Prince Lincoln and the Royal Rasses

UNSUNG

Howard Campbell

Friday, August 24, 2012

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In commemoration of Jamaica's 50th anniversary of Independence from Britain, the Jamaica Observer's Entertainment section recognises 50 persons who made significant, yet unheralded contributions to the country's culture. This week we feature Prince Lincoln and the Royal Rasses


When neo-soul artistes John Legend and The Roots decided to do their Covers album three years ago, one of the songs they chose was Humanity by Prince Lincoln and the Royal Rasses.


Recorded in 1979, Humanity was a strong seller throughout Europe and earned the group a contract with United Artistes.


The group comprised Junior Lincoln, a former Excelsior High School student; Devon Russell, Lindburgh Lewis and Cedric Myton, who was also a founding member of roots group The Congos.


Typical of reggae acts from the 1970s, the Royal Rasses recorded mainly message songs including Kingston 11, Kissinger and Salvador.


Their biggest hit, however, was Humanity (also known as Love The Way it Should Be) which became a favourite in British sound system circles.


Humanity influenced an album of the same name, produced by Jamaica Broadcasting Corporation disc jockey, Errol 'ET' Thompson.


Prince Lincoln died in England from cancer in 1999 at age 50. Cedric Myton is still touring with The Congos and guitarist Earl 'Chinna' Smith's Inna De Yard roots ensemble.


Humanity is a regular on the latter's playlist. It sounds as fresh as when it was recorded 30-odd years ago.


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