Label: DJR Records - CD 75165 • Format: 2x, CD Album • Country: Jamaica • Genre: Reggae • Style: Dancehall
Achis, thank-you so much for taking the time to write this and hopefully bringing more attention to this astonishing release. For a long time now I have extolled the virtues [or hilarious lack of] of the Cobra to anyone who will listen. Snypa Way and Helta Skelta are my two favourite dancehall albums of all-time [without a doubt] and to me represent an artist who, after so many Je Reviendrais Toujours Vers Toi - Brigitte Bardot - Chansons Années 60 in the game, has managed to find an irrepressible, un-matched and impossibly violent creative streak.
You are unfortunately correct in writing about this albums lack of popularity [I know many hardcore dancehall heads who have never heard of it] yet you are so right to hail it Non Ti Scordar Di Me - Claudio Villa - Golden Double Deluxe a classic. I endlessly [and possibly fruitlessly] look forward to at least one more vicious album Walk Through This World With Me - George Jones - Country Heart the snake!
Well said Joseph! And thank you as well! And I'm also well hoping that there's another album in his head. He's done some crazy songs lately, so hopefully he can give another and I would expect a similar level. Thanks again Joseph. A ction film.
If you follow Reggae music and, specifically, Reggae albums, then surely you've noticed the trend over the past decade or so which has developed in the way that for every album by a 'significant' Dancehall artist, you're likely to get around fifteen or so from equally noteworthy Roots vocalists.
On one side, that's definitely a good thing. If you haven't noticed, so many of these wonderful people have amazing messages and the notion that such thoughts are getting, really, the most consistent stage of presentation that the genre has to offer, is just a fantastic set of circumstances.
HOWEVER, if you are a fan of modern Dancehall "modern", not "current" if you are a fan of "current" Dancehall… consider yourself lucky… and very easily pleasedthen surely you cannot be pleased by Lock Di Place - Mad Cobra - Snypa Way subgenre's virtual exodus from album shelves apart from one or two big names a year - usually.
I've noticed and, as time goes on, we continue to hit unfortunate 'milestones' such as the on in Simon La Bey & N.G.O. - Niou Chansong, during which we will have reached a point, presumably, where it will have been a collective Lock Di Place - Mad Cobra - Snypa Way YEARS from last either Bounty Killer  or Beenie Lock Di Place - Mad Cobra - Snypa Way  have released an album!
That's fucked up and although a younger generation has arrived, with the exception of Busy Signal and… Yeah, Busy Signal, high quality Dancehall albums from its biggest names are, essentially, rumours. But we can always remember the way things used to be - can't we? We can, and today we remember an album which is easily one of the best of its kind from the turn of the century and, arguably, one of the best in the history of modern Dancehall in some respects, "Snypa Way" by Mad Cobra from I write reviews about one hundred of them a year which is ridiculous - absolutely ridiculous mostly on Roots albums because, as we established, that is what there is most of "New Name" by Jah9, in stores now Etana's "Better Tomorrow"in stores now and there is a MUCH different direction of those albums than there was on "Snypa Way".
Call it violent it wascall it entirely too sexual that too and call it downright ghoulish that isn't unfair"Snypa Way" was one piece of crazy, angry and FILTHY piece of Dancehall brilliance.
When at his best, that's just Mad Cobra's style. A few years on, on what remains his most recent release, "Helta Skelta" [Grrrr!
Although it didn't age fairly Lock Di Place - Mad Cobra - Snypa Way in terms of popularity and has yet to reach the digital formatin its day, the album was very well known. Checking in at a delicious thirty tracks, spread across two discs, the album, shamelessly epitomized just about every substantial critique of Dancehall music of its day… but it was some level of brilliant throughout. For me, just as I will always make room in my rotation for the kind of abstract wildness of Soca music if I live long enough, I will HAPPILY be an eighty year old man still jumping and waving, or at least trying toI will always save as much space for the entertaining musical theatre that Dancehall can be.
Again, at his best, Mad Cobra is one of the most captivating practitioners of the style and has, essentially, made himself a legend doing just that through the majority of his fine career. Let's talk about thirty songs! Disk One. That was produced by Mad Lock Di Place - Mad Cobra - Snypa Waypackaged up by DJR Records and delivered to the masses by In The Streetz Records who, if you recall, Lock Di Place - Mad Cobra - Snypa Way a similar function for so many at the time including Don Corleon, as they were the original distributors of the Drop Leaf, Seasons and Heavenly Riddims, respectively.
It was as compelling as it was exciting and that was even before the music started. It did start on the first disc of "Snypa Lock Di Place - Mad Cobra - Snypa Way with the title tune which was amongst the very best pieces to be found on the album named after it.
Rifle nyam out boy chest and face right away. Dem seh war, man ready fi it right away. Pussy diss, him seet right way. Gun weh man ah buss it mek two hands spray. Gun weh big so til dem haffi lift it wid crane. Loud so til when it buss, it give you migraine. Open people head, you can see inna dem brain".
The song quickly immediately becomes a signature moment on the album and it really sums up the violent portion of the album set to follow when Cobra says. Here, in a downright gruesome spiral, we follow Cobra as he keeps track of exactly where he's spent his ammunition, which he then uses to teach a class.
The first verse is probably one of the best he's ever done and the second and third are not far behind. We also get 'Tell Anyone' from the Applause Riddimwhich I find myself liking more now than I ever have in the past and the Dave Kelly produced 'Money In A Coil' [bka 'Ah Who'], which rounds out the first third that's how I'm doing it and is the very first non-violent track on "Snypa Way", as Cobra turns his attentions elsewhere for at least the moment.
The next five tracks on the first disc of the album include all kinds of madness and is thoroughly entertaining along the way. You may also remember 'Lot A Pum Pum' did you catch that???
It was also ridiculous and hard and intense and everything you find throughout the album. If I recall correctly, 'Extortionist' was a piece created specifically for "Snypa Way" and it definitely received quite a bit of hype and deservedly so. In its almost crawling pace, the tune gets a great deal done and is wicked throughout. Also grabbing headlines was 'Complaint'which was a combination track rare for this albumwhich actually featured both Beenie Man and Vybz Kartel. You don't have to say much more than that although it should help in the case of Kartel to mention that the song came fromto know what you were dealing with here.
The song was a unicorn on this album as it was actually an anti-violence track and a social commentary and, really, you couldn't have asked for much more from such a link. Both 'Thug Fah' and Quizás, Porque - Sui Generis - Vida nearly genius 'Real World' slowed things down with a nice BOUNCE which really added another texture to the first disc and, for its part, the Ward 21 produced 'Nuh Ratings' returned us to similar ground and brought in Stacious to help along as well.
Although not as wholly impressive as the second disc, "Snypa Way" began in a most memorable way with tracks like 'Snypa Way', 'Complaint', 'Gun Maths' and others leading the way. The second half of the album really turns things up even further in my opinion and contains some of the best including THE best material to be found on the whole of "Snypa Way" as Cobra's aim gets precise and he turns in more than one MASSIVE moment.
Incidentally, however, it also contains what is my least favourite stretch on the project which gets it started. They aren't horrible well, most of them aren't'Gal A Yard' is actually pretty good as is 'Dah Horisont - Various - Bakhålls Litterära Stämmor Dey' jokes everywhere in herebut the highlight here is easily 'Freaky Gal', which is equal parts over sexed and funny.
And then we turn things up. As far as a third, "Snypa Way" well hits its pinnacle during the second lot of the second disc. Things start off with a tune which is… something great, 'Little Boy'. This tune borders on being a Spoken Word selection at times, but it's only an opener for the absolute madness which follows.
Mi a gun dog, so mi have gun flea. Mi gun apple grow pon gun tree. Mi gun sugar sweeten mi gun tea. Mi gun inna eye, mi use gun see. Mi gun car start wid gun key.
Boy fi send on cah dem owe gun fee. Two gun weh look alike - twin gun. Gun run out and shot a magga down - slim gun. Dat suppose to look a way ugly like sin gun. Like di one weh Ninja Man gi weh - has been gun. Man gamble wid money but mi - win gun". And that's just the start - next comes 'Maddable' which is just… MAD! Gun-able, gun-able, gun-able machine no stick.
Maddable, sick-able. Amount a duppy weh mi flick. Pussy weh you feel like? Seh dis a camera trick? What a lucky ting mi Grannie gone a church wid it! Go tek pastor food inna church wid it. Mek dem haffi reverse all di herbs wid it! Boy ah chat, like him The Getaway - Fenton Robinson - Somebody Loan Me A Dime twenty lip!
Neva know Skelta walk wid plenty clip! Mek hospital use up plenty drip! Mek Madden haffi mek bout twenty trip! When it come down to war, mi have plenty tricks! Have a blue-eyed devil buss twenty-six! Yeah, six inna yuh heart, di next twenty mix! And if I, find a next clip - twenty-six! Of course, Phazing - Various - Party Fun 2010 Vol. 2 may not like what he says, but there is an almost unreachable level of talent utilized in saying it!
And as we wind things down on "Snypa Way", the highlights continue to roll in. The tune gradually grows and grows and may just be one of the best tunes on the entire album. Arguably the single most popular track on "Snypa Way" is its penultimate tune, 'Press Trigger'.
The song is carried by the immortal Buzz Riddim 'Gimmi Di Light' from Black Shadowone of the most popular tracks Les Petits Et Les Grands - Lynda Lemay - Feutres Et Pastels really and, at least to my opinion, it was the strongest track on that riddim and remains so about a dozen years on.
No, it isn't a love song or one trying to preach unity or anything like that. Instead we happen to stumble upon Cobra getting caught for, of course, committing one of the eight-hundred murders on one of the previous tracks and it is actually mentioned so, by name in one case - 'Extortionist'. Facing a long term incarceration, the Snake pens a letter to the love of his life just to let her know:.
If you waan wait fi mi, fine, but if you find a next man life goes on. If you waan, write mi back, mi woulda love it but if you don't choose to life goes on. Haffi get used to things Lock Di Place - Mad Cobra - Snypa Way mi used to, but a so it go life goes on.
Silence - Sadato - No More Reggae, Throwaway - Napalm Death - MP3 Collection, Man In A Pajama Suit - Texaco West Stars Steel Band / Texaco Katzenjammers Steel Band* - Texaco On S, Stars - Schawkie Roth - You Are The Ocean II, Been There - Skinny - Sweet Thing