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Band R&B Reggae


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The best kept secret in music


"Riddim Rebels"

Ron C and Junya B of Soulragga mash up a mix of R&B, Reggae and Hip Hop



It was meant to be that me, Ron C and Junya B all ran a little late for our interview or I wouldn't have caught them talking to a guy on the stoop of a store on Clifton Avenue. The guy on the stoop turned out to be the store's owner, and his game-face expression didn't discern whether he'd pitch or play their self-titled CD, SOULRAGGA.

"That's how it is when you're coming from the bottom up," Ron C, the group's R&B vocalist, explains.

But the two don't seem to worry about that. Their symmetric, yin-and-yang relationship centers Soulragga, a multi-format R&B/Reggae band that stacks influences like a layer cake with many fillings. "What we wanted to do is show that versatility, 'cause a lot of stuff in R&B and Hip Hop is soundin' the same," Ron C points out.

Excited about the album, they ping-pong each other's comments during conversation, either by co-signing or completing each other's thoughts. Junya B, a warm-spirited guy who bolts hardcore Reggae rhymes onstage, says that he and Ron C vibe well as a duo. "There's some parts he's singing that have my touch and some parts of my flow that have his touch." Mainly, that's because they critique each other as they write songs.

"If it ain't up to par, we tell each other," Ron C says. "That's one good thing about being in a group -- if something's wrong then we can be men enough to accept that and compromise."

Years before Soulragga, Ron C performed with another cross-genre Reggae band, Admiral Walker. Junya B was a free agent who would occasionally mash his Reggae freestyles into some of Ron's sets. Eventually, members of the band parted ways and pursued other projects, and Ron C and Junya B began collaborating. DJ Rye Bread, who produced two songs on SOULRAGGA, would spin Hip Hop instrumentals that inspired writing sessions, future gigs and, ultimately, their debut album.

"We were writing songs before we even knew what our name was. And a couple years ago, we came up with the name and we're like, damn -- we got these many songs, why don't we start doing shows?" Junya B says. "We started doing shows, then we started getting a little buzz from people telling us they were feelin' it, so it's like, damn -- let's make a record."

Promoting material from SOULRAGGA, the duo opened for the legendary Steel Pulse last month at Annie's, then returned a few weeks later and opened for Cutty Ranks. Junya B recalls seeing a cross-sampling of culture at the Steel Pulse show: "Black people, white people, dreads, hippies and yuppies." But everyone expressed "one love."

"(That) goes into the beauty of Reggae music itself," says Junya B.

"Yeah, that's the kind of music where there ain't no barriers," says Ron C. "Everybody can get into the music, from the richest to the poorest."

Vocally, Ron C says he's deeply influenced by artists like Bobby Womack and Frankie Beverly and Maze, and Junya B says he used to mimic General Degree and Spragga Benz. Nevertheless, the seemingly dissonant influences give the album a peanut-butter cup consistency.

Appearances by Mista Swift, Ms Dia, Don B, Shawn Da' Baptist and Skandal Da Ruckus Man add a mixtape feel, but the CD is industry quality. Dirty Ru of the Animal Crackers produced the Wu Tang-inspired track, "2 of the Flyest," and Digbeats provides four tracks. Cincinnati's Reggae and Dancehall community also represents. Chickenhawk Sounds' Double H, who gave Junya B his stage name and hosts WAIF's "Caribbean Express," does a shout-out skit right before the ballad, "Never End." Taking it to the yard, the intense Dancehall track "Wind Up" features music from the South Rackas Crew.

"We were just blessed to have a diverse group of producers to work with that could make the music for us," Junya B says. "We strive to give it ... that diverse feel. That's what Soulragga is all about, is just mixing up everything. Every format that we cover, we're gonna do it the Soulragga way."


Check SOULRAGGA's Web site ( to purchase their self-titled debut album and for upcoming show dates.
- CityBeat


SOULRAGGA's self-titled debut album released August 2005


Feeling a bit camera shy


Introducing... Soulragga from Cincinnati, Ohio. This duo consists of R&B/soul singer Ron C and dancehall/reggae emcee Junya B, bringing you a fusion of R&B, reggae, and hip-hop. They are both in their late-twenties and have been doing their thing musically since their youth. Both have individually led reputable bands in the Cincinnati area, performing in hundreds of shows each. Good friends for many years, they put their musical efforts together to create Soulragga in 2003, and have just recently released their self-titled debut album.

Soulragga is known for providing an entertainingly explosive performance, as Ron C & Junya B are seasoned veterans on stage. Being a bi-racial group, they hope to be a symbol of unity and of barriers being broken down. Soulragga is truly bringing something new to the table. It's feel good music with a multi-cultural appeal.