Title
Artist
Label
Format
Date

Riddim Of Life
Kenyatta Hill
Honest Music
CD / Digital Release
December 15, 2014

Track list
  1. Afrikan
  2. Pressure Drop feat. The Archives
  3. Jah Is My Friend
  4. Take Man Fi Granted
  5. Sorry
  6. Blessed Herb
  7. Blessed Herb Dub
  8. Pressure Drop Dub
  9. Jah Is My Friend Dub
  10. Afrikan Dub
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 5 Backing : 5 Production : 5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 5
Many Roots Reggae messengers have flown home to Zion. Their legacy carries through their body of work and fortunately, many children of these luminaries have continued true works. Consider The Marley Family, Andrew Tosh, Aaron Silk (brother of Garnett), Addis Pablo and KENYATTA HILL (to name a few). Yes, the son of the late, great Joseph Hill, original frontman for the iconic harmony trio CULTURE. He has just released his third offering "RIDDIM OF LIFE", a deeply Rootical affair that is a "slice of Mt. Zion"...

Kenyatta Hill's career is one that the cap fits. It started the day Joseph flew home to Mt. Zion on August 19, 2006, while on tour in Germany. Kenyatta was firmly rooted as the band's sound engineer and it was a natural choice for Kenyatta to step front and center to honor his father and complete the tour. He delivered 19 amazing performances to finish out the tour. His stage presence and delivery was met with well deserved acclaim. A U.S. Tour (with Beres Hammond) ensued to rave reviews. Had the great fortune to witness this tour and will never forget the power and conviction! He released his debut "Pass The Torch" (Tafari, 2007) that featured Joseph's last songs and his amazing first tracks. In 2011, he linked with veteran Dean Pond to release "Live On - A Tribute To Culture" (Rymshot) that showed absolute maturity and masterful interpretation of Culture's classics.

"Riddim Of Life" links Kenyatta with an incredible Roots pool. The connectivity of Mr. Hill and Christos DC (Chris Vrenios) makes perfect sense. Christos and Honest Music have been releasing ites music for quite a while now. This year's "Long Road" (reviewed here) is an immaculate example of the quality of work! This set features many of the same musicians as on "Long Road" and that is a GREAT thing. Drums by the late Style Scott, Blackseed (The Archives, Culture) and Justin Matthew Cooney. Bassies are the legendary Flabba Holt, Ricky Swann, Stephen Samuels and Justin Parrott (Claudius Linton, Archives). Guitars are licked by Dalton Browne, Christos DC, Mateo Monk (Archives). Keys are bubbled by Earl Michelin, Darryl Burke (G. Isaacs, Moja Nya, Archives), Roots Ital and Desi Hyson. Great hornsmen Joseph Brotherton, Herb Scott and Brian Falkowski add depth. Percussion is by Chritos DC, Ken Joseph, Mark Miller and Congo Sanchez. Kenyatta recorded and mixed the bulk of the album at Honest Music with the magic touch of Jim Fox at Lion & Fox Studio (responsible for so many RAS Records classics and longtime friend of Culture). Great dubbing from Yves and David Duke (The Giants), Jah Servant and Dub Architect. Please note: The Archives are a side project of the world famous Thievery Corporation. The Archives released their self titled debut in 2012; an amazing work!! The musicians involved with Kenyatta's project draw on years of experience with Reggae Music's most prolific artists.

Afrikan is simply amazing! An incredible ode to The Motherland and Rastafari; Kenyatta offers vocal prowness equal to his father. He offers that and originality over a flowing riddim fueled by bass power and Blackseed's taut drums. Just a stellar track all the way!! Pressure Drop is intoxicating. Featuring the incredible backbone of Archives sound, Kenyatta royally depicts the perils of Babylon with AUTHORITY and seasoned emotion. This is poetic prophecy that will command your attention! Jah Is My Friend shows the continual maturity of this messenger. Featuring Style Scott/Flabba Holt and Dalton Browne and Joseph Brotherton's emotional trumpet; this is an instant classic that brims with superior songwriting, delivery and the soulful vocals of Christos DC. Roots Reggae doesn't get more true than this! Standout in every aspect. Take Man Fi Granted continues in a Zion vein. Harking memories of Culture's classic "One Stone" album, Kenyatta chants in a versatile style about the schisms of dealing with others. True message indeed. The magnitude of word and sound has dynamic power. Sorry displays the diversity of Mr. Hill. A mindful song inspired by his wife; there is true nature and emotion throughout and will reset your mindset. Blessed Herb is a regal song that carries the legacy of Culture. Not a stereotypical Ganja anthem; just a true statement of the perfume of Mt. Zion and it's true purpose. Standout selection.

The latter portion of the album consists of great Dub country. Blessed Herb Dub is courtesy of Jah Servant, winner of Dub-Contest, who treats the track with class and vision without breaking the musical backbone. Pressure Drop Dub is a boomshot. Featuring the mastery of The Giants' Yves and David Duke (who released "Reel I-II Adapted Chapter: one of 2014's finest Dub albums). The track is given a golden touch that embraces true Dub tradition. Jah Is My Friend Dub is seasoned by Dub Architect, who adds great dimension and depth to a great riddim. Afrikan Dub is ethereal! Dub Africa (also the album's graphic designer) does a great job and keeps organic theory in motion.

Kenyatta Hill's "Riddim Of Life" is honest music all the way. He is able to keep us reminded of his father's legacy while intertwining his own blessed originality. The riddims he worked with are of masterful nature. There's a constant feel of authenticity from start to finish. Kenyatta sings with a style that goes well beyond his years; a seasoned approach that draws you in. 2014 has been a banner year for Real Authentic Sound and this offering ranks at the very top of Roots albums thus far. Highest recommendation. GO DEH!!!