Why Sean Is King

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Few Reggae artists can boast the achievement of having conquered the American mainstream charts, Shaggy and Sean Paul being the more recent artists to do just that.

Now there is a new kid on the block--Sean Kingston. Kingston is the product of a culture mix of Jamaica and America.

He was born in Miami in 1990 and bred partly in Jamaica. He is grandson to legendary Jamaican producer Jack Ruby and nephew to Buju Banton. Having a family so rich in musical talent could only mean that Sean Kingston would create something special.

Kingston has effectively created a new genre of music with his debut album, fusing rap, reggae, dancehall, pop, and even a touch of doo-wop. It's all held together brilliantly by his remarkable songwriting skills. His music is so fresh no wonder his hit Beautiful girls has peaked at #1 on the Billboard hot 100.

It samples the classic Ben E King track Stand by me and Kingston sings with a Jamaican twang on it. He has no problem switching from Urban American to Jamaican patois in a blink of an eye. Me girl laments about a lost love. Take you there offers to take his shorty back to his hood; despite being in a tough spot, he tells her she'll be alright with him.

Got no shorty is very unorthodox and experimental; producer J.R. laces this track with big organ and piano sounds. There's Nothin features Paula DeAnda and it starts off as a straight forward R&B track but Kingston switches accent from urban American to Jamaican patios. The track is filled with lots of catchy melodies from both Kingston and DeAnda.

Drummer Boy has so much strings and organ sounds you'd think it's a Young Jeezy song. Kingston shows off his rapping skills while chatting as well.

Without a doubt Kingston is a breath of fresh air. He manages to sound authentically street while keeping profanities out of his music. This is significant now as rap lyrics are creating controversy more than ever. This CD mixes so many styles but it stays true to its reggae and rap roots. All 14 tracks are unique from each other so versatility is a key feature on this CD.

Ocen Allimadi is The Black Star News’ music editor. You can reach him at [email protected] for reviews and interviews.

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