Album review
Toe 2 Toe Vol. 6
Vybz Kartel & Elephant Man
Charm-Jet Star
December 14 - 2003

Tracking list

  1. War On - Elephant Man
  2. When Bad Man Drive - Vybz Kartel
  3. Bedroom Slam - Elephant Man
  4. Fashionable - GirlVybz Kartel
  5. Dem She - Elephant Man
  6. Hot Girl - ForeverVybz Kartel
  7. Lights, Camera, Action - Elephant Man
  8. Up To The Sky - Vybz Kartel
  9. Property - Elephant Man
  10. Tek Nuh Bungs - Vybz Kartel
  11. Fan Dem Off - Elephant Man
  12. Love The Girls - Vybz Kartel
  13. Somebwoy Wife - Elephant Man
  14. Weed Partner - Vybz Kartel
  15. Escalade Bumper - Elephant Man
  16. Wild, Wild West - Vybz Kartel/ Frisco Kid
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)

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

On Volume 6 of Jet Star's "Toe 2 Toe" series, two of Jamaica's hottest dancehall acts fire lyrical salvos in their inimitable hardcore style in this head to head – or toe to toe, as it were. With at least two international hits and regular appearances on MTV to his credit, Elephant Man will need little introduction to most dancehall fans. Who after all doesn't know his signature phrases "You should know!", "Yep!" or "Shizzle Mi Nizzle!"?! Raised in Seaview Gardens, deep in the West Kingston ghetto, Elephant (real name O’Neil Bryan) started his career at King Jammy's studio in Waterhouse, where he first found recognition as a member of the Scare Dem Crew. Early solo recordings released during the mid-nineties by his friend Bounty Killer proved he had the style, voice and lyrics to make it on his own, but it wasn't until later on in the decade, after the break-up of Scare Dem, that he really took centre stage. In the few short years that have passed since, Elephant Man aka Ellie has become one of the biggest names in dancehall, releasing literally dozens of hits and reinventing himself as "The Energy God." Blessed with a distinctive, rasping delivery and a seemingly limitless supply of melodies, he’s easily the most inventive and comical dancehall star around. Passion, reality and humour are his stock-in-trade where lyrics are concerned, and the glorification of dancehall's sexier attributes - including all the latest dance moves - is the main reason for his huge popularity amongst the dancehall massive on the Island and worldwide. Take the tune Fan Dem Off for instance, which finds him reworking the chorus from Survivor's "Eye Of The Tiger" across Builders' popular "Gallop" riddim, or Lights, Camera, Action, which flashes instinctively brilliant rhymes inspired by the name of Big Jeans' producer Eric Delisser. A real big tune here is Somebwoy Wife, voiced over Annex's "Gold Mine" riddim, while Escalade Bumper from the Jet Star Riddim Rider album "Sweat" is a dancehall killa tune! Furthermore The Energy God delivers two electrifying battle cries, War On and Dem Seh.
Vybz Cartel meanwhile, definitely is the Island's latest dancehall sensation and another famous protégé of the Warlord, Bounty Killer. Hit duets with Bounty and Wayne Marshall helped forge his early reputation around the time of the millennium, and the Portmore raised deejay has continued to blaze an impressive trail of dancehall anthems ever since. Greensleeves has just released this wordsmith's excellent debut set "Up 2 Di Time", an album that proves that he's got what it takes. Here he delivers hits like Fashionable Girl which comes across D. 'Unicorn' McMurray’s sparkling "Hindu Storm" riddim. He's in good shape performing the cut Up To The Sky, riding Annex's "Gold Mine" riddim. Inna wild and wacky fashion he spits out When Bad Man Drive By a tune across the "Gallop" riddim.
Heard in tandem and on eight essential hitshots apiece, these two twin peaks of dancehall currently have few equals. Catch them now before they pass clean out of sight, and thrill to the sounds of some rawbone ragga hits made especially for hardcore audiences. Who in the end wins? You decide!!

Teacher & Mr. T.