The Notorious Kool G and DJ Matches Keep the Reggae – Dancehall Vibe Alive in Chicago
by Howard Campbell
[CHICAGO] – Born in the United States to Jamaican parents, Garfield Lewin (The Notorious Kool G) and Matthew Hall’s (DJ Matches) families ensured they had an awareness of their country’s diverse heritage. That included reggae.
As The Notorious Kool G and DJ Matches, respectively, they help keep the reggae/dancehall vibe alive in Chicago with their radio show, The Hottest Dancehall Reggae Mixshow in the Universe! Featuring The Innovation International Sound.
21 Greatness Riddim Compilation Album
This month, they change gears as music producers with the 21 Greatness Riddim, a compilation album with songs by acts like Tarrus Riley, Queen Ifrica and Luciano.
Be Great, Riley’s song, is scheduled for release on January 22. Produced by their Innovation Muzik company, the album drops a month later.
The duo selected the artists for the 21 Greatness Riddim. That process was not random.
“Each artist on this riddim has their own fan base which covers both the young and the old and that each age group can relate and connect to,” The Notorious Kool G explained.
Hottest Dancehall Reggae Mixshow
The Hottest Dancehall Reggae Mixshow in the Universe! Featuring The Innovation International Sound, broadcasts simultaneously three times a week on WZPP 96.1 FM in Chicago and WZOP 92.7 FM in Florida.
Fans who tune to the six-hour program (Thursdays to Saturdays from midnight to 6 am) can hear the latest dancehall jams or classic rockers.
DJ Matches, who was born in Chicago, said he developed an appreciation for different types of music from his father.
“My father was a DJ and record collector and I also grew up with a lot of sound systems in my family. So, everything from ska to Studio One to soul, jazz, country music; there wasn’t a genre that didn’t get played in my house,” he recalled.
Working on the 21 Greatness Riddim whetted DJ Matches and The Notorious Kool G’s appetite for producing. They are already looking forward to more studio time with Jamaican artists.
“Well, there’s a lot of new, great talent which we would love to work with as well. Artists such as Dexta Daps, Teejay, Skillibeng, Lila Ike, Shaneil Muir, Shenseea and many others,” said The Notorious Kool G.