Own This Life
Raz Bin Sam
Blaze Fire Music/DasVibes Productions
July 20, 2009

Raz Bin Sam - Own This Life Track list
  1. Crazy For Righteousness
  2. Pull Up
  3. What's The Matter
  4. Mist In The Jungle
  5. Livin Like That Featuring Jah Mason
  6. No Pagan
  7. Own This Life
  8. No Place In Our Hearts
  9. Clean N Pure For Sure
  10. Life Is A Gift Featuring Ray Darwin
  11. Gevald
  12. Something To Remember
  13. Sweet N Vicious
  14. Soul To Sound
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 4 Backing : 3/4 Production : 4 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 4/5
Raz Bin Sam is a energetic Jewish artist who comes from a small town in the centre of Israel. Inspired to shed light on his people’s story he moved to Australia to produce his works in English aiming to spread good vibes in combination with his view about the situation in Israel and the Middle East. His first album was released in 1999, called "Kivsayat" (which is in Hebrew ). Further albums followed, in 2002 "Domesila", 2005 brought us "Bin Tote Too" and in 2007 he came up with and EP called "Raz Bin Sam & the Lion I Band" featuring riddims of Raz Bin Sam's own band Lion I.

Raz Bin Sam is working his live shows with two different outfits. He has teamed up with Selecta Major Krazy to form Blaze Fire Sound, a traditional dancehall style sound system. They have played at 4ZZZ Market Day festival 06, Splendour in the Grass 07 and shared stage with Reggae super stars Jah Mason and Chaka Demus & Pliers. Raz Bin Sam is also the front man of the 5 piece original reggae/dancehall band Lion I. The band uses a combination of roots, dancehall and Middle Eastern rhythms. Raz Bin Sam and the Lion I band have billed at numerous festivals including Exodus 06, Splendour in the Grass 06, Beats On The Beach 07, Brisbane Multicultural Festival 07, the White Party 07 in Sydney, Boost Mobile Surf Show 08, Brisbane Fest 08, NZ Freeski Open 08, Exodus 09, Byron Bay Writers Festival 09 and shared stage with international artists such as Mos Def, Matisyhau, dancehall star Tippa Irie, reggae superstars Luciano, Mikey General and Ricky Trooper.

In July 2007 Raz Bin Sam has signed with Jamaican label 'DasVibes Productions' to become one of their team artistes alongside some of the biggest names in the game such as Daddy Rings, Gentleman, Elijah Prophet and others. In May he unleashed his latest effort called "Own This Life".

The 14 track album features 11 productions by Melbourne producer Mista Savona, while the rest is done by Israeli producers Sabbo & Kuti and English producer Stephen Mosco of Jah Warrior Records. The first single of the album Something To Remember was released in July on DasVibes and went straight in at No.1 on the US Independent Reggae Charts. The second single from the album Life Is A Gift featuring Jamaican reggae artist Ray Darwin was released in Feb 08 and was selected for the CD compilation of the April 08 edition of Riddim Magazine, the number one reggae magazine in Europe. It's a fine roots tune, well worth checking out.

The album is a mix of reggae and dancehall tracks flavoured with some hip hop beats and heavy Middle Eastern influences. Crazy For The Righteousness is an interesting tune, the riddim reminds us of Jackie Mittoo's 'Drum Song' and is a good example how Middle Eastern influences work fine with a reggae beat. Pull Up is a powerful dancehall tune, again with a good injection of Middle Eastern music. Next comes a traditional reggae tune called What's The Matter. A weaker tune is Mist In The Jungle a tune across a Middle Eastern riddim.

On Livin Like That Raz Bin Sam teams up with Bobo dread Jah Mason. Both vocalists have an almost identical energetic vocal delivery and the two of them together makes a good rootical dancehall tune. We like the next tune to the max, it's a solid roots 'n' culture one drop tune called No Pagan. The title track Own This Life tells us to stay strong and positive, saying that life is a miracle and a blessing so people should appreciate and make the most of it. "Morning prayer makes me feel the best" referring to Jewish rituals that he practices and are the tools he uses to keep himself on the right track.

No Place In Our Hearts sees producer Jah Warrior and Raz Bin Sam both in good shape. The riddim is called 'Creation' and the song is definitely above average. Clean N Pure For Sure is a disappointing, over the top hip hop/dancehall tune. Skip it. Traditional and a little dubbed up is Gevald. The same vibe carries over Something To Remember. Sweet N Vicious is far too much guitar driven while Soul To Sound is an appropriate ode to the music itself. Good vibes in that tune!