Black History

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Angry, militant lyrics commingle with melodic dancehall toasting on the prolific DJ's third release in a 12-month span. The young Rasta who followed in the footsteps of new wave Jamaican roots fundamentalists Yami Bolo and Capleton possesses a singular vocal quality that sets him apart from other artists in the reggae genre. As with many Rasta DJs, the problem here is that Sizzla, although stylistically colorful, rarely changes his mantras, ruing the virtues of King Heilie Selassie and chanting down Babylon over and over again in tried and true stanzas. But the gruff, passionate style of Sizzla is always worthy of repeat listens and the loud, stinging rhythms invigorate the album with a sense of Rastafarian/African nationalism that Sizzla unabashedly puts across. When Sizzla opens his mouth and taps into a deep chasm of fire and bitterness, he leaves the listener with much to contemplate. However, his message somehow gets clouded in repetition rather than reinforced. The strongest tracks tend to be Sizzla's more toned-down efforts, such as "Galong" and "Don't Be Disappointed." The acoustic "Happy to Love" is a poignant, albeit surprisingly mellow, ending point to a vehemently political album.

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