Highlighting the riddim are several of the brightest lights in the respected VI roots reggae movement, including Midnite, Pressure, Niyorah, Ras Batch, Danny I and Junior P. Also featured are three of Jamaica’s finest: Lutan Fyah, Glen Washington, and buzz-worthy newcomer, Jah9.
Brooklyn’s very own (by way of Guyana), Jahdan Blakkamoore, is represented, hot off of the heels of his collaborations with Snoop Dogg or Snoop Lion, in this case, for his Reincarnated album. Guitar maestro Tuff Lion’s emotive playing is on display with an instrumental version that conjures the feel of his seminal album for I Grade Records, Ten Strings (2008).
Zion I Kings is a production collective of three producers/labels: Zion High Productions, I Grade Records, and Lustre Kings Productions. On the Songbird Riddim, Tippy I of I Grade and Jah David of Zion High crafted the soulful and melodic composition with an excellent line up of instrumentalists, including Craig Taylor (drummer for Julian Marley), Tuff Lion, Steve Katz of St. Croix and Jazzique of Nevis.
Balboa Becker and Daniel Casares of Celebrity Hornz provide the unforgettable and soulful horn playing. Zion I Kings has several “Riddims Series” releases planned, including the upcoming Jah Warriah Riddim – to be released on Zion High Productions summer 2013. Some standout tracks on the Songbird include Lutan Fyah’s self-esteem anthem, “She’s Got Soul” – which will also be the first single off of his upcoming album on I Grade Records, Music Never Dies, set for a summer 2013 release.
Pressure Buss Pipe, who also has an album in the works with I Grade Records, brings an emotive tribute to the resiliency of his people with “The Rain.” Vaughn Benjamin of Midnite sends forth a powerful lyrical and vocal missive with “A New Overstanding”.
St. Thomas’ native son, Niyorah, delivers an epic anti-war anthem with “War is Not the Answer” while Jamaica’s female ‘songbird’, Jah9, offers a stirring look at current-day “Tension” felt by the millions of people under the siege and pressure in the present time.