Ikahba is the latest artist to
emanate from the roots caldron currently bubbling on the island of St. Croix. His debut
album Troddin To Zion' was released in January of this on the Afrikan
Roots Lab record label. Like all ARL releases,
features the preeminent roots band, Midnite, laying down some wicked bass lines and rhythms. Add a heavy dose of
conscious lyrics along with Ron Benjamins unique engineering skills
and youve got the recipe for another cruzial album.
What distinguishes Ikahba is his ability to intersperse his cool soothing vocals (that many people
find similar to Tenor Saw) with some chanting in which Ikahba throws down
lyrics fierce and hard. This is perhaps best illustrated on the song "Wha Happen To Dem".
After crooning for about a minute over the "Maintain" riddim, Ikahba rips into some serious
"What an abomination now dem
come ya so fe bring, de youths and dem borning mutated, a pure vampire warmonger is what
dem come ya breeding."
Fellow Afrikan Roots Lab recording artist Mash
joins Ikahba on the selection "Dem Skylarkin", with Dezarie sharing vocals on the title track.
The outstanding harmonies and subtle background vocals give the entire album an
easy-listening roots feel to it, yet the lyrics are piercing and spellbinding.
Although Troddin To
Zion' is Ikahbas first full album, he did contribute numerous selections to the
"Homegrown Vol. I" compilation under the name Ika
Melody. Ikahba will be touring this summer with Dezarie, and both will
be performing at the 11th annual
Sierra Nevada World Music Festival.