REVIEW: Warrior King – The Rootz Warrior

By Liam Monaghan

Five years on from Tell Me How Me Sound and incredible voice of the original Warrior King is back with the new album titled ‘The Rootz Warrior’, Warrior came onto Reggae Roots & Bass UK in the run up to the album and discussed the ideas and influences behind the album. The majority of the 14 tracks on this album are purely there to enhance the projection of the powerful voice Warrior King owns. The album is released under his own label Rootz Warrior Productions.

Collaborations on the album included Reggae living legend Beres Hammond and also Richie Spice. Interestingly enough, there’s a Dubstep remix of one of the tunes on this album, ‘Sign Of The Times’. Many of the albums that have come out in 2016 that are in the Reggae field, haven’t really touched Dubstep but Warrior King has mashed up the riddims to give something different. I wouldn’t call it Dubstep myself though, Dubstep to me is the original sound system 70 bpm minimal bass music you could find in a underground venue in south London those years ago with the likes of Skream, Hatcha, Coki, Mala, N-Type, Benga and the London collective of Bass pioneers, id Label the track more… EDM.

His Majesty (He’s Worthy)
The lion of Judah rawrs to start the album off with an appreciation of Haile Selassie. There’s no denying that Kings Rasta roots and beliefs aren’t felt in this track, minimal drumming carries the track and king discuses key dates in history where Haile gave speeches and events occurred whilst chanting ‘He’s Worthy, He’s worthy to be praised all day’

Stand Up In The Fyah
As a huge fan of Warrior King I wasn’t disappointed with this track, the start of this track takes a fair few listens as it’s a little abrupt and high pitch but the riddim kicks in and things level back down. Lots of descriptive verbal painting in this track as King discuses his life style, beliefs and religion and staying on his life path. “No ill never lose my culture, no I’m not afraid of the vulture, no ill never betray my nation, no ill never give into temptation’ a nice roots track!

Rastafari Protect I
Warrior Kings mission to continue to deliver positivity in his tracks continues in this track, the riddim consists of a typical set up of upbeat roots reggae style drumming with some Jon Bonham style solos towards the end. “Rastafari protect me from my enemies never let I down” is pretty much the message in this track, talks of burning propaganda are put across subtly and not pushed down your throat. A nice track, in terms of an album listen, something a little different to mix it up would be nice, none the less, Warrior Kings voice still bellows out and delivers a nice track.

Ain’t Giving Up
I’ve been playing this track on Reggae Roots & Bass for a fair bit of time, the riddim is ‘Rudeboy Shufflin’ of Israel Vibration, which is a tricky track to take on, and however King delivers. The near half a million YouTube views on this track is an indication of the love for this track. There’s something about this track that indicates it’s more… Chart Friendly, which is great! “Sometimes I feel like giving up, but I’ve got Jah Works to do” if anything, this track is motivational!

Heartbreaker feat. Richie Spice
First collaboration of the album with Richie Spice and its not disappointing! The riddim is upbeat and very modern, an almost sub bassline wobbles throughout the track. Richies voice works well on contrast to Warriors tones, the smoothness of Richies voice complements Warriors big vocals! The chorus on this track is extremely catchy and definitely a track that would rock a live crowd!

Your Love Is Amazing
A nice easy listening track here, back to a roots feel. There’s a weird popping throughout which is up and down like a wave, not a bad thing, makes the track unique. I expected a love track from Warrior far earlier in the album rather than half way through but it doesn’t disappoint, one thing King does well is a love track.

I Wouldn’t Do That feat. Beres Hammond
Exited for this, anything Beres Hammond touches seems to turn out to be gold. There’s a dub feel to this track with splashes and popping throughout with lasers occasionally flying through the air. The nature of the album is Roots Reggae and I expected that with Beres but this isn’t what I was expecting which is great. Interesting messages in this track, half way through the album, its plain sailing, nice messages and good riddims.

President Yahya Jammeh
An interesting track and a salute and ode the Gambian president and his works, Warrior King visited Gambia in 2015 and in the past has voiced his admiration for the country. “A chief commanding officer that loves mama Africa, a freedom fighter” is just some of the sentiments warrior pays to Jammeh. The riddim itself is quite basic and stripped back for an easy listen. Who unites Muslim’s and Christians a like is a lyric that stands out for me so I had to go and do my research. An interesting track that builds curiosity about this leader.

The One For Me (Acoustic Mix)
Always admire acoustic music and always will. Kings acoustic version of this track is a really nice addition to the album. We’re back on the love topic and it works well, Warrior Kings voice is so powerful and strong it’s nice to hear a different variation in delivery on this track. Just a guitar and King’s sweet voice is all this track is, it doesn’t need anything else.

Same Source
Love a good horn line and same source delivers this, it blasts on occasion whilst Kings voice booms across the riddim and discuses equality in race and how everyone shares the same sun. I like this track, lots of clever wordsmithing paints a solid picture of how we all share common interests and experience the same issues in different circumstances.

Moonlight Bright
Carrying on the Roots Rock Reggae vibe to the album, Moonlight is a nice track with the theme being love. “ I’m in love with you, and I know you love me to, more than words can say” The riddim is upbeat with the influences of Lovers Rock a nice track.

Watching You
My favourite track on the album, the guitar picking reminds me of ‘Tenor Saw’s Whom Shall I Fear’ which instantly attracted me to this song however this riddim consists of sweet harmonies and positivity, King talks about a persona he’s fallen in love with, ‘Watching you for a long time, admiring you hoping you’d be mine’ Huge track!

Greater has been described as a track which discuses Black pride and competition, in a round about way id say that’s true. What I derive from the track is personal and mental strength very similar to Irving Berlins ‘Anything You Can Do I Can Do Better Track’. Self belief and goal reaching is the mission statement of this track

Sign Of The Times (Swab Dubstep Mix) 
Not 100% on this track. I’m all for fusing styles and genres and influences but this track for me is leaning on the ‘trying to do to much’ category. Not to take anything away from the lyrics or Warrior Kings vocals but the bass line for me is far to heavy with a grinding screaming bass line and it’s just not really my thing. I would of preferred these vocals on a stripped, authentic Dub track, maybe the likes of Bim One, Dread Squad, Channel One, Mad Professor could come up with something, also a random way to finish a good solid album.

1. His Majesty (He’s Worthy)
2. Stand up in the Fyah
3. Rastafari Protect I
4. Ain’t Giving Up
5. Heartbreaker (feat. Richie Spice)
6. Your Love Is Amazing
7. I Wouldn’t Do That (feat. Beres Hammond)
8. President Yahya Jammeh
9. The One for Me (Acoustic Mix)
10. Same Source
11. Moonlight Bright
12. Watching You
13. Greater 3:39
14. Sign of the Times (Swab Dubstep Mix)