XTM.Nation has re-released Sizzla and Philip ‘Fatis’ Burrell’s Praise Ye Jah, in celebration of the album’s 25th anniversary. The reissue features remastered versions of classic songs like Dem a Wonder, Homeless, and the title track. It was made available across streaming on December 16.
Praise Ye Jah is widely considered to be among the defining works of Sizzla’s prolific career. It followed Burning Up as the second album to pair his fresh singjay style with Fatis’s radical vision of record production.
Like many other releases under Fatis’s Xterminator label, Praise Ye Jah broke from the lyrical slackness and production trends that ran 90s Dancehall, offering instead Rastafari consciousness and riddims that revamped the sounds of roots Reggae for the digital age.
After the saxophonist Dean Fraser introduced Sizzla to Fatis in the mid-90s, the collaborative relationship between the artist and producer immediately bore fruit. Tracks like True God, Judgement Morning, and Blaspheme established Sizzla as part of the rising tide of Rastafari artists emerging from Jamaica, many of whom Fatis had also worked with and mentored.
The RAS label issued Burning Up, the Fatis-produced debut album by Sizzla, in 1995. The August Town native was 19 at the time of release.
By that point, Fatis had been producing Reggae and Dancehall music for over a decade. He had founded a few labels before helming Xterminator, a vehicle with which he sought to overhaul the sounds and the message in Jamaican music. In keeping with this mission, he worked closely with figures like Luciano, Capleton, Buju Banton, Garnett Silk, and others.
He passed away in 2011 at age 57.
Among his collaborators, he’s remembered as fondly for the music he made as for the philosophy, work ethic, and precision that drove his output.
In a 2021 interview with Entertainment Report Podcast, Sizzla recalled: “Fatis would be just in the studio every day and every night, twelve months of the year, 365, like him nuh live nuh weh. Fatis just live in the studio. So you’ll just be given the chance to just make a lot of songs.”
Fatis’s son, the producer Kareem Burrell, has carried on his legacy through posthumous releases of refreshed, and sometimes rare, collections of Fatis’s music. The ongoing Fatis Tapes In The Oven series welcomed a third volume in November. It too was released on Kareem’s label, XTM.Nation.