Laza Morgan - “Gimme Little” (2012)
I wasn’t expecting a track like this from my weekly roundup of new dance hall music. It’s a pleasant surprise because I’ve been listening to way too much Cameo and DeBarge lately, so this works for me.
Most of Laza’s other singles fits the formula for his biggest hit so far, ”This Girl” from the Step Up 3 soundtrack. “One by One” with Movado and “Ballerina” both have heavy elements of upbeat R&B with some rap and pop thrown in. I’m normally very skeptical of fusing Caribbean sounds with, well, anything really. But I’m not mad at the direction of Laza Morgan’s music. There’s a clear distinction that he’s a R&B artist essentially making pop music, but in songs like “Timber,” he executes the dance hall singjay style of combining rapping and singing pretty well.
I enjoy watching songs like “Hold Yuh” and “No Games” rise to the mainstream because they do so mysteriously since they were developed for the local dance hall scenes. From the riddims to the slang, nothing is obvious about these songs that says one would hear them in any of the major (and fickle) radio markets in the States. A refined version of Gyptian and Serani in the form of Laza Morgan breaking through is refreshing because it’s not rehashed dance hall turned into mindless pop.