At the age of 36, Rastafarian singjay Sizzla Kalonji is arguably the brightest light in the world of contemporary reggae, a stature he has asserted with a staggering 45 solo records to date. Crucial Times collects some of the earliest recordings of one Miguel Orlando Collins, who was known as Little One before being dubbed Sizzla by Greensleeves proprietor Homer Harris. The 13 songs that comprise Crucial Times date from the mid-‘90s, when Sizzla was in his late teens, and his hunger is obvious. The young master attacks the tracks with a zeal that few artists in any age or genre can muster. While all of the material is solid and totally undated, Crucial Times is notable for including Sizzla’s first recording “Foundation”, as well as Kalonji’s first attempt at singing, “Precious Gift”. The rest is history, but Crucial Times is a must have for the old or new Sizzla fan.
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// Notes from the Road
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