Roots And Culture
Cool Breeze Records
August 28, 2011
from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)|
|Vocals : 4||Backing : 4||Production : 4||Sound quality : 5||Sleeve : 4|
The deejay with the powerful "Rock Stone Voice", Ruff Scott aka "Mr. Reality', was born in Manchester JA, but relocated to Brooklyn NY at the age of seven. His microphone mastery follows in the footsteps of his older brother, Scotty Ranks, a deejay whose life was taken before it's time. In tribute to his brother, the young Ruff took his brother's name and began to work non-stop on developing his many talents. Although one may recognize influences of Tiger and Shabba Ranks when hearing Ruff Scott's vocal tones, the key figures in his musical life are Yellowman and Brigadier Jerry. In 1991 Ruff Scott released his first single titled "Riot", a response to the Rodney King verdict in Los Angeles.
Several singles followed, the most well known of which was the 1995 released "Spider's Web", and the international release on Easy Star Records "What Goes Around". He opened up for artists such as Yellow Man, Dennis Brown, Marcia Griffiths, Sugar Minot, Sister Carol, Carlene Davis, Beenie Man, Bounty Killer, Ken Boothe, U-Roy, Twinkle Brothers, Shine Head and Yami Bolo among others. Ruff Scott also performed in various clubs in New York. The recordings for his debut set "Pray To HIM" took him to the Selah Studio in Hawaii, where he teamed up with The Heartical Crew.
For his current album 'Roots And Culture' he teamed up with the ambitious record label Cool Breeze out of New York. The album brings us 18 tracks of conscious lyrics and refreshing music which was produced and arraigned by Julien C. Paul. You either love or hate the raw and authentic vocal delivery of Ruff Scott, but the man is a real singer, backed by real instruments and a heavenly sounding background vocalist. The album sees Ruff Scott displaying his ability to handle several music styles in good fashion, because 'Roots And Culture' offers a variety of reggae and Caribbean sounds, such as roots, dancehall, soca, ska and even contains some rhythmic R & B overtones. In most cases this mixture of styles on one album results in a unbalanced set, but in this case Ruff Scott manages to come up with a diverse and refreshing album.
The first tune is the key song of the album. Roots And Culture is an impressive conscious anthem that should be heard by all reggae fans worldwide. At first we had our doubts about He Is Real, but after spinning it a couple of times it became one of our favourite tracks on the album. The lovers tune Make You Smile sees Ruff Scott in a more mellow mood. The same theme returns in the tune Miss Fantastic, although here Ruff Scott focuses on the 'gorgeous physique' of his empress! The fast paced tune Tell Dem Fi Gwaan reminds us of the speed-rap style of the UK deejays such as Smiley Culture. Great track! More memories came up when we spinned Zoom (Get De Broom. This tune brings back memories of Yellowman when he was ruling Jamaica.
As mentioned before, Ruff Scott isn't afraid to change styles. Don't Waste My Time is a fine genuine soca tune, while Crying is a straight one drop reggae tune, dealing with the people's need for peace and justice. The same goes for the rasta tune Red, Gold and Green. If you love ska, don't forget to check out Good Vibration, a riddim filled tune that makes you wanna dance. The jumpy tune She is clearly influenced by the soul/funk sounds of the 70's, a fine crossover song. Ruff Scott also knows how to deliver a decent dancehall tune. Fans of dancehall will certainly appreciate the tunes Action and Tell Her Again.
The album was recorded in several studios in New York. 'Roots and Culture' features musicians such as Freddy McCondichie on the drums and Aya Kato on the keyboards, Sherard Harris on guitar while Julien C. Paul lays down the notable base tracks. Background vocals where performed by the angelic sounding Empress Idama.
Do check it out! Have a listen to the album mix here below.
Here is the link to the shop where you can buy the album: