Ghetto Palms: Sean Paul Returns!

June 04, 2008

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

Actually I just figured "New Sean Paul Tunes" was the dancehall equivalent of putting "Free Beer" on your spam email, this column is actually going to be an infomercial for erectile dysfunction treatments. PSYCHE. Sean Paul is indeed back on the juggling case with a ferocity, voicing a mess of new chune after an extended absence. He’s not the type of contentious clash artist to even claim the "king of dancehall" title but having broken every record imaginable for a reggae artist he is definitely the high priest or maybe the viceroy of this shit; at this point whatever he does is an all-important sigil for anybody who cares about the direction of dancehall as an industry and an artform. In my HO he also happens to be one of the most consistently nice deejays to ever dub a plate, clash credentials or no. Lucky for me and dancehall, rumors of a new album in the works for later this year are circulating along with a barrage of new 45s and guest verses . What follows is basically a heap of recent things that I cut together in no particular order, ranging from a few months to a few minutes young.

New Sean Paul blend:

Shano f. Sean Paul (Sand-Fly riddim), “Girls Territory”

Sean Paul, “Grip” (Sand-Fly riddim)

Mr. Evil f. Sean Paul, “Back It Up"

Wayne Marshall and Sean Paul, “As Far As I See”

Sean Paul, “Get it Right” (Power Cut riddim)

Sean Paul, “Don’t Tease Me”(Work Out riddim)

Sean Paul, Busy Signal, Busta Rhymes, “Serious” (remix)

Fahrenheit ft. Sean Paul and Jigzagula, “Hit ‘Em”

Sean Paul, “Running Out of Time”

Setting off in style are two back to back appearances on the bogle-ish Sand-Fly riddim. I actually prefer the SP solo outing “Grip” which is a throwback to Sean Paul flow of old, but the Shano combination “Girls Territory” is also my shit. A virtuoso duet of Sean and Shane trading couplets of stream of consciousness sex-talk. it’s a must have if only because I swear Sean says: Mek gal produce a whole heap of yout’ like we a Scratch Perry. Two more combinations; “Back it Up” and “As Far As I See,” with Mr. Evil/Leftside and Wayne Marshall respectively, maintain the jookin punny theme but with different, more new-school musical flows. More importantly they demonstrate Sean’s consistent tendency of collaborating with the finest in Jamaican talent, even though he could work with basically anybody in the world at this point.

Exhibit A is Stephen ‘Genius’ McGregor, one of the only producers whose riddims Sean has been blessing of the last year or two. “Get it Right” on the Power Cut and “Don’t Tease Me” on the Work Out are two of the finest and I can only hope the reason that Sean was missing from the Day Break juggling is that he’s holding back a monster to drop October surprise style. “Serious” is another good example; it’s like, Yes, he owes Busta Rhymes a look but he’s equally in touch with what’s running Jamaica right now IE Busy Signal.The last track, “Running Out of Time” is simply Sean solo, doing what he does best. But since he seems to be fully in cameo mode it’s maybe appropriate that the most stand out joint here is not a Sean Paul tune at all but a cut from Fahrenheit, his under-rated lyrical sparring partner and as far as I can remember from my last trip to Kingston (kind of a haze) an all around bug-out. I liked “Hit Em” when I first heard it but in the past week or so it’s grown on me crazily; something about the way Fahrenheit and Sean’s patois flows fuck with the spooky west coast crip-walk beat. The hook—which I assume is Sean’s brother aka Jigzagula—makes you think these days these cats really don’t need Busta on their record. How can Jamaican dudes make credible rap music but rap dudes attempting the token reggae jam is usually so off? It’s kind of like black comedians imitating white speech is hilariously on point but a white comedian trying to do black dialect is just painful. Hold your head Alec Baldwin.

Posted: June 04, 2008
Ghetto Palms: Sean Paul Returns!