Shinehead, the 80’s dancehall toaster who fused hip-hop with reggae to push Jamaica’s home-grown music into the most flourishing era for most Caribbean recording artist is back on the New York scene.
Returning for a free Summerstage stint at Crotona Park in the Bronx on Saturday, the electric performer promises to exercise the same stamina he regularly showcased before moving to Florida a decade ago.
Paired with Sister Nancy for a pre-Jamaica Independence Day afternoon concert, the two veteran deejays will likely reprise the best from their long discography of hits.
Shinehead who was signed to Elektra Asylum Records was reputedly the leader of the pack when the label inked a deal in 1988 that endured through 1995.
At that time, the Kent, England-born, shiny-haired, Bronx resident whose Jamaican parents named him Carl Aitken blazed a trail for colleagues who tested the Jamaican youth beat against the American, Black, youth rebellious rap by “toasting” lyrics of impact.
He reworked Sting’s pop-flavored “Englishman In New York” to an anthemic, infectious club and radio favorite declaring “I’m a Jamaican in New York.”
As the crack / cocaine epidemic infiltrated communities throughout the USA, Shinehead toured the nation’s schools talking with students who echoed his “Gimme No Crack” admonition.
On her launch into the US marketplace, Epic Records British, soul singer Sade made a single request to her promotion team when the label planned her launch party.
That Shinehead attend.
A declared fan, Sade hosted the premiere event held in her honor with the assurance that a pioneer would attend.
To say Shinehead was the Don Dada could only be refuted by SuperCat who coined the phrase as a supreme claim to his rule of the genre.
Shinehead’s reign had him scaling huge speakers at Jamaica’s Reggae Sunsplash, jumping across barriers and crossing wide angles to reach his audience.
Energetic and lyrical he talked, rapped and registered notes of influence to his crowds.
Other hits by Shinehead include – “Who The Cap Fits (Let Tem Wear It), “Unity” “Troddin’,” “Praises,” “The Real Rock,” “Cigarette Breath,” “Do It With Ease,” “Billy Jean,” “Strive” and “Chain Gang.”
The video for the latter was the first to be shown during a regular season episode of the now classic Yo-MTV Raps in 1988.
As for Sister Nancy, she is revered world wide as the first female dancehall deejay. The first female deejay to mount an international tour, like Shinehead she was born in the same year (1962) and blazed a trail for women in the genre.
Lady Saw, Sister Carol, Tanya Stephens, Patra, Macka Diamond, Lady G, Shelly Thunder, Carla Marshall, Lorna G, Lady English, and Lady P. all benefited from her bold embrace of the male dominated genre.
Described as being a “dominating female voice for over two decades” on the dancehall scene, Wikipedia documents her most famous songs as “Bam Bam” which is also labeled as a “well-known reggae anthem” by the British Broadcasting Corporation and a “classic.”
Some may recognize her as the younger sister of veteran deejay Brigadier Jerry.
However, her entry with him as an already established deejay proved a bonus for the genre. She tackled the 1966 Toots and the Maytals hit “Bam Bam” with a version that has been sampled in 73 songs.
In 2016, her version was sampled in the controversial song “Famous” by Kanye West.
Her hits include:”One Two,” “I Am A Geddion,” “Ain’t No Stoppin’ Nancy” “A No Any Man Can Test Sister Nancy,” “Bang Belly,” and collaborated with Yellowman on “Jah Mek Us Fe A Purpose.”
Check out the dynamic duo.
J Misbehaviour is also slated for the old-school fusion union and reunion which begins at 5 pm in the Bronx.