SKIBADEE – Tika Toc [Ahead Of The Game]

ImageMore commonly sighted against a backdrop of impenetrable jungle or violent grime, London’s Skibadee appeared here fronting a well worn reggae loop – albeit flipped and accellorated to an almost comical degree by producer Crissy Criss.

Tenor Saw’s ‘Golden Hen’ must be up there with the most borrowed items from the riddim library – first in it’s native Jamaica, then amongst US and UK hip hoppers – but here it is given fresh legs, pimped as it is in a weight of bashment bling that only Radio 1’s emmaciated, white-and-white minstrel Tim Westwood could consider restrained, and tooled up with a militant beat that Skibadee does quickfire verbal battle with over a headspinning three-and-a-half minutes.

Somehow none of this proves overly dark or obnoxious, a debt owed entirely to Skiba’s facility as a hype-man. Rhymes are made in quadruplets or more. Scratch that, every line has the same rhyme, each dressed in wry humour and trivial but true observation, better to lance the surface noise of bravado.

A shout-out early in the proceedings may date the track to 2006 but even with the overused hook (not to mention another ubiquitous sample from Lyn Collins’ ‘Think (About It)’), ‘Tika Toc’ still arrests the listener like an unexpected – and frankly unsolicited – punch in the face.

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