Every week resident FADER selector Eddie STATS runs through dancehall riddims and other artifacts from the ghetto archipelago.
Yeah I know y’all are just wrapping your heads around bringing ’88 back what with the Retro Kids rocking gumby fades and Mars Blackmon wears but in Jamaica doopses are living so fast-forward that they have already been brought back the '90s. In fact, it seemed like them shits were not even over before people in Kingston started talking about '90s throwback riddims, like shouldn’t there be a 10-15 year statute of limitations on something before you bring it back? I can remember the term being applied at least as far back as Assassin’s “As A Man” and Leftside and Esco’s “Tuck in your Belly” when the Gigi and the Sleepy Dog riddims were the next big thing in dancehall. That was 2005, which is like bringing the '50s back in 1965. Hell, the SIXTIES had barely started in 1965. Jamaicans; can’t you let a decade get it’s own sound properly established before you get so bored with it that you start recycling previous ones?
But then again if you take a second to remember what a golden age for dancehall the '90s actually was, it does seem sort of necessary to make an exception. Riddims like the Fever Pitch, Bogle and Showtime are basically immortal, so ridiculously heavy that they warp the laws of physics—including the flow of time itself! Right now seems as good a time as any to stop fighting it and declare the '90s the forever decade, at least as far as bashment goes (sorry, Clintons) and not least because of riddims like these here:
Quarter to Twelve blend:
Beenie Man, “Where Have All”
Ice Cold, “Stammina”
Busy Signal, “Enemy Territory”
Snow f. Beenie Man, Buju Banton, Nadine Sutherland, Terror Fabulous, Louie Culture, Kulcha Knox, “Anything For You” (Cast remix)
Download: Quarter to Twelve blend
Quarter to Twelve is theoretically a tribute to the '90s riddim and Simpleton tune of the same name, but in practice it’s a new '90s-tempo riddim frankensteined together out of a bunch of sounds from the era. Beenie’s cut is actually sort of a sequel to his tunes on the Stink riddim and the Hot Wax. Though Busy Signal always sits near the top of any riddim run he voices, the best tune shares it’s name with Terror Fabulous and Nadine Sutherland’s classic “Action” (and the artists shares hers with roots legend Peter Tosh, effectively making this particular track invisible to google searches.) I faded out on the all-star cast remix of Snow’s “Anything For You” which seemed like the best way to represent every deejay from the actual ‘90s on one track.
Tear Up Jeans blend:
Beenie Man, “World Dance”
Chicken, “Wife Over Mate”
Delly Ranx, “Village Mattress”
Sean Storm, “Gal Hunt”
Laden, “Haffi Buss”
Tifa, “Can’t Stop Me”
Beenie Man, “Row Like A Boat” (Corduroy refix)
Download: Tear Up Jeans Blend
The Tear Up Jeans (a re-jigga of the Corduroy riddim of “Ganga Lee” fame) has been floating around for a few months now but tireless dancehall ambassador Johnny Wonder just hit me with a slew of new tunes on it, which inspired this blend. Once again Beenie book-ends the set with his hit pon the original and a Corduroy refix of “Row The Boat,” I thought it was appropriate since he and veteran Delly Ranx are like living metaphors for '90s dancehall that refuses to step down from the throne. But the beautiful thing about throwback beats like this is that they make a perfect vehicle for new artists to buss, making the familiar shit pop again with fresh styles. All of these qualify, but the stand out is definitely Tifa, who was introduced to Ghetto Palms in Max Glazer’s “Ladies First” column from a few weeks back.