Title
Artist
Label
Format
Date
  Album review
I-Testament
Capleton
Def Jam Records
CD
13-05-1998


Tracking list

  1. Divide And Rule (Interlude)
  2. East Coast To The West Coast - Featuring D.V. Alias Khrist
  3. Old And The Young
  4. Hurts My Heart
  5. Original Man - Featuring Q-Tip from A TRibe Called Quest
  6. Escape The Judgement (Interlude)
  7. Nah Bow (Do Now)
  8. Steep Mountain
  9. Mark Of The Beast - Featuring Big Youth
  10. No Man Can Save No Man
  11. Movin' On
  12. Ready To Shout
  13. Death Row
  14. Stop The Coming
  15. Love The One You're With
  16. Raggy Road - Bonus track not listed in booklet
  17. Babylon A Use Dem Brain - Bonus track not listed in booklet - Featuring Sizzla.
  18. Free Our Minds
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)

Vocals : 5 Backing : 4 Production : 4 Sound quality : 4 Sleeve : 3/4


This CD is a strong succesor to Capleton's "Prophecy". When "Prophecy" was released every single reggae/ragga lover was very curious about the possible (bad) influences Def Jam would have. The album was more hip-hop orientated than Capleton's pre-Def Jam songs on some moments, but I thought in a pleasant way. Even more scared looks could be seen when people thought that 'Capleton had gone Puffy' on this album, he doesn't sample a famous 80's (disco)song, but takes it further back on "Original Man", built around a sample from Lou Reed's "Take A Walk On The Wild Side", and on "Love The One You're With" by Stephen Stills. The whole album is emphasizing lyrically that Capleton is worthy to be called "the Prophet". He was one of the first former slackness DJs moving away towards conscious themes, and continues to do so. After the opening Interlude, Capleton starts on a slow jam "East Coast To The West Coast" with Def Jam artist D.V. Alias Khrist. The slow Taxi / Sly & Robbie riddim with its prominent piano loop is in a perfect balance with the slow USA rapping style. Then a more Binghi style riddim, courtesy of African Star's Stuart Brown is accompanying the repatriation song "Old And The Young". On "Hurts My Heart" the backing is very much contemporary USA R&B, and here Capleton's toasting is hardly able to rescue the song. It is something you would expect of "Original Man", but the Lou Reed sample suits the whole song and Capleton's voice and lyrics very well. It sounds like there's is nothing abnormal going on when you hear a reggae-DJ together with American rapper Q-Tip toasting over this peculiar sample. After the second Interlude Stuart Brown sets the pace for some hardcore conscious ragga on "Nah Bow (Do Now)", more Binghi-influenced "Steep Mountain", and Sly & Robbie driven Binghi-track "Mark Of The Beast" featuring Big Youth, one of the best selections of this album. The production teams of African Star on "No Man Can Save No Man", "Ready To Shout", and "Death Row", and Taxi on "Movin' On", for which Sly & Robbie re-used their own Dennis Brown "Sitting And Watching" riddim to full effect and "Stop The Coming" fulfill the high expectations. Following this Sly & Robbie provide Stephen Stills' "Love The One Your With" with a reggae feel, and they prove once again, that they are able to reggaefy any given sound. The song sounds more reggae-like than "Hurts my Heart" and "Original Man" and that's pure riddim-twin magic. Next comes the great surpise, everything on this CD indicates 16 tracks, but there are two Bobby Digital productions included as not-mentioned bonus tracks. The strong "Raggy Road" is a wonderful lick over one of the best reggae riddim tracks of all times "Satta Amassa Gana", and Capleton's version is among the top DJ renditions over this riddim. "Babylon A Use Dem Brain" is the superb combination with Sizzla that also is featured on Sizzla's "Black Woman And Child", and is a 'new classic' in my opinion. The last Interlude is unfortunately all that follows. If this album was twice as long, it would probably have been twice as well, because Capleton is an extremely talented DJ, and given the riddims of Taxi and African Star, he is definitely to stay on top for some longer time. Everyone who enjoyed the recent albums of Sizzla, Anthony B. and Buju Banton should give this album a listen (and will almost surely decide to buy it)

Souljah