Ahead of Green Lion Crew’s new album due out with Ineffable Records “Riddim Full of Culture,” Zeke Stern from Green Lion Crew emailed us about the new single “In This World,” out now.
He talked about working with Busy Signal, leaked the track listing which is STACKED with the best collabs around, and took us back to 2000 to school us on Riddim Culture! We are very excited about the upcoming album from one of the best production crews around.
Thank you so much for your time, we are excited to talk to you about your new single and upcoming album!!
My pleasure! I really appreciate the interest and you guys taking the time to chat.
You recently released “In This World,” tell us about how you met Busy Signal.
I actually haven’t met him in person yet. The link came from my friend Eric aka Liondub from NYC. When Busy came through the city, Eric set up a session and I got the opportunity to send some riddims for consideration. Busy doesn’t work with anything wack so I had to be sure to send some heat! I tried to send him something different from the norm and I was stoked with the results. I always prefer to be there in person when a track is voiced but that only happens probably half of the time and you have to grab the opportunities as they come.
Tell us more about the creative process for the new single “In This World” and how does this project compare to your others?
Green Lion Crew is all about pushing boundaries and blending genres in our productions…..but the end product is still Reggae. Our projects tend to be pretty different from one another.
For “In This World” it was about finding new territory sonically while still incorporating the roots of the genre. We blended Trap with Roots Reggae. I had built this bass heavy 808 riddim and I really liked the thought of taking something modern and adding the roots back into it. So I hit up my friend Jon Persson from Soul Rebel Project and he added the horns which really was “the rug” that tied the room together. Then Busy Signal took it exactly where it needed to go, he’s a true master of his craft.
If I had to compare it to other projects I would think of “Liberal Opposer” or “Lyrics Deity” by Kabaka Pyramid. Some hip hop mixed with reggae and some serious rapid fire lyrics!
This is the final single released from the upcoming album “Riddim Full of Culture.” What is the story and inspiration behind the title of the new release? What does it mean to you? Why did you choose it?
We grew up in the 1990’/early 2000s when reggae was all about producers making “riddims”. I am a DJ so I have always been a fanatic about digging through vinyl and finding songs on the same beat to mix together. It becomes this way that tracks can talk to one another and have this call and response thing.
While it still exists, that whole style of producing riddims is less popular in reggae today. So I wanted to do an album that was a nod to “riddim culture”. We didn’t want the album to sound too monotonous so we included some singles and we have just 2 or 3 songs on each riddim set with about 5 riddim sets in total. You can listen to it straight through as an album but also a DJ can still have fun mixing and connecting the tracks.
The title is a classic phrase taken from the beginning of a Mikey Dread song from 1979 called “Headline News.” The sample was famously used by many DJs over the years, so it’s another nod to DJs and of course one of our biggest inspirations, the great Mikey Dread. We figured if you know the phrase, you know what we mean and if you don’t, maybe you will look it up and start to explore. It’s music with a message.
We started this album in March of 2020. I had booked a trip to Jamaica months before and Covid was just starting as I left.
I took a USB drive full of riddims and I spent two weeks in Kingston linking with friends and musicians and visiting various studios. I was staying up on Jack’s Hill near Dub Club which overlooks the entire city. That trip was a whole vibe and had a lot of elements of light and dark that made it onto the album.
There was so much beauty around me but the world was in crisis and a state of panic. The sessions I had were absolutely influenced by this and it sort of set the tone for the album without actually mentioning it.
Most of the artwork for the album are pictures I took from that trip at various spots around Kingston. Making an album is like putting together a puzzle, so we started the design in Jamaica and then finished it at home in Maine over the next two years.
When is the release date for “Riddim Full of Culture”?
It comes out November 11th on Ineffable Records
Can you share the track listing and featured guests for the full album?
- Busy Signal x Green Lion Crew – In This World
- Imeru Tafari x Addis Pablo x Green Lion Crew – Nyabinghi Mountains
- Mr Williamz x Kabaka Pyramid x Addis Pablo x Green Lion Crew – Politricks
- Roe Summerz x Green Lion Crew – Keep Blazin
- Medisun x Green Lion Crew – The Reign
- Tydal Kamau x Green Lion Crew – Golden
- Roe Summerz x Green Lion Crew – Good Dayz
- Pressure Busspipe x Green Lion Crew – For a While Now
- Runkus x Royal Blu x Medisun x Green Lion Crew – Selassie Calling
- Dre Island x Green Lion Crew – You Take Me High
- Koro Fyah x Green Lion Crew – Vibin’
- Capleton x Green Lion Crew – Days of Old
- Zuggu Dan x Green Lion Crew – Search fi di King
- Nick Sefakis x Green Lion Crew – Burn Them Out
- Iotosh x Green Lion Crew- Skillful
- Jesse Royal x Kumar x Green Lion Crew – Rocking Ship
- Chino x Green Lion Crew – Praise Jah
What’s next for Green Lion Crew? Do you have plans to tour?
We’re always producing new music and we have some amazing records coming out summer of 2023. As always we are trying to hit the road as much as possible to tour and play new places. We’re hoping to get to Jamaica to have our album release party in early 2023 but nothing is distinctly planned just yet. We will definitely be playing out as much as possible this summer to promote the new record!
Check out Green Lion Crew x Busy Signal “In This World”: https://ineffable.to/inthisworld
By Mercedes Romana