Jamaican roots rocking reggae artist and producer Micah Shemaiah dropped his debut album Rastaman Meditation in 2009, but it didn’t receive too much attention at the time. Now he has dropped his second album and the times have changed. There’s currently a powerful force on the Jamaican music scene called the reggae revival – or Rastafari revival – with frontrunners like Protoje, Chronixx and Jah9.
In 2013 Micah Shemaiah dropped the excellent and dubby single Dread at the Control, which a year later was followed by the equally brilliant Reggae Rockit. Both singles were featured on the recently released compilation Shalalak.
His brand new album Original Dread collects however mostly previously unreleased material and features several guest artists – Exile di Brave, Addis Pablo, Jahkime, Nicole Miller and TJ, son of legendary dancehall deejay Brigadier Jerry. Four of the cuts also come with their dub counterpart mixed by Will Tee, who along with Micah Shemaiah himself serves as producer for the twelve track set.
Original Dread is a celebration of reggae and particularly rub a dub from the early 80s. It’s superb from start to finish with heavy and uncompromising riddims along with infectious melodies and catchy hooks. Check for example the beautiful and uplifting Eezy Breezy – with lyrics like “ain’t no rhythm like reggae when it’s playing dub” – or the eerie and melancholic If I Could with its memorable chorus and melodica courtesy of Addis Pablo.
Micah Shemaiah has just like fellow Jamaican singer Chronixx not flooded the market with singles or cuts on one riddim albums. He has from early on controlled and charted his own destiny. And that usually means high quality, which Original Dread certainly is great proof of.