Jamaican music superstar, Mr. Vegas, has officially declared the forthcoming project, This Is Dancehall, his final dancehall album. The highly anticipated set is scheduled to be released September 23rd on the artist’s own MV Music record label and distributed worldwide by VP Associated Labels (VPAL).
Mr. Vegas, who celebrates his 20th anniversary in entertainment next year, admits it was a tough decision, but says his hand was forced by the current state of the industry.
“The days when dancehall acts were selling albums are basically over,” explains the veteran artist and CEO.” It is very expensive to produce an album and most times, in this Internet era, you take a loss. The business is back to being more single driven so that is where I will be concentrating my efforts when it comes to dancehall.”
Part history lesson and part tribute, Mr. Vegas says the new album was inspired by the recent surge of dancehall-influenced records being played on major platforms around the world. “I also noticed mainstream artists were tapping heavily into the genre and not giving credit where credit is due,” he reasons. “I’ve spent twenty years of my life making dancehall. This album kicks in the door, musically speaking, and claims our rightful seat at the table.”
The lead single and video for “Dancehall Dabb” is already a fan favorite on VEVO with over 700,000 views. The remix, featuring rising UK rap diva, Nadia Rose, and JA-born UK-bred DJ, Don Andre, is beginning to chart in the UK and Europe. Also gaining traction is the infectious single and video for “Identify My Love,” steadily approaching 200,000 views.
Mr. Vegas dropped a third clip from the album last weekend, for “Own Leader,” an autobiographical tune about the backlash he received for speaking up about issues related to the cultural appropriation of dancehall. Recorded on an update of the Steelie and Clevie rhythm for Tippa Lee and Rappa Robert’s 1980s hit, “Nuh Trouble We,” the song evokes a vintage dancehall sound.
“This was one of my favorite tracks as a kid,” reminisces Vegas. “I was happy to rework it because it’s representative of the dancehall era where beats had such great basslines, you had no choice but to move when it was played!”