King Yellowman has an incredible history in Reggae music and is considered one of the biggest reggae artists since Bob Marley. For one night only – Sunday, June 14th – he will be performing in Mozambique’s live lounge.
Yellowman began life in Jamaica with two strikes against him – he was born an albino, which is not at all socially accepted in Jamaica, and was raised in a poor orphanage. Undeterred, at the age of 15 he won a significant talent contest in Kingston called “The Tastee Talent Contest.” His life was never the same again.
Through the 1970s and early ’80s,King Yellowman became a leading favorite in Jamaica and eventually was releasing as many as five albums a year. Within just a handful of years, he was the best-selling Reggae artist in Jamaica and abroad, second only to Bob Marley.
While his influence significantly changed the coming world of hip-hop he, himself, struggled with skin cancer in 1983 and was given a death sentence with jaw cancer in 1986.
At that point, he took an extended leave of absence and had a large portion of the lower side of his jaw completely removed to exonerate the tumor. Think this guy went to hiding under the bed? Nope. He re-emerged in the early 1990s with his comeback song, Blueberry Hill, and eventually dropped his racier lyrics for socially conscious material that has seen him rise once again to international fame.
Stars such as Notorious B.I.G, Tupac Shakur, Sublime and Buju Banton credit Yellowman for their own rise to fame, and his signature riffs and rhythms are alive and well in top hip hop and rap artists’ work today.
I’m not saying this guy is for everyone – until recent years, he has not been the gentler side of Reggae (i.e. One Love, Three Little Birds by Bob Marley. This, however, is one very rare appearance of historical Reggae significance.
Tickets for Yellowman are $15 in advance, $20 day of show; 18 and over only.
General admission rules, so expect standing room only unless you get there during warm-up talent Einstein from 5 – 8 p.m.