Kingston, JA – Following his recent Barack Obama media blitz, veteran crooner Calvin ‘Cocoa Tea’ Scott is set to record an album inspired by the US Democratic Party presidential hopeful.
“Me have a new album which me a go put out and it a go name Barack Obama,” the Rastaman tells Splash during a visit to the Observer on Tuesday [Mar. 19]. Dressed in a black T-shirt, jeans, brown shoes with his locks bundled under a knitted tam, Cocoa Tea, who recently released Reggae Anthology: The Sweet Sounds Of Cocoa Tea, adds that the follow-up project is expected to hit the streets by August. Continue reading →
March 17, 2008 – It was Feb. 21, 2008, and I had just arrived in Kingston for the Reggae Academy Awards. Riding in a taxi from the airport, I was surprised, and then stunned, when the driver suddenly muttered aloud, “Joe Gibb’ dead.” “What?,” I said, “for real?” “Yea mon…‘eart attack” he calmly replied. With another 20 minutes before reaching the hotel, I began to think about the man, Joe Gibbs – producer extraordinaire – and about the time I spent working alongside him at his record pressing plant in Opa Locka, Florida.
There is no doubt that Joe Gibbs will be remembered as one of the most preeminent producers in Reggae’s history. A hardcore entrepreneur who became a Reggae giant, Joe Gibbs was seemingly quiet, yet carried a gun, and feared no man…or woman. From the 60s, consistently through the 70s and 80s, Joe Gibbs surrounded himself with such great talents as Errol “Errol T” Thompson, Niney “the Observer” Holness, Bunny “Striker” Lee, and Lee “Scratch” Perry. Errol T and Joe formed a creative bond and were known as “The Mighty Two.” Together they revolutionized Reggae and Dub and packaged it for the world. Joe’s business and production sense, combined with ET’s outrageous engineering skills resulted in ground-breaking recordings.
Joe Gibbs’ name will be forever associated with Dennis “The Boy Wonder” Brown, producing most of the finest Reggae albums Brown ever made; every song a wonder. From D Brown’s early albums that included Words of Wisdom and The Prophet Rides Again, to the 1980 cross-over A&M Records Love Has Found a Way, with the international hit single of the same name, Joe Gibbs and Errol T super-charged the young singer’s career. With songs becoming hits, and records flying out the door, Joe Gibbs and Errol T changed the direction of Reggae music. Continue reading →
Lauryn Hill Considered to Portray Rita Marley in Upcoming Film
March 2008 – It has been widely reported that Rita Marley has finalized a production deal with The Weinstein Company that will bring to life her 2004 autobiography No Woman No Cry: My Life with Bob Marley. Bob and Harvey Weinstein secured the rights to the Rita Marley story a month after the announcement that Martin Scorsese will direct the Bob Marley documentary slated for a February 2010 release.
Grammy-winning Hip-Hop singer and film star Lauryn Hill has been chosen by Rita to portray her mother-in-law in the film. “She sees my life as her life,” Rita Marley was quoted as saying. Lauryn is married to Marley son, Rohan. The two were also considered for the Bob and Rita roles, based on Timothy White’s book Catch a’Fire, back in 1999. However, after Warner Bros. secured the song rights, development was curtailed following several directors’ departures. Continue reading →
The IRIE-FM AWARDS Honors the Listeners’ Favorites for 2007
February 18, 2008 – Ocho Rios, JA – IRIE-FM, the premier Ocho Rios-based Reggae radio station, held its second in-studio awards presentation on Wed. Feb. 13, 2008. The entertaining and informative show had fans glued to their radio for three hours as winners, some surprises – some not – were announced in several tight-knit races.
While Irie-FM radio personalities Elise Kelly, Kshema Francis, and DJ Bones hosted the proceedings, panelists Dr. Sonjah Stanley-Niaah, a UWI lecturer, and Copeland Forbes, veteran tour manager and consultant, offered win-by-win comments and opinions. Voting was done by Irie-FM and sister ZIP 103-FM DJs, while the audited ballots were counted by JFM President Desi Young. In a review by writer Basil Walters in the Jamaica Observer, it was noted that it was the women in Reggae who dominated this year’s awards, while displaying the remarkable ability “to reinvent themselves.” Continue reading →
In Response to the editorial “Solidarity is What We Need”
by M. Peggy Quattro
February 14, 2008
Greetings! In response to this editorial above, which was a bulletin posted on MySpace by Lloyd Stanbury, I hereby agree with several points he adeptly brings to our attention. The image of Jamaica as a corrupt and violent society is constantly being presented to the world. Every country has degrees of these elements, but the Land of Reggae, the Land of Wood and Water, the Land of One Love, has taken a turn for the worse.
Since the beginning of Dancehall in the late ‘80s, when lyrics were degrading women and praising the gun culture, the seeds of destruction were sown. Playing our part in the media, Reggae Report chose not to support or encourage this new type of performance. No where near the quality of Dennis Brown’s “Love Has Found its Way” or the driving call to “Get Up! Stand Up!,” early Dancehall artists brought in such sleaze as “Wicked Inna Bed,” calling for “Bam Bam…Lick a shot on mama-man’s head.” The media helped make performers, such as Shabba Ranks, a so-called star. What followed was an audience trained to think this was the new direction of Reggae music.
Bob Marley said it best: “You have to be careful of the type of song, and the type of vibration that you give to the people…because ‘Woe be unto they who lead my people astray.’” Continue reading →
The Jamaican music industry, and by extension the wider Jamaican society, have been moving in a direction to destroy themselves, as evidenced by the increased lack of respect, love and harmony being displayed between our brothers and sisters. We should all hang our heads in shame when we consider that Jamaica has created so much poverty and hate among its people despite being a country and people blessed with an abundance of human and natural gifts.
It is indeed amazing that despite the worldwide demand for the talents of our musicians, sportsmen and sportswomen, the attraction of our beautiful island, our wonderful food and trend-setting fashion, we still remain a poor and under-developed country. Maybe if we were to stop fighting each other and against each other we would be much better off as a nation and together reap the benefits of our very valuable natural and human resources.
The tendency of some of our artists and music producers to revel in tribalism, war and disrespect of each other, combined with the promotion of disunity, does not help our situation at all. It is full time for us to take a stand against music and musicians who constantly promote disrespect, violence and tribalism among our people. It is also time for persons involved in the music industry to do their part in building a better Jamaica by working closer together rather than against each other. We should not continue to be the silent majority while our people suffer and our beautiful country is washed down the drain.
Reggae music has helped to liberate and build confidence in millions of people around the globe, yet at home some now try to use it to do the opposite to our own people. Music supporters, as well as the makers and performers of music, all have a role to play in reversing this very negative trend. I am not for a moment trying to give the impression that only the music makers and their fans have to make a contribution to rebuilding and reclaiming Jamaica. I am however urging those of us in the music industry to do our part. Music is the food of life.
“Look at me, I ain’t your enemy
We walk on common ground
Don’t try to fight your brother
What we need – SOLIDARITY”
These are words from “Solidarity,” a song from Anthem, the first GRAMMY-winning Reggae album by Black Uhuru in 1985.
Reggae’s First Showband Was Ahead of Its Time
by M. Peggy Quattro
September 2007 – It’s about time! Zap Pow always struck me as the most progressive, talented band I’ve ever heard come out of Jamaica. Listen to their music and you’ll understand what I mean. Thirty years after the band sadly broke up, Prime Minister Simpson honored the members August 6, 2007, at her Independence Day Gala in Kingston. Then Zap Pow and friends honored Jamaica with their performance.
The Jamaica Gleaner featured an article on August 30, 2007, where the surprised co-founder, lead guitarist, vocalist, and writer, Dwight Pinkney, expressed that “it’s better late than never.” Pinkney acknowledged the absence of co-founder Michael Williams, aka Reving Mikey Zappow, who passed away a couple years ago. Mikey named the group ZAP POW in 1969. He lived for the music, for the band, and for the recognition of the quality music they produced and performed. Continue reading →