Ghetto Man Skank
Ranking Toyan
Roots Records
November 5, 2007

Ranking Toyan - Ghetto Man Skank Track list
  1. Rock it
  2. Nice It Up
  3. Palaving Spree
  4. Raving
  5. Ghetto Man Skank
  6. Back To Jamdown
  7. Gwan A Dance
  8. Proud A Me
  9. Praise Him
  10. Super Duper
  11. Two Bad DJ Afi Talk feat. Jah Thomas)
  12. Black A Fe Me Beauty feat. Jah Thomas)
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 4 Backing : 4 Production : 4 Sound quality : 4 Sleeve : 3/4
Ranking Toyan was born 1961 in Jamaica and started his career deejaying for several sound systems, e.g. Killimanjaro Sound, where he worked alongside with his friend Jah Thomas. He owed his first success to producer Henry 'Junjo' Lawes, who introduced him to a wider market with the Greensleeves album "How The West Was Won". At this time the face of Reggae was changing, the fresh sound of Dancehall was pushing the established Rockers to the margins. Once "How The West Was Won" hit the streets Toyan began to tear up the place, tunes like "Spar With Me" and "Pants And Blouses" (see also "Spar With Me", rereleased on VP'S reissue label 17th North Parade) followed.

Meanwhile he was still chanting with Jah Thomas at various dances in Kingston. Jah Thomas was not only a DeeJay, he also was a top class producer and his label "Midnight Rock" was fast becoming one of the places to be on the dancehall scene. Teaming up on several records like Two Bad DJ Afi Talk, which is featured here as a bonus track, 1983 finally was the time for a "Ranking Toyan" album on Midnight Rock. The hottest band in the early 80's in Jamdown were the Roots Radics, Flabba Holt on the bass ("Prince Far I" called Flabba the baddest bass player ever) and Style Scott on the drums were the riddim masters at this time. So without doubt the Radics had to be the backing band for the "Ghetto Man Skank" album, Channel One had to be the studio and King Tubby's had to be the place were the mixing was done.

After more than 30 years Roots Records has rereleased this album in 2006. "Ghetto Man Skank" is one of the classic DJ albums from this era, full of 'bimmmms!' and 'bong-diddleys!' and slow classic riddims from the Radics. Stand still walking arms swinging is the only cool dance for nice tunes like Rock It (on the "Pretty Looks" riddim), Nice It Up (on Linval Thompson's "Six Babylon"), Palaving Spree (with Little John), Ghetto Man Skank and Proud A Me. The language and riddims are pure nostalgia for fans of the era and a must have release for them. Some are saying "Ghetto Man Skank" is Toyan's best album, the reviewer thinks "How The West Was One" is the one that you need from Toyan and "Ghetto Man Skank" (like "Spar With Me") is "only" a good Toyan album.