The term “Blood Claat” has a rich and complex history in the Jamaican vernacular. “You can’t get more authentic Jamaican than blood claat,” says dancehall star Baby Cham. “Blood claat is the only word we use for joy, frustrations, stress, happiness.” Officially considered a profanity on the island, the word can get an artist in a whole heap of trouble if they utter it onstage. But given the mood of the times all over the world, there was no other word to sum of the vibes of moment. And so of course the dancehall super-producer Dave Kelly chose the word as the title of the first single from Baby Cham and Bounty Killer’s highly anticipated collaborative EP Time Bomb on the legendary Madhouse Records imprint.
Boomshots is proud to premiere the official video for the tune today, along with “Buss The Dance,” a video recap of the big Madhouse tribute which took place last week at Reggae Sumfest in Montego Bay.
Dave Kelly is arguably the most important dancehall producer of all time. He has written, produced, and arranged timeless riddims for a who’s who of Jamaican stars—signature tracks by the most impactful artists in the genre. When people talk about how wicked ’90s dancehall used to be, chances are they’re talking about a Madhouse production.
With Jamaica’s biggest music festival returning after a two-year COVID hiatus, Reggae Sumfest 2022 decided to give Dave Kelly his flowers and present him with some sort of lifetime achievement award. The only problem: Dave Kelly doesn’t do awards. He doesn’t even take photos or give interviews. But he was willing to assemble an all-star celebration of the music, which is always his first priority.
At the original Madhouse studio on St. Andrew Park in Kingston, a spirit of brotherhood and collaboration was the order of the day. A motto hung on the studio wall just to keep everyone on the same page: “It’s not about hype, egos, or individuals—it’s about the music and the work that needs to be done. As our creative juices flow we stick to our philosophy of using the studio to have fun. We never follow trends, we set trends and keep moving forward.”
The whole idea of a “lifetime achievement award” is to give someone their flowers while they can enjoy them. Which is all well and good. But just to be clear Dave Kelly is all about the music. And by the way, he’s still making music. The last Madhouse production we heard was Buju Banton’s “Trust,” the biggest single off Buju’s Grammy-nominated album Upside Down 2020—which proved to anyone who may have doubted that Dave Kelly still has the magic touch. And now we have Time Bomb to look forward to…Tick, tick, tick.
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