The Good, the Bad, the Ugly & the Crazy
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Tapping into Jamaican music's long fascination with the American West (and with Clint Eastwood's films in particular), the first-ever four-way DJ album brought together a posse of tough-toasting chatters on Super Cat's Wild Apache label. On The Good, the Bad, the Ugly & the Crazy, Super Cat and fellow dancehall veteran Nicodemus were joined by their younger protégés, Junior Demus and Junior Cat; the result isn't the usual DJ showdown, but features the gang of four taking on all comers. The junior partners here had studied their forebears very closely, making it sometimes hard to distinguish who's on the mike during the mix-and-match pairings. The tunes, however, are often as colorful as the cowboys-and-Indians album graphics. With island hitmakers like Sly & Robbie, Steely & Clevie, Danny Browne, and Tony Kelly providing the riddims, there's a surplus of strong material, especially the catchy Casiotone groove of "Scalp Dem" and the stripped-down "We Nuh Stop Cry," a Super Cat showcase with a war whoop for its hook and a message of solidarity with ghetto residents going through daily "sufferation." The album, recorded in New York instead of Jamaica, also follows the trend of many early-'90s dancehall outings, incorporating hip-hop beats in an appeal to U.S. listeners. The Americanized remixes of "Cabin Stabbin" (a previous hit for Super Cat, Nicodemus, and Junior Demus) and "Vineyard Party," which feature production from Little Louie Vega, are presentable enough crossover moves — although the originals would have made this spaghetti Western of an album a stronger package.
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