Gussie Presenting I Roy
In reality, by the time Gussie Presenting I-Roy arrived, the DJ needed no introduction -- he was already one of the hottest toasters on the scene. This, his debut album, was virtually a hits collection, and any tracks that weren't hits would be soon enough. Initially seen as little more than copying his bigger brethren, I-Roy had swiftly developed into a mature and distinctive talent. His conversational style was far removed from his contemporaries, as his powerful toast on "Black Man's Time" perfectly illustrated. That song is the album's centerpiece, and was produced by Gussie Clarke. Built around the "Slaving" rhythm, it opened with a long spoken intro, unique at the time. "Red, Gold and Green" was equally cultural in nature, with "Peace" an exuberant demand for unity, while "Screw Face" takes a thoughtful look at solutions for Jamaica's endemic violence. However, I-Roy was just as effective chatting about less weighty matters, as on "Tripe Girl," while "Melinda" is just as charming, both excellently employing classic rocksteady rhythms, as does the wonderfully moody "Coxsonne Affair." On "Tourism Is My Business," meanwhile, the DJ exalts his island home, surely with tongue firmly in cheek. There are a dozen seminal cuts in all, and what better way to meet one of Jamaica's greatest DJs.