Music Videos: Mongolian Reggae

A few weeks ago I was interviewed for a local television program in Ulaanbaatar. I was speaking about the diversity of bands here and mentioned that I think they have everything but reggae. About a week later, I was happy to be corrected by my friend and the director of the program.

He explained that UB certainly has had some reggae bands in the past, the scene just currently isn’t very active. Reggae is notoriously tied to marijuana, a drug that’s use is very strictly prohibited in Mongolia. He indicated that this may have something to do with the bands either going underground or stopping entirely.

However, this coming Saturday, reggae music will be in full force. One of Ulaanbaatar’s musical scenesters is hosting the first annual ‘Big Up! Vol. 1 Reggae Party’. The event will be featuring reggae, roots, dancehall, and latin music – something a little off the beaten musical path here in UB.

Big Up

Watch/listen to some of the reggae music UB has to offer…

Souljahs singing ‘Aquarium’ (2009):

I love the scene in the middle of the video as the fish swims casually past the streets of Ulaanbaatar. It’s a pretty good depiction of life here.

Souljahs singing ‘Khair Baga Baina’ (rough translation: ‘A Little Affection’) (2011):

Hip-hop group Ice Top’s reggae influenced rap, ‘Suljee’ (rough translation: ‘Mixture’) (2008):

Reggaeman Featuring Mc Mo singing ‘Lim Yum Bdag Yum’ (2010)

Duunii Klip: Super 21 by the Royal Beat Crew and Persuis ft. Gennie

Here’s the latest Duunii Klip: Royal Beat Crew and Persuis featuring Gennie.

It’s a great example of the frequent collaborations various musicians are involved in here. I learned about Gennie over a year ago from talking with the director of Mongolian Bling (which just finished post-production!). He follows her throughout his documentary and recommended I get in touch. Gennie is one of the only female rappers in Mongolia.

I heard of the Royal Beat Crew a little over a month ago now. I’m told they incorporate khoomii (throat singing) into their beats, but not in a terribly substantial way. Still, a fun idea.

I still haven’t been able to figure out exactly who Persius is. An expat who came an went? A wayward traveler? Perhaps I’ll run into him this weekend?