I’m not sure exactly where “No Surrender” won me over. Could it be the throbbing bassline, the catchy hook, the tough verses, or the enthralling vibe? Or choose your own explanation, all are valid.

This dance hall destroyer finds Australian riddim-maker Monkey Marc working with the skilled Mista Savona, plus a trio of Jamaica’s best vocalists to craft what you wish you’d already heard.

To be clear – and there’s plenty of promise here – “No Surrender” the song is the opening track off the No Surrender EP, a seven-cut one-riddim showcase. The EP features Spring Wata and Jah Thunder on poignant songs as well, but this leading release – with an epic dance video filmed right on Orange Street in Kingston – finds Sizzla, Capleton, and Fantan Mojah working to great effect in a combination style. And all this is still a lead-in to a full-length release due later in 2017!

There’s a lot of ruff ‘n’ rugged bass music out there in the reggae-sphere: too often it either relies on vintage samples to carry the weight or falters due to weak vocals. No worry here whatsoever, as “No Surrender” has layers of souped-up future-synths thriving on its potent bass, delivered with a militant urgency that suits the rapid-fire verses on socioeconomics, police corruption, and abject poverty.

While Sizzla steps up to make it clear who’s really important: ‘do it for the children, make sure preserve it; poor people more than willing and worth it,’ every verse here is scorching with cynicism. As another prime example, Fantan Mojah lays bare the painful truth: ‘don’t call the 5-0; they will kill you for the money that you have’. With nary a beat to breathe until the outro, the apocalypse-is-neigh hook from Capleton completes this well-executed musical vision. Bleak times call for poignant art. ‘Pray for the best’ indeed.

The full No Surrender EP is out digitally via Digi Killaz (which also has contact info for a 7” single) and a 10” record release is being crowdfunded at Qrates.

More info:
Monkey Marc website
Monkey Marc Facebook

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