For those that know, I write for LargeUp.com. I have a little hall of fame of posts about West Indian influence on popular culture: The Simpsons, rap pre- and post-Drake in Toronto, and this updated list of new songs that name-check Shabba Ranks. They’re all equally informative and entertaining. Giving the full range of what the Islands have to offer musically and visually has been the objective of LargeUp.com, a vertical site within the Okayplayer Media Network. LargeUp’s readership also reaches 195 countries, just know.
Recently I was proud to help the LargeUp Crew announce that they’ve taken their influence to Apple Music. If you’re a subscriber to Apple’s streaming service, you can hit up their curator page and find LargeUp as their expert on all-things Caribbean. You’ll find playlists dedicated to the Music of Barbados (Crop Over), Toronto‘s dancehall-influenced rap scene, and even the tracklist to D.J. Gravy’s new summertime mixtape. Whether you consider yourself yardcore or if you’re a fairweather fan of dancehall/reggae, it’s worth your time to listen, share the playlists and spread the word about LargeUp’s presence on Apple Music.
2016 has been a banner year for the Caribbean’s influence on mainstream music in America. Before this current renaissance, dancehall, reggae, dub, soca, calypso, lovers rock, and any sound originating from the Caribbean earned top spots on Billboard’s Top 200 charts in the late 1990s and early 2000s . A handful of artists from Sean Paul, Beenie Man, Wayne Wonder, Bounty Killer, and Elephant Man were names in the core dancehall scene that became household names in the U.S. Times have changed. Records aren’t sold, they’re streamed. This is where Apple comes into play, giving a brand like LargeUp a seat on their platform to give the Caribbean the exposure it deserves. For a deeper dive, watch LargeUp’s Music of Barbados video series on YouTube. Episode 1 starring Alison Hinds is below. LargeUp yuhself one time.