Echoslim X Nicko Rebel X Mr Williamz - "Higrade Skanking" (3:43)
Review: Nicko Rebel Music are back to serve up more top shelf skanking material after their debut release sold out in quick time. The EP introduces a host of debutants including Nadine Sutherland, Echoslim and Nicko Revel who sit next to the more established Mr Micah Williams, a Necessary Mayhem mainstay with skills to burn. Sutherland's "Dance Africa" is a rootsy roller with flabby bass and big trumpet lines accompanying her vocal work, which celebrates the glory of Africa, while B side "Higrade Skanking" from Echoslim X Nicko Rebel X Mr Williamz does exactly what it says on the tin.
Review: Jamaican-American singer Shaggy's Hot Shot album was a huge commercial success back in 2001. It was the second highest-charting studio album of the year on the Billboard Year-End charts and featured four hit singles in "It Wasn't Me", "Angel", "Luv Me, Luv Me" and the double A-side single "Dance & Shout / Hope". Mixing up reggae fusion, pop and dance hall it laid out a blueprint for the sound that has been referenced ever since, as well as giving a whole generation a number of classic club anthems. Now re-released on Virgin almost 20 years later, it still sounds as vital.
Link Up (feat Matthew Allman, Illaman & Black Josh) (4:54)
Hustle & Flow (feat Illaman) (3:05)
King On The Throne (feat Rodney P) (4:20)
Some Of Us Love Rum (feat Rebel ACA) (3:41)
Trilogy (feat Killa P & Harry Shotta) (4:08)
Review: Spragga Benz first made his mark in the mid 1990s, rising to become one of Jamaica's leading dancehall and reggae artists at the turn of the century. He's been rather quiet of late, though, with "Chiliagon" marking his first album release for almost a decade. It includes plenty of auto-tune-laden contemporary updates of his dancehall sound - with his trademark flow often laden in digital effects - but also touches on more traditional roots reggae, ragga, full band hybrid hip-hop/rock (intriguing opener "Move To The Music (feat Rebel ACA)"), ragga-jungle ("If Yuh Ready" with General Levy), grime ("Hustle & Flow") and the kind of ragged, punchy, heavily electronic club fare popularized by Switch and Diplo's Major Laser project.