African Be Proud
Lutan Fyah
Rastar Records
July 30, 2009

Track list
  1. Intro/Marcus Garvey
  2. African Be Proud
  3. Uncle Sam's New Laws
  4. Long Road
  5. Word, Sound, And Power
  6. Poor Man's Privelege
  7. Fall Hard
  8. Interlude/Malcom X
  9. Nothing Don't Come Easy
  10. High Grade feat. Spectacular
  11. Youths Want More
  12. Ghetto Youths
  13. Slavery Done Long Time
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 4 Backing : 3 Production : 3 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 3
Since he debuted with his first full length album, "Dem Nuh Know Demself", in november 2003, Lutan Fyah has managed to take his place in the forefront of the modern roots movement. In particular albums like "Healthy Lifestyle", "Panthom War", and "Bring You Blessings" were solid releases, but he really made an overall srong impression with the six months or so ago released dbl album, "Africa", a truly powerful collection of songs, which clearly showed that he is one of the most consistent of the Bobo artists currently out there.

Any artist who has put out a great and highly acclaimed album knows how hard it is to deliver a matching follow up as expectations are raised very high. Unfortunately Lutan Fyah's much anticipated new album, "African Be Proud", not only fails to maintain the high quality standard set by its predecessor, as a whole it also doesn't make a real solid impression. In fairness, lyrically Lutan Fyah doesn't disappoint at all, but musically this set leaves a lot to be desired.

"African Be Proud" is divided in two segments built around great black men, Marcus Garvey and Malcolm X. The former heads to roots reggae part of the album, while the latter is linked to a more hip-hop oriented approach. Both segments kick off with a speech, before Lutan Fyah drops in. Marcus Garvey's speech is followed by the title track, which is underpinned by an old skool dancehall riddim reminiscent of Sly & Robbie's backing on the 1984 released Black Uhuru album "Anthem". A solid tune with, to our ears, an annoying rock guitar flowing over the riddim. "Uncle Sam's New Laws", coming on the same kind of riddim, is a nice effort, but nothing real special. Then "Long Road", the first excellent track to stumble upon (and we have already reached track 4!!). It's followed by another great effort, "Word, Sound & Power", which comes across Dub Akom's "Vitamin" riddim. It takes some time to appreciate "Poor Man's Privilege" as it has a different vibe, but it's definitely a track that grows on you. "Fall Hard" is one of the best cuts for the majestic "Rastar Riddim" and a joy to have this awesome single on this album. We're not overly fond of the remaining tracks, although the combination tune with Spectacular, "High Grade", and "Ghetto Youths" on the "Red Alert" riddim turn out to be solid efforts.

All in all "African Be Proud" isn't the Lutan Fyah album we have been eagerly waiting for. Jamaican artists trying their hand at hip-hop has never worked and will never work... so what's the use of doing so?!