Taken from the 3rd album by the Jackson 5, Michael was my hero and this track takes me right back to my youth. In those days, anything that the Jackson 5 did was inspirational for me but this track in particular resonated with me and spoke to me on many levels as I was an only child. Listening to this song brought reassurance – Beyond Flesh!
Michael Jackson - I'll Be There [ Video + Lyrics + Download ]
Nat King Cole – Nature Boy
Whilst digging around in my father’s record collection, I discovered the album with this track. It was ‘Nature Boy’ that blew me away from the writer of the song to the singer. The story is very profound – not only lyrically but also how the composition arrived with Nat. Listen and learn.
Nat King Cole - Nature Boy (1948)
A House is not a Home – Sugar Minott
I can’t recall how the ‘Live Loving’ album came into my possession but I played the album every day in the Record Room whilst I was incarcerated in Dover Borstal. The title track saved my sanity – ‘A House is not a home’ – Sugar sounding sweet on Studio One.
A House is not a Home - Sugar Minott
Big Youth – Screaming Target
Two voices that convinced me of my path in Rastafari, growing up as a youth in the 1970’s, has to be Prince Far I and the man himself, Big Youth. I heard this track around the same time as my first spliff – the heavens opened up.
Big Youth - Screaming Target (Official Audio)
John Holt – Girl From Ipanema
Every Afro-Caribbean household had a copy of ‘1,000 Volts of Holt’ album in the radiogram cabinet. This track in particular, delivered by one of, if not the sweetest voice to come out of Jamaica, left a lasting effect on me. I actually remember the album cover being my first model when I had a brief buzz for drawing.
John Holt - Girl From Ipanema
John Holt – Dusty Roads
I bought John Holt’s album ‘Dusty Roads’ with Green Shield stamps (google them) for my 16th birthday. The title track still gives me goose bumps.
John Holt - Dusty Roads - (Dusty Roads)
Dennis Brown – Wolf And Leopards
As a youth, I frequently heard this voice in dancehalls – for me personally, he was the voice of reggae music – crowned Prince of Reggae – the late great Dennis Emanuel Brown. This track epitomizes everything that is beautiful about his work – art & science.
Dennis Brown - wolf and leopards
Gregory Isaacs – Night Nurse
Another voice that came of the little island – Jamaica, that laid the foundations of Roots/Reggae. The Cool Ruler, the late great Gregory Isaacs, delivers ‘Night Nurse’, later covered by Mick Hucknall of Simply Red fame. More fyah.
Gregory Isaacs - Night Nurse HQ
Black Uhuru- Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner
Another Roots/Reggae classic – around this time, I had ideas of joining the Army – Rastafari put a stop to that.
Black Uhuru- Guess Who's Coming To Dinner
Dennis Brown – No Man Is An Island
This track, produced by Studio One don, Coxsone Dodd, introduced me to the vocal talents of Dennis Brown from a young age. I happened upon this album during what I call my ‘Searching for My Roots’ period; archaeology in what we term ‘Reggae’.
Dennis Brown - No Man Is An Island
Bob Marley – Exodus
When this groundbreaking album came out, I had just left secondary school, only to continue my education in the larger classroom of the adult world. Bob Marley & The Wailers deliver this track with crystal clear clarity – the Exodus continues.
Bob Marley & The Wailers - Exodus
The Abyssinians – Satta Massagana (Satta Massagana)
Last but not least, ‘Satta Massagana’ by The Abyssinians – this classic roots reggae track is a crowning achievement and a monumental work of art & science. Their vocals and harmonies can only be dispensed by Angels.
The Abyssinians - Satta Massagana (Satta Massagana)
Ghetto Priest ‘Every Man For Every Man’
His latest sermon is a blend of righteous incitements and damning indictments that reflect the paranoia of daily life. Title track ‘Every Man For Every Man’ asks us to reach out to our fellow neighbour while he delivers a sobering message towards the environment and defending if from the evils of a money-motivated government on ‘Sacred Ground’.
On the mystical ‘Good Lord’, Ghetto Priest seeks spiritual guidance and his raw primal energies and forces come to light in a passionate re-working of the Robert Burns poem, ‘I Murder Hate’, before the trials and triumphs of black women are voiced in the Judy Mowatt song, ‘Black Woman’. On the little-known Peter Tosh song, ‘Babylon Queendom’, he passionately announces Babylon’s fall, demanding back the riches she’s plundered.
As one of the more flamboyant and creative performers to emerge from the scene, he was invited by Asian Dub Foundation to take on the vocals for the opening track of their ‘Enemy of the Enemy’ album released in 2003 along with lead vocals on the follow-up album, ‘Tank’. His On-U Sound debut came a year later, the critically acclaimed album ‘Vulture Culture’, produced by Adrian Sherwood.
He went on to record under his own name for a number of other labels including Reggae On Top and Conscious Sounds. More or lesser known artists to have flavoured his guest vocals include The Underwolves, Sinead O’Connor, Groove Armada, James Hardway (aka David Harrow) and Little Axe.
In 2011, Ghetto Priest joined forces with Lucid Mover in a project called Screaming Soul. This resulted in the album ‘Ghost Inna Shell’ and in 2012, an Adrian Sherwood and Nick Coplowe (aka Mutant Hi-Fi)-remixed companion, ‘Ghost Inna Dub’.
In 2016, he released the single ‘Life Ain’t Easy’ based on Dennis Brown’s ‘Easy, Take It Easy’, via Ramrock Records, and has two more projects in the Ramrock pipeline set for future release.
Ramrock Records were formed in 2014. To date, they have worked with DJ and producer Ashley Beedle, musical supremo Darren Morris, Greg Blackman, the mighty MC D’Oxman, Ghetto Priest, Situation & Andre Espeut, Adrian Sherwood, Duncan Mackay, Taz, Jeb Loy Nichols, LSK, On-U Sound, Loop Records, Electric Wire Hustle and DJ producer, Mr Bird.