|"Jah Mi Praise" by Ras Professor [Humble Camp Productions]|
So a few days ago Bredz sent me an EP he had picked up from talented veteran chanter, Ras Professor (… even though he has yet to send Jah Defender's new album) [WHAT!].. The Professor has been around from a very long time (he may have a history which stretches back all the way to the 1980's, but these days he doesn't seem to be extremely active, though in recent times he has offered up quite a few tunes which have been consistent in terms of their respective quality -- he's been very good -- and their source. Though you might recall just a year or two back now that he appeared on the Stringz Riddim from Rumble Rock Recordz (biggup Rumble Rock) from out of the US, he's been even more closely associated with Humble Camp Productions who has now delivered the aforementioned EP, "Jah Mi Praise”. This year, we've heard quite a bit from Humble Camp, most recently they dealt with the big new single from Ras Ijah, 'Ancient Land' and prior to that, they helmed the fine First Hour Riddim as well and I was damn pleased to see that they had turned their attentions in this clever direction and I was even more thrilled when I actually heard it. "Jah Mi Praise" is excellent and although the competition hasn't been great this year, I would say that it is definitely one of the finest Reggae EP's from anyone so far in 2013. So, I though that we'd tell you about it and even if you don't feel like reading this, do check out the new EP, "Jah Mi Praise" by Ras Professor", for Humble Camp Productions which is currently available on digitally everywhere.
#1. 'Jah Mi Praise'
"Jah Mi Praise" gets started with its biggest, in my opinion, and title track which was actually Ras Professor's cut of Humble Camp's Guiding Light Riddim from late last year or so. This tune is just all kind of BEAUTIFUL! At its core it is a social commentary with a spiritual tilt and it is also one which has quite a bit of aggression. The Professor's style is one which also comes through with just a slight edge continuously and such a song matches with him perfectly. Also, as you'll come to find out if you don't already know, he's a very good lyricist as well and what he does here is very impressive. BOOM!
"I si dem running, but dem cannot hide
Kill off di people wid dem genocide
Hook dem pon yuh pill and get dem paranoid
Mystery babylon will take you for a ride
All over di world I si dem colonize
Yet di people dem no have no enterprise
Babylon yuh heading for a big surprise
My people need to open up your eyes cause -
A Jah mi praise
A Jah mi praise
All night and all day!
A Jah mi praise
A Jah mi praise
Keep the fyah ablaze!"
'Job' is a song which sounded very familiar to my ears and I'm almost certain that I know it from somewhere, but regardless of its origins, it is another sublime piece from this project. Somewhat similar in direction to the opener, although more spiritually steered in this case obviously, 'Job' is a tune from which I take a notion of being determined in one's walk in life. The Professor uses the example of Job from the biblical world as this illustration of someone who well had difficult marks to reach in his life, but ultimately no matter what happened - he never lost his faith. A song like this also works very well if you completely remove the religious angle to it as a piece which is just about overcoming and pushing through when hard times arrive and because people don't all believe in the same thing (THANKFULLY), I still think it is fairly relatable, accessible and useful for people from all walks of life.
#3. 'Good Herbs'
What is this song about??? Even when you only do half a dozen songs, you still need an herb song and for "Jah Mi Praise", 'Good Herbs' is it. While I wouldn't go as far as calling it 'hype' there is definitely a bit more force behind this one and while it may not be THE best song on the piece, I'm not at all complaining. It is a good song.
#4. 'Press Along'
And then there's 'Press Along' which only trails the title track here in quality. This is fantastic. Another tune really about surviving through difficult moments and situations in life, 'Press Along' has a very 'colourful' nature to it. The track behind it is very open and makes for a very fitting backdrop for what Ras Professor does with the vocals. Unlike 'Job', this song is one aimed specifically to the youths of the world and, again, the chanter takes a very aggressively positive stance and produces a scorcher while doing so.
#5. 'Slew a Million'
'Slew a Million' is a song which I'm thinking, because of how broad it is, might just be a freestyled and adlibbed type of composition. When they're good, however, you do give them credit for being what they are and what 'Slew a Million' is a dominant lyrical display and an infectious song with perhaps a bit of Hip-Hop texture, which isn't my preference, but in such a free structure, it doesn't hurt it for me in this instance.
"Caan tek di heat then come out of di kitchen
Seh dat dem a dog but get bit like a chicken
Informer fi dead!
And di one dem weh dissin
If you don't stop di dissin, you gwan end up missin
Everyday mi hear dem wishin, who dat dem kissin
Mi hear seh dat they're stitching, hiking and they're itching
Gunshot ahgo pitch him
Nobody nah go miss him -
Found by some old man fishin"
"If dem a di cure, wi a di prevention
My people - don't sell out your invention
Watch dem keenly, wid dem bad intention
Nuff things wi do and it still no get mentioned
Life inna di ghetto? Nuttin but contention
Well di upperclass dem having dem convention
And poor inna shack, rich man dem inna mansion
Time fi di people rise up to do occasion"
#6. 'Lightning [Remix]'
And lastly on "Jah Mi Praise" is a remix of Ras Professor's cut of the previously mentioned First Hour Riddim (which is a good release featuring the likes of Lutan Fyah, Lukie D, Tony Curtis & Louie Culture and even Capleton) (in stores now), 'Lightning'. I will say that, at least for now, I do prefer the original, but the remix is quickly growing on me. Of course you should make up your own mind on that, however, and you can do so when you pick up "Jah Mi Praise" today.