Jamaican singjay Hi Kee recently dropped his debut album Self Reliance to etailers worldwide. It’s 15 contemporary one drop productions and a ska tune from a variety of producers from all over the world – Finland, New Zealand and Jamaica are just a few of the countries represented.
Hi Kee first recorded in 2004, but his first single Woman of Virtue didn’t hit the streets until 2009. From then on he has voiced a bunch of riddims. Most memorable is probably Fire Blaze on the mighty Prison Break riddim produced by Bassrunner Productions. He has also tried is hands on the ska flavoured Kokoo riddim and the sweet Tek A Train riddim.
Most remarkable about Hi Kee is his deep melodic voice and its resemblance to Prezident Brown. It actually sounds like they’re the same person, particularly in the deejay parts on some of the tunes.
I’m a huge fan of the Prezident, so this is my cup of tea, especially Babylon Your System Collapse, a duet with Luciano and legendary deejay Brigadier Jerry, and Give Jah Thanks and Praise, with some nice melodica.
Swiss-based The Scrucialists did a great job with Mykal Rose in 2005 when they released Catch up di Fire. Included on Self Reliance is a duet with Hi Kee and Mykal Rose on the same riddim. Unfortunately Mykal Rose’s voice is tortured with auto-tune. A shame really.
With such a diverse range of producers you would assume Self Reliance to be a schizophrenic effort. But it’s surprisingly consistent and if you like the usual Eurocentric one drop it should probably belong in your record collection.