If Yu Luv Luv Sho Ya Luv

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It's not always easy to take white Rastafarians seriously, but Rocker-T is something of an exception. Having made his name on the New York traditional ska scene as leader of the band Skadanks, he is now emerging as one of America's very few top-notch reggae artists, a singer and deejay following in the traditions of Big Youth and Dillinger. His debut was absolutely masterful, and if his sophomore effort doesn't quite achieve the same level of quality it's still an excellent follow-up. Whereas Nicer by the Hour was powered by the old-school riddims and vintage production style of the Version City crew, If Yu Luv Luv Show Ya Luv finds Rocker-T doing more of the production himself and exploring more dancehall-oriented sounds. The lyrics are still strictly roots-and-culture, though, with several ganja anthems ("Tru Ganjaman," "Sensible Proposition") as well as numerous stern warnings to Babylon ("Sweep Dem," "Turn Yer Face") and even a fashion statement ("Baggy Pants"). There is also a very good new version of "One More," one of the catchier songs from his debut. Recommended.

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