Former Hot 97 DJ Cipha Sounds, who is now a member of Jay Z’s Rock Nation label, is a big lover of Jamaican music.
The staunch supporter of dancehall and reggae music recently told 18 Karat Reggae that Jamaican music is gradually making a comeback in the United States, following a decline in recent times which saw soca music and dance music taking over.
The highly respected DJ credited Chronixx and Kranium for their role in reintroducing Jamaican music into the hip hop and pop-dominated US market.
“I was known as the hip-hop DJ that killed the dancehall parties over the years. The soca movement took over a little bit, as well as the up tempo dance music. However, now it feels like some good grimy dancehall is coming back through the system, and I have been getting requests for dancehall from people in London and Jamaica. People like Chronixx are bringing back this slow vibe style, It feels like it’s all coming back. I think that, in another year, it’s going to be like the early ’90s. I am not having a juggling issue, slow reggae can now be mixed with fast dancehall reggae at the same party and it doesn’t feel weird to have one or the other,” he told 18 Karat Reggae at the recently concluded Best of The Best festival in Miami.
The DJ also criticised some Jamaicans for the way they treated some of their artistes. Speaking specifically on behalf of Kranium and Bob Marley, he said:
“I like Kranium even though he sometimes he gets a bad rep from Jamaicans because he is based in New York. But I think Jamaicans hated on Bob Marley and then he went to England and came back and they were all of a sudden like, yow, that is my thing. I also like Chronixx. I was a little bit late but I went to one of his concert, and Mick Jagger was there and we were blown away.”
Speaking of Mick Jagger, Cipha Sounds also supported the icon’s view that Vybz Kartel is indeed one of Jamaica’s finest dancehall artistes. The DJ also revealed that his dream record is a collaboration with Vybz Kartel and Eminem, highlighting that he was one of the persons behind the production of the spliced Eminem and Vybz Kartel collaboration Badman Party.
“Vybz Kartel is an ill Jamaican artiste and his wordplay is the sickest ever. My dream in life would be to have Kartel and Eminem together. Another dope rapper is Damian Marley, his reggae music is on point, but he can rap. But rappers don’t know that Jamaican artistes can actually rap, despite rapping coming from dancehall. It’s like a chicken and egg situation, but it’s because they don’t really understand what they (Jamaican deejays) are saying,” he said.