The anticipation, the crave and the suspense is finally over. The musical empress, Queen Ifrica, has finally released her eagerly awaited debut album, 'Montego Bay', appropriately named after the community from which she hails.
The album opens with T.T.P.N.C., (Tribute to The Pitfour Nyabinghi Center - located in Montego Bay). The song, produced by Tony Rebel, honours the elders within the Rastafarian community where Ifrica was raised. The reverential drumming and chanting compliments Ifrica's chants, offering praises to the Most.
The sweet reggae melody of the title track, Welcome to Montego Bay is one that will immediately have listeners rocking to the bubbly feeling that the reggae-flavoured track gives, as Ifrica highlights some of the things that characterize her hometown.
The classic rhythm from the Rastafari anthem Satta Massagana is updated on Rebel's production of Coconut Shell, a celebration of the Rastafarian sacred herb, marijuana, as Ifrica declares, "dah one yah red up mi eye… mi burn it dis morning as mi rise up… mi still dey up inna di sky, high, high…" The track allows listeners to "whole a joy and meditation" while bouncing to Ifrica's lyrical rhymes on the smooth-flowing rhythm.
The 'Fyah Muma', who is like a Lioness on the Rise, asks, "are you ready, are you ready," as she brings good music for fans whenever they call on her name.
Ifrica then changes her style of delivery by deejaying on Yad to the East, showing off her diversity, as she drops some fast-speaking lyrics that fans will surely appreciate.
The lovers rock that will take the minds of listeners Far Away is one that Ifrica expresses her romantic side. This single is among one of her more popular and much embraced singles from the album. Daddy, however, would be the single from the album that needs no introduction, as it is already one of the biggest hits of Ifrica's career.
Don't Sign is done on a dancehall rhythm which is easily identifiable. Ifrica here, shows that she can cater to a wide cross-section of audience.
Another track that has already gained in popularity is Keep It To Yourself, which is like a follow up to Daddy, as she continually defends the children through her music. Keep It To Yourself, produced by Donovan 'Don Corleon' Bennett, finds the Fyah Muma blazing against the increasing atrocities experienced by children in Jamaica and worldwide, and the corrupt forces unwilling to penalize such heinous actions.
It was then back to her African roots to "trample the beast" in Calling Africa, another Rebel production. Here, Ifrica sinjays amidst chanting, giving the single a unique twist.
Queen Ifrica's 'Montego Bay' album is rounded off by tracks of a slower tempo, with In My Dreams, Streets Are Bloody and Daddy (Spanish Version) which allows listeners to fall into that meditative mood, reflecting on serious issues that plague the youths of Jamaica.
Overall, Queen Ifrica's 'Montego Bay' was a well composed album that definitely delivered. It was worth the wait!