Putting the rap on reggae

Kevin Jackson

Friday, February 08, 2013

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February is officially Black History Month in the United States. Throughout the month, the Jamaica Observer will acknowledge the contribution of African-Americans to Jamaican pop culture.

SOME of rap music's biggest names including Slick Rick, the late Biggie Smalls and Busta Rhymes, have never hidden their Jamaican heritage.

A few of these artistes have even recorded songs with reggae and dancehall artistes, while others performed in Jamaica several times.

Busta Rhymes has done both. Rhymes, whose real name is Trevor Smith, has sold millions of records worldwide and scored a string of hits including Woo-Hah!!! (Got You All in Check), Put Up Your Hands Where My Eyes Can See, What's it Gonna Be and Dangerous.

Among the Jamaican acts he has collaborated with are Stephen Marley, Vybz Kartel, Junior Reid, and Sean Paul.

Busta Rhymes' parents are originally from St Thomas. He has performed in Jamaica at the Sting and Bustin Loose shows.

Christopher Wallace, famous as the Notorious BIG or Biggie Smalls, was also born in Brooklyn, New York to Jamaican parents.

Known for hits such as Big Poppa, Hypnotize, One More Chance, Mo Money Mo Problems, and Juicy/Unbelievable, Wallace performed at Sting in the mid-1990s, taking the stage in a wheelchair.

He was murdered in 1997.

British-born rapper Richard Walters better known as Slick Rick is also of Jamaican parentage.

Raised in New York City, his groundbreaking album, 1988's The Great Adventures of Slick Rick, topped the Billboard R&B Album chart.

Released by Def Jam Records, the album spawned three hit singles in Children's Story, Teenage Love and Hey Young World.

'The Great Adventures' sold over two million copies and is regarded as a hip hop classic.





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