Last Night: Gappy Ranks at Paradise Lounge's Cooyah!
July 14, 2010
Cooyah at Paradise Lounge
Better than: A gap year in Thailand after college
With camera flashes blasting, and a 150 or so amped reggae fans thrusting hands in the air, British reggae artist Gappy Ranks (the stage name of Jacob Lee Williams) got his first taste of San Francisco crowds last night. Apparently he was chuffed, because he stuck around for a good 45 minutes, running through his catalog, inviting women on stage to be serenaded, and interacting with the audience throughout his set. If you haven't heard of Harlesden, London-based emcee Gappy Ranks, don't worry; he's a relatively new name -- but one impressive enough to convince Greensleeves Records (home to Barrington Levy and Yellowman) to sign him. His set at Paradise Lounge's reggae club Coo Yah served as San Francisco's introduction to a raspy singjay (a combination rapper/singer) with a lot of potential. But despite Gappy's electric performance, women were the center of attention for most of last night.
|Green B and Daneekah|
Daneekah Barty is from Mooloolaba, Australia, while Green B originally hails from Boston. Both women are in their late twenties and have played every major reggae party in S.F. and the East Bay since arriving five years ago. At their weekly night, the two "Cooyah ladies," as they call themselves, trade music sets and toasts on the mic. They pack the dancefloor with fresh tunes from artists like Gyptian, Tarrus Riley, Mavado and Vybz Kartel, whose current hit "Clarks," about the British footwear, got played twice last night to rapturous crowd approval. Last night Green B and Daneekah were joined by Sonoma's Blessed Coast Sound - DJ Ryan I and emcee Lionize - who had a hand in putting together Gappy's tour. The guys took over for the ladies around 11 p.m. and quickly changed the vibe from bubbling roots reggae to harder dancehall-rap remixes.
|Lionize and DJ Ryan I|
|Million Stylez and Gappy Ranks|
Personal Bias: Gappy Ranks' UK producer, Peckings, is one of my all-time faves.
Random Detail: The women were dressed to the nines in heels and stylish skirts last night, while the dudes were grimy, wearing baseball caps and oversized tees. Ladies ruled it obviously.
Watch: This video for "Longtime," which is set in Gappy's Harlesden 'hood.
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