Tony Rebel Dubplates

“A fresh deejay is coming, heading for the number 1″. These words Turned out to be profoundly prophetic as Tony Rebel burst upon the scene in 1987 (?) and quickly established himself as one of the premier DJ’s of the day. In fact of the many big names ‘running tings’ back then, his is probably the one most commonly heard in the dancehall today. Tony inherited a proud legacy of Rastafarian accomplishment in the dancehall arena. This began in earnest with the likes of Father U-Roy, I-Roy, was passed on to Brigadier Jerry and now the spirit resides in Tony Rebels soul. Yes, there have been many other great artists, but there seems to be a mystic (undoubtedly natural) force which links these three in particular. Even their voices have the same ‘sweet’ quality making their positive vibes especially easy for avid listeners to enjoy.

Tony has taken the ‘singjay’ technique to impeccable levels. He remains a beacon, a solid rock upon which the opressed can depend for love and support. Every time he speaks, those who are so often ignored are heard; the mothers, children and youth man who struggle just to make it by each and every day. Yet his message is not for no one group nor class, but for all to revel. Nothing other than positivity, and livity emanate from his soul which warms those it touches. His popularity and respect among both the deejay fraternity and dancehall massive more than attest to this.

In 1993, Tony Rebel’s popularity in yard led to a contract with Columbia. Unfortunately, ‘sign of the times’ did not perform well in the profit oriented US market. As always, it featured Rebel spreading nothing but conscious vibes, but it seems that the US just wasn’t ready for a ‘cultural revolution’. Tony Rebel’s name was more apt five years ago; he was indeed a rebel, rallying against the slackness and guntalk which permeated the arena. Now, however, due much in part to his voice, not to mention that of the great Garnett Silk, a number of prominent artists such as Capleton, Buju Banton, and Terry Ganzie among others have found Selassie I. One can only hope that Rebel’s continued presence allows this trend to expand…