When I was in tenth grade there was one album that I listened to just about everyday. The album is called 'Redlight' and it was recorded by Brooklyn's own The Slackers. Over the years the line-up has changed but the one thing that has remained is the raspy vocals, rambling keys and lyrics of Vic Ruggiero. I was only caught in the feverish third wave of Ska for a few years but the first three albums by The Slackers remain as some of my all time favorite albums. In fact, my quote in my senior yearbook from High School is a line from their track 'Knowing' off of 'The Question.' 'Knowing is a two-edged sword/Of what you've learned and what's ignored/And wisdom is a liquor store/It tastes so sweet but just wait til' you wake up in the morning."
I made a new friend recently that reminded me just how much I miss the days of braces and skanking. I did a little research and found that Vic is still at it. Touring the world and releasing albums. The Slackers just released an album last year called 'Self Medication.' Here's a favorite from that album and one from each of their first three. 'You have to be rude and reckless!'
The Slackers 'Rude & Reckless' (Taken from 'Redlight') (YSI)
The Slackers 'Sarah' (Taken from 'Better Late Than Never') (YSI)
The Slackers 'Knowing' (Taken from 'The Question') (YSI)
The Slackers 'Stars' (Taken from 'Self Medication') (YSI)
So if you're in NYC on this rainy Monday, download these tracks, sit back, roll one up and let your ears sip some sweet Ska-soul from Vic and the crew.
Also, this just in from Soul Jazz Records::
Soul Jazz Records are releasing 100%Dynamite NYC – Dancehall Reggae meets Rap In New York City on Monday Mar 16, 2009. The album is available in all good record and internet stores from next week. You can buy it right here, now!
From Kool Herc onwards, Jamaicans who grew up in New York City have played pivotal roles in the development of the city’s musical identity. Hip-Hop, born in the Bronx, was always hot-wired to Jamaica and in the 1990s the two became inextricably joined when reggae met rap in New York City.
Dynamite NYC brings together the many artists who created this unique scene, linking together two of the world’s most important musical cultures – hip-hop and reggae.
In the early 1990s, Jamaican dancehall - including artists from this home-grown New York scene - became the subject of close scrutiny by the US major record industry who, having made vast profits from hip-hop, searched out Jamaican or Jamaican-descended artists who could potentially crossover into the vast US hip-hop market. Jamaican dancehall artists were signed to big US contracts (Yellowman, Supercat, Capleton, Shabba Ranks). And New York, previously a satellite town of Kingston for visiting Jamaican artists, but now with its own unique dancehall scene became a focal point as artists such as Shinehead, Red Foxx, Jamal-Ski, Mad Lion, and others were quickly signed up to major record companies.
100%Dynamite NYC features these and many other New York reggae/hip-hop crossover artists in this first album to feature the music from this scene.
BUY 100% Dynamite NYC ALBUM HERE.