Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Sean Paul latest features > Sean Paul latest album. Why?

Can we all just rejoice at this fact please? I say fact cos it isn't mere opinion. Also, I'd like to say it's an achievement in itself that he's still popular after 10 years since bursting into the mainstream that wonderful 2003. 10 years ago he was nominated for best newcomer at the Grammy's alongside Heather Headley (last I heard she was in theatre), Fountains of Wayne (WHO?), 50 Cent (who cares anymore? recently split from label), and winners Evanescence (where are they now?). So big him up for that. 1st Jamaican-born, third reggae(ish) (Musical Youth and Ace of Base before (do they count?) Maybe fourth if you count Culture Club too. They won it in 1984.)

Hoowwwwever, if you were thinking about buying Full Frequency - in short, do so at your own risk! Maybe I shouldn't say that. Let me rephrase: please don't listen to it if you have a high respect for Sean Paul's music + good taste because it will taint your opinion of him and his music. And I'd rather you not do that to yourself or him. It's easily one of the worst albums I have heard this year for so many reasons; it's lazy and strays too far from not only good dancehall music, but from good music. It's easily the worst album of his discography (big word!). Easily. I can't complain enough about how bad it is. The producers are rubbish and most of the features are worse. I want to have a word with whoever advised it.

I mean, someone thought this was a good idea? Well, the Konshens feature was. But the rest of thing as a whole? I can't even bring myself to call it a song. It's a thing that (barely) exists.

And as if you didn't like Juicy J that much, the last person you want to hear on the same song is 2 Chainz! And I'm partial to Nicki Minaj sometimes, but not this Nicki Minaj. See, this is a "Let's make something for US urban radio spins. Sean isn't hot with them anymore so let's get every rapper who does the most features for the right price." Throw that together with an abomination of EDM and you have a song that's definitely shitter than my description makes it sound.

I suspect it wasn't his fault though. Looking back, the writing was on the wall when his third major label sponsored album, Imperial Blaze, failed to match success of the previous two. It also marked the change in strategy; he went from trusted dancehall riddims to creating things on his own and aiming for a mainstream audience who were interested in Lady Gaga type artists.

Follow-up, Tomahawk Technique, saw him step away from Jamaican producers for the first time, probably because the label had more say in the making of the product (aka "Why don't you go in with [insert proven pop chart hit-makers]?"), but part of me thinks Sean wanted to branch out (check the video below). I'm not gonna lie, the album wasn't terrible for what it was. It had quite a few bangers including smash-hit "She Doesn't Mind". Album still under performed (did well in certain territories I believe) so they put him back in with pop producers but couldn't attract the names they did the first time (smaller budget? People didn't want to be associated with an artist not pulling in numbers?) and it definitely sounds like it.

At this point, I'd usually tell you about a song I liked on there. This won't happen today. Actually, the first single "Other Side of Love" is listenable. Good song lyrically, but beat is a rehash. Benny Blanco got the big hit on the previous and here too. The rest is incredibly bad. However, if maths serve me correctly this was his last album on Atlantic.

But on a positive, he has putting in some work as a featured artist on some quality/better songs and a non-album single. All of which have been a million and forty times better than his album. I recommend you get stuck into these instead. Had this been the work he was doing last year, life would've been a bit better for this album I reckon. Let us raise our heads and pray the label doesn't get involved (at all) with the creativity again so we can get the proper good Sean Paul back.

No this The Saturday's song isn't good, but its an example of an electro song better than his album. And he got a #1. Then he got a #7 in the same year with "Other Side of Love" yet no album dropped until he was cold. My money's on the label's American side messing up the base (or maybe the album wasn't ready). A EU released album would've capitalised on his success. In the end, it was dropped into a vacuum of space.

First up is a nice and easy reggaeton song for the ladies hips with a top reggaeton artist called Farruko produced by Jamaican producer Rvssian. Those of you familiar with SP's rise to fame will know the Hispanics embraced "Gimme The Light" helping him turn into the star he became. He catered to them on Tomahawk Technique (both "Got 2 Luv U" and "She Doesn't Mind" are very close to where reggaeton is now), lacked that factor on most recent.

Next up is Enrique Iglesias (yes, the lucky bugger who still goes out with Anna Kournikova) recruited Mr Sean Paul for the Spanglish version of current smash-hit Bailando ("dancing" en Ingles.)

So you've got the Hispanics on board. Who else will make Marvin a happy guy? Africans!

Timaya's "Bum Bum" was one of my favourite afrobeats songs last year. Ok, so Machel Montano's remix is a lot catchier, but hey, it's better than anything on Full Frequency.

Not just one song, there's two. UK's very own Ghanian, who's currently on a spree of chart hits, only went and bagged an SP feature. This is better than the above. Not gonna say much on this because I have another post lined up for this. Listen below. (And pre-order please)

Last but by no means least, the crossover-"EDM" crowd is sorted with this Major Lazer feature. Similar to last year's Busy Signal-assisted "Watch Out For This (Bumaye)" with the moombahton/electro-reggaeton/dancehall vibe (and we know reggaeton is heavily influenced by dancehall/Poco Man Jam riddim).

To me, this is what Sean Paul should and hopefully wants to do. Not too much of this EDM stuff. I can tell the features are just him and management choosing what's right as opposed to falling victims to major label pie charts and graphs. I could've helped him make a much better album than what he produced. There were enough Jamaican riddims for him to touch. I would've hooked him up with people like Rudimental and other UK producers too to give him bangers. Got man like Kill Beatz and it's orn end poppin' san. Why didn't he link with Rvssian for his album? Anju Blaxx? C'mon. Popcaan feature? Denyque? Get Di Genius to give him some dancehall?

So yeah, if you don't like anything Sean Paul has done in the past few years, I hope/reckon you'll like at least 3 of the above 5. And please, preserve your mind of good Sean Paul. Get Full Frequency at your own risk innit. That's your "Marvin's Advisory" e-sticker.

Other features:

There's this with a Haitian artist, this with Wisin (of Wisin y Yandel fame) and this solo song which is awesome, produced Rvssian (again), on the Rvssian riddim, which sounds like another Hispanic-friendly riddim. Vintage Sean Paul on form here. Not as good as but definitely close to the levels of the peak. And his best dancehall song since "Turn Me On" on Smokin riddim.

Here's hoping for a bright future.

p.s. check my post on why dancehall hasn't produced another Sean Paul here.

Friday, 25 April 2014

Kabaka Pyramid - "Never Gonna Be A Slave" [Music Video]

We (I) posted the audio on here a couple days after it dropped, today I post the video. Quite simply the music the world is missing. True rebel music. I'm telling you, there;s no movement like the reggae revival movement right now. Large up Kabaka Pyramid in every aspect. I mean, how can you hate this sentiment? That's right. You can't. Video's shot really well too.

Witnessed him perform it live at Hootananny in Brixton surrounded by Rastafarians and reggae lovers alike who respect the same livity and viewpoint. Pree an accurate review here. Definitely something everybody should experience. Hear how the music touches people.

If you like the mood of the above, my thoughts on the Reggae Revival movement and some recommendations on more here

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Jesse Royal ft. Sly & Robbie + Earl "Chinna" Smith - "Little Did They Know" live studio performance

Put three legends in a room with an artist making incredible headway in Jamaican music at the moment and it's gonna be great. And it's quality.

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Some more tunes I'm feeling atm

I kinda got a bit annoyed with the length of the previous post so here's a part deux of my favourite songs at the moment. The last had commercial house and d&b, afrobeats and a helluva lot of bashment.

First up

"German Whip" by Meridian Dan featuring JME and Big H

This song is awesome. This has top 20 written all over it. Meshes US trap sounds with British drums and London accents. Sounds so refreshing. Dan shows it doesn't matter if you weren't the most talked about MC previously, a big tune changes everything. Club tunes are much easier to convince radio. As I've said for the past 2-3 years. Out tomorrow. Get on iTunes and buy the tune. We need it.

Moelogo (ft. Giggs) - "The Baddest"

Bayoz Muzik laced Moelogo something Giggs should've or would've had circa Let Em Ave It. That undeniable club flavour which made Giggs incredibly popular beyond UK rap fans. Them beats which merge a few influences, but ultimately BANG! Thankfully, Giggs jumps on the remix. Don't get it twisted though, Moelogo more than delivers.

Machel Montano featuring Boyz II Men - Can't Let Go

As far as unexpected collaborations go, this has to rank quite high up there. Boyz II Men doing groovy soca isn't something I ever imagined I'd hear. It's a pleasant surprise though. A nice little evening on the balcony with a drink and nice conversation. White furniture, rugs, champagne bucket with a bottle of Sprite in there. Sorted, guv.

Chris Brown featuring Lil' Wayne & Tyga - Loyal

R&B has crept back into my playlist of late. Producing some sexy dance floor songs. Headed to a really good place for people who don't want to jump and shout to the latest hip hop anthems. Something you can skank and scout the local talent on display, may be buss a little two-step facing a member of the opposite sex while singing "There hoes ain't loyal!" You know them playful banter ones? Just me then?

Anyone who knows me or follows me on Twitter knows how overrated and boring that "Fine China" song was. This is definitely where Chris Brown need to go. Some real thug r&b that bounces in the club without man thinking I need to actually be able to dance.

Oh and dropping Too Short and French Montana out for Tyga was a good move. He delivers. And I don't even like the geezer.

p.s. I hate the Americans reducing Bob Marley's legacy to some metaphor for marijuana.

Tinashe - "2 On"

Banger. DJ Mustard is vibsing up the r&b club stuff. I wouldn't be surprised if Tinashe's live voice leaves a bit to be desired, her tone is awesome. Proper seductive tones. Big up Schoolboy Q but I'm not really here for you, still, my don. The fact she interpolates Sean Paul's melody on We Burnin' just helps compound that this is a banger and woman worth watching.

Yandel - Déjate Amar

Don't ask me what he's saying, just know the song is a vibes. Definitely matches the sexy dance floor vibe I'm feeling at the moment. I can just imagine the piping hot Latina's dancing to this. I used to despise reggaeton once upon a time, now I'm loving it. The "Dem Bow" type aka PocoMan Jam riddim-influenced is so infectious. And Spanish sounds sick.

Bunji Garlin - Carnival Tabanca

Everybody should be familiar with Bunji after last years breakout success of the mid-noughties dancehall-sounding "Differentology" equipped with its rap feature from the man on every single Caribbean crossover song, Busta Rhymes. I think it's still on rotation over on Hot 97 after winning the Battle of the Beats contest.

This sounds a lot like Differentology, but tell me you wouldn't believe this is an Afrobeats song if you didn't know he's actually Trini.

Vybz Kartel "Addi Truth"

Can't remember which song the Teacha samples but its either Little Lenny or Baby Wayne. Either way the song a shot. Old skool flow with a new skool vibe. This sound is prevalent in dancehall right now and I'm not complaining.

Mafikizolo ft. Uhuru - Khona

Dare you to keep still this one. I believe it's South African. Everything about this song is perfection. I don't understand the lyrics for obvious reasons but the way the ride the riddim satisfies my needs.

DJ Djeff ft. Nacobeta, Agre G, e Game Walla - Mwangolé

Pretty similar to the last one, don't understand a word they are saying but try keeping still to this one. This one is from Angola according to my little Google search for more info. Could be mistaken though.

JP Cooper - "What Went Wrong"

Not even heard a studio version of this, but it's awesome. Listen to that voice. Been watching this guy for a while now, keeping an eye on how he develops cos the future looks bright. The falsetto.

Justin Timberlake - Not A Bad Thing

JT finally records and video for the only song I like on 20/20 Experience part 2. This is a great song.

Mr Williamz - Miss Brown

You see when it comes to riding the riddim, Mr. Williamz has that skill mastered. Similar to Super Cat but is that a bad thing? I don't think so. Cat doesn't record much so it's minor. From the UK. This jungle-friendly dancehall riddim suits his vocals perfectly.

Kranium - Nobody Has To Know

This youth is from New York, delivered a nice little jam for the females them who appreciate their dancehall. Bit raw. Here's the clean version cos I think it's cooler than the original

Can purchase all these songs on iTunes. Here's the link to the above

Mr Probz - Waves (Robin Schulz remix)

Heard this song a while back on Spotify as part of my "what's hot in the world" search, seen it's getting an official release now in UK (and unavailable on Spotify). This is a tune

Raheem Bakare - Portrait of Love

This song is absolutely beautiful. UK r&b as it can sound. Dancehall drum and bass pattern provide a twist on the general contemporary atmospheric emo r&b sound of the riddim. We are the best at taking various influences and mashing them up into wonderful creations. English accent on deck too. Wicked lyrics for the ladies too. Wicked voice too. Definitely gonna keep an eye on this guy.

Sean Paul &. Timaya - "Bum Bum (remix)" Music Video

I've already gone on about how much I love the original when I posted the remix with Machel Montano. Well anyway, Sean Paul has gone and jumped on the riddim and cut a hot video in (what looks like) Miami with nuff bum bum.

Not gonna lie, Machel's version is better, but hey, Sean garners more interest and he got the vid so he'll win. Woulda been so much more bless with all three on there though. That woulda been phenomenal in fact.

Something that's undeniable is Sean Paul is making more interesting music now than he has for the last about 4-6 years. "Front & Back", this and Fuse ODG "Dangerous Love" (I'm saving my post on that until the video drops or the week of release. Most important record post incoming). And I'm sure he's fulfilled his label commitments so something tells me it's due to that. I'm putting 2+2 and definitely getting 4.

Viva afrobeats x bashment

Sourced from yah'so.

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Chronixx Dread & Terrible EU Tour vlog pt 1

Chronixx, Kelissa and Dre Island touched down in Holland last week on the Dread & Terrible tour. Check out the on and beyond the stage footage out below. Love seeing Rasta youth a live like star inna foreign.

Grab the Dread & Terrible EP here

And pree the video for "Rastaman Wheel Out" from the project. Some ska vibes fi di I dem. I love the way Rasta's speak

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Vybz Kartel's last performance in Tobago 2011 [video] (#ThrowbackThursday)

Vybz Kartel, arguably the most complete dancehall artist ever, has been sentenced to 35 years for murder. Well, Adidja Palmer was. Sadly, he's taken Vybz Kartel with him (unless they let him record in jail (which I doubt as he's high profile)).

There's nothing I can do about that. As stated before, I'll still listen to his music and big up the talent said way. The evidence was a bit mad, but what needed to be solid was solid. Still, big up Vybz Kartel. Gully mi seh straight, but Vybz Kartel is the best. Him and Buju are the two most well-rounded artists and both behind bars.

Anyway, watch the performance below from Tobago. Bere in mind this is incomplete and mainly tunes within a 3-year period of his 12 year career. This doesn't even capture all of his hits in that period. I've learnt so much about music from Kartel. So much.