Reggae is a music immersed in its history. I’ve been listening to reggae music religiously for close to 10 years now, it’s the only other genre I regularly enjoy instead of hip-hop. I’ve spent much of my time researching history and making up for lost time by listening to bands and singers that I missed the first time around, and generally speaking there are very few artists coming out today that compare to the greats of the past.
NiyoRah is the future. The 25 year-old singer from St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands is a hybrid of traditional roots-rock-reggae and a fresh hip-hop influenced dancehall style that is unlike anyone else I’ve ever heard. He is not great in the traditional sense of Bob Marley, Toots & The Maytals, or Steel Pulse in a straight up skank sound, nor is he alike Sizzla, Sean Paul, or Jr. Gong in their island-hop toasting attemptting to appeal to the clubs. NiyoRah creates reggae music for the future with its roots in history.
Unlike most reggae greats, it’s not his voice that makes him so exceptional. He is not a smooth crooner of Don Carlos’ status, nor a revolutionary commander like Peter Tosh, the OG Chuck D. He is a great song writer, though not quite the poetic wordsmith that Marley was. What makes NiyoRah so special is his unique delivery, exemplified on “Perfect Timing.” He has a great understanding of the way to time his lyrics around the riddims and let his light, clear voice blend with his exceptional ability to pick beats that are infused with a diverse selection of traditional reggae instruments, especially the blues guitar and horns on “Thinking Of My Life”. He sings around the musicians and encourages them to roam, picking and choosing his spots to deliver his positive vibes of love, uprising, knowledge and respect. He makes music that does the most to promote his strengths and downplays his shortcomings. And it’s a very special sound.
Twist a blunt, wash the whip and ride with top dropped to holler at breezies and blow the spot with that shit that no one on the block got. This aint fucking Shaggy crying with a fake accent, this is baby making music. Play his verses (especially the second) over the New Day riddim on “Always,” are guaranteed to moisten the lady’s panties. His dedications also shine in his odes to his two favorite topics, Jah and himself, are among the highlights on the “Light of Jah,”and “Fullest Confidence.” His party rocking potential is clear from his flows on the hip-hop influenced on the “Clowns Around Us,” and “Positive Herb”” which features the same piano loop sample that Scarface and Nas murdered on classic collabo “In Between Us.”
NiyoRah’s debut album is truly A Different Age , released on I Grade Records
Find out more about NiyoRah’s work with Star Lion Family and his newest release “Purification Sessions”
For more info visit...
Ladybug Mecca - Trip The Light Fantastic
Pastor Troy-By Truth or By Force [Retail]
Twista - Runnin' Off At Da Mouth - 1991
Bizzy Bone - Heaven'z Movie - 1998
JVC Force- Force Field 1990
Lupe Fiasco- Trials and Tribulations Mixtape
Soul Food OST
Keith Washington - Make Time For Love
Hezekiah Walker - Recorded Live at Love Fellowship Tabernacle
Ed O.G. - Dedicated EP 1996
DJ Khaled - Listennn: The Album
Tech N9ne - Rare Compilations and Bootlegs
Atmosphere - Happy Clown Bad Dub 8 (Tour CD Only)
Brother Ali - Shadows On The Sun
John P. Kee - Blessed By Association
7.21 Stray Shots Downloadable Text File
7.21 Stray Shots Changelink Page