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February 17, 2014 Bucky Turco

Reggae legend Wayne Smith died on Monday at the age of 48. The Jamaica Observer confirmed that the singer passed away shortly after checking into Kingston Public Hospital for stomach pains, but the cause of death is still undetermined. Smith will always be most remembered as one of the original architects of the Sleng Teng […]

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January 22, 2014 Andy Cush

Sometime recently, Toronto Mayor and admitted crack smoker Rob Ford was videotaped ranting — probably drunkenly — in a terrible Canadian imitation of a Jamaican patois (it wasn’t his first awkward interaction with Caribbean culture). For the love of dancehall, and partially inspired by the mayor’s crack remix, we mashed up the speech with Major […]

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July 11, 2013 Andy Cush

As the art world goes crazy and the rap world goes “meh” for Magna Carta Holy Grail, here’s a very special Jay-Z edition of Sample Wars. “Crown,” one of that album’s standouts, was produced by a 16-year-old girl named Wondagurl, and used a sample from Sizzla’s 2006 dancehall classic “Solid as a Rock” –also reworked for 50 […]

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June 12, 2013 Bucky Turco

There’s a big sound coming out of South East London and it’s called Unit 137. In their own words, Unit 1-3-7 is a “a collective of DJs, producers, vocalists, engineers and instrumentalists drawn together by a shared passion of conscious, forward thinking bass music,” consisting of Hylu, Jago, Zico, D-Tek, Galak Spiritual, Nãnci Correia, Papa […]

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May 16, 2013 Andy Cush

Each week in Sample Wars, we’ll pit two songs which sample the same source material head-to-head against each other, to determine which one rocked the sample better. This week’s Sample Wars pits two generations of NYC-bred rappers against each other: Jay-Z and Azealia Banks. Jay’s “Lucifer,” produced by Kanye West, heavily samples Max Romeo’s roots reggae […]

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January 18, 2013 Aymann Ismail

Over the past few years, LP sales have continued to make a huge comeback to the delight of audiophiles the world over, but there’s at least one genre of music where vinyl records never stopped getting pressed: Dancehall. Vinyl still plays a crucial role in the dissemination of Jamaica’s leading cultural export and in New […]

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