Tribune Features Writer
SURVIVAL PSLAMS, the result of collaboration between reggae artist Willis Knowles and rapper Sosa Man, is the latest track to be released on the Thanksgiving riddim.
The Thanksgiving riddim is a Rat Pack Production, the musical conglomerate made up of Dillion “D-Mac” Mckenzie, Mdeez, Sosa Man, and Sammie Starr. All of the artists perform different styles of music including rake n scrape, hip hop, reggae, and R&B. The riddim is a smooth fusion of Junkanoo, reggae, and rake n scrape.
“Some people say reggae music cannot blend with Junkanoo or rake n scrape, but this riddim shows that it can be mixed, matched and blended,” Willis told In Ya Ear.
Mdeez and D-Mac were the first of the Rat Pack to release a song on the Thanksgiving riddim. Their latest single “Thanks for Leaving” along with Sammi Starr’s new release “Superman” are circulating on local radio stations.
Survival Psalms, s expected to hit the local airwaves the first week in December. However, the song is currently circulating on the Internet.
Willis said the inspiration for Survival Psalms came from the book in the bible. After reading the book and doing a little research, he wanted to highlight the fact that Psalms is more than a book of scriptures. He said it is a book of songs and poems that depict the struggle, hardship, deliverance and joy of the people during the time it was written.
He said no musical notation of songs written in the book of Psalms has survived over the years. Therefore, no one knows exactly how the songs are supposed to be sung. Willis and Sosa Man decided to put their own beat, tune and rhythm to some of the verses throughout the book.
“I was drawn to the book of Psalms in the bible and I studied it for a while. What was so inspiring about the book is the fact that it is a book of songs and poems. I found it very interesting that the words from the Psalms are still very relevant today and it became the inspiration for my verse,” he said.
When it was time for Sosa Man to hit the studio and begin recording, Willis had already come up with a catchy chorus. He said he drew inspiration from Willis’ verses and did his own study on the book.
“I spent about an hour reading the book. It is a book that is supposed to be sung,” Sosa Man said.
“Willis is a quick worker, and anyone who knows me, knows that it does not take me very long to write a verse. The song was done in about four days: everything from my verse, Willis’ verse, as well as the production which was crazy,” he said.
Sosa Man said he is pleased with the outcome of the song even though he was unsure whether his rap style would mesh well with the blended Junkanoo, reggae, and rake n scrape beat.
“I did not think I would sound good rapping over a reggae beat. I thought because it was reggae I would have to sing. But because the beat was blended so well, my verse came out the way I wanted it to,” he said.
The two artists are expected to perform the song during live performances in the future. Fans can also expect more music to be released on the Thanksgiving riddim, Sosa Man said.