The Biggest Ragga Dancehall Anthems 2007
October 30, 2007
from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)|
|Vocals : 5||Backing : 5||Production : 5||Sound quality : 5||Sleeve : 3/4|
In the last two years Greensleeves "The
Biggest Ragga Dancehall Anthems" releases obviously weren't only a
pleasant way to collect a great share of the harvest of successful
hardcore dancehall singles for non 7" buyers like me, but seemingly were a
pleasant way to collect revenues from tunes that were and were not
licensed for Greensleeves' Rhythm Album series. Lucky me then, as this has
paved the way for this "The Biggest Ragga Dancehall Anthems 2007" CD, that
is, contrary to the two earlier two editions, but just like its roots
companion "The Biggest
Reggae One-Drop Anthems 2007", not a double CD, but a CD combined with
a DVD. It might have influenced the number of tunes collected here, it
certainly hasn't diminished the quality of the compilation as a whole. But
could the superb level of 2007's roots edition be reached? I was lucky
enough to receive this promo-copy thanks to the kindness of Münster's
reggae (or better: Jamaican music) shop and reliable mailorder Irie Records.|
2007 has been a great year for dancehall in my opinion, with several producers consolidating their position and others challenging their thrones, in the end the usual suspects (including newcomers) have come out on top, even when all have seemed to step into the one-drop arena (with tremendous success for most) as well. With Donovan 'Vendetta' Bennett a.k.a. Don Corleon - who himself decided to adopt another moniker: now listening to Donovan 'The Hitmaker' Bennett - and Stephen 'The Genius' McGregor coming out on top alongside production trio Daseca, there have been great to brilliant riddims from these and from the likes of Dave Kelly, Tony Kelly, Christopher 'Longman' Birch, the Jammy's/Ward 21 camp, Jah Snowcone, Black Chiney, Steven 'Lenky' Marsden, South Rakkas Crew, Michael 'DJ Liquid' Brissett, Arif Cooper and Massive B's Bobby Konders. The album opens with Busy Signal and his massive reality gangster tune "These Are The Days" over a brilliant slow but extremely heavy hip hop inspired riddim by men of the moment Daseca - the Harrisingh brothers together with Craig 'Serani' Marsh - who also provide the brilliant piano intro and accents and dark slow riddim for Bugle's "What We Gonna Do" explaining exercise everyday and I'm still not fit, my kids are hungry and I ain't got s**t making this compilation essential already by only including these two massive tunes. Youngster QQ delivers the nice self-boasting dance tune "Tek It To Them (Rum Ram)" for Jus Kauz Records' Donovan 'Dragz' Rhoden & Justin 'Jus Bus' Nation followed by Mr. Vegas once more showing that he can deliver infectious tunes like no other, as he does here with his dance tune "Tek Weh Yuhself" over Kirk 'Kirkledove' Bennett's 'Dutch Pot'-riddim and Anthony B's (very successful) venture voicing a hardcore dancehall riddim, his former Jamaican Number 1 hit "Tease Her" over a Mario C(ampbell) - Beenie Man's in-house producer - riddim.
Ward 21 alongside Timberlee introduce this lady in a way that makes clear she is up to big things over their own very minimalistic yet extremely catchy 'Rae'-riddim, as Timberlee demonstrates a masterful flow, before Beenie Man delivers one of the best tunes of this set with his impressive "Product Of The Ghetto" over the 'Air Waves'-riddim that the Daseca triumvirate built for Dane 'Fire Links' Johnson and Cham, amidst a string of great tunes, delivers the best tune of all, with his brilliant "Wha Dem Feel Like" over Dave Kelly's 'Overdrive'-riddim, incorporating wicked what the hell the police can do snatches. Vybz Kartel is as is often the case praising (the more intimate parts of) women with great slack lyrics over a wonderful Don Corleon riddim, whose protégé Munga delivers three tunes on this album that are all fabulous, but "Mi Nuh Fraid" over Donovan 'Vendetta' Bennett a.k.a. Don Corleon's 'Artillery' is the standout of these, while Buju Banton rides Troyton Rami's strange but very intriguing 'Bad Dog'-riddim for his "Crazy Talk" on Black Shadow Records. Munga's second contribution to this set is the strong "Own Thing" for Michael 'Liquid' Brissett's H2O Productions (over the 'Blue Tooth'-riddim build by Don Corleon) and Bounty Killer, like Beenie Man celebrating an almost unprecedented successful career in the dancehalls, celebrates being "Still Deyah" over Fire Links' 'Air Waves'.
Macka Diamond's "Hoola Hoop" is a fun tune for Shane Brown's Juke Boxx Productions, making you wonder why she didn't make the big leap forward you'd expect her to have made, followed by Beenie Man's second tune, the masterful "Back It Up", another Mario C production (with Daseca's David Harrisingh collaborating on the riddim) and Busy Signal's "Rising" over Donovan Bennett's only half satisfying (though there's no denying its catchiness) 'Raging Bull'-riddim. Munga contributes another tune over the 'Raging Bull' with his "Earthquake" before Beenieman delivers the last tune of the CD "Give It Up" alongside newcoming female singer Barbee over Mario C's excellent 'Revenge'-riddim.
Instead of a second CD (like the earlier volumes) which would have been my favourite option, a DVD with 8 (rather fine, I'll admit - despite featuring the radio-edits of the tunes, diminishing their lyrical impact - ) videoclips has been included and the selections on the CD really are so strong, that I don't even think not adding another 20 selections on a second CD harms my judgement of this compilation, as this is like its roots companion "The Biggest Reggae One-Drop Anthems 2007" an absolutely flawless compilation of hot tunes.