To quote Kool Herc, ‘hip-hop and reggae are cousins’. I’m sure most people reading this are familiar with the origins of hip-hop. A young Jamaican expat who moved to New York with his family and wanted to recreate the sound systems he’d seen as a child in Jamaica in his new surroundings. The fact that those at the famous party in July 1973 reacted to the soul and funk records more than the reggae ones influenced hip-hop’s sound, but the connection with reggae and sound systems has always been there since the beginning. When it comes to the history of hip-hop, the two genres are intrinsically linked and I believe that it is in Britain where this explicitly becomes the case. Due to the colonial history between the two countries and the steady immigration from Jamaica during the twentieth century, the culture of the Caribbean island has gradually seeped into culture in the UK especially amongst younger generations. With second and third generation migrants there developed a need to find their own identity in Britain, the country they considered home. Over the course of the 1980’s for a number of youths this was played out in the progression from reggae to hip-hop, as hip-hop became the music for them to ‘document their own history’ (Back, 1996: 193) and helped to develop a hip-hop scene in London different from that in America. Hip-Hop in the UK has often, and unfairly so in my opinion, been derided as a cheap imitation of its American counterpart when it is this cross-cultural collaboration that has helped create music that is distinctly British in sound. The music’s hybridity has helped develop a number of styles utilising its aural sensibilities to create unique soundscapes. Consequently, reggae has a deep and strong connection to the hip-hop that grew out of London and has been vital as a means to voice identity politics in this multicultural city. As a result, reggae sound systems and the youths involved within them have had a lasting impact on the foundation and development of hip-hop in London during the 1980’s.
With L’Entourloop and Soom T
L’Entourloop Live Review
Or to put is another way, a love letter to two enigmatic Frenchmen of a certain age. L’Entourloop are a crew that emerged around 5 years ago, what they did before, who they are, or where they came from is not easy to divine. What little can be found says the main men go by the monikers of “Sir James” and “King Johnny”, what is also clear is they’ve attracted some guests of the highest quality and know all about the bass. “Dreader Than Dread” featuring Skarra Mucci dropped in 2013, excellent debut album “Chickens In Your Town” followed in 2015, including regular live collaborators N’Zeng and Troy Berkley and more, (such as Funkdub favourite LMK). They first came to our attention in 2017 when the writer stumbled across their second long player “Le Savoir Faire”. An absolute monster of an album, the best of that year, featuring a wider musical spectrum and an even bigger guest list including: Marina P, Tippa Irie, Rodney P, Soom T and Panda Dub. The sound of L’Entourloop is perhaps most simply described as Reggae Hip Hop, with flashes of jungle and drenched in an old school film soundtrack sensibility.
By Angus Taylor
The second single by Reggae Roast on Trojan Reloaded.
Their second single, following Murder by Charlie P and Brother Culture, features legendary South London emcee and entertainer Tippa Irie.
Real Reggae Music repositions the Sleng Teng bass-line to create a completely new dancehall/dub hybrid backing for Daddy Tip to extoll the virtues of the music he loves – praising the next generation in Jesse Royal.
The vocal comes with a flipside remix by Bristol UK bass producer DJ Madd.
Trojan Records’ newly-formed music imprint has announced its first signing.
Reggae Roast’s Murder is the first track issued by the iconic dancehall and reggae label in over 20 years, and is the first release for their Trojan Reloaded imprint.
The formation of a frontline, new music label coincides with Trojan’s 50th anniversary this year, which will be celebrated across the year with a series of live events, catalogue releases, a documentary and the publishing of a book telling Trojan’s story.
In addition, the label’s past and future are set to come together with Reloaded second release, as Reggae Roast returns with Real Reggae Music featuring Tippa Irie on July 13, which will also be included in the upcoming Trojan Records 50th boxset due for release later this year.
Deekline and Tippa Irie are bringing the smooth grooves and ragga vibes in the place on their latest colab for Jungle Cakes.
Setting the perfect mood for the summer Deekline has laced this chilled out, tropical Jungle beat with Tippa’s infectious vocal. Calling up Voltage & Nicky Blackmarket for remix duties they’ve kept some of the Caribbean feel but added some down low dirt to the mix. And no Deekline release would be complete with out some garage for the house heads, bringing a little bit of the 90s warehouse feel to the release, a sub heavy sound that will cause some serious damage on the floor.
He was the young South London lad back in the 1980s when he took the leap of faith into the rising world of Reggae, and released the iconic “Hello Darling”. He’d already had some success after releasing singles on the Greensleeves label but it wasn’t until “Hello Darling” was released that his career took off in the right direction for him. He was received with open arms and Anthony Henry AKA Tippa Irie was born and in hot demand.
Since then he’s gone on to work with some of the most influential musicians in the World. From Alexander O’Neal to The Black Eyed Peas, his own influence can be heard on some of the most memorable tracks ever recorded. Most recently he’s worked with London Reggae band The Skints whose style is reminiscent of some of the 80s classic Reggae musings, and certainly fits well with Tippa’s style. His music is as relevant now as it was back where it all began.
I caught up with him ahead of his latest tour with the Lockdown Band which will see him hype the crowds of The Maze in Nottingham on Sunday 16 July.
It’s 1986. South East London’s Saxon and their collective of talented mcs are ruling England’s sound system scene. One of them, Papa Levi, has already made history by scoring a Jamaican hit, Mi God Mi King. Another, a skinny youth with sleepy eyes and a cheeky grin, is about to crash the UK pop charts via a jazzy lovers ditty called Hello Darling…
Fast forward 30 years and that young man, Tippa Irie, has recently celebrated his 51st birthday. The U.K. reggae-dancehall industry has experienced ups and downs since the explosion of possibilities in the 80s. But Tippa has come through it well enough. He’s CEO of his own production company Lockdown. He travels the world bringing enjoyment to audiences at live shows, using his still preternatural ability to entertain. And he has just released his 13th album Living The Dream: a diverse collection of transatlantic crossover tracks (whose striking artwork features Tippa surfing atop dollar bills wearing a crown).
In part 2 of our full career interview with Tippa Irie, he talks about going on the road with Saxon, pop success with Greensleeves and his mixed experiences with major labels…
When you joined Saxon they already had quite a lot of notable people there like Levi, Maxi Priest and Peter King. Did you know them already?
No, but to me it was just dances. It wasn’t like you’d go there and it was like “Who is this guy?” You’d go over there and people had just got to respect your talent. If you could deliver then people can say what they want to say but you’re delivering. At the end of the day nobody could tell Musclehead “Who is this guy? We don’t want him here!” They saw my talent. Dennis Rowe was the main guy really. Dennis was the man that was infectious, who gathered us altogether and really showed us the love. He really cared about us. Dennis was the man that really kept us all together.