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Itâ€™s the seventies and Reggae is rocking the world and Jamaicans are feasting on a steady diet of music. Each song is a potential hit. The genre is the main sounding board for Rasta and also bears responsibility for giving the worldâ€™s underclass a voice. This decade is the islandâ€™s most creative musical era. Everyone is at his peak.
Artistic rivalry is intense but friendly and the finished products will prove to be some of Reggaeâ€™s finest. Jamaicaâ€™s musical court is headed by Bob Marley, Dennis Brown Alton Ellis, The Heptones, Third World, Burning Spear, Black Uhuru, Jimmy and Jacob Miller.
The rivalry is not limited to singers and writers but also extends to the production community. Once again the fabled Studio One Label is positioned at the forefront of this, Jamaicaâ€™s newest music revolution. Head honcho, Coxone Dodd, spits out a new crop of artists and among them is the sensational deejay duo, Papa Michigan and General Smiley. The twosome eagerly accepts their roles as pacesetters of a new and exciting period in dancehallâ€™s history.
Michigan and Smiley get out of the blocks quickly as the single, â€śRub A Dub Styleâ€ť, hits the local charts in 1978. It is their first commercial success. Consecutive chart toppers follow to make dancehall anthems of,â€ť Nice up the Danceâ€ť and the monster hit, â€śDiseasesâ€ť (all penned by Papa Michigan). As chief rockers, their rapid success is enough to establish Papa Michigan and Smiley as one of Reggaeâ€™s most prolific musical forces.
Now a solo artiste, Papa Michigan continues to write record and perform groundbreaking material. The 2004 album, "It's All Goodâ€ť, yielded the hugely popular underground single "400 yearsâ€ť and recent releases "Barack Obama", "Hustler", & "These Streetsâ€ť has served once again to reinforce his artistic brilliance. Now conscious of the need to be relevant, Michigan is employing a variety of strategies including a unique fusion of streetwise hip hop flavor that he blends with his native sound. Donning the caps of songwriter, producer and performer, it is evident that Papa Michigan has not only mastered several areas of the business but has continued to blossom over the years.
His success as a producer for such powerhouses as Luciano, Glen Washington, Tristan Palma, George Nooks and Half Pint, has done little to quell his premier his passion. Performance and recording still beckons. â€śLove Izâ€ť, his current album has answered that call.
This seventeen track package is a potpourri of styles that maintains a Reggae foundation as it incorporates a plethora of twenty-first century concepts in rhythms and sounds. From â€śYutz of Todayâ€ť, a raw and rootsy drum and bass dancehall single to the title track,â€ť Love Izâ€ť, a sweet featuring a blend of vocals and deejay toasting and rap with generous sprinklings by some beautiful back up harmony this album showcases the genius of the artiste. Another track, â€śBest Friendâ€ť demonstrates Papa Michiganâ€™s acute sensitivity to the changes that determines an artisteâ€™s success or failure. â€śBest Friendsâ€ť while heavily influenced by R&B remains an authentic dancehall piece. To put it simply; â€śLove Izâ€ť a masterpiece.
After years of working behind the scenes, Papa Michigan has returned to the performing arena without losing a beat. In his own words, â€śit takes an experienced soldier to lead an armyâ€ť. With so many fans thirsty for good music and traditional dancehall fun, who is better equipped than Papa Michigan to take command?