14 Songs, 57 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

By the time of Sidewalk University’s release, Shinehead had established himself as a key player on New York’s flourishing dancehall scene. He'd made a name for himself as one of the sharpest deejays working for Tony Screw’s legendary Downbeat International soundsystem and displayed a truly startling stylistic versatility on record, coming across as a ruthless microphone controller at one moment and a silken-voiced crooner the next. Shinehead’s eclecticism attracted the attention of Elektra Records, which recognized his ability to appeal to listener sensibilities ranging from dancehall and reggae to hip-hop and R&B. Sidewalk University was Shinehead’s third full-length for Elektra and saw him finally achieving the crossover hit the label had long hoped for. This came in the form of “Jamaican in New York,” a lighthearted remake of Sting’s 1988 hit “Englishman in New York”; it was tender enough to appeal to mainstream listeners but kept a real emotional heft that made it an anthem for expatriate Jamaicans not just in New York, but the world over.

EDITORS’ NOTES

By the time of Sidewalk University’s release, Shinehead had established himself as a key player on New York’s flourishing dancehall scene. He'd made a name for himself as one of the sharpest deejays working for Tony Screw’s legendary Downbeat International soundsystem and displayed a truly startling stylistic versatility on record, coming across as a ruthless microphone controller at one moment and a silken-voiced crooner the next. Shinehead’s eclecticism attracted the attention of Elektra Records, which recognized his ability to appeal to listener sensibilities ranging from dancehall and reggae to hip-hop and R&B. Sidewalk University was Shinehead’s third full-length for Elektra and saw him finally achieving the crossover hit the label had long hoped for. This came in the form of “Jamaican in New York,” a lighthearted remake of Sting’s 1988 hit “Englishman in New York”; it was tender enough to appeal to mainstream listeners but kept a real emotional heft that made it an anthem for expatriate Jamaicans not just in New York, but the world over.

TITLE TIME

More By Shinehead

You May Also Like