No 69 jokes, please. Badman arithmetic only goes up to 68-and-I’ll-owe-you-one. Just by pure coincidence though, this edition of Ghetto Palms does happen to be kind of a ladies night special. But that’s only because after a brief summer hibernation, production trio Daseca are back on the set with a vengeance—and when Serani and co. are not working out their Anger Management issues on a Bounty Killer affiliated project, they can kill a lover’s tune like nobody else.
Daseca Plus Blend
Webstar f. Serani, “Tipsy” (Ricky Blaze/Koch)
Serani, “Be With You” (Daseca)
Mavado, “Baby Girl” (R6 riddim/Daseca)
Voicemail, “Moving Forward” (R6 riddim/Daseca)
Voicemail, “Money Pull Up” (Coke Zero riddim/Daseca)
Elephant Man, “Gifted & Black” (Coke Zero riddim/Daseca)
Download: Ghetto Palms Daseca Blend
First up is the Ricky Blaze produced Webstar collabo “Tipsy,” which smells like Koch records’ 808-clap strategy for bussing Serani on crossover radio. It definitely works in a PNG/Ron Browz kinda way but if they were smart they would be looking at the Daseca-built “Be With You” which is more dancehall, more pop, and more genius. Which is to say it’s more Serani being himself, the Ryan Leslie of soundclash.
Then there’s a quick juggling of a few selects from two new riddims—the R6 and the Coke Zero—from Daseca doing what they do best with big chords and spare, epic, arrangements. Over the first, Mavado delivers the most credible and least-creepy love song he’s ever done. Not once does he use the term “cocky” or say anything date-rapish. Which makes me think that either Daseca ghost-wrote it or he found true love and gave up stalking for good. Both beats also make a surprisingly good vehicle for Voicemail, who have graduated from raw bwoy-band to surprisingly sophisticated r&b-hall, if you fuck with that sort of thing.
Then I threw in one more freeload from Serani getting lovey-dovey again on the previously reviewed School Yard/Ting a Ling throwback.
Serani, “When it’s Cold”
Download: Serani, "When it's Cold
This column would not be complete, however, without pouring out some lighter-fluid in recognition of keyboardist Wycliffe ‘Steely” Johnson who passed away in a New York Hospital yesterday. As one half of the legendary “Steely & Clevie” rhythm section he helped to shape several generations of reggae music. Among countless other accomplishments, Steely & Clevie produced both the Mud Up and the Punaany riddims—for my dollars, the first two modern dancehall rhythms on which the whole '90s bashment revolution was founded. Beaucoups respect, Steely.