By-the early 2000s, producer Donovan ‘Don Corleon’ Bennett’s rhythms were officially ‘Good To Go’, as the compilation set which featured Elephant Man’s Bun Dung Dat (“Girl what you reap is what you sow/Whe di riddim name, Good To Go”) was named.
He took the ‘New Millenium’ (the name of the Vybz Kartel/Wayne Marshall breakout track on Corleon’s debut ‘Mad Ants’ rhythm) by storm. The ‘Good To Go’ and ‘Egyptian’ (Sweet To The Belly by Kartel and Egyptian Dance by Elephant Man) were among those that followed.
Corleon was in the thick of the frenetic dancehall pace of the time, doing the rhythm for Elephant Man’s Pon Di River and Signal The Plane with Craig ‘Leftside’ Parks. The Don was also instrumental – literally – in Sean Paul and Keyshia Cole’s Give it Up to Me.
Then, in 2005, Corleon changed track, while remaining true to his art. He slowed dancehall down, stopping Jamaican popular music in its tracks with the ‘Drop Leaf’ rhythm, a one-drop beat featuring Sizzla (Be Strong), Bounty Killer (as a singer on It’s Ok) and Jah Cure (Longing For).
Corleon followed with the ‘Seasons’ rhythm, another dancehall take on roots reggae, on which Morgan Heritage sang How Come, Natural Black delivered Far From Reality and Wayne Wonder confirmed I Still Believe.
Fast-forward a few years and Don Corleon’s production work with Protoje on the latter’s 2011 debut album Seven Year Itch fuses a decade of innovation and criss-crossing of genres into one set.
Corleon continues to drop the hot party beats (‘Summer Scheme’ and ‘Major and Minor’), even as he works on long-term projects that will further cement his place among the greats. Who knows, he may just start working his Vendetta sound a few more times.
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