MURDA SHE WROTE: Cham “Get Drunk” Premiere, Busy Signal, Laden and Razor B
The best real dancehall music out right now
It won’t be long now; Summer’s just around the corner. The temperature’s rising and you can feel it in the music. Dancehall bubbles all year long but it does feel best when the weather is hot. The bass seems to hit just a little bit harder, bodies move faster and colors seem brighter, even in the dark. Listening to these tracks don’t be surprised if you find yourself feeling some type of way – just remember the words of Grace Jones (who celebrates her birthday today): “Music has its own depths, and I let it take me wherever it takes me, even if it means stripping all my clothes off.”
Cham ft. O “Get Drunk”
Whenever the artist who gave us classic cuts like “Ghetto Story” connects with his year-to-year sparring partner Dave Kelly of Madhouse Records, you can expect something wicked. #MSW premieres their latest tune right here on Mass Appeal. Here comes the second official track off Cham’s album Lawless, which drops next month. “Get Drunk” is a sexy, fun, flirtatious tune that Cham describes as “a fusion of dancehall and world music.” It’s also the long-awaited return of Miss O, whose previous collabs with Cham—”Back Way,” “Tun Up” and “Wine“—were straight bangers. “She had been kinda staying away from the recording booth for a minute,” says Cham “but I got her to grace her presence on this track which is a good thing.” Cham says he made her an offer she couldn’t refuse, which judging by the song may have involved some strong liquor and a few positions.
As usual this Dave Kelly production is all about the details—check out how the bass notes tweak slightly just after they hit. Notice the layered harmonies and subtle sound effects. Dave Kelly basically invented the modern dancehall sound, so nobody does it better. Which makes it kinda strange that his music doesn’t flood the radio waves more than it does. Cham explains the politricks: “Jamaica has changed in terms of how music is promoted you have to be paying a lot of selectors to be playin’ music and thats how ‘Lawless’ came about. We were like, ‘No, we never pay. We lawless!’” Their solution was to take it to the streets. “When you get into the payola you are taking away from the music,” Cham reasons. “At the end of the day the most powerful source is the music itself so we give the music to the people and let them decide—and not a bunch of disc jockeys who are trying to manipulate the business, profiting off payola and sticking up artists. So thats how Lawless came about. We stay lawless.” OK let’s get into this world premiere…
Busy Signal “The Reasoning”
The Turf President may have gotten his U.S. visa back, but don’t feel like he forgot his people in JA. His latest release is one of those clever concept songs that Busy does so well—a conversation or “reasoning” between two bredren, each of whom is portrayed by Busy in the music video. One of the characters represents Busy as we know him now—making progressive moves, stacking paper, checking in with his people as he “wait pon a gal fi get mi cock suck.” The other character—who wears a hilarious Afro wig and shades—might be closer to Busy back in his real “hot head” days. His biggest concern is the strap he bought which “stop buss” even after he broke it down, oiled it, and put it back together. He also seems to be strapped for cash, since his phone credit runs out in the middle of the call. The most amazing part of the song is how Busy deploys dazzling wordplay yet somehow makes the whole thing sound like a natural conversation. “Time hard, man a look it,” Busy narrates as the the tune winds down to its conclusion. This lyrical masterpiece is one you’ll be rewinding multiple times.
Razor B “Gyal U Gud”
Born in the Jamaican parish of St.Catherine, Roger Cassup aka Razor B kicked off his career in Toronto. Upon returning to JA he soon became one of dancehall’s fastest rising new talents thanks to outrageously explicit hits like “Bruck Back,” “Hot Up,” and “Up In Deh” (featuring Supa Hype). Sticking to his winning formula of sexy tunes “fi di gyal dem” Razor recently linked with red-hot producer Lee Milla to create “Gyal Yu Gud” an uptempo tune that leaves nothing to the imagination. “Love when you sit on my cock and just ride it,” Razor spits in a syncopated flow that feels like, well, good sex. Get the picture? If it ain’t bruk don’t fix it.
Laden “On The Go”
Slack tunes can be fun, but an inspirational reality tune is never out of season. Back in 2009 Laden linked up with the Big Ship crew to create a song called “Time to Shine” that seemed to announce the rise of a major new voice in dancehall. But you know how the music game works—as soon as you buss out of the pack, the whole world wants to know what you’re gonna do next. Eight years later Laden has found a fitting follow-up to that auspicious beginning. “I’m on the go, no rest for me,” he sings over a plaintive Cashflow production. “Jah go rescue me / I’m doing this by myself / Every man design him own destiny.” Laden’s lyrics allude to some hard times along the way: “Been through the worst already…. Man get hurt already, coulda in the Hearse already, but Jah no ready.” When he sings “No make them take your joy away,” he sounds like he knows something about that too. But if this song blows up the way it should, he may have more joy in his near future. Sounds like he needs it!
Various Artists “Sensous Riddim” (Troyton Music)
You may remember a little tune called “Gimme The Light”? Yeah, that one. The producer whose Buzz riddim helped to spark Sean Paul’s worldwide takeover back in 2001 has never stopped dropping heat. Now he’s back with the “Sensous” riddim, a pulsating instrumental that blends diverse sounds—a hint of steel drums, a pinch of Latin sabor. The artist lineup is compact and effective. Jahmeil and Shenseea, two of the genre’s brightest new stars, come together on “Tell Me,” which finds them working through some difficult lovers issues. Meanwhile Gyptian skips the drama and gets right to the fun with “Wine On Me.” Newcomer Dre Russ takes the opportunity to “Give Thanks” while Charly Black speaks Spanish on the hook of “Slow Motion (Te Amo Te Amo).” Given the success of his “Party Animal” in South America, the Top Trelawny General has had Spanish lessons on his itinerary for some time now. Felicitaciones!
Jahmiel & Shenseea – Tell Me
Gyptian – Wine One Me
Charly Black – Slow Motion (Tae Amo Tae Amo)
Dre Russ – Give Thanks