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The Future of Grimehall
In May of 1988, the New York Times wrote an article boldly stating that “Rap is OFFICIALLY in the MAINSTREAM”. From where we stand today in 2018 with rap and hip-hop music, as accredited by Forbes Magazine as the most popular genre of music (and most profitable), music and listenership has come an incredibly long way.
Back to the article, the author credits the origin of Hip-Hop to the ‘ghettos of New York’ in the 80’s. And the following month LAWFORD BAXTER from St. Paul sent his letter to the editor which was published…He corrected the author for his historical error and stated; Rap Music Began on Jamaica in the 1960’s.
“In the early 60’s, when Jamaican sound-system operators had only a single turntable, they would employ the services of a slick-talking, rhyme-every-time person on the microphone. These slick talkers (also called chanters) would fill in between records so that the dancers would not wander away from the floor. The chanters quickly realized there was more money to be made talking or chanting on a record than talking between records, so they started recording.”
For those of us who have fallen deeply for sound-system culture (also a musical movement that started in Jamaica), it is easy to see where the Jamaican diaspora carried this tradition to New York and ultimately started hip-hop music. Its contested who exactly is responsible for the first RAP song – whether is was Sir Lord Comic or DJ Cool Herc (both Jamaicans) – its evident this rich cultural contribution came from Jamaica. Ok now fast-forward to 2018….
Jamaica’s contribution to hip-hop music has become even more notable in the past few years. By way of some of the most popular artists in the world, superstars like Drake make infinite references to Jamaica & ‘chat nuff Patois’ in his music. His latest mixtape includes 6 tracks where the title blatantly makes reference to Jamaican culture. With artist like Rhianna leading the “tropical house” movement along with producers like Major Laser who clearly pay homage to Jamaica in almost every production; its easy to see where Jamaican music is here to stay. Don’t forget we even have North American rappers fighting over who is more Jamaican! Big up Jamaica!
So what about the state of rap music in Jamaica now? Allow us to introduce Fyah Roiall…
Fyah Roiall is a top lyricist, hip-hop/grime MC & champion freestyler straight outta Kingston, Jamaica keeping rap & hip-hop alive and well. And like his predecessors in Jamaican music he understands how important “not being stuck in a genre box” is… breaking out of Jamaica’s traditional reggae and dancehall – Roiall is merging his natural lyrical ability with his love for rap, grime, hip-hop & trap. Roiall is still very much a product of his rich musical heritage from the island. Rapping in his native Jamaican patois, painting pictures with his words of real-life situations embedded in a complex understanding for his cultural & historical place in the world; Roiall’s raps are stories about the past, present & future that you can follow and feel. And although he is incredibly private, his lyrics provide a window into his mind, to a place where his observations can be said openly and shared with other “free minds” around the world.
Roiall also finds freedom in fusing genres. Most recently Ebro, leading hip-hop curator, on @Beats1Offical #AppleMusic – said Fyah Roiall is being talked about as the upcoming champion freestyler, grimehall force to be reckoned with coming out of Jamaica right now. He also said it undeniable the influence Jamaican Music has on popular music today. Although Roiall never intended to start a new genre in Jamaica, he does feels his message is being heard as more & more tastemakers find his music hard to “genre-fy”. It does seems ‘grime-hall’ is the name that’s sticking, Roiall says he’ll never be limited by a genre – so you can call it what you want…. but its just his taste and particularity in his sound and image. This can also be seen in his involvement in every level of the production of his music. From producer/engineer to creative director and even videographer/editor, Roiall’s music is himself from vision to execution.
Roiall is due to release a mixtape this year and he told us he is producing all the visuals himself. He’s already designed his own cover & single artwork(s), has shot and edited a few music videos and plans to release this project independently. It’s one thing to be able to present your music to the world, but Roiall’s mixtape will present his music, artistic abilities, love for cinema & photo/videography in one incredible collection. Having had an exclusive pre-release listening session at Irie, we are really excited for our listeners to listen to Fyah Roiall’s message and stay tuned for the contribution he is making to Jamaican music on a whole. Headed on tour to Austrailia, Canada & the Caribbean, Fyah Roiall is setting out to make a name for himself and a perhaps even a new genre of Jamaican music.
So here it goes…We lit up some Golden GOAT in Kinston, Jamaica, the beat got wavy, the flow was like whoa and the track that came to be….other-worldly. SPACED OUT by Fyah Roiall, produced by Makonnen is straight from yard and full of fire. As ganja tunes go, we’re not sure we’ve heard many bigger recently!
Premiered globally by EBRO on @Beats1Offical #AppleMusic – Listen, Light it Up, Turn it Louder….