A bass-driven celebration of the life of the raggamuffin, Raging Fyah’s lead single for the forthcoming Everlasting album is equally powered by the well-delivered vocals. This conscious cut from the Kingston six-piece ought to put the young band on the proverbial map, and the release will certainly be a suitable fit for VP Records’ new Dub Rockers imprint.
The opening toys with convention before the track takes off, grooving along at 85bpm; “Raggamuffin” feels significantly more upbeat than Raging Fyah’s soulful standout releases of the past (like “Jah Glory” and “Nah Look Back”). Quite the wise move, given the momentum of the so-called ‘new roots’ movement of anti-slackness reggae revivalists, so this is arguably their “Here Comes Trouble” or “Who Knows” – a dancefloor filler that’s an instant classic.
A rhetorical question-based thematic throwback to Black Uhuru’s “Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner,” here it’s the refrain of ‘do you love natty dreadlocks?’ that celebrates this ‘straight raggamuffin ting’ with steaming chalice in hand and strictly roots rock reggae. There’s party vibes aplenty yet still space for wise words: ‘ya gotta be strong, I say ya gotta be fit, you came here to live long, and not to make an exit.’ There’s strong musicality here as well, as the guitars wail and the keys skank through the breaks, all in support of the driving rhythm section.
“Raggamuffin” is a heavyweight tune through and through, and is already getting regular play in my own DJ sets, working equally well to set the initial vibe or amp up a lagging crowd. If ya don’t know now ya know: ‘raggamuffin from the day I born, raggamuffin til the day I fly.’
If you’d like more music out of the Dub Rockers camp, this minimix from Dash Eye (of Tribe of Kings) opens with “Raggamuffin” and also features vocals from Collie Buddz, Alborosie, and Chronixx amongst others. As the title implies, there’s definitely a herbal theme.
The Groove Thief
.the future of dub is the present.
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