Lead The Way EP
Bebble Rock Music
November 4, 2013
from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)|
|Vocals : 4/5||Backing : 4/5||Production : 4||Sound quality : 5||Sleeve : 4|
One of the most interesting and thus also most anticipated uprising Jamaican artists goes by the name of Kabaka Pyramid. Born Keron Salmon, Kabaka Pyramid is a multi-talented artist and producer hailing from the streets of Kingston, Jamaica. The name "Kabaka" is Ugandan for "King" and the long lasting survival of the Pyramids of ancient Africa represent his desire for longevity in the music and deep connection to Kemetic roots; leaving messages for generations to come.
Kabaka Pyramid's passion for music began at an early age when he would change the lyrics to popular songs and record his own version on his mother's tape recorder. What began as a humorous venture was actually a stepping-stone for this artist. Reggae music has always been a strong influence on the Kingstonian lyricist with Sizzla Kalongi and Peter Tosh providing a great source of spiritual inspiration in his life. During high school hip-hop music also captivated him; reciting his favorite Canibus lines constantly with Nas and Common serving as great examples of the success of conscious music. Kabaka Pyramid spent his early years as a rapper to underground success. With projects such as DJ Green Lantern's Mixtape "Myspace Invasion" as well as two Mixtapes for himself, "The Transition Vols 1 and 2", and a collaboration album called "Bebble Business", he cemented himself as an artist with deep spiritual messages and proven lyrical ability and was instrumental in raising the bar on the standard of hip-hop in Jamaica.
Kabaka Pyramid also released a few reggae and dancehall tracks including "Carry On" and "Never Be The Same" and achieved chart success in Bermuda with the track "Love Is All I See" featuring local artist Ashanti. Also as a producer he saw chart success in the Bahamas for "Dead Man Walking". In July 2011 he released his "Rebel Music" EP free to the public. This project, a fusion of roots rock, reggae, dancehall and hip-hop, made waves in the global landscape, particularly Europe and North America. With the release of singles such as "Free From Chains", "I Alone", "Ready Fi Di Road", "No Capitalist" and "King Kabaka" as well as music videos for the popular "Free From Chains", "King Kabaka", "High And Windy", Kabaka Pyramid is being touted by many as strong part of a new wave of powerful artists coming out of Jamaica.
With the release of the compilation EP "Lead the Way", which features multiple fan favourites that have been re-mastered and re-packaged as well as brand new material, Kabaka Pyramid shows his growth over the past years. Included are collaborations with Tarrus Riley, Protoje and Shanique Marie and tracks produced and released locally and internationally by production camps such as Chimney Records, DJ Smurf's 12 to 12 Productions, Zincfence Records, Digital Vibez, Equiknoxx Music, Israel Records, Green Lion, Irievibrations, Roots and Harmony, Flash Hit Records, Union World Music, and of course Bebble Rock Music alongside Lewis Planter.
The Irievibrations produced "Lead The Way" on the "Rub-A-Dub Market" riddim gets things started in real fine style. However, although this first track is a solid effort, it's outmatched by the awesome single "Teach Di Youth". Killer tune with great lyrical content. And more reggae niceness drops with "No Capitalist" on Chimney Records' "Tropical Escape" riddim. The collaboration with Shanique Marie called "This Must be Love" is a nice tune with Kabaka Pyramid's vocal delivery being slightly reminiscent of Beenie Man. In all a very entertaining and noteworthy opening part of this set.
The mood and vibe change drastically with the 2012 released hip-hop fueled "King Kabaka" and "Liberal Opposer" on Green Lion Crew's "Rough Road" riddim, which fuses reggae, dancehall, dub, hip hop and dubstep. It shows Kabaka Pyramid's versatility when it comes to expertly handle other genres, but most likely it won't appeal to avid reggae fans. For them "No Cliché", underpinned by a new version of the "Heavenless" riddim, is a welcome return to reggae music (although with an old skool dancehall flavour). The awesome "Herb Defenda" is a prime example of what some call "reggae revival". To the latter is often referred when it comes to music delivered by new Jamaica-born conscious artists such as Protoje, Jah9, Raging Fyah, Chronixx, and also Kabaka Pyramid. Another example is the truly wicked "Warrior", a collaboration with Protoje done over a Nyabinghi drum beat often used in Rastafarian prayers and rituals. "Worldwide Love", across a riddim of the same name is simply beautiful, both musically and lyrically. And then it's time for the bonus tracks of which "Fly Di Gate", done in collaboration with Tarrus Riley, and "War, Crime & Violence" make a serious impression.
With the "Lead The Way EP", Kabaka Pyramid fully shows he's capable of securing himself a place in the forefront of today's reggae scene.