Words by Jesse Serwer
This past Saturday, April 2, would have been the 45th birthday of one of reggae/dancehall’s golden voices: Garnet Silk. A supremely righteous, one-man antidote to the slackful ’90s, Garnet Damion Smith (“Silk” was a reference to his supernaturally smooth vocal tones) helped bring cultural consciousness and spiritual themes back into fashion in Jamaican music in the early 1990s. He was, many say, on his way to becoming his generation’s Bob Marley when he was killed in a house fire while attempting to rescue his mother in December, 1994, less than three years after the release of his breakthrough recordings. Today, Silk is regarded with reverence by the over-30 dancehall crowd but is little known outside of the Caribbean music world. Here’s a look at some of his quintessential recordings, all from his brief heyday between 1992 and 1994.