Mr. Bertus whose given name is Marlon Ainsworth was born in Portmore, St. Catherine on the island of Jamaica, the same place where the king of dancehall, Vybz Kartel, is from. The versatile songwriter and singer was born on August 6th which also happens to be Jamaica’s Independence Day.
While growing up, Mr. Bertus was influence by some of the greats of reggae like Dennis Brown, Beres Hammond, Josey Wales and Michael Buckley. Over the years the singjay has done collaborations with I-Wayne, The Mighty Diamonds and I-Octane.
Mr. Bertus was the first ever reggae artiste to perform in Turks and Caicos. The artiste has also toured The United States, South America, The Cayman Island, Suriname and Europe.
The first song ever released by the queen of the dancehall, Spice, was actually written by Mr. Bertus.
“18 Karat Reggae Gold 2021” is an entertaining 18-track compilation set of Dancehall and Reggae Music produced by 18 Karat Reggae crew. The selection brings the listener tunes from Luciano, Mr. Bertus, Save the World, Diligent CityBoss, Little Kirk and other top reggae artists of 2021.
Mr. Bertus, one of the top artists out of Portmore, Jamaica, has made collaborations with reggae greats like the Mighty Diamond and I-Wayne. His song “Brain Food” across a remixed version of an Alton Ellis rhythm is a tribute to Marijuana and Marijuana smokers all over the world. It’s an infectious ganja anthem worth hearing.
Mr. Bertus is also featured on another must hear song called “Come and Go” which features fellow Portmore artist, Ico Flames. The production and overall arrangement of the song is perfect and it proves that great Reggae Music is still being made in Jamaica. The song definitely dispels the rumor that Reggae has taken a backseat to Dancehall.
Like Mr. Bertus paying tribute to cannabis, Atlanta based artist, Ras Fraser, also pays major tribute to Jamaica in the song “Nuh Wey like Yawd”. Although the song sometimes sounds like a Jamaican Tourist Board commercial, the production is very good and the artiste’s delivery will have lots of people singing along.
You can’t pay tribute to Marijuana and Jamaica but not pay tribute to Rasta and that is exactly what reggae legend, Luciano, is doing on this compilation. This is definitely nowhere near the best material we have heard from the reggae great over the years but it is still an enjoyable listen. Mr. Bertus, Diligent CityBoss and even Ico Flames are shining brighter than the Messenger on this release but it could be just the passing of the torch from one of reggae’s greatest ever to some of the genre’s future greats.
One of, if not the most outstanding song on the compilation is a cross between afrobeats and Dancehall. The title of the song is Maneeza and it is performed by Diligent CityBoss and Moni. One this is certain about this song, it will be played at most parties for the summer of 2021.
Other bangers on the compilation are “Call from God” by Jango Fresh, “Sound Boy” by Counsela and “Love wi Style” by Lenz and Nykka.
As we move out of quarantine and try to get back to somewhat of a normal life, 18 Karat Reggae Gold 2021 should assist in the transformation, musically.
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