Various Artists The Biggest Ragga Dancehall Anthems 2002: Belly Skin
- Words: Eric K. Arnold
- Label: Greensleeves
Despite its cumbersome title, Greensleeves' annual dancehall collection delivers what it promises, with 40-count 'em-proven club favorites on two CDs. The majority of the selections are deejay-oriented, with the likes of Shabba Ranks, Lexxus, Capleton, Red Rat, Sizzla and Bounty Killer running the riddims raw. You won't find any straight-up lovers-rock tracks here-too fassy for this one, seen? There are, however, several noteworthy singer/deejay combinations, like Jarvis Church and Elephant Man's humorous "Run for Your Life" (which addresses the topic of celebrity stalking) and CeCile and Tanya Stephens's warning to bass-and-treble Jezebels, "Buss Back Skettle." Maximum respect to Elephant Man, who makes eight appearances and comes wicked every time. Meanwhile, Belly Skin is strictly for the selectors. Twenty different artists tackle the same G String-produced backing track (which also shows up a couple of times on the Anthems disc). The riddim's insistent one-drop thump sounds great at first, but it's too repetitive for home listening. Still, in a club equipped with massive bass cabinets, cold Guinness on tap, and herb smoke wafting through the air, tracks like Shaka Pow's "Youths Hungry," Wickerman's "Stamp It," CeCile's "Cash & Carry" and Lady G's "Nah Play Second" can make for an earth-shaking experience.
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