'No time for negativity. No room for foolishness as the man sey.'

'Superb collection of classic seventies deejay sides from Prince Jazzbo including the killer trinity of Step Forward Youth, Every Nigga Is A Winner and Kick Boy Face. Jazzbo may never have reached the critical heights of his peers Big Youth or I Roy or even the widespread popularity of Dillinger, but with his dolorous delivery and stentorian pronouncements he held his own and his records are now so evocative of the times.' -Dub Vendor

'Are there better Prince Jazzbo records out there? Probably not. This one might not have all the hits, but for those in search of one Jazzbo record to put on the shelf, this one is it. That being said, how is the music? It depends what your stomach is for this stuff. In the late '70s, the rest of the world discovered Jamaican DJs. This led to a lot of recording sessions -- maybe too many. There's a samey quality to this stuff that can start to wear on one, especially as the rhythms used here are limited. Certainly no one could claim to be dreader than Jazzbo, and there's a certain pleasure to be had in deciphering the lyrics he offers in his thick patois. But if there isn't an absence of serious intent, there might be an absence of hope or even the stray bit of levity. This is an angry man. Rightfully so, but it's a vibe much closer to gangsta rap than it is to the cerebral musings of most of the bigger lights of reggae toasting. If you're a fan of dancehall and you're looking for the roots, well, you've found them.' -AllMusic Review by Rob Ferrier

'This reggae collection is not your father's Bob Marley collection. Reggae is generally heard as relatively gentle stoner sounds whose revolutionary underpinnings are pretty well buried in the agreeable sonics of the music. The rock critic Lester Bangs went to Jamaica in the 'seventies to meet Marley and the bilious writer reported back to his Creem readership that the ascendent legend-to-be was just a typical mush-minded hippy. Bangs liked musicians with an edge and at the end of the day the "I Shot the Sheriff" guy didn't have it. 

Bangs probably liked/woulda liked Prince Jazzbo. Jazzbo's not so much a strident politico as he is a full-on thug. He's reggae's answer to gangsta rap. His "flow" is not so much "sick" as it is intimidating. Jah's moved Jazzbo to kick Babylon in the crotch. This makes for pretty exciting listening - likely the equivalent of the rush one might have gotten at a Black Panther rally back in the day. The adrenalin rush will have the mellowest of tuned-in hippies punching air after hearing "Step Forward Youth," "Black is Power" or, certainly, "Kick Boy Face." Let Bob Marley have his spot in grandma's record collection; Prince Jazzbo will take his in the music machines of those looking to kick the status quo in the nads.' -boydblake


Prince Jazzbo
Text by Harry Hawks

One of the most distinctive deejays of the seventies who, in the following two decades, carved out a similarly successful second career as a record producer.

Born Linval Carter in Chapeltown, Clarendon on 3rd September 1951 Prince Jazzbo's early childhood was spent in Blackwood and from the age of eight onwards he lived between his mother's home in Clarendon and his aunt's home in Spanish Town. He came by his nickname very early on and long before he ever thought of taking up the microphone. His family in England would send him shoes from London with GB for 'Made In Great Britain' printed on the soles and young Linval became GB which then became Jazzbo. As a child GB would sing in his village and everyone loved to hear him sing. At the age of ten some "big men" took him to May Pen with a view to recording their local prodigy but nothing came of it. 

Increasingly drawn towards the world of sound systems Jazzbo's favourite sounds in Clarendon were Brisco Hi Fi, which belonged to his uncle, and Franklyn Brown's sound Brown Disco. On the Spanish Town circuit he followed Killer Whip, Wasp The Almighty and Ruddys Supreme Ruler Of Sound and his interest in actually becoming a deejay began with Sedrack sound. Jazzbo cites DJ Wicked from Ruddys and El Mango as his biggest influences. By the age of fourteen Jazzbo was a regular mic. man for Killer Whip. He had received a lot of encouragement along the way from Whip, the sound owner, and producer Glen Brown but Jazzbo's aunt actively disapproved of his love of music and sound systems. She felt so strongly about it that she turned him out of her Spanish Town home and, by the age of thirteen, Jazzbo was, literally, living on the street: "I don't know what it means to be anything but a survivor and I don't want to know anything else". 

Spanish Town, New Years Eve 1970: In the crowd at a sound clash dance between I Roy on the mic. for Ruddys and Prince Jazzbo for Killer Whip was none other than Clement 'Coxsone' Dodd(CS Dodd). He was so impressed with Jazzbo's performance that he asked him to come down to Studio One the next morning. Jazzbo met with Mr Dodd a few days later but had to wait a fortnight until he was able to voice Burning Spear's 'Door Peeper'/'Door Peep Shall Not Enter' rhythm. The record entitled 'Imperial I', Prince Jazzbo's first, was released six weeks later. The Prince stayed with Mr Dodd at Studio One for the next "two and a half to three years". Jazzbo released a number of classic singles for Studio One on the Bongo Man label including 'Crab Walking', 'School' and 'Pepper Rock' during this period. But Coxsone's album 'Choice Of Version', which showcased the Prince in fine style over some of Brentford Road's finest rhythms, remained unreleased until 1991. 

As well as recording for other producers Jazzbo started to produce records for his own Mr Funny, Count 123 & Brisco labels in 1972. Glen Brown stepped forward again when, instead of paying Jazzbo $150 for 'Mr Harry Skank', his explosive version to 'Dirty Harry', they agreed on $75 and for Jazzbo to have a cut of Glen's 'Glen Brown At Crossroads' rhythm for his own use. His first self production was 'Crankie Bine' "voiced by King Tubbys at his Dromilly Avenue studio for free. I paid $35 for a set of stampers and $80 per hundred to press my first records." Jazzbo left twelve copies "on consignment" (sale or return) at Joe Gibbs Record Globe and twelve more at Randys under the same arrangement. But KGs at Cross Roads ordered twenty five copies, paid for them and went on to sell hundreds more to local record buyers. "The record was a success" and it paved the way for his second self production 'Wise Shepherd'. 

The most vituperative of all deejays Jazzbo now began to make his mark with a series of classic self produced seven inch releases such as 'For Star', 'Mr Funny', 'Every Nigga Is A Winner' and 'Step Forward Youth'. There was never any room for misinterpretation on his records and the listener was left in no doubt as to what he meant and the message that he needed to deliver. Prince Jazzbo's vitriolic work was always focused and in deadly, dreadly earnest "I won't lay down or talk of foolishness... No time for negativity. No room for foolishness..." His long playing debut for The Upsetter, 'Natty Passing Thru', proved extremely popular when it was released in the UK on Black Wax and also in the USA where the Clocktower counterpart was entitled 'Ital Corner'. 

The 1975 feud between Prince Jazzbo Spanish Town deejay Prince Jazzbo remains one of the most talked about episodes in the history of Jamaican music. Jazzbo recalled the beginning of the recorded rivalry: 

"I had gone to King Tubbys studio. When I arrived I saw I Roy with Bunny Lee, Tappa Zukie and Scientist. Tubby was preparing to voice I Roy and as he 'set up' and balanced I Roy he pressed the 'record' button. It started as a 'run down' and I Roy began insulting me on the microphone. Everyone in the room laughed except me! Bunny Lee said he was going to release the tape.....and he did! This was the origin of the tracks". 

He never liked the idea at all but he had no choice to respond as "it was just like a sound system duel" and Jazzbo gave as good as he got with 'Straight To I Roy's Head' and the barbed 'Gal Boy I Roy'. 

Jazzbo then spent three years in London where he established the Ujama label. "Ujama is Swahili for self help....it was hard for small people to do business" and on his return to Kingston began to produce "a lot of little youths" for his label. As computer driven rhythms came to the fore the Ujama label, which proudly proclaimed "Made in Jamaica by Rasta Man", was to be found at the cutting edge of this revolutionary new music. Horace Ferguson's 1983 release 'Senci Addick' was one of the first breakthrough digital hits. An excellent U Roy version 'Music Addick' followed and a Jazzbo produced U Roy album 'The Seven Gold' was later given an international release as 'Music Addict' on RAS. Prince Jazzbo "always lived good with everybody" and he later voiced his old rival I Roy for Ujama and up and coming deejays such as Cobra and Papa San. Veteran vocalists also appeared on the label including Dennis Walks and Freddy McKay alongside newcomer Frankie Paul whose 'Here We Go Again' on the 'Rubber Dub Market' album is one of his best ever. The Ujama label was seriously prolific... raw, basic and unadorned the majority of these stark recordings now sound even better than they did at the time... and they sounded really good then. 

One of the most original and provocative deejays of the seventies Prince Jazzbo's work as a producer in the eighties and the nineties proved to be every bit as forceful... and successful. His longevity in a business famed for its rapid turnover of talent is a testament to his unwavering stance and commitment.

1. Prince Jazzbo - Mr Funny 3:20
2. Jazzbo All Stars - Mr Funny (Version) 3:09
3. Prince Jazzbo - Step Forward Youth 2:57
4. Prince Jazzbo - Black Is Power 3:05
5. Prince Jazzbo - Kick Boy Face 2:22
6. Jazzbo All Stars - Kick Boy Face (Version) 2:51
7. Prince Jazzbo - Jazzbo's Mercy (Aka Youth In Service) 2:55
8. Prince Jazzbo - Every Nigga Is A Winner 2:48
9. Rosey Davis & Prince Jazzbo - Crankie Bine 3:08
10. Prince Jazzbo - Let Go Donkey 3:04
11. Prince Jazzbo - Stealing 3:21
12. Prince Jazzbo - Freedom 2:51
13. Jazz Mazwhoto - Free Dub 2:50
14. Prince Jazzbo - Jamaican Collie 3:56
15. Prince Jazzbo - Wood & Stone 3:02
16. Prince Jazzbo & The Selected Few - Sin & Shame 3:00
17. Prince Jazzbo - For Star 4:28

Notes
Incl. booklet