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Mother Culture

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Album Review

Sister Carol mixed love tunes, defiant message tracks and hip-hop-influenced toasts/raps on this collection. "Shackles" and "Mother Culture," as well as "Mandela's Release," were aggressive, striking political tunes, while "Tight Spot" was in the rap/reggae groove just emerging in the early '90s. "Lovers Rock Style" and "The Music Nice" were romantic numbers, though not as sensual or soothing as they would be in the hands of a Sandra Cross. Sister Carol's tone and delivery belied her tough, independent style. There were no weak or compliant qualities in her music, even when the lyrics might suggest otherwise.


Born: 1959 in Kingston, Jamaica

Genre: Reggae

Years Active: '90s, '00s

One of the dancehall era's few successful female DJs, Sister Carol was something like reggae's answer to Queen Latifah: a strong, positive feminist voice who was inspired by her faith and never resorted to sexual posturing to win an audience. Leaning heavily on socially conscious material, Sister Carol delivered uplifting and cautionary messages drawn from her Rastafarian principles, while always urging respect for women. She was more of a singjay than a full-time toaster, capable of melodic vocals...
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