I came across talk of Justin Bieber bigging up reggae artist J Boog (NOT the B2K guy) earlier this week in an interview by Reggie Yates [here is a radio rip on YouTube of the best part of the program at 3:30] as the Bieb’s plays a song from his phone that he could listen to all day; J Boog – “Let’s Do It Again.” Don’t let the Bieber co-sign put you off, it is actually a good song. With that said, let me tell you a bit more about the singer.
J Boog is of Samoan descent, born-and-raised in Compton district of Los Angeles, that resides between Hawaii and Bay Area, California. Reggae is massive in Hawaii, their own artists make what they call Jawaiian. It’s also part of the reason for Bruno Mars has an affection for reggae [see "The Lazy Song", "Liquor Store Blues", "Our First Time"].
Boog first appeared on my radar in 2010 with that same song on Jamaican producer Don Corleon‘s (Vybz Kartel, Sean Paul, Jah Cure, Tarrus Riley) Major riddim, which blew up crazy in the Caribbean that year.
The majority of his material consists of love themes, as opposed to political-driven, voice of the marginalised society. The 27 year-old name-checks Bob Marley, Beres Hammond, Gregory Isaacs, Garnett Silk and Dennis Brown amongst his influences; and was included on the tribute album, We Remember Gregory, to Gregory Isaacs on which he performed a rousing cover of “Cool Down The Pace” which I noted as a stand-out cut in our review last year.
Over the course of his career, the relative newcomer has collaborated with numerous Jamaican reggae stars such as Tarrus Riley and Peetah Morgan, as well as Swedish dancehall’s Million Stylez and Fijian-born, Fiji (that’s his name) – all to be found on his debut album Backyard Boogie, released in 2011 via Washhouse Hawaii.
New song “Got To Be Strong,” featuring Richie Spice, is an example of uplifting reggae with social commentary that we all love.
I won’t be surprised if some major labels come knocking at the door for something now.