Published on August 10th, 2019 | by Guest Editor0
Acclaimed Dancehall Icon Spragga Benz to Release New Album Chiliagon September 27
Legendary Innovator Moves Dancehall Cultural Needle Once Again Nearly 25 years After Genre-Defining Breakthrough
Celebrated Deejay Lines Up Slate of U.S. Festivals And Shows For August And September
Acclaimed Jamaican Dancehall pioneer Spragga Benz has announced the release of his eagerly-awaited album CHILIAGON (Easy Star/Buttercuts/Red Square Productions), available everywhere September 27. His first album in nearly a decade, CHILIAGON arrives as a seminal work from one of the most influential artists of the Dancehall movement.
The resilient icon melds his formidable delivery with some of the top UK producers and artists working today, blending roots, riddim, drum and bass, garage, grime and hip hop into a diverse kaleidoscope of infectious beats effortlessly propelled by the Kingston native’s flawless flow. Bringing the full scope and versatility of his decades-long influence in the Dancehall game, Spragga Benz takes the throne again as one of music’s more perceptive innovators, surrounded by a cast of peers and proteges who also continue to reinvent the Reggae music culture.
Adopting its name from a 1,000-sided polygon that symbolized contemplation and meditation to some of the world’s early philosophers, Spragga’s CHILIAGON moves the cultural needle via the artist’s characteristic vision, buoyed by the deejay’s razor-sharp verses and genre-leaping collaborative skills.
Just as he helped fuse dancehall/hip hop/R&B in the 90s, working with such artists as Foxy Brown, Wyclef Jean, KRS-One, Lil Bow Wow, Pras, and Noreaga, his new album bridges the swaggering gamechangers of the genre (General Levy and Rodney P) with some of the ground-breaking talent representing the current UK cutting-edge steeped in Spragga’s and other Dancehall forefathers sprawling influence.
Multiple tracks have already set the table for the coming album, including “Differ Remix” featuring Sean Paul, Agent Sasco, and Chi Ching Ching and produced by Toddla T (WATCH HERE); and the recently released “If Yuh Ready,” featuring the trademark chops of General Levy (WATCH HERE).
Produced by Andrew Oury, Paul Fowler, Cristy Barber and Spragga, other songs on the 15-track album are “Move To The Music” (featuring Rebel ACA), “Spread Out” (featuring Hype & Fever), “Link Up” (featuring Matthew Allman, Illaman, Black Josh), and two tracks featuring influential UK hip hop giant Rodney P – “Hustle And Flow” and “King on the Throne.”
The debut single for the September kickoff will be the provocative and sly “Wicked Love,” also produced by noted BBC DJ Toddla T, who helmed the Fredo, Young T & Bugsey hit “Ay Caramba,” as well as becoming the go-to producer/remixer for a host of diverse projects including tracks by Tinchy Stryder, Wiley, Artic Monkeys, Skepta, and many others.
Parking himself in London to map out the vibe and direction for the new album, Spragga was boosted by Buttercut Records Founder/CEO Andrew Oury’s constant support, pairing the always adventurous icon with a host of collaborators, all determined to raise their game around the insightful and inspiring Spragga. The whirlwind recording sessions took place in Oury’s house with Spragga joined by producers and artists including Lil’ Rossco, Toddla T, Cadenza & Epic B, Sukh Knight, Zed Bias, JD Reid, Rodney P, General Levy, Tanika, Killa P, Black Josh, Harry Shotta, Rebel ACA, Hype & Fever, and many more. The ambitious effort showcases the love, respect, and admiration all the talented contributors have for Spragga as teacher, mentor, iconic influencer, and social activist.
Says Spragga: “These are artists and producers I’ve worked with and admired as friends, as a fan, and as idols I looked up to. Dancehall is the foundation of so many genres, being surrounded by so much talent for CHILIAGON brings my joy of making music full circle.”
An acclaimed live performer committed to knocking down musical boundaries wherever he goes, Spragga will be appearing in a series of U.S. festivals and shows until the end of the summer, including the Be Reggae Festival August 10/11 in Atlanta; Hot 97’s On Da Reggae Soca Tip on August 30 at Coney Island, NY; One Love Festival August 31 in Toronto; and the Jerk Fest on September 14 in Houston, TX. In addition to touring, Spragga will be a guest speaker at the SUNY-UWI Center for Leadership and Sustainable Development Community Lecture Series – The Caribbean Music Industry 2019: What’s Next for Reggae, Dancehall and New Breakout Artists – on Monday, August 19th (DETAILS HERE).