Various Artists

Ragga Ragga Ragga 2004

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The cover is right on one count -- this is raw dancehall, especially when compared to the slicker, R&B-influenced dancehall that competing label VP featured on Reggae Gold 2004. Start with that collection if you want to be eased into dancehall, then try Greensleeves' Ragga Ragga Ragga 2004 if you want to go deeper. A quick glance at the track list and you'll notice the collection is heavy with Vybz Kartel tracks. He deserves it since every single one of his tracks is hot, especially the steamy "Body Nuh Done," with the singer acting like Jamaica's answer to Morris Day. Kartel teams with Bounty Killer and Wayne Marshall for the collection's other standout track, the druggy and horribly catchy ode to herb "In My Eyes." Things get harder in the album's fourth quarter, with beats pumping and gruff singers boasting. Old friends like Mad Cobra and Sizzla are in fine form, but they're a bit overshadowed by anxious and over the top newcomers Predator and Kid Kurrupt. The cover says this is "X-Rated" but it's hard R at best. Easy to forgive since the track selection is hot, the pacing is good, and Vybz Kartel is the man.

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