Macka Diamond

Money-O

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In both hip-hop and dancehall reggae, the girls tend to talk about money the way the guys talk about sex: it's what you acquire to show how powerful you are. Typically, of course, one of those commodities is essentially traded for the other; that's why the guys on the covers of hip-hop and dancehall albums are shown brandishing their bling against a backdrop of half-naked women, and why Macka Diamond is shown on the cover of her debut album brandishing her half-naked body against a backdrop of money. It's also why so many of her lyrics basically read like the contract rider to a prenuptial agreement: she requires fancy cars ("Lexus & Benz"), lavish gifts ("Mr. Teki Back"), and cash ("Chase Money"), as well as a man of certain physical proportions ("Stop Tickle Mi"), and if that man happens to be your husband, hey, that's how it goes. In other words, it's business as usual in the lyrics department. Luckily, Macka D has access to top-notch producers (Clive "Azul" Hunt, Steely & Clevie, Michael Brissett and others) and they provide her with some unusual and fascinating rhythms; on "Murderer" she makes brilliant use of the "Petty Thief" rhythm, and she joins up with Black-Er for a fine combination track on the calypso-flavored "Lilly." "Chase Money" is also built on a dark and unusual backing track, one that deserves something better than the run-of-the-mill lyrics she brings to it. To her everlasting credit, Macka D responds quite tartly to the frequently obnoxious Vybz Kartel on the sharp answer song "Tek Con" and she also has sufficient common sense to call out gunmen and murderers. Not bad at all.

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