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
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.