Tag Archives: Albums

Still Cool’s debut album from the 70s unveiled

stillcoolThe reggae reissue market has produced a number of gems in recent years, but it’s not often an unreleased album turns up. This is however the case with vocal harmony quartet Still Cool’s self-titled debut set that has now seen the light of day through Digikiller.

Still Cool was in the 70s part of the musical arm of the 12 Tribes of Israel and regularly performed at their shows. The album was produced by the obscure Carl “Stereo” Fletcher and was supposed to have been released via his Uprising label, but it never materialized. Now – about 40 years later – it has finally hit the streets.

Still Cool is much in the same vein as other Jamaican vocal harmony groups and the set should appeal to anyone interested Israel Vibration, The Meditations or The Abyssinians. The harmonizing is however slightly less polished and the singing is a little rough around the edges.

Four of the ten tracks have previously been put out as singles, but the other six have never have issued before. The LP comes with ten tracks, while the CD collects 16 – the full LP plus six bonus cuts of alternate and extended mixes from rare 7” and 12” singles. The ten album tracks are on the CD also longer versions.

It’s insane that an album like this has been shelved for about 40 years.

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Killer new remix album from I-Plant

unnamedI-Plant aka producer and multi-instrumentalist Tooney Roots – responsible for the much overlooked General Jah Mikey album Jah Mission is Timeless – is back with a killer new project. Blacksoulremix Vol. 3 is a remix set in a showcase style and follows volume one and two which were released already in 2007.

The album – which is available for free download over at Bandcamp – features six stone-cold soul and disco classics re-recorded with a heavy 80s sounding reggae backing featuring live horns. Each cut is also followed by a huge dub version.

I-Plant has chosen to take on massive classics, including Edwin Starr’s War and Carl Douglas’ bouncy Kung Fu Fighting.

Crucial doesn’t half describe this release. I’ve actually had it on repeat for four consecutive hours.

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Mighty Mystic balances rock and reggae on new album

unnamedJamaican born and U.S. bred singer Mighty Mystic, who is also the younger brother of former Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness, follows-up on his 2014 released album Concrete World, a set that included the monumental single Cali Green.

The Art of Balance is Mighty Mystic’s third album and his most mature set yet where he has found a good balance between somber reggae riddims and guitar-fueled rock. But it’s also his darkest effort and he sheds light on serious issues over minor key melodies.

Highlights include the dark Rebels, with its pulsating organ, the devout Woman, the beautiful and acoustic Solid As a Rock and the militant and sparse Only the Strong.

Psychedelic guitars, dreamy soundscapes and haunting organs are key elements on The Art of Balance, and together they make a solid album bordering rock and reggae.

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Anticipated reggae albums in 2016

Just when the dust has cleared off all best of 2015 lists it’s time for yet another list. This time putting focus on what’s about to come in 2016. And it certainly looks promising.

For the list below we’ve scanned social media like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to find information on reggae albums to be put out in 2016. We also reached out to artists, labels, management and PR firms to learn more about 2016.

Below are over 80 releases; mostly albums – reissues and new recordings – from artists and groups from all over the world. The majority of the releases are to be found in the not yet scheduled section. Several artists – like Chronixx, Kabaka Pyramid, Jah9, Sizzla, Major Lazer, Alborosie and Brinsley Forde – have announced release plans, but with no set date or album title.

Read the list and add your favorites to the calendar. Enjoy!

Note: originally published on United Reggae.

Artist – title (label)

Fantan Mojah – Soul Rasta (Young Veterans)
Fourth album from this instantly recognizable singer and singjay. First single off the album – the Capleton and Turbulence combination Kingston Town – was released on January 1 and the album was put out on January 8.

Black Roots – Son of Man (Soulbeats)
Drops on January 22 and is described as classic Black Roots.

Various – Studio One Showcase (Soul Jazz)
Brings together a selection of classic tracks from Horace Andy, Freddie McGregor, Johnny Osbourne, Lone Ranger, Sugar Minott, The Heptones, Wailing Souls and other reggae artists. All cuts recorded at Studio One in the 1970s. Drops on January 23.

Count Ossie & The Mystic Revelation of Rastafari – Tales of Mozambique (Soul Jazz)
Rare and ground-breaking album originally released in 1975 and now reissued in an expanded format with the inclusion of two rare single-only tracks, full sleeve notes, exclusive photographs and an interview. Drops on January 29.

Bosse Skoglund & Zilverzurf – Mantra Sessions (Playground)
Swedish duo exploring Indian mantras set to a reggae, dub and jazz backdrop. Slated for release on January 29.

Various artists – Boat to Progress (VP Records)
Glen Brown is responsible for productions on this compilation, which collects a number of vocal cuts from singers such as Gregory Isaacs, Little Roy and Johnny Clarke. Originally put out in 1989 on Greensleeves and now set for release on January 29.

Various artists – Check the Winner (VP Records)
Reissue of this compilation with Glen Brown productions. Collects instrumentals from the man himself along with cuts from Tommy McCook, Bobby Aitken and Bobby Ellis. Originally released in 1989 on Greensleeves and now slated for release on January 29.

Various artists – Dubble Attack (VP Records)
Reissue of this deejay compilation with Glen Brown productions. Originally put out in 1989 on Greensleeves and now up for release on January 29.

Léah Rosier – Only Irie Vibes (Dibyz Music)
Debut album from the Dutch singer. Drops on February 5.

Lady Saw – Reggae Legends Box Set (VP Records)
Collects a number of strong albums from this pioneering dancehall deejay. Slated for release on February 5.

Luciano – Reggae Legends Box Set (VP Records)
Collects a number of strong albums from one of the most productive modern roots singers. Set for release on February 5.

Taj Weekes & Adowa – Love Herb & Reggae (Jatta)
After being delayed several times St. Lucian singer Taj Weekes and his band Adowa will drop their fifth album Love Herb & Reggae. The set is slated for release on February 12 and the title is a reference and an answer to the decades old mantra “sex, drugs and rock & roll”.

Horace Andy – In the Light Deluxe & In the Light Dub (VP Records)
Deluxe reissue of this hard-to-find original which was actually reissued in 1995 by Blood & Fire Records. Both sets – the vocal and the dub – drop on February 19.

Various artists – Original Rockers Deluxe (VP Records)
Deluxe reissue of this classic compilation which collects a number of lethal and ethereal cuts. Slated for release on February 19.

Skin, Flesh & Bones – Dub in Blood (Pressure Sounds)
Rare dub album produced by the great Phil Pratt and originally released on his Sunshot label in the mid-70s. Expected on February 19.

DJ Vadim – Dubcatcher IIWicked Ma Yout (Soulbeats)
Follow up the insanely bouncy Dubcatcher album. Drops on February 19.

David Isaacs – Jah Love I (Pressure Sounds)
10” produced by Phil Pratt. Expected in February.

Daddy Mory – Travail D’Artiste
Daddy Mory is a legendary French reggae artist and started his career as part of successful duo Raggasonic. This is a solo album produced by the acclaimed Frenchie of Maximum Sound. Expected in mid-February.

Natty & The Rebel Ship – Release the Fear
Second album from this UK roots singer. First single off the album was Gaia, which came with a dub mix provided by Prince Fatty. Slated for release on February 29.

Assassin aka Agent Sasco – Theory of Reggaetivity (Germaica)
After several successful cross-over collaborations – Kanye West, Kendrick Lamar and Raekwon – this gruff-voiced dancehall deejay drops his first reggae album.

Warrior King – The Rootz Warrior
Warrior King’s fifth album – and his first in five years – and according to the singer it’s his first time working with producers from outside Jamaica. Included is lead single Ain’t Giving Up and a number of collaborations, for example with Beres Hammond and Richie Spice.

Various – The Bristol Roots Explosion (Bristol Archive Records)
Nine tracks of classic UK roots reggae including two previously unreleased tracks. Drops on March 4.

Wyman Low & The Ravers – Trippin’ (Khanti)
Reggae band from France. Drops on March 4.

Unified Highway – Unified Highway
U.S. reggae band Rebelution’s front man Eric Rachmany has teamed up with DJ/producer Amp Live for the project Unified Highway.  The duo released the first single Stand Proud – which features Shana Halligan, Keznamdi and New Kingston’s Tahir Panton on vocals – off their debut album last year. The album is expected on March 4.

Perfect Giddimani – Reggae Farm Work (Irie Ites)
New album from the highly productive Perfect. Initially slated for release in 2014, but delayed and will now be out on Irie Ites Records on March 4.

Mighty Mystic – The Art of Balance (Roots Musician Records)
Jamaican-born and U.S.-bred singer drops his third album on March 11, a set following Concrete World which included the superb Cali Green.

Rising Tide – Rising Tide (Soulbeats)
New project from members from U.S. reggae giants Groundation. First single Is It Right was released in December. Drops on March 18.

Max Romeo & Daniel Boyle – Horror Zone
Expected to be in the same vein as Daniel Boyle’s Lee Perry collaboration Back on the Controls. Slated for release sometime in March.

Hornsman Coyote & Soulcraft – Safe Planet (Ammonite Records & PDV)
Second album from this Serbian collective fronted by veteran trombone player Hornsman Coyote. First single off the album was Glorious and it will be followed by Plastic Smiling Face. Expected sometime in March.

Black Slate – Peaceful Demonstration
Legendary reunited reggae band from the UK. First single off this album – Should I Stay or Should I Go – was released last year. Slated for release in March 31.

Big Red – TBA
French singer and deejay Big Red – one half of acclaimed duo Raggasonic – drops an album.

Yellam – The Musical Train (Irie Ites)
A taste of this album was presented on the eclectic EP Get on Board, released in 2015. Produced by France’s Irie Ites crew and expected on April 1.

Ackboo – Invincible (Khanti)
Heavy dub and electro business from France. Slated for release on April 1.

Takana Zion – Good Life (Soulbeats)
One of the best African reggae artists with a number of solid efforts on the market. His fifth album drops April 29.

Various artists – Compendulum at the Controls (Sugar Shack)
Remix album on Sugar Shack Records.

Various artists – Tape Rolling! (Pressure Sounds)
Album collection Bunny Lee productions from 1971-1974. Expected in late April.

Various artists – Midlands Roots Explosion Volume Two (Reggae Archive Records)
Follow up to the successful first volume that was released in 2015.

I Kong – Pass It On (Fruits Records)
Second album from the legendary I Kong on Fruits Records. Includes guest performances from Raging Fyah and Ken Boothe among a few others. Mixed by the acclaimed Roberto Sánchez and expected sometime in June.

Harrison Stafford & The Professor Crew – One Dance
New project from Groundation’s front man Harrison Stafford, aka Professor. Musicians involved include Leroy “Horsemouth” Wallace on drums, Errol “Flabba” Holt on bass, Dalton Browne on guitar and Obeah Denton on keyboards. The album was recorded at Harry J Studio in Kingston. Expected in May.

Alborosie – Freedom & Fyah (VP Records)
Two singles off this new album have already been put out – Poser and Rocky Road – and they are classic Puppa Albo.

Akae Beka – Portals (I Grade Records)
New musical project from Midnite’s lead singer and front man Vaughn Benjamin. First album was released in November last year and this is one of two albums scheduled for release in 2016.

Akae Beka – TBA (Zion High Productions)
Another set from Vaughn Benjamin’s – lead singer and front man in Midnite – new musical project that is scheduled for release in 2016. This one via U.S. production trio Zion I Kings.

Bitty McLean – TBA (Tabou 1/Taxi)
Not yet titled new album that will follows up on his beautiful EP Heart, Mind & Soul. Expected in first half of 2016.

Brinsley Forde – TBA (Tabou 1/Taxi)
Not yet titled album from the former Aswad lead vocalist produced by Sly & Robbie and Guillaume Bougard and mixed by Paul “Groucho” Smykle. Expected in first half of 2016.

Bugle – TBA (Germaica)
New EP from the deep-voiced and increasingly conscious Bugle. Slated for release during the first quarter of 2016.

Christopher Martin – TBA (VP Records)
Probably one of the greatest singer of the new Jamaican generation. His EP from last year – Steppin Razor – included several major cuts, including the boastful I’m a Big Deal.

Chronixx – TBA
Debut album from this much celebrated singer. Expected around June or July and will be followed by a worldwide tour.

Daddy Rings – In the Streets
Veteran Jamaican deejay that has been living in Germany for many years. The first single off the album is the dubstep-ish Gentleman collaboration In the Streets.

Da’ville – TBA (Germaica)
Sweet-voiced and romantic reggae singer responsible for the mighty My Grade. Expected in the second quarter of 2016.

Danakil – La Rue Raisonne
Popular French band that has announced a new album slated for release in the third or fourth quarter of 2016.

Denham Smith – TBD (Irievibrations) 
His second EP, and his first for Austria’s Irievibrations Records, is expected in the second quarter of 2016.

Derajah – The First Book
New album from Jamaican singer Derajah, who got his big break working with acclaimed guitarist Earl “Chinna” Smith and his Inna De Yard project. First single off the album – The Time is Now – won United Reggae’s production competition.

Ernest Ranglin – Boss Reggae (Dub Store Records)
Instrumental late 60s early reggae business produced by Richard Khouri and arranged by Ken Lazarus. Reissue slated for release during the first quarter of 2016.

Gappy Ranks – Guide Me
Fourth album from this in-demand UK singer and singjay.

The Gladiators – Back to Roots (Patate)
Wicked album originally released in 1982 and reissued in 2000 by Tabou 1. Now the reissue will be made available again thanks to France’s Patate Records. Expected in the first half of 2016.

Gregory Isaacs – Warning (Dub Store Records)
Produced by the late and great King Tubby and backed by The Firehouse Crew. Originally released in 1990 and now set for release in in the first quarter of 2016.

Hempress Sativa – UnconqueRebel (Conquering Lion)
Debut album from Hempress Sativa and the first single off the album Rock It in a Dance – inspired by Papa Michigan & General Smiley’s Studio One classic Nice Up the Dance – bodes very well.

Hollie Cook – TBD
Third and much anticipated album from one of UK’s finest.

J Boog – Wash House Ting
Soulful singer J Boog’s third album is titled after his own studio and label and is expected to drop during the first quarter of 2016.

Jah9 – 9 (VP)
Second album from Jah9 and the follow-up to her much celebrated debut album New Name. Includes multiple producers and is expected in the second quarter of 2016 with a first single to be released in early February.

Jahcoustix – Seriously Positive (Irievibrations)
Follow-up to his Frequency and its acoustic counterpart Acoustic Frequency. Expected in the second quarter of 2016.

John Brown’s Body – Fireflies (Easy Star Records)
New album from this popular U.S. reggae band is expected in the second quarter of 2016.

Junior Natural – TBA (Tabou 1/Taxi)
Swedish singer that made his stage debut at the tender of 12 at Uppsala Reggae Festival. This was about nine years ago and now he has worked with the legendary Sly & Robbie in tandem with Guillaume Bougard. Expected in the third quarter of 2016.

Kabaka Pyramid – TBA
After two solid long-playing EPs – Lead the Way and Rebel Music – along with several successful singles, including the recent Well Done for Damian Marley, Kabaka Pyramid is finally set to drop his debut album. The set is said to be produced alongside Damian Marley and will drop this year.

Kunley (of Ward 21) – Dangerous Meditations (Germaica)
EP from Ward 21’s Kunley Ward, aka Kunley 21, who voiced a number of riddims last year. Expected in the second quarter of 2016.

Lutan Fyah – TBA (I Grade Records)
New album from one of Jamaica’s most prolific and popular singjays. Produced by Zion I Kings and scheduled for release last year, but was delayed.

Major Lazer – Music is the Weapon
After their Peace is the Mission album from last year, which featured the international hit Lean On, the Major Lazer trio is set to drop their fourth studio album in the third quarter of 2016.

Meta & The Cornerstones – Hira
Third album from Meta & The Cornerstones. The set was recorded in the UK and is produced by Meta Dia and engineered by acclaimed producer and mixing wizard Shane C. Brown. It features 13 songs and is a celebration of different cultures, influences and religions.

Nattali Rize – TBA
Blue King Brown’s rebellious singer follows up on her and Notis’ solid EP New Era Frequency from last year. Expect productions from Notis and Winta James.

Raging Fyah – Everlasting (VP Records)
This successful Jamaican band signed to VP last year and almost immediately dropped the catchy Kabaka Pyramid combination Dance with Me.

Raphael – Roots Survival
Raphael’s second album for Irievibrations and follow-up to his rootsy Mind vs. Heart. Expected in the third quarter of 2016.

Romain Virgo – TBA (VP Records)
Romain Virgo’s EP Lifted was released in 2015 and it certainly promised well for his much-anticipated third album.

Shezekiel – Catch the Boat
Pauline Catlin from UK pioneering lovers rock trio Black Sugar is now performing solo and is expected to drop her debut album.

Sizzla – 876
Originally slated for release in 2015, but was never put out. The title refers to the local telephone area code of Jamaica.

Sly & Robbie meet Bitty McLean and Bunny Rugs (Tabou 1/Taxi)
On Record Store Day – April 16 – Music on Vinyl will put out a 10” with two Bitty McLean cuts and one Bunny Rugs track along with a dub produced by Guillaume Bougard and Sly & Robbie.

Sly & Robbie with DJ Winston – Free Dub (Tabou 1/Taxi)
More dubs from Sly & Robbie’s protégé Dartanyan Winston, aka DJ Winston, who worked on the excellent Dubmaster Voyage album released in 2014.

Sly & Robbie meet Robbie Lynn – TBA (Tabou 1/Taxi)
Not yet titled album where Sly & Robbie meet key maestro Robbie Lynn for a jazz and funk session. Expected in late 2016.

Various – Clean Heart riddim (Lustre Kings)
Fifth installment of Zion I Kings’ one riddim series and follows the acclaimed Lion of Judah riddim.

Various – Dub in Style (Lustre Kings)
Zion I Kings meets legendary Roots Radics drummer at Tuff Gong studio in Kingston, Jamaica.

Various artists – Dub Station [working title] (Irievibrations)
Dub mixes of a variety of artists and cuts from Austria’s premier reggae label Irievibrations. Expected in the third quarter of 2016.

Various artists – First Class Rock Steady 7” Box Set (VP Records)
Smooth and slick business up for release on vinyl.

Various artists – Havana Meets Kingston
A musical project spearheaded by Australia’s Mista Savona where he has brought together musicians and singers from Jamaica and Cuba in a studio for the first time ever. Featured musicians and artists include several members from Buena Vista Social Club, Sly & Robbie, Ernest Ranglin, Leroy Sibbles, Cornel Campbell, Micah Shemaiah, Randy Valentine, Sizzla, Big Youth and Lutan Fyah. Expected in the first quarter of 2016.

Various – Marketplace riddim (Zion I Kings)
Sixth installment of Zion I Kings’ one riddim series.

Various artists – We Remember Dennis Brown (VP Records)
A tribute to the Crown Prince of Reggae, a singer that left us much too soon.

Various artists – TBA (Tabou 1/Taxi)
Guillaume Bougard has produced something sounding very tasty – a boogie funk and old school rap album where Sly & Robbie and Robbie Lynn team up with artists from New York and Memphis. Mixed by veteran mixing wizard John Morales and expected in the first half of 2016.

Viceroys – Memories (Iroko)
New album from this legendary Jamaican harmony group. Expected in the second quarter of 2016.

Volodia – TBA
French hip-hop influenced reggae artist that is expected to drop a set in late 2016.

Ward 21 – TBA (Germaica)
Hardcore dancehall crew follow-up on their solid album Still Disturbed from 2014. Expected in the third quarter of 2016.

Willie Lindo – Far and Distant (Dub Store Records)
Smooth lovers rock from this seasoned session guitarist. Originally released in 1974 and now up for release in the first quarter of 2016.

Zos – TBA (Irievibrations)
Debut EP from Irievibrations’ songwriter who has until now only recorded two songs. German speaking roots reggae expected in the second quarter of 2016.


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Meditative vibes on Suns of Dub’s debut album Far East Dub

SUNSOFDUB_FAREASTDUBLast year Addis Pablo – son of the late and great producer and melodica maestro Augustus Pablo – dropped his stunning solo debut album In My Father’s House. But Addis Pablo has also been involved in Jamaican duo Suns of Dub, together with producer and mixing engineer Ras Jammy.

Suns of Dub have released material sporadically, but now it’s time for their debut album Far East Dub. And despite its title this set is not a fully-fledged dub album, even though six of the twelve tracks are dub workouts. Four are melodica lead by Addis Pablo and two have Trinidadian singer Jah Bami on microphone.

Far East Dub is slightly different compared to their previous releases, which has been a bit more digital. This album is soft, deep and organic with meditative and dreamy vibes and Addis Pablo connects the dots between his father’s legacy and a more contemporary sonic landscape.

This is a bold and unique album and almost the opposite of the current EDM craze and top 40 music. It’s mostly instrumental, relaxed and it takes a few listens to fully appreciate all of its glorious details, but after a while you have fallen in love with tracks like Far East Median with its desolate trombone sounding from a far or the muscular bass on album opener Eastern Acoustic.

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Sr. Wilson stands steady on Paso Firme

Sr.-Wilson-Paso-firme-43204_frontFollowing last year’s excellent mixtape Back to Rub a Dub, versatile singjay Sr. Wilson and talented producer Genis Trani have once again collaborated with great effect.

On the twelve track Paso Firme Sr. Wilson shows his full range as an artist and he sounds comfortable with anything that Genis Trani provides him him. He can sing and he can deejay. He sounds like I Roy, Shabba Ranks and Yellowman. Not at the same time though.

Genis Trani has provided him with solid riddims, ranging from superbly executed rub a dub over on ¿Quién Viene? via slick lovers rock El Instante to booming hip-hop on El Muro. Sr. Wilson and Genis Trani can also do pop and contemporary dancehall as showcased on the uplifting Feel Good and the melancholic My Teachers.

Judging by the arty album cover this set might be confused by an album from an indie rock band like Weezer. But never judge an apple by looking at the tree and don’t judge no honey by looking at the bee, as Freddie McGregor once sang. Paso Firme is personal and fresh reggae well-above average.

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Another party-starter from Mr. Vegas

Mr Vegas Bruk It Down 2.0 coverFresh on the heels of his recent successful collaborations with Snoop Lion and Beyoncé, global dancehall phenomenon Mr. Vegas drops his ninth studio album Bruk It Down 2.0, the second set on his own label imprint MV Music.

The 16 track Bruk It Down 2.0 is named after his recent international cross-over hit single Bruk It Down, a catchy and whine-friendly effort with hard drums and whhooo, oooh ooohhh’s.

After last year’s reggae oriented double disc Sweet Jamaica, Mr. Vegas is now back in familiar territory. Bruk It Down 2.0 is more or less a full-blown and explosive dancehall album spiced with house, reggaeton, soca, dubstep and pop.

On the microphone he’s joined by a diverse set of artists, including Barbados’ very own soca queen Alison Hinds on a remix of the title track. Among the others we find reggae crooner Lukie D, gruff-voiced deejay Flourgon on a driving version of The Paragons’ On the Beach, reggaeton singer El Boy C on the propane-fuelled Vamos and songstress Terri on Take Off (Time to Hit the Floor), a tune far away from anything that has to do with reggae, but much like everything on top of the Billboard chart.

Bruk It Down 2.0 can probably set fire to any party with its reckless beats, infectious melodies and easy-going lyrics.

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Chezidek is a freedom fighter

Chezidek-Freedom-FightersYou know those ”Parental advisory – explicit lyrics” guidelines stamped on loads of hip-hop records? Well, you probably do. A version of that should be on every Chezidek album. It should read ”Extremely fragile – handle with care”. This is because of Chezidek’s voice. It’s high and instantly recognizable, but fragile as a vase.

His second album this year – following the mighty The Order of Melchezedik – is Freedom Fighters, a 15 track set sneaked out below the radar about a month ago. It’s produced by Andrew ”Bassie” Campbell and One Drop Records, a label responsible for last year’s Hold the Vibes by Ras Attitude and Truly from Lutan Fyah.

Chezidek has a voice that may take a while to fully appreciate and he may not always be pitch perfect, bu he usually gets his hands on strong material and he also has a feel in his voice that many singers should envy.

He sings from his heart and soul about political corruption (Mr. Corruption), increasing violence (Eye Watas & Prayers) and the environment (Chemical Free). The latter is one of his favorite topics and has over the years rendered several strong environment anthems, including Leave the Trees and Plant a Tree.

Freedom Fighters contains enough strong number to be interesting for any fan of rootsy, cultural and conscious reggae.

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