I had something totally else in mind to run for this week’s blend but then Steel Frog jumped out of my inbox late last night and croaked: Exclusive! Actual, factual exclusives are rare in this promiscuous world of dancehall overproduction (and God knows Johnny Wonder is quick to remind me when I juggle something he blasted out without his name attached). But more important, this exclusive happens to be a Truckback modernization of classic Steely and Clevie material (Frog riddim ca. 1994), so it had to get a mention. Plus the classically Steely combination of a Ricky D vocal sample and bullfrog bass-synth bubbling up under a weird shuffle of a drum pattern just brought out my inner scratchmaster.
GP87 Steel Frog Blend
Tony Curtis, “Baddest Sound”
Macka Diamond, “Baby Fadda a Call”
Capleton, “Lip Lip Lip”
Deh Deh, “Ocean”
Mr. Lexx & Kev Lloyd, “Look Good Lady”
Mr. Vegas, “Dance”
Richie Feelings, “Crocus Bag-a-Tings”
New Kidz, “Watch Man”
Elephant Man, “Control Him”
Captain Barkey, “Nuh Lef Joe”
Download: Ghetto Palms Steel Frog Blend
There’s been a megaton of tribute riddims since Steely’s passing (and before if you count Lefty and Esco’s “Tuck in your Belly”). Truckback has been responsible for two of the best with this outing and Boops, made famous by the Supercat tune of the same name (freeload Chino’s Truckback version below for a taste.) But I’ve noticed that most seem to focus on older and sometimes more obscure runs. I think that’s simply because the biggest of the big Steely & Clevie creations—ie Punanny and Mud Up/Tatie dance—have already been thrown back, hit over and relicked so many times there’s probably not a reggae artist over the age of 12 who hasn’t already voiced them. And it just don’t make sense to update newer material like the Street Sweeper because nothing harder has come out of Jamaica since.
Download: Chino, "Phone Gallis"