A few weeks ago, my friend asked me to write for him the ten things I learned from reggae music. I originally started writing about the deeper issues within the music, the struggles it represented, etc. But that seemed to miss his joking intentions, so as I sat in my cubicle "working" I came up with this lighter list...enjoy.
This past Friday, April 10th the Ghetto Youth Crew made what New York fans are hoping is an annual appearance at SOB’s in Manhattan’s lower west side to support their new album Set Up Shop, Volume 2.
Ghetto Youths International has put out two amazing mix tapes with a group of up and coming reggae talent and this show proved they can back it up live. While many of the acts are young with only a few tracks or a single album under their belt, they were able to rock the crowd until the wee hours of the morning with amazing sets back to back. The future of reggae looks bright with Ghetto Youths helping to lead the way.
Protoje: Ancient Future
Protoje and his band, The Indiggnation, have continued to build on their previous success with the release of the new album Ancient Future in March of this year. With singles like Who Knows featuring Chronnixx currently ruling the airwaves, this album proves to be just as successful and important as his last two. Protoje has defined himself as a rising leader in the reggae movement, being nominated by BBC 1xtra as a Hot Artist for 2015 and winning the Best Musical Collaboration award, at the Youth View Awards in Jamaica. It is said that there is a coming resurgence of conscious roots reggae, a reggae revival, but Ancient Future makes it clear that the movement is already here and here to stay.
Protoje blends synthetic sounds with classic roots reggae as he walks us through highs and lows on tracks like Stylin’, Criminal and Love Gone Cold. The album in addition to Chronixx features collaborations with Mortimer, Sevana, Jesse Royal and Kabaka Pyramid. Through these partnerships Protoje showcases some of the best rising talent in reggae music and helps shape the future of the genre with another great album.
One of the key themes of this album is change through self-improvement. From the track titled All Will Have To Change, we hear Protoje say, “I say we all will have to change, in each his own way, only Jah can judge a man...” The song speaks to the fact that it is time for the youth to wake up and address the changes that are taking place around them and that change begins with themselves. As Protoje said in his recent documentary, “Really on this album I am talking to myself…instead of looking at somebody and saying this is what you need to do…I was trying to make a difference by making a difference to myself first.” Once again Protoje sets the example in himself about what we as people can do. His message of change and promotion of Rastafari are clear in most tracks as he promotes themes of knowledge, self-improvement, and faith in Jah.