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Yellowman Gold

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Album Review

Yellow Gold? More like fool's gold, and fans will have to dig a bit deeper than this set to find Yellowman's true gems. This compilation is far from a best-of collection, and instead draws exclusively from two of the DJ's early-'90s sets, both released by Pow Wow — 1991's Mi Hot and 1993's Reggae on Top. In fact, it's the flip of the coin to Best of Yellowman. That set drew heavily from Mi Hot, tossing a few of Reggae on Top's tracks in along the way; Yellow Gold does the opposite. The mix and match approach works, however, as both albums were produced by Maurice "Jack Scorpio" Johnson, with the sizzling dancehall riddims provided by the Firehouse Crew and Steely & Clevie. Both sets were light on culture, and Yellow Gold inevitably reflects that, with many of the tracks themed around girls — they still want the "Sexy Yellowman," and we all know "Woman Important" to him too. The DJ's as demanding as ever, as "Gimme What Me Want" well illustrates, and his boasts have not mellowed with age, but even King Yellow knows better than to be "Too Greedy." "Having a Party" sums up this brash batch, while "Don't Burn It Down" is notable among the limited conscious offerings. Over a decade earlier, Johnson had produced Yellowman's magnificent "Eventide Fire," nothing here equals that masterpiece, but both these sets are entertaining, even if neither the producer nor the DJ was any longer at the top of their game.

Biography

Born: 1956 in Jamaica

Genre: Reggae

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Jamaica's first dancehall superstar, Yellowman ushered in a new era in reggae music following Bob Marley's death. His early-'80s success brought the popularity of toasting — the reggae equivalent of rapping — to a whole new level, and helped establish dancehall as the wave of the future. For better or for worse, he also epitomized dancehall's penchant for "slack" lyrics — that is, casual violence, sexism, homophobia, and general rudeness. Graphic sexuality was his particular forte,...
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Yellowman Gold, Yellowman
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