26 Nov 2009

General Trees & Black Scorpio




General Trees is widely regarded as the best Jamaican speed rapper of his era, the "fast style" of delivery commonly accepted as arriving in Jamaica from the UK, through London-born Phillip Papa Levi. He first found fame as a sound system star, working on Maurice Johnson's Black Scorpio system, which he had followed since the 1970s, his brother having preceded him as a deejay on the system. His name was given to him by Barry G, who thought he sounded like "a General with three voices in one". When Johnson opened his own studio, also named Black Scorpio, he began producing recordings, including those by artists that had performed with his sound system, including Trees and Lord Sassafrass. His debut single, "Mi God Mi King", topped the Jamaican singles chart, and a string of hits followed, including "Heel And Toe", "Monkey And Ape", "Ghost Rider", and "Crucifixion", although his best-remembered song is "Mini Bus", which lamented the demise of the "jolly bus", and which was awarded the title "Song Of The Year" in 1986 from the Jamaica Broadcasting Corporation. The award raised his profile and he went on to record for a variety of producers in Jamaica. Further hits followed with "Gone A Negril" (second in 1986) and "Calling All Higglers", and he contributed to a "clash" album, Battle Of The Generals, that featured versions of "Lambada" and "Think Twice". Trees also recorded combination hits including "Coke Pipe" with Fancy Black, and "Nightmare" with Little John. In the early 1990s he again worked with Johnson, who also acted as his manager, but a falling-out between the two led Trees to work for other producers. Although he never repeated his earlier popularity, he had some success with "Eye Nah See", "Great Jamaican Jockeys" and "Goodie Goodie". He was less active during the late 1990s, although he recorded "Lik Him But Nuh Kill Him" for Linval Edwards in 1999. After that he was largely silent until he reunited again with Johnson in 2005, recording new songs including "Run di Place Again", "Mother of the Land", and "She Says She Loves Me". A tour of Europe with the Black Scorpio sound system followed in December 2005. He then began working with the Stur-Gav sound system. During breaks in his career, Edwards fell back on his other trade of shoe-making.

Discography

(Wikipedia) Let me know if you have some additions.

3 comments:

  1. With no disrespect to these great LP's, don't sleep on B. Dixon's Kangal label's Ragga Ragga Raggamuffin; Kangal label at its tweaked out best, w/ General Trees just killing it on pure Kangal riddums.....would love to see more Kangal up here, never saw that Cosmic Force Musical Encounter b4, keep up the great work on this dope blog!!

    big respect,

    fadda mush
    www.myspace.com/alparagus

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'd be pleased to recieve some Kangal contributions from you.

    ReplyDelete