Album review
Restored My Soul
Magic Rocker
Toonga Records
06 - 04 - 2002

Tracking list

  1. Restored My Soul
  2. Love "U" To The Maximum
  3. Wake Up Africa featuring Black Santino
  4. Hola My Bonita
  5. Temptation Pressure featuring Frankie Paul & Ladina
  6. Nice & Slow
  7. Last Warning
  8. Don't Say Something, featuring Robbie "G", Kyas, Sane Dogg.
  9. Listen
  10. Rude Boy
  11. Oh No, No, I
  12. Yonuvii
  13. Beautiful Cinderella
  14. What's Your Name, featuring Armah Peeno
  15. Ganja Anthem
  16. Praise Him
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)

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

Richard Ackah Essien was born and raised in Ghana West Africa and immigrated to the United States with his mother in 1988 at the age of 18. He is a world and self-educated scholar, who has also excelled as a dancer, soccer player, and creator of fine art. He followed his aspirations te be a discjockey and started investing his money in vinyl records to equip himself with the latest music in case he got his first break. His breakthrough came when the Equator Club approached him, where he became their resident D.J. for 3 years. He gave the Equator Club a place among the top World Music Clubs in the world. During the experimental stages of the equator club he shined like a star. He became a d.j. for a childrenís show called "Elma and Company" on Chicago cable T.V. and also was a host Reggae Riddims as a video jockey (V.J.). Magic could also be heard as a D.J. around Chicago clubs, sometimes 3 to 4 clubs a night before dawn, including the Equator, the Riviera, the Wild Hare, Warehouse, and Serengetti. He worked as a D.J. in Chicago, New York, Indiana, and Dallas. Because of his creative D.J. abilities, Ben Osafo and Valeda Williams took him under their wings and taught him the art of writing music. In 1998 he recorded his first album entitled "Back to His Roots", with songs like: "Bedroom Worker", "One More Chance", "Pretty Woman", "Something is Going On", and "Alla Trick". In addition to his musical abilities, he is a Chicago Cab driver, and owns his own construction company where he is a union tile layer, carpenter, and painter. Before the release of his first album, his mother died. He put the album away for a time. After the burial of his mother, he started writing songs on a project he called "Finally". By the conclusion of the album, due to spiritual growth brought on by hardships endured during the albumís creation, the title had evolved into "Restored my Soul".
The 16 track album sees Magic Rocker deejaying in a gruff baritone, similar to Prince Far I's style and, more recent, in the tradition of Tiger, Buju Banton and Shabba Ranks. Magic Rocker uses several musical styles such as Dancehall, Hip-Hop, African music and Reggae and this results in an album with a lot of variety with an unmistakable African beat. It takes some time to get used to his music and his vocal delivery, but after spinning the record several times the music definitely grabs you! He enlists two of reggae's biggest names : Frankie Paul and Michael Rose. The song Temptation Pressure with Frankie Paul (and Ladina) is a standout track on the album, but Rude Boy, the duet with Michael Rose makes the most impression. Instrumental samples taken from Bunny Wailer's 'Dance Floor' form the steady basis for the wicked uptempo song Oh No No I. Next to rootical and spiritual themes you'll also find here some fine lovers tunes such as Love U To The Maximum, Beautiful Cinderella and Nice & Slow.
This album is truly well worth checking if you are looking for original tunes, delivered by a singjay with a distinct and inimitable vocal style and bubbling scats.

Teacher & Mr. T.