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Extra Raw - The Best of Lady Saw

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Album Review

An updated version of the 1998 compilation Raw, VP's 2009 release Extra Raw: The Best of Lady Saw one ups the previous set with 21st century material that's outstanding, but the compiling isn't perfect. Small complaints first, the set doesn't paint the full picture since some extremely X-rated material that appeared on the first set — "Stab Out the Meat," "Life Without Dick" — is gone, plus some cuts edit out the cussing even when the set claims to be "raw," and "extra" at that. On the great hussy anthem "I've Got Your Man" with Ce'Cile, you'll have to fill in the blanks, but "Come catch the first flight/My pum-pum tighter than tight" remains in her bedroom duet with Shabba Ranks, "Want It Tonight," so this is still "adults only." The set doesn't shy away from her more frantic, abrasive dancehall tracks — check "Chat to Mi Back" for some serious fire — and it doesn't forget about her underappreciated, musically adventurous side either, with the inclusion of the country-fied "Give Me the Reason," fiddles and all. The closing "No Less Than a Woman (Infertility)" is nothing short of revolutionary as Saw condemns the misogynist dancehall singers who have used the word "barren" as an insult, while telling her own story of miscarriages and adoption. The poetic, vulnerable, and in the end triumphant track shows how much the first Lady of slack has matured and grown since the first Raw, and even if Extra Raw isn't absolute, it's a highly recommended introduction.


Born: 1972 in St. Mary, Jamaica

Genre: Reggae

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

The First Lady of Dancehall, Lady Saw is a Jamaican bad girl with loads more attitude and sex appeal than hip-hop mistresses like Lil' Kim and Foxy Brown, plus one of the most distinguishing images in reggae. Born in 1972 in the small Jamaican village of St. Mary's, Marion Hall signed to the Jamaican grassroots label VP Records and debuted in 1994 with Lover Girl. Lady Saw soon proved she was up to the challenge of Jamaica's rudest boys by teaming up with Shabba Ranks on the single "Want It Tonight."...
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Extra Raw - The Best of Lady Saw, Lady Saw
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