‘ The author ‘of the toast on records revolutionized sound system culture in Jamaica – and inspired the birth of hip-hop

The legendary toaster U-Roy has died at the age of 78, a Trojan Records representative has confirmed. No cause of death has been published

British reggae DJ David Rodigan paid tribute, describing U-Roy as “the paradigm of Jamaican music … I have always been in awe of him; The tone of voice, the cadence, the lyrical shimmer and the riddim riding made him a “soul adventurer””Ali Campbell of UB40 hailed him as” a true inspiration that paves the way for generations to come and creates a sound that will live forever! “Shaggy said,” Today we lost one of our heroes !! “

U-Roy wasn’t the first toaster, but he came to be known as “The Originator” because he was the first to record his distinctive singing style, spawn a phenomenon and inspire the emergence of hip-hop “His powerful voice proclaimed sizzling, with Jive saturated lyrics instead of just inserting a few sentences “, wrote a critic for Reggae Vibes.” He also ran the reduced instrumental track instead of intervening at crucial points “

U-Roy was born Ewart Beckford in Kingston, Jamaica in 1942. His family was musical, his mother performed in the choir of a local Seventh-day Adventist church. He first played “Mine” at the age of 14 Mother always said to me: why don’t you cut and shave because you will look a much nicer boy? ” he told United Reggae, “And I always said, ‘Listen mom, I didn’t tell you not to be a Seventh-day Adventist I didn’t tell you not to play that organ in this choir I’m going do what I have to do and I won’t disregard you. But what I believe is what I believe in ”

He began his professional career in 1961 with the sound system of Dickie Wong, who ran the record label and club Tit for Tat in Kingston (where Sly Dunbar met Robbie Shakespeare). He switched between sound systems before becoming a top player in the late 1960s. DJ from King Tubby’s Hometown Hi-Fi performed

King Tubby’s elongated dub versions gave U-Roy the space to expand his inventive singing style. “Then things began to improve for me,” he told the LA Times in 1994

In Bob Stanley’s pop story Yeah Yeah Yeah, singer Dennis Alcapone describes how the duo plays live. “He and U-Roy start the dance as usual and after a while he plays You Don’t Care by the Techniques, then he switches to Dub version and after a few lines the crowd could only hear pure rhythm. Then U-Roy came to toast and they went crazy ”

In 1969, U-Roy made his first recordings with Keith Hudson, Lee Perry, and Peter Tosh, although his outbreak would come a year later when John Holt witnessed U-Roy hang up and toast on Holt’s song Wear You to the Ball and told producer Duke Reid to work with him

Their partnership spawned three instant hits: Wake the Town, Rule the Nation and Wear You to the Ball, plus two dozen other singles, and inspired an onslaught of producers who wanted to work with DJs on record. “Before that was the DJ business nothing people take seriously, “he told the LA Times.” I didn’t really take it seriously, people weren’t really used to this stuff “

U-Roy released hundreds of singles in the 1970s including a number of hits with Bunny Lee A deal with Virgin resulted in the album Dread in a Babylon, produced by Prince Tony Robinson It boosted U-Roy’s popularity in the UK where he counted Joe Strummer as a fan

Across the Atlantic, DJ Kool Herc and Coke La Rock took the U-Roy and Kingston sound approach to their Bronx parties to differentiate them from the mid-1970s disco scene Space Echo to extempore and invent their own slang Kool Herc’s block of flats, the Bronx, would be recognized as the birthplace of hip-hop

Unimpressed by his recording success, U-Roy returned to sound system culture and launched his own, Stur-Gav, to raise a new breed of toasters including Shabba Ranks, Ranking Joe and Charlie Chaplin “That was the most fun of my life when I started doing it, “he told United Reggae

While performing as a performer in the 1980s, U-Roy barely resumed until 1991 – by which time he had moved to LA – British producer Mad Professor invited him to appear on the album True Born African It Another enduring creative partnership was formed. U-Roy’s last album, Talking Roots from 2018, was also produced by Mad Professor. “When I was 15 and listening to Version Galore, I wanted to work with U-Roy,” Mad Professor tweeted on Thursday

In 2019 he was “crowned” by Shabba Ranks in New York, who called him “di Picasso of our music” That year he also recorded a new album, Gold: The Man Who Invented Rap, with Sly and Robbie, Zak Starkey on guitar and Youth of Killing Joke in production, with guest appearances by Mick Jones from Clash, Santigold, Shaggy and Ziggy Marley among others A release date is planned for the summer

U-Roy pondered his message and told the LA Times, “I just talk about oneness with people, I’m not really trying to knock down people or anything like that. Violence is very ugly and love is very beautiful. I’ve never been to that College or something, but I have some common sense and what I’m learning, I just make the most of it, you know? ”

• This article was published on Jan. Changed February 2021 A previous version said Hall and Oates sampled a U-Roy song on their song Soldering; it was by the starlight


World news – GB – U-Roy, legendary reggae toaster, dies at the age of 78

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/music/2021/feb/18/u-roy-legendary-reggae-toaster-dies-aged-78