A spiritual meditation and celebration of creativity – Ghetto Youths International continues to ‘Set Up Shop’ with new release
Written by fiweh4lf on January 3, 2021
Ghetto Youths International has wrapped up 2020 with the fourth instalment of the hits-filled Set Up Shop compilation for reggae lovers worldwide. The label, which is owned and operated by Marley brothers, Damian ‘Jr Gong’, Julian and Stephen released the 21-track album — which features several popular reggae releases, including Third World’s You’re Not The Only One, and the Feel Good and Na Na Na collaborations, featuring Busy Signal and Chronixx, respectively — last Thursday to welcome the new year.
In addition, to the undoubted delight of reggae music fans, the album also delivers a new track from Jr Gong titled Life is a Circle, which happens to be his first official release for 2020. As the tumultuous 2020 closed, the multi-Grammy Award winner, through his music, wanted to share the special message that “Life is a circle, that goes round and round, mine’s not a circus, and I’m not a clown, some people with us, some wear their frown. Still I know my purpose is to share what we found, some people insist, to wear others down, but all will bear witness unto who wears the crown.”
Reggae music continues to be recognised globally for its pervasive lyrics that are as equally influential as they are relevant during challenging times, which makes this an opportune time for the compilation. The third volume of Set Up Shop was released five years ago. Kabaka Pyramid, Jo Mersa Marley, Julian Marley, Yohan Marley, Capleton, Christopher Ellis, Answele, Black Am I, Yami Bolo and Salaam Remi round up the star-studded list of artistes on Set Up Shop Vol. 4.
New York-based reggae act Yami Bolo, who is a first-time feature in the Set Up Shop series, said he is honoured to be on the album, which features many conscious songs. “This collaboration with Capleton ( Chosen People) happens to be the fourth; speaking to social commentary about what is happening in Jamaica and around the world,” Yami Bolo told The Gleaner.
“It’s a crime-fighting song which continues on with the message to love our brothers and sisters more. We [are] all familiar with the message, we talk it daily but now, we need to manifest it in our doings,” he continued.
Though not a stranger to working with the Marleys throughout his career, the artiste celebrates the platform as a means for him to spread powerful words. He appeared on Jr Gong’s Halfway Tree album almost two decades ago. And in the season of generosity, using the gift that keeps on giving — music — he said, “Jah use me as an instrument to send the messages to let peace reign, and this is one way. I can only give Jah thanks for guidance and for life to fulfil the ministry to serve the people with my music.”
Neo-roots reggae singer Kabaka Pyramid, who aside from the Marley family has the most tracks on the compilation, has been promoting the album heavily on social media. His trending tracks, including Trample Dem, Love Mi Bad and his Kontraband Pt 2 collaboration with Jr Gong — off his critically acclaimed Immaculate mixtape — are on the list of reggae hits that flow cohesively to create one spiritual meditation and celebration of creativity.