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Review: Wayne Marshall's 'Tru Colors' delivers refreshing curve to dancehall game

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Wayne Marshall, "Tru Colors" (Ghetto Youths International)

Some 10 years after the release of "Marshall Law," Jamaican reggae artist Wayne Marshall has released "Tru Colors," a diverse 13-track collection under the supervision of Damian Marley on the Ghetto Youths International label.

Written mostly by Marshall, the long-awaited record covers a broad range of topics and showcases collaborations with veteran dancehall artists Assassin, Bounty Killer, Tarrus Riley and Capleton.

The standout track is the catchy anthem "Stupid Money," featuring Assassin. With a delivery that rides smoothly alongside Marshall's vocal, a hip-hop beat and children singing the hook, it's reminiscent of Jay Z's "Hard Knock Life."

The title track sees an honest Marshall calling out disloyalty and deceit among fake friends over a lively mid-tempo beat, and the rootsy "I Know" is a boastful tease to his peers showing his witty and competitive nature.

"Be on the Alert," featuring Bounty Killer, draws on the seriousness of missing children in Jamaica, and while "Nah Give Up" with Taurus Riley talks about the struggles of life, it also speaks of triumph, uplifting the listener.

Album producer Marley makes an appearance on previously released club anthem "Go Hard," which also features Assassin, Aidonia, I-Octane, Bounty Killer and Vybz Kartel. More flavour is added by the likes of Baby Cham, Ace Hood and Waka Flocka as they join the party on the remix "Go Harder." The resulting mash-up is piled high with energy, and everybody shines.

"Tru Colors" is well put together and delivers a refreshing curve to the dancehall game, outshining Marshall's previous releases.

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