When J Boog shows up, he does it big. When you walk past two massive tour trucks idling on the curb before making your way into a packed club on a cold evening, you know you’re in for the real deal. The recent Grammy nominee brought his lush, highly polished reggae sounds to the Brooklyn Bowl on Feb. 1 for a night of very good vibes.
Raised in Compton, CA, and now living in Hawaii, J Boog has been making his name in reggae and bringing well-deserved love to the Polynesian reggae scene. Coming up in a household rich with his family’s Samoan identity and music of all kinds he found his voice by the likes of singers like George “Fiji” Veikoso. After years of building his craft, he’s reached the heights of Grammy recognition, topping Billboard charts and garnering much love and airtime across the world, from Hawaii to Jamaica.
J Boog blessed New Yorkers with some of his smooth grooves and robust yet graceful voice. Backed by two top-notch singers and members of Hawaii’s rocking Hot Rain Band, J Boog crooned his suave tunes like “Sweet Love” and jammed hard to “Raggamuffin.” Guitarist Carl Noa brought both the heat—with his shredding guitar solos—and the cool, with a bit of ukulele. The vibe was brilliant and refreshingly positive, beating the winter cold back with unstoppable island sun.
J Boog’s musical entourage for his Wash House Ting tour includes two members of the up-and-coming generation of Jamaican reggae who are walking in the footsteps of their famous forefathers: Jo Mersa Marley, taking after his father Stephen Marley and grandfather Bob Marley, and Jemere Morgan, following his father Gramps Morgan (of Morgan Heritage) and grandfather Denroy Morgan.
The young Marley opened the night with a set of his own, taking us on a pulsating journey from his grandfather’s eternal hits to his own compositions. His band brought down the house (almost literally) with a profoundly heavy dub sound—the fiery bass player’s low end was probably the loudest bass I’ve ever experienced, vibrating my ribcage like a rattle. Jemere Morgan lent his smooth vocals to both Marley and J Boog—all three teamed up for one of J Boog’s closing tunes, “Raggamuffin.”
Keep your ears out for the Grammy Awards this weekend! Fingers crossed for J Boog. You can read more about J Boog from the man himself in our recent interview with him. Also, check out a full gallery of pictures from the show below.
All photos by Sebastian Bouknight.