U-Roy obituary

Of the many innovations Jamaican music has offered to the world over the past 50 years, the lyrical art of “toasting” has had perhaps the most profound and long-lasting impact. A stylised, poetical form of chatting and scatting, it was brought to prominence in the early 1970s by the reggae deejay U-Roy, who has died aged 78, and has fed into many musical forms, from hip-hop to grime.

U-Roy – whose real name was Ewart Beckford – did not actually invent toasting: that distinction is usually given to his fellow deejay Count Machuki, who began talking over songs at Jamaican sound system dances in the late 50s. But it was U-Roy who took it on by leaps and bounds, and it was he who successfully brought it into the recording studio, popularising the artform first in Jamaica and then around the globe.

via U-Roy obituary.

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