Bobo Ashanti

Track list
  1. The World
  2. Courage
  3. Whether Or Not
  4. Grow U Locks
  5. This Day
  6. Attack
  7. Glorify
  8. Wicked Naw Go Prosper
  9. Good Looking
  10. Do Good
  11. Strength & Hope
  12. Children Beware
  13. Must Rise
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 4 Backing : 4/5 Production : 4/5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 5
Twenty-three year old Miguel Collins - better known as Sizzla - began to develop his own uncompromising style whilst serving his musical apprenticeship with the Caveman Hi-Fi sound system. He kick-started his recording career with a release through the Zagalou label, before he teamed up with Bobby "Digital" Dixon for a series of remarkable singles. 1996 marked an important turning point for Sizzla who began working with producer Phillip "Fatis" Burrell of Jamaica's foremost modern roots stable, "Xterminator". A run of successful singles led to the release of Sizzla's debut album, "Burning Up". The alliance again proved fruitful a year later with the follow-up, "Praise Ye Jah". "Be I Strong", "Kalonji" and "Royal Son Of Ethiopia" were the next albums Sizzla recorded with Phillip "Fatis" Burrell. And despite the fact that Xterminator and other record labels unleashed a huge amount of albums and singles in a short period of time the success story continued. Besides his albums for "Xterminator" Sizzla also recorded two albums with Bobby "Digital" Dixon - the incredible "Black Woman & Child" and "Good Ways" - and both made a serious impact as well. Some five years after he first attracted attention with his debut album, Sizzla has secured himself a position as a top conscious reggae artist, which is underlined by his brand new album, "Bobo Ashanti".
The inclusion of five excellent pieces, five solid efforts and three mediocre tunes makes that this album can be qualified as a strong effort. Sizzla's current hit single "Attack" and his previous singles "The World" and "Strength & Hope" are featured alongside such great fresh material like "Whether Or Not", "This Day", "Glorify", "Wicked Naw Go Prosper" and "Children Beware".
"Bobo Ashanti" opens gloriously with the "The World" (a call to conquer the evil west by rejoicing in Rastafari), showcasing Sizzla lyrically and vocally at his best over an appealing fresh roots riddim. Then "Courage", a solid delivery - incorporating a lilting guitar hook - in which Sizzla delivers an appealing plea for truth. "Wether Or Not", which is underpinned by a fine modest riddim, belongs to the kind of tunes that benefit from Sizzla's lyrical potential. Punching dancehall riddims are the vehicles for songs like "Grow U Locks", "Good Looking" and "Attack". "Glorify" is a roots killer delivered over a typical Xterminator riddim wich incorporates wicked horns parts. High quality standards are maintained in "Wicked Naw Go Prosper", "Strength & Hope" and "Children Beware".
The R&B-influenced "Must Rise" is the closing track of an album that incorporates the common themes; Babylon's corrupting influence, the disenfranchisement of ghetto youth, oppression of the black nation and an abiding faith in Jah, all delivered in Sizzla's well known tone and musical styling over impeccable riddims laid by such excellent musicians like Sly Dunbar, Donald Dennis, Gramps Heritage, Chris Meredith and Anthony Mills.