(photo credit: Courtesy)
Israel's love affair with the big sound from the little island continues as the mighty Capleton, one of dancehall reggae's biggest names, makes a special appearance this week for an Independence Day concert on Monday night in Tel Aviv.
Capleton first came to prominence in the late 80s in the then-burgeoning Jamaican dancehall scene. This new style featured chanted vocals and electronic beats and brought a harder edge to reggae music, and Capleton's early singles reflected what is called "slackness" - explicit lyrics about sexual escapades, guns, partying and ghetto youth culture.
Just a few years later, however, he would embrace the Rastafari religion and along with fellow toasters Buju Banton and Sizzla, spearhead the "conscious dancehall" movement which brought spiritual and positive messages back into popular reggae music. Around this time, Capleton signed a major record deal and began collaborating with hip-hop and R&B artists in the US, which led to him becoming well-known throughout North America and internationally.
By the late 90s, Capleton had become one of reggae's most popular and influential artists, as his instantly recognizable fire-and-brimstone delivery and acrobatic, high-energy performances brought him wide acclaim. His arrival here continues the recent stream of high-profile reggae performances, a testament to the Israel's thriving reggae scene; due to perform in May are the legendary Congos, a roots-harmony trio who began charting hits back in the 70s.
Capleton's show on Yom Ha'atzma'ut is planned as a mini-reggae festival: Popular rock/reggae/ethnic artist Mosh Ben Ari and local Hebrew-language dancehall ensemble Hatikva 6 are scheduled to open, as well as reggae DJ's spinning music before, after and in-between the live performances.
The festivities take place on Monday night, April 23 at Hangar 11 in Tel Aviv. Tickets cost NIS 159-200 and can be ordered at (03) 767-4646 or 054-766-7489.