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The Observer Book of I-Roy

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Editors’ Notes

The Observer Book of I-Roy collects 11 sides that the unfailingly inspired DJ I-Roy cut for producer Winston “Niney” Holness in 1976 and 1977. By this stage of his career, I-Roy had already cut scores of remarkable records for producers like Gussie Clarke, Lee Perry, Keith Hudson, and Joseph Hoo Kim. Yet his recordings for Niney are particularly outstanding, containing some of his finest performances. Take “Step on the Dragon": it's an incredible version of Dennis Brown’s 1977 hit “Wolf and Leopard” that finds I-Roy issuing characteristically charismatic declamations on everything from Kingston street violence to the Old Testament and Rastafarian prophecy. On “Sister Maggie Breast,” I-Roy reworks “Wolf and Leopards” yet again, this time in the service of a clever bit of lascivious rhyming that anticipates the similarly explicit “slack” vocal style of DJs like General Echo and Clint Eastwood by at least half a decade. Best of all, though, may be “Jah Is My Light/Wicked Eat Dirt,” an incredibly intense performance on the Satta Massagana rhythm that burns with an incandescent righteousness that must be heard to be believed.

Customer Reviews

The Mighty Poet I-Roy

This album is killer. I-Roy was one of the baddest DJs roun in Jamaica. A must have for true fans of Reggae music.


Born: June 28, 1949 in Spanish Town, Jamaica

Genre: Reggae

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

Along with U-Roy, Dennis Alcapone, and Big Youth, I-Roy was one of a quartet of DJs that reigned supreme over the Jamaican music scene during the early to mid-'70s. Of the four, I-Roy was the most eloquent, and his toasts were littered with references to pop culture, from movies to historical figures. He was also one of the most prolific, cutting scores upon scores of singles, and dozens of albums. Although the DJ's sun began...
Full Bio
The Observer Book of I-Roy, I-Roy
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  • $9.99
  • Genres: Reggae, Music
  • Released: Feb 14, 2012

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