Berkeley-based web portal Jah Works has published an insightful overview of race relations within reggae, sparked by debate in Jamaica over Bob Marley’s song “One Love.” University of West Indies-Mona lecturer Gregory Stephens masterfully dissects the arguments used to either diss Marley’s multiracial background or artificially enhance the singer’s legacy. With scholarly analysis of reggae culture a scarce commodity, this article reads as sweetly as chilled mango juice on a 110 degree day.

After 20 years, don’t count on floating in the Eel River to irie sounds. California’s Reggae on the River is in danger of drying up due to a prolonged breach of contract filed in court. 

Bermuda’s Collie Buddz “Tomorrow’s Another Day” is the top-selling 7” single at online retailer Ernie B’s Reggae Distribution. Other recent singles flying off the shelves include the booty-bass driven Capleton single “Looking Right” on Don Corleon, and the Stevie Wonder-on-crack Quick Draw riddim featuring Elephant Man’s “Arm Nuh Green” (Renaissance).

Jamaican-born German reggae artist Roughhouse is being quickly embraced for his catchy, melody-rich compositions. It seems ‘House isn’t afraid to get unconventional with crossover tracks such as “Da Truth” that sound more like Bad Brains than Dennis Brown. Hear more at his MySpace page.

Remember this name: Queen Ifrica. Not only is the raspy-voiced Jamaican DJ racking up underground hits for producers and labels like Rocky Gibbs, Loyal Soldiers, and Prince B ’s Hi-Score Music, she recently lectured at the University of West Indies about her life and career. Queen Ifrica has the voice, charisma, and style of a superstar artist, so don’t be surprised if you soon see her royalness on stage at a reggae concert near you.