“League of my Own”
The Little Miss Sunshine of bouncy dancehall-pop declares her independence and stadium status on this attitude-lade and repeat-worthy track, on which rising rap sensation Dej Loaf lends a slick verse. After putting the music world on notice with “Tight Up Skirt” before teaming up with the likes of Konshens and Omi, the sugar-and-spice songbird makes it abundantly clear that Sam is no one-hit wonder. [B+]. Take a listen.
Shottaz showcased the gritty side of Ky-Mani’s artistic gifts. His latest record, Maestro, showcases the conscientious musical side. Joining forces with a competent batch of producers and guest collaborators like Matisyahu and Gentleman, the seasoned hitmaker gets to address the heart-and-mind concerns he has for humanity while riffing on key social issues of the day. He waxes optimistic on this call-to-action jam that’s also a brilliant showcase for cool-and-conscious musical sensibilities. [A-]. Take a listen.
Murphy, who is quietly one of the hardest working men behind-the-scenes in local gospel, delivers an appealing slice of modern gospel reggae that’s all about spiritual uplift and gratitude in the face of the myriad challenges that life throws our way. Equally appealing: the entertainer’s earnest vocals over a commanding beat and the lyrical flair to match. [B]. Take a listen.
PRODIGAL SON (aka Prodi)
“Go to God Again”
What’s an embattled deejay to do after being raked over the coals for hopping between the spiritual and the secular worlds? Put pen to paper, of course. The former gospel heavyweight, who now goes by Prodi, spares no punches on this thought-provoking single, powered by a slinky reggae beat, on which he addresses everything from his controversial career moves to his fashion sense, which has gotten its share of heavy criticism. Clearly, Prodi has a lot to get off his chest. [B]. Take a listen.
“Cry to Me”
A third generation member of the world-famous clan, Skip Marley has now joined the family business. The talented teen makes a noteworthy debut with this beautifully written and stirringly performed tune that’s a memorable mix of soul and reggae, eerily evoking Bob classics like “Waiting in Vain” and “Satisfy My Soul.” Definitely one to watch, Skip is off to a solid start. [B]. Take a listen.