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Although Yellowman's first records exploded on the international reggae scene with all the unexpected force of an IED, of course the DJ's reputation and huge following were already in place in the Jamaican sound systems. There, he often performed with fellow toaster Fathead, and inevitably the producers wanted to capture their magic together on vinyl. While Fathead would never approach the same heights as Yellowman, he definitely had talent, and initially, at least, didn't resent his toasting partner's success, happy to be relegated to a supporting role, and to make great use of the space Yellowman left him to work with. Thus this early album, Bad Boy Skanking, cut in the first year of both men's recording careers, beautifully captures the duo's easygoing relationship, built on familiarity and mutual respect, hinting at just how much time they must have spent together in the sound systems. Of course it helps that the pair were handed some of Henry "Junjo" Lawes hottest riddims, all flawlessly laid down by the High Times Players. Each provided the dueling duo with a superb backdrop to showcase their skills. Thematically, the tracks cover a wide range of concerns, from poverty ("I Can't Stand It"), to spiralling inflation ("Crying for Love"), religion ("Give Jah Thanks,") love ("Love Fat Thing"), and the excitement of dancing girls ("Pon-Wee-Line"). "Come When I Call You" gives Yellowman the opportunity to throw his weight around with women, but it's Fathead's poignant recollections of rejection that really hit home. Whether urging the rudies onto the dancefloor (the title track), or boasting about their prowess on the mic and in the bedroom, as on "Bam Bam," the pair's sharp observations, exquisite timing, wit, and rhymes are unbeatable. There isn't a less than stellar track on this set, which is why it was such a huge hit in its day, and this classic album hasn't lost any of its edge in the intervening years.
1. Bad Boy Skanking
2. Pon Wee Line
3. King Inna The Jungle
4. I Can't Stand It
5. Give Jah Thanks
6. Bam Bam
7. Love Fat Thing
8. Come When I Call You
9. Natty Dread Something
10. Crying For Love
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