Dogboy - Rebel Riddim

Dogboy - Rebel Riddim
Release Date:
April 24, 2007
Alternative Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock
Rebel Riddim

Before the release of Rebel Riddim in 2007, Dog Boy mostly had made below-radar recordings with rap-metal group the Kottonmouth Kings and their Suburban Noize label as an accompanying vocalist and songwriter. With this first solo record, Dog Boy shakes off the angst-ridden confines of metal, bringing to the fore his pop sensibilities and reggae music background. Rebel Riddim's opening track, "Return of the One Drop," introduces the singjay's scruffy vocals and pays homage to the one-drop rhythm and the reggae of old. This first track, however, is a false start for the album, given that the remaining songs lean heavily towards alt pop/rock and reflect his punk influences, especially "She's Driving" and the title track that follow right after. He does hint at it in "Return of the One Drop": "punk rock changed my life, and reggae keeps me high/punk rock opened my eyes, and reggae keeps me wise." Despite the album's unevenness, Dog Boy transitions into these differing styles rather gracefully, whether it's with more rootsy tracks ("Daddy What Is War?"), reggae-pop love ballads ("Hold You"), or just pure dance-pop numbers ("Locked and Loaded"). There's no bias shown in any of these different settings in his performance or production, but the catchy hook and dance rhythm (not riddim) of "Can't Buy Soul," with its unison drum-and-guitar cadence and pointed, Steve Cropper-like guitar licks, undoubtedly stands out. On the ending cuts, "Straight Love Thing" and "Tap Into/Dub Into," he completely drops the juggling act, sliding way into left field with trippy, electro-dub bangers, which could (or really should) stand on their own as individual tracks. These types of song placements are indicative of the LP's missteps; Dog Boy simply wanted to incorporate everything under the sun that had a musical impact on him. Nonetheless, Rebel Riddim is still a solid debut for a reggae novice who co-produced and wrote the overwhelming majority of the album himself.

Return of the One Drop / DogboyDogboy2:55
She's Driving / DogboyDogboy2:43
Rebel Riddim / DogboyDogboy2:42
Can't Buy Soul / DogboyDogboy2:28
Dear Jamaica (Stand Strong) / DogboyDogboy3:19
Where to Now? / DogboyDogboy2:56
Hold You / DogboyDogboy3:10
Fearless with a Smile / DogboyDogboy3:09
Daddy What Is War? / DogboyDogboy2:43
Falling / DogboyDogboy2:42
One Stop Shopping / DogboyDogboy3:28
Desperate Times / DogboyDogboy3:08
Locked and Loaded / DogboyDogboy2:49
Sexy Rebel / DogboyDogboy2:44
You're My Reward / DogboyDogboy3:11
Straight Love Thing / DogboyDogboy3:38
Tap Into/Dub Into / DogboyDogboy5:27

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