Charm-Jet Star
March 20, 2007

Track list
  1. Tug-Ga-War
  2. Tugg Loving
  3. More Di Merrier
  4. Tugg Story
  5. Give Thanks And Praise
  6. Hold Di Faith
  7. Request To The Farmer
  8. Try Me feat. Sara Jane
  9. Pretty Fly For A White Guy
  10. Hey Baby Don't Cry
  11. I'm Not Joking
  12. Grade
  13. Fi-Dayz feat. Toofree
  14. The Surf
  15. Jiggy Tuggy
  16. London Anthem feat Coco B
  17. Love Is Better Than War feat Coco B
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 3 Backing : 3 Production : 3 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 2/3
When digital reggae started to rule the dance halls in the second half of the eighties a white guy from London named Dominick managed to gain a notable place amongst his Jamaican counterparts and he actually was the only white artist to record for King Jammys. Almost two decades after Dominick appeared on the scene there's another white guy, raised in a predominantly West Indian community in North East London and calling himself Tuggawar, who tries to take his place amongst today's topnotch Jamaican dancehall artists.

After learning his craft on a small, north London sound system and by listening to tapes of favourite UK sounds Unity and Saxon, Tuggawar (born to Greek and Irish parents who gave him his real name Neofytos Neofytou) left for Kingston in 2001. First, he was imprisoned in Spanish Town jail for six months, where he was called on stage at a show held for the inmates (by Jah Cure, no less), and spotted by Sean Paul's father. The latter introduced him to Roy Francis of Mixing Lab, who produced his first single, "Hot Gal". Friendship with Lexxus then resulted in Tuggawar performing at shows all over the island, including Sting two years running, as well as a management contract with renowned JA promoter Isaiah Laing. He also recorded for a number of other producers in Jamaica. Reports of his thrilling and explosive live act on a series of major annual dances in Jamaica alongside artists such as Beenie Man, Elephant Man, Vybz Kartel, Capleton, Bounty Killer, and Sizzla raised expectations further.

However, Tuggawar's 17 track debut set, which was largely produced in collaboration with Jet Star's Danny Ray, fails to make a good impression, even though this album has it moments. Most of all this collection of tunes lacks originality and identity. Tuggawar shows that he hasn't managed to set himself apart from his Jamaican counterparts. On the contrary, backed by sometimes real weak backdrops along with tried and trusted dancehall riddims like for example "Stepz", "Military", "Baddis Ting" and "Wipe Out" he delivers predominantly mediocre efforts. Besides that his patois, most likely to give his songs a real Jamaican flavour, certainly needs improvement or, even better, should be dropped. Nevertheless a few tracks are nice to hear including his former single "Tug-Ga-War", "Tugg Loving" across Computer Paul's "Spirit" riddim, the herb tune "Grade" and the combination with Sara Jane entitled "Try Me".

Real curious to see what becomes of Tuggawar in the near future. Is he hyped and will he vanish from the scene real quick or is he going to take his place amongst the big shots because he's an exceptional talent? Time will tell!!