Mad Bwoy Anju
Drop Di Bass Records - M.B.I.G. Music
October 30, 2008
from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)|
|Vocals : 4/5||Backing : 4/5||Production : 5||Sound quality : 4/5||Sleeve : 3/4|
It's hard to imagine, but almost 10 years after his still
biggest to date "Wha Dis Fadda", this "Mad Bwoy Anju" is the debut album of Kingston born
Lucien Dixon a.k.a. Mad Anju. Anju was originally part of the Main
Street Crew. He wrote songs for the Main Street artists such as Red Rat, Goofy, Buccaneer
and General Degree. But getting a little frustrated led to him forming his own group with
Red Rat, Italee and Red Rat's brother, Genius. They called themselves the Down So Crew and
were together for a couple of years until Red Rat buss with the tune "Shelly Ann". Although
the group split up, Anju's break was just around the corner. He recorded an earlier tune
over a hip hop riddim again over Goofy's 'Ants Nest'-riddim. That song was "Wha Dis Fadda",
and catapulted Anju onto the dancehallscene, in the same year releasing "Nuh Play Chess"
for Red Rat's label Brat Pack over the 'Rat Patrol'-riddim.|
In the 4 years following these 7"s Madd (with double 'd' then) Anju was present on almost every hit dancehall riddim, until he was overtaken by the artist that perfected his style and lyrical skills, Vybz Kartel. But now Mad Anju returns to the scene with this very strong, all new tunes containing debut at full album length "Mad Bwoy Anju" for Drop Di Bass Records in association with the upstart M.B.I.G. Music label produced by Andre 'Freddie Kruger' Lee and Augie 'Dog' Lee. Once more, just like in the Main Street Crew and Down So Crew days, the actual focus of M.B.I.G. Music might be on the two albums released simultaneously, Sizzla's "Addicted" and Spragga Benz' "Protoype", using almost the same set of riddims, but by far the best album of the three is this "Mad Bwoy Anju" as these non standard soca and hip hop tinged dancehall riddims seem to fit Mad Anju's delivery best.
A hip hop tinged riddim with a very nice piano theme backs the first tune "Fucka", on which Mad Anju goes into many a detail describing the people deserving that title for doing things that ain't right, followed by the entertaining crazy steel pan riddim backed "Diane" and "wheel And Turn" on which Mad Anju across a magnificent soca tinged riddim not only delivers his lyrics in his usual (Vybz Kartel style) flow, but switches to heavily autotuned singing and straightforward deejaying for an extraordinary result. The extremely infectious "Bruck Out" is the kind of (slack) tune that will have you move your feet instantly or any other body part if you're seated, before with "Stanley" the rage of OutRage! will be activated, but it is actually a very funny tune. The very catchy "Stop Me If You Can" is the first official single from the album using the brilliant (again partially steel pan) 'Quikness'-riddim.
For a show of the clever lyricism and the skillful delivery by Mad Anju "Ugly Gyal" is a prime example, truly amazing and really only Vybz Kartel would be able to come up with the some flow and lyrics across this riddim. The first of the three combinations on this album features St. Vincent popso singer Kevin Lyttle with a very strong contribution, even outshining both Mad Anju and Haitian born, Florida based Zouk, R&B and pop songbird Patri in the crossover tune "Put Me On". With a well sung hookline and a very nice percussive much more straightforward dancehall riddim backing him, Mad Anju seems almost to be completely freestyling the strong "Try Me" followed by another tune highlighting his strengths as much, the slack "Wine For The Money" and the odd but above par combination "That Girl" performed alongside Kevin Lyttle and Sizzla.
The strongest of the three combinations on the album is however the combination with the lowest profile, featuring Nicco a.k.a. Nikko, a to me unknown US based reggae singer, who truly shines alongside an in form Mad Anju on the (steel pan) ganja tune "Herbs" resulting in one of the album's strongest selections. The album is brought to its close with the very strong social criticism of "Jamaica" Jamaica (with a hint of 'Welcome To Jamrock' in the riddim), the witty "Fatty" (not his "Gimme Fatty" across Downsound's 'The Tape') over Freddy Kruger's weird 'Tec Weh'-riddim and Mad Anju's brilliant tribute to Jamaica's Olympics' 100m sprint heroes Usain Bolt and Asafa Powell in "Who's Fassa". An album for the hardcore dancehall (and Vybz Kartel) fans, but if you happen to be one, you must buy this "Mad Bwoy Anju" album.