Vibes Of The Time
This originally ran in the St. Louis Post Dispatch in 1993.
When Tony Rebel opens his major label debut by singing
"a fresh DJ is coming and heading for number one," it's not
just an idle boast. This Jamaican rapper resists the common
use of slackness, instead delivering over one hour of
intelligent, thought-provoking lyrics. The result is indeed
catapulting "Vibes Of The Time" all the way to the top (in
fact, it's currently at number one on the CMJ "New World
Only a handful of the 14 songs can truly be classified
as traditional reggae. The remaining tracks range from funk
to soul to hip hop to relentless reggae rap. Each song
works, though, in part because of the infectious hooks, but
mostly because of Rebel's magical way with words and his
distinctive Jamaican vocals.
Simply put, Tony Rebel is one of the most proficient
lyricists in modern music. His songs are always well
prepared with thoughtful, conscious themes; the message in
"One Day," set to a classic roots rhythm, being just one
You might not be able to buy a house upon the
Find it difficult just to purchase a ride
can live 'pon the flat, take a bus and still survive
got to do is get yourself organized
'Cause the wickedest
thing is when you don't have hope and you're full of
and you receive and get deceived
and then you just
don't believe that you can reach somewhere...
But you must
learn and stay firm and keep your goal in sight
stand up, live up and fight with all your might
and one day,
one day me say your future will [be] bright.
Seven of Jamaica's top producers helped create the
clean 90's sound found on this release. Some of the tunes -
especially the more furious raps - are initially difficult
to follow, but the lyrics always merit repeated listenings.
Especially if you take your music seriously, but even if you
don't, "Vibes Of The Time" is a catchy non-stop lyrical
barrage from a talent whose time has come.
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