...injecting ragga with a wild energy that the scene just can't get enough off.
Denise Boyd 2002-01-01
Ward 21 are the new boys in town. Questions surrounding the issue as to whether they would make the grade with their new style of ragga have been answered with the release of their aptly titled debut album Mentally Disturbed. Named after the infamous psychiatric ward at the University College Hospital in Kingston, Ward 21 could not have chosen a more appropriate title as their crazy approach to production is injecting ragga with a wild energy that the scene just can't get enough off.
Mentally Disturbed boasts an eclectic mix of sounds and genres that are totally original and cannot be found on any other ragga album. Smash hit "Pain 21st Century" shows Ward 21 at their best with their trade mark digitised sound effects whilst "The Illness" with it's cleverly penned lyrics and sinister back drop provides another stand out moment. "Anything-A-Anything", sees dancehall star Elephant Man deliver tight lyrics and is a sure-fire hit. 21, as they refer to themselves, show their production skills at their finest on "Going Going Gone", with it's quick lyrics and flawless timing. Collaborations with ZumJay, A.R.P, Earthworm Jim, Big Pimp and Mr Wayne Marshall (providing the dulcet tones) complete the line up.
Influenced by many styles of music from Studio One to old skool hip hop these Kingston boys pay homage to crews such as Wrecks 'n' Effects, especially with the track "Wildin' 'n' Freestyling" which will appeal to rap and ragga fans alike. As a multi-talented collective their versatility and mad studio skills are relatively untapped, and this album is only a taste of things to come. You may want to stamp this album with 'Parental Guidance Advisable' but your dancehall collection wouldn't be complete without it. As this group evolves, expect Big Tings!