Words by LargeUp Crew, Photo by Martei Korley
As the drummer of the Roots Radics, arguably Jamaica’s most powerful and revered studio session band, Lincoln “Style” Scott helped defined the rockers and rub-a-dub sound of the early ’80s, laying the foundation for dancehall with his disciplined, precise style of playing. The spacious drumbeat Scott is known for left plenty of room for Flabba Holt’s heavy basslines and dub effects, as they (along with guitarist Eric “Bingy Bunny” Lamont and a cast of musicians including keyboardist-turned-producer Wycliffe “Steelie” Johnson) backed Gregory Isaacs, Sugar Minott, Bunny Wailer and Barrington Levy, to name a few.
While it might seem like a simple kick, snare, kick, snare pattern to the casual observer, there’s pretty much no drummer who can play it as perfectly, and with the right feel as Scott did. Or as hard; his powerful snare hits often had the effect of gunshots or heavy-duty machinery slapping against a wall.
Scott would also make powerful contributions in the field of dub, playing on Scientist’s early ’80s dub LPs with the Radics, and joining Adrian Sherwood’s Dub Syndicate from the mid 1980s onward. Scott remained active on Jamaica’s studio scene until the present moment, laying down riddims with his long-time batterymate Holt right until his passing. He even played on “Sugar Water,” a favorite tune from one of our favorite new artists, Hollie Cook. In recognition of Scott’s remarkable contributions to reggae, dancehall, dub and music in general, we’ve selected 10 classics tracks that represent his style.