Riddim Driven ~ Rub-A-Dub
VP Records-Groove Attack
April 8, 2008

Morgan Heritage - Riddim Driven: Rub-A-Dub Track list
  1. I Am Not Afraid - Etana
  2. Di Plane Land - Richie Spice
  3. Same Old (Story) - Capleton
  4. Nothing To Smile About - Morgan Heritage
  5. Striving - Anthony B
  6. Gunz Out - Nesbeth
  7. Most High Jah - Fantan Mojah
  8. No Frighten Wi - I-Octane
  9. We're Gonna Make It - Teflon
  10. Never Lost My Way - Ginjah
  11. Ain't No Stopping Us Now - Junior Reid
  12. Love You - Natural Black
  13. No Reason To Change - Lymie Murray
  14. Angel's Around Me - Spanner Banner
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Total votes : 55
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Vocals : 4/5 Backing : 5 Production : 5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 3/4
Cou$ins Records producer Donville Davis - who had already proven he's capable of relicking classic riddims in fine style - also showed a nose for picking the right riddims to license on the three various artists compilations, as "Strictly One Drop Vol. 1"'s inclusion of CJ James 'Without Love'-riddim and of course Donovan 'Vendetta' Bennett's 'Heavenly' and then on 'Mo-Bay' & 'Desperate Lover' two riddims from Byron Murray's In The Streetz label were featured, strange as it may seem with In The Streetz not only being an outlet for Byron Murray's own productions, but through their Rhythm Streetz Series Byron Murray (and Mr. Vegas) also released on CD and LP some extremely successful riddims by other extremely hot producers.

Cou$ins Records kicked off a new series of one riddim instead of two riddim albums called Ride The Rhythm with "Hail The I" featuring the first riddim on the Riddim Kings label produced by Stefan & Sean Shelton a.k.a the Riddim Kings and then one month later they returned with a string of one drop releases licensed from Kemar 'DJ Flava' McGregor's Flava Music and No Doubt Records. Kemar McGregor, who of course cemented his name as one riddim producer with the 'Triumphant'-riddim backing Gyptian's "Mama" and then chipped in with the nice 'Road Block'-riddim and the very nice various combination album aptly titled "Combination" provided Cou$ins with the three excellent one-riddim albums "Trumpet", "Flute" and "Key Riddim" with three volumes in the Ride The Rhythm series in just 8 days.

And Greensleeves, who seemed to have stalled their one drop one riddim releases just like the (dancehall) Greensleeves Rhythm Album series, must have felt they missed out on one too many album there, thus suddenly breaking the Cou$ins connection and releasing the very successful '83 Rhythm' to have their link taken over now already after one album for the release of Kemar McGregor's latest 'Rub-A-Dub'-riddim by VP Records in their still running Riddim Driven series.

The 'Rub-A-Dub'-riddim is an as strong and as big riddim from No Doubt Records as the aforementioned 'Triumphant', 'Trumpet', 'Flute', 'Key' and '83 Rhythm' are and this riddim also already provided Kemar 'DJ Flava' McGregor with a couple of hits and the album opens with one of them, Etana's brilliant self- and Jah-confident "I'm Not Afraid" followed by Richie Spice with the very outspoken, entertaining and yet serious "Di Plane Land" - that's also included on his very impressive upcoming VP Records album "Gideon Boot" - and Capleton with the almost subdued but because of that extremely strong "Same Old (Story)".

One of the strongest songs of Morgan Heritage's latest just released album "Mission In Progress" is their take across the riddim, the harsh reality of "Nothing To Smile About" after which Anthony B delivers his fine "Striving" and Nesbeth gets heavily auto-tuned for his strong "Gunz Out". And although the heavy vibrato in Fantan Mojah's singjaying throughout "Most High Jah" might need a couple of spins to get accustomed to, once you have you'll hear how beautiful this tune is, before Arrows Recordings' (and by now I might assume also No Doubt Records') protégé I-Octane contributes the excellent "No Frighten We".

On "We're Gonna Make It" by Teflon it's once more made very clear that Kemar McGregor is not only a producer bringing out the best from the artists he voices over his riddims, but also of the female backing vocalists being an integral part of the songs with their angelic sound. And then Ginjah convinces that he "Never Lost My Way" in great style, followed by veteran Junior Reid's very nice "Ain't No Stopping Us Now" and newcomer Eloquent's impressive uplifting "Take It With A Smile", a tune indicating that we will hear more soon from this singjaying protégé of Yellow Moon's Katrina 'DJ Sunshine' Irons.

The very smooth lovers tune "Love You" by one of the most consistent singjays to rise to the top in recent years, Guyanese Natural Black is followed by the underrated and underrecorded Former Skool singer Paul 'Lymie' Murray with "No Reason To Change" before this album is closed by Richie Spice's brother Spanner Banner conscious song of praise "Angel's Around Me". It's a pity that the clean version of Kemar 'DJ Flava' McGregor's 'Rub-A-Dub'-riddim has not been included, but this selection still deserves to be in your record collection right next to the other scorchers he's produced lately like the 'Triumphant', 'Trumpet', 'Flute', 'Key' and '83 Rhythm'.