Doctor Dread; David Cole; Simeon Stewart; Burt Dixon; Exterminator; Doctor Dread; David Cole; Simeon Stewart; Philip Burrell; Burt Dixon; Jerry Rappaport (Compilation)
Number of Discs
Album Notes and Credits
Personnel: Yellowman; Beenie Man, George Knooks.
Liner Note Author: Elena Oumano.
Yellowman is one of the founding fathers of Jamaican dancehall, a style that rose to prominence during the waning popularity of socially conscious roots reggae. Dancehall's upbeat tempos, staccato, rapid-fire singing, and themes of sexuality and partying contrast traditional reggae, and though purists criticized Yellowman's good time emphasis, it is hard to deny the singer's skills. Witty, clever, extraordinarily energetic, and capable of dicing verses into stuttering, machine gun rhythms of great fluidity and force, Yellowman deserves his accolades (not least for his tremendous influence on the dancehall boom of the '90s and 2000s).
This installation of THIS IS CRUCIAL REGGAE (the Ras compilation series presenting work by seminal artists in the genre) offers a fine overview of Yellowman's talents. His verbal skills are represented ("Weed Dem"), as are his party anthems ("Party;" "Reggae on the Move") and his tongue in cheek self-aggrandizement ("Love King Yellow"). But Yellowman also has a serious side, as evidenced by the awareness song "AIDS," the roots-tinged anti-war tune "World War," and the lovely, spiritual paean "Prayer." Whether serious or humorous (it is hard not to smile during "Yellow Like Cheese"), Yellowman rocks the mic in fine fashion, and THIS IS CRUCIAL REGGAE is a well-selected testament to that fact.