Elephant Man

Log On

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The hair, the hair, the hair. The one thing known for sure about Elephant Man is that his hair is totally wild. That's what makes him the "Punk Rock of Dancehall" aka "The Energy Man" aka "the Bahamanian Syd Barrett." Now that Elephant Man's branding is finished, it's time to get to the music. Log On is his second full-length release and was a huge smash in Jamaica, spawning five charting tracks. Over the course of 22 tracks, Elephant Man demonstrates his considered dancehall skills. This guy is no amateur, and pulling off an epic-length album like this takes skills. Quite rightfully, these skills have made him a staple of crates around the world. On one of the better tracks, "Bring the War" (set to the tune of Missy Elliott's "Get Your Freak On"), Elephant Man breaks off a fine rhyme: "I know you hate me now/The girls that date me now/The girls they waiting and want to come and rape me now/It's getting feverish now/They can't believe us now/The war is on and none of dem can defeat us now." On "The Bombing," he demonstrates his range, pulling off a paranoid paean to the WTC attacks. Other critics have written negatively about the preponderance of "war" songs on this record, of which there are roughly eight or so. It seems, however, that his best tracks are the war tracks. While he doesn't have the pointed social crit skills of a Lee "Scratch" Perry, it's on these tracks that he's trying to hone them. (They do need honing.) Overall, the album doesn't break any new ground, but it's a respectable entry -- more consequential for its massive popularity than its merit. At this point, he's too concerned with commercial success to produce an album of lasting value. But Elephant Man was only 24 when he recorded Log On, so let the young be young and bring the war on.

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