Sunday, September 6, 2009
Jah Dan Interview - The Village Voice
Yes In My Backyard: Download Jahdan Blakkamoore's "The General (Remix)" ft. Smif-N-Wessun's General Steele (SOTC Premiere)
By Christopher Weingarten in Christopher R. Weingarten, Featured, Jahdan Blakkamoore, MP3, Yes In My Backyard
Yes In My Backyard is a semiweekly column showcasing MP3s from new and emerging local talent.
A grimy mix of hip-hop, dancehall, electronic, dubstep,and pretty much anything else with chest-caving bass, Brooklyn's Jahdan Blakkamoore is a vocalist who's taking that pan-global headknock from neon-coated Philadelphia warehouses back to NYC, where cohort DJ/Rupture kicked this shit off almost a decade ago. It helps that he's dragging it kicking and screaming through the streets. Blakkamoore's Buzzrock Warrior has a hip-hop-centric noir feel that matches the darker, moodier topics it covers: guns ("Dem An Idiot"), the grind ("Get Hustlin",) and being broke and alone and homeless and cold ("Broken In Brooklyn"). The poignant "The General" is a look at gangstaisms through the eyes of children suffering through shantytown life. On the remix, Jahdan gets an assist from an old friend--Brooklyn's own Steele of Smif-N-Wessun, who shows off his own singing skills with an opening verse that matches Jahdan's own intensity.
What is this song about?
The conditions that the less fortunate youths in the Caribbean face under poor living standards and corrupt government policies. I myself have been affected by these conditions, hence the line "Here I am now, I'm gonna stand my ground." After reflecting on some of the trials faced by many youths in these impoverished areas, I felt compelled to tell the story of one who became a "General." The title "General" in the ghettos of the Caribbean is given to one who is looked up to and even feared by many. He, in most cases, is one who provides for many in the community, and at the same time he is the one being used by the politicians to manipulate the minds of the people, hence creating a negative cycle.
How did the track come about?
This song came about as a result of DJ Liondub and Matt Shadetek hooking up to co-produce a track. I instantly fell in love with the track, from the sound of the rainfall in the beginning to the vocal sample. I think the world needs to hear this track... I wrote this tune in hopes that it would raise awareness among those whom this problem affects, as well as those who may be in a position to affect and change this problem.
How did you hook up with Steele?
I met Steele about 10 years ago through mutual friends in D&D studios on 37th. Street. I feel like his verse also speaks from the same perspective, Steele is actually rapping about parts of his own upbringing in his verse. This remix is hot as hell.
When you sing about such serious things is it difficult?
It isn't difficult at all. In fact I would have to say it is very therapeutic for me.
Download: Jahdan Blakkamoore, "The General (Remix)" featuring General Steele
Jahdan Blakkamoore's album Buzzrock Warrior is out September 15 on Gold Dust. The release party is September 17 at Santos Party House with DJ Rekha and Eddie Stats.