“Hill and Gully Ride” is a traditional Jamaican mento song first recorded by Lord Composer in the early 1950s, and sung for many years well before that by workmen constructing new roads. A reference to the highs and lows of Jamaican topography and, in turn, Jamaican life, “Hill and Gully Ride” is a phrase capable of putting pretty much anything in Jamaica into perspective and, as such, it’s been re-used as a title for numerous songs (and one of the island’s longest-running TV series) by different artists over the years.
In 1994, the same year he hit No. 1 on Billboard with “Here Comes the Hotstepper,” Ini Kamoze returned to Jamaica to voice his own “Hill and Gully Ride” for producer Philip “Fattis” Burrell, of XTerminator Reocrds fame. Though it’s not one of his best-known songs, it ranks up there with “World A Reggae” and the original “Hot Stepper” among his best songs thanks to a wicked combination of qualuty production and illuminating lyrics. Fattis would later remix the track for release in 1998, and that version might be even better.