Spragga Benz
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Spragga Benz pon the cell and dancers

Ace veteran DJ Spragga Benz and sexy singer Jana Bent were in Los Angeles recently to shoot a big budget music video for their new single "Thuggin' and Lovin'." The song is the lead single from the Ocho Rios based Drop Di Bass label on the Cardiac Arrest rhythm. Drop Di Bass producer Freddie Kruger and top label exec, Wayne, were on hand as the artistes had a long two days on location for the video shoot.

Spragga Benz, Jana Bent and Kymani Marley take a break during the video shoot

The multi-talented musician and actor, Kymani Marley, was also on the set and made a cameo appearance as one of Spragga's bredren in the video. The two artistes starred in the yet unreleased "Shottas" film that is a favorite in the underground pirate DVD market. Hot cars along with a collection of female dancers shook their bon-bons non-stop giving the video a party vibe.


Spragga Benz, Kymani Marley and bredren have a party with some female friends.

Spragga Benz met Jana Bent at the Star Awards last year and he called her to record with him on "Thuggin' and Lovin'." "Mi a look for big promotion pon this single and I know it can go far," said Spragga on location. "I met the Drop Di Bass crew through mi bredren Super Twitch (sound) and everything is pon a very professional level."


Chuck B (Rempage's manager) and artiste Rempage

Drop Di Bass shot a second video the following day for a three artiste medley on the Cardiac Arrest rhythm with Spragga Benz "Huff and Puff," the "warhead" Merciless on "Miss Martha," and the young up and coming DJ, Rempage, for his track "Got It Like Me."

Other tracks on the Cardiac Arrest rhythm include Red Rat and are now available through All Access Distribution with a full length CD of all tracks on the rhythm in early 2004. Drop Di Bass is a part of the M.B.I.G. Music Group, an entertainment company that includes artist management, concert promotion, and the recording label with expansion coming in early 2004.
- http://www.mbigmusic.com


Foxy Brown, Noreaga, and Pras of The Fugees are a few of the folks lending their talents to Jamaican dancehall reggae artist Spragga Benz.

Benz' upcoming LP, titled "Fully Loaded," features Foxy Brown trading verses with Spragga on a song called "Too Stoosh." Foxy also makes a cameo in the video for the Jamaican toaster's first single, "Wey Ya Say Star." That clip also features appearances from Noreaga, Fugee member Pras, Shinehead, and dancehall queen Lady Saw (who also appears on the album on track called "Backshot").

This isn't Spragga Benz's first brush with hip-hop's finest, as last year he scored a club hit with his song "No Way," which was remixed over Busta Rhymes' "Put Your Hand Where My Eyes Can See." Spragga also chimed in on Wyclef Jean's song "All The Girls" from 'Clef's "Carnival" album.

Known to his parents as Carlton Grant, Jamaican-born Spragga Benz originally began toasting on a dare from fellow reggae rapper Buju Banton and has been performing for nearly a decade since.

Spragga has two previous albums under his belt: 1994's "Jack It Up" and 1995's "Uncommonly Smooth."

"Fully Loaded" is set for an April 25 release, and he will appear at the HMV Record Store in New York's Times Square the same day.





- MTV (John Gill)


COLLABORATIONS with respected 1970s singer/songwriter, Carly Simon, and 1980s dance siren Shannon, could be the trump card veteran deejay, Spragga Benz, has been waiting for to give him the overdue breakthrough in the United States.

Benz, who has recorded a number of 'combinations' with several big-name American acts, is yet to hit American charts in a big way.

However, Jerry Greenberg, president and owner of Mirage Music (the California-based company which now handles Spragga), believes with the Billboard surge of other dancehall acts like Sean Paul, Beenie Man and Wayne Wonder, his charge can make a major impact stateside.

"Absolutely, without any question," Greenberg told Splash. "With the success of Sean Paul, Beenie Man and Wayne Wonder, Spragga has all the potential of being a gigantic seller."

Greenberg has been in the music industry for nearly 40 years, his biggest assignment being as president of Atlantic Records from 1967-1990. While at the helm of that major label, he was responsible for the signing of acts including Chic, Genesis, ABBA, Foreigner, the Blues Brothers, Sister Sledge and rap trio, JJ Fad.

From 1980-1988, he was president of Mirage Music, where he of acts such as Shannon, The System, Whitesnake and Brenda K Starr.

Between 1993 and 2000, Greenberg was president of Michael Jackson's MJJ Records; there, he signed acts including Brownstone, Tatyana Ali and Jackson's nephews, the boy group 3T.

Greenberg says his company plans to take Spragga to heights similar to that of Sean Paul and Wayne Wonder, who have made the Billboard charts with catchy singles in the past year.

"I plan to help him with film and television projects as well as his musical direction," said Greenberg. "Right now, we are gathering top producers to work on the album that he is doing for Mirage Music. He doesn't make any career decisions without consulting with me first."

Commenting on the duets and what he believed they held for his career, Benz was not as enthused. "It's like any of the other collaborations that I have done in the past. It's okay, I know Carly was a big star back in the day, but working with her was alright."

The Simon and Shannon projects came about largely through Greenberg's friendship with both artistes. (The Simon song) "is actually a sample from a single (Why) that we had previously released on Mirage Music. It was produced by Nile Rogers and Bernard Edwards of Chic," Greenberg explained. "The collaboration with Shannon was recorded earlier this year. It's a new version of Give Me Tonight."

Spragga Benz has recorded with rappers, Foxy Brown and Li'l Bow Wow, rock act, Charles and Eddie, R&B legend, Ben E King, Brownstone, and Wyclef Jean.

In the mid-1990s, he was signed to Capitol Records. That association produced one album, Uncommonly Smooth, and the hit single, A1 Lover. His most recent album, Thug Nature, was released last year.

Simon was one of the most popular of the new breed of singer/songwriters who emerged in the early 1970s. The youngest child in an upper-class New England family (her father, Richard Simon, co-founded the giant Simon and Schuster publishing company), Simon broke through as a solo act in 1971 with the release of her self-titled first album which contained the hit song, That's the Way I've Always Heard It Should Be.

Her second album, Anticipation, spawned another Top 40 hit in the title song, and she won the 1971 Grammy Award for Best New Artiste. Her third album, No Secrets, produced the number one smash, You're So Vain. Other major hits by Simon include The Right Thing to Do, Mockingbird (with then husband, James Taylor); Haven't Got Time for The Pain; Nobody Does It Better (theme song for the James Bond film, The Spy Who Loved Me), You Belong to Me and Jesse. - KEVIN JACKSON, Observer writer


Spragga Benz Bringing the trendsetting vibe of a dancehall renaissance while maintaining the raw and unfiltered vibes of street dances and back home clubs that popularized this music the world over. Release "Star-remiX" a refix version of his trendsetting hardcore hit single "Wey Yah Sey Star" on his new label Red Square Records in partnership with Centron Sound Label. "Star" topped record pool and DJ's club play list in the USA and the UK's spring-summer of 2001.

Also Spragga is Featured on Foxy Brown's "OH YEAH" hit single from her 2001 Def Jam album release "Broken Silence"

Starring in the upcoming movie "SHOTTAS" from Access Pictures LLC.

Set to release his 4th album "THUG NATURE" the album on is own label November 13th 2001.

Spragga Benz "Thug Nature" Undiluted Dancehall From Jamaica.

Dancehall reggae's most consistent deejay is back with his most anticipated album ever.

Fresh off of his "Fully Loaded" album tour and filming of the video "Oh Yeah" with Def Jam's first lady Foxy Brown, as well as his big screen debut in "Shottas" the movie produced by Access Pictures (which also features Kymani Marley,Wyclef Jean, Paul Campbell, and "OX" from Belly ), Spragga Benz is back with another dancehall classic.

The album features the combined talents of some of dancehall's most notable artistes and producers such as Rookie, John John & Elephant Man as well as the most promising newcomers such as Snow Cone, Mentally Disturbed, Chris "CJ" Jammys & Baby G (The new Jammys killer producers), the always on target Assassin, Twice, and the sweet soothing vocals of Sugar Slick.

The album boasts bonafide hits such as "Warriors Cause" feat. Elephant Man, "Analogy" & "Gi Wi Dem" feat. Red Square Crew. Also new anthems for the ladies such as "Spin Yu Roll", "African Move", and "Di Rooster". For the rudeboys killer tunes like "Dem Lik Dem Head", "Gunz Up", "Coochie Daddy" and many more.

"Thug Nature", following in the footsteps of "Jack It Up", is by far the most hardcore representation of authentic dancehall music in the new millenium.

It is sure to open doors for all upcoming, as well as other established veteran practitioners, of this vibrant artform.

Bringing the trendsetting vibe of a dancehall renaissance while maintaining the raw and unfiltered vibes of street dances and back home clubs that popularized this music the world over.

For all reggae fanatics this album is going to be a necessity to every collection. For first time fans "Thug Nature" is a perfect compliment to any hip hop collection based lyrical prowess and infectious beats.

As for the rest of the world who just loves music that you can dance to "Thug Nature" delivers that added pep in your step as only Spragga Benz can.

Keep your eyes and ears open for more information and enjoy the following in the mean time.

Maximum Benzpseculous from all of us here at where everybody welcome and vibes cyan done! 2001 & Beyond:

The Benz in the biz just keeps getting better!! - Centron Music, Inc (Dennis "Senitor" Allen)


Discography

1994 Jack It Up VP
1995 Uncommonly Smooth Capitol
2000 Fully Loaded VP
2002 Thug Nature Empire
1995 A-1 Lover Capitol s
1995 Good Day Capitol s
Beenie Man & Spragga Benz Best of Two Badd DJ's: Beenie Man... (1997) Performer
Foxy Brown Broken Silence (2001) Vocals (bckgr)
Foxy Brown Broken Silence [Clean] (2001) Vocals (bckgr)
Charles & Eddie Chocolate Milk (1995) Toaster
Elephant Man Log On (2001) Performer
Barrington Levy Duets (1995) Performer
Steely & Clevie High Gear (1997) Performer
Stone Love All-Stars Champion Sound, Vol. 1 (2002) Performer
Stone Love Movement Ultimate in Dancehall Music (1995)
Todd Terry Resolutions (1999) Vocals
Wayne Wonder Schizophrenic (2001) Performer
Various Artists Reggae Gold '94
Various Artists Reggae Sumfest, Vol. 3
Various Artists Welcome to the Epidrome
Various Artists Rallyback
Wayne Wonder Schizophrenic
Various Artists Just Ragga, Vol. 6
Dolly House from Best of Two Badd DJ's: Beenie Man & Spragga Benz
Some Bwoy from Dance Hall Xplosion 1999
Warrior Cause from Riddim Driven: Rice & Peas
Sick Bad from Dancehall Crazy
Jack It Up from Jack It Up
We Nuh Like from Reggae Gold '98
Can't Get No Gal from Dancehall Xplosion 2000
40 & Mi Blunt from Reggae Hits, Vol. 25
Heaven Sent from Best of the Best, Vol. 2: Lovers Rock, Culture, D
Picture Dis from Ruff Neck

Photos

Bio

Born and raised in the Southside community of Rae town, Kingston Jamaica, Carlton Grant p.k.a Spragga Benz has attained and maintained a level of musical notoriety only dreamed of by other aspiring Jamaican Deejays (The reggae equivalent of a rapper).

Spragga Benz's musical journey to dancehall stardom began with his first touch of a microphone in 1992, on a dare issued by Buju Banton, while doing dubplates for the La Benz Sound System of his mega-hits "Browning" and "Sound Fi Dead". Nagging the Banton for four songs instead of two for his favorite sound system, the Banton bellowed "If the I want four tune...yu haffi do the other two yu self." "Ah nuh nutten" Spragga jokingly replied..."Run di rhythm". "Mi sing some foolishness off the top of mi head but by the fourth line dem start buss pure blank and mek noise." This lead to Spragga recording two dub plates the following week, "Love Mi Gun" and "Jack It Up".

So immense was the public response when the dubs were played that soon Spragga became the most sought after artist by sound systems & producers in Jamaica and abroad. He went on to record such hits as "Could Ah Deal", "Jack It Up", "Girls Hooray", "Hand Inna Di Air", "Who Next", "Rude Bwoy Living", and a string of dancehall classics that were included in his debut album entitled "Jack It Up" released on VP Records.

With his career taking off at the rate of a dragster, the Benz made his first stage appearance at "Reggae Sunsplash '93", and followed up with blistering performances at both "Champions In Action" and "Reggae Ram Jam". He then ended his first year of stage appearances with a most memorable performance at "Sting '93" bringing the estimated 35,000 patrons at Jam World to lyrical ecstasy.

Spragga made even greater strides by signing to Capitol Records in 1994. In 1995 his sophomore album "Uncommonly Smooth" was released featuring more chart topping singles like "A-1 Lover" a duet with Chevelle Franklyn, "Body Good", a remake of "Spanish Harlem" featuring R&B legend Ben E. King, "Good Day", and many more.

Between 1996 and 1999 Spragga virtually dominated the dancehall arena with a barrage of hits including "Machine Gun Kelly", "Funny Guy Thing", "Car Crash", "Dolly House", "No Way" and "Born Good Looking" and numerous other anthems. Also to his credits are contributions to movie soundtracks for "Race The Sun" starring Halle Berry, and a collaboration with R&B trio Brownstone on the soundtrack for "Free Willy 2". Spragga has also collaborated with artists such as KRS-One, Wyclef Jean, Charles & Eddie, and Nadine Sutherland. He has even recorded a killer twelve cut CD entitled Two Badd DJ's alongside Beenie Man, which was also released on VP Records. During this period Spragga also extensively toured the Caribbean, North America, Europe, and Asia.

Still ascending to even greater heights, Spragga Benz dropped the lethal "Fully Loaded" (VP Records) album in 2000. The vicious track listing included "She Nuh Ready Yet(Hype Up)", "Wi Nuh Like", "Some Bwoy", "Weh Ya Say Star", "Push It Up", "Sleep With Angels", "Mur-Da-Rah", and more. The album showcased a cornucopia of Danchall's finest producers including Andre "Rookie" Tyrell, John John, Dave Kelly, Danny Browne, Donovan Germaine, Richard "Richie D" Martin, Richard Browne, and Bobby Digital. In addition to his own Benzspeculous production team; added to the talented mix were International House producer Todd Terry, master hip-hop producer/remixer Salaam Remi, and drafted guest artists Foxy Brown on "Too Stoosh", Lady Saw on "Backshot", and Red Square Records' Sugar Slick on "Badman Anthem". The accompanying video for the single "Wey Ya Say Star" featured hip-hop cameos by Pras of "The Fugees", Foxy Brown, and Noreaga of CNN. Also included were Lady Saw, Rayvon, Shinehead, Junior Demus, Frisco Kid, Notch (Former Born Jamerican), and a list of others.

Moving to more mainstream avenues in entertainment, Spragga hits the big screen, making his acting debut appearing as himself in the Off Line Entertainment film "Brooklyn Babylon", starring Tariq "Black Thought" Trotter (The Roots), and Bonz Malone. He followed up his debut by stepping it up to playing a lead role in Access Pictures' "Shottas". Which also stars Kymani Marley, Paul Campbell (Dancehall Queen), and Wyclef Jean (Artist/Producer). When asked about acting Spragga states, "It's a great experience which I hope to repeat over and over again".

Stepping back into the music arena in 2001, Spragga appeared and performed on the Foxy Brown single "Oh Yeah" and video. The single is off her "Broken Silence" album released by Def Jam. He also mobilized his Red Square Crew armed with new talents such as Sugar Slick, Assassin, Briggy Benz (his nephew), Natty Chris, Bad Greg Hines, and Limozine. Recording the dancehall anthem and video for "Gi Wi Dem". As well as teaming up with fellow DJ Elephant Man on recording the monster hit "Warriors Cause" on the Rice and Peas rhythm.

Spragg