On Friday, VP Records released Kabaka Pyramid’s update of Michigan & Smiley’s 1979 anthem on the ‘Real Rock’ rhythm, Nice Up The Dance.
According to Kabaka, “Jeremy Harding linked me to do a cover of Nice Up The Dance, a classic in early dancehall music, and I loved the idea. He did over the classic ‘Real Rock’ riddim from scratch, and I sang a lot of the original song’s lyrics with two added original verses of mine.”
Nice Up The Dance is taken from the upcoming Jeremy Harding-produced Dancehall Anthems, a collection of new recordings of classic reggae and dancehall songs. It features Kabaka Pyramid, Sean Paul, Beenie Man, Agent Sasco, Wayne Marshall, Runkus, Blvk H3ro, Bugle, and Royal Blu, among others, taking on classic material from Yellowman, Michigan & Smiley, Ken Boothe, Tenor Saw, Papa San, Louie Culture, et al. The first track from the album was Beenie Man’s take on Yellowman’s Zungguzungguguzungguzeng.
Kabaka Pyramid made his mark with the popular 2017 album Kontraband, produced by Damian Marley. His work shows a generational interest in hip-hop, integrating the MC’s flow with classic reggae and contemporary dancehall rhythms. He first came to the public’s attention in 2013 with a feature on Chronixx’s Mi Alight, a track that has grown in stature over the years as a reggae revival anthem. The song was released the same year as Kabaka Pyramid’s debut album, Lead The Way, on his own Bebble Rock label.
His top tracks, to date, include Can’t Breathe and Well Done from Kontraband, and he was heard on VP’s acclaimed We Remember Dennis Brown, where he joined Chronixx, Jesse Royal, Kelissa, Iba Mahr, and others on an update of Brown’s Rasta Children.
The song will be supported by a visually rich and celebratory video shot in Jamaica and produced by Davida-Mae Chambers and directed by 300K. It will be launched on Kabaka Pyramid’s YouTube channel next Tuesday.