LawGiver the Kingson: Welcome to Jamaica Single Review by Mr Topple for Pauzeradio.com.
After a brief hiatus (although it felt too long), LawGiver the Kingson is back with a new project. So, welcome to the first track to be released from it.
Welcome to Jamaica is the first single from Kingson’s upcoming album “Creation”, set to be released in the middle of summer. As the artist’s website says:
“The album promises to be a powerful and uplifting work, showcasing Lawgiver’s unique blend of conscious lyrics and soulful rhythms. One of the standout tracks on the album is “Alive and Kicking,” featuring the legendary Half Pint. This collaboration promises to be a highlight of the album, combining the talents of one of reggae’s most iconic voices and up-and-coming iconic voices”.
So, on that note – what of Welcome to Jamaica? Well, it’s easy to see why Kingson chose this as the lead track. Because it’s fresh, summery, and filled with elements of Jamaican-based genres.
First, and the track is an overly easy-going Dancehall one – albeit with a variation on the traditional rhythmic clave that’s nearer its AfroDancehall cousin. The bass and kick dominate this beat – driving the track forward, with the inclusion of some imposing, deep, and resonant timpani-style drums on occasion. Then, this is enhanced by additional percussion, including claps, the snare, and hi-hats tinkering just out of earshot – all finished off by rolling bongos.
At times keys get involved, running choppy chords and tinkering riffs across a piercingly engineered line which makes them sound heavily electronic. Similar has been done with the strings, which are rasping and jittering – running occasional, sharp interjections.
But Kingson has also put to the front steel drums – giving a pleasing nod to Dancehall’s distant forebear Mento (and of course, Trinidadian Calypso). Reggae also gets a look-in – with a sax stepping in and out with some pointed exclamations.
Overall, this is a distinctly upbeat, party-flavoured Dancehall track with a modern beat coupled with some slightly older-skool arrangement. Then, enter Kingson doing what he does best.
Here, he’s vocally rich and vibrant. He works easily around his sizeable range – up into a mid-tenor and then down into a lower baritone again. Switching between a singjay style on the verses and straighter vocals on the choruses works well – and shows off Kingson’s skills. He utilises a nice piece of flipping between a vertical and horizontal embouchure; picks up on specific syllables and internationally accentuates them to make the melody more pointed, and trades-off between note extension and clipping to create movement. Kingson does a nice piece of skat singing, too – just for added flourish.
Lyrically, it’s a pleasant ode to Jamaica and a call of encouragement for people to visit the island – with some nice use of imagery throughout. There’s a point, here, though – and it’s to show Jamaica in a positive light, not what Western countries and the system would have you believe.
As Kingson says on his website:
“Music is not just about entertainment; it is a powerful tool for creating positive change in the world. He believes that by spreading messages of love, unity, and respect, he can help to inspire a new generation of conscious thinkers and activists”.
Conversely, Welcome to Jamaica accomplishes both. The track entertains while smashing some stereotypes about the island too. It all bodes very well for Kingson’s full album, Creation. Definitely one to watch.
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LawGiver The Kingson Welcome To Jamaica Review by Mr Topple / Pauzeradio PR Services (28th April 2023).