RIDDIM TO BEAT?: Leftside & Esco could be contenders
Every year, there’s one dancehall riddim to beat — one that brings out the best in every MC who jumps on it, regardless of his hit-to-miss ratio on other beats. In 2005, it was the somber, rootsy “Seasons” riddim, which spawned the massive Sean Paul weeper “Never Gonna Be the Same.” Producers Leftside & Esco have spawned an early contender for this year’s title with their frantic new “Galore” riddim. The duo’s own not-so-secret alias, Dr. Evil, contributes the finest (and filthiest) joint here with “More Punanny,” but up-and-coming MC Idonia places a strong second with his “Chicken Head” — a track that may just top Project Pat’s ’90s hit of the same name, if only because it utilizes real chicken sounds. The ubiquitous Elephant Man double-times his way through “Gone Up,” and Wayne Marshall cuts the weed talk and puts on his badman face to murder “I Forgot Them,” addressing some small-time dudes “from ‘bout ’94.” Fortunately for him and the rest of the contributors here, the Galore riddim isn’t so forgettable.