When Ms. Dynamite hit the scene in 2002, there was such an atmosphere of hope in the air.
A Little Deeper was an incredible album, chockablock with hard beats and powerful lyrics and coming out at a time when there was a distinct lack of smart female rap tracks on record store shelves. And on top of all of that, the girl could sing. It was like a nouveau Lauryn Hill was emerging from across the pond.
Just about every track on her first album was a winner. Put Him Out was a dump-that-loser track that was catchier than Eve’s Love is Blind.
Being the Caribbean chick that I am, I always loved Boo, her patois-laden, bass-heavy ragga track from that first album. “Rah-rahted, bomba-bomboclaated…” wicked tune. And she can spit live, too, which I especially admire.
Dynamitee was on repeat in my CD player for like a solid month, and don’t get me started on It Takes More. That song came out five years ago, and it’s just as sharp and relevant now. This chick was raising awareness about blood diamonds long before Kanye and Nas. I still think about that track whenever I accidentally wind up listening to mainstream radio-hop — “it takes more to amuse a girl like me, so much more to confuse a girl like me.”
2002 was Ms. Dynamite’s year. After winning many British music awards, Ms. Dynamite fell off. Hard.
She had a baby boy in 2003, and retreated from the public eye to raise her son. Then a string of bad luck seemed to plague the socially-conscious artist. She returned with a follow-up album, Judgment Days, which was not well recieved despite some decent tracks — listen to the title track on her MySpace.
I adored When I Fall in Love. It combines so many of my favorite things – old school Jamaican music, dancehall moves, and intelligent lyrics. Unfortunately, Dynamitee got caught up in some cop drama that led to her being arrested and the single was canceled.
It appears that her official website hasn’t been updated since October 2006, but she started working on some new material; a garage compilation called A Little Darker. Then she participated in some British reality show called The Race, and got in a car accident that resulted in her being hospitalized overnight. And that’s the end of that chapter for now.
I am rooting for her, and I sincerely hope that her career doesn’t go the way of so many artists who don’t fit into the cookie-cutter music industry machine.
Fingers crossed that Ms. Dynamite emerges with a musical explosion bigger and brighter than ever. Until then, When I Fall in Love is my jam of the day. Enjoy!