Former Long Beach Dub Allstars front-man, Ras-1, has spent the last couple of years working on a new album. He performed a couple of new songs at the Cali Vibes Festival in February while making announcements toward new music.
Richard Arthur Smith, better known as Ras-1, was the lead guitarist, songwriter & front-man for Long Beach Dub Allstars from 1997-2002. He was the voice behind some of ‘Dub Allstars fan favorites with “Trailer Ras,” “Rolled Up,” “Sunny Hours,” “It Ain’t Easy,” “Rosarito” and a personal favorite of mine, “Free Love”. “Sunny Hours” was even the theme song for the short-lived TV series, and Friends spin-off, Joey.
Following the break-up of Long Beach Dub Allstars, he started a band with former Sublime bassist & LBDA bandmate Eric Wilson called Long Beach Shortbus. They operated with decent success from 2002-2007 and were known for fan favorites like “California Grace,” “Better Than This,” and “Take It Slow,” among others.
In early 2020, Ras-1 linked up with producer, Jungle Josh of Left Coast Sound, and have since produced about an albums worth of new music. Demos of this new music found their way to Fat Mike of NOFX who has since joined the production team, contributing his creative influence on a song titled, “Take Me Home.”
No word as of this writing on when this will officially release or if the album will be out on Fat Mike’s Fat Wreck Chords, but Ras-1 tells The Pier: “I reached out to Fat Mike looking for a label. At our first meeting we began to write a song together. He asked me to write a song about one of the saddest things that has happened to me. The song is about when my father passed away. It is called ‘TAKE ME HOME.’ This song truly has been the hardest song I’ve ever written in my life so far. Fat Mike has been a great mentor and supporter of my music.”
In speaking with producer Jungle Josh, he tells The Pier: “We currently have 9 songs recorded and ideas for a couple more. It’s classic Long Beach reggae; mixing elements of reggae, hip-hop, rock, and punk. The vibe is similar to Long Beach Dub Allstar tracks like ‘Trailer Ras’ and ‘Sunny Hours’ with some other classic elements mixed in.”
Ras-1 goes on to confirm, concluding: “I am writing most of this album with Jungle Josh. It most definitely is some of my best stuff so far. It is taking it back to that early 90’s style. I consider it to be influenced by Sublime and the Beastie Boys amongst other reggae and punk greats.”
Fans who attended the Cali Vibes festival in Long Beach this past February were treated to Ras-1 performing new songs: “Not Sorry,” “Cali Radio,” and “All Alone.” He announced to the crowd and confirmed to The Pier ahead of this article that he plans to release a self-titled EP with 5 songs on a 10″ vinyl. Ras-1 was also invited out to perform the song “Rolled Up” in a reunion performance with Long Beach Dub Allstars that saw him singing the song alongside Opie Ortiz.
We’ll have more updates as soon as they’re made available to us! Special thanks to Eddie Villa for assistance on this read.
Watch: Ras-1 – “All Alone” (Live at Cali Vibes Festival. 2-6-22)
Watch: Long Beach Dub Allstars – “Trailer Ras”
Watch: Ras-1 – “Not Sorry” (Live at Cali Vibes Festival. 2-6-22)