Tuesday, June 30, 2009


This is a creative Jah Life production from ancient NY:
Terence Smith does a convincing job in the roles of both D.Brown and Gregory atop a Brooklyn cut of "Wicked Can't Run Away":
Carlton Livingston and others voiced this one too:


"We deh pon a V.I.B. a wah we coming in ya area,
We deh pon a V.I.B. a wah we rock and come onya "


Friday, June 26, 2009

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

dont knock the blues




dead presidents



Them dead presidents
Them dead presidents
Well I ain't broke but I'm badly bent
Everybody loves them dead presidents

A little bit of Lincoln can't park the car
Washington he can't go too far
Jefferson is good, played at the track
If you think you're gonna bring some big bread back

Them dead presidents
Them dead presidents
Well I ain't broke but I'm badly bent
Everybody loves them dead presidents

Hamilton on a ten can get you straight
But Jackson on a twenty is really great
And if you're talking about a poor man's friend
Grant will get you out of whatever you're in

Them dead presidents
Them dead presidents
Well I ain't broke but I'm badly bent
Everybody loves them dead presidents

A hundred dollar Franklin is really sweet
A five hundred McKinley is the one for me
If I get a Cleveland, I'm really set
A thousand dollar Cleveland is hard to get

Them dead presidents
Them dead presidents
Well I ain't broke but I'm badly bent
Everybody loves them dead presidents

Monday, June 22, 2009


It is hilarious how many pussyhole soundboys call themselves SELECTOR or say they have a sound system. It’s a big joke. Maybe it’s unfair to judge them, but to be so boldly ignorant invites inevitable comment. So few of you clowns know what any of this means, that it seems like time to spell it out plainly and give you a dancehall education.

The name for reggae music evolved into Dancehall because even since the ska days, there were no pretty nightclubs or trendy hangouts to house the ghetto crowd. Entertainment was taken into the people’s own hands, and dances were held in yards or halls. It’s hard or impossible for a little rich kid who started clubbing last summer to understand this. There were no clubs until years later, and homemade food was sold alongside hot Guinness and Red Stripe to an enthusiastic crowd.

It is admittedly very confusing that a Jamaican artiste who chats lyrics and is not a singer is known as a DJ, and the American counterpart who blends records is described with the same term. Here is the breakdown of how a classic dancehall dance was structured:

The SOUND SYSTEM is literally that: amps, crossovers, speakers, mics and other gear that make up an audio setup for entertaining people with music. Each sound system boasts of size and power, and the ultimate goal is loud and clean sound that dominates other systems. Obviously this much gear requires security to protect it, and a truck with helpers to transport it. So two little pencilneck DJs can’t really be a SOUND SYSTEM.

Classically, the SELECTOR is the one who knows the records and dubplates in the collection, and organizes them. Many hot tunes were played with covered labels, so rivals couldn’t trainspot the title for their own purposes, but the SELECTOR had them marked in a way only he and his crew could understand. The SELECTOR judges the mood of the audience, watches for reactions to certain tunes, and hands the OPERATOR the next record to play.

The OPERATOR is the one who plays the records, putting them on and off the turntable and taking cues from the DJ. The DJ has many subtle commands that he fits into his rap, to tell the OPERATOR what he needs.

“Play low” or “Play me low” means bring the riddim quietly under the voice so the DJ can make a point or drop a funny punchline.
“Mix me” means that the OPERATOR should work the fader in time to the music to bring rhythmic variations to the riddim. This also makes the DJs lyrics stand out more.
“Jack it up” or “Come Again” or “Reel!” or “Lick it back!” or any number of other variations mean to start the record over. Jamaican audiences will sometimes demand that a record is played dozens of times in a row!

The DJ’s role has expanded over the years. Obviously the name comes from the tradition of radio DJs, who talk over records, announcing artists and titles, news and advertising, and of course jokes and stories. In a classic Jamaican dance, the DJ had to fill the gap between records since there was initially just one turntable, and the OPERATOR had to flip the record or go to the next one as quick as possible. DJ’s would interact with the singer on the record, and add intros and outros. Soon every 45 had a VERSION side, just the riddim alone for the DJ to improvise over. The rest is history, as U-Roy and thousands of others put out DJ records. Now it has blown up into a huge industry, bringing countless riches back to the island that created it, as world renowned Jamaican DJs tour the world, cutting dubs and tunes, gigging like mad and branching out to every corner of the globe………………………………..

Well soundboy, back to the drawing board! You better go back to the woodshed and practice until you can blend two songs to the beat- some of you have no rhythm or taste, and will never be able to do it properly. Maybe you should let those who know the music and really feel the music take over.

(If you feel it already, and know your history, this article is not for you)

Saturday, June 20, 2009


These sisters compilations are assembled to exacting specifications: The voice must be emotional, strong and in-tune, the lyrics must be clever or at least fun, and the rhythm of course must be a heavy rockstone foundation for the song-

As tunes are auditioned and tested, the content trickles down to a very hard kernel of pure soul that came from many different releases. You may notice there is no fluffy filler, and that no cuts are included for reasons of record company politics-

Many of you don’t understand the slang, or can’t understand one word these women are saying- That is okay, the vibe is so strong that it reaches almost everyone.


1 Marcia Griffiths – Stepping Out Of Babylon (extended)
2 Nora Dean – Beautiful Morning
3 Hortense Ellis – Mark My Words
4 Joy White – Dread Out De (extended)
5 Barbara Jones – Come And Get Yourself Some
6 Marcia Griffiths – Melody Life
7 Nora Dean – Dry Your Tears
8 Nora Dean – Never Be Mine
9 Hortense Ellis – Never See My Baby Anymore
10 Hortense Ellis – Wooden Heart
11 Barbara Jones – Have A Good Time
12 Hortense Ellis – Willow Tree
13 Hortense Ellis – I’m Still In Love
14 Debra Keese – Travelling (extended)
15 Nora Dean – Angie La La



Wednesday, June 10, 2009

olive tree


export only


Really from The Congo

For years there was rumor of lost sessions from the Black Ark with musicians from Zaire and Jamaica playing together in the seventies. The story mutated in a form of the telephone game, but to eventually hear the music is to hear a potent mix of reggae and African vibes, mixed in a heavy, psychedelic style by The Upsetter Perry: A must-hear.


Saturday, June 6, 2009

Queen Of The Blues

It's a shame to know that Koko is gone, but you know she had her fun-
Cora "Koko" Taylor (1928 - 2009)

Koko Taylor - Voodoo Woman
Koko Taylor - Tease Your Man


Tuesday, June 2, 2009



For dessert, two pieces of Mr. Doo's version of the "Tempo" riddim featuring gruff favorite Jr. Demus alongside Nardo Ranks (Mr. "Burrup")

A potent New Jersey anthem from two yardies that warns travelers of the dangers of being out there on the turnpike. Nardo is quick to point out that it makes things go smoother during a police pullover when you chat American style. He reminds us that license and registration should all be in order and that gaudy jewelry will draw negative attention. Both artistes make a strong point about driving sober and having a clean car!!

Years before the carjacking movie...(even has a "papi" sample!!)


VA - roxanne, roxanne PART 1

Old heads already know, but answer records or counteraction records have long been a part of the music. Cover versions and spin-offs on a theme generate very creative and often corny songs that compete for airtime and the public’s attention. Lowell Fulson’s
“Tramp” and Rufus Thomas’ dog lyrics started a flood of copycat grooves, and it seems like everyone had a new dance step to sing about too.

Of course the tradition carried into reggae and soca long ago, and it has been a great way to hype up a few artistes by pitting them against each other in a mock war. It’s not worth listing all of the famous beefs here, but as you read this, you can think of a few performers in your favorite genre who hate each other.

Possibly the first diss war in hip hop was started by a UTFO b-side called “Roxanne, Roxanne”, whose lyric made fun of a stuck-up girl who thought she was too cool for school. It was one of those surprise radio smashes that occurred when deejays flipped over a single and made the other song the actual hit with their own airplay.

A young girl from Queens named Shante Gooden came out as Roxanne Shante, dissing UTFO with the Marley Marl produced “Roxanne’s Revenge”, reportedly angering UTFO enough to bring out The Real Roxanne (aka Adelaida Martinez). They didn’t realize what they had started, but depending on who you ask, there are as many as a hundred spin-offs of “Roxanne, Roxanne”. For months the beat raged on, coming from every radio tuned to R&B.

Here are some of the main ones, all taken from twelve inch disco singles bought new at the time. Post the other pieces if you have them and let us know. Whoever makes a mega mix with these should send us a link (yeah right).



tales from the bronx