i'm already on the other side
In spring 1998, Tricky's third solo album gets released, 'Angels with dirty faces'. Accidently or not, this is also the title of a film from 1938 with James Cagney. The first single off the album is 'Broken Homes', a collaboration with PJ Harvey, whom he has always admired (Select 94) and toured with in 1995. Other tracks feature Martina again, but Tricky explains that they will not work together anymore:

"Everything I do, I'm the bad guy," he says. "This showed me that as long as I'm doing music with Martina I'm going to be a bad father, a prick. She's in the perfect position. She gets all the credibility but, if the album's bad, they won't say anything about her, it's all going to be about me." This is a reaction to the press, who often described Tricky as a bad father who gets all the fame, while Martina has all the work. Especially two articles in The Face (96 and 98) upset him: "When I read that Face thing, I started thinking we should split up. Our relationship's good, it's been seven years, and the fact we were seeing each other, had a kid, stopped seeing each other and carried on making albums is unbelievable." (Big Issue 98)

He even wrote a song about one of these two writers (Craig McLean) back in 1996, the lyrics were about shooting his face off. It should be called 'Darker Magic' and be released on a Silvah Bullit album, but up to now it never got released. Craig McLean is not the only person who gets a 'special' song from Tricky. He also writes 'Can't Freestyle' in 1998 about Finley Quaye, who claimed to be Tricky's uncle. But also this song doesn't get officially released, only some copies are distributed to the press. Another unofficial 12" released in 1998 is 'Divine Comedy', his reaction to the racist remark of Polygram's president Eric Kronfeld, who left the company soon afterwards: "If every African-American male in the United States was disqualified from pursuing a livelihood...because of a prior criminal record, then there would be no, or virtually no, African-American employees in our society or in our industry" (Spin 98). 'Divine Comedy' is basically the music of 'Money Greedy', but totally different lyrics, repeating "Fucking niggers" more than once. Also 'Money Greedy' is directed to someone, the lyrics "'we used to sit at The Brits, never won no awards but that's not what we looked towards" are about Massive Attack, as Tricky tells The Face: "I produced two songs on that album ['Protection'], which helped win 'em a Brit [for Best Dance Act in 1994], and they walked past the table after getting the Brit, and they didn't even say hello to me. That's weird!". 

To promote his new album 'Angels with dirty faces' Tricky goes on a little tour in the spring of 1998. From now on Martina is not on tour with him anymore (except for a sporadic gig at this year's Glastonbury Festival and two gigs in Japan in 1999 like Fuji Festival), the female singers are Cath Coffey, Denise Ellington and Carmen Ejogo (an actress, who was in the movie 'The Avengers'). With her he also recorded a new song - 'Slowly' - for the Soundtrack of the movie 'Forces Of Nature'. During the tour they even got married in Las Vegas (Omnilexica), but obviously the marriage didn't last long, because in 2000 she married the actor Jeffrey Wright.

His latest remix projects include big names in American Hip Hop: Notorious B.I.G. back in 1997 ('Hypnotize'), Cam'Ron ('Horse and carriage'), Method Man ('Judgement Day') and a lot of collaborations and production work on the soundtrack 'Half Baked'. There he releases a song by himself and DJ Milo ('We know'), a remix of a Black Grape song ('Marbles') and three tracks which he produced (Cibo Matto, UB 40, Tom Tom Club).

At the end of this year a big European tour is announced, but is soon canceled because Tricky is sick (though he soon sets up another tour through the States with Whale). In an interview with VIVA 2 he said he discovered at that time that he had Candida, which was the reason he felt spaced out all the years before. Candida is a kind of allergy to yeast, a lot of people who are told to have schizophrenia suffer in fact of this sickness. His life changes now, he lives healthier, is not tired anymore and not as paranoid. He starts Tai Chi, and his Chinese teacher is almost like a father to him. He declares he wants to be a better person and have control of his temper. In later interviews he explains that he had to do a strict diet and it was almost like a detox in the first months, on tour he had a cook with him.

In 1999 Tricky tries again to make a connection between American and British Hip Hop: "I think our backgrounds are quite similar as well. And we're similar as people. It's like, English and Americans don't seem to connect, and they're both constantly influencing each other... But none of them ever get together and do anything with each other" (Raygun 99). He records some tracks with DJ Muggs from Cypress Hill and they're both enthusiastic about them: "It's a new music. A new attitude towards music" (Raygun 99). They want to release an album and their project gets the name 'Stonepony'.  But just a little later the project gets canceled, the only comment on it is: "After a meeting with Lyor Cohen, Co-President, Island/Def Jam Music Group, Tricky decided that the sonic sum of his work with Muggs wasn't as hip-hop as he wanted it to be" (Allstarnews 99).

Instead he releases 'Juxtapose', his fourth album, which features some tracks with DJ Muggs and also the production of Grease (DMX). Two tracks with DJ Muggs find their way to the first and only single 'For Real' ('Pop Muzik', a cover of the famous song by M) and the Japan release ('Who'). Martina is not on the album, instead Kioka Williams is doing most of the female vocals on the album and the following tours. The album also features a British rapper called Mad Dog on two tracks. 'Juxtapose' is not only very short (36 minutes), but also musically disappointing for a lot of his old fans.  It seems that his healthier state of mind also brought out a healthier record, which most people weren't prepared for. In November, Tricky writes a message to his fans, in which he almost excuses himself for 'Juxtapose': "I was reading a revue on juxtapose and it said blah blah blah yada yada if you want to be a pop star boy blah blah blah, now the first thing I have to say is: 1) I dont like the album and 2) who the fuck wants 2 to be a pop star? well anyway... I wanna apologize 4 all my vocals on juxtapose..." (message to his fans, 99)

Finally in 1999 his record label 'Durban Poison' starts to release other artists: the first album of The Baby Namboos ('Ancoats 2 Zambia'), Genaside II ('Ad Finite') and a project called 'Product of the environment', which features British gangsters telling their stories over music by Tricky's keyboardist Gareth Bowen. Tricky himself has some guest appearances on all these albums, or is at least executive producer for 'Product of the environment'. Grace Jones seems to have left the label, the only release of her on Durban Poison is a promo 12" of a track called 'Cradle to the grave', which also has vocals by Tricky.

In summer 1999 he tours through Europe and the US and declares in an interview that his next album is already recorded, 'Street Dog and scrappy love'. But it seems it will never be released, because in fall 1999 he leaves Island Records. The company says that this decision is due to disappointing sales of 'Juxtapose'. In April 2000, he joins Epitaph, the Californian record label who also signed Tom Waits recently (with the European division Anti).

Meanwhile everyone is still waiting for the release of his autobiography 'All I hear is words', which was announced with a CD of unreleased material - but according to Tricky's management this release won't happen in the near future. Tricky already published poetry in a book from 1998 called 'The Fire People', available from Payback Press. And finally in winter 2000 he releases a new EP ('Mission Accomplished'), with three new tracks and the old 'Divine Comedy', only in a shorter version than on the bootleg 12". He also contributes music to a TV commercial for GAP



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