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Youthman Veteran

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Album Review

Youthman Veteran is a fitting, if ironic, title for a new album from the legendary Dillinger, who began his reggae career at the feet of Dennis Alcapone (his original stage name, in fact, was Dennis Alcapone Junior) and later chatted in the studio for such top-notch producers as Lee "Scratch" Perry, Joe Gibbs, Bunny Lee, and Yabby You. His latest finds him working in singjay mode with the British producer Jah Warrior, who provides Dillinger with eight of his trademark slabs of digital roots rhythms (and a dub version of each vocal performance, thus turning Dillinger's eight vocal tracks into a 16-track, 60-minute program). For the most part, Dillinger makes good use of Jah Warrior's sturdy rhythms, ably riding both the cultural rockers anthem "No Racial War" and the distinctly nyahbinghi-flavored "Psalm a Day" and updating the sea chanty "Drunken Sailor" on "Drunken Junkies." The album ends with more of a whimper than a bang; on "Poverty" his declamatory delivery sounds like a bad parody of Linton Kwesi Johnson. But it's the album's only really weak track. Recommended overall.


Born: 25 June 1953 in Kingston, Jamaica

Genre: Reggae

Years Active: '70s

A DJ as famous as his gangster namesake, Dillinger was one of the second wave of Jamaican toasters who sprung up in the wake of the success of U-Roy, Big Youth, and Dennis Alcapone. By the mid-'70s, the young Dillinger had rapped his way to the top of the pack and won international acclaim. Renowned for his quick wit, irreverent raps, and whacked sense of humor, the DJ remains one of the most innovative and humorous toasters of any era. Born Lester Bullocks on June 25, 1953, in Kingston, Jamaica,...
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Youthman Veteran, Dillinger
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