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.
Yellowman is the king of dancehll. any other king is “burger king”. Of course many others have also claimed the dancehall thrones as theirs; from Beenie Man to Vybz Kartel to Shabba Ranks. Yellowman, however, was the first to take dancehall music on an international level.
Before he came to prominence in the 1979 Tastee Talent Contest, the albino was scorned in Jamaica.
But Yellowman wore his pigmentation like a badge of honour, boasting about his ‘yellow baby’ in songs like I’m Getting Married In The Morning, and styling in gold track suits.
Born Winston Foster, Yellowman was abandoned by his parents as an infant and spent his formative years in children’s homes in Kingston and St Mary.
He finished third to Nadine Sutherland and Frankie Paul in the Tastee Talent Contest and never looked back. Being an albino made him a dancehall novelty and a favorite in the sound system arena.
In the early 1980s, Yellowman became the flagship artiste for producer Henry “Junjo” Lawes’ Volcano label.
Lawes’ links with the fledgling Greensleeves record label in the United Kingdom made him a star there and helped pave the way for him signing with Columbia Records.
Yellowman remains one of dancehall/reggae’s best touring acts. With the Sagitarius Band, he became a dancehall forerunner in Latin America and the Middle East.
Most importantly, Yellowman is a trailblazer.
As a social force, he opened new doors for the ostracised albino. Other artistes such as Mellow Yellow and Purple Man followed, but never made the impact of Yellowman.
So why isn’t Yellowman talked about by Jamaicans the way Bob Marley is? Because his mother and father were both Black so they 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.