Tippa Irie

I Miss

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Tippa Irie is one of the more well-respected members of the cohort of reggae DJs who came on the scene in the mid-'80s. A scion of England's legendary Saxon Sound System (which also produced such popular singers and DJs as Maxi Priest, Papa Levi, and Smiley Culture), Irie made his name as a leading exponent of the "fast chat" style of toasting, and has enjoyed a long string of chart hits, including "Raggamuffin Girl," "Hello Darling," and "Shouting for the Gunners." This outing is a highly enjoyable, if melancholy, set of old-fashioned dancehall reggae. I Miss is a tribute to his younger sister, who died tragically in 1998; there are a number of anti-violence songs on the program, including the title track, "Make a Duppy Yet," and the powerful, rootsy "Divide & Rule." Best of all is "Tippa Vex," a lament for the ghetto dead that finds him chatting smoothly over a syrupy one-drop rhythm. Other notable tracks include "Sensi" (which he performs with the Long Beach Dub All-Stars) and the nostalgic "Good Old Days" (with Pato Banton). Highly recommended.

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