Quickies: Cutty Ranks releases new album
Deejay Cutty Ranks is coming Full Blast with the release of his new album of that name under his own Philip Music Label in partnership with Independent Distribution Collective. The highly respected veteran artiste gives a gritty take on the reality of living in urban Jamaica on the title song (which has an accompanying video), Cutty bringing a strong message of non-violence and justice.
Collaborating with Cutty on the album are Beres Hammond (Way To Go), Luciano (Long Life) and late veteran female American R&B vocalist Gwen Guthrie of Ain't Nuttin Going On But The Rent fame (My Girl), showing a softer side to Cutty Ranks.
Other tracks on Full Blast include the lovers' rock track In My Place with up-and-coming singer Hyh Volume, plus the high-energy dance-infused Take It Away. It is Cutty Ranks' first full album in a decade and an extensive schedule of live performances is set for North America, Europe, Japan and the Caribbean to support the release.
Cutty Ranks' most successful album, The Stopper, was released in the 1990s. He also released the classic hit singles such as Limb by Limb, The Return and A Who Sey Mi Dun. Cutty also produced his first album, Six Million Ways to Die, which got him signed to Priority Records, after which he went on to form his own label, Philip Music. In 2000 he released Back With A Vengeance, produced by King Jammy, that saw Cutty Ranks venture into other musical styles, including hip hop and dancehall.
Mighty Crown tour hits Europe
Mighty Crown sound system, dubbed 'The Far East Rulaz', wrapped up an explosive month-long European tour at the end of June. The long-overdue tour saw heavy-hitting performances in 20 cities and attracted thousands of diehard followers.
Mighty Crown has a wealth of accolades, including sponsorships, endorsements, stadium shows, a clothing brand and a record label. With dancehall and sound system culture at the core of Mighty Crown's existence, the celebrated sound highlights these elements in every facet of their endeavours.
"We are one of the few camps that approach this craft as business. Therefore, long-term planning and strategies are put in place to ensure the longevity and strength of the Mighty Crown brand," said Mighty Crown's manager Garfield 'Chin' Bourne of Irish and Chin. "Now that we have accomplished gaining the attention of major companies and corporations, we are glad to be back on the road."
The Far East Rulaz landed in various hot spots in Germany, England and Switzerland. "Europe was all about music and vibes from the day we touched down," Masta Simon declared. "Every stop had good vibes. We never realised that we had so many fans all over Europe. We are truly blessed."
The sound plans to return to Europe in December 2012.
Mighty Crown will be featured in an upcoming campaign of footwear giant Clarks. This endorsement is on the heels of high-profile media features on Vibe.com and Sirius XM Radio's 'The Joint'.
Hinds 'Bruk It Down' with Vegas
Mr Vegas's Bruk It Down is going to enjoy a music video premiere on the VEVO website, including a special appearance from the Roll It Gal herself, Alison Hinds. From the kitchen in Trinidad to a traffic stop in Jamaica, the beach party in Barbados and back to the operating room in New York, the Bruk It Down dance is too contagious to be contained.
Opening with a cameo from radio disc jock DJ Bambino, the dance epidemic spreads across the islands. Jamaica's dance crew, Dance Xpressionz, show how it's done before passing the vibe to a Caribbean Carnival dancer in full road march attire. Hinds can't help but Bruk It Down on the shores of Barbados with Mr Vegas at her side. Directed by Jamaican award-winning video director Jay Will (Game Over/A Creative Source), the video puts a never-ending party spin on the summer anthem spreading around the world.
For Alison Hinds, the chemistry with Mr Vegas was crucial. "I thoroughly enjoyed working with Mr Vegas on the song and the video shoot," says Hinds. "He is so much fun and had me laughing the whole time we were filming. I love to laugh, so that just made the shoot so much more fun. I know we will work together again in the not-so-distant future, and I eagerly look forward to that time."
Don't miss the conclusion, which includes a bonus sneak video peek of Mr Vegas's dancehall bubbler Party Tun Up, co-produced with Suko of Ward 21 and Teetimus for MV Music. Both Bruk It Down and Party Tun Up are included on Mr Vegas's new double disc album, Sweet Jamaica (MV Music).
Vegas' Sweet Jamaica European 2012 Tour starts in July, a Canadian Back to School Tour is in September and a US band tour is set for this fall.
Macka Diamond thrills Dominica
Dancehall's money goddess Macka Diamond recently returned from a trip to Dominica, where she performed as part of an initiative of the Government of Dominica to encourage the growth of the island's creative and musical industry.
"That was my first time in Dominica and it was crazy. I don't think I've ever performed anywhere like that before. The energy was just wicked," she said.
She performed at the Crazy Coconuts venue as headline act on a concert named 'Ladies Night Out'. The show also featured 10 young female artistes who are finding their way in the Dominican music industry. Macka had to dig deep into her bag of musical shots to satisfy the the dancehall-hungry crowd. The crowd responded well to older songs like Lexus & Benz, Bun Him and Tek Con.
Macka is set to work with one of the Dominica's more popular bands, Triple Kay, and its lead singer Benjie. She is set to be back in Dominica in August.
G Mac collaborates with Ken Boothe
Reggae artiste G Mac has done a new collaboration with legendary artiste Ken Boothe, called Love In Your Eyes.
It is a dancehall-flavoured song, which sees Boothe putting together some smooth melodious lines in his usual soothing style, while G Mac delivers a more raspy hardcore delivery that the youth are expected to take on to.
According to Boothe, he is yearning to tap into the young market, hence his collaboration with G Mac. "At this point in my career I feel the need to spread my wings musically. There is nothing bad in music; we just have to encourage the youth and lead them in the right path. This song is reggae dancehall and the youth will share familiarity with the sound," Boothe said.
G Mac added that the song was recorded quickly, following the idea of the concept.
"We decided that we would do a song for this era. Ken Boothe is a legend and I have a lot of respect for him, so I wasted no time in recording my part of the song, and I must say the final product is real good and timeless as anticipated, suh mi haffi big up Ken Boothe," G Mac said.
Love In Your Eyes will be featured on Boothe's upcoming album Journey, to be released under his label Train Productions.
Travis Barker fears flying
Travis Barker is worried about travelling on tour with his band Blink 182, after surviving a horrific plane crash in 2008. The drummer and DJ AM were left in "critical but stable" condition after the accident that killed four passengers and it still haunts him.
Travis admitted that the incident had given him a fear of flying, and that is bound to cause issues for the series of concerts which kicked off earlier this week.
He said: "This will be the big tour that supports the album in Europe. Mind you, I'm not flying, so it's hard to say what the band could do or what its potential is, because I can't really get everywhere."
He added to Red Bulletin magazine: "I'm contemplating getting knocked out and getting on a plane to Australia. I want to overcome that eventually. When I do, I think it's going to be Qantas. They never had a crash, never had a fatality - knock on wood. It's something I want to overcome for me - and my kids are scared to death to fly. I want them to witness me overcome it."