Richie Spice is one of my favourite modern reggae singers. A lot of his songs utilise riddims with huge basslines, and crisp modern production.
However, his music is still better classified as reggae and not as dancehall. The conscious lyrics, rootsy singing, and smooth bass means that Richie Spice’s hits could probably have released in the 80s without too many alterations.
“Youth Dem Cold” is typical of this style. The bass has a hefty presence, going nice and low.
The guitar skank is complemented by a little organ vamp, giving the song even more movement.
The drums are a classic reggae one drop pattern, with extra dub effects.
As for the singing, it is almost a hybrid between dancehall deejaying and singing. Spice sings in a heavy patois, which does wonders for the flow of his voice.
The lyrics are about the rise of crime being caused by poverty, such as lack of education and opportunities.
A particularly good part is the contrast between the streets (hot, meaning dangerous) and the youth (cold).
The song was released in 2007 on the album In The Streets To Africa.