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To Jah Only (Praying for the World)

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Album Review

Though the first track opens with a suspiciously slick-sounding electronic keyboard and acoustic guitar, don't be fooled: this is not shiny happy pop-reggae. Prezident Brown, an excellent DJ and passable singer, is seriously worried about the state of the world, and he's going to tell you about it over the course of most of an hour and 13 tracks, in styles varying from a sort of postmodern Nyabinghi chanting ("To Jah Only") to straight roots ("Rough Road") and conscious dancehall ("Pomps and Pride"). Along the way he pays tribute to "Mother Nature" and to the "African Woman, " always accompanied by the kind of hard-hitting old-school reggae grooves that you might have thought were long gone from the current computerized scene. When he toasts, it's with a powerful but swinging flow; when he sings, his voice is pleasantly rough if not truly distinctive. Highly recommended, especially to fans of, say, Sister Carol or Michael Rose.


Born: Ocho Rios, Jamaica

Genre: Reggae

Years Active: '80s, '90s

Prezident Brown (born Fitz Albert Cotterell) has been called "one of the most interesting cultural dee jays since U-Roy." Emphasizing positive messages, Brown has continued to pioneer his own direction, developing his own approach to dee jaying that he calls "the chanting stylee." Born to a Seventh Day Adventist family in Colonel Ridge, Clarendon, Brown grew up in St. Mary, a small town in the the north coast resort city of Ocrabessa. Although he showed potential as an artist, as a youngster he was...
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To Jah Only (Praying for the World), Prezident Brown
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