Macka B


Fans of English reggae no doubt are familiar with DJ Macka B, who has released a couple dozen of albums since the early 1980's under the watchful eye of dubmaster Mad Professor. Roots & Culture represents a handful of Macka B's best tracks with a few unreleased tracks thrown in for good measure.
18 tracks deep, Roots & Culture starts off with "Allez the Reggae Boys," a tribute to the 1998 Jamaican olympic soccer team where we hear Macka B drift into French -- interesting. This had not been released before. Among other first appearances are "I Don't Like Reggae" (a so-so track with Belgian band Panache Culture), "You're the Ladies," "Run Rushdie Run," "Sex Machine," "Malcom X" (a nice remake of Earl 16's 1970's track), "Jesus Christ is Black," and "Iron Mike."

Among the familar Macka B tracks is "Squeeze Me," perhaps his best track ever. It was a number one hit in Hawaii in 1994 and features Dennis Nolan (Nolan Irie) on backup vocals. "Dread a Who She Love" is another successful track in a similar vein, this time a collaboration with female singer Kofi. Also included are "Serve You Right," "Badder Than Jah," and "Get Conscious."

Macka B's style is certainly not as rough as many current DJ's, and sometimes his topics border on silly ("Iron Mike" is, of course, about Mike Tyson and uses a similar hook and the same rhythm as "Jesus Christ is Black"), but he's always had a distinctive delivery and given an entertaining alternative to slackness dancehall. Roots & Culture is a testament to the significant variety of tunes that Macka B and Mad Professor have given us through the years.



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