Total Reggae ~ Ragga
August 26, 2013
from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)|
|Vocals : 4||Backing : 4||Production : 4/5||Sound quality : 5||Sleeve : 4/5|
Over the years VP Records has become the major player in reggae music, and boasts what is reputedly reggae's largest back catalogue. In recent times the company has issued several interesting releases from that huge catalogue. The 'Reggae Anthology' series is a truly impressive effort from the company, with outstanding releases such as Barrington Levy's 'Sweet Reggae Music 1979-84' and Yellowman's "Young, Gifted & Yellow", the latter even with a bonus DVD! Now they have released a brand new series called 'Total Reggae', an excellent mega budget priced collection of double cd's, focusing on several sections in reggae music.
Raggamuffin music, usually abbreviated as ragga, is a sub-genre of dancehall, in which the instrumentation primarily consists of electronic music. Similar to hip hop, sampling often serves a prominent role in raggamuffin music. One of the reasons for ragga's swift propagation is that it is generally easier and less expensive to produce than reggae performed on traditional musical instruments.
In the late 1980s, influential Jamaican rapper Daddy Freddy's pioneering efforts in fusing ragga with hip hop music earned him international acclaim while helping to publicize and popularize ragga. In 1987, Daddy Freddy and Asher D's "Ragamuffin Hip-Hop" became the first multinational single to feature the word "ragga" in its title. Ragga evolved first in Jamaica, and later in Europe, North America, and Africa, eventually spreading to Japan, India, and the rest of the world. Ragga heavily influenced early jungle music, and also spawned the syncretistic bhangragga style when fused with bhangra.
As ragga matured, an increasing number of dancehall artists began to appropriate stylistic elements of hip hop music, while ragga music, in turn, influenced more and more hip hop artists, most notably KRS-One, the Boot Camp Clik, Das EFX, Busta Rhymes, as well as some artists with ragga-influenced styles, like early Common, Main Source, Ill Al Scratch, Fu-Schnickens, and Redman. Artists like Mad Lion grew in popularity during this early 90's trend, exemplified by his crossing from reggae to hip-hop culture.
This 40 track collection features some of the genre's top artists like Beenie Man, Bounty Killer, Shaggy, Mr. Vegas and Elephant man, to name but a few. Superstar Sean Paul is the most successful - internationally speaking - artist lining up here for a deadly boomshot called Ever Blazing from 2005, the second single from "The Trinity" album. The track re-united him with award winning producer Steven 'Lenky' Marsden, who produced "Get Busy". Lenky's "Masterpiece" riddim provided the backdrop for Sean's hit tune. Beenie Man's mega scorcher Who Am I on the "Playground" riddim comes from producer Jeremy Harding, who is also responsible for Bling Dawg's Got It Going On, a cut on the "Liquid" riddim. One of the best known tunes here must be Head High from Mr. Vegas. After his chart success with "Nike Air" across the "Playground" riddim, Heads High, followed its success in Jamaica with a chart run in the UK and the US R&B chart, and Vegas became increasingly in demand as a guest artist by acts such as Sean Paul. Bounty Killer's lick of the "Peenie Peenie" riddim Cellular Phone became a chart climber in 1995, while that same year Buju Banton gave us Champion produced by Donovan Germain.
TOK's Footprints is a classic tune, but definitely not ragga! The same goes for World A Reggae Music by Anthony B, a less successful rendition of Ini Kamoze's "World A Music". South Rakkas crew scored with Barrington levy's Under Mi Sensi, now by the illustrious trio Mr. Vegas, Alozade and Hollow Point. Idiot Thing That was an enormous chart success for Assassin, a tune pon de "Stepz" riddim from the Renaissance Crew. Some of the tunes here are performed by artists that we haven't heard of for a long time. Buccaneer, Red Rat and Goofy delivered some decent tunes in the past, but have failed to make a long lasting career.
If you like ragga, this compilation is for you... check it out!