King Jammy’s “The Rebirth Of The Cool Ruler” – Gregory Isaacs
Iconic reggae and dancehall producer, King Jammy (Lloyd James), digs into his master recording archive and brings the legendary Gregory Isaacs‘ late 1980s/1990s catalog to a new generation by pairing him with veterans Shaggy, Sean Paul, Bounty Killer, Junior Reid, Chaka Demus, Alborosie, Bunny General, and Ras Shiloh and now generation artists Jesse Royal, Projexx, Aza Lineage, Ras Demo, Brandon The Messenjah, Claire Angel, and Flinix.
Born Lloyd James and initially known as Prince Jammy, he became the undisputed King when digital production took over Jamaican music in the mid-1980s. His influence on the development of dub music and reggae production is incalculable.
Having refined his mixing acumen under his mentor King Tubby in the late 70s, Jammy developed his own aesthetic as reggae turned the corner into the 1980s, enhanced by access to the most relevant new artists from his neighborhood of Waterhouse. First with Black Uhuru, then with an array of singers including Johnny Osbourne, Barry Brown, Junior Reid, and most famously Wayne Smith, whose “Under Mi Sleng Teng” is considered transitional marker in a globally influential continuum of music.
By the 1990s, King Jammy’s productions and his soundsystem were synonymous with reggae and dancehall itself. He has also overseen one of the most successful clashing soundsystems in the world for three decades and was honored with a tribute set at Reggae Sumfest 2023 in Jamaica.
Gregory Isaacs, OD, (1951-2010) is one of the most important and prolific singers in Jamaican music history. His “Night Nurse” (1982) is one of the most popular and recognizable songs in the entire reggae cannon, streaming more than 100 million, as of 2023.
One of the cream of reggae’s gifted crop of singers to emerge in the 70s, he remained relevant for decades, finding his stride at the apex of the Lovers Rock era, with “Night Nurse,” “Top Ten,” “My Only Lover,” and “Soon Forward” helping define the genre. He stayed at the top of the game as reggae embraced digital production, with the iconic “Rumours” for Gussie Clarke.