Vybz Kartel is quickly becoming a major player in the stables of Greensleeves Records and producer Donovan "Vendetta" Bennett. In fact, his star is rising fast enough that his label saw fit to reissue his debut album shortly after it came out, adding five new tracks. When he contributes to compilations and rhythm albums, Vybz Kartel can be counted on to provide highlight tracks -- his confident flow, effortless speed of delivery and occasional sly glibness ("You're bossy like British hierarchy," he chides a woman on "Live U life") -- are all very impressive. Unfortunately, he undercuts his talent by falling back too often on lowest-common-denominator slackness, resorting to by-the-numbers dirty talk when he's capable of much more. That said, he makes easy work of the "Kasablanca" rhythm on his fine "Badda Dan Dem," engages in several winning combination tracks with Wayne Marshall, the best of which is "Why You Doing It," and gets dark and interesting on both "A.K.A." and "Who Knows"." Not bad at all.
More Up 2 Di Time Review
by Rick Anderson
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