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True Born African


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Album Review

Long hailed as the originator of the "dee jay" or "toasting" style of reggae sprechgesang that took Jamaica's dancehalls by storm in the early 1970s and led directly to the development of American hip-hop, "Daddy" U-Roy is revered in the reggae world and has enjoyed a resurgence of popularity in recent years. This new album, which marks approximately 20 years of recording for U-Roy, shows him incorporating a greater than usual musical variety into his work; he even sings rather than toasts on several cuts. On tunes like "False Prophecy" and "Birds of a Feather," he alternates between singing and chatting without sacrificing any of the songs' straightforward, didactic power; on others he toasts in the straight-ahead style that has made him famous and influenced an entire generation of deejays. Credit is due to the Mad Professor, whose crystalline production shows off U-Roy's voice to best advantage, even if the instrumental tracks get a bit sterile from time to time.


Born: September 21, 1942 in Jones Town, Jamaica

Genre: Reggae

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Known as the Originator, U-Roy wasn't the first DJ, nor even the first to cut a record, but he was the first to shake the nation and he originated a style so distinctly unique that he single-handedly changed his homeland's music scene forever. Born Ewart Beckford in Jones Town, Jamaica, in 1942, he received his...
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True Born African, U-Roy
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