DJ Legend
Papa Michigan
Flash Hit Records
Digital Release
October 21, 2014

Track list
  1. Wah Mi Come From
  2. Original Ina Town
  3. DJ Legend
  4. Hi Grade
  5. People Rise feat. Yami Bolo
  6. Dance Nice All The Time
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 4 Backing : 4/5 Production : 4/5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 4
Foundation deejay Papa Michigan (real name Anthony Fairclough) comes up with a brand new (digital) release aptly called "DJ Legend", a 6-track EP produced by Flash Hit Records in association with Manudigital and Michigan's own Rashanco Music. Previous releases from Flash Hit Records, a reggae music label founded in 2011 and based in the south of France, include Stitchie's single "War Path" and the juggling projects "Make It Gwan" (2012), "Worldwide Love" (2012) and "Pretty Looks" (2014).

The deejay duo of Papa Michigan & General Smiley popularized the 'combination' style at the close of the 1970s. They recorded their first number 1 hit single, "Rub A Dub Style", at Studio One over the "Vanity" riddim (known from Alton Ellis' rocksteady classic, "I'm Just A Guy"). Their next single for Studio One, "Nice Up The Dance" on the "Real Rock" riddim, was an even larger hit. The duo's call and response style was influential on the future developments of Jamaican music, which then saw the emergence of other deejay duo's such as Joe Tex & U-Black, Nigger Kojak & Mama Lisa, and Peter Metro & General Lucky. By 1982, Michigan & Smiley caught the attention of Henry "Junjo" Lawes, for whom they recorded their biggest hit, "Diseases", over the "Mad Mad" riddim. The last of the ground-breaking duo's hit records was "Sugar Daddy", released by RAS Records in 1983.

The formula of two deejays playing off each other remained popular until the digital age of the late 1980s, when it was superseded by another sort of combination: that of the deejay and singer teams. Michigan & Smiley eventually parted and both continued to perform and record as a solo act. In the new millennium Papa Michigan, who sometimes uses aliases such as Baddingo, Baddingo Michigan and Bad Bad Baddingo, released a few albums including "The One And Only" (2000), 'It'z All Good" (2004), "Love Iz" (2009) and "Empress By My Side" (2011).

This "DJ Legend" mini-album sees Papa Michigan going back to the days when he used to deejay in the Jamaican dance halls and that's a good thing. Built by musicians such as Loc "Kilo" Wostrowski, Romain "O'Maley" Germerie, Emmanuel "Manudigital" Heron, Alexandre Vial, Cedrik Ynesta, Cy'Real, Mathieu Bost and Thierry "Titi" Gau, most of the riddims featured here have an early 1980s feel and vibe. However this doesn't imply that it's a strict vintage sound the listener is treated to as the riddims are laced with contemporary elements.

The EP opens with the pretty good sounding "Wah Mi Come From", in which he tells the story of his own career over a blistering riddim. In the lyrics of this tune you hear him mentioning two of his monikers, Papa Michigan and Baddingo, when he refers to himself. Also in the following tracks he continues to call himself Baddingo. "Original Ina Town" is a good effort dealing with him being a veteran deejay, the true superstar, who comes to ram up the dance from start to end. The title track "DJ Legend", across Flash Hit Records' remake of the Heptones' "Pretty Looks" riddim, is a standout effort... Wheel & Come Again! The ganja anthem "Hi Grade" drops a very different vibe as it comes across a relick of Dave Kelly's "Joyride" riddim from 1996. Also the decent EP closer "Dancehall Nice" has that same kind of vibe. One collaboration here and it's a truly wicked one. The rootsy "People Rise", with a guest appearance of Yami Bolo, is a winner, a song that urges repeated play.

In all a good collection of tunes from a true living legend for dancehall addicts. Do check it!