Hey Punk … Get Riddim!

Hey Punk … Get Riddim!

Various Artists

Victory World

In the reggae world, oftentimes you can see the bitter battle rage between the dancehall and roots camps. Being a fan of both, I don’t quite get it (I love all the music from Jamaica — even the calypso). Fortunately, neither does Victory World. Hey Punk is an interesting — though a bit tepid — compilation of dancehall, roots, a combination of both, and a dub cameo from Lee “Scratch” Perry (“Come Along”).

While this is definitely a good CD, I am a bit disheartened by how safe it is. Every name here (Sizzla, Capleton, Gregory Isaacs, Tenor Saw, Yellowman, Beenie Man, Black Uhuru, Chaka Demus, Culture, Israel Vibration, and Sugar Minott) is a name from reggae royalty, and every song fits well within its genre (just consider Demus’ “Lap Top,” which is basically “Murder She Wrote”). There are a lot of good songs that have never, unfortunately, pushed the envelope. Especially with all the changes going on in dancehall, it’s a bit of a letdown not to have one of those concrete-thumpers on the disc. While Victory has not put together one of those soul-draining reggae collections that Putumayo is famous for, they have failed to match the crotch-grinding exhilaration typical of a Jamdown product.

Victory World: http://www.victoryworld.net

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