Ras Lett
Phatjam Records
December 11, 2015

Track list
  1. Life In De Ghetto
  2. No Reason To Fight
  3. Roof Over My Head
  4. Wicked People Raging
  5. Love Will Never Leave Us Alone
  6. Stop The Gunshot Blazing
  7. Sincerity
  8. Bright Side Of Town
  9. Today Is Today
  10. Virtuous Woman
  11. Raging Dub
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 5 Backing : 4/5 Production : 5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 4
How good and pleasant it is to sight a committed Roots artiste rise from strength to strength. A Rastaman whose been waiting for the right time to deliver a top flight album fit for the international arena. Talking about Trinidad's RAS LETT; Rootsman on the local scene and ready for the world. He's linked with D SILVER's Phatjam Records to release his "official" debut, "SINCERITY". A project that's sincerely engaging and vibrant from start to finish.

RAS LETT is a humble messenger hailing from Gasparillo, Trinidad. He immersed himself with lyrics and riddim from an early stage and is a master craftsman in masonry, painting and other trades. His urgent works have garnered a massive local fanbase and a constant presence in the indigenous charts. His timeless hit, "De Money" (reviewed on this site) topped the charts for weeks and created well deserved acclaim. The international community took notice, including UK based Phatjam Records; founded by the veteran artiste/producer D SILVER (David Sylvester). Ras Lett has released prior albums - "Bright Side Of Town" (2008) and "Oppression" (2012) - but these crucial works were only released locally. "Sincerity" is deemed his debut because of it's international availability on leading digital platforms (iTunes, etc). D SILVER is a multi talented musical ambassador whose musical Roots started at Notting Hill Carnival Sound Systems back in the '80s. He has been producing/recording since the mid '90s; linking up with the likes of Roger Robin, Tippa Irie and Peter Hunningale. He formed Phatjam Records with true vision and this project is a showcase of his experience. Expect big things in the future.

"Sincerity" is an international project for sure. Ras Lett recorded his vocals at Nerukhi Studio (Trinidad); a musical hub operated by Nerukhi Ato Osei (another massive local artiste). D Silver created the crucial riddims at Phatjam Records Studio Lab (London) and mixed/mastered the tracks in fine style. Ras Lett displays his bass/riddim guitar skills on "Virtuous Woman". Great backing vox provided by Ras Lett, D Silver, Candice Lett and Nikeisha Pierre. Upfront cover design by UK based Lyrical Jamzz. This Royal project began in November 2014 and firmed up in August 2015. A well planned out project indeed.

"Life In De Ghetto" shines with musical and lyrical fyah! Over a forward Dancehall riddim, Ras Lett offers up biting reality in fine chanting style. Throughout his career, he has naturally carried a David Hinds (Steel Pulse) quality in his original style and this is nicely evident on this powerful track. "No Reason To Fight" is serious anthemwise. This tuff track is blessed with D Silver's killer keyboard work and Ras Lett's vocals echoes experience and wisdom. Totally Heartical!! "Roof Over My Head" loosely pays homage to the Mighty Diamonds classic. The rich riddim is in place and Ras Lett's dread vocals are engaging and urgent; beckons memories of his earliest works. Total flow of lyrics to riddim (D Silver is an innovative riddim builder and mixes so nice). "Wicked People Raging" is absolute brilliance. We are treated to a granite UK Steppers riddim that Ras Lett rides with resonating David Hindsesque power. Boom! The magic continues with "Love Will Never Leave Us Alone". An intoxicating and true Love ode that's ripe with smoothness and lyrics like "hot like pepper, never gonna surrender". Excellent arrangement and mix.

Ras Lett is an observant messenger and this rings so true on "Stop The Gunshot Blazing". Riding an appealing riddim, he delivers a Roots "antheng" of the highest degree. This thoughtful track is blazing with masterclass on all levels. The title track is sincerely fantastic! A true Lover's ride that incorporates the riddim from Barrington Levy's "Robin Hood". An innovative mix that allows the poignant and heartfelt lyrics to seam just right over the thunderous riddim. "Bright Side Of Town" is standout selection. This gem was initially released back in 2008 and is vital here. His flawless statement on the perils of city living is sweetened by a richly textured musical backbone. Pure Zion sounds predominant here. "Today Is Today" is a Skanking delight. This track has an ethereal quality and is serious reasoning from start to finish. "Virtuous Woman" is Lovers Rock inna Trinidad style. Ras Lett is well versatile to the core and he gives it up on this instant rewinda! Great bass/riddim guitar work from the singer and D Silver's bubbling is top notch. We close with "Raging Dub", a bin shaker that showcases the mastery of D Silver at the controls. This Dub is totally original but has the power of Alpha & Omega or Nick Manasseh's finest work. Crisp and tasty treatment.

RAS LETT's "SINCERITY" is a success on all levels. It takes a truly talented Roots artiste to international exposure. It's a testament to hard work and determination paying off. This album is a great example of how singer and producer hold mutual respect; this is felt throughout. A totally satisfying set that touches on Roots to Lovers in dynamic style. Highest recommendation. Go DEH.