One of the most endearing brats you're likely to hear, ambitious dancehall DJ Red Rat's semi-comical lyrics, spoiled brat delivery, and frequent intonations of "Oh no!" have won the St. Ann's Bay, Jamaica, native a following that spans all ages. Born into a musical family that includes a former guitarist for Byron Lee & the Dragonnaires (his father), a former bassist for Diana King (his older brother), and a drummer for the group KRU (his second-oldest brother), Red Rat (born Wallace Wilson) knew from a very young age that he wanted to follow in the footsteps of his siblings and father.
It was through one of his brothers that Red Rat made his first recorded appearance. He guest DJ'd on KRU's "Can't Live Without You" in 1995, when he was still in high school. Though he could have gotten his career rolling faster at that point, Red Rat opted to finish school before devoting all of his energies to music. Performances at Teen Splash '96 and Sting provided significant exposure for the DJ, who won over both crowds. By the end of 1997, Red Rat racked up a trio of Jamaican radio smashes, in addition to the release of his full-length debut, Oh No...It's Red Rat. A well-received record for its singular exuberance and humor, only a couple songs touched a level of seriousness. One of those moments was "Rumors," which dealt with his alleged death from gunshots. His second album, I'm a Big Kid Now, followed in 2000. ~ Andy Kellman