‘Shaka Zulu Pickney’ by Tarrus Riley [Directed by Storm Saulter]
Boom. You know I wasn’t going to write at all today, but I knew Tarrus Riley had FINALLY released his latest video for the Bombrush produced tune ‘Shaka Zulu Pickney’ [Nyahbinghi Riddim, available now] and I thought that I’d check it out before I returned to writing Ele’s review. Well, you can clearly see how much of it I thought that I’d go to the extent to build an entire post around it. This video is MAMMOTH! Immediately it becomes one of the greatest videos that I’ve seen EVER, which isn’t saying a great deal from me because I don’t watch too many, but what I can say is that had it released a few weeks ahead of when it did, it would have unseated Bunji Garlin’s clip for ‘Brave’ as my favourite of 2010 and would have done so with room to spare (and those two videos are somewhat similar in my opinion). The initial thing here is just how COOLY POWERFUL this video is. What I mean is that we get very early imagery of Afrikan Warriors rather easily just blending into everyday life - No one paying them any ‘extra’ attention. The way I took this was that they weren’t actually appearing like that to the other people, but it’s meant to show that this is within them (listen the lyrics people!) and a large part of who they are. The next thing which stands out is the various different historical figures, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Marcus Garvey and His Imperial Majesty as a child who assimilate within everyday society, although while still performing their most important roles. And finally there’s just the general imagery of the video - The big fire Tarrus and friends standing around, the warriors running, ‘Garvey’ staring across the water to the ship and finally Sam Sharpe and Nanny (whose figure just brings the video to an almost PERFECT halt). This thing is stunning, it’s a wonderful video and even though 2011 is only about six weeks old or so, if this isn’t the UNANIMOUS Reggae Video of The Year this year, then we are in for some MAGIC in the remaining 46 weeks of 2011.
Video Rated: 5/5
Video - Song Link: 5/5
‘Advantage’ by Machel Montano [Directed by Leroy “Gotti” Thomas & Marc Lorengard]
Okay so, I cannot possibly hope to draw anything next up which could match the significance of Tarrus Riley’s ‘Shaka Zulu Pickney’ - So I thought maybe we could match it in intensity. In all likelihood, in little less than a month’s time ‘Advantage’ will become the . . . Fourth (I THINK) Road March winning tune of Machel Montano’s storied career and to push it along, Montano and company have thrown a video behind it (“company” includes Marc Lorengard, who I believe had something to do with the aforementioned video for ‘Brave’). This song is fucking ridiculous - It’s full-on MADNESS from beginning to end and while the video takes a predictable moment to get going, it almost helps. While I don’t necessarily like the colour change (I was actually nervous that it might stay like that for a second), I do like the opening segment because you see this most random group of people with Machel and you absolutely know that when they get to where they’re headed - MADNESS! And that’s exactly what happens. I’ve seen much better Soca videos (saw one last year), but for what this tune is and for the reaction it’s supposed to pull, this thing is PERFECT and that song! DAMN!
Video Rated: 4.5/5
Video - Song Link: 4.999999/5
‘Patience’ by Damian Marley & Nas [Directed by Nabil Ederkin]
‘If I Ever’ by Wayne Wonder [Directed by Antwan ‘Shake’ Smith & Max Amillion]
Video Rated: 4.75/5
Video - Song Link: 4.75/5
Time to get a little strange. I suppose if I were really thinking ‘correctly’ at the time I may’ve placed the latest video from ”Distant Relatives”, the combination album of Damian Marley and Nas, ‘Patience’, second because it definitely has similarities to ‘Shaka Zulu Pickney’, but of course it’s strange as hell. There is A TON of special effects in this video and . . . Yeah, I review Reggae, Soca and Zouk videos mainly, so I don’t deal with that a lot. Still, I do think that there’s power in this clip. This song was one of my favourites from the album, but what I think is that it serves excellently for this kind of ’ancient cosmic’ world created by director Nabil Ederkin (who apparently directs Kanye West videos). With all the EVERYTHING that is going on, two things stand out for me: First of all there’s the fact that Amadou & Mariam, who sang the original tune, is included (not too hard to figure out who they are if you don’t know) and the other thing is that if you REALLY look you notice someone marching almost all the time. Certainly there’s some more direct piece of significance for that than I’m going to be able to come up with, but I just thought that, amongst the visual franticness, that the simple visual of people constantly heading somewhere is probably the greatest statement of this chaos being tied to the skeletal track for which it was built.
Video Rated: 4.75/5
Video - Song Link: 4.75/5
We continue the line of big big names with another big big name as veteran Dancehall/Reggae singer, Wayne Wonder offers up his latest video, ‘If I Ever’, which also happens to be the title track for his latest EP (which you can pick up digitally courtesy of the fine people at Zojak Worldwide). Unlike two of the first three videos on this list, this one isn’t really trying to change or better the world in anyway, but that surely doesn’t mean that it isn’t very good because it is. The song here is a very strong one and probably my favourite from Wonder in quite some time (and probably his biggest hit in a similar amount of time also) and the video which it spawns is pretty much exactly what you might expect: A really cool and romantic type of a clip. The main video girl, of course, is very easy on the eyes, you have some very nice scenery as well and like I said the tune is a real winner so should this video get the opportunity to ‘spread’ (and it just might) Wayne Wonder might have another unexpected but very very deserved international run on his hands.
Video Rated: 4.35/5
Video - Song Link: 5/5
‘Manic‘ by Shurwayne Winchester [Directed by Wizzkydd]
And finally we have the big tune from Shurwayne Winchester this season, a bit of a groovy spot, ‘Manic’ (certainly not the type of song you would expect with that title). Like the tune itself, the video is pretty ridiculous but it is most certainly a very good time to be had. There’s a lot of nice things for the eyes in this one (a lot of ass) and even the video seems somewhat ‘faster’ than the tune, but I get the feeling that there isn’t a single shot in this one which isn’t shot with just a little bit of jest behind it and definitely there’s no problem with that. By its end, it’s just a very cool thing for a tune which is definitely amongst the favourites to take Groovy Monarch this year.
Video Rated: 4/5
Video - Song Link: 3.75/5
**Pressure Busspipe [Directed by Sean David]**
And I thought that I'd throw this in as well. Here's a very cool and short documentary/interview with VI Reggae super star Pressure Busspipe in and around his home in St. Thomas, USVI. He talks about his origins with the likes of the Star Lion Family and going to Jamaica and linking with Don Corleon and even some of the future up and coming talents from out of the VI (the man even mentions Pumpa). Very cool, very informative. Check it out.