Capleton performed to a packed house last saturday night in LA. The Echoplex was shoulder to shoulder by 12 a.m. and the crowd seemed anxious. The Prophet was preceded by a nice segment from Gappy Ranks who had time to stress to the diverse mostly roots crowd that all contemporary music leads back to reggae and that goes for Hip hop and Afro beat he said. This seems the current sentiment in dancehall.
Every segment of music that comes from the diaspora can only echo what is within. If what is within is coming out in the rhythm of the drum and the bass one can conclude that it was always there.
Reggae Music takes the African drum almost halting it through its uniquely western perspective. Seated in between the queen and her mini-me, the island echos an interpretation uniquely her own.
I guess that leads me to Capleton. The crowd packed shoulder to shoulder into the expansive underground Echoplex Theater. The Echo Park crowd is different from your usual LA reggae club. Its rebellious, its Rasta and its up the street from Sunset blvd so its safe.
While most of the Caribbean LA community is gearing up for Hollywood Carnival at the Silent Party that was happening in Downtown LA, rasta man and woman & reggae-dancehall heads convened at Dub Club on an off-night-Saturday, to salute one of the most consistent dancehall culture artists in the game.
That Day Will Come and Jah Jah City got most of the forwards, without a doubt, but Capleton has a wide catalogue of work that spans almost 2 decades representing a collection of consistently strong albums that are easy to play from start to finish. I know I’ve spent countless hours in LA’s ridiculous traffic doing so and being enlightened and entertained. The crowd sang wrong words, were corrected and sang again. I wondered how the satin suit Capleton wore didn’t show any sign of sweat nor did King Shango appear to be out of breath. At an hour and a half in he was still running through hits. I was too hot to stay inside so I stepped out on the smoking patio for air. They got some impressive live cameras going so I watched the rest of the fire in HD and with a breeze. One thing is clear Capleton is one of a few artists who have been able to remain consistently relevant in the dancehall while staying true to himself. That type of longevity is to be admired.