Much of the black cultural experience in Toronto is rooted in the Caribbean.
The food. The slang. The style.
And of course, the music.
The American rap accents in our favourite songs had an impact on us – but never enough to drown out our overwhelmingly homegrown West Indian influence.
Hip-hop and island culture have gone hand-in-hand in Toronto since King Lou was ghostwriting for Michie Mee, Jam on Strong was backing up MC Rumble and Ghetto Concept was soliciting gun fingers at the Spectrum.
It’s only natural that our strong West Indian roots have led to an abundance of vinyl from the Caribbean in record stores all across Toronto.
And not just music from the Islands – music recorded in Toronto by ex-pat Islanders with a strong connection to their roots.
Our friend Kevin “Sipreano” Howes introduced the world to a few of these gems on the compilation “Jamaica to Toronto” back in 2006.
Despite a penchant for jerk chicken, stew oxtail and goat roti, Serious, Kae and I can’t sit here and call ourselves experts on all things Caribbean.
There’s simply too much of it out there for us to know it all.
We do, however, have a weak spot for all things dope. And there’s no shortage of that when you’re digging in the “Tropical” section of your local record store.
Steel pan oddities. Woofer shattering Dub. Sweet soulful covers. Drum heavy funk.
It’s all stuff that you’ll find in Toronto if you dig hard enough.
Or you could just let us do the work and stream the heat below.
1. The Chosen Few – People make the world go round
2. Derrick Harriott – Rasta is love
3. Augustus Pablo – Rockers meets King Tubby in a Fire House
4. Prince Buster – Free love
5. Syd and the Troubadours – Aquarius
6. Don Carrington Trio – Dingus
7. Wayne McGhie and the sounds of Joy – Fire (she need water)
8. Blue Rhythm Combo – Tango Boo Gonk
9. Trinidad Tripoli Steel Band – Sissy Strut
10. Jimmy Lindsay – Ain’t no sunshine
11. Wild Fire – Try making love pt 2
12. Byron Lee and the Dragonnaires – Groovy situation
13. Jackie Mittoo – Darker shade of black
14. The Light of Saba – Sabayindah
15. The Paragons – The world is a ghetto
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