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Looks Are Deceiving

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Album Review

There wasn't much sweetness and light on this seven-cut CD by Macka-B, yet another of four Ariwa/Ras sessions issued in 1990. From the humorous yet sad and angering scenario depicted in the opening title track to the celebratory tone of "Proud To Be Black" and resilient qualities expressed in "Unemployment Blues," Macka-B addressed social and political inequities rather than seeking romance or calling out challengers on the microphone. There was as much African and Afro-Latin as reggae underpinning on some tunes. It's hard not to root for a toaster willing to address issues in a clear, concise manner without apology.


Born: Wolverhampton, West Midlands, Eng

Genre: Reggae

Years Active: '90s

Macka B was one of Britain's most influential dancehall toasters, pushing the music back toward a Rastafarian political consciousness. His rough, gravelly vocals gave him an instantly identifiable sound, and his production -- chiefly handled by Mad Professor -- updated dub reggae techniques for the dancehall age, proving that the two sounds weren't mutually exclusive. Although the vast majority of Macka B's material was devoted to spiritual and social messages, he did lighten the mood with occasional...
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Looks Are Deceiving, Macka B
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