Ya Man is back with another edition of Turn Yo’ Headphones Up. I’d heard the rumors and undercurrents of The Hevster doing a Reggae album and initially, I turned my nose up at the idea. Sure, Hev is Jamaican, but I couldn’t conceive Mr. Diddly Diddly Diddly Diddly Diddly Dee going this far left of his legendary Hip-Hop status. Granted, Hev has always been on the fringe of that R&B, Soul-Hop wave, but Reggae? I wasn’t sure how this was going to play out. Well, let me keep it funky, I wasn’t checking for it at all. I have no problem with reggae and I dig Heavy D, but the two seemed like stranger bedfellows than Tampa Bay the Pittsburgh Pirates and the MLB Playoffs .
The rumbles got louder as I heard and read several interviews where D was quite frank when he stated that since he wasn’t able to put together a solid album like he used to, there was no need to waste his time or our ear. He knows that the time of Heavy D and The Boyz is long gone and it’s time to start on a new chapter. He went on further to talk about how much he’d loved reggae and other music growing up and that this album would be a fusion of those tastes. This made my ears perk up a little bit.
I recently heard him on a radio show and they played one of the songs from the album. My friends, it was a wrap. I could tell from the tone of that song that this album was a pure album about music. This was not the instant reggae of today where you throw a reggae artist on the track, add some heavy bass, and you have a hit. This was just as he described it, “a fusion of roots reggae and jazz to create one of the smoothest albums of its kind.”
I don’t claim to be a reggae connoisseur, but this one put me squarely into the mindset of Bob Marley’s Legend because of its sincerity and musical sensibilities.“Long Distance Girlfriend” is the first song on the album, as Hev explains; It’s a dedication to his parents. His mom and dad took turns coming to the states and preparing the way for the rest of the family to come here and make a better life. The concept is how they persevere in love when distance threatens what they are used to. Lyrically, I was already on board, but when I heard it, that’s when I was hooked.
Some other favorites on the album are “Love Me Like This” which features Barrington Levy, “Queen Majesty”, “Chasing Windmills”, and “Delilah” (which has been floating around the net for a while now.)
The album is only 10 tracks long and there are several songs floating the net so I will refrain from linking you up this time, but you pirates know how to find it I’m sure. For those of you who dig reggae and want to support an independent release (and self proclaimed Grammy nominated album) iTunes has the hook up. When you cop, make sure you Turn Yo’ Headphones Up.