Words by DJ Autograph—
I might be a Jamaican but my introduction to Ward 21’s “Mic Magician” is a fortunate and direct result of my current effort to learn Swedish. I was listening to Safari Sound’s show on Swedish National Radio Friday, when I was blown away by the Super Cat sample-driven “Mic Magician,” featuring Marcy Chin and Deewunn, the newest members of Ward 21’s extended Badda Badda Gang family. The song’s use of “Under Pressure” is easily the best use of a Super Cat sample this side of Nas’ Salaam Remi-produced “The Don.”
Ward 21—Suku, Mean Dog and Kunley McCarthy—have built a solid catalog in the producer, songwriter and artist departments over the years. They’ve had hits of their own like “Blood Stain,” produced the recent dancehall anthem “Do Sumn” for Konshens, and worked with international acts such as Major Lazer. They also produced Wayne Marshall’s breakout single “Smoke Clears” ‘longside Bounty Killer, and assembled female supergroup TNT (Tifa, Natalie Storm and Timberlee), originally called the Badda Badda Gals.
“Mic Magician” is the first single from their upcoming album Still Disturbed, set for release on January 22, 2014. The tune really captures the essence of the 80s and 90s dancehall sound in a way only Ward 21 can, and have done over the years. It’s a promising start for the project and a reminder of why they are amongst my favorite producers and artists in dancehall. Stream “Mic Magician” below.