Title
Artist
Label
Format
Date

Rasta State
Mykal Rose
VP Records
CD / Digital Release / LP
September 4, 2016

Track list
  1. African Queen
  2. Judgement
  3. Golden Throne
  4. Gimme The Herb
  5. Unity
  6. Hail H.I.M.
  7. Woe Unto Those
  8. Reply From The Queen
  9. Isrealites
  10. Hungryness
  11. Free Education
  12. Peace And Love In The Ghetto
  13. Inna Di Saga
  14. Love, Love, Love
  15. Anything You Want Gal
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Essential -Votes: 0-
Very Good -Votes: 11-
Good -Votes: 2-
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Disappointing -Votes: 1-
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Total votes : 14
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 5 Backing : 4 Production : 5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 5
Mykal "Grammy" Rose has been front and centre recently. Well, he never really left. Throughout his lengthy career, he's been delivering in his Royal manner; either with memorable singles or a slew of classic albums. Speaking of the latter, his widely acclaimed "Sidewalk Steppa" is still in heavy rotation and now "RASTA STATE" has dropped; wisely teaming him up with Lloyd "KING JAMMY" James. The results are spark igniting...

"RASTA STATE" Is definite Jammys family affair. Recorded and mixed at King JAMMY's ever active studio; Mr. James' family are active at this mixing board with his son Jam Two and ably assisted by John John, Baby G and Black Pearl. The Firehouse Crew provides great riddims along with some classic Steely & Clevie musical workings. Steely Johnson (rest in Perfect Love) and Cleveland Browne teamed up with King Jammy on countless productions in the '80s; so fitting to hear the vibrations again. Sax legend Dean Fraser was there during Jammy's heyday and he contributes nicely here. Rich backing vox from The Daffodils add to the atmosphere. Legendary graphics master Tony McDermott and sound specialist Kevin Metcalfe round out this solid project. Maximum respect to King Jammy; he started his musical empire in 1977 in true tradition and is still going strong. The just released "New Sounds Of Freedom" is another testament of his genius. Endurance like this is not easy at all. Royal links in full circle; Prince Jammy (had not been crowned yet) produced Black UHURU's "Love Crisis" in 1977 with Mykal prominent with the Waterhouse vibration.

"African Queen" shows Mykal in kingly character. His regal voice soars above The Firehouse Crew's Digi riddim and is sweetened by great backing vox. Evokes '80s Jammys sound but with fresh urgency. "Judgement" has a powerful message with Dean Fraser's sax appeal adding dimension to a nice reworking of Treasure Isle's "Ba Ba Boom riddim". Things are bubbling on "Golden Throne". "Sitting on his golden throne and deprogramme the United Nations". Totally engaging history lesson on Haile Selassie's power delivered over a sparse riddim that works. "Gimme The Herb" is a standout selection! Yes, Mr. Rose has delivered many a Herb anthem but this is an antheng!! Over a killer musical backbone, he mashes it from start to finish. Boom draw! "Unity" has its moments with Waterhouse wailing and a Steely & Clevie track, but not his best effort. Things are back on track with "Hail H.I.M." Riding the "Ali Baba" riddim, Mykal delivers a pure anthem with sense of purpose. Great production!!

"Woe Unto Those" is classic Mykal Rose with a soulful edge. It opens with spoken edge and makes way for a Dancehall tight excursion with the legend showing why he has one of the most powerful voices in the business. Instant rewind!! "Reply From The Queen" is serious business. With a slight Black UHURU style, he demands repatriation and reminds us with a history lesson. The Daffodils are great throughout and shine so bright on this muscular track. "Israelites" is crucial. King Jammy picked a stellar Steely & Clevie riddim that goes toe for toe with Mykal's pronounced observations on earth crisis. Yes indeed! "Hungryness" shows him navigating a sparse Firehouse Crew riddim with good results. "Free Education" is simply amazing! Riding FRANKIE Paul's classic "Sara" riddim by Steely & Clevie; this Roots artist flows with absolute potency and versatility. "Peace And Love In The Ghetto" is a classic reworking of "Willow Tree" from 1977. Mykal is at his absolute best with great backing from Firehouse Crew. Stunning track indeed. The potency continues with "Inna Di Saga". Mykal holds nothing back with sure Fyah examples about worldwide wickedness. "Love, Love, Love" shows the endless amount of versatility this artist has. Over a bubbling hot riddim, he presents the power of Love in vital manners. "Anything You Want Gal" is a Dancehall excursion. "You see Land cruiser, you ago shiver...". Intelligent arrangements from lyrics to riddim.

"RASTA STATE" is yet another stellar outing from MYKAL ROSE. After over forty years delivering consistently important works, he still has the Zion vision to present King's Music to be embraced for years to come. This reunification with King Jammy and crew proves to be a resounding success. Mykal has an extensive catalogue and RASTA STATE ranks in the top ten all the way. Essential listening. GO DEH!