Hebrue the ‘ragga’muffin
THE ragga sound out of the Eastern Caribbean has created ripples in North America in the last 12 years. Remember Kevin Lyttle from St Vincent and Barbados' Rupee?
Jamaican deejay Hebrue adds his dancehall flavour to the soca-inspired sound with his new song Whine Up.
The track is produced by Chris Neil, a St Lucian music producer based in New Jersey, where Hebrue has lived since 1991.
Though dancehall, R&B and hip hop are his main influences, Hebrue says he has no problems experimenting with 'ragga'.
"It's a good thing, Whine Up really get the people moving, especially the females. We have a big Caribbean community in the tri-state area an' you can't escape it," he told the Jamaica Observer.
This is not Hebrue's first crack at ragga. He debuted in 2012 with Black Pudding, also produced by Neil.
Neil was at the helm of his best known song, She's a Murderer, a mix of dancehall, hip hop and ragga.
Ragga has moved from the Eastern Caribbean Carnival scene to North American charts, thanks to Lyttle's smash hit Turn me On, Tempted to Touch by Rupee and more recently Differentology done by Bunji Garlin.
Hebrue is not averse to different genres. Born Kimani Hamilton, he is the son of former Third World singer Prilly Hamilton.
He recalls listening in his youth to the R&B songs of Stevie Wonder and The O'Jays, the pop of Michael Jackson as well as dancehall acts Super Cat, and Bounty Killer.
Hebrue migrated to New Jersey 23 years ago, settling in the city of Plainfield. He plans to promote Whine Up in Jamaica.
"I'd love to have a presence here. Jamaica dictates an' the world follows," he said.