Flourgon still run things

Observer senior writer

Monday, October 08, 2018

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AS budding artistes in the early 1980s, Flourgon and friends from the Park Lane area of Red Hills Road would go to dances promoted by Rambo International, the neighbourhood's sound system. He credits sharing the microphone at those events for giving him, Red Dragon, Sanchez and Daddy Lizard their break.

That camraderie, Flourgon points out, no longer exists among many of his contemporaries. The veteran deejay blames selfishness for artistes from the 1980s being forgotten.

“Most a di time if yuh get a show wid Beres (Hammond), yuh don't get a Sanchez or a Super Cat on it. Promoter might sey him cyan afford it but sometimes is 'cause is di older artiste don't unite enough,” he told the Jamaica Observer. “If yuh have a show wid Sanchez, Shabba Ranks, Half Pint…It woulda hard fi find a venue fi hold a show like dat.”

Next Saturday, Flourgon shares the bill with other stars from the 1980s on the Stars R Us show, scheduled for Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre in Kingston. Half Pint, Paul Elliott, Admiral Tibet, Josey Wales and Admiral Bailey are also on the card.

The 53-year-old, best known for songs like One Foot Skank and We Run Things, still records and tours. Some of his gigs are in the Caribbean alongside Sanchez, with others coming in North America and Europe.

Flourgon co-produced his latest songs, Enemies and Can't Live Without You, with long-time friend Daddy Lizard.

While he admires acts like Busy Signal and Agent Sasco, he is not a big fan of contemporary dancehall, especially production.

“Back inna di day yuh had good producer like Winston Riley who would sey, 'Hey! Yuh cyaan use da word dey!' Wi used to do slack song still, but nuh man tell yuh 'bout yuh mother,” he said.

Riley produced One Foot Skank for his Techniques label which also manned hit songs by Sanchez, Daddy Lizard and Flourgon's younger brother, Red Dragon, who died in 2015.

Flourgon (given name Michael May) says fans who live in Jamaican-strong areas like Brooklyn, The Bronx and Queens, New York, and Toronto, still love 1980s dancehall and that helps keep him busy. That diehard fan base is largely responsible for the remarkable resurgence of Sister Nancy, another Riley protégé, and fellow toasters Josey Wales and Admiral Bailey who are still active.

A part of his set is dedicated to Red Dragon, who was among the first artistes to break out from the Park Lane community in 1987 with the number one hit, Hold A Fresh.

Flourgon made international headlines in March when he sued pop superstar Miley Cyrus for $300 million for using the hook of We Run Things, without permission. He said the case is still before the courts.

The Wailing Souls, George Nooks, Carl Dawkins, Big Youth, Jah Cutter and Robert Sargeant complete the Stars R Us line-up.

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