Words by Jesse Serwer—
Tu-tu tweng! Junior Reid is reggae’s king of collaboration. From the start of his career, “JR” has always been a team player, forming the vocal group Voice of Progress after early work as a youth on Augustus Pablo’s Rockers International label, and later stepping in as the lead vocalist for Black Uhuru following the departure of Mykal Rose from that group in the mid ‘80s. An appearance on Coldcut’s “Stop This Crazy Thing” in 1988 (and the worldwide success of “One Blood” in 1989) led to features on records by such non-reggae artists as The Soup Dragons and Poor Righteous Teachers in the ‘90s. It wasn’t until the following decade, though, that Reid’s range really came into focus with appearances on hit remixes for Mims and Alicia Keys, and original tracks by The Game and Wu-Tang, among others. And we’re not even talking about his countless combination tunes with other reggae artists, as well as productions for Jamaican acts like Ninjaman. (There’s a whole separate post there).
Here at LargeUp we’re psyched to have one of our all-time favorite reggae artists on the bill as we present Chronixx and Junior Reid live at Central Park Summerstage July 26, alongside the Rice and Peas crew.
Here’s a look at some of Mr. One Blood’s best, most notable and most unexpected cameos and collaborations.