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King Jammy Presents: Dennis Brown - Tracks of Life

King Jammy Presents: Dennis Brown - Tracks of Life

King Jammy Presents: Dennis Brown - Tracks of Life

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An ode to Dennis Brown and a personal one off from the Jammy family.

Sampler

Pay your respects. Keep the originals lit. Long Live The King.

King Jammy rebuilds a legendary Dennis Brown album which features other great artists of today. After listening to Seani B’s chat with Jammy over the phone broadcasted across BBC 1Extra, it bought great insight into the motives behind the album ‘King Jammy Presents: Dennis Brown, Tracks of Life’.

King Jammy Presents Dennis Brown - Tracks Of LifeSeani B asks Jammy, what the mission for the project was, to which he answered “I don’t like the direction in which Reggae music is going”. He goes on to talk about how there is great music and artists coming around, but he’s not hearing the next great thing in reggae. In celebration and to reinstate to new generations where the hub of good reggae came from, he set out to create an album honouring a true great, Dennis Brown

King Jammy went Mark Ronson on us! 

He created the album in a way which wasn’t a straight up rerelease, but masterfully conducted collaborations to draw out his favourite elements of a Denis Brown album. When asked how he came up with the line up, his answer cascaded over me with merriment. He explains that he assessed each song fully and picked artists he knew were capable of matching the lyrics. I put emphasis on lyrics because this is key. A song which was created with lyrics in mind carries so much more weight to it than just a song created without. Someone who has thought about what they write has taken time to hone in on the message. Jammy, like a poet analysis, has taken time over understanding the lyrics and addressing which artist would be fit for a pairing.

“As the King, what do you think is missing from the music”? 

The way Jammy puts it is that there was a distinction between Dancehall and Reggae. He says you couldn’t part the dancehall from the reggae. Riddim is riddim. It’s all the same. But it’s the artist which differentiates whether a song becomes a Dancehall or Reggae track through their performance delivery. The sound engineer would maybe elevate the drums and bass to create dancehall but dip these elements down at certain points for a Lovers Rock track. 

He pulges some more on lyrical content and why he thinks this element is not being taken care of. He illustrates through the rhyming, about how artists are aimlessly rhyming without seaming a story together. Songs are for spreading messages and stories, so lyrical content should be revised not just made to rhyme.

Jammy finishes the interview with picking a final song to play out on. He chooses the one his Grandson, Projexx, sings on ‘Give Love A Try’. His grandson was not even alive the same years as Brown and is proud to say he did the track justice. Not only does this album consist of masterful recreations, authentic sound and the pioneers of our time, this album holds work from Jammy’s grandson and son, Baby G. It’s an ode to Dennis Brown and a personal one off from the Jammy family. 

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