Reaching for greatness

Reaching for greatness

BY HOWARD CAMPBELL
Observer senior writer

Friday, January 22, 2021

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From their base in Chicago, The Notorious Kool G and DJ Matches keep tabs on Jamaica's music scene and help expose classic and contemporary songs through their radio show.

The duo bowed into the production arena with the 21 Greatness Riddim album which is scheduled for release in February. Tarrus Riley's Be Great, the first single from the compilation album, is out today.

“We chose his [Tarrus Riley] song because of the message behind the music, and we both felt that the world needed a strong, positive song to uplift and remind us of our history and where we should be,” The Notorious Kool G told the Jamaica Observer's Splash.

The 21 Greatness beat is the first project for their Innovation Muzik label. They host The Hottest Dancehall Reggae Mixshow in the Universe! which airs simultaneously on WZPP 96.1FM and WZOP 92.7 FM in Florida, Thursdays to Saturdays from midnight to 6:00 am.

The Notorious Kool G, who has been tinkering with beats for four years, created 21 Greatness. Once complete, he and DJ Matches selected the artistes they believed would do it justice.

“We deliberately picked these artistes that we respect, plus a few surprise artistes. Each artiste on this riddim has their own fan base which covers both the young and the old and that each age group can relate and connect to,” he explained.

Queen Ifrica, Gott Yo and Luciano are other acts with songs on 21 Greatness.

The Notorious Kool G and DJ Matches were born in the United States to Jamaican parents. Born in Washington DC, Garfield Lewin (The Notorious Kool G) is the son of Carl and Rita Humphries-Lewin, founders of Barita Investments Limited, one of Jamaica's leading financial institutions.

DJ Matches (real name Matthew Hall) was born in Chicago. His father was a sound system selector and music aficionado.

The Hottest Reggae Dancehall Mixshow in The Universe! has been on the air since 2016 and is a blend of rocksteady, roots-reggae, classic dancehall and current songs. It has mainly West Indian listenership.

Many disc jockeys in Jamaica, the US and the United Kingdom have successfully made the transition into music production. The Notorious Kool G says he and DJ Matches are eyeing a similar path.

“We want that and more. This is our first project and we started it big with the intentions that with each project we'll grow and get bigger and better.”


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