Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Letting Off Steam

I'm in a bad mood, have been for a while, and if history is any type of an indication (and it generally is), I probably have another week or two of pissedoffedness to cope with. However, that most certainly doesn't mean that I cannot be productive and it also doesn't mean that I can use my fucked up mood to boost to creativity. Thus, I thought that I'd do a good deed today and offer you the surefire solution to helping rid the body of a bad mood (if only for a moment or two) and I submit, for your approval, The Top Ten Albums To Listen To When You're Mad As Hell And You're Not Going To Take It Anymore!

{note: Anything Goes}
{note 2: Albums are certainly not ranked according to their quality (if they were, #5 would be #1), but are ranked due to their ability to convey whatever it is I think they convey}
{note 3: The same goes for 'maddest moments'}

#10. Bounty Killer - Raise Hell On Hellboy [Payday Music]

You’ll find this artist no less than three times on this list because of the simple fact that when it comes to tying oneself to the ARTFORM of extremely hardcore Dancehall music, no artist’s name is more fitting than that of Bounty Killer. Throughout the years, one could make the case that it was his actions primarily, in fact, which went on to actually DEFINE that subgenre of music. Raise Hell On Hellboy, controversy notwithstanding (or whatever. Hell, you can count that too), and whether you’d like to choose sides or not, is the most glaring example that when you feel like its you against the world, STILL all you need is a little time and a Bounty Killer album. And it’s not even a full album (it’s not even half an album) and it still ranks here, had it been longer, it may have taken top honours (even though He did anyway).

Maddest Moment: ‘Chatta Box’

#9. Soca Gold 2008 [VP Records]

One of a few pieces on this list which is designed to actually cheer you up (at least temporarily), Soca Gold 2008 had the most interesting of setups in terms of emotions. The first pit of tunes are ABSOLUTELY RIDICULOUS in every way. Big UPTEMPO tunes like ‘Breathless’ from Blaxx, Ricky T’s ‘Pressure Boom’, Soka Junkie from Mr. Dale and of course ‘Get On’ from Fay-Ann Lyons, dominate the first half of the album and outside of the occasional tune here and there (like ‘Down Dey’ by Sean Caruth), things slow down considerably after that, It almost seems like it’s talking to you doesn’t it? ‘Yeah, I just wore your angry ass down, now cheer up!’

Maddest Moment: ‘Get On! Get On! Get On!’ by Fay-Ann Lyons

#8. Ward 21 - Mentally Disturbed [Greensleeves]

The Ward’s finest moment, Mentally Disturbed, may just have been #1 on this list were it not for its kind of strange appeal, going on nine years after its release. This album was CRAZY HARDCORE Dancehall, when it first dropped and that was the categorization of pretty much everything the Ward laid their attentions to, for the most part. However, it doesn’t sound SO “hardcore” these days as it sounds “CRAZY”. Obviously there is a place here (and everywhere in the world, for that matter), for Crazy and with titles like ‘President Of Hoochie Land’, this one had that in abundance.

Maddest Moment: ‘Pain 21st Century’

#7. Machel Montano HD - Book Of Angels [Ruff Rex Productions]

This one is not too dissimilar, unbelievably, from #8, certainly not in terms of sound, but in terms of why it’s here. Book Of Angels, if it has its way with you (and it will) is designed to take away your anger and replace it with a downright hysteria. As seething fucking OFF as I feel right now, rest assured if I could push play on almost any stage of this mini-whirlwind (“keep the fyah burnin”), I will be reduced to a teary-eyed, gooey like substance of a man . . . Which doesn’t sound too bad right now actually.

Maddest Moment: ‘Jumbie!’

#6. Bounty Killer - 5th Element [TVT Records]

This one had a conscience. Like the next album you’ll read about on this list, Bounty’s 5th Element, did its angriest of business with social awareness in mind, which is another quality the Killer would have as opposed to many of his hardcore Dancehall counterparts. Released more than a decade ago, it’s definitely fallen out of favour and despite the fact that it contains more than one of the Killer’s biggest hits, not too many people even remember it. However, should you find yourself, again, thinking that it’s you against the world, certainly this DESTRUCTIVE piece is more than capable of keeping you company.

Maddest Moment: ‘Lord of Da Warriours’

#5. Capleton - More Fire [VP Records]

This one might take your mind off of things (not likely) or it just might give you new and colourful things to be pissed off about. The fact that it’s one of the greatest albums ever made and yadda yadda yadda, More Fire had some ISSUES! Capleton clearly had some things to get off his chest and ‘babylon’ and ‘wicked man’ and the usual targets weren’t the only ones in his crosshairs. Nearly a decade later and this one is still singing those NASTY living ones Capleton was aiming at.

Maddest Moment: ‘Who Dem?’

#4. Mad Cobra - Helta Skelta [DJR]

Speaking of issues - As we get on to just about a year after the release of this masterpiece, it becomes more and more evident that the world’s most pissed off serpent had TONS of them on Helta Skelta. From guys who (disgustingly) share the same spliff, to those not qualified who call for war and finally to those who just live nasty in almost every way, Cobra had some things saved up for YEARS that he needed to make the world aware of and when he finally did, things were so evil that even Satan himself approved.

Maddest Moment: ‘Poetic’

#3. Diwali Riddim [Greensleeves]

Again, please ignore the fact that the Diwali may just be the best riddim album of all time and it’s wonderful and beautiful and all of that. What we’re dealing with here is a riddim of beautiful and mystical powers which can actually be looked at as being HEALTHY. Why? You pick this album up and listen to the final track (whatever it is) and tell me that doesn’t make you feel good. It doesn’t cheer you up? It doesn’t knock off a little stress? If your answer to that is ‘NO’ then certainly you aren’t a Dancehall fan and that probably isn’t news to you. For me, however, I’ll always give credit to the Diwali - The Orgasm of Dancehall Riddims.

Maddest Moment: ‘XM24’ [Instrumental]

#2. Mavado - Gangsta For Life: The Symphony of David Brooks [VP Records]

If you just started listening to Mavado in the last year or so, surprisingly you may know him as a slightly more cheery version of the hellish, ghoulish and demonic singer that he used to be. Mavado used to be the singing version of the artist who ranks #1 on this list, only with LESS sense of humour and a visceral attraction to the gun over pretty much everything else (gun over gal, gun over me, gun over gun). That was never more evident than on the simultaneous homicidal, genocidal and suicidal and just all around fucking evil Gangsta For Life. If you are actually mad, I do warn you to be careful here because Mavado was probably angrier than you were!

Maddest Moment: ‘Amazing Grace’

#1. Bounty Killer - Ghetto Dictionary: The Art Of War [VP Records]

How fucked up was this? If you were a Dancehall artist and even remotely worth a damn and not on his good side (you didn’t have to be on his bad side, you could’ve been on his neutral side), with very few exceptions, Bounty Killer had a problem with you on The Art Of War and although I didn’t appreciate it when it released, way back in 2002, I’m now pretty damn thankful Bounty Killer was clearly in need of some anger management at the time. I know people who don’t even like Dancehall and can’t even overstand what the hell he is saying, but keep this album on CONSTANT replay when they’re working out or just MAD AS HELL. Despite what critics may say (and I was probably one of them), this is truly an art and Reggae music altogether has never seen an artist more brilliantly PISSED OFF than Bounty Killer.

Maddest Moment: Pick one!


  1. I turned 45 years old on this day, thats halfway to being 90, and that my friend makes me mad! lol. Nah, I am not older, just a lot wiser...Nico

  2. Well tell them Nico!

    You're mad as hell and you're not going to take it anymore! NicoReggae4lyfe!