Jamaican music is still winning, don’t forget that. Recently, the legendary Toots & The Maytals blessed The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon’s set, and gave them a double dose of that good music. Performing the classic “Funky Kingston“, they also premiered a new single titled “Marley“. Fans will love this, and others will learn about one of the Jamaican staples. Funny enough, yesterday we featured a single from Toots Hibbert’s Grandson, Blizzi that you can check out here. Check out the performances below, and show us some love on Instagram at @13thStreetPromo.
It’s still party time over here, so get in this club! To join in on the summer fun, DJ/Producer/Producer Blizzi took time out from cooking up his upcoming project to release, “Good Time“! Produced by DJ Blizzard Music and featuring Singer Savone, Blizzi drops a song that has that chilling on the beach/laying up in a hammock/seeing the view from the 50th floor of the Penthouse vibe. Blizzi’s laid back flow, Savone’s syrupy vocals and a sample from Toots Hibbert & The Maytal’s “54-46 Was My Number” are key to keeping this one on repeat. For those unfamiliar, Blizzi is the Grandson of the legendary Toots Hibbert who has been doing his thing for quite some time. If you’re not picturing yourself hitting the road and escaping all the stress, you need to listen to this a few more times. Check out the track below, and show us some love on Instagram at @13thStreetPromo.
With the staging of the 60th Grammy Awards drawing near, we thought we’d look back at some of years where the Reggae Grammy was won. While many know of the winners, we also want to look back at some of the nominees. Today we’ll look at the year 1989.
Words By: @SwadeDaVillain
Reggae Artist Jimmy Cliff received his 2nd Grammy nomination in his career with the 1987 Album, “Hanging Fire”. The Album featured 8 tracks, and included the singles “Reggae Down Babylon”, “Soar Like An Eagle”, and the title track, “Hanging Fire”.
Toots Hibbert had a great run when paired up with The Maytals, but when he brought his Reggae sound to Memphis, Tennessee for an Album, it was considered one of his best works and earned him a Grammy nomination. The 1988 Album featured Toots taking on ’60s classics like “I’ve Got Dreams To Remember”, “It’s A Shame”, “Love And Happiness” and more.
While your favourite Artist may be using Reggae/Dancehall creatively (or stupidly) in Jamaica, the influence of the Music Culture continues to affect many others worldwide. One person in particular is Taru Dalmia a.k.a. “Delhi Sultanate” of New Delhi, India, as he uses not only Reggae, but the Sound System Culture to channel his Political Activism. While India is under the rule of the Hindu Nationalist Government lead by Narendra Modi (Bharatiya Janata Party), Taru alleges that free speech is being threatened under his rule, and using his talents will assist the many protests that are being held in many Universities across the nation. Armed with classic singles, and Dub Plates from the likes of Toots Hibbert, Barrington Levy, and Anthony B, he hopes that his assistance in the fight will not be in vain.
Taru is also a member of The Ska Vengers, a live Band that blends Dub, Pop, Ska, Jazz, Rap, and Punk to deliver a new sound. Below is a clip from the Al Jazeera Network where we look into Taru’s journey, and the challenges he has faced so far. We also feature some of the singles that could spark protests, and some that speak against the Jamaican Government.
When it comes to Music Production, one of the names that stands out for outstanding contributions is Dwayne Hibbert, popularly known as DJ Blizzard. The young Prodigy is the Grandson of Reggae Veteran and multiple Grammy Award winner Toots Hibbert. He has made the bold move to follow in his Grandfather’s footsteps and cement his own place in the music industry.
He admits that being the Grandson of Toots Hibbert can be pressuring and are huge shoes to fill; but music is the only path for him. “The starting of my music career was inevitable, music is in my blood. I started off on Percussion, I went to the “California World Championship of the Performing Arts” and I represented Jamaica in that regard, the passion later evolved into music production.”
So far the emerging Producer has amassed quite the catalog. He has worked extensively with on the Lifestyle Rich Riddim featuring noted Producer Teetimus and Dancehall Artist Tanto Blacks, he also produced the song “One Link” by Lutan Fyah. In addition he has worked alongside Grillaras for Fambo’s “Get Crunk EP”; he has also worked on numerous occasions with his Grandfather, and the list goes on. “I have worked with Vybz Kartel, Beenie Man, Mr Vegas, Luciano, Toots and The Maytals, and so many more. I am grateful to have gotten the chance to work these people and I know that the list will grow as I continue working.”
The multifaceted producer is currently promoting his latest Riddim, “Bunx Around” which features Kalado, Harry Toddler, and single with himself and Dancehall Artist Kemstsar. Blizzard is working assiduously on some upcoming projects, including an Album with Sizzla Kalonji, and some more work with Beenie Man. He is definitely a name to look out for as he brings fresh sounds to the scene.
Today’s Oldies Sunday feature comes from Noisey Music’s “Found Tapes” series. What is considered the “Holy Grail” of Reggae films is “JamDown” that features Reggae artist Toots Hibbert and cult Reggae group The Congos. Released in 1981 and directed by Emmanuel Brown and Theiry Deknut, this featured rare early footage of Toots, and The Congos, who were at the height of their fame, performing songs from their respective catalogs. The Congos are a Reggae group that was formed in the early 1970s and the members included “Ashanti” Roy Johnson, Cedric Myton, and Watty Burnett. Their most famous contribution to Reggae was their classic “Heart of the Congos” which was produced by Lee “Scratch” Perry. Toots Hibbert is a Reggae Singer who started his career with his group The Maytals in the 1960s. Watch the film below and share your thoughts in the comments section.