By Liam Monaghan
Big voices in Reggae/Dancehall music are always around; when I say big I mean gripping, raw, unique, and Jeffery Campbell has that. Better known as Assassin or Agent Sasco, we are now exposed to the new album titled ‘Theory Of Reggaetivity”
Assassin came out of the the Kintyre district located in St Andrews Parish easterly to the Hope River. When researching the district, its easy to see that its an area where gangs are apparent and it’s a part of Jamaica that’s been left behind in developing the youth. Sasco moved to Kingston where he was introduced to many Deejays and producers within the industry and one of his classmates at Camperdown High School handed over some lyrics to Spragga Benz. Which later on became ‘Shotta’ Sasco is part of a lyrics conscious movement where words paint pictures. An educated guy to say the least, proven by completing Internet-based classes toward a bachelor’s degree in business management from England’s University of Sunderland.
After a wait of 11 years, and originally pencilled in for last November, this is the third album from Agent Sasco and features the likes of Chronixx and Limura who bring different aspects to the album and we see production from Protoje. “ Theory of Reggaetivity is supposed to represent Sascos interest in the art form, what makes Reggae music Reggae music and what has he learned”. The album reached number 3 on the billboard charts and debuted on itunes Reggae chart at number 2.
Theory Of Reggaetivity
review imageTitle track of the album opens up with a horn heavy abrupt start which sets the pace the rest of the album. A reasonably short record, Sascos gritty voice booms across intellectual lyrics in which you can see the clear association with Einstein’s Theory Of Relevantly. “What if I told you the big bang was a big song that starts the universe, what if I told you that creation was vibration the translation is through the world” This track takes a couple of listens to fully appreciate the intellect and thought process when writing lyrics but a vibe starter.
In this track we hear Sasco question where Reggae music began and the origins. “Where Did It All Start?!” echos out. The Nyabinghi drumming throughout this track brings a touch of authenticity in this track, there isn’t much going on musically apart from some keys, bass, simple drums all holding up the stage for us to hear Sascos thought provoking lyrics.
Health & Wealth
Big fan of this riddim! Love the horn lines in this record; you will struggle to keep still listening to this record. Sascos voice works in harmony with the riddim, which is vibrant and screams life. The harmonies in this track are the Festival classic tick box checked.
Stripped back from Health & Wealth, an airy track with simple drumming and bass with splashes of dub style symbols. The track discusses being high and feeling high over a rub a dub style riddim. Another uplifting track to take us through the album
This track reminds me of a Micah Shemiah style riddim, for instance the modern play on an original riddim with flashes of horns ringing and whailing effects which creates the bed for musical wickedness from Sasco, quick wit and crafty deliverance
Crazy Ft Elesia Iimura
Different vibe with this one, the production of this is built with the US Hip Hop vibe in mind. Elesia iimura just adds something to the album, not really much more you can say. Her voice suits the riddim perfectly and in contrast to Sascos Grit keeps the track gripping, think Buru Banton & Nadine Sutherland!
Nice crossover of Afrobeat and Dancehall in this track, some may not agree with those labels but key fundamental elements of drumming, tempo and mood and feel created by the riddim certainly gives the track that feel. A really positive sounding track with mentions of Marcus Garvey and ‘African ancestors lived as free men so you and me a pree then’ a nice change in the album, something different.
Slave No more Ft Chronixx
Theres always going to be an anticipation of a good result when Chronixx gets involved in a track due to the quality he provides and the hype and success surrounding his music and projects currently. In another musical twist to the album, Sasco brings us a Ska beat! Similar to starlet Runkus Move Yuh Feet riddim, a two stepping riddim sets the way for big lyrics and alternative meanings to the term slave including working hard, cant face yuh women, cutting up credit cards. A deeper song with deeper meanings than other tracks but binded with the uplifting ska riddim. Wouldn’t expect much from Chronixx in this record apart from a Verse but that’s all that’s needed. Collaborations have been solid on this album.
Back to a Roots Roots riddim to gound us from the burst of Ska. Sasco discusses learning from mistakes and gaining wisdom and becoming stronger. A positive feel good track reaching out to a range of people who all faces struggles everyday. “Give thanks for obstacles in the way” to overcome and build basically. Personally a stronger record on the album, the lyrics are powerful and uplifting.
Day in Day out
Edging towards to the end of the album, the introduction of a Spanish style classic guitar keeps the air vibey and upbeat giving that focus on conscious lyrics. Sasco Discusses ‘finding a way seems there’s always a trap it seems like 4 steps forward and 5 steps back’ leading to the message of getting by to keep clothes on your back and be respectable good role model for children. Catchy tune.
To complete the album, Country Bus. The track opens up with sound effects of traffic which rings shudderous thoughts to any driver, however, a chilled song which is catchy and caps off the uplifting feel to the album. Sasco paints a picture of travelling on this ‘Country Bus’
01. Theory of Reggaetivity
02. What Is Reggae?
03. Reggae Origin
04. Health and Wealth
05. LL (Intro)
06. Feel Highrie
07. Mix Up
08. Crazy feat. Elsie Iimura
10. J-O-B (Skit)
11. Slave No More feat. Chronixx
13. Day in Day Out
14. Country Bus