October 16, 2011
from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)|
|Vocals : 4||Backing : 3/4||Production : 3/4||Sound quality : 5||Sleeve : 3|
"Xterminate Hate" is the long awaited debut album from singer Ras Obi, who hails from the Ibo tribe of Nigeria, West Africa. Born on the 5th Of February, under the spiritual tribe of Joseph. Professionally Ras Obi is a male nurse, and through his profession he met the legendary BB Seaton, who came to his ward at the hospital with a bout of meningitis. This was where it all started when BB Seaton realized that Ras Obi wanted to get involved in the music business as a singer/songwriter. He then made Ras Obi a promise that he would record a track with him when he recovered from his illness.
And so said so done as the first single "I Won't Cry" was recorded and released in 2004. Ras Obi's second single "Touch My Hand" was produced by BB Seaton & Marc Ismail, while Chris Copeland produced his third single "Each & Every Day", which was released in Canada. In the following years Ras Obi has been working on his debut album with BB Seaton as his main producer
The album's Side One takes off with the BB Seaton & Marc Ismail (of the Swiss label Soul Of Ambessa) produced previous single "Touch My Hand", a great tune which comes on the solid "Shuttle" riddim. The latter, a 70s rockers style riddim, was recorded in 2006 at the Mixing Lab studio in Kingston JA by musicians such as Dwight Pinkney, Sly Dunbar, Keith Francis, and Ansel Collins, and mixed by Errol Brown. Next comes the solid "Ras In Every Country" on an original vintage riddim (way back then recorded and mixed by King Tubby & Monnei Lamar), actually paired with the matching "Dem Never Glorify" on a 2010 released double-A sided 7" vinyl single.
Then the partly spoken, partly sung cultural piece "King Of Glory" makes a decent impression. The next three tracks are expertly mixed by veteran Errol Brown, with the above par "African Love" coming across an updated version of The Gaylads' "Africa" (intro is a sample of one of the earlier versions of this tune). Compared with the preceding tracks, the dancehall fueled "Don't Be Offended" and, to a less extent, "Credit Crunch" carry a different vibe. Nice efforts, but not really worth of playing them over and over again.
The other side of this vinyl album has a more contemporary sound throughout. Despite a few real good efforts it's not the strongest part of this record. The roots tune "Flash Your Locks" is a solid piece, which is followed by three tunes that deal with matters of the heart. Ras Obi's debut single "I Won't Cry" isn't a fully satisfying effort, but things get better with the more convincing lovers tunes "You're A Teaser" and "You're Not The One". The solid "Lord Of My Righteousness" marks the return to conscious roots tunes. Musically and lyrically the title track "Xterminate Hate" fails to make a decent impression and more or less the same goes for "Thank You Father".
Ras Obi is certainly an artist to look out for in the near future, even though he has delivered a somewhat unbalanced debut album.