Ghetto Palms: Demarco

May 07, 2008

Every week resident FADER selector Eddie STATS runs through dancehall riddims and other artifacts from the ghetto archipelago.

You need look no further than the pages of the current issue of FADER to know that Demarco is straight caning it back a yard right now, both as a producer and as the reigning auto-croon singjay. So it seemed destined he was finna get his own column and it seemed doubly destined it was fittin to start out with a run of the “Shoot Out” riddim which he a) produced and then b) killed by voicing the biggest tune of the set on "Duppy Know Who fi Frighten."

"Duppy" is followed by the cut that gave the riddim its name, courtesy of legend Mykal Rose, whose Black Uhuru vocal styles flow surprisingly well over the doubletime grime of the beat--so much so that Damian Marley has already jumped on a
remix trying to get his Jamrock for this year. Next, Mavado continues to climb ever deeper into the subbasement chambers of his ghoulish "full-black" persona on "Life of a Gee" as he croons things like bumbahole climb into the tomb /rifle long like a push broom. On "No Escape" Busy Signal drops maybe his most conceptual 45 yet, more of a chase sequence than a song and from what I hear, most sounds bypass the verse entirely to drop it in on the hook in the juggling. Last on this riddim is "See My Gun One Time." Demarco and Ele seem like a natural team up—besides "See My Gun" they also have a video out for "Our World"—Ele’s got the mainstream name but has been out of the juggling a bit so it seems like it couldn’t hurt to have his shit updated by a more of the moment producer/hook dude. "War Dem All Day and Night" and "3 Anthem" are non-"Shoot Out" Demarco tunes that nevertheless demonstrate that the fast doubletime is his favorite place to sit, maybe an artifact of the Baltimore club and crunk he got exposed to stateside? "I Wonder" is a rare turn on a one-drop tempo and then the blend is rounded out by the anthem of auto-croon anthems "Fallen Soldiers."

Shootout/Demarco blend

Download: "Shoot Out" riddim/Demarco blend

Demarco, “Duppy Know Who fi Frighten”

Mykal Rose, “Shoot Out”

Mavado, “Life of A Gee”

Busy Signal, “No Escape”

Demarco and Elephant Man, “See My Gun One Time”

Demarco, “War Dem All Day and Night”

Delly Ranks and Demarco, “3 Anthem”

Demarco, “I Wonder”

Demarco, “Fallen Soldiers”

Demarco, "Mash Yuh Works"

Download: Demarco, "Mash ya Works"

As a bonus track I’ve included “Mash Yuh Works,” a new tune that washed ashore from the islands in the net after I’d recorded the rest of the blend. It took some discussion among the FADER editorial staff to figure out where we recognized the melody (Akon? Anthony Hamilton? No, it’s Linkin Park!) but questionable rap-rock antecedents aside the track itself is undeniable and makes a nice capstone to the whole thing cause "mashing it" basically sums up Demarco’s MO at the moment.

From The Collection:

Ghetto Palms
Ghetto Palms: Demarco