Pray Fi Di People
U Roy
Soulbeats Records
November 1, 2012

U-Roy Track list
  1. Love Questions feat. Marcia Griffiths
  2. Pray Fi Di People
  3. Borderline feat. Chezidek
  4. Three The Hard Way feat. Tiken Jah Fakoly & Balik
  5. Call On Jah feat. Professor
  6. Ebony Eyes feat. Winsome Benjamin
  7. Cheating Girl feat. Ernest Wilson
  8. Got A Date feat. Sophia Squire
  9. Pumps And Pride feat. Tarrus Riley
  10. Power Of Love feat. Bitty McClean
  11. Reason With Jah feat. Horace Andy
  12. Ungrateful Girl feat. Richard Robinson
  13. War Question feat. Chezidek
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Cast your vote below.

Essential -Votes: 8-
Very Good -Votes: 3-
Good -Votes: 4-
Average -Votes: 0-
Disappointing -Votes: 0-
A Waste Of Time -Votes: 0-

Total votes : 15
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 5 Backing : 5 Production : 5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 5
There's a select few Reggae legends that have endured the many "changes inna the dance" and are still able to keep Jah Musik burning brightly in the 21st Century. Sure, Horace Andy, Burning Spear, Israel Vibration and Dr. Alimantado come to mind. Then there is "The Originator" "The Godfather" -- Daddy U Roy. The artist responsible for toasting as we know it and whose influence has spanned the Globe in many facets of music. 51 years after starting at Dr. Dickies Dynamic Sound System, he has stepped back into the studio and created an instant classic, "Pray Fi Di People".

Ewart Beckford was born on Sept 21, 1942 in Jonestown, Jamaica. He started dabbling in sound systems in the early 1960's before honing his undeniable skill at Coxsone Dodd's Number Two Sound System (King Stitt was at Number One). He then linked with a young King Tubby at Duke Reid's Sound System as Mr. Ruddock was inventing the first incarnations of Dub Musik. Incidental, U Roy's first notable song was "Earth's Rightful Ruler" recorded by a young Lee Perry alongside Peter Tosh! U Roy's output then exploded with "Dynamic Fashion Way" (1969) produced by Keith Hudson. The following year, he mashed up the charts with the timeless "Wake The Town" and "Wear You To The Ball". He became an international sensation as a result.

The artist's link with producer "Prince" Tony Robinson and contract with Virgin cemented his original legacy. Classic albums like "Dread In A Babylon" (1975), "Natty Rebel (1976) and "Jah Son Of Africa" (1978) demonstrate his ability to version great songs in his conversational low and high DJ style. Nobody has been able to match this fashion. Popularity intact, his output slowed in the 1980's but notable cuts include "Love Is Not A Gamble" (1980) and "Line Up And Come" (Tappa,1987). The Mad Professor teamed up with him for the monster "True Born African" (1991). The new millennium showed no signs of stopping U Roy. Tabou Records released two great albums, "Serious Matter" and "Now", which showed the artist shining with the likes of Dennis Brown, Ernest Wilson and Alton Ellis. His most recent efforts have been "Rebel In Style" (Mediacom) and "Old School New Rules" (Ariwa). Perhaps his most unique recent collaboration was with fusion group Love Trio in 2005.

"Pray Fi Di People" is a concept that has been U Roy's formula for decades. Team up with artists, young and old, and revisit their songs and throw down original style galore. The opening track, Love Questions with Marcia Griffiths is a total feast. He glides effortlessly alongside one of the sweetest Queens in Reggae Musik on top of a crisp and precise riddim track. The title track harks to a youthful sounding U Roy. At 71 years young, he puts nuff energy into a song that pleads for help for the underprivileged and tolerance for all. Top that with great guitar work and backing vox. Borderline with Chezidek (from Chez's Sly & Robbie Presents album) truly shines here. Chezidek is truly a gifted Jah soldier and U Roy offers up his positive lyrics like a true veteran. Doesn't hurt to have a crackin' Taxi Gang backbone on this yah one. THE most unique track is Three The Hard Way with Ivory Coast's hero Tiken Jah Fakoly and Danakil's Balik from France. The result is a mesh of English, French and Dyoula over a spirited world beat riddim -- this song is destined for the ages. U Roy has guested on Tiken Jah's previous albums and you can sense certain camaraderie here. Groundation's Harrison Stafford guests on Call On Jah; a great spiritual workout fueled by Niyabinghi fya and a potent musical basket from the Godfather. Cheating Girl features the smoky vocals of ex-Clarendonian Ernest Wilson (who showed up on the 'Serious Matter' album) and the conversational heartbeat from U Roy. Two legends complementing each other flawlessly! Ebony Eyes is revisited nicely with the help of songstress Winsome; great haul and pull approach. This is a prime example of how U Roy can combine with any artist to great success!

Back in 1971, U Roy versioned Alton Ellis Baby, I've Got A Date to a great degree. Decades later, the anthem is visited again with the help of rising star Sophia Squire. This is a trip down the King's Highway with no off ramps! Precise delivery from all involved; fantastic keyboards and drums to boot. The Maytals' Pumps And Pride is treated with raspect with the help of the amazing Tarrus Riley. Jimmy's son just gets better and better and is able to keep up with U Roy's rapid delivery. Bitty McClean guests on Power Of Love; a take of a track on his massive 'Movin' On' album. U Roy allows the young crooner to shine and offers up enough power to fully transform this great song. So nice to hear the Sly & Robbie fueled riddim again -- massive tune! The legend Horace 'Sleepy' Andy is brilliant on Reason With Jah. A reworking off his 'Livin It Up' release, Horace's command of the mic is parallel with U Roy. Once again, Sly & Robbie and crew offer up another crucial riddim. Newcomer Richard Robinson is able on the timeless Ungrateful Girl. U Roy just reinvents and reinvigorates an already great song. The album closes with another outing with Chezidek; the reality filled War Question.

U Roy has captured his five decades of experience into an album for the ages. He has the ability to draw in the listener and won't let go. To see him on stage will alter one's existence on Jah Creation. To hear him on record will have you cry for more. He has influenced so many DJ's and Rappers alike but he is The Originator and always will be. "Pray Fi Di People" is the ultimate celebration from a man who chats love and affection and is adored in every nation. "Pray Fi Di People" is not just a new U Roy release but a heartical event for years to come. Go deh!!