Damian “Jr Gong” Marley – Stony Hill
Title: Damian “Jr Gong” Marley – Stony Hill
Label: Republic Records | Format: CD-LP-DR | Street date: July 21, 2017 | Website: Damian “Jr Gong” Marley
- Here I Come Again
- Nail Pon Cross
- Medication feat. Stephen Marley
- Time Travel
- Livin’ It Up
- Looks Are Deceiving
- The Struggle Discontinues
- Autumn Leaves
- Everybody Wants To Be Somebody
- Upholstery feat. Major Myjah
- Grown And Sexy feat. Stephen Marley
- Perfect Picture feat. Stephen Marley
- So A Child May Follow
- Slave Mill
- Speak Life
Since the release of his first solo album “Mr. Marley” in 1996, current international superstar Damian “Jr Gong” Marley has steadily been perfectioning his unique dancehall-meets-hip-hop deejay/singjay style. After the release of his sophomore album “Half Way Tree” in 2002, the musical development and maturing of Bob’s youngest reached its highpoint with his 2005 released third album, the very successful and breakthrough album “Welcome To Jamrock”. With the latter Damian “Jr Gong” Marley won two 2006 Grammy Awards; Best Reggae Album and Best Urban/Alternative Performance (for the track “Welcome To Jamrock”).
After several postponed dates of his much anticipated fourth studio album, which can been regarded as a testament to the dedication and the seriousness he applies to making music, “Stony Hill” is now finally out on the streets. Just like its predecessor, Damian “Jr Gong” Marley’s brand new collection blends urban hip-hop, classic roots reggae, dancehall and modern R&B. Not that many reggae dancehall artists can do this in an overall convincing way. Therefore you simply need an exceptionally talented artist, and “Jr Gong” (more recently also known as “Gongzilla”) unquestionably is such an artist.
Some of the tracks featured here are already well-known to the avid fan and other music lovers as they were previously released as singles. These include the funky warning “Nail Pon Cross”, delivered across a remake of Black Uhuru’s “Solidarity” riddim and with lyrics that contain biblical references. And there’s also the Sean “Pow” Diedrick produced hard-hitting politically-charged tune, “R.O.A.R.”, brilliantly complemented by a marching riddim and featuring what sounds like a Buju Banton sample in the chorus. It’s followed by the anthemic “Medication”, a great collaboration with his brother Stephen “Ragga” Marley in which they advocate the benefits of the good herb.
Furthermore we’re treated to the latest single taken from “Stony Hill”, the uplifting “Livin’ It Up”. This joyful sounding tune is kind of an homage to Damian Jr Gong” Marley’s upbringing, his mother and that side of his family. And then there’s also “Everybody Wants To Be Somebody”, which was featured on the soundtrack of Usain Bolt’s movie “I Am Bolt”. Last but least there’s the summer 2016 released “Caution”, an awesome tune across a revitalized version of Black Uhuru’s “World Is Africa” riddim.
Lets turn our attention to the remaining tracks. Offerings such as “Here I Come Again”, with a sample of Dennis Brown’s massive hit from 1977 with the same title, the reality tune “Time Travel”, the gorgeous “Slave Mill” with its percussion driven riddim and the beautiful album closer “Speak Life”, an uplifting and inspirational song, instantly capture the listener’s attention and leave a real good impression. Let’s conclude with the tracks that can be ranked as giant standouts. The latter include the delightful “Looks Are Deceiving”, a tune of pure reggae gold, “The Struggle Discontinues”, which the more you hear it sounds a lot like his dad’s music, and the moving “So A Child May Follow”, an acoustic song with a sentiment to it.
Conclusion "Stony Hill" contains seriously crucial and versatile material.