Spragga Benz

Uncommonly Smooth

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    5
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Like Shabba Ranks and Buju Banton before him, upstart dancehall DJ Spragga Benz joined the rush for crossover appeal with this 1995 album. A blend of rough dancehall riddims and familiar pop melodies, Uncommonly Smooth was aimed at American fans just discovering dancehall. Although the CD boasts some gems, such as the contagiously danceable "We'll Take You There," a remake of the Staple Singers' classic "I'll Take You There," this offering largely misses its mark. Filled with sexually explicit, sometimes misogynistic tunes like "So Mi Haffi Dead," which were the core of dancehall music at the time, Benz' lyrics and delivery do nothing to expand the genre beyond hard-hittin' riddims and even harder verses.

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