Tag Archives: Jahdan Blakkamoore

The atmospheric world of Blundetto

1429278700_world-of-blundettoRadio jockey and producer Blundetto has dropped a new album, an unusual and unique set full of sonic surprises and imaginative arrangements and instruments.

It presents a cocktail of low-key instrumental tracks and laid-back vocal cuts featuring talents such as Biga Ranx, Jahdan Blakkamoore, Marina P, John Milk and Pupa Jim.

World of is melancholic, earthly and atmospheric. Sometimes it leans towards electro lounge music and sometimes it’s more reggae-oriented, like Biga Ranx’ airy Above the Water, Marina P’s elegant Last Broken Bones, a track custom-made for a blunted jazz club in Paris, or Jahdan Blakkamoore’s stylish Work.

This set is not your ordinary reggae album and Blundetto is not afraid of thinking out of the box.


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Yet another masterpiece from Jahdan Blakkamoore

OoD cover3Guyanese born and Brooklyn bred Jahdan Blakkamoore has finally released his follow-up to the rightly acclaimed Babylon Nightmare, released in 2010. And Order of Distinction is yet another masterpiece from this ruthlessly versatile and talented singer, deejay, rapper, producer and Grammy-nominated songwriter.

Jahdan Blakkamoore isn’t a particularly prolific recording artist and Order of Distinction is only his third full-length, but he has also released singles and been key in a number of other artists careers, for example Snoop Dogg, aka Snoop Lion aka Snoopzilla, and his underrated reggae effort Reincarnated.

Order of Distinction is well-crafted from beginning to end and Jahdaan Blakkamoore is a innovative wordsmith delivering positive and insightful lyrics, ranging from sexy locers rock on Smood Blakk Skin and Everything I Love to the encouraging and electrofied Faith, the spiritual Come Back Around and the more boisterous and energetic Ting Tun Up! with Lady Leshurr and Melodic Yoza.

This set is mainly produced Zion I Kings – one of the best and hottest production crews today – along with Paper Stars, a production and writing duo forged between Jahdan Blakkamoore and Andrew “Moon” Bain, who is also part of Zion I Kings. But on board is also dancehall maestro Dre Skull and electro whiz Nate Mars.

Zion I Kings and affiliated labels Lustre Kings, Zion High Productions and I Grade are synonymous with reggae productions of the highest calibre. They are no strangers releasing both fresh talents and seasoned veterans, and they always deliver on putting out music with clever arrangements, innovative production and a conscious approach.


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Finally a new album from Jahdan Blakkamoore

OoD cover3Guyanese born, Brooklyn-raised and Grammy-nominated singay, rapper and songwriter Jahdan Blakkamoore finally follows up on his massive 2010-released album Babylon Nightmare.

Order of Distinction – set for release on March 24 – is his third album and features mainly production by Zion I Kings and Paper Stars. Zion I Kings is widely known for several powerful releases, including Midnite’s Beauty for Ashes, which was awarded iTunes album of the year 2014, while Papers Stars is the production and writing duo forged between Jahdan Blakkamoore and Andrew “Moon” Bain, who is also part of Zion I Kings. Other producers include electro dancehall maestro Dre Skull and electro producer Nate Mars.

On Order of Distinction the team has invited a strong roster of contemporaries, including Lutan Fyah, Pressure Busspipe and Kabaka Pyramid. And the set offers a mix of high-energy ragga hip-hop, sexy lovers rock and modern roots.

According to a press release the set pushes the envelope of the genre, introducing fresh faces amongst familiar ones while remaining rooted in a foundation of innovative musicianship and forward thinking production that resounds with positive and evocative messages. Check the first single off the album below.

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A rocking reggae debut from hip-hop duo Smif-N-Wessun

smif-n-wessun-bornandraised-EP-SNYC-based hip-hop duo Smif-N-Wessun has showcased Caribbean influences in their music ever since their debut album Dah Shinin’ back in 1995. Over the years Tek and Steele have sampled Johnny Osbourne and collaborated with artists such as Million Stylez, Chukki Starr, Eek-A-Mouse and Jahdan Blakkamoore, long before he wrote hit songs for Snoop Dogg aka Snoop Lion aka Snoopzilla.

Now the duo has presented their most reggae-oriented work yet. The six track – ten on the deluxe version – EP Born & Raised is a strong reggae meets hip-hop project. Tek and Steele boasts and brags over grim reggae riddims produced by Beatnick and K-Salaam with guest singers such as Junior Reid, Junior Kelly and Jahdan Blakkamoore.

Best of the bunch is Shots in the Dark, it’s on a hazy version of the mighty Kunta Kinte riddim. But not far after is the title track where Junior Kelly chants the chorus.

Sound Bwoy Bureill was one of the duo’s most Caribbean moments until this excellent EP, and I hope this isn’t a one-off project.

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Several treats from Jahdan Blakkamoore

Jahdan Blakkmoore – one of Brooklyn’s finest reggae singers – dropped his sophomore album Babylon Nightmare in December last year, to wide critical acclaim. The album included the sweet single All Comes Back to One.

Now production crews Lustre Kings and LionDub International are releasing a remix EP of All Comes Back to One, which includes versions with influences from dubstep, drum & bass, one drop and nu-soul. The remix duties are handled by Nate Mars, Potential Badboy, LionDub, Nick Fantastic and Ticklah. The funky and soulful version BoBos Remix is available as free download. Check it here.

If that wasn’t enough, DJ Theory has just put out the refreshing Quick Money for free download, a tune full of reggae, hip-hop and soul. It uses a sample from Amadou & Mariam’s Sabali – also used by Nas & Damian Marley for the mellow Patience – and comes with a lethal soca version courtesy of So Shifty. Check both tunes here.

Thanks to The 45 Shootout for the heads up.

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Jahdan Blakkamoore outperforms himself

For those that have followed Jahdan Blakkamoore since his days in Noble Society and were disappointed with his electronica infused debut album Buzzrock Warrior can relax. His second album – Babylon Nightmare – is a completely different story compared to the debut set.

The dubstep and electronica influences from European music have been switched towards Africa, Jamaica and old school hip-hop for this diverse set rooted in reggae, hip-hop and soul.

Babylon Nightware is produced by gifted producers Andrew “Moon” Bain of Lustre Kings, Laurent “Tippy” Alfred and Nick Fantastic. This U.S-based trio was the masterminds behind Toussaint’s solo debut Black Gold earlier this year. And that set is reminiscent of Babylon Nightmare.

However, Black Gold had more soul influences whereas Babylon Nightmare leans more towards hip-hop with live instrumentation. Listen for example to Against All Odds featuring his bands mates in Noble Society. This tune is basically hip-hop. And it’s very well executed.

Jahdan is immensely talented and has no problem riding riddims like Junior Kelly or Konshens. And he can sing like Pressure. This, together with the very varied riddims, makes Babylon Nightmare a very joyful listening from beginning to end. It’s never a dull moment.

The majority of the tunes are new. But some old time favorites show up. For example Flying High and Proverbs, titled after their riddims respectively. It’s also a real treat to listen to the wicked reworking of Golden City on the Rainbow riddim.

I was one of those that thought Buzzrock Warrior was a decent set. But with his second album, Jahdan has managed to outperform himself. If I haven’t already awarded album of the year, this one would have made it into the top ten.


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Jahdan Blakkamoore wants to inspire

Jahdan Blakkamoore made a name for himself in the trio Noble Society, an outfit that received the award Reggae Album of the Year on iTunes in 2008. Last year he dropped his solo debut Buzzrock Warrior, an album that received the same award. Next week he is about to drop his second effort. Reggaemani got a chance to speak to him about the new album and his desire to inspire.

Jahdan Blakkamoore. Photo: Amir Ebrahimi

Jahdan Blakkamoore was born in Guyana and moved to the U.S. at an early age. Now he’s based in Brooklyn, NYC, and spends all his time in the studio recording and learning.

He seems to have no musical boundaries. On Noble Society’s debut album Take Charge, he and his band mates Delie and Diego “Fuego” Campo tried their hands on many different styles ranging from one drop reggae and dancehall to hip-hop.

On Jahdan Blakkamoore’s solo debut in 2009 he explored raw digital bass lines in the field of electronica and dubstep.

Buzzrock Warrior was very electronic and I was inspired by European house and jungle. It was supposed to be a mixtape, but ended up as an album, says Jahdan Blakkamoore on the phone from a recording studio in New York.

Jahdan in a new light
The first single from his sophomore album Babylon Nightmare is a different excursion compared to what he has previously put out. All Comes Back to One is partly acoustic, laid back and easy going.

− It’s a beautiful tune, states Jahdan and explains:

− It has a folky acoustic feeling and is about the concept of oneness. It’s a unique part of the album.

He describes Babylon Nightmare as a mixture of hip-hop and soul with a Caribbean feeling. And he emphasizes that it’s a musical album with live instrumentation such as live bass and horns.

Jahdan Blakkamoore – All Comes Back to One (single version)

Treats and surprises
Some of the tunes on the album have been featured on different compilations. But Jahdan has something up his sleeve.

− People might have heard some of the songs before, but the versions on Babylon Nightmare are different. It’s a little treat, a surprise, he says and gives an example:

− The album version of All Comes Back to One has horns and a different mix.

Babylon Nightmare is the antidote
Jahdan says that Babylon Nightmare is a conceptual album about the world we’re living in.

− We’re all facing negative elements created by ourselves. We created the babylon nightmare, he says in a serious tone, and continues:

− Babylon nightmare is mass confusion. But it can be utopia. We can change the nightmare. My personal antidote is to look inwards. You need to understand yourself. Learn about your culture and the true power of love.

Babylon nightmare is a state of mind that you can change. And Jahdan is willing to help.

− All songs on the album are bits of antidote to the nightmare. For example All Over the World [starts singing], it’s about reggae and that it’s everywhere. Love is everywhere.

Four years to complete
Jahdan and producers Andrew “Moon” Bain, Laurent “Tippy” Alfred and Nick Fantastic have put a lot of time and love into the album. The recording started about four years ago. Jahdan seems confident in what it could achieve.

− It’ll kick up doors for me and show me in the correct light. People will hold on to this album. It’s my best body of work to date and you can play it to your grandmother or your son.

− I want people to take my music seriously and I always want to have a message. I want to inspire and enlighten.

“Hot now and not later”
And he wants to be recognized now. Not in 20 years.

Busy Signal gives me the chills when I hear his music. He’s on top of the game, Jahdan says, and continues:

− I want to be unique and have originality. If you’re a genius, you’re able to inspire your contemporaries, not 20 years later. People in your era need to say “wow” and recognize you for your music. Hot now and not later.


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Lustre Kings om dagens reggae

Dagens reggae har kommit på avvägar och i USA släpper skivbolagen bara dålig musik. Men det kanske kan ändras. Amerikanska producentduon Lustre Kings hoppas att musik med budskap kan ta sig tillbaka in på hitlistorna.

I höstas skrev jag en krönika på Rebelmusic om avsaknaden av amerikansk reggae. Visst, Shaggy, Johnny Nash och producenten Bobby Konders kommer därifrån. Men inte mycket annat. Eller?

Efter att jag skrev krönikan började jag hålla ett extra öga på reggae från USA. Och vips så hittade jag ett gäng intressanta namn. Populära Groundation är från Kalifornien och SOJA, John Browns Body och 10 Ft. Ganja Plant är från östkusten. Sen finns också hela reggaerörelsen från Virgin Islands med artister som Midnite, Dezarie och Ras Attitude.

Några av de mest intressanta namnen på den amerikanska reggaescenen är Corrin Haskel och Andrew ”Moon” Bain, mer kända under sitt producentalias Lustre Kings.

Corrin, Moon och Jahdan Blakkamoore

Både veteraner och nya talanger
Lustre Kings började producera musik 1998 och har sedan dess arbetat med många stora namn, exempelvis veteraner som Yami Bolo och Capleton.

Duon har genom åren också varit vassa på att snappa upp nya förmågor. Lutan Fyah, Jahdan Blakkamoore och Turbulence är några namn som Lustre Kings var tidiga med att upptäcka.

− Det finns så mycket talang därute. Att ha örat mot rälsen, hänga i studior och hålla oss a jour med vad som händer hjälper oss att hitta nya talanger, berättar Corrin Haskel.

”Eklektiskt sammanhängande”
Lustre Kings har en tydlig uppdelning i vem som gör vad. Andrew Bain är musikern och kreatören, medan Corrin Haskel är den som håller i trådarna och ser till och saker och ting blir gjorda.

Den klassiskt skolade multiinstrumentalisten Andrew Bain har flera influenser, och har lyssnat på såväl hip-hop som rock och amerikansk folkmusik. Hans många inspirationskällor och musikalitet genomsyrar deras produktioner, bland annat i rytmer som Salam Addis, Shining och Talking Drums. Alla är reggae i grunden, men tre helt olika stilar.

− Jag skulle beskriva vår stil som eklektisk sammanhängande. Den är ”digital ancient”, säger Andrew Bain.

Dagens reggae är inte vad den varit
Lustre Kings producerar musik som bär ett budskap. Men Andrew Bain ställer sig frågande till om det finns en framtid för den typen av medveten reggae.

− Vi har haft svårt att motivera oss den senaste tiden på grund av den riktning reggaen tagit. Reggaen i USA är på nedgång. Det verkar inte finnas särskilt många skivbolag som regelbundet ger ut bra musik längre. Dessutom bryr sig de stora radiokanalerna inte om reggae och andra genrer får betydligt mer speltid, anser han, och fortsätter:

− Budskapen och produktionstekniken som är populära just nu är inte vad som fick oss att ge oss in i musikbranschen.

Men Andrew Bain verkar ändå förhoppningsfull.

− Saker kommer och går i cykler, och förhoppningsvis slår pendeln tillbaka till roots och musik med budskap, säger han.

Ger sig inte
Även om duon inte är helt nöjda med dagens reggaescen, så har de inga planer på att kasta in handduken. Utöver att nyligen ha gett ut två plattor har de flera projekt på gång, bland annat nya skivan Babylon Nightmare med Jahdan Blakkamoore och ett mixtape tillsammans med Project Groundation. På önskelistan över artistsamarbeten syns namn som Jah Cure och Natural Black. Men Andrew Bain verkar rätt nöjd som det är och berättar att de inte letar efter nya artister.

− Att få möjlighet att arbeta med en sådan talang som Jahdan räcker gott, säger han.

Sju snabba till Lustre Kings

Bästa artist?
Kan inte välja någon enskild (Corrin)
Jahdan Blakkamoore, Peter Touch, Tarrus Riley och Vaughn Benjamin (Andrew)

Bästa skivbolag?
Utöver Lustre Kings så är det Digital B (Corrin)
I Grade, Lustre Kings och Zion High (Andrew)

Bästa platta?
Real Thing och Black Woman and Child med Sizzla, Catch a Fire med The Wailers och It’s Growing med Garnett Silk (Corrin)
Burning Spears första på Studio One, Two Sevens Clash med Culture, King Tubby Meets Rockers Uptown med Augustus Pablo, The Real Thing med Sizzla och Rule the Time med Midnite-I Grade (Andrew)

Bästa genre?
Roots Radics på Channel One på 80-talet samt 90-tals roots (Corrin)
Studio One, Rockers, 90-tals roots och VI-roots (Andrew)

Bästa skivomslaget?
Greensleeves från 80-talet (Corrin)
Scientist och några från Midnite (Andrew)

Bästa producent?
Moon eller Bobby Digital (Corrin)
Joe Gibbs, Bobby Digital, Bob Marley & The Wailers och Don Corleone (Andrew)

Bästa rytm?
Party Time och Credential (Corrin)
Bad Road, Hard Times, Grasslands och Drop Leaf (Andrew)

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