Reggae

Artist: 
Krooked Treez
Label: 
BNV Productions

What happens when you put Sen Dog of Cypress Hill, Sid of Slipknot, and Karim of Arise Roots? You get the amazingness that is Militant Soldier with Krooked Treez. I'm not sure how they assembled this peculiar group of people for a track, but works all to well. It opens with a very classic hip-hop beat, resembling the work of Cypress Hill. The steady brass in the beat works very nicely with the drums. Karim from Arise Roots starts off with a nice reggae sing-sound in the track. The whole track is very high energy, classic, and just dope.

Sounds Like: 
Cypress Hill
Name: 
Ali Shareef
Date Reviewed: 
04/26/2017
Artist: 
Drake
Label: 
Young Money Entertainment/Cash Money Records

          Drake's "More Life" is a self-described "playlist," borrowing from genres such as afrobeat, Jamaican dance hall, r&b, and grime.

Sounds Like: 
Future
Sounds Like: 
Big Sean
Sounds Like: 
The Weeknd
Name: 
Brieana Sealy
Date Reviewed: 
04/04/2017
Artist: 
RiFF RAFF
Label: 
Neon Nation Corporation

In all honesty, I had always heard of RiFF RAFF, but never really heard his music before... asides some of Lil Debbie's songs in which he is featured in. He's also someone that I never knew was meant to be taken seriously, or just turn your brain off and listen to his music. With two studio albums and a plethora of mixtapes under his belt, RiFF RAFF's nineteenth mixtape titled Aquaberry Aquarius actually managed to blow away my expectations of both his music, and my perception of him as an artist.

Sounds Like: 
Lil Debbie
Sounds Like: 
Gucci Mane
Sounds Like: 
2 Chainz
Name: 
Roy Santa Cruz
Date Reviewed: 
02/15/2017
Artist: 
Thievery Corporation
Label: 
ESL Music

This release is a compliation of singles from Thievery Corporation's eagerly anticipated new album, The Temple of I & I. I am mainly familiar with Thievery Corporation's live sets, so it was interesting to see how they express themselves through a studio release. The two singles heavily incoporated reggae and reggaeton themes, and upon further inspection I found out that the album was recorded in Jamaica. While I enjoyed each of the songs, the release did not quite capture the same energy and exploration that accompanies their live show.

Sounds Like: 
Beats Antique
Sounds Like: 
Tycho
Name: 
Will Fotter
Date Reviewed: 
02/11/2017
Artist: 
Negro Galacticus
Label: 
Self-Released

Negro Galacticus calls their music Afropunk, and if you overthink things like me, that might be a confusing term. I'd heard the term before (off the top of my head, from the movie Dope), and I always assumed that it meant something like a combination of Punk and Afrobeat, which led me to being confused when I actually heard it since it sounds nothing like that.

Sounds Like: 
WHY?
Sounds Like: 
Das Racist
Sounds Like: 
De La Soul
Sounds Like: 
Barr
Name: 
Andrew Boring
Date Reviewed: 
10/19/2016
Artist: 
Spiritual Rez
Label: 
Spiritual Rez - Self Produced

 Self described as a Reggae funk dance experience" Spiritual Rez's album Setting in the West was self produced, originating in Maryland, and clealry taking influence from Reggae bands like The Green, Pepper and Iration. Track 4 exemplies this with the metaphor of a girl being a "ticking time bomb" which is alos a song by Iration and a theme in US / western reggae. This is definetly light hearted, party, dance reggae.

Sounds Like: 
The Green
Sounds Like: 
Pepper, Iration, Sublime
Name: 
Ellery Page
Date Reviewed: 
10/17/2016
Artist: 
Locos Por Juan
Label: 
Universal Music

A Caribbean, Hip Hop Reggae Latin Dance Album. Super Soulful multi-lingual jam band. Really beautifully composed mixture of rap lyrics, drums, electronically enhanced keyboard and synths, sax, trombone and more. There are three different mixers so the album has a variety of vibes and sounds which go from traditional Caribbean style dance music to classic Jamaican reggae, rap and hip hop and then newer reggae like the California style reggae (such as slightly stupid or sublime ). If you like Damien Marely, Pepper, Iration, or The green you should check out this album.

Sounds Like: 
Damien Marley & Nas
Sounds Like: 
Iration
Name: 
Aidan Ellery Page
Date Reviewed: 
09/07/2016
Artist: 
The Frightnrs
Label: 
Daptone Records

The Frightnrs have put together an authentic collection of reggae and rocksteady music with pop/Motown-inspired melodies and vocal performances. With crackling lo-fi production that sounds like it was cut in the 1960s, the record is imbued with a warm color and classic feel.

The writing is definitely strong. Tightly arranged, and performances balanced economically, the tracks are given room to breathe and vibe. Not a performance here sounds stiff or imitative.

Sounds Like: 
Cornell Campbell
Name: 
Grant L Williams
Date Reviewed: 
09/07/2016
Artist: 
Jahson
Label: 
Natty Vibez Records

What can be said about this album that hasn't been said a thousand times?  Jahson's fourth album "Reggae Gathering" pushes the boundaries of what can be considered Reggae.  Just kiding, its pretty much as stereotypical as you could imagine.  I will give the artist some credit, because there are three full songs before you first hear the line "legalize it!".  The themes of his music center around rastafarianism, jah, and other rasta standards.

Sounds Like: 
"Ras Trent"
Sounds Like: 
Black Uhuru
Name: 
Nick Cotter
Date Reviewed: 
01/27/2016
Artist: 
Holy Forest
Label: 
Makasutu Sound System

This album was one of my favorites of the semester!! Jon Fine, a well known producer brought together a bunch of really amazing artists and put together these songs. Because of the variety of artists, the songs have different sounds ranging from reggae to blues and traditional Gambian lute music, but they are all influenced by Gambia’s Makasutu forest and they’re all super good! The songs in general are all very groovy, so if you haven’t listened to world in a while, give this album a listen.

Sounds Like: 
Fela Kuti (some songs)