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t’s difficult to categorize Jahdan Blakkamoore’s debut solo album, Buzzrock Warrior. It has a clear reggae twang, but his flow is so hip-hop with a little bit of R&B. There are moments when you feel like you’re listening to Beenie Man, as his thoughts tease revolution of the body (“Kundalini – bedroom yoga”) to feeling like you’re listening to a Jamaican Mos Def, demanding revolution of the mind (“We go ‘round payola”). It’s one of those albums that, like the Rastafarian that he is, blurs the line between divine law and man’s law, the personal and the universal, so boldly and so effortlessly, it’s bound to be epic—if only we recognize him. Jahdan grew up an immigrant in Brooklyn, N.Y., surrounded by the diverse sound vibrations of “reggae, mento, soca, calypso, jazz, R&B, gospel and rock ‘n’ roll.” By the time he was 12 or 13 he says, “I started just bugging out with my own voice.” Reggae was his main “riddim” and over the years he became an internationally known deejay (reggae lyricist) with his band Noble Society. In the U.S. he became known for collaborations with critically acclaimed hip hop artists like, DJ Premier, Dead Prez, Bootcamp Clik and Afu Ra. So, when it was time to produce Buzzrock Warrior, he knew it would have to be “genre-bending.” “What’s happening is that all cultures are coming together because they started from the same origin anyway ... there’s a musical, spiritual, social and universal revolution happening now on our planet.” Buzzrock is his contribution to the revolution. “I’m a musical warrior. I believe that the pen is mightier than the sword any day.” If he simply had to categorize it, though, it would be, “Dubstep, grime, jungle music. Children of reggae,” he says, “like hip hop— multicultural babies. Jahdan describes his own multicultural evolution on “Come With Me,” a track with a haunting bass line and hook that lures the listener “on a journey” from Guyana to Canada to New York City. When he finally arrived in Brooklyn, he says, “I was just in awe. I remember just being like, ‘Wow this is such a big, huge place with big, big buildings.” Were the streets paved with gold like you were told? “No,” he said laughing. “I quickly found out the harsh realities of social living in the States. You’re never gonna stop being on this paper chase and you need to have like two or three jobs if you’re gonna have a car and a house and be able to provide for the day to day.” It’s funny how the stereotype of Caribbean-Americans having multiple jobs is true, not only of them, but of all of us. Even with his international success, Jahdan keeps a second job, except now, instead of it being a telemarketer, it’s being business-minded about his music. He insists on being a soldier for this cultural revolution. “Success is the only option, failure is not an option and upward spiraling is the only thing for me.” Or, as he says on “Broken In Brooklyn,” an anthem to being liberated from these recessiondepression times, “The pressure makes me feel vulnerable/but I was born a rebel/so me more sensible/I got to make moves on a higher level.”


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