Thursday, February 17, 2011


Okay so, I find that one of the only ‘real’ critiques that can be lobbed in my direction by my readers is the fact that I pay very little attention to the foundation artists in regard to what I write. This is fine by me - It’s accurate in a sense, but I do have good reason. If I write a review/article about Bob Marley or Dennis Brown, am I really likely to help anyone or anything by doing it? I don’t think so. A lot of people wayyyyyyy smarter than I am have already said what is to be said in their cases, so I tend to focus more on the new-school and the ‘now-school’ names of today. However, if you are such a person who still harbours thoughts that I should pay more mind to the greats of yesteryear then . . . Well this post certainly IS NOT for you! Instead of going back, I’m leaping ahead, thirty years to be (kind of) exact.

I got to thinking about how some guy, three decades from now, running a RIDICULOUS blog like this one, might view some of the big names from today and what might become of them altogether and I’m impatient. I just can’t wait thirty years (in such time, I’ll be either completely dead or lamenting that I’m approaching sixty years of age in less than six months’ time). So I thought that I’d do it myself! Here I have a first installment of a list which jumps ahead to ~2040 and looks back at some of the big vocalists of today and what became of their careers: Legacy.

{Note: Names appear in absolutely no particular order}
{Note 2: I purposefully attempted to pick people who still have things to gain and things to lose - Thus no Beenie & Bounty and the likes}
{Note 3: Obviously I’m ignoring general changes such as - Sometimes people find other stuff to do with their time - or - People die}
{Note 4: Probably will end up doing this again at some point, with a fresh batch (biggup Batch) of names}


20 years too early. ‘Unfortunately’, the RIDICULOUSLY talented Aidonia was well into the second half of his thirties before he seemed to get focused and STAY there. With the early (and middle) stages of his career seemingly spent displaying how wicked he was (and he was), in retrospect, he failed to create a lasting impression until he realized that the rest of had long ago realized what he was attempting to prove - That he was wicked (did I mention that he was). And he was also bogged down by various arguments which went absolutely nowhere. ~2015 (having still not delivered an actual album that he supported) seemed to signal a significant change for the DJ and he would enjoy eventual redevelop into the outstanding voice many knew he could be. He started doing Roots music, he FINALLY gained a foothold internationally and it would ultimately lay a foundation for the stellar career he would enjoy well into his late forties and early fifties. STILL, perhaps the greatest thing which could be said about Aidonia’s career is the fact that if you listen to him at his tongue-twisting best and turn on the radio station now - Maybe you’ll notice that nearly ALL of the top male Dancehall DJ’s (and a few of the females as well) sound almost EXACTLY like Aidonia - 30 years later.


We can never go home. Never. Turbulence’s career as a whole, while definitely solid, remains to this day somewhat incomplete because he never seemed to stress what was CLEARLY his best trait. Coming up in a generation which was ruled by the likes of Luciano, Capleton, former label mate Sizzla Kalonji and the likes, when he reached the height of his talents, one could argue that, with an excellent chanting talent, deejaying talents and one of the most underappreciated singing voices in modern Reggae history, ostensibly, Turbulence was THE most naturally gifted Roots Reggae artist around at the time. Sadly, however, he spent far too much of his time ‘trapped’ singing lukewarm love songs and the result was a career which not only saw its biggest hit, ‘Notorious’, arrive well ahead of his thirtieth birthday, but also saw Turbulence eclipsed in popularity by names who had not even a quarter of his overall abilities! Still, it was that ability which makes him remembered to this day - We just still wish the Xterminator product had given us more of the Roots before he decided it was time to fall in love - 30 years later.

Baby Cham

Ghetto enigma. Who is Baby Cham? We still have no idea. Cham would seemingly only come out to say hello as often as his mentor and producer, the incomparable Dave Kelly of Madhouse Records (arguably the greatest Dancehall producer of all time), would make a new riddim - Which was, at most, once a year. And as Kelly got older and more and more detached, it didn’t do what you would expect: Make Cham more available to other producers, but it limited it. HOWEVER, with that being said, what is most frustrating about Baby Cham’s career is the fact that when he did have something to share, it was absolutely FLAWLESS! The Sherlock Crescent native’s big time in the spotlight would come with the MASSIVE international hit, ‘Ghetto Story’, which would spawn an album of the same name in 2006, his second. It would be another six years before he would follow it up and do so, again, in brilliant fashion. Also, when he would leave the comfort of Madhouse, Cham’s work for the likes of Stephen McGregor and Don Corleon was also top notch and he may’ve been actually been as talented as his far more celebrated peers, but we’ll never know because his activity level was never high enough to know what was really going on, but some suspect that was the plan after all as Baby Cham now exists as one of the greatest mysteries in Dancehall history - 30 years later.

Busy Signal

The colours! If Dancehall is mainly about having as much fun as humanly possible and enjoying oneself, then Busy Signal has had one of the greatest careers of all time, without question. When his career began, the up and coming DJ caught onto audiences, alongside singer Mavado, as yet another very hardcore artist from Bounty Killer’s camp - But even then, his was a talent which set him apart from the likes of Bling Dawg and . . . Those other guys, immediately. While that talent which was heard by mostly everyone did prove to remain well intact throughout Busy’s career, what we didn’t read too well, apparently, was what was present on ‘strange’ tunes such as ‘Dat Bad’ and others from early on which would eventually sprout into Busy Signal in his prime years who now has to be regarded as one of the most creative and inventive Dancehall products of all time. The man would eventually go into doing covers and remakes of material from The Commodores, Phil Collins and even full-on singing Beres Hammond. Busy would also go on to become the very first big named Dancehall act to qualify for and then PLACE in the International Soca Monarch competition in Trinidad and along with running a successful clothing line (although that whole Zouk phase he went through is still most unfortunate), his rise to power is one which is still truly one of a kind in the annals of Dancehall history - 30 years later.

Pressure Busspipe

Real king. Having reached the entry level big time of his career as early as 2004-05 when his MAMMOTH debut album, ”The Pressure Is On” dropped, VI Reggae legend Pressure Busspipe would have originally come to the attention of most during what would have been the prime years of what is now regarded as arguably the greatest Reggae band of all time, Midnite, but that certainly didn’t stop him from making his own course and his course ultimately would flow straight through the home of Reggae music. Pressure would become the first VI born artist to score a #1 tune in Jamaica when he sent on ‘Love & Affection’ for super producer Don Corleon. And album between the two would soon follow and Pressure was a household name in Reggae music. He would still maintain a dominant presence back home, recording with the same Dean Pond who licked his debut album and early hits throughout his career (and even to this day). Also, it’s taken all this time, but he’s FINALLY managed to receive his just due in another area as Pressure is now regarded as one of the finest lyricists in Reggae from the turn of the century and he’s become THE most influential artist in the VI Reggae scene since Vaughn Benjamin himself - 30 years later.

Ziggi Recado

Open the gates. Speaking of “influential” - The Dutch born, Statian grown Ziggi Recado would come along at was obviously the PERFECT time, not only for himself and for fans alike, but for the whole of Dutch/Dutch Caribbean Reggae music - Providing the region with an immediately transferable star. Following a less than impressive debut album in 2006’s ”So Much Reasons”, Ziggi would return a much much more refined and defined artist on 2008’s HUGE ”In Transit” and that would be the version of the chanter who would go on to become the face of Dutch Reggae. A name change would follow, as would a new self-titled album in 2011 and it was at that point where Ziggi’s popularity began to shift and you had this remarkable situation of his being a name ranking alongside the Gentlemans and Gappy Ranks of the world as THE most popular current European acts, while still CONSTANTLY representing hard for the Dutch Caribbean (biggup Regatta). Like Pressure, Ziggi would also enhance his status in Jamaica eventually, recording with some of the biggest producers in the world such as Kemar & Stephen McGregor and others and opening doors for not only his Dutch contemporaries such as Smiley, Maikal X and Mischu Laikah, but also a line of STRONG names which we have yet to see the end of - 30 years later.

Queen Omega

Far away. Both Pressure and Ziggi are examples of what GOOD happened when you had a big artist breakthrough towards the ‘Reggae mainstream’ - It opened doors for more and more people from the same area to do the same or to potentially do the same - Queen Omega is the opposite of that. Perhaps because a great deal of her work was done away from her home in Trinidad and most of her big hits came through European channels, she never really got the recognition she deserved as being a pioneer for Trinidad Reggae alongside names such as Marlon Asher and Khari Kill, but in retrospect, she had significantly more productive careers than either of them and than any other Trini artist in the day. Later she would gain a greater popularity back home but only after achieving greater successes in Jamaica first and she would continue to dazzle fans worldwide (but in Europe especially), touring with the likes of Marcia Griffiths and later Etana and recording with both as well. And as of late, much younger artists have began to invoke her name more and more and she’s even began to pop up more and more on Trini recordings (more now than ever before actually), so it seems as if perhaps a forty year check up would prove to be more positive for the Queen as CRAWLINGLY SLOWLY fans in Trinidad are beginning to wakeup and realize that a STRONG case could be made for them having birthed THE MOST TALENTED FEMALE ROOTS REGGAE ARTIST EVER - 30 years later.

Admiral T

Mr. Christy Campbell. The later exploits and ventures of Admiral T, perhaps, have now overshadowed the fact that he was one of the wickedest DJ’s the Dancehall -anywhere- has ever produced and although he probably can’t be regarded as a pioneer in general, definitely his level of stardom was previously unseen from someone coming to ‘regular’ Dancehall music from out of the FWI. The Admiral would become, to most, a bit of an overnight success, following the strength of his MASSIVE hit, ‘Gwadada’ and ultimately leading into a big album and an even bigger contract for Universal (a link which would span more than a decade). Admiral T’s time at the top, musically, was very fruitful and he would go on, in 2015 to drop an album with former protégé, the scathing Saïk, which is still regarded as the greatest French/Kreyol Dancehall album of all time. He was simply one of the most popular Dancehall acts of all time also. Still, for those who didn’t favour him in those days, Campbell would venture outside of the music, towards acting and other pursuits, which would eventually find him in front of a camera more than a mic, but for those of us who remember the days of ”Mozaik Kreyol” and ”Instinct Admiral”, stuck in our heads is the omni-talented DJ who could do no wrong with words - 30 years later.


Rolling stone. Looking back, quietly Ce’Cile has formed a career which is most remarkable in a genre which has a surplus of remarkable stories and situations. If you really think about it, a very strong case could be made for her being one of the most resourceful and durable stars the genre has ever seen. When most people first caught on, after the boom that was ’Changez’, Ce’Cile was already producing and writing for other artists (not to mention that she actually co-produced that tune as well on the Chiney Gal Riddim alongside Scatta and her earlier years on the top level were marked by her serving similar roles on other productions, most notably the EVIL Double Jeopardy Riddim). That was first and that was the highlight of her years spent alongside Scatta and the likes of Norris Man and Chrisinti at Iley Dread’s Kings of Kings imprint (and it also included the controversial (for you people) ‘Do It To Me‘). Later she’d move on and have arguably even greater successes at Danger Zone (which included her releasing about 4 albums in about . . . 20 minutes after having sat through an unfortunate deal) (biggup Delicious Vinyl) (not so much) which would include ‘Waiting’ and just when you thought she may’ve ran her cart as far as it would go, she found a yet another new productive set with Don Corleon. NOW! When you take all of that into consideration and add on the fact that she scored hits along the way outside of those labels also, you have one of the most consistent hitmakers of the early 2000’s, whether we realize it or not. She would also go onto do heavy business in the Soca arena (biggup St. Lucia) and a later updated redo of ‘Changez’ would add even more heat to a career that didn’t even need the help and these days STILL, Ce’Cile, well into her sixties can be counted upon to turn out the occasional hit - 30 years later.

{Note: Of course Ce’Cile is one of our favourite people on Achis Reggae, so you should go and vote for her as Female DJ of The Year from the Eme Awards}

Bunji Garlin

Real revolutionary. And finally there’s the great Bunji Garlin whose abilities with the spoken word would ultimately go on to play a major role in revolutionizing an entire genre of music. For everyone who didn’t necessarily like the standard ’jump & wave’ of Soca music (shame on you, shame on you), there was Bunji Garlin who fulfilled and embodied this ultra-lyrical form of the music while virtually redefining the how high crowds should jump and how dizzingly fast they should wave. His style would have immediate benefits, evidenced by the fact that he finished his prime as the first (and still only) person who could lay claim to having won TEN Soca Monarch crowns (although an excursion to attempt a Groovy title in 2016 didn’t prove to be very smart) and he would also make massive strides in the Dancehall arena, particularly later in his career when he would release two Dancehall albums. Bunji is also to be credited with inspiring a league of younger acts such as Skinny Fabulous (who won St. Vincy Monarch eighteen consecutive times) and others. Mrs. Bunji Garlin, the incomparable Fay-Ann Lyons (who I’ll surely update you on next time), also played a big role as she helped her husband FINALLY win a Road March title with their big combination tune in 2014. Bunji’s lyrical talents would also help him to put meaningful and socially conscious lyrics into popular and well received Soca songs, a trait which would become more and more prevalent as his years advanced. In later times Bunji would also go on to energize another sacred Trini art form which could use a boost as he IMMEDIATELY became the most popular Extempo voice in the world - Running unmatched -

{Break! Can you fucking imagine sixty-somethings Bunji & Machel doing Extempo????)

Until, of course, he made the fortunate mistake of drawing out the one rival whom he could not approach. Fay-Ann Lyons. Today the pair can be found lyrically sparring all over the world and occasionally offering a glimpse of the fire they blazed in their heydays - 30 years later.


  1. I'm glad ya don't waste your words on the Golden Oldies. That knowledge if I need to know it...I can find everywhere, but who else is gonna explain to me why Perfect's French Connection should be my next selection. Keep making me smarter...

  2. Definitely appreciate it Nico . . .

    Of course French Connection should only be your next selection if you already have Giddimani