Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Hip-hop reggae!

Last week we mentioned some of the most sampled soul, funk and jazz acts of all time and discussed their importance with regard to the creation of what we now call hip-hop. It's interesting that while soul, funk and jazz remain the most sampled music genres hip-hop producers have also taken many loops from rock records too, and back in the late 70's and early 80's drum breaks from Thin Lizzy, Aerosmith, The Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin were regularly sampled in the embryonic stages of the music.
Meanwhile reggae and dub, despite being music that also opened the gates for hip-hop in New York and beyond, played a more subtle role in hip-hop from a sampling perspective. Despite this, when utilised together, the two musics can have a devastating impact. I recently wrote an article here about dancehall but today

I'm gonna look at ten classic combinations of more conventional hip-hop artists putting reggae to great use. The music that was originally born out of Jamaicans love for American r&b and jazz, eventually found it's way around the world and as waves of Jamaican immigrants arrived in New York in the 70's they brought reggae, DJ Culture, spoken word rap stylings and even production techniques to the studios of Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx. If it wasn't for DJ's such as Kool Herc, there would be no hip-hop, and if it wasn't for reggae and dub, there certainly wouldn't have been such a panache and freshness about this music that eventually became bigger than ever 10 and 20 years later. Here are ten who had the reggae at the forefront! (Article originally appearing in last weeks Evening Echo)

Catch a mix next Saturday on Black on Red featuring many of these on more

7-10PM Saturday http://redfm.ie

1-Boogie Down Productions
KRS-One and Scott La Rock were one of the finest purveyors of the reggae hip-hop style, and even after Scotts tragic death KRS went on to become one of the great exponents of Jamaican vocal stylings over hip-hop beats.
2-Poor Righteous Teachers
Not as well known these days as KRS or BDP, but this Jersey crew had some underground hits back in the day, and they always had a nice reggae vibe with some conscious roots sounds fused with their rhythms.
3-J Live
A New York MC, Producer and DJ who burst onto the scene with the Sister Nancy sampling "Longevity", using a loop also prominently executed by Diamond D. J Live has since sampled reggae a number of times and cut up "East of the River Nile" beautifully on 'Satisfied"
4-Roots Manuva
UK rapper always heavy on the reggae and indeed ragga plus plenty of his music comes in dub format too.
5-Smiff N 'Wessun
Boot Camp Clik members who hit us with the classic "Sound Bwoy Burriel" and who's rapper Tek has always had a reggae vibe. Fellow members of the Boot Camp, Heltah Skeltah, O.G.C and the mighty Black Moon, were also influenced by reggae stylings.
6-The Fugees
Even before Lauryn Hill and Wyclef went on to solo success with a heavy Caribbean influence reflecting their Haitian roots, their two albums were dominated by clever reggae samples.
80's rap and reggae artist who was way ahead of his time and paved the way for many of the successful stars to follow.
UK rapper/singer turned pop star is another who is proud of her reggae roots, prominently displayed on her recent "Magnificent" single.
9-Phife Dawg
The lessor known of the two main rappers in A Tribe Called Quest was a reggae and dancehall fanatic and even released some solo singles in this mould.
10-Black Star
Both Mos Def and Talib Kweli have been huge respectors of roots and reggae in their solo career, so it was no suprise that their collaborative work was similar in outlook

Some videos

Black Star

Can't tell ya how big this was at the time!

Roots Manuva


Poor Righteous Teachers



Diamond D

File with "Longevity" by J Live

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    I'm a DJ from Cork in Ireland. I work with RedFM, presenting Red Drive, The Hitlist and my specialist show, Black on Red. I'm probably best known for being one of the main hip-hop/soul DJ's in Cork and Ireland. I've been DJing in Cork since the early 90's in legendary clubnights such as Sweat in Sir Henrys, Mor Disco, Free La Funk, Yo Latino and also Jam and Jam Junior at the Savoy and the Pavilion. I've also held down long term residencies at clubs around Ireland such as Brown Sugar at the Kitchen in Dublin, U-Turn at Ri Ra in Dublin, Jazz Juice at the GPO in Galway, Thompson Garage in Belfast, the Soul Clinic, Dee-Bop, Meltdown and Mo Bounce in Limerick and i've played abroad in the United States and the U.K. on numerous occasions. I also write a music column for the Evening Echo and i'm a regular contributor to the U.K.'s Blues and Soul, the longest running black music magazine in the world. These days i run the Pavilion, a music venue in Cork, which hosts my Jam night every few Fridays http://www.pavilioncork.com also you can catch me at http://djstevieg.podomatic.com