Should Have Known Betta Riddim
Culture Rock Records
Digital Release
July 31, 2014

Track list
  1. King David - Ride Shotgun
  2. Michael Fabulous - When You Smile
  3. Chezidek - Oh Jah
  4. Mr Diamond - I Promise
  5. Denham Smith - Feel It
  6. Leetal - Reggae World
  7. Kali Blaxx - Big Sound Tun On
  8. Silver Ice - Mrs Perfect
  9. Dr. Ring Ding - Big Bald Gentle And Nice
  10. Should Have Known Betta Riddim
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 4 Backing : 4 Production : 4 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 3
One of the finest roots juggling projects released in the summer of 2013 has to be the "Should Have Known Betta" riddim from German Sound System & Record label Culture Rock. It's a revitalized version of the riddim that underpinned Joe Riley aka Jimmy Riley's rocksteady tune "You Should Have Known", which was produced by the legendary Coxsone Dodd in 1968. Later on The Gladiators utilized the same riddim track for their 1979 released Studio One single "Tribulation". After that relicked versions appeared from Jamaican producers like Henry "Junjo" Lawes (Volcano), Maurice Johnson (Black Scorpio), Richard Bell (Star Trail), Hugh James (Redman) and King Jammy (Jammy$).

And now there's another relicked version, played by real musicians. It's a great sounding backdrop with an awesome bassline and real nice horns, which always adds something extra to a riddim. Best known names are Chezidek, Michael Fabulous, Mr. Diamond, Kali Blaxx and (in Germany and surroundings) Dr. Ring Ding, while also the names of King Mas aka MasSicker and Denham Smith might ring a bell with reggae connoisseurs. Trini reggae artist King David, but certainly Lee'tal and Silver Ice are artists that have to gain more international attention to get wider recognition. When checking these artists' efforts on the "Should Have Known Betta" riddim, it's obvious that King David makes the best impression and shows true potential. Chezidek's "Oh Jah" is a standout effort, a brilliant piece that can be heard over and over again. Also worth hearing are the love songs "When You Smile" and "I Promise" by Michael Fabulous and Mr. Diamond respectively. Although lyrically Denham Smith's "Feel It" isn't a winner, this Cologne based Jamaican singer is definitely an artist to keep an eye on.

A collection of tunes you should pick up, if you haven't already.