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Jamaican singer Gyptian‘s “Hold You (Hold Yuh)” has been omnipresent on R&B and rap radio in recent months. Not bad for a song that was originally released in 2009. Thanks to its simple, finger-tinkling keyboard beat, Gyptian’s patois-filled falsetto melody, and a hip-hop remix with Nicki Minaj, this syrupy tune has become the biggest reggae-related crossover since Sean Paul‘s prime a few years back. And there’s a Caribbean soca remix, too. Gyptian, born Windell Edwards, will be at the Crossroads Entertainment Complex tonight.
He first came to fame in 2005 with his roots-reggae single “Serious Times,” which he followed with a 2006 album debut, My Name is Gyptian, that featured anti-violence roots reggae numbers and romantic lovers rock cuts. On his 2008 follow-up, I Can Feel Your Pain, he upped the polished R&B quotient, and that continues on this year’s Hold You album. While sometimes he sounds more squeeky than a ladies-man balladeer ought to, on most cuts he displays an effective vocal range, going from a warm conversational tone to a more mannered, higher-note approach.
Gyptian performs tonight at 11 p.m. at the Crossroads Entertainment Complex, 4103 Baltimore Ave. (Route 1), Bladensburg, Md. $20 (women can text “liquid” to 28527 for free admission before 11 p.m.). (301) 927-1056.