Talk The Truth
Tippa Irie
Lock Down Productions-Greensleeves
June 29, 2007

Track list
  1. Intro Mixed By Soulforce
  2. The Neighbour Next Door
  3. Lyric A Rhyme
  4. Retail Therapy
  5. Lyric That's My Hobby
  6. Not Afraid 2 Die feat. Chali2na
  7. Talk The Truth
  8. Selecta Fred
  9. Ah Ho
  10. Badda Badda
  11. Come On feat. Chali2na
  12. Peace feat. Elephant Man
  13. Flaunt It feat. Errol Reid
  14. Pick Up My People
  15. Wine Up Your Body feat. G-Vibes
  16. Psalm by Daddy Rusty
  17. Free Up feat. Frankie Paul
  18. Everyday
  19. If Only
  20. The UK
  21. What If
  22. Tell Dem
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 5 Backing : 4/5 Production : 5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 4
Anthony Henry a.k.a. Tippa Irie emerged from England's Saxon Sound International - the star-studded travelling sound system that has been at the forefront of the U.K. reggae dancehall scene for the past 25 years and helped launch the careers of artists such as Maxi Priest, Papa Levi and Smiley Culture. Tippa Irie was part of the new generation of British MC's who developed the 'fast talking' chatting style which today can be heard in modern day rappers like Busta Rhymes. Tippa toured extensively with his friend and long-time sparring partner, Pato Banton, throughout the 80s including an appearance at Jamaica's Reggae Sunsplash and their U.S. debut tour together. The U.K. DJ duo of Tippa Irie and Pato Banton had become one of the genres favourite combinations. As the 90s began, the dynamic duo pursued their solo careers. Over a decade would pass before Tippa & Pato would reunite in the studio with legendary singing sensation Peter Spence to produce "The Good Old Days"--a track featured on Pato's 2000 Grammy-nominated "Life is a Miracle" and Tippa's "I Miss" tribute album to his late and great sister/MC Miss Irie.

Tippa Irie has produced fifteen albums to date and has a string of number 1 hit songs to his credit including "Hello Darling", "Raggamuffin Girl" (featuring Peter Hunnigale), "Stress" (featuring Lloyd Brown), "Superwoman" (featuring Winsome), "Baby I've Been Missing You" (featuring Janet Lee Davis) and "Shouting for the Gunners" alongside Peter Hunnigale. In the early 2000s Tippa was called back in the studio again by the Long Beach Dub All Stars to record "Life Goes On" featuring Half Pint and Jurassic Five's Charli2na. Impressed with Tippa's rapid-fire lyrical arsensal, Jurassic Five asked Tippa to record together and the end result was a wicked Tippa and Charli2na combination entitled "The Struggle". The rap world took notice and soon enough Tippa was once again summoned to record with some of the music industry's biggest stars. Tippa was eventually nominated for a Grammy in the Best Rap Song category for his collaboration with Black Eyed Pea's Will-I-Am on "Hey Mama".

On this latest album "Talk The Truth" Tippa's most recent tunes are presented by Greensleeves, in collaboration with LockDown Productions - founded in 2007 by Tippa Irie (C.E.O, Recording Artist), his manager Dominic Walch (M.D.), John Baker (Producer & Engineer, Office) a.k.a. John J 'Baker' Black and G Vibes (Recording Artist, Producer & Engineer), devoted to real authentic urban music and conquering the borders between reggae/dancehall and hip hop, with this album by its C.E.O. being the first release -. Immediately after the wicked "Intro" (with among others David Rodigan and General Levy bigging up his fellow UK MC) mixed by Germany's SoulForce over a bouncing 'Sleng Teng' version it's business with "The Neighbour Next Door", a very entertaining recut of his late 80s chartbuster "Complain Neighbour" over Curtis Lynch Jr.'s 'Mad Dreadlocks'-riddim, laid for Curtis' Necessary Mayhem label, like the three excellent tunes following this tune. "Lyric A Rhyme" is his relick of his Saxon Sound 1984 classic, this time across the 'Electro Agony'-riddim, "Retail Therapy" the also lyrically very entertaining take on the 'Retro Sess' before this Necessary Mayhem segment is closed with "Lyric That's My Hobby" riding the 'Get Flat'-riddim.

King Bread's Mathew takes over for the production of the bubbling "Not Afraid 2 Die" alongside Chali2na, former member of rap group "Jurassic 5", as well as original member of "Ozomatli", before Goldmine's Steve Clark & Dennis Jarrett are at the helm for the production of the titletrack "Talk The Truth" over a great subsonic bass driven riddim with bhangra-influences and the 'UK riddim twins' Mafia & Fluxy" also incorporate bhangra accents for their productions of the truly amusing "Selecta Fred". Lockdown Productions' own 'Club'-riddim, produced by Glen Greaves and John 'Baker' Mitchell alongside Mafia & Fluxy backs "Ah Ho" full of hitpotential and the Heywood brothers also produced the strong "Badda Badda". Chali2na makes a second guest-appearance on this album and he proves he really can ride a dancehall riddim again on the Vitamin D produced hip hop tinged dancehall tune "Come On" - on which Tippa's flow and lyrics seem to have been the major influence for "Ready Fi Tippa" over Pow Pow's 'Follow'-riddim before Elephant Man joins Tippa Irie for the call for the Goldmine produced "Peace" (with angelic female backing vocals) and former China Black lead singer Errol Reid contributes his sweet vocals to the wonderful "Flaunt It" on which Errol uses the melody of Lionel Richie's "All Night Long" circling around Tippa's rhymes.

On "Pick Up My People" - for which a video has been shot by Ras Kassa - Tippa delivers his lyrics with an almost lazy flow over Peter Hunnigale's production incorporating a sample of American R&B group Jagged Edge's 2003 song "Girls Gone Wild", a remix of the riddim Peter used for his own "Pull Up A Chair" on "Rhythm & Song". Then the very catchy ska song "Wine Up Your Body" (with an undeniable "Oh Carolina" vibe) alongside labelmate G Vibes over Peckings' 'Dormin'-riddim steals the show. Tippa Irie's former Saxon Sound fellow crew member Daddy Rusty contributes a "Psalm" before often overlooked veteran Frankie Paul teams up with Tippa for the fine "Free Up". Then Pow Pow Movement's Ingo Rheinbay takes over for the great "Everyday" over 'Blaze', "If Only" over 'Superior' and the superb "The UK" over 'Shanty Town'. Lockdown Productions own John ''Baker' Black' produces the once more truly entertaining "What If" before Lockdown Productions other producer G-Vibes shows his production skills on the rootsy slow paced "Tell Dem" to finish an extremely satisfying album by this veteran UK MC of whom I never get tired. It's almost unbelievable that a DJ (for singers it's in my opinion no exception) after almost 25 years as a recording artist still sound so fresh as Tippa Irie does, all the more reason to get this album.