Riddim Driven ~ 2 Bad Riddims Volume 3: Eighty-Five & Stage Show
VP Records
December 12, 2006

Track list
  1. Fight Over Man - Spice
  2. Later Fi She - Black-Er
  3. Anywhere We Go - Assassin
  4. Grab Yu Hood - Spice
  5. Bring It On - Cham feat. Majic Massey
  6. Desperate Scenario - Pinchers
  7. Orphan - Yellowman
  8. Ghetto Story - Cham
    'Stage Show'-riddim
  9. Rude Boy Love - Spice feat. Pinchers
  10. The Enemies - Pinchers
  11. Good Over Evil - Assassin
  12. Rude Boy Pledge - Cham
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 5 Backing : 5 Production : 5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 3/4
One of the wickedest producers, though one of the least prolific, ace producer Dave Kelly of Madhouse, known for his quality riddims including 'Pepper Seed', 'Bug', 'Backyard', 'Arab Attack', 'Bruk Out', 'Joyride' and 'Fiesta', more than a year ago released his dancehall conquering, extremely impressive as the review of the maxi-CD 'Eighty Five'-riddim made clear. Rather slow (82 bpm), simple, but very effective and building pressure and tension, it was pure wickedness, with his female protegé DJ Spice coming on strong in her Me's a girl mi nuh "Fight Over Man" / from mi likkle bit a jus so mi tan / dis ya gyal only wah gi him one / afta dat him tun fool cah him just get di bomb / tight pussy gyal nuh fight ova man / a everybody know she we a name brand / when mi a wine mi gi di wickedest slam / so mi sorry fi di gyal dem out deh whe nah nuh clam, Black-Er's - the former Blacka Ranks - very convincing "Later Fi She" and Asassin's excellent boast "Anywhere We Go" and another tune by Grace Hamilton a.k.a. DJ Spice, who propelled to the top of the female DJ ranks in 2004 with "Fix Mi Good", but then was away from exposure till her recent "Guilty As Charged" on DJ Sunshine's Don Corleon built 'Justice'-riddim, delivers the even slacker than her first tune "Grab Yuh Hood" making clear what she wants and doesn't want encouring All a mi ghetto man dem / de real ole garrison youth dem / all a mi tuggy tuggy / shatta from yuh neva walk a de back door to Grab up yuh hood an push yuh inna de air / cau yuh neva put yuh hood deer roun de rear / yuh wuk gyal mek dem bawl yuh nuh care / cau yuh neva put yuh hood deer roun de rear. That other Dave Kelly protegé and Madhouse stalwart, Baby Cham, shares his first tune on the riddim with singer Majic Massey for the "Bring It On", followed by the very strong Pinchers reality ghetto tune "Desperate Scenario" and the one tune not included on the EP (where all tunes but "Ghetto Story" were only maximum 2 minute edits), Yellowman's more than solid "Orphan". Closing the selection over the 'Eighty-Five'-riddim is the absolute killer tune on the riddim, and one of the killer tunes of 2006 for sure, actually a classic by now, Baby Cham's superb more than 5 minutes bewitching "Ghetto Story",
This a survival story, True ghetto story
This is my story, Real ghetto story

I remember those days when Hell was my home
When Me and Mama bed was a big piece a foam
An mi never like bathe and my hair never comb

with its chorus:
Wi get di ting dem
Dem outta luck now
Mi squeeze seven and the whole a dem a duck now
Wi have whole heap a extra clip cau we nuh bruk now
Wi get di ting dem, So dem haffi rate wi
Cau we a tek it to them wicked of lately
And now the whole community a live greatly

So impressive is this tune still, that it's unbelievable, even though every tune over this riddim is a killer and now finally available on CD at full length, though still no clean version is included. The second riddim is the equally impressive 'Stage Show', sounding like a slowed down version of his Dave Kelly's own 'Joyride' with steel pan backing and working extremely well on all 4 versions. The superb combination of Spice with Pinchers results in the extremely catchy "Rude Boy Love" with Pinchers peaking as smooth lovers singer and Spice's slack lyrics mingling with these. Pinchers solo tune "The Enemies" is sounding almost as strong and it solely depends on my mood which of the four tunes on this riddim I prefer. As Assassin's "Good Over Evil" is yet another big scorcher and this (all too short) album is brought to a close by Baby Cham's magnificent "Rude Boy Pledge" with its brilliant intro:

The road to success is not straight, there's a curve called failure
A loop called confusion, speed bumps called friends
And red light called enemies, caution signs called family
And flat tires called jacks, but if you have a spare called determination
And an engine called perserverance, with insurance called faith
And the drive to make it, you'll reach a place called success
Can you hear me?! Dat one yah a fi di ghetto youth dem
Yo star this a murder! Man a ghetto youth fi life, yo

and its brilliant chorus following the riddim of the backing vocals on all 4 tunes da / da / dadadada:

I, can-not forget where I come, from
No 'mount of money can't change, man, still blaze di skunk
But some leave di ghetto get rich and turn punk
But I, won't, forget my roots cause I, don't, worship money
That's not what counts, kill or be killed
Somehow I love to buy mama house pon di hill

A must have album with Dave Kelly's brilliant productions, but still, I'd love to have heard more versions over both riddims and the clean versions of the riddims. If you buy only one 'one(or two)-riddim' album with hardcore dancehall a year, make sure this is the one you buy this year.