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Babylon Nightmare

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Album Review

Guyana-born, Brooklyn-bred Jahdan Blakkamoore has been slowly building a name for himself in the American hip-hop and reggae scene for years, and on his second album he continues exploring musical fusions that bring together roots reggae, dancehall, electro, dubstep, and hip-hop to create a personal style that contains lots of familiar elements but ends up sounding quite unique. Some of this album's strongest moments are actually the least musically variegated: "Flying High" is a straight-up roots reggae sufferer's anthem, and it's perfect; the melody is gently hooky, the horns are wielded with subtle elegance, the groove is rock-solid without being overwhelmingly heavy. "Down in the Ghetto," on the other hand, distinguishes itself by combining elements of classic reggae (a clever Eek-A-Mouse sample, a vintage chord progression and horn sample) with heavy modern funk and excellent R&B harmonies, while "All Over the World" is a gently powerful dancehall/funk workout that nicely alternates despair with hope. The second half of the album bogs down just a bit, with several excursions in by-the-numbers reggae that generate a pleasant-enough ambience without rewarding close listening very well. But the program closes on a strong note with the nicely dreamy and dubwise "Rewind." This is a solidly enjoyable 65-minute album that would have been an utterly killer 50-minute one. So consider the less-than-stellar moments to be bonus tracks, and count the whole thing very good value for money.

Biography

Born: Guyana

Genre: Reggae

Years Active: '00s, '10s

For dubstep fans, the 2009 album Buzzrock Warrior was singer/rapper Jahdan Blakkamoore's breakthrough effort, but his career goes all the way back to the late '90s when he was just Jahdan, a revolutionary soldier enrolled in the Boot Camp Clik. Born in Guyana but raised in Brooklyn, Jahdan met hip-hop's revered Smif-N-Wessun through the Boot Camp, and with his reggae-influenced vocals, he became the keystone of the duo's single "Sound Bwoy Bureill." Further guest shots with DJ Premiere, Dead Prez,...
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Babylon Nightmare, Jahdan Blakkamoore
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