning Jeeby’s backing vocalist. Courtni, How yuh suh bad? This woman did things with her voice that I am certain are illegal in 10 of the 14 parishes. Let’s not forget his band; a family bounded by their obvious love for music! The MC mentioned that they met through school and I’m glad they did.

I need to see this group perform again in the near future and I strongly suggest you do the same.

Photos by Romario Lynch, @leBossLynch on social media.

 

 

Posted in Interview

A Moment with Jason Lee Worton

Passionate. It was impossible to ignore the intensity in his eyes or the grin on his face as he spoke about the things he loves the most. Adventurous. In the short time I spent with him, there was no denying that he enjoys the adrenaline rush that comes with risk taking. Calm. He jokingly described himself as the stereotypical surfer dude.

His name is Jason Lee Worton and he is a man of many hats.

 

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Jason Lee Worton at SOKO

At the age of 7, Worton got involved with music. He started out playing the recorder but an insatiable hunger led him to learn a wide range of instruments including the xylophone, guitar, piano, trumpet, saxophone, drums, percussion instruments, flute, accordion, cello, kalimba, didgeridoo, mouth harp and harmonica. What he didn’t learn from a teacher, he taught himself, but he’s not done yet! Jason has an interest in Indian music and hopes to one day learn how to play the tabla and sitar.

Jason was once a part of Protoje’s band Indiggnation but made the daunting decision to leave the group and pursue a solo career a few years back. He now creates what he describes as Dub-Rock; the perfect marriage of the two genres he cites as his greatest musical influence- Classic Dub and Classical Rock.

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Jason performing with Keida

Over the years, Worton has found that creating music is a bittersweet journey where the highs are high and the lows are low. He is surrounded by great talents spreading positive messages but the music scene is far from ideal. Corruption presents itself in the form of payola, which prevents many artiste from being heard, among other things.  However, he has come too far to turn back so he takes each obstacle that comes his way as a learning experience.

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Throughout the interview, Jason made it clear that he eats, sleeps and breathes music, yet, he still makes time for various outlets so that he may recharge his batteries. Some of these outlets include yoga, surfing, and beekeeping .

When he was younger, he found a book on yoga and explored a few of the poses. It wasn’t until his friend and fellow musician Jah9 began her yoga instructor training and invited him to be her practice student that he began to fully appreciate its healing abilities.

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He found it impossible to remember a point in his life where he did not know how to swim. His family made great use of the local beaches and Jason eventually transitioned from swimming, to boogie boarding to surfboarding. He now spends much of his time surfing until he is unable to feel his arms and legs and even then he is still reluctant to leave the water.

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I would like to leave you all with a bit of wisdom that he shared with me:

Accept things in life. It’s not always what you want. Things will happen; just go with it… Life is like a wave and you can’t fight it. When a wave comes it’s big and powerful…When a wave holds you or when life holds you, you cannot fight it. Sometimes you just have to hold your breath and wait and just let it take you where it’s gonna take you and maybe that’s where you’re supposed to be.

Jason Lee Worton is bound to do great things, so be sure to follow him on Social Media:

Instagram
Soundcloud
Twitter
Youtube
That’s all for now folks! Keep an eye on our Facebook page for upcoming events, and also event reviews. Until next time!
Walk Good,
Alexia Blair
Universal Reggae

 

Posted in Press Release

Out Now: Time And Space

Silkki Wonda released his new new single “Time and Space” Featuring Dexta Malawi; he continues to add to his long roster of self-produced music with the addition of his latest single.

The single featuring rising artiste Dexta Malawi addresses the lack of showing peace and love in the modern era that seem inconvenient for many.

Where is your mind? Into Time and Space. Where is that love I give to you with no dismay?

With a rocking melody that will have you moving; Silkki continues his strong tone of positive word play and the use of reggae-hip hop beats to express his views on the neglect and ignorance showed towards ghetto youths and others who are in need.

Dexta Malawi makes a strong appearance on the track that results in a successful collaboration.

Time and Space can be heard via Youtube and Soundcloud, take a listen below.

Get more information on the latest with Silkki Wonda by following him on Social Media:

Facebook/Twitter/Soundcloud: – SilkkiWonda

Instagram – SilkkiWondaMusic

Press Release from J26PR.

Posted in Album Review

Royalty (is) Free

We have seen in a few interviews since the beginning of 2016 that Protoje would be stepping up the pace in releasing songs, and on June 1st we were pleasantly surprised with “Can’t Feel No Way” followed shortly by “Glad You’re Home.” Then Protoje blessed us, on his birthday, June 14th, with the album “Royalty Free Side B”. This side of the album kicks off with Can’t Feel No Way at number 6, and Glad You’re Home at number 7. Although both songs were trending on Jamaican twitter before the album dropped, “Sandra Foster” took over the lime light as soon as “Royalty Free Side B” hit the scene.

See the track list below:

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Diggy was the main producer on the album, along with Tracker John MD, 8Track, The Drum Keys, & Winta James. Now let me tell you, I love off Royalty Free, I have it on repeat. I’m gonna tell you what I think about each song, so if you want to take a listen first, go ahead.

Can’t Feel No Way has a hip-hop beat with a sample of Dennis Brown’s “Don’t Feel No Way” swinging as the chorus. We get to see Diggy’s same lyrical genius in more of a ‘rap vibe’. He can’t feel no way about not winning a Grammy because his music is still being played worldwide. BONUS: listen keenly to hear the story; as well as Runkus’ ad libs. This song hypes me up so much, it makes me want to dab, and the lyrics get to me every time.  It packs a lot of punch for just 2 minutes and 39 seconds.

Drop di Ancient Future, di man dem neva gi nuh grammy to the king, can’t feel no way though, music a play doh? Fry fish, bammy to me ting…

Protoje told us, on Twitter, that Glad You’re Home (GYH), Sandra Foster(SF), and Flight Plans (FP) are connected, one storyline; and in GYH she comes home.

Glad You’re Home also has a hip-hop feel to it, it features a sample of “Ring My bell” by Anita Ward. To me the lyrics are cheeky, and I love it, as the title suggests, he’s glad she’s home and they finally get to meet and reconnect, intimately.

Sandra Foster is Protoje’s favourite song off the album and is a crowd favourite as well. This riddim has a jazz or neo-soul feel to it. It’s also special because it contains excerpts from the Fae Ellington 1991 interview of Sandra Foster, former Miss Jamaica World. Diggy confessed that Sandra Foster was his first crush, and he saw some of the same qualities in his ‘starring lady’ as Sandra Foster; hence the use of her interview. In “SF she’s apprehensive about going back out.”

Flight Plans takes us to a riddim of a reggae & hip-hop flare, with the lovely Lila Ike doing the ad libs; “My baby don’t go, my baby don’t go, I beg you please don’t go…” as the chorus, pulled on my heart strings. This song is sad because even though the situation can’t be helped, and it can be seen in her eyes that leaving would hurt, she still does. In “FP she decides to go.”

Used To Be My Life is my favourite on the album, the riddim connected with my soul, it is the modern take on reggae. It gives us a little insight on the personal side of Diggy, in the first verse he describes the pain he went through when a close friend of his died. The lyrics accompany the instrumental perfectly, the story of his past experiences and what he’s gone through is inspiring; he gives thanks for those who were there for him in his time of struggling.

The album is available to download, for free, on Protoje’s website [here] and to stream on Soundcloud [here]. So far Royalty Free is an album that no song has to be skipped, they’re all amazing, with different feels to each, and any song is someone’s favourite.

Follow Universal Reggae on Instagram & Twitter to keep in the know! Until next time.

Walk Good,
Rashida Grant
Universal Reggae