Cutty Ranks is a hugely prolific Dancehall deejay, who was especially massive from the late 80s to the late 90s.
His badboy style, with a very unique flow and voice, was also heavily sampled in many of the dance subcultures in the U.K., from Jungle, Garage, Dubstep, all the way up to the present day, with Chase & Status recently incorporating the chorus of “Retreat” into their latest neo-jungle single.
“The Slaughter” sees Cutty Ranks in typical style, warning any other MCs of the dangers of messing with him using a particularly personal image of them being literally, and quite graphically, butchered. I say personal, because he was a butcher before; that’s why he uses the butcher shop theme a lot in his songs.
The riddim is very much early 90s Dancehall to a tee, with a fat, warping bassline, some almost latin drums, and a range of chopped samples. The focus is really on the vocals, but there’s no denying the instrumental is solid, and a big part of the songs appeal. At this point, the connection with the old roots reggae is very hard to discern…
The song is from the album Die Hard Pt.1, which was released in 1991 and is a collaboration album featuring Tony Rebel.