Richie Spice ADD


Album Review: Warrior King - The Rootz Warrior


by Gardy Stein

Album Review: Warrior King - The Rootz Warrior

The wait has been long: five years after the release of his fourth studio album Tell Me How Me Sound in 2011, Warrior King is back with a new thing called The Rootz Warrior, produced under his own label Rootz Warrior Productions in cooperation with James ‘Dr. Suess’ Lord of Irie Sounds International and Zojak Worldwide Distribution.

The 14 songs included follow the artist's well-appreciated recipe of HIM-praises (e.g. Rastafari Protect I) and love songs (Your Love Is Amazing and others) over a choice of Foundation and Modern Roots riddims, with the noticeable exception of a Dubstep remix of Signs Of The Times (originally released in 2008 on the Morning Riddim). A topical surprise is the track President Yahya Jammeh, a dedication to the Gambian president. Obviously, the artist was deeply impressed by the positive developments in the West African country in July 2015, when he went there as a guest of Nkulee Dube, Lucky Dube's daughter.

In the opening track His Majesty, the Warrior chants praises for Haile Selassie, including the snippet of an original speech by the Ethiopian Emperor over spherical, flute-dominated instrumentals. While Stand Up Inna The Fyah reveals slight vocal insufficiencies especially in the higher ranges, other tracks seem tailor-made for the artist's velvety voice. The One For Me, for instance, an acoustic master-piece produced by Category 5 with Steven Henry on guitar. More of that!

Same Source is a heart-warming unification call to each and every nation on this planet, thus providing an important counter balance to the more radical, very anti-western opinions expressed in other circles; Greater, on the other hand, brings black pride and competition into play.

Lyrically, some songs could have done with a little more sophistication. The rhymes in Ain't Giving Up sound a bit strained despite their consciousness ("Rasta Man live up, don't let the system get you down, children of Israel live up, don't you be taken for a circus clown"), and the often-evoked bars in Moonlight Bright ("all night", "hold me tight" and "the vibe is right") hold nothing new either.

A Computer Paul production, Watching You is one of the strongest riddims of the release, wallowing in the digital era of the nineties. Finally, the two features are a perfect addition to the album: Richie Spice chimes in on Heartbreaker, and none less than Beres Hammond graces I Wouldn't Do That, a track produced by Collin 'Bulby' York.

The overall musicianship is amazing: all but one track have been recorded with live instrumentals by the likes of Sly & Robbie, Kirk Bennett, Lamont Savory, Dean Fraser, Nambo Robinson and Hopeton Wiliams. Says Warrior King: "In my opinion, this is my best work yet! It's all about love and the authenticity of Reggae music." We can wholeheartedly support the second sentence, but I personally wouldn't agree to the first one – none of the songs touched me as deeply as his unforgotten hits Virtuous Woman, Jah Is Always There or Never Go Where Pagans Go. Still, The Rootz Warrior is a wonderful album that will certainly put a smile on the faces of his fans!

Release details

Warrior King - The Rootz Warrior

Warrior King - The Rootz Warrior


Release date: 04/01/2016


01. His Majesty (He's Worthy)

02. Stand Up In The Fyah

03. Rastafari Protect I

04. Ain't Giving Up

05. Heartbreaker feat. Richie Spice

06. Your Love Is Amazing

07. I Wouldn't Do That feat. Beres Hammond

08. President Yahya Jammeh

09. The One For Me (Acoustic Mix)

10. Same Source

11. Moonlight Bright

12. Watching You

13. Greater

14. Sign Of The Times (Swab Dubstep Mix)