Do you remember how it felt when your parents shouted at you when you were a kid? You broke a vase or wanted to stay up way too late and they raised their voice and maybe shouted angrily at you. That’s the same feeling I get when listening to old material from some of the greatest Jamaican deejays of all time.
Unfortunately three of these have changed their style during the past couple of years, and turned to a more melodic singing style rather than gruff voiced deejaying.
Sizzla has never had the depth or “rock stoneness” that Capleton and Buju and Burro Banton possess. But on the other hand – he has a faster rather than heavy delivery. Sometimes he spits out his lyrics rather than grunts them. Either style is compelling and has me craving for more.
Burro Banton has however been true to his style and has if anything gotten even heavier during the years. On his 83’debut album Buro – which deserves a proper reissue – his flow is melodic and there is hardly a trace of the Burro Banton that dropped the aggressive Da Original Banton twelve years later.
And he has continued to record in the rock stone mode, and some of the latest examples being Sound Exterminator for Maximum Sound, No Fake Friend for Weedy G Soundforce and Defend My Own for Massive B.
I have nothing against deejays turning singers and I really rate Sizzla’s latest album effort, a set on which he sings more than ever before. But I don’t want to see the rock stone voices extinct and the regrowth is far from satisfying, even though UK’s premier grunter Blackout JA keeps the flag flying high.