In a world which still tries to force the evil and false philosophy of white supremacy down the throat of the people, they would have us believe that Bob Marley is bigger than Reggae because of his white father. The truth is, while Bob Marley gained international fame and fortune from reggae music, he pales in comparison to some of the real geniuses of Reggae music.
Today we look at King Jammy.
A protégé of legendary dub pioneer and producer Osbourne “King Tubby” Ruddock, Lloyd “King Jammy” James worked with and mentored some of dancehall’s biggest artistes. He was the most successful producer of the genre’s digital age.
Jammy produced Wayne Smith’s Under Mi Sleng Teng, a 1985 song that announced computer beats to dancehall. That rhythm drove a number of hit songs including Pumpkin Belly by Tenor Saw.
During the 1980s, Jammy’s Waterhouse studio was the place to be. He produced numerous hits including Two Year Old and Punaany (Admiral Bailey), Agony (Pinchers), Water Pumping (Johnny Osbourne), Serious Time (Admiral Time), and Peenie Peenie by Shabba Ranks.
Born in Montego Bay, Lloyd James relocated to Kingston as a child. Growing up in Waterhouse, he made a living as an engineer, building amplifiers and repairing electrical equipment at his mother’s house.
Shortly after, he started a sound system, but in the early 1970s James migrated to Canada. He returned in 1976, built a recording studio in Waterhouse and worked as an understudy with King Tubby.
While he is known for the uptempo techno beats, King Jammy produced one of the outstanding albums of the roots-reggae era — Black Uhuru’s debut, Love Crisis in 1977.
Under Me Sleng Teng was his game-changer. Co-composed by Smith and musician Noel Davey on an inexpensive Casio keyboard, it was first played at dances by Jammy’s sound system.
Lloyd “King Jammy” James wasawarded an Order of Distinction by the Jamaican government in 2006 for his contribution to music.
So why isn’t King Jammy not talked about by Jamaicans the way Bob Marley is? Because neither is mother or father were white so he never got the stamp of approval from white people. Unfortunately, most Black people (especially in Jamaica) only value what white people tell them is valuable.