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Version Galore

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U-Roy's debut album features his wildly idiosyncratic rants atop a stack of reggae hits. His skewed lyrical sense adds some surreal fun to the tracks, whether he's expanding on the original lyrics or just making with exuberant nonsense (or doing both, as on "Tide Is High"). Bits of John Holt's original vocal lend a sweet contrast to U-Roy's boisterous rapping on "Wear You to the Ball." And there's plenty of good-natured humor, as he shouts, "Right on, brother!" back at the vocalists on "Rock Away."


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 famous moniker from a young family member unable to correctly pronounce Ewart and the nickname stuck. U-Roy's rise to fame was slow, and took almost a decade. He began back in 1961, DJing...
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Version Galore, U-Roy
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