Samoan-American singer J Boog has one of the best voices in the reggae business. Such great energy and passion. He grew up in Compton, LA, and later relocated to Hawaii where he teamed up with Wash House Productions.
He dropped his debut album already ten years ago, but it was in 2010 he broke big with his Let’s Do It Again on Don Corleon’s Major riddim. His second set Backyard Boogie was released the year after, but since then he has only released occasional singles and cuts on one riddim compilations.
Until last year. In early 2016 he dropped the five track EP Rose Petals, which has been nominated for a Grammy in the reggae category. It was the predecessor to his third album Wash House Ting.
This 14 track set features several previously released cuts, including two songs from Rose Petals. It also includes collaborations with top names such as Chaka Demus, Gappy Ranks, Buju Banton and Gramps Morgan from Morgan Heritage.
Wash House Ting is a solid set – although the sonic landscape could have been more powerful – with sweet melodies and catchy hooks and J Boog shines as usual. And he’s at the top of his game on slightly more militant songs like Lock It Off, Vex Me and Raggamuffin.
Talented U.S. reggae singer J Boog recently dropped a new five track EP titled Rose Petals, a set where Stephen “Ragga” Marley, Chaka Demus and Snoop Dogg aka Snoop Lion contributes with verses on one track each.
It has been three years since J Boog released more than a single and this new EP is certainly very welcome. It offers contemporary and bouncy romantic – sometimes leaning towards the lewd – reggae with highlights such as the Chaka Demus combination Good Cry and the slick title track.
Brighter Days is sunny stadium reggae with an infectious sing-a-long chorus and motivational lyrics, while Good Feeling is a version of Dee Sharp’s lovers rock anthem Let’s Dub It Up. Snoop Dogg appears on the racy and funky No Pressure, a bonus cut which, according to The Island Sound, was recorded already in 2012.
About a year ago I wrote a piece on the vibrating French reggae scene. One of the interviewees was Pierre Bost, producer and co-founder of Special Delivery Music, a label that last year celebrated its tenth anniversary.
As a celebration Special Delivery now drops the 14 track compilation The 1st Decade 2001-2011.The compilation highlights some the most popular tracks recorded over the past ten years in Jamaica, the UK and France.
The compilation takes off in fine style with Morgan Heritage’s acoustic version of Have no Fear recorded in 2006 in Kingston and ends with upcoming super talent Chronixx’ Beat & A Mic and an exclusive track from Gappy Ranks recorded last year in London. All three tracks were produced and mixed by Bost & Bim, a duo responsible for nine cuts on the album.
Michael Rose was the first international artist to be put out on the label, and his Never Take it for Granted, recorded in 2002, is naturally included. Backing vocals on this song is provided by Trinibagoan singer and deejay Queen Omega. She also shares microphone duties with the incarcerated Buju Banton on Perfection.
The impressive line-up on the album also includes Sizzla’s Good over Evil, voiced on joyous version of the Itals’ classic Ina Dis Ya Time, the haunting Dem Doom by Capleton and J Boog’s So Far Gone, a tune released in 2010 but still remains in the top 200 on the U.S. iTunes chart and has become one of his biggest songs.
Special Delivery – the 1st Decade 2001-2011 drops as digital download on September 21 and includes no dull moments and perfectly showcases why many Jamaican artists look to Europe for well-produced and melodic one drop and dancehall riddims.
J Boog’s Let’s do it Again and Coldest Zone on Don Corleon’s Major and Bost & Bim’s Hustlin’ riddims respectively were two of the biggest highlights from last year.
And he has continued in the same strong vein ever since.
The smooth Waiting on the Rain and the bouncy I’m Fallen – again for Don Corleon – as well as the self-titled EP has all been strong efforts.
Now J Boog’s debut album Backyard Boogie has dropped, and the big question is if he can maintain his high standard and live up to the huge expectations. The answer is yes.
Backyard Boogie is a strong, often radio-friendly, album from start to finish.
It contains mostly exclusives and is generally in the modern one drop reggae vein with one excursion into ska – the Peetah Morgan duet Sunshine Girl.
J Boog is a fine singer with a hoarse yet soft ring in his voice. He is comfortable with both up-tempo cuts, such as the Million Stylez duet Replay on Bost & Bim’s Marvel riddim, or the R&B flavored Take it Slow, a tune reminiscent of Lost Without You by Grammy Award winner Robin Thicke.
Other highlights include the ganja anthem Hawaiian Pakalolo, built on Sly & Robbie’s Taxi riddim and utilizing lyrics from Josey Wales’ It Haffi Bun, and the Tarrus Riley duet She Give Me Lovin’ with its funky saxophone.
My fiancée summed up the album well the other day when she said “this is good music”. Agreed.
Last year French versatile production and mixing duo Bost & Bim – responsible for some huge mash-ups with their Yankees A Yard compilations – put out the Hustlin’ riddim. Hawaiian singer J-Boog’s cut Coldest Zone made number four on Reggaemani’s best tunes in 2010.
So it comes as a pleasant surprise when I heard that they are dropping two new versions of this wicked hip-hop influenced rub a dub one drop.
Five cuts are now available in a digital Prince Jammy Style. Pick of the bunch is Valene’s intense My Ghetto Cry.
The other version is in a nyabinghi style with a scent of soul. Pick of these five are once again J-Boog and his Coldest Zone.
This varied one riddim album is available as digital download worldwide and as CD in France.