In a quick interview with DancehallMag, the Youth Dem Cold singer, whose real name is Richell Bonner, shared that the 14-track album is not just a tribute to his fans but a testament to the profound influence of Black culture globally. “Now is 2023 and 2023 is ‘Black Man Time’,” he said.
Richie noted that the album also aims to keep authentic Reggae music alive. However, he acknowledged that the changes in the genre were inevitable.
“Everything has changed. The world has changed…the script has been flipped. We’re just trying to stay together like the Lion and the Lamb and keeping the vibe flowing. Changes have been made in the east, west, north and south. We have songs on the album where we speak on what has been going on with the youths of today and the sharp change that has been made and all these things,” he said.
When quizzed about whether he’s open to offering mentorship to or collaborating with the emerging acts, Richie responded affirmatively.
“I’m an open person enuh! My life is an open book,” he said.
“We sing music and sing music enuh. Each one teach one and if yuh cyaa abide by that law, it’s gonna be terrible. Each one teach one. I’m a willing person; I have an open heart and that’s why we seh Black Man time ‘cause a Black people time now where Black people should know that now is the time to care and share with each other.”
VPAL Music, a subsidiary of VP Records, is the distributor for the album which features collaborations from Louie Culture, Charly Black, Capleton, his brothers Pliers, Snatcha Lion, and Spanner Banner.
According to the singer, the collaborations all came about organically, although the project itself was five years in the making.
“Yuh know, Spanner Banner we’re family and we always together. Capleton—we always together…Charly, same ting; Louie Culture ah di same ting…good vibes, good energy,” he explained.
The album also sees Spice covering three songs, namely The Slickers’ Johnny Too Bad (1971), Carl Dawkins’ Satisfaction (1977), and Lionel Richie’s All Night Long (1983).
The singer is confident in the quality of the project, which boasts contributions from producers like Clive Hunt, Steven ‘Lenky’ Marsden, and Fyah Wayne and more.
“My goal is that the people feel the music and gravitate to it and keep that togetherness, musically. You can always look for something nice from me while you support me,” he said.
Born in Rock Hall, St. Andrew, Richie teamed up with Clive Hunt for his 1995 debut album Out of the Blue on the Island Jamaica label, from which came his first major hit Grooving My Girl. His second album included hits such as Earth a Run Red, Living Ain’t Easy, Land of Jamaica and Time So Rough.
His last album was Together We Stand in 2020.