‘England Story’, a definitive tune on the album ‘Straight Outta Britain’ released by YT in 2006 , heralded an era where British sounds ruled the waves. This salute to a poignant time in UK sound system history helped to spark a renaissance among many British sounds who began re-launching their careers, spearheaded by YT bursting onto the scene.
His entry to the scene was refreshing, taking the spirit of the old and combining it with the feeling of the new. YT’s latest work also showcases that essence. Sativa Records, which is YT’s own label, has put together a sound track fit for the ‘revolution’.
‘Revolution Time’ kicks off with an intro by the infamous Joe Lickshot and a cut of the ‘Artibella’ riddim. Well known for his intelligent and meaningful lyricism, YT wastes no time providing his perspective on the state of global affairs, including giving mention to the student protests in the UK.
‘World News’ is an example of the imaginative angle YT takes to his lyrics. This tune is a clever take of a deejay commenting on the world’s troubles under the guise of a news reporter. He provides all the latest news showering down on the ‘Dutty Diseases’ riddim (a version of the ‘Johnny Dollar’ riddim, more commonly known as ‘Diseases’, both of which are loose interpretations of Alton Ellis’s ‘Mad Mad’ of 1968).
Some of YT’s main musical collaborators also feature on the album. ‘Scream’, the Mungo’s Hi Fi classic, is given new life by a pairing with Solo Banton. Solo is an MC from Reading Town’s ‘Classic Wonder’ sound, who has again come to prominence with ‘Reality Shock Records’. Solo, like YT, cut his teeth in the golden era of UK sound system.
‘Keep It Movin’, once again features Joe Lickshot and also Spragga Benz, the year to year veteran Jamaican deejay from the nineties. The three combine to show how they have been keeping things going and as Spragga once said ‘moving down the line’.
And ‘Vex’, features Mr Williamz, another UK MC doing big things in the industry. YT and Williamz combine on a riddim loosely based around ‘Children of Israel’ (which is also referred to as ‘Give Me the Right’). ‘Pon de riddim, dem say dem vex’, and as two British MCs, it was only fitting for them to combine on this subject of the unrest that has exploded in the streets of every major city in the UK.
Other highlights on the album include ‘Save Mi Life’, a Peckings production utilising the original ’54-46’ riddim track, on which YT talks about how his passion for reggae music stopped him going astray growing up in the inner cities of England. ‘Forward To Reality’ is a clear example of YT’s lyrical prowess tearing down the walls of Babylon, with this well written song expressing how desensitised people are becoming to the many atrocities around us. Not to mention the riddim bad too.
The album closes with ‘Heathen Agenda’, with YT cleverly expounding about the escapism we seek, to hide from the agenda that many do not want to see. This sums up the reality, or falsehood, of the way many of us view the world. Lyrically putting it as Orwell would have written it, the tune is a great conclusion to an album about ‘revolution’.
With this his third album, it’s all about the YT trilogy. From the get go, YT has maintained a high standard of entertaining and informative lyrics, with a tight flow on a diverse set of rhythm tracks. As well as a revolutionary stance, his well versed subject matters will raise the bench mark of an art form that many have criticised for its praise of all that is shallow. So in many ways, it is revolution time!