Various Artists

Rackaz

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AllMusic Review by

The Down Sound Records crew exploded in 2005 thanks to two things, the strictly conscious Fantan Mojah and the "Sweet Sop" riddim, the basis for Nanko's massive hit "Lucky You." The label's one-drop sound found favor in the dancehall-satiated, roots-starved Jamaica, and soon New York City's Hot 97 and the BBC's 1 Extra radio program were falling under the spell. Released in 2006, Rackaz is an up-to-the-minute collection that allows listeners to celebrate the young label's achievements with all the necessary tracks and their videos, to boot. "Lucky You" is a sweet, infectious yearn for the stability of family life with Nanko looking to leave the streets behind and join the ranks of those with responsibilities (and cable television). Fantan's "Hail to the King" is an earthy wonder with nyabinghi drums swaying under the singer's moving ode to Jah. The two tracks from the incarcerated Jah Cure are up to his usual high standards, Capleton's "Invasion" burns the house down, and D.Y.C.R.'s "Misunderstanding" might be simply a joke set to music, but it's a hilarious joke with some biting political commentary. Its video is the highlight of the bonus DVD, which also includes interesting footage documenting how Jah Cure is able to record vocal tracks while in prison. "Lucky You" was so big in the world of reggae that it brought out the haters who grew sick and tired of Jamaican radio's long love affair with the track. Don't let them convince you that Rackaz is anything less than the sound of 21st century roots music or a compilation of great importance.

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
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blue highlight denotes track pick