Concrete Jungle Studios, the Record and Publishing Label from the Vaal, presents a highly anticipated 12 Track Roots Reggae Compilation called Lerumo La Mollo, also known as Burning Spear Riddim. The label boss, Botanist Mr. Lamington, gave a sneak preview of the Riddim through a Live Stream on Facebook when it was still in the early production phase. Even in its unfinished state, the Riddim caught the attention of artists from home and abroad who were eager to jump on it.
Jossy Daphina, one of the emerging female vocalist who has been doing the rounds in the underground scene came full circle on this Riddim. She skillfully laced it with her powerful soulful vocals hailing the virtues of her man, with the track titled One inna Million. Hers was the first track leaked from the Riddim while it was still cooking in the Jungle Studios and the aroma spread out of the studios like fire that became the burning spear.
When it reached Chantty Natural, the acclaimed artist and Sound Engineer, in his studios in Botswana, it found him in a very deep contemplating state about the negativity in the industry. He penned a very hard hitting lament, without mincing his word and digging deep into the rich pot of the Setwana vocabulary, he wryly calls them out as Pigs! Hoki Kolobe,
Naf-Ital, Mr. Sponono, also feeling the contemplative state of mind, expanded on the theme and took it beyond the industry’s boundaries. He passionately rejoined the Riddim with his track called “Babylon You Dead,” criticizing societal issues.
Simultaneously, Mr. Lamington, while still cooking the Riddim joined forces with Shaka to call out Police brutality and their ongoing harassment of Rastas. Shaka from Baak Ah Yaad was at the Jungle Studios when the melody of the riddim took form amidst a cloud of smoke encompassing the studios. It got him thinking about that day, when the police confiscated his Ganja, and on this track, together with Botanist they recount the incident and conclude that they Don’t Like Police.
Not far from the Jungle Studios in the Vaal, Skeleton Blazer, also known as the Man of ah Battle, felt the impact of the Riddim’s message and joined the lamentations against societal issues. He strongly expresses his self-empowerment in a track called “Don’t Call Me A Prisoner,” asserting his position as the President of his destiny.
Livan and Undefynd, a dynamic musical duo, expressed their thoughts passionately in the song “Akina Chelete (Ha Ke na Chelete) – I Don’t Have Money.” The track explores the pressure imposed by society to prioritize materialistic success. They are currently developing their own distinctive style and approach, and the opportunity presented by Lerumo la Mollo allowed them to delve deep into their imaginative pool to create this catchy and playful composition.
It took Dimahr, one of the fast rising female vocalists on the scene, to quell the tension and remind them of the higher purpose. The Uptown Gyal hitmaker put on a fine spin on the theme as she blissfully laid the lyrics on the riddim with her track Burning Spear. She intoned: “Know you’re the fittest / Can’t loose your fitness / Know you’re the realest and beat up your chest,
Thus the tide changed and somewhere in France, the prince of Fyah caught the whiff of the aroma and it brought him memories of his hometown, Venda. Fyah Prince added to the burning fire with the motivational track Believe in Yourself. On cue, Musical Dynasty another promising emerging artist from the Vaal, brings in the Rastafari Fire when he proudly intones Rastafari Ah Rise. Red I Scorch the First Fyah, seals it with Purpose. The whiff of the burning spear reach Limpopo to find Bashy Jah Bless, the Welcome To Venrock hitmaker, sitting and contemplating about life, and he concluded that Life is a Journey, and In This Journey you got to stay focus.
Back at Concrete Jungle Studios, Mr. Lamington, a talented multi-instrumentalist, singer, and songwriter who has been nominated for multiple awards, added the final touch to his work – the secret ingredient, the Uptop Hilltop icing. As the self-styled Mzansi Reggae Dancehall King, he proudly declares that he will defend Mzansi Reggae. Rather than switching to popular and commercial styles for fame and money, Botanist chooses to grow within the movement that has made him. Mzansi Reggae and Dancehall are vibrant and thriving with various sub-genres such as Afrikaaps Dancehall, Tswanshall, Dub Steppas, and the rich musicianship of KZN and Limpopo, to the energetic Rub a Dub Sessions in the Ghetto’s and uptown settings and more. Mzansi Reggae is rising with passion and determination and he will Defend it Ka Lerumo La Mollo!
Lerumo La Mollo Riddim – Various Artists Mixed and Mastered by: Botanist Mr. Lamington Label: Concrete Jungle Records and Publishing Release: July 2023