Grass Roots (Badda Skat, 2007)

Florida-based DJ Badda Skat is a cohort of underground roots band Jah Roots who guested on their Crucial album.  He shows real promise on his debut Grass Roots, a vibrant modern roots showcase featuring the incomparable music from that very same Jah Roots set (sharing riddims in a similar manner to the Minor7Flat5 releases).  He has a youthful voice that I think could be honed to create a unique flow to stand out from the current flood of conscious singjays (granted, the fact that he's white makes him stand out somewhat already), something a bit more quirky that shows off his personality, as on the opening semi-rap "Frontline."  Certainly, I'm not expecting the antics of HR, but maybe something more akin to the charismatic (albeit little-known) Reasoner.  That said, Badda Skat helps himself stand out from the pack by crafting catchy refrains that demand to be sung along.  "Frontline," "Copper Shot," "My Voice," and "The Ballad of Mr. Smith" draw you in right off the bat with a welcoming sound that makes you actually want to pay attention to the lyrics (which are conveniently included in the liner notes).  He really hits his stride, though, midway through the album with "Locks Alone," a wicked head-banger fueled by a funky organ and chanting chorus that reminds us that hairstyle does not necessarily equate righteousness.  The rollicking ganja anthem "One Load" is a worthy follow-up, chock full of old school dancehall goodness.  If this doesn't convince you to "take one load," nothing will.  Grass Roots is a strong debut that displays a talent and sincerity that will serve Badda Skat well in the long run.  See baddaskat.com.

Track Listing
1. Frontline
2. Copper Shot
3. My Voice
4. The Ballad of Mr. Smith
5. Mini Bus
6. One
7. Locks Alone
8. One Load
9. Grass Roots
10. All a Me
11. Cyann Tek Rasta
12. What Will It Take
Grass Roots
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