Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Out In The Streets, They Call It Murder

I don't listen to the radio, except for the local sports talk station once in a while. I rely on my digital cable to keep me in touch with where the hip kids are, either through "on demand" video (which is awesome) or on one of the many MTV/VH1 channels that are out there. A few months back on VH1Soul I caught the video for Welcome To Jamrock by reggae royalty Damian "Jr.Gong" Marley. Kicking off with a tasty Ini Kamoze sample (the title of this post is the vocal line), it features a tough ass dub beat, skanking bass line and a righteous stream of conciousness flow about the hardships of life in the slums of Jamaica - territory Damian's dad Bob was no stranger to. The tune really grabbed my attention, both for the music and for the lyrics. It's been on heavy rotation on the cable channels, and apparently has also been a big hit on the radio. The album dropped this week so I snapped up a copy. Welcome To Jamrock has been on non-stop rotation for the last two days, shuttling between the car and the home and the work stereos. I haven't listened to the rest of the album enough to have much of an opinion yet, although generally speaking I think it sounds pretty good. There are guest shots from several rappers - Nas & Black Thought, and several collabs with his brother Stephen. Sytlistically he covers a lot of ground, from dub to pop to hiphop flavored reggae, and his voice is fairly pleasant too - low key and slightly raspy. He doesn't really sound like his dad tho' he does hijack a couple of his dad's tunes - Pimper's Paradise and Exodus both serve as backdrops. First impressions say I'm going to like this album a lot. Plus, major bonus boints are awarded for the free, green vinyl 7" of Welcome To Jamrock that came with the purchase of the CD.

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