Mel Cooke, Gleaner Writer
Last Sunday, Kabaka Pyramid permeated his two-hour stint at Chris Gayle's Triple Century nightspot with cries of 'accurate' - and he was, scooping rhymes and taking words in unexpected directions from a deep pool of lyrics.
Throughout, he was in lockstep with the band and, when he introduced them, his musical mates included peers Protoje, Keznamdi, Masicka, Chronixx, Jesse Royal and Iba Mahr.
Also in the mix of performers on stage was one of Kabaka's musical elders who he acknowledged as an influence, I-Wayne. Although not performing, another person who was noted as having an impact on Pyramid was Sizzla.
In terms of the stage time, though, the guests were limited (their presence eliciting the expected whoops and hollers from the near full house) and Kabaka Pyramid was left to carry almost the entire concert alone. An ambitious endeavour for any artiste, it also has to be seen in the context of where Kabaka Pyramid is in his musical development.
His longer length projects include Lead The Way (including Teach Di Youths, No Cliché, Herb Defender and World Wide Love) and Rebel Music EPs (among the tracks are Free From Chains, Fee Di Vibes, I Alone, Prophecy, Real Music and Warrior (featuring Protoje) and Accurate mixtape. The track with Protoje apart, among Kabaka Pyramid's more popular songs are No Capitalist, King Kabaka and No Cliché.
Therefore, in presenting two hours to those who came to listen to him (and, as it was a solo show the large audience of the mostly young was all Pyramid's), he relied mainly on the strength of his lyrics, including introducing new songs, rather than the impact of tracks already very popular on the various electronic music outlets.
And that was, in a curious way, the concert's only drawback. For hearing Kabaka Pyramid means having to listen to him, and two hours on the trot was a lot to ask. So while the concert went over well, it is possible that a different structure - whether a shorter set overall or two one-hour segments with an intermission - would have made it even better.
Still, it was heartening to see a younger artiste with a band, armed with so much material, extending himself and making his long-term musical ambitions clear. And to make it even more evident that it was not a 'regular' evening, two out of the reggae box elements got some props - yoga and Campion College.
The Kabaka Pyramid concert was hosted by Donesha Prendergast.