Rather than rushing to cash in with a quick & dirty CD, Cham and Madhouse mastermind Dave "The Stranger" Kelly took their time to make sure that the new album would be up to standard. The creative force behind records like "Bogle" by Buju Banton, "Action" by Terror Fabulous & Nadine Sutherland, and "Dude" by Beenie Man & Ms. Thing, Kelly overstands how to conjur up studio magic with Cham; the duo enjoys the sort of rare creative chemistry enjoyed by the likes of Dre and Snoop, but in a dancehall context. "Me and him click," says Cham. "We'll be writing, and he'll want a word, and by the time he's supposed to say it, I'm sayin' it."
Drawing inspiration from daily life in their troubled homeland, Cham and The Stranger created a dancehall masterpiece called "Ghetto Story" which hit the streets like a bomb at the end of 2005, Jamaica's bloodiest year on record with over 1,600 slain. Blending the vivid street narrative with trenchant political analysis and Cham's emotional delivery, "Ghetto Story" became an instant classic, summing up all the pain and loss. "You can't say we're inciting violence," says Cham. "It's just a memory. If I grow up any different I would have a nicer memory." Every street dance, country bus, and radio seemed to be blasting Madhouse's nasty new digital throwback riddim, the "85," and the number-one tune for this year and next was Cham's "survival story."
"Me give God thanks morning, noon, and night," says Cham. "And me have to give thanks for every single thing that happen in life. Even the bad, the good, the ups, the downs, the full, the hungry, every single moment you have to give thanks for. Cause without all that happening, there's no way a 'Ghetto Story' could even be written."
Neither glorifying nor preaching against violence, "Ghetto Story" coldly examines the root causes behind the chronic brutality that has plagued Jamaica for a quarter century. "And when you check it," says Cham, "it's not just Jamaica. If you check the movie City of God, ah the same way Brazil run. If you check New Jack City, ah the same way New York run. If you check Boyz N Da Hood, ah the same way L.A. run. That's every ghetto. And that won't end unless we deal with it. It's a part of our history and the story have to be told for us to know where we are and where we're going."