Various Artists

Mad Ants

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The Mad Ants riddim has a relatively slow bass beat with sharp high-pitched horns and percussion. The accompanying percussion is uptempo, which gives the dancehall singers a choice between trying to keep pace or relax with the bass beat. Ward 21 on "No Apologies" uses a relaxed chorus then spit-out rhymes along with the uptempo percussion. The speed that the singers have to rhyme makes the rhythm sound frantic, further proving that there is no complex scheme to naming rhythms. Every track on Mad Ants that the singer tries to keep pace with sounds stressed, as if the singer is trying to fit as many rhymes on the track as possible. The laid-back bass keeps the rhythm from sounding completely out of control. Lukie D's track is the only one on the album that manages to keep the rhythm from sounding hectic. "Roll Out"'s R&B take on Mad Ants seems to defeat the point of the rhythm. The singing plays over the rhythm and forgets why it is named after frenzied insects. The majority of quality tracks mix up the tempos, making use of the slow bass and fast percussion. Vybz Cartel and Wayne Marshall split the tempos between each other, letting Vybz Cartel rhyme and Wayne Marshall fill out the chorus. Beenie Man is the most playful with the rhythm, not letting himself get trapped into rhyming along with the percussion. His track, "Goodas Gal," ends up being one of the best on the compilation. Mad Ants isn't the heaviest-hitting rhythm, but it is interesting to listen to dancehall singers try to get on top of a tempo that is on the verge of burning them out.

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