Micah Shemaiah – Jamaica Jamaica
1. Jamaica Jamaica
2. Why Yuh Killing Dem So
3. Run Things
4. Roots Blockbuster feat. Rassi HardKnocks Xana Romeo, Eesah & Mikey General
5. Neva Mis
6. Boom Draw feat. Bescenta
1. Hard Drugs feat. 808 Delavega
2. Parler feat. Little Lion Sound
3. Left My Heart In Mobay
5. Real way feat. Goldbar’z
6. Many Miles feat. Sahie
Micah Shemaiah’s acclaimed 2021 album Still, produced by the mighty Zion I Kings collective, is followed by an impressive successor in the form of his sixth album Jamaica Jamaica. The talented Jamaican vocalist collaborated with Jamaica-based We Generation Music and Swiss Evidence Music to create this compelling new work. Unlike the Still album, a variety of producers were involved in the creation of tracks for Jamaica Jamaica. Several examples from the past have shown that this may result in an inconsistent collection of tunes, yet such is not the scenario in this case, which is quite an achievement.
Despite the first track’s title, Micah Shemaiah doesn’t glorify the picturesque and admirable qualities of the Caribbean island. Rather, he addresses the prevalent issues encountered by Jamaican society and proposes potential resolutions. Supported by Little Lion Sound’s reinterpretation of Lloyd Robinson’s frequently revisited 1968 Cuss Cuss riddim, the song is a call to take action in order to save the artist’s country of birth. It’s not the only relick of a classic riddim that is utilized here. Two tracks, Roots Blockbuster and Neva Miss, are underpinned by a revitalised version of Studio One’s timeless Real Rock riddim. This new version is done by Will Tee of UK-based Descendant Music, who was also involved in Micah Shemaiah’s 2015 Original Dread album. The collaboration called Roots Blockbuster features veteran singer Mikey General and young budding Jamaican talents Rassi Hardknocks, Xana Romeo, and Eesah. It’s a song that demands that strictly roots will be played in the dance hall. The riddim is so infectious that it makes a comeback when Neva Mis leaps off the speakers. When it comes to more highlights, don’t overlook the heavy bass and echo-laden Why You Killing Dem So. This powerful message tune articulates ongoing concerns regarding violence and inequitable circumstances in Jamaica. Another winner is Run Things, which is produced by France-based Dub Akom. Despite the persistent trials and temptations of modern life, the song serves as a poignant reminder for us all to uphold the righteous way of life entrenched in the teachings of our forefathers.
On half of the tracks, Micah Shemaiah is joined by various guests. Apart from the already mentioned Mikey General, Rassi Hardknocks, Xana Romeo, and Eesah, there are also tracks included that feature Kingston-based singer Bescenta, 808 Delavega, and Sahie. While Micah Shemaiah’s son Goldbar’z and Little Lion Sound are also listed as featured artists, they are not performing as vocalists. Micah Shemaiah collaborates with Bescenta on the former’s self-produced Boom Draw. Additionally, 808 Delavega’s contribution lies in building the riddim for Hard Drugs. These two certainly worth hearing tracks celebrate the advantages of the sacred herb. For Many Miles, Micah Shemaiah brings in a rather unknown young singer Sahie who displays a bright vocal delivery. The riddim is simply beautiful and so is the combination of the two voices which blend very well.
Matthias Reulecke, the German dread who relocated to Kingston many years ago, has contributed to the lover’s piece Left My Heart In Mobay and also to the gorgeous Never Fail I, which is featured on the digital download. After listening to it multiple times, the previously released single Stereo becomes more and more enjoyable. Besides the aforementioned Never Fail I, the digital release is extended with well done dubbed out versions of Jamaica Jamaica and Run Things.
Micah Shemaiah once again proves his consistency by remaining loyal to his roots, never failing to deliver uplifting and meaningful music that spreads love and positivity.