When Albert Gordon, aka Al Beezy, first recorded Run Di Place in Coxen Hole earlier this year, he says he wasn’t taking the song very seriously.
“I didn’t really market it, because the instrumentation wasn’t mine,” he said from his living room in Hollywood, Florida, where he has lived with his family since 2003. He borrowed the melody from Jamaican-American reggae/rapper Shaggy (Orville Burrell). “Then DJ Flames took it, and it really blew up down there (on Roatan).”
Run Di Place is Al Beezy‘s best-received single to date, and the work he says he is proudest of. Now he plans to release an album of the same name, and film a video of the title track, while spending September on his native island.
Although the title track has more of a hip-hop sound, Gordon said people should “expect to hear real reggae music” on the album, as well as a bit of politics. “The concept was taking the issues of Roatan to a global audience,” he said, including water issues in his native Sandy Bay, “not paying people what they’re working for” and the mayor’s performance. He said there would even be a swipe at RECO.
“I talk to a lot of people and tell them about life on Roatan,” he said. “They’re really interested.”
Gordon moved to Florida when he was 13 and began recording music at his friend’s home studio a year later. He released his first album, Full Hundred, in 2009. At some point his friends and collaborators began calling him Beezy. “I don’t really know what it means,” he confesses. But the name stuck. He writes all his own songs, mostly composing on his home computer.
His music blends traditional reggae with hip-hop and a bit of techno, dancehall, R&B and pop. He considers his most important musical influences to be Bob and Damian Marley, the Jamaican dancehall artist Vybz Kartel, American hip-hopper Little Wayne and his cousin Jason, who lives in Sandy Bay.
“Most of it came from Jason,” who came to Florida to work in 2004, heard him play and told him what to work on, Gordon said. “Because of him, I’m able to do my own sound.”
Also while on Roatan this month, Al Beezy planned to appear at the One Love concert at Island Saloon September 1 and at another concert at the Blue Bayou in Oak Ridge September 15. He will also be recording Roatan artists for a compilation album he is working on with his sister Keisha, to be titled White Sand Riddim. He hopes to release it before Christmas.
Eventually Gordon plans to return permanently to Roatan, although he can’t say when. “I don’t want to live up here,” he said of his Florida home. “I just want to work here.”