The Teacher's Back
Vybz Kartel
Di Genius Records / Big Ship Music / Adidjahiem Records - 24x7 Records / RCA Victor Entertainment
November 19, 2008

Vybz Kartel Track list
  1. Teacher Intro
  2. Dream
  3. Court Case
  4. Addi Addi Addi
  5. Flop DJ (Skit)
  6. Imagine
  7. CosaNostra
  8. Buss My Gun
  9. Teacher Says (Skit)
  10. The Teacher Says
  11. Sexy Seductive Whine
  12. Solomonic (Skit)
  13. Solomonic Chronic
  14. Luxury Love
  15. Love (Skit)
  16. Love
  17. Where Mi Come From (Skit)
  18. Life Story
    Additional Bonus Tracks For Japan (Only)
  19. Broad Daylight
  20. Nah Go Nuh Wey
  21. Tightest Punani
  22. What A Boy Can
  23. Work Out
  24. Bruk Out
  25. Money Fi Spend
Rate this album!
Cast your vote below.

Essential -Votes: 40-
Very Good -Votes: 13-
Good -Votes: 2-
Average -Votes: 0-
Disappointing -Votes: 1-
A Waste Of Time -Votes: 7-

Total votes : 63
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 5 Backing : 5 Production : 5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 3/4
Following his earlier albums "Up 2 Di Time" in 2003 with Vybz Kartel's mainly Donovan 'Vendetta' Bennett productions for the latter's Don Corleon label, which even resurfaced with 5 bonus tracks as "More Up 2 Di Time" and in 2006 "J.M.T." as well as in 2004 the by King Jammy's and his sons produced "Timeless", the latest and probably most anticipated dancehall album ever by dancehall's foremost lyricist Adidja Palmer a.k.a. Vybz Kartel for his own Adidjahiem Records and produced by Stephen 'Di Genius' McGregor for his Big Ship Music has only been released in Japan so far and been unavailable in Europe. Luckily this album has been imported by Münster based Irie Records, the only official outlet outside Japan where you can obtain either this Vybz Kartel "The Teacher's Back" album or the recent superb Lee 'Scratch' Perry & Adrian Sherwood collaboration "Dubsetter". And this 4th Vybz Kartel album (if you don't count "More Up 2 Di Time" as a full album, but just as a re-release of his debut album with 5 bonus tracks) "The Teacher's Back" definitely is an album you want to track down.

A little over 3 years have gone since the release of "J.M.T." and Vybz Kartel is still the ruling dancehall artist in Jamaica, especially since becoming the last man standing when clashing Mavado at Sting this last X-mas. In the meanwhile Donovan 'Vendetta' Bennett a.k.a. Don Corleon has been replaced as the hottest and most prolific producer in dancehall by Freddie McGregor's still very young son Stephen 'Di Genius' McGregor, who has produced every single tune on this album (including the 7(!) Japan-only bonus tracks). Even the "Teacher Intro" develops into a full tune, that is more than worth listening! And after that it's one great aural Vybz Kartel show, kicking off with the truly brilliant "Dream" with its estranging end to the story and the magnificent "Court Case" with its great oldschool bubbling piano chords driven riddim (that seems to have been heavily influenced by - Mikael X' former group - Postmen's "Cocktail") and fitting Vybz Kartel delivery on top. These wonderful tunes are followed by the very entertaining "Addi Addi Addi" and the "Flop DJ (Skit)" seguing into the superb "Imagine".

Vybz Kartel of course initially made his name with both slackness and some extremely violent gun tunes and doesn't shy away from those gun-lyrics here as he shows with the tough "CosaNostra" immediately followed by the even more aggressive "Buss My Gun". On the "Teacher Says (Skit)" he dips into that other territory combining some of his most famous slack lyrics in "The Teacher Says" to full effect, addressing the girls (and their vaginas ...) further in the almost subdued "Sexy Seductive Whine". Lacking only then is the ganja tune, but that is taken care of with the "Solomonic Skit" in which Adidja takes on the role of an officer and Portmore Empire's Earthworm that of an artist under the suspicion of carrying ganja followed by the phenomenal ganja-anthem "Solomonic Chronic" with its news-flash samples on marijuana near the end of the tune. Strange but never completely out of place (because of Vybz Kartel's delivery) is the mid-tempo piano-ballad "Luxury Love" and then the ultra-violent "Love (Skit)" precedes the R&B-ish partly (well) sung "Love". The "Where Me Come From (Skit)" and very personal "Life Story" over another R&B-influenced riddim end what can only be described as dancehall's strongest concept-album so far by its wickedest lyricist over up 2 di time (pun intended) riddims by its currently hottest producer.

But the Japanese version of "The Teacher's Back" doesn't end here, as it includes some of the more familiar tunes by Vybz Kartel over Stephen McGregor riddims from the last couple of years, the heavy gunman tune "Broad Daylight" over the 'Day Break'-riddim, the self-boasting "Nah Go Nuh Weh" over the 'Chiney K'-riddim and "Tighest Punani" a.k.a. "Bedroom Tsunani" over a dominant keyboard(stab)s driven relick of 'Day Break', that shows that it's not just the lyricism but also Vybz Kartel's flow that make him dancehall's reigning king. "What A Boy Can" is an extremely violent but once more also extremely well deejayed tune over the 'Shadow After Dark'-riddim followed by the call for sexexercise "Work Out" that gave Di Genius' 2008 riddim its title. Vybz Kartel & Stephen 'Di Genius' McGregor even show that Elephant Man isn't the only one able to use disco-riddims and hooklines as Vybz Kartel cops the melody of "Saturday Night Fever" for a tribute to tightness over the wonderful '2070'-dancehalldisco-riddim for "Bruk Out". The dark 'Bee Hive'-riddim brings this album to a close completely with oldschool-scratches underpinning Vybz Kartel's mi want "Money Fi Spend". A true masterpiece this "The Teacher's Back" album that no dancehall aficionado can afford to miss!