Various artists album review
Riddim Driven ~ Maybach 365
VP Records
July 27, 2004

Tracking list

  1. Intro - Wyclef Jean
  2. Maybach - Buju Banton, Major Damage & Benzino
  3. Hot Girl - Wayne Wonder & Zumjay
  4. Sex On My Mind - T.O.K.
  5. Remedy - Vybz Kartel
  6. When You See The Stars - Tony Panic & Event
  7. Afterparty - Red Fox feat. Mr. Easy
  8. Old Dog - Mad Cobra
  9. She Wanna Be My Love - Yami Bolo
  10. Run Back A No Gal - Danny English
  11. Hater - Gabriel
  12. Baby - Geego
  13. Hot Plate - KC Jockey feat. Kiesha Martin
  14. Unhappy - Major Damage
  15. Party Going On - Rally Bop
  16. Whoo Yooo - Red Rat
  17. Material Girl - Twice feat. Iceman
  18. Mek Dem Crazy - R. Manni
  19. 'Maybach'-riddim version
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)

Vocals : 4/5 Backing : 5 Production : 5 Sound quality : 4/5 Sleeve : 3

Straight out of Brooklyn comes VP Records' latest addition to the Riddim Driven series. Produced by Winston 'Cry Baby' Ashman and Raymond 'Benzino' Scott alongside Hangman 3 for Bad Cat Records, this is a hip-hop influenced riddim, with great piano accents and guitar riffs that will make a big impression in the hiphop-dancehall crossover scene as well as in the pure dancehall scene. After Wyclef Jean's melodic "Intro" it's the gunshot ornamented pumping title track "Maybach" on which Buju Banton comes on very strong alongside Major Damage and co-producer Major Damage. As impressive is Wayne Wonder & Zumjay's "Hot Girl", where there's more emphasis on handclaps than on gunshots, before an even more impressive "Sex On My Mind" by the hottest crew in dancehall for a while already now T.O.K. Then Vybz Kartel tells the girls that if their boyfriends have no flex he knows and is the "Remedy", a theme he also uses in his ""If U Man Nah Sow No Seed" over Germaican Records' Pionear's 'Messer Banzani'-riddim. Lots of New York City (newcoming and better known) artists here, lots of US rap influences, like Tony Panic - associated with the Bronx' John Shop, like Zumjay, Future Troubles, and Major Damage these days - & Event who deliver "When You See These Stars" in a fine hybrid US/JA style. Red Fox DJs alongside the very well sung vocals by Mr.Easy and is hardly told apart from Shaggy on their "After Party" which could easily hit the mainstream charts with the right promotion. Mad Cobra is very convincing when he explains why he did his wife's best friend in can't teach an "Old Dog" new tricks counteracted by beautiful female vocals and Yami Bolo is absolutely superb in "She Wanna Be My Love", known to many by Cocoa Tea's rendition as "More Than Just A Lover". Danny English is normally best put to use in combination, but proves he can deliver fine solo tunes with "Run Back A No Gal", but man, will his throat ache at the end of the day. Gabriel is speaking out against the "Hater" who think they can stop him. "Baby" is a very fine tune by newcomer Geego, before veteran NY DJ KC Jockey, who is about to release his album "The Gal Dem Jockey" after the recent release of one riddim album "Gwaan Hype" on his own Sweet Sadie Records recently, teams up with Kiesha Martin, who is his "Hot Plate" here. Major Damage has a solo tune as well on the the riddim and that's the excellent "Unhappy" about women complaining too much. Rally Bop seems to have found new fuel for his career in NYC, as he disappeared after a rise from 1997 to 2000's Champion In Action in Jamaica, but hasn't been heard much of after that, but "Party Going On" might not be innovative enough to change it with a bang. Red Rat is like Mad Cobra and Mr.G a.k.a. Goofy one of the veterans voicing a lot of tunes again recently, and is doing the entertaining "Who Yooo" in which he uses that unique famed by Bob Marley sing-along phrase to the max, while staying true to the style that made him famous earlier on in the verses. "Material Girl" is a very fine combination by Twice and Iceman, NOT based on Madonna's song, which is almost becoming a unique feature in dancehall these days. "Mek Dem Crazy" has an almost jazzy vibe mix, well suiting R.Manni's DJed lyrics about the wickedest ride. And although not mentioned on the backside or in the booklet, the album closes with a clean version of this excellent, different from the current JA riddims, jazzy hiphop dancehall "Maybach 365 Rhythm".