Music Reviews


The Best of Capleton

Hip-O / Universal

Ragga’s “Mr. Fire” still has too many pyrotechnics left in his arsenal to have a Best of out, but this compilation captures “The Prophet” at his best – when he almost single-handedly (we can’t forget Garnett Silk) took dancehall’s head out of the punanny and pointed it back towards the heavens. Much like KRS-One, it took violence for Capleton to realize his potential. The death of Pan Head (like Scott La Rock) brought substance and power to his music, and dancehall has been the better for it (with the likes of Buju Banton, Beenie Man, and Sizzla following his tracks).

This fantastic compilation is all the testament one needs to appreciate Capleton’s transformation. It’s ass-grinding with a conscience. There’s the incendiary “Tour,” which broke him through to American audiences; the beautiful bass/percussion grit of “Leave Babylon”; the “minimalist,” “broken beat,” “Wings of the Morning,” where his cadence is definitely at its best; and the ominous brilliance of “Death Row.”

Usually _Best of_s sound the death knell of a career. While I think Capleton’s is still too strong to be extinguish, this compilation is a great example of how the man still burns.

Hip-O Records:

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