Assassin a.k.a Agent Sasco releases his first studio album in almost a decade entitled The Theory Of Reggaetivity, a marked departure from his dancehall-driven releases – Infiltration(2005) and Gully Sit’n(2007). The Theory of Reggaetivity’s foundation is purely reggae.
For the past 15 years, Assassin has earned credibility through his dense catalogue of dancehall hits (spanning over 300 singles) and more recently for his hip hop collaborations (including Kanye West’s “I’m In It” and Kendrick Lamar’s “The Blacker the Berry”). On his new third studio album, he goes back to dancehall’s foundation and expands his reach to reggae – delivering his most honest record that parallels his maturation over the years.
This week, The FADER premieres the album and COMPLEX unveils his new song “Stronger,” to give an “early taste of such refinement.”
“Stronger” captures the essence of Theory of Reggaetivity and is the perfect introduction to display Assassin’s lyrical range into more concsious songwritring. He recorded “Stronger” at Bob Marley’s legendary Tuff Gong Studios in Kingston, Jamaica. The song was produced by Silly Walks, also credited for Chronixx’s breakthrough anthem “Smile Jamaica” and boasts live instrumentation from one of the island’s most promising reggae bands Raging Fyah.
In addition to Raging Fyah, Assassin also recruits this generation’s “reggae revival” artists like Chronixx and Protoje on the new album. Chronixx delivers a thought-provoking verse on “No Slave” and Protoje showcases his production skills on two of Assassin’s tracks including “Feeling Highrie” and “Reggae Origin.”
From Los Angeles to New York to Kingston – Assassin recorded the album across the globe and worked with a variety of producers – Niko Browne, Diggy British (Protoje), The Drum Keyz, Theo Butler, Sting International, MLMG, Sound Cheq, Silly Walks, W. Thompson and Chimney Records – to provide a live music texture of majestic trumpets, and heavy one-drop bassline rhythms reminiscent of the style pioneered by the genre’s legends like Bob Marley, Peter Tosh and Dennis Brown. Assassin also co-produced “Day In Day Out,” “J-O-B,” “Africa” and “Crazy” under his Sound Age Entertainment.
The album’s title, a play on words, makes a nod to Einstein’s Theory of Relativity. Setting the tone of the album, the title track and “Reggae Origin,” examine the birth of reggae beyond its pioneers. Assassin’s description is more scientific because he questions the possibilities of reggae playing a role in the Big Bang and the vibration of weather patterns as the building blocks of the genre, which inherently are building blocks of life. Given reggae’s reputation of being by the people and for the people, he carries the tradition of a messenger by reaching people on a human level, incorporating more live instrumentation and harmonizing than he has done on any of his previous material. Assassin portrays the genre as a complex subject that is not just a medium of expression, but also a soundtrack of motivation (“J-O-B”), struggle (“No Slave” feat. Chronixx), achievement (“Stronger”), love (“Crazy” feat. Elesia Iimura) and celebration (“Feel Highrie”). Assassin, who got his name by annihilating any competition with his lyrical wordplay, also stays true to his crafty lyricism – evident on the album’s first single and video “Mix Up” off of Ranch Entertainment’s Heaven Bless riddim.
The Theory of Reggaetivity Track Listing:
1. Theory of Reggaetivity
2. What Is Reggae (feat. AC, LC & JC)
3. Reggae Origin
4. Health and Wealth (Kingston Mix)
5. LC Intro (feat. LC)
6. Feel Highrie
7. Mix Up
8. Crazy (feat. Elesia Limura)
10. J-O-B (Skit)
11. No Slave (feat. Chronixx)
13. Day in Day Out
14. Country Bus