Various artists album review
Military Riddim
Birchill Music
December 31, 2004

Tracking list

  1. Step Pon Dem - Assassin
  2. 4 Star - Vybz Kartel
  3. Im With The Girls - Sizzla
  4. Swot - Brick & Lace
  5. Warlord Walk - Bounty Killer
  6. Pound Fi Pound - Lady Saw
  7. May I - Ward 21
  8. U A Pro - Sean Paul
  9. Inna Mi Bed - T.O.K
  10. Break His Heart - Mr. Easy
  11. Baby Song - Kiprich
  12. Mr Teki Bak - Macka Diamond
  13. When We R Seen - Cecile
  14. Bun Judas - Beenie Man
  15. Badmine Anthem - Elephant Man
  16. No Want - Chico
  17. Love The Vibz - Voicemail
  18. Goody Good - Tami Chin
  19. T.A.N.Y.A. - Tanya Stephens
  20. Let It Go - Tanto & Devonte
  21. Put Gunshot - Cobra
  22. Juggling Mix - Various Artists (Frisco Kid, Bling Dawg, Wayne Marshall, Shano Jagwa, Bounty Killer, Sanjay, Zumjay, Redray & Damian, Xsytment, Elephant Man & Vybz Kartel)
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)

Vocals : 5 Backing : 5 Production : 5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 5

This 'Military'-riddim, that became big near the end of last year is recorded and mixed by Big Yard's Shane Brown (son of legendary Treasure Isle engineer Errol Brown) who just released 'Klymaxx' for his Juke Boxx label alongside the man who was involved on that riddim as well, Big Yard's big man Christopher 'Longman' Birch - of 'Scorcher', 'Blazing' (the riddim featured on the first (!) Riddim Driven compilation early 2001), 'Bonzi', 'Tunda Klap' (the riddim built for Delano and his Renaissance Crew), 'Career' (built for Troy McLean's First Name Music), and most of all 'Sexy Lady', 'Salsa' and 'Thrilla' fame. Released on Birch's Echo label, this CD now miraculously doesn't appear as a VP Records Riddim Driven album, but on his own Birch Records / Birchillmusic imprint. And it's a killer riddim. Military drumrolls, martial synthi-strings, and this riddim just marches into the dancehalls and settles immediately in your ears and brain when you hear it. A real boom riddim, with a trailorload of strong tunes. Assassin's "Step Pon Dem" and Vybz Kartel's "4 Star" continue the war between them in lyrically strong fashion, before Sizzla's self-boasting "I'm With The Girls" and Brick & Lace's catchy "SWOT" (Sexy Women On Top). Bounty Killer is very convincing as well on course for war in "Warlord Walk", before Lady Saw shows her fighting spirit telling i will fight them "Pound Fi Pound" knock dem out in the very first round. Ward 21 deliver the very entertaining "May I" before Sean Paul once again proves he is a wicked DJ, voicing a current hardcore dancehall riddim and delivering even in a strong selection like this one of the better tunes on it with "U A Pro". T.O.K.'s "Inna Mi Bed" is entertaining from the marching left right intro all the way through the well sung and DJ-ed tune, and so is is Mr. Easy's story about a girl who to make him happy had to "Break His Heart". Kiprich delivers the extremely entertaining "Baby Song" that is too funny not to quote entirely:

The truth is the truth..
Arite, all who lef dem pickney, an nah mind dem
Mek mi tell unnu dis man, the ppl outta road sey dem ago help me find dem (Arite)
Mi ago give unnu di description.... and yu jus bring dem in when yuh see dem
Anywey u see dem a street, Yu know wha mi waan u do (Arite)

Verse 1:
If you see a baby, wey a act crazy an a say 'Mad'... dat a Predator baby
If you see a baby, a sey Cross, Mi Hungry, Miserable.... a Bounty baby (Yallo)
If you see a baby, when him see Ninja Man him start kickin...Kartel baby (Up To De Time)
If you see a baby, wey love ganja tea an chicken...Roundhead baby (Whow)
If you see a baby, kinda ugly an a climb outta crib...a Elephant baby (Shizzle)
If you see a baby, wey mawga till yu all see him rib..a Beenie Man baby (Zagga)
If you see a baby, wit gun pan him thumb a pose, Ninja Man baby (Hol on)
If you see a baby, wey black an a step pan him clothes...dat a ??? baby

Di baby, dem a stray, help mi find dem a road
Di baby, modda dem, dem a cry, every note
Di baby, innocent, nuh throw dem, overboard
Di baby, appreciate, anything you can afford

Verse 2:
If you see a baby, light fiyah, an a jump inna it...Capleton baby (Slew Dem)
If you see a baby, see police face an tump inna it...Alozade baby (Yeeeah)
You see a baby boy, a touch anodda baby boy...A Missa Paul baby (A Who dat)
If you see a baby, a make paper gun fi toy...dat a Adams baby (Buup! Buup!)
If you see a baby, Bobo up an a bun Babylon...a Sizzla baby (Ahhhh)
If you see a baby, a tump an a kick funny man...Buju Banton baby
If you see a baby, fava one young puppy...A Bling Dawg baby (Tweeta)
If you see a baby, sound like one young duppy...Dat a Ghost baby


Verse 3:
If you see a baby, jus born a bawl fi money..Macka Diamond baby (Money Up)
If you see a baby, head big till it all look funny..Jacka Diamond baby
If you see a baby, wey talk from now to next week...A Matterhorn baby (Eh)
If you see a baby, wey strain him voice till him caan speak...Fire Links baby (YEEEEAH)
If you see a baby, yuh gi him money an him doan waan spen it....dat a fi mi baby (Kippo)
If you see a baby, yu tek him tings an him nah defen it...a nuh fi mi baby

And even after a boom tune like that, Macka Diamond still catches the attention, with the strongest tune by a lady on this riddim telling "Mr Teki Back" he will not get it back, staying only just ahead of the aforementioned Lady Saw tune and CÚCile's "When We R Seen" how offensive can this be / if we're showing off our cleavage / why should men look at our feet, and even less in front of Tanya Stephens. Beenie Man with "Bun Judas" and Elephant Man with "Badmine Anthem" both speak out against their haters in strong tunes, before Chico explains in an excellent tune that the women "No Want" no man weh live a mama yard. Newcomer boygroup of the year, mistaken for a solo-singer by many including me till recently, Voice Mail contribute the fine "Love The Vibz", before Tami Chin uses her sexy voice to full effect telling she's not gonna waste any time knowing she's got the "Goody Good". Tanya's "T.A.N.Y.A step on anything in my way is a warning to everyone, that I could use as a dubplate :-) just cause you're wearing camouflage that don't make you no souljah. Tanto Metro & Devonte deliver the excellent just a bit too hardcore to crossover "Let It Go" proving everyone has gone a little more militant on this riddim than usual. Cobra's "Put Gunshot" is the latest proof he is back at the top, before an excellent "Juggling Mix" featuring a few tunes not included as entries on this album by the likes of Frisco Kid, Bling Dawg, Wayne Marshall, Shano Jagwa, Bounty Killer, Sanjay, Zumjay, Redray & Damian, Xsytment, Elephant Man & Vybz Kartel to just enlarge the entertainment value. A killer riddim, that has almost 30 tunes on it, and could have stood more, the only things I can add are: where's the clean riddim version for those not into buying vinyl? and: nevertheless: get this album, it's one of the best hardcore dancehall riddims of 2004, taking us into 2005 full of expectations for Big Yard's next riddim.


/ Souljah Green Beret Productions