Doublelion Army, in association with Haso Live present Jamaican dancehall legend, Jr Reid, along with Andrew and Wadda Blood Reid on Thursday, March 18 at Harlows in Sacramento at 10pm.
Reid was born in the Tower Hill area of Kingston, and had a tough upbringing in the city’s Waterhouse district, notorious for being one of the most dangerous places in Jamaica. It was there in the politically turbulent late ’70s that he recorded his first-ever single “Speak the Truth” at the age of 13 for the late Hugh Mundell, released in Jamaica on Augustus Pablo’s Rockers International label, and popular as an import single in the United Kingdom. UK label Greensleeves Records followed this with “Know Myself” in 1981. He then went on to form his own band, the Voice of Progress, and after a local hit with “Mini-Bus Driver” the group scored local success with an album of the same name.
By the early 80’s, commissioned by the great Sugar Minott to record a number of tunes on Minott’s Youth Promotion label, enjoying considerable popularity with tracks such as “Human Nature”, “A1 Lover”, and the evergreen “See How Me Black See How Me Shine”, an uplifting and proud statement that became an anthem to the ghetto youth whom Reid increasingly championed. Reid was present at the 1983 shooting death of reggae singer Hugh Mundell; he was travelling in the same car as Mundell in Kingston. After the death of Mundell, Reid transferred his talents to King Jammy’s studio on St. Lucia Road where his fast-growing success rose yet another notch.
“Boom Shacka Lacka” was his first UK hit and led to another exceptional album. After a number of fine singles – which included “Youthman”, “Bank Clerk”, “Sufferation”, “Give Thanks and Praises” and “Higgler Move” – his chance of a wider international audience came with the offer of replacing Michael Rose in Black Uhuru. Always a strong follower of Black Uhuru, and with a similar vocal style, Reid slipped into Rose’s shoes with ease. The collaboration on his first Black Uhuru album, the Grammy-nominated Brutal, in 1986, was well received by all.
Two years and two albums later, Junior’s interest to produce material for himself, and desire to regain his domestic popularity, drove him back into the solo arena and back to King Jammy’s studio, as well as setting up his own JR label.
Reid had a number 21 hit in the UK in 1988 with the collaboration with Coldcut, “Stop This Crazy Thing”. He had an even bigger hit in 1990, with “I’m Free”, recorded with The Soup Dragons, reaching number 5. Meanwhile, 1989’s “One Blood” saw him re-established at the forefront of the reggae scene.
Following in their father’s footsteps, Wada and Andrew Blood have chosen a career path of music. The two have been heavily influenced by their father, Junior “One Blood” Reid, but have an extremely different style from him. Their music is described as a cross between hip-hop, dancehall and reggae ballad, which gives the young Bloods their uniqueness.
Andrew and Wada are two exceptional and unique Jamaican artists. Their songwriting skills have also placed them as outstanding and promising talents for current and future generations. They are among the most idiosyncratic personalities in the music industry as they are not only reggae and dancehall artists, but also producers and studio engineers who create their own styles and beats that they put their lyrics to.
Most of their lyrics or ideas for their music are based on everyday-happenings, which come from snippets of conversations and images. The beats that they create soar above everything else, rather than blending in to the singing. The beats are simple but different with special effects.
They learnt this trade from hanging around the studio on weekends as teenagers while listening to their dad voice tunes. Having learnt this trade early they have now blossomed into the fine artists and producers they are today. They have produced songs for a number of prominent artists including their father, and are signed to the label JR Productions.
The world-quake rhythm is the latest addition to their belts. This rhythm is produced and created by both Andrew and Wada. Artists such as Junior “One Blood” Reid, Elephant Man, Munga, and Gyptian have been featured on the rhythm. These two remarkable young artists have toured and performed triumphantly in places such as Japan, Trinidad & Tobago, Bahamas, Barbados, Europe, California, Belize, Mexico and North America, and have appeared before an audience of approximately 20,000 patrons. In fact, they have been performing since they were youngsters. Jamaicans would refer to this as “from dem eyes deh at dem knees”.
Their earliest performances were at Reggae Sun Splash and they have continued to perform locally at shows, such as, Sting, Rebel Salute, Jam Jam, and East fest, and internationally at shows, such as Reggae on the River.
Some of the songs that they have both written and co-produced are; “One stick a matches”, “Watch over me”, Gal Hafi BAL”, “Drop It Pon Dem”, and “Want Tek Life”, a collaboration with their father. The budding stars continue to blend hip-hop with dancehall, and this is highlighted in their exciting single, “Hustle Til the Day I Die”. “Hustle Til the Day I Die”, which was produced by Firelinks, created waves on the popular dance scenes – Bembe, Hot Mondays, and Early Mondays. Soon after the song hit the charts the duo dedicated the song to all hustlers, claiming that Jamaicans were the greatest and most successful hustlers.
Many people connected with the song and even volunteered to appear in the video in support of the message it carried across. “Hustle till the day I die” received incredible reviews, and successfully soared to number seven on the charts. In May of 2008 Andrew and Wada Blood gave a stunning performance at the Heineken Green Synergy Party, which was held in the British Virgin Island of St. Thomas. They had young girls screaming and begging for more. After charting their way with “Hustle Til the Day I Die”, the Young Bloods released another single, “It’s my time”.