Whether you know it by name or not, if you've stepped outside in the past several months, you've heard Gyptian's "Hold Yuh" flickering out of at least a few idling vehicles. The über-minimalist dancehall ditty's piano loop has a way of cutting through the din of city streets.
Gyptian, a dreadlocked loverman with two VP Records LPs under his belt (a third, naturally titled Hold Yuh, is due out next month) hails from just outside Kingston. But the largely bass-free, piano-and-snare-driven rhythm track — and its ground-up promotion — is the handiwork of Brooklyn-based Caribbean fusionist Ricky Blaze, who recorded Gyptian on it during a throwaway session in summer 2008.
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Since the commercial release of "Hold Yuh" earlier this year, Gyptian has emerged as dancehall's most visible ambassador, touring Europe, the States, and the Caribbean. Producer Blaze has seen his stock rise as well: Atlantic will release his Be Myself mixtape EP later this summer. But to whomever you credit "Hold Yuh," it's certainly a score for reggae/dancehall.