Tracking list - Disc 1 : The Beginning
from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)|
|Vocals : 4||Backing : 4||Production : 4||Sound quality : 5||Sleeve : 3/4|
To make your debut with a 2-disc set may rightly be qualified as an unique event, 'cause it doesn't happen that often in music business. Widely regarded as one of Jamaica's hottest dancehall stars right now, Baby Cham is one of the few reggae/dancehall artists - if not the only one - who made his debut with a double CD. Born Dameon Beckett, 23-year-old deejay Baby Cham has emerged as one of the most celebrated deejays in recent times. At the age of seventeen he started his recording career with his first song called "Shoot Out" for Shelly Power. This 1994 released tune wasn't very successful, but things changed when he teamed with Spragga Benz in 1995. They recorded the combination tune "No Coco Mania" for Donovan Germain's "Penthouse" label and saw it becoming a big hit in Barbados. However, it was not until late 1995 that the Jamaican public began to show Baby Cham some attention due to to release of the Dave Kelly produced song " The Mass", which actually became Baby Cham's very first hit single in Jamaica. From then Baby Cham's association with Dave Kelly and the Madhouse crew proved a winning formula as the hits kept coming. With tunes like "Many Many", "Funny Man", "Que Serra (Bumper Cart)", "Gallong Yah Gal" and the anthemic "Ghetto Pledge" delivered over the acclaimed "Bug" riddim, Baby Cham definitely established himself as a big gun in dancehall business.|
On the first disc of this set, entitled "The Beginning," one gets an entertaining musical overview of Baby Cham's rocketing career. Featured are Cham's very first Jamaican hit single "The Mass" and, of course, the one's that followed including Cham's boom tunes "Que Sera/Hottie Hottie Crew" utilizing the "Bashment" riddim, the combination tune "Funny Man" on the enormously popular "Joyride" riddim, his best-selling single to date "Gallang Yah Gal" over the "Showtime" riddim, "Boom" on the "Bruk Out", "Boom Tune" across the "Backyard" riddim and the anthemic "Ghetto Pledge", which is delivered over one of the best dancehall riddims of 1999, the infamous "Bug" riddim. All pieces are stamped with Dave Kelly's signature sound: innovative, cutting-edge riddims infused with surging bass and catchy hooks. Also included here is Baby Cham's controversial smash, the Tony "CD" Kelly produced "Desperate Measures", the deejay's challenge to the Jamaican system performed over the "Kiki" riddim. Disc one rounds off with three new pieces : the excellent "Ma People" and the hot new tunes "Babylon Bwoy" and "Man & Man", both voiced to Kelly's newest hit rhythm, "The Bounce".
On disc two the listener gets nothing less than a whole new direction for dancehall reggae. Time will tell if producer Dave Kelly - who is deservedly regarded as an innovator and trendsetter - has successfully succeeded in his attempt to change the dancehall music, like for example the late "Junjo" Lawes did almost two decades ago. The "Another Level" part of this set showcases Baby Cham performing with the same energy and power that brought him fame and success, however the groove and thus also the vibe is a different one. The riddims incorporate heavy doses of hip-hop, R&B, and soul, while guest appearances by Foxy Brown on "More" and Shaggy & Hope on "High Rollers" bring some pop influences to this production. And although the pairing of Baby Cham with Bounty Killer on the awesome "Another Level" cut seemingly heralds the arrival of the new dancehall music as expressed through the chorus lines "Me an' my crew, we're on another level. Can you hear the new sound?", the conclusion that dancehall reggae has really reached its turning point, will fully depend on to acceptation and appreciation of dancehall fans worldwide!