Renegade Productions and KTKE proudly present Jamaican reggae superstars: a double bill with Capleton and Cocoa Tea on Thursday, February 18th at The Tahoe Biltmore Casino in Crystal Bay, NV at 9:30pm. $20 tickets are available at the venue, at Java Hut, New Moon Natural Foods , Alice¹s Mtn. Market (Squaw), Tahoe Hemp and Mad About Music (south shore) and Recycled Records (Reno) or online.
Capleton Os lyrics are deep, precise, and thoughtful. His stage shows are nothing less than dynamic, explosive performances. But his remarkable staying power and longevity may be Capleton¹s greatest gift.
Born Clifton George Bailey III on April 13, 1967, in the rural parish of St. Mary, Capleton earned his future stage name from friends who were so impressed with his sharp reasoning skills that they named him after the most famous lawyer in town. From a tender young age, he was a lover of the traveling sound systems, sneaking out at night to catch the vibes until dawn.
Even as he uplifts the black race, Capleton always makes a point of clarifying that he does not seek to alienate any race. ³We are not being racial nor prejudiced star,² he says. ³Becaw we know Jah is for everyone. But where history and prophesy in concerned, that is our witness and we have to be ourself, and we cannot hide from the truth. Caw we woulda be a traitor and a sellout to ourself. And you cannot sell out yourself.²
Capleton is now at the height of his powers and have brought a ceaseless string of sound system favorite and dancehall chart toppers like the anti-violence anthem ³Jah Jah City² and ³Good In Her Clothes,² a message of respect for the sisters who carry themselves like Empresses. But even as he completes his mission of upliftment, Capleton has had many critics. One of his biggest hits, in fact, is addressed the naysayers in the press and the ivory towers of power. ³Critics won¹t leave I alone,² chats the Prophet. ³They say they can¹t take the fire weh me put pon Rome²
Many of Capleton¹s songs ³and most of his critics² make mention of this blazing fire. Capleton hopes to clear up the confusion once and for all. ³Is not really a physical fire. Is really a spiritual fire, and a wordical fire, and a musical fire. You see the fire is all about a livity.
Cocoa Tea was born Calvin George Scott in Kingston Jamaica on September 3,1959, he began his career as a teenager from the exposure gained by singing in church and school choirs, recording his first song, “Searching In The Hills” in 1974.
With no success, he worked the next five years as a race horse jockey (he now owns a number of horses) and as a fisherman. He got back into music by working with various sound systems where many get their chops, and Cocoa Tea (named for his love of the hot beverage) began to gain notice for his work in the dancehalls.
A move to the big city of Kingston in 1983 was next, and he met up with top producer Henry ‘Junjo’ Lawes recording his first hit songs “Rocking Dolly” and “I Lost My Sonia.” He also released his first album, “Wha Them A Go Do, Can’t Stop Cocoa Tea” on Lawes’ Volcano label in 1985. Over the next three years he recorded four albums all filled with solid production and songs by this lyrically conscious singer with producers Lloyd ‘King Jammys’ James (The Marshall and Come Again), the Firehouse label (Cocoa Tea), and Witty’s label (a clash album with Tenor Saw). He hit huge in 1989 with “Who She Love” for King Jammys when teamed up with the current top dancehall DJ/rapper of the time, Shabba Ranks, and singer Home T (Mikey Bennett of the Home T Four).
The trio then also worked for ‘Gussie’ Clarke’s Music works label and recorded “Pirates Anthem” that was huge worldwide reggae hit also that year. Cocoa Tea’s career moved forward in the 90’s recording more hits with songs like “Riker’s Island” and “No Blood For Oil”, and “Oil Ting” which was banned in Jamaica for it’s biting social commentary during the Gulf War. He recorded another album for King Jammys in 1992 called “I Am The Toughest” in which the highlights of this and his other two Jammys album’s tracks are included on this CD.
Cocoa Tea has continued to record hits for various producers in the 90’s including “Holy Mount Zion” for Digital-B in 1995, “I’m Not A King” for Exterminator, and a remake of Bob Marley’s (one of his biggest inspirations) “Waiting In Vain” with DJ Cutty Ranks in 1997 to name a few. In 1998, Cocoa Tea started his label called Roaring Lion, releasing a number of singles by him and various artists, and his first album release, “Holy Mount Zion” on a major label (Motown /Tamla) of his late 90’s hits. This singer, over his career, has established himself a one’s reggae’s most loved artists for his smooth melodic approach, and his “take no prisoners” style of conscious lyric as well as sugary love songs. “Sweet Sweet Cocoa Tea” is indeed a well-earned name.