Runkus – IN:SIDE (LP)
Blending the cultural gravitas of roots reggae and dancehall with the energy of trap and the intricate wordplay of classic hip-hop, Runkus makes music with a global, yet unmistakably Jamaican, perspective. Cast into a state of deep reflection and meditation on the state of the world, the deejay/singer/producer experienced a surge of creativity during the Covid-19 quarantine, which he has channeled into an eclectic and exhilarating set of new tracks.
Runkus gathers these recordings on IN:SIDE, a 10-track LP that captures the anxiety and promise of life in the age of lockdowns and resets. Tracks like “TAN A YUH YAAD” and “THE MASK:2ND WAVE” vividly reflect the mindstate of this new world, creating a uniquely timely soundtrack for these unprecedented times. With “5Gs”, Runkus aligns himself with some of Jamaica’s top lyricists in Jesse Royal, Kabaka Pyramid, Royal Blu and Munga Honorable, as they collectively deliver a devastating meditation on speaking the truth at all costs. “EVERYBODY GOING LIVE” (feat. Naomi Cowan) and “QUARANTINE SLIDE” turn their attention to the escapism on the minds of so many, commenting on topics like social media obsession and forbidden love.
The album, released on January 15, will be supported with the mini-documentary IN:SIDE Portmore, taking viewers inside Runkus’ home city and his creative process.Buy/Stream
Royal Blu x Runkus – G
“G” is a blend of genres, which is yet another product of the current musical revolution coming out of Jamaica and the wider Caribbean. Set atop a sort of traphall beat, famed young producer J.LL. sampled the popular reggae “Stalag” riddim which rose to prominence in the 1970s. This blend perfectly accommodates the smooth rap style which has become synonymous with the artists. The lyrics are almost a charge to people at large to “keep the same energy”. This simply means that they should remain consistent in how they speak to and about another person, regardless of their perceived status, and in spite of their circumstances.Buy/Stream
Runkus – Quarantine Slide
Dancehall meets R&B, then gets introduced to pure ‘vibes’ on the latest release from artist and producer Runkus. “Quarantine Slide” is the first track from the artist’s project inspired by the Jamaica government-ordered lockdown of St. Catherine (including Portmore), where he resides.
The track was co-produced by Runkus and Tyrese McNaughton of the famed Universal Zinc Fence Records. With a usual unorthodox approach to creating music, Runkus decided to let his audience in on the more carnal side to his work, the “Quarantine Slide” having a more loaded meaning.Buy/Stream
KHXOS – TryBuy/Stream
Blvk H3ro x Wayne J – New Millennium (EP)
New Millennium (EP) is described as a ‘modern take’ on dancehall music. Beneath the surface, it tells the story of the Blvk H3ro x Wayne J’s journey within the music industry. It is a 7-track masterpiece which outlines various themes. “Original” kicks off the story retroactively, going back to H3ro and Wayne J’s childhood, where they are attending an old-school stage show that eventually influenced all of the music they create now. This is how Blvk H3ro and Wayne J pay homage to the genre before introducing their take on it. This is followed by “Young Boss”, which represents the ‘come up’, and is a pseudo flash-forward look at where the artists are now in their careers. “Ghetto Queen” is a celebration of the women the artists grew up around. “#TopTeam” speaks directly to the ‘no man is an island’-theory. In this track, H3ro x Wayne J celebrate their ‘squad’, who have been working with them since their musical journey began. In usual fashion, it would be remiss of the artists to leave out the ‘most high’. “The Ruler” and “Prayer” are the spiritual and meditative additions to the storyline. Finally, the climatic ending of the project comes in the form of “Young Boss (Remix)”, the collaboration with rapidly rising dancehall star Skillibeng.
The project was produced by Top Team, Bob Riddim and Kraggibadart with executive producer Blvk H3ro.buy/stream
Khxos “New Celine”buy/stream
Runkus x Jesse Royal x Kabaka Pyramid “5Gs” (feat. Royal Blu x Munga Honorable)
Though not the original intent, the new trap-hall banger from reggae and dancehall greats Runkus, Jesse Royal, Royal Blu, Kabaka Pyramid and Munga Honorable takes on a pseudo-cypher composition. The beat is a blend of the iconic dancehall bassline, along with 808 and trap drums. What’s interesting is the varying shifts in the sound through the song, especially during the verses, specially designed that way to provide clarity for the listener. Additionally, there are climatic points towards Munga’s verse especially, to underscore the prolific and uplifting lyrics he delivered.buy/stream
Wayne J x Skillibeng x Blvk H3ro “Young Boss (Remix)”
“Young Boss”, Blvk H3ro & Wayne J’s ode to youth ‘bossing up’, gets a boost with “Young Boss (Remix)” courtesy of rising dancehall breakout artist Skillibeng. The original single, released just a few weeks ago, is all about empowering young creatives that have taken the leap of faith into entrepreneurship. It was especially special as it was released during a time when young entrepreneurs are more prominent, especially in the music and creative industry. What is important to note is the prevalence of more established acts supporting the work of rising talent within the music industry through organic collaborations. In fact, it was through this medium that “Young Boss (Remix)” came about.
“It came out of a conversation and just seeing Skillibeng because all a we live inna Eastside,” Blvk H3ro recalls. “We did just hol’ a reason with him one day and he was telling us how he rated the track and just wanted to do a remix,” H3ro said.buy/stream
Royal Blu x Stamma – No Suppressor
1. Royal Blu – WYD
2. Royal Blu – Top A Di Ting (feat. Amanyea)
3. Royal Blu – Tuff Love
4. Royal Blu – Yam Head (Bookshelf Freestyle)
5. Royal Blu – Big Body (Sexy Lady Freestyle)
6. Royal Blu – Big Bank (Don’t Rush Freestyle)
7. Royal Blu – Fuego (Hot Freestyle)
8. Royal Blu – Balance
9. Royal Blu – Hype
10. Royal Blu – More While
11. Royal Blu – Pass Your Place
12. Runkus x Jesse Royal x Kabaka Pyramid – 5Gs (feat. Royal Blu x Munga Honorable)
13. Royal Blu – G (feat. Runkus)
14. Royal Blu – Style & Genius
15. Royal Blu – Enemy (Dior Freestyle)
16. Natural High Music – Reap What You Sow (feat. Royal Blu) (Eternal Light Freestyle)
17. Royal Blu – The Difference
18. Royal Blu – Work Hard
19. Royal Blu – No Suppressor
Monkey Jhayam x Edley Shine x DJ B8 “We Can’t Breathe”
Monkey Jhayam and veteran MC Edley Shine, founder and member of the legendary group Born Jamericans, have come together to increase the voice of the ghetto with “We Can’t Breathe”. The musical production, composed by notorious Brazilian producer DJ B8, is a collective outburst from the ghettos of Brazil, USA and Jamaica, to all the corners of the world that are suffering from racial injustice.buy
Royal Blu “WYD”
“WYD” is a mid tempo dancehall banger which features soothing vocals from singer Royal Blu, combining 90’s dancehall drum patterns with modern pop elements in a fun island dance track.buy
Yaadcore releases “Tension”, his first single on a riddim juggling of the legendary Abyssinians “Declaration Of Rights”.
Produced by Top Rankin’ from Switzerland.
Khxos x Konshens x Chargii “Taboo”
Described as one of dancehall’s latest breakout stars, Khxos, known for his debut single “One Touch” and his latest hit “Tambrin”, has teamed up with Konshens and rising artist / producer Chargii on “Taboo”. As its name suggests, the highly energetic song is an ode to the infamous Kingston nightclub, and the nostalgia surrounding the now-halted Jamaican nightlife scene.
The track is produced by Kheilstone, whose credits include numerous industry greats such as Sizzla, Malibu Miitch and Popcaan. This is the single you want to hear during a party. It channels the more carnal side of dancehall music. Both Konshens and Chargii were the perfect addition to the track, as the trio’s energy matched the flow.buy
Yaadcore “The Calling”
Reggae artist Yaadcore is channeling a reggae/hip-hop fusion for his latest release “The Calling”. Co-produced by Haitian-born Young Zoe Beats, “Ready Now” producer Ian McKee and Yaadcore himself, the single takes on a retrospective tone, speaking to creatives who look to answer their proverbial ‘call’.
“I want people to connect with the song and realize their calling. To listen to the call – ignoring the discouraging talks and obstacles,” Yaadcore said. “Once there’s life, there’s hope… wah nuh dead, nuh dash it weh.”
“The Calling” was created as a vehicle to voice ‘the call’, ultimately allowing one to lead themself into realizing their goals. The song is part of a 27-track, multi-produced mixtape entitled Sumn Different which features brand new music from Yaadcore & Karbon, along with guest appearances from Lila Iké, Runkus and more. This is the third release coming out of the partnership between Yaadcore’s 12 Yaad Records and Delicious Vinyl Island; the first being “No Fenke Fenke” released in 2018.buy
Natural High Music “Cane Fields” (feat. Wayne Marshall x Jesse Royal x Kabaka Pyramid)
Following up on the success of our recent singles ‘Glory To God’ (Wayne Marshall), ‘Run Run Run’ (Jesse Royal) and ‘Reggae Music’ (Kabaka Pyramid) it only felt right to unite these amazing artist for a very special tribute. Produced and mixed at The Bungalow, ‘Cane Fields’ is a record surrounding the times of today. The intense atmosphere set by the music, accompanied by the powerful delivery and content from the artists, paint a vivid picture of a society on the verge of an uprising and willing to risk it all to survive.
Vision Alexander “Right Now / Right Now Dub” (feat. Jesse Royal)
Vision Alexander joins reggae music champion Jesse Royal & Grammy-winning producer Sean Alaric (Koffee’s “Throne”) to create a more nuanced tale illustrating the journey marijuana has taken from it’s illegal beginnings to where it is now. The dub version, produced by Natural High Music adds another dimension to the already sick production. Check it out!
Yaadcore & Karbon – Sumn Different – mixtape
For Sumn Different, Yaadcore connects with 12 Yaad artist Karbon, bringing listeners a taste of what’s to come from both acts. While previous Yaadcore mixtapes, such as those in the Reggae Aroma series, offered a survey of the roots reggae landscape, Sumn Different focuses mainly on in-house artistic output, but also leaves room for remixes and inclusions of fellow travelers like Lila Ike and Runkus, who appears on the 12 Yaad-produced “Liv It Up,” a track inspired by Whitney Houston’s classic “My Love Is Your Love.”
The name Sumn Different, Yaadcore explains, comes from the new event series by the same name which he’s started in keeping in Kingston. But it also proved to be a fitting name as he began assembling tracks for the project.
“It is an event series we have monthly, every full moon,” he says. “Working on this mixtape, I decided to use Sumn Differnt and bring something different for the people. The mixtape is different than anything out right now. It’s to give people free music and introduce them to myself and Karbon, and warm them up to what’s to come. To give the people music in a palatable and exciting way fi listen.”
1.Intro – Mammee Bay
2. Yaadcore – The Calling
Produced By Young Zoe Beatz x 12 Yaad Records x Ian Mckee / Mixed By Bonzai Caruso
3. skit – Your Lane Different
4. Yaadcore – Ready Now
Produced By Rian Williams x 12 Yaad Records x Ian Mckee / Mixed By Tippy I Grade
5. Bob Marley Ft Haile Selassie – War Speech [Refix]
Produced By Bunx / Mixed By Yaadcore
6. Karbon – Caesar Never Cease
Produced By Bunx / Mixed By Runkus
7. Yaadcore – Guide InI
Produced By Bunx / Mixed By Runkus
8. Karbon – Like A Feather
Produced Computer Paul / Mixed By Yaadcore
9. Karbon – Belial
Produced By Damage Musiq / Mixed By Runkus
10. Karbon – Kurfew
Produced By Teflon ZincFence / Mixed By Runkus
11. skit – Connect Different
12. Yaadcore – Tension
Produced By Top Ranking / Mixed By Dan Sauter
13. Skit – Caught Up With The Calling
14. Karbon – Killamanjaro
Produced By Ron Benjamin / Mixed By Runkus
15. Yaadcore – Eyes Can’t See
Produced By Oneness Records / Mixed By Yaadcore
16. Yaadcore – Ladadidaaa
Produced By Jahlanzo / Mixed By Yaadcore
17. Skit – Just Saying Hi
18. Yaadcore – Bee With Mee [Tadow Refix]
Produced By Masego & Fjk / Mixed By Runkus
19. Runkus – Liv It Up
Produced By 12 Yaad Records & Rian Williams / Mixed By Runkus
20. Yaadcore. Lila Ike. Imeru – Freestyle
Produced By 12 Yaad Records & Rian Williams / Mixed By Yaadcore
21. Yaadcore ft. Karbon – Light Up The Place
Produced By Dub School & 12 Yaad Records / Mixed By Runkus
22. Runkus – $$$
Produced By Wizical / Mixed By Runkus
23. Skillibeng – Brick Pan Brick
Produced Eastsyde Records
24. Karbon – Highgrade Maka
Produced By Tekno / Mixed By Ian Mckee
25. Bunny Rugs ft. Karbon & Yaadcore – Runaway Remix
Produced By X-Terminator Productions / Mixed By Runkus
26. skit – Tip Of The Iceberg
27. Lila Ike – Solitude
Produced By Ziah & Iotosh / Mixed By Niko Marzouca & Robert Marks
Chris Malachi “BAWL / FYAHBAWL”
The first single “BAWL”, again produced by J.L.L. is a compassionate and vulnerable yet hard hitting track that addresses the overwhelming plight of his generation. This is one half of his FYAHBAWL concept (the other song named FYAH) which explores the duality of the intense fiery passion that usually characterizes the youth. “BAWL” explores what happens when circumstances push the passion to manifest into anger, bitterness and hopelessness.
“FYAHBAWL” is the other side of the coin to the previously released “BAWL” from the rising & powerful voice that is Chris Malachi. This upbeat afrobeats/dancehall anthem promotes resilience in the face of adversity as he triumphantly sings “Nobody can’t stop the youths from shining, yeah we a star!” If “BAWL” makes a point to feel and understand the harsh realities we currently face, “FYAHBAWL” encourages us to believe that we have what it takes to overcome, thrive and rise above it all.
Blvk H3ro & Wayne J “Young Boss”
Blvk H3ro and Wayne J have teamed up once more this time to ‘talk business’. “Young Boss” is the young entrepreneur’s anthem and lauds the emergence of business owners who have amassed great success at a young age. The single is produced by Greatest Records and is encased in a catchy beat with a pulsating bassline and could be described as having a new age dancehall/reggae sound but has the ability to crossover into more international markets.
Blvk H3ro & Wayne J “Original”
“Original” pairs two of Jamaica’s most exciting young talents in BLVK H3RO (pronounced Black Hero) and WAYNE J for a modern bashment anthem steeped in dancehall tradition. Inspired by the classic riddims of the 1990s and early Aughts, the track finds the youthful deejays riding a vintage boof-baf instrumental from producer KraggiBadArt with the proficiency of seasoned veterans.
Chargii “High Like This” feat. Khxos
Chargii’s “High Like This” featuring Delicious Vinyl Island recording artist Khxos, is the dancehall anthem to start your decade off proper. The uptempo collaboration represents a new beginning for the up and coming producer and artist, delivering feel good mementos alongside Khxos to provide the ultimate tune for all dancefloors and frequencies. Chargii, known for crafting hybrid dancehall sounds, delivers a stirring yet upbringing lyrical performance bar for bar while simantaunely bouncing off Khxos’ captivating energy and sultry vocals. This combination provides the perfect collaboration between the two rising stars and is sure to get you feeling “High Like” them in all respects.
“Tambrin” is the latest single from rising dancehall star Khxos, and a budding, blasphemous viral sensation drawing enthusiastic support from Instagram comedians, DJs and international dance crews alike.
Invoking the sour-sweet tropical fruit (more commonly spelled tamarind) as a metaphor for his appeal to women, Khxos flexes his falsetto over a driving riddim from producer Track Starr (HoodCelebrityy’s “Walking Trophy”). “Tambrin” is Khxos’ first release for Delicious Vinyl Island, the new Caribbean music imprint from iconic hip-hop label Delicious Vinyl Island.
Runkus’ “99%.” is a trap x dancehall anthem for the rest of us. The lead single from Runkus’ upcoming debut LP, classisHim, “99%.” represents a new musical path for the Jamaican singer known for upful reggae tunes like “Move Yuh Feet” and “Run.” Tackling the global issue of financial inequality from a distinctly Jamaican perspective, Runkus delivers an impassioned yet playful lyrical performance over bouncy, trap-inspired production from fast-rising Jamaican producers iotosh and Kone. Striking just the right balance between serious business and lighthearted fun, “99%.” is truly an anthem for our times.buy/stream
Natural High “Be The One” feat. Tessanne Chin
Featuring an all-star cast of top-flight Jamaican talent, Urban Roots II is the sophomore album from Kingston-based production duo Natural High Music. Guests on the project, which updates classic roots reggae vibes and vintage dub style with the sample-based flavors of ‘90s hip-hop include Capleton, Jesse Royal, Wayne Marshall, Royal Blu, Kabaka Pyramid, Tessanne Chin, Keznamdi, Eesah, Indie Allen. The late “Crown Prince” of reggae, Dennis Brown, also makes a posthumous appearance alongside Jesse Royal on “Run Run Run” thanks to a decades-old unreleased vocal track located by the group.buy/stream
Royal Blu “Hype”
Jamaica is on the verge of a new sound: One that is informed equally by the island’s own creations, reggae and dancehall, as it is by hip-hop and all manner of global influence. Stepping boldly into this future comes Royal Blu, whose multi-faceted vocal delivery finds him maneuvering between the roles of a rapper, dancehall deejay and singer. For his second single of 2019, Blu reconnects with beatmaker J.L.L. for “Hype,” a self-assured commentary on the notions of fame, hard work and talent. “Hype” is out now through Delicious Vinyl Island, which will release Royal Blu’s as-yet untitled EP later this year.Buy/Stream
Los Rakas – Manes De Negocio LP
Los Rakas’ LP Manes de Negocio takes it’s listeners on an urban Caribbean expreicnnes, carrying the street sounds of Latinx Trap with records touching the roots Tropicale/Trap/Reggaeton. The majority of the album was Latinx Trap street sounds, however, once they teamed with Adrian L. Miller (Executive Producer of Anderson .Paak, Mereba) he suggested they should integrate all of the Raka sounds; Tropicale/Trap/Reggaeton. Manes De Negocio is colorful with moments that soar such great heights without slighting. Los Rakas weaves through sounds and paints their neighborhood a flagrant rainbow, which boasts confidence equally serene and solid. Guest appearances include Amara La Negra, Jhoni The Voice, I-Majesty, Tree Thomas, CRSB & Youngin Floe.
Yaadcore “Ready Now”
Having cemented his place as one of Jamaican music’s most influential reggae selectors, YAADCORE is now making his mark as an artist with his debut single, “Ready Now.”Co-produced by Yaadcore, Rian Wiliams and Ian McKee, “Ready Now” premiered earlier with Sir David Rodigan on BBC1Xtra. The single is now available on all digital service providers via Delicious Vinyl Island and Yaadcore’s own 12 Yaad Records.buy / stream
Los Rakas “Devorame” feat. Amara La Negra
Los Rakas, the California-by-way-of-Panama duo known for their bilingual blend of rap, dancehall and reggaeton, deliver one of their catchiest, most accessible tunes to date in “Devorame,” the second single from their upcoming album, Manes de Negocio (“Men of Business”). Dominican-American songstress Amara La Negra (“Ayy!,” Love and Hip-Hop: Miami) guests on the sexy, intimate reggaeton track, the title of which translates in English to “devour me.” This collaboration from two of Latin music’s most unclassifiable acts is sure to be moving hips in clubs worldwide as the Summer heats up.buy / stream
Royal Blu “Style And Pattern”
Two of Jamaica’s brightest young talents connect on this potent showcase of modern reggae with a lyrical, hip hop-flavored twist. Up-and-coming vocalist Royal Blu delivers a rhyme clinic on his latest single “Style And Pattern,” dropping double-time flows over a multi-layered riddim from producer J.L.L.(Kranium, Popcaan). Fans of Damian Marley, Protoje and Koffee will find much to enjoy in the blend of lyrical dexterity and cultured reggae vibesbuy / stream
Natural High Music x Kabaka Pyramid “Sticks & Stones”
Jamaica’s Natural High Music and Kabaka Pyramid effortlessly blend hip-hop and reggae flavors on “Sticks & Stones”. The song is the third single from Urban Roots II, the upcoming full-length album from Natural High, the Kingston-based production duo behind such tracks as Chronixx’s “Black is Beautiful” and Wayne Marshall’s “Glory to God.”buy / stream
Mr. Vegas “Killa Body” feat. Los Rakas
Jamaican music icon Mr. Vegas (“Heads High,” “Bruk It Down”) teams with the Grammy-nominated, Panamanian-American duo Los Rakas for “Killa Body,” an international party anthem blending dancehall with shades of reggaeton and Latin trap. The track, produced by Robertino, pairs Vegas’ signature “singjay” delivery with the West Coast Spanish flows of Los Rakas MCs Raka Rich and Raka Dun, for a lively, cross-cultural celebration of the female form.
“Killa Body” is the latest release from Delicious Vinyl Island, the new Caribbean music imprint from iconic indie label Delicious Vinyl, and a teaser for both Vegas’ upcoming EP on the label as well as Los Rakas’ sophomore LP, Manes de Negocio, coming in May.buy / stream