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World Music CD Reviews Reggae & Caribbean

Zulu

By Matt Scheiner
Published June 25, 2007

The Dark—Riddim Killah
Perception 2020

Straight outta Panama comes jiggy hip-hop laden dancehall from the growling vocalist Zulu. This impressive, extremely well-produced album laces pounding hip-hop beats with ethereal background strings and atmospheric enhancements interwoven over Zulu’s impeccable flow—all thanks to producers Delon Reid, Beat Sciene and Demo XXL. With track titles like “Striptease, Baby (feat. Luchie),” “U Sexy Girl” and “Game For Gals,” The Dark is half gansta rap and part reggae—a true dancehall piece with super-sexual subject matter, driving beats and thuggish undertones that Zulu refers to as “gangsta beat.” The gangsta beat includes cut-time marching riddims and a heavy bottom line on tracks like “Another Shot,” “Roll With Us,” “Here Comes the Bass” and “The Audio Recording”—which also features expertly woven Indian tabla beats. Zulu indeed kills the rhythms on Riddim Killah.