When the music is good, there is no date to complete your record library and listen to it. We offer you some reggae & dancehall releases (videos and tracks) by Jamaican artists that are already a few months, a few weeks or a few days old and we are sure that you will find your happiness.
On March 12, 2021 Christopher Martin‘s latest single “Rent Free” was released featuring the Style A Style riddim from Chimney Records which is considered one of the hottest riddims in dancehall. After new singles and music videos from Stylo G, Ding Dong, Tarrus Riley, Jahvillani, it’s now Christopher Martin’s turn to present his performance to the public.
Singer Spice released the video of her track entitled “Frenz” on February 23, 2021. The single, released last December, was produced by Stephen “Di Genius” McGregor and SupaDups and co-written by Angela Hunte (Alicia Keys & Jay-Z “Empire State of Mind”). Spice sings “Mama used to tell me / friends not good for you girl / but I know I will learn the hard way / smile inna yuh face but chat behind yuh back….”. About the song, the Queen of Dancehall also adds : “even though there is betrayal in friendships, relationships or situations, there is good. The goal of the song is to help people realize who will betray them before the betrayal happens so they can avoid heartache”. The song was launched on the popular Instagram platform Chat and Laugh hosted by DJ Lava. “Frenz” was immediately received with positive reaction. Fans and supporters of Spice filled the Instagram screen with blue hearts and hand-praying emoji’s. Spice shared the broadcast on her platform which garnered additional support.
On 14 February, VP Records released a selection of Valentine’s Day tracks in its Various Artists compilation that amounted to 29min48s of music with “Trueversation” Queen Ifrica (featuring Damian Marley), “Blessing” Etana feat. Alborosie, “To Be with you” Christopher Martin, “Missing You” Busy Signal, “Only You” Jah Cure feat. Mya, “That Girl” Jah Cure, “You and I” Jah9 & Pressure, “Lovesick” Romain Virgo.
VP Records wanted to celebrate Dennis Brown‘s birthday, who was born on February 1, 1957 and would have been 64 this year had he not died in 1999 at the age of 42. To do this, the record company offered fans of the Crown Prince of Reggae an album released in 2016 entitled “We Remember Dennis Brown” composed of 30 songs by the artist and performed by Marsha Ambrosius, Freddie McGregor, Maxi Priest, Romain Virgo, Ikaya, Jah9 etc. In Jamaica, Dennis Brown’s birthday marks the first day of Reggae Month, which takes place every year. The Jamaican music icon started recording songs at the age of 11 and released 75 albums!!!
Reggae star Christopher Martin released “Numbers” on December 18, 2020, a single in which he refers to the Jamaica’s National Lottery that everyone hopes to win one day. The track was produced by Suku Ward and is the latest track Christopher Martin released in 2020 after “Big Big”, “Little Green Apples” and “Dem Vex”. His catalogue of hits also includes chart-topping tracks “Cheaters Prayer”, “Big Deal” and “Mama”.
“Smooth” is the result of the partnership between Jahvillani from western Jamaica and Skillinbeng from eastern Jamaica. In the track, released on December 4, 2020 by VP Records and produced by Adrian “Mastermind” Martin Lawrence, the two artists brag about their maneuverings around the most beautiful women. The music video was shot in Kingston and produced by Mathofminds Production. Jahvillani has had success with tracks such as “Clarks Pon Foot”, “Wileside Government” and “Nuh Reason”, while Skillibeng became famous with the release of the singles “Brik Pon Brik” and “Crocodile Teeth”.
“Fun” is the song offered to the public on November 27, 2020 by producer and artist Jovi Di Pree in collaboration with Sikka Rhymes. The two acolytes explain how they have a good time with beautiful women and beverages of choice. The track available on all digital music platforms is distributed by VPAL Distribution. In the past, Jovi has had the opportunity to work with Vybz Kartel, Busy Signal, Bounty Killer, Beenie Man, Sizzla, Spice, Dexta Daps, Masicka, Vershon and many others.
Released on November 27, 2020, “Shadows After Dark”, the latest single written and produced by Alborosie – the Italian-born reggae star who has been working and living in Jamaica for the past 15 years – encourages people (especially the young and vulnerable population in Jamaica and around the world) to be very careful of whom they trust. “You can see a man’s face but not his heart”, says the artist. The song is the result of a collaboration between the National Task Force Against Trafficking in Persons (NATFATIP) established by the Jamaican government in 2005, Alborosie and VP Records ; they decided to launch an awareness campaign against human trafficking that began on 26 November 2020. On December 1, 2020 an international poster competition on this dramatic topic was launched and will end next May. https://www.reggaepostercontest.com/shadows-after-dark-international-poster-competition-on-h. Alborosie personally contacted the artists and asked them to participate in this noble cause : Christopher Martin, Romain Virgo, Dean Fraser, Duane Stephenson, Kabaka Pyramid, Etana, Taurus Riley, Kumar, Morgan Heritage, Raging Fyah and Sandy Smith. “We have the power to bring these crimes to an end. Our voices, together, can do that. Reggae music is that powerful”, said the artist.
Founded in July 1991, the Strictly The Best is the longest running compilation series in reggae. “Strictly the Best is the annual compilation of emerging hits and breaking artists on the contemporary reggae scene. STB 61 features 24 of the biggest current and upcoming hits, from Alborosie to Alkaline, from Bella Blair to Busy Signal. Fans of roots reggae, lovers rocket and dancehall are flocking to the Strictly The Best brand with confidence”, says Natasha Von Castle of VP Records about the album, which was released on November 20 last year.
Disc 1: Disc 1: 1. Unprecedented Time – Alborosie 2. Murderer (feat. Dre Island) – Richie Spice 3. Earth Rightful – Pressure 4. Fire Blaze – Ginjah 5. Raging Fire – Raging Fyah 6. Gimme A Light – Bella Blair 7. Caribbean Girl (feat. Romain Virgo) – Duane Stephenson 8. Cheater – Maxi Priest 9. Seems To Me I’m Losing You – Glen Washington 10. Warm & Easy – Gyptian 11. Ready To Play (feat. Tarrus Riley) – Jah9 12. Little Green Apples – Christopher Martin
Disc 2: 1. Live For The Summer – Busy Signal, Ajjii, Stylo G 2. Drippin In Sauce – Demarco 3. True Colors – TeeJay 4. High Props – Alkaline 5. Wonder – Intence 6. Robot Taxi -I-Waata 7. Rich – Daddy1 8. Crime Scene – Gage 9. Seen It Before – Busy Signal 10. Rich – Masicka 11. Likkle Bit A Money – Govana 12. Try (feat. Bounty Killer) – Gyptian.
On November 13, 2020, VP Records celebrated the work by an unsung hero in reggae and Jamaican music : Maurice Clive Hunt. The producer, instrumentalist, writer and arranger is best known for the Abyssinians’ landmark Satta Massa Ganna album, Dennis Brown’s “Milk and Honey,” Beres Hammond’s “Putting Up Resistance,” and for more recent VP Records releases featuring Richie Spice, Jah Cure, Queen Ifrica, and Jah9. Hunt was celebrated with the Bad Bad Bad compilation (by Chris O’Brien) which brings together his outstanding productions from the 1970s and 1980s with rare tracks by Bonny Gayle, Dennis Brown, The Abyssinians, Junior Murvin, Max Romeo, Marcia Griffiths, In Crow, Pablo Moses and Clive Hunt himself etc.
In addition to Bad Bad Bad, on November 13, VP Records paid tribute to Maurice Clive Hunt with the instrumental LP titled Blue Lizzard. This is the first instrumental reggae album of this kind to be released in Jamaica in a long time. Recorded at Jimmy Cliff’s Sunpower studio between 2016 and 2018, it comprises original compositions and adaptations of classics arranged by Hunt.
“I came up in the ska era. I played trumpet originally. That was my introduction to everything I do musically” (…) “I have always been into instrumentals. Our culture, our music, was very much [about] instrumentals, even dub, came about as the other side of the music without the vocal. I was doing all this work for VP. A lot of time we go in the studio and lay four or five riddims and … maybe two or three are voiced and the others are sitting there. I said hey, let me do something with these”, he said. For more on Clive Hunt, watch this 2019 interview discussing the Blue Lizzard album and his production career. https://www.youtube.com/playlistlist=PLSEI3nm01zlNQTK1bSGIuOr6Cw95R2spb
The Dancehall Anthems album, released last October 16, featuring Kabaka Pyramid, Sean Paul, Beenie Man, Agent Sasco, Wayne Marshall, Ikaya, Ginjah, Runkus, Blvk H3ro, Bugle, Royal Blu, Naomi Cowan and Kumar, was produced by the well-known Jeremy Harding. It features covers and adaptations of classics by Yellowman, Michigan & Smiley, Ken Boothe, Tenor Saw, Papa San, Louie Culture, among others. “Originally, this was going to be a VP Records 40th anniversary project, but it expanded, as I wanted to pay tribute to the history of dancehall in the broadest sense, reconsidering iconic songs and particularly the roots of the genre, including what played heavily on Soundsystems when I was growing up. I wanted to give the artists, new and veterans, the chance to put their spin on these classics”, explained Harding, a former guitarist graduated from London’s Royal School of Music and the Trebas Institute, a former DJ who became one of Jamaica’s most innovative producers of the 1990s and is currently adjunct faculty in reggae studies at the University of the West Indies.
“Pretty Melanin” is the track that VPAL’s first Open Mic winner, Diel, submitted on October 2. The single, produced by Dwain ‘Wiya’ Campbell, is meant to be a strong message for the emancipation of black women whose skin is coloured by melanin. “Even though I am a new artiste, I am at a place mentally where I want to release music that will last past my lifetime. So in sitting down and writing this song, I looked carefully at all that is going on, and thought about what I would want to say to my daughter. Although she is not born yet, it is a love song to her… and really to every woman that can connect with and appreciate the message”, Diel explained about his inspiration.
Busy Signal released “Tic Toc”, on 12 August, a track he had already launched in 2008. “Tic Toc” was a big hit and received millions of views on YouTube. In addition, fashion designer Stella McCartney included it in her 2008 show Paris Fashion Week and, in 2020, Rihanna included a remix of the song in her Fenty Beauty advertising campaign.