by Howard Campbell
NEW YORK – One of the songs doing dancehall rounds in New York City is Mash It Up Again, by veteran singer Junior Reid and Fully Top Dolla, a Jamaican rapper/deejay based in The Bronx. It is a joint release by Reid’s JR Productions and GMG Mafia Entertainment, a fledgling record label co-owned by Fully Top Dolla.
While the company has released a number of dancehall/hip hop songs and albums since its launch five years ago, Fully Top Dolla considers Mash It Up Again their breakthrough.
“It’s been spreading like wildfire. It’s very important to see ourselves on the charts, it’s an accomplishment for any artist,” said Fully Top Dolla, whose real name is Raheem Williams.
Kwame Williams, who is GMG Mafia Entertainment’s CEO, is also a rapper known as Youngy Nevabummy. Though they have the same surname and grew up in Portmore, Jamaica, he and Fully Top Dolla are not related.
They share a passion for hip hop, which influenced them to start a record label in 2013. Its focus is to expose the music of emerging acts, most of whom have Jamaican heritage.
“I been in the business since I was 14 and when I came to the US I was a deejay, but in 2009 I met ‘Fully’ through his uncle. I heard his flow and that’s what attracted me to start our own label,” said Youngy Nevabummy, who at 28 is four years older than his business partner.
Both have lived in the US for over 10 years, settling in The Bronx which has always had a strong Jamaican immigrant presence. In the 1980s, hardcore dancehall acts like Tenor Saw, Super Cat and Josey Wales influenced future hip hop greats like Wyclef Jean and Busta Rhymes.
Fully Top Dolla, who began recording at age 13, is also GMG Mafia Entertainment’s audio engineer and graphics designer. His previous songs include the hip hop number, Mariah.
Youngy Nevabummy’s current song, Worry, is another of GMG Entertainment’s latest productions. So too Herb Trees by D. Ras, a Jamaican rapper.
The company has a 14-member staff and distributes its music digitally and on compact disc. Its strongest market is the tri-state area and Philadelphia.
Reid has had significant success in the past 15 years working with hip hop acts like The Game, Mims and Lil Wayne. Fully Top Dolla and Youngy Nevabummy hope some of that success rubs off on their young enterprise.
“I met the godfather couple years back through Youngy Nevabummy who knew him from making music with his son Wada Blood. We made a song years prior to this one but we didn’t release it, so this is all about timing for us,” said Fully Top Dolla.