Reggae Mecca: Deadly Dragon Sounds on Forsyth Street

Posted on: January 11th, 2013 at 12:12 pm by

deadly-dragon-forsyth

Deadly Dragon Sounds (“DDS”) is the Lower East Side’s best kept secret for all reggae-heads, rude gyals and bois (bwoys). No sign out front, but a plethora of posters for roots reggae adorn the window of this tiny storefront in a gorgeous well-kept tenement building on Forsyth Street, between Broome and Grand.

Inside 102 Forsyth is reggae Mecca.

Crates on crates on crates of vinyl records amidst little ras keepsakes including a Bob Marley bobble head. T-shirts and DVDs for sale, a turntable, books, and flyers in the front that advertise this incredible store’s weekly party at Happy Ending – “Downtown Top Ranking, Reggae Revive Session.”

image

Every Thursday, Deadly Dragon Sounds presents “rocksteady roots and rub-a-dub in strictly vinyl sound” a.k.a heaven for all dub and dancehall heads. A passa passa in NYC.

Reggae lovers, Chinese Jamaicans, West Indians, Rastafarians, and Jewstafari from all over the city come here for the gold standard in reggae and dancehall. From Free Buju shirts to Assassin autographed pictures, the walls are lined with reggae and ras culture. His Majesty King Haile Selassie’s picture hangs next to a pair of miniature boxing gloves bedecked in the Jamaican flag. DJs, Selectors and other music lovers purchase in-store and online and have been doing so since Deadly Dragon opened in 2005.

From their website:

In 2005, Jeremy Freeman aka Scratch Famous and Jason DeBeck aka Selector JD opened the retail side of Deadly Dragon, expanding it into, not just a sound-system, but one of the finest resources for reggae fanatics around. The retail store at 102 Forsyth, in the heart pf NY’s Chinatown, is a unique retail environment with a comprehensive selection of new and vintage vinyl from Mento 78s to the newest tunes from Jamaica. Deadly Dragon has also created a limited edition reissue imprint label that has released over 35 different 7” vinyl singles to great critical acclaim.

Admittedly out of place in Chinatown, store owner Jeremy Freeman is considered the unofficial block boss, as his Chinese neighbors visit frequently for help translating bills and other documents. DDS’s name surprisingly was chosen for the crew’s love of ninja movies, and not for their downtown location.

Freeman spoke with us about his own family roots in the neighborhood. His Russian-born grandmother lived on Hester Street and he and his crew intend on staying put for a very long time with their merch shop at 102-B and their office in the old Comic Network next door. He recalls prostitutes and crackheads in the Sara D. Roosevelt Park or yore, while today we see soccer players and children galavanting. A changed Lower East Side for sure, but Deadly Dragon Sounds is a most welcome and unique shop.

Bless up.

Recent Stories

rbar-bowery-closed
R Bar on the Bowery Shutters Ahead of Transformation to ‘Rebelle’

Word on the street is that R Bar and its stripper poles are out to pasture. Closed for good. There had been recent talk of its demise, but it finally came to fruition this week. Its disconnected phone number is further evidence. This sudden loss of R Bar makes sense, though. Florence Fabricant reports in […]

Screen Shot 2014-10-21 at 12.49.20 PM
Classic Album Art Comes to Life in Roy Kafri’s New Beatbox Video

Iconic vinyl art has taken a turn for the outlandish with Israeli comedy singer Roy Kafri’s latest music video. He not only features classic album covers brought to life, but ones that are, in fact, beatboxing on the street. Bowie beatboxing. Lou Reed beatboxing. If that’s not enough to mess with your mind, it’s filmed in reverse; by the end, we […]

marilyn-louie-closed
Marilyn Louie Temporarily Closes Tiny Bowery Newsstand Due to Flooding

Unfortunately for Marilyn Louie, when it rains, it poors. Literally. This time the weather proved itself an enemy, with downpours sidelining the business. Damn. The embattled newsstand owner – on the Bowery for thirty-eight years – seriously can’t catch a break. Heavy rainfall last week and its resultant flooding reportedly forced [Chinese language] the longtime newsstand […]

hanksy-eazyebola
Hanksy Gets All NWA with ‘Eazy-E Bola’

Street artist Hanksy is tapping right into global fear of an Ebola outbreak. His latest piece is self-proclaimed, “straight outta Congo.” The sticker sized placement is in eastern Chinatown and features the one and only Eazy-E Bola and his virus strain neck. Meanwhile, Hanksy continues to explore street art around the country with his new “Surplus […]

agent-provocateur-elizabeth
Agent Provocateur is Opening a Third Manhattan Location on Elizabeth Street

Haute lifestyle boutique Condor is no longer part of the gold-coast landscape of Little Italy. The business closed its three-year-old shop at 259 Elizabeth Street at the end of August, but has been running a pop-up locale down on Kenmare Street in the interim. Now it’s again without a home. Condor flew the coop thanks […]