Babylon Culture ~ Reggae Street Wars 2
December 17, 2008

Label Lyric DVD Magazine
Format DVD - Region Free
Languages English
Subtitles None
Length 75 minutes (approx.)
Producer/Director Lyric DVD Magazine / Midnight Productions
Reggae music is always trying to make itself more accessible, and due to new technology in the past decade along with the growing interest in DVD's the reggae fan could only wait for the release of the first ever Reggae DVD Magazine. And it came to us almost three years ago ... straight from Toronto, Canada. Not least because reggae and dancehall had catapulted to the mainstream with artists such as Sean Paul, Beenie Man and Elephant Man it's obvious that this was the right time to come up with technologically savvy coverage of the hottest artists and trends in this genre of music.

"Lyric ~ Reggae DVD Magazine" is a quarterly magazine that aims at bringing the avid fan footage of high energy concerts, dances and other events; up close and personal interviews; behind-the-scenes coverage of studio/dubplate sessions; and top Reggae/Dancehall videoclips. But Lyric also offers their documentary series with its less-hypes and more investigative approach of which this latest release is a prime example. The attitude is clear from its opening titles There is no F.B.I. warning on this DVD because I and I don't deal with them and clarified further when the feature presentation "Babylon Culture ~ Reggae Street Wars 2" starts 4 minutes later, with a melancholic piano solo, images from what could be the 6:00 news flash across the screen while a well thought out, and carefully edited film - containing images of police and thugs, Japanese Jamaican Dancehall Queen Junko and several dancehall stars - fades in aided by angelic female voices on the soundtrack’s brilliant violin solo: "Dancehall did not create this system. The system created Dancehall. And so it came to be, a clash of civilizations. From a place of mist and much rain, comes the pirate Henry Morgan", reads across the screen as the voice of Peter Tosh echoes: "When Columbus, Henry Morgan and Francis Drake come on ya, unnu call them pirates, and you put them in reading books ...? ...and give us observation; that we must look at and live the life and principle of pirates. ? Tell the youths nah fi fire up dem guns!, like, Henry Morgan! You nuh see it!?" After this sequence finishes Mykal Rose with an acapella rendered "Guess Who's Coming To Dinner" followed by Junior Demus' short statement “Through how the town a run, it wicked a don Texas” and Garnett Silk's "Love Is The Answer". Busy Signal's "Gangsta's Paradise" then accompanies into Bounty Killer speaking out about feuds against and within his Alliance, followed by Spice talking about her feud with D'Angel about the behaviour of the latter's then husband Beenie Man, the Gangsta Ras Munga Honorable and Portmore Empire's Deva Bratt both show their views on each other as opponent and then Chino freestyles about lame artists wid robot voice and Big Ship's policy concerning all the feuds going on with nice footage of Junko fading in and out of the picture.

Portmore Empire's first lady Lisa Hype and Blak Ryno are featured short, but after some more Munga and Deva it's Jamaican Deputy Commissioner Mark Shields from Scotland Yard who expresses his view on dancehall's verbal violence leading to physical violence once in a while and another brilliant Chino freestyle. In fact, this whole CD is brilliant, great high quality footage with a high quality sound, outspoken dancehall artists. Bounty Killer on (his feud with) Beenie Man, Mark Shields on the responsability dancehall artist have as their lyrical art is reflected on the streets followed by Wayne Marshall discussing that view with Esco & Leftside, Foota Hype on gangsta's and would-be gangsta's and of course the Gully God Mavado on his lyrics and his influence on the youthmen. Mykal Rose's next "Real Jamaican" acapella is embedded in a little conversation between him and Baby G. Mark Shields also discusses his role in improving the JCF, the role of the garrisons and the responsability of politicians (not to mix with criminals e.g.) and it's nothing more than justice done that Junior Murvin's "Police & Thieves" and Mykal Rose's "Shoot Out!" accompany footage from the downtown Kingston. Both Junior Demus and Earl 16 speak about the old days, with some very intriguing thoughts on Peter Tosh from the latter. This "Babylon Culture ~ Reggae Street Wars 2" is packed with thought provoking material - leading to its conclusion Dancehall lyrics don't kill, they merely mimic the harsh conditions that face the garrison youth of today and all is presented in a really good fashion. So check it out this magnificent long anticipated sequel to "Unforgiven ~ Street Wars"!! And to be honest, I can hardly wait till the release of "Ice Pick ~ Reggae Street Wars 3".