It's All About The Music 

Gone Too Soon

DJ Arafat
(January 26, 1986-August 12, 2019)

           Just after 8 a.m on Monday morning, word started spreading that award-winning Ivory Coast artist "DJ Arafat", known to family as Ange Didier Houon, had been in a fatal motorcycle accident following what turned out to be his final performance, a show at Hypnotic, a popular dance club located in Abidjan, Cote d'lvoire. He was thirty-three years old.  Fans were completely distraught, filling social media outlets with their love and condolences, along with actual videos of the aftermath, which were haunting, to say the least. Police eventually had to manage crowds in front of the hospital where Houon was transferred to; over one thousand fans who were chanting "Arafat Cannot Die!" and singing his hit songs.

Dj Arafat was a beloved member of the Southwest African music scene. He received "Best Artist of the Year" at the Coupe-Decale Awards in both 2016 and 2017. He also won the categories of "Best West African Video" and "Best African Performance" at the WatsUp TV Africa Music Video Awards in 2016. From 2003-2018, he had released eleven albums.

Nipsey Hussle

Mac Miller

NPR Tiny Desk Performance August 8, 2018

Gregory Isaacs

A sad autumnal Monday morning started our week yesterday (25/10/2010) with the news that ‘The Cool Ruler’, Mr. “Night Nurse” Gregory Isaacs had passed forward to take his rightful place alongside Bob Marley, Dennis Brown and Alton Ellis to name but a few of the many other fabulous reggae Kings’ we have lost over the last thirty years To play on from the realms of The Most High singing songs of glory unity and love. Inspiring upcoming artists in the industry and leaving fans, friends and family with so many golden memories to hold on to.

I grew up on Gregory ‘The Cool Ruler’ and recall many a Saturday nite inna shabeen (darkened dancehall, usually an illegal basement underneath a club) holding a rude bwai close, as we boacy (slow danced) to the ‘Rulers’ smooth tones. Winding waists locked in close as we sang along, Gregory was definitely the King and founder of the genre ‘Lovers Rock’, the term Jamaicans aptly named reggae ballads, played slowly that spoke of love, heartache and( erm excuse me), sexual prowess.

Born in Kingston Jamaica, Gregory Alton Isaacs first came to the limelight in the late sixties, winning local competitions on the reggae circuit and establishing himself as a force to be reckoned with from then. However, it wasn’t until two years later that Gregory had his first big hit when he released “My Only Lover” a duet with the fabulous Errol Dunkley (singer of the hit Okay Fred) on their own record label ‘African Museum’ Isaacs who was signed to Virgin in the late seventies and had a plethora of number one hits right thru the seventies and eighties, alongside the afore mentioned musical heroes, Bob Marley and Dennis Brown will
definitely be remembered for putting Jamaica firmly on the map as the reggae capital of the world.

Not only a leader in the vocal forum, Gregory Isaacs will be remembered by some as an accomplished actor, who starred in one of Jamaica’s finest movies Rockers (1978) alongside other big names of the era, Jacob ‘Killer’ Miller, Dillinger and the wonderful Burning Spear (currently touring USA). The movie was originally to be a documentary and although took on a little fictitious tale, is to this day still a very clear depiction of how the industry runs at ground level in Jamaica.

There is currently nowhere on the internet one can hide from the loss of one of the worlds greatest reggae artists, folks from all walks of life and all genres of the industry are leaving tribute to Gregory Isaacs, his career ended sadly and there are stories erupting that attempt to undermine the many years Gregory Isaacs was at the fore front of building the reputation of Jamaica as the “easy cool and laid back” island it is, the reggae industry and his indisputable part played in boosting the islands economy by encouraging an influx of curious tourists. Regardless of all these there can be no argument that Mr. Isaacs impacted the entire globe with his music .

I will never forget Gregory who passed sadly after losing his breathe to cancer. He was and always will be, ‘The Coolest Ruler’ in my books, and until I also take my last breathe will never be forgotten RIP Gregory Isaacs Sir, may your music resound from the heavens and play in houses streets and dance halls for evermore.

Went to a dance last Saturday night I was feeling tipsy, the mood was right Sight a little daughter steppin' out the corner 'cause I feel like dancing all night

But I told her: Cool down the pace for me little woman you're coming in to fast for me

Cool down the pace for me little woman that's not how it should be
I told her to try I dunno why She keep on trying be she can't and so she do it how she want

And so I told her: Cool down the pace for me little woman you're coming in too fast for me Cool down the pace for me little woman that's not how it should be

( snippet taken from " Cool Down The Pace ".... my first 45 single purchased from Pekings Record Store )

Review and tribute by Ms P
copyright 2010 all rights reserved.


Jerry McGinnis

One of the finest guitar players and
human beings to ever live in the
Pacifc Northwest

Jerry and I played together in a band back in the eighties and we had a lot of good times, lot's of laughs and spirited jams on and off stage. Always a superior guitarist above me, Jerry never tried to take over the stage or steal the spotlight from anyone, he just played well consistently and kept a smile on his face. His diligence and work ethic was also second to none. When I saw the Backfire band In Concert last year, I watched in amazement as Jerry laid down the hottest, tastiest and smoothest guitar chops of anyone to ever come out of Western Washington. I wish I had made more time in my life to be a real friend to Jerry but we lost touch through the years. There's never been anyone in the music business who knew, played with or heard Jerry McGinnis who had something bad to say. Jerry was a true showman and left his personal problems off stage and gave the audience and the band 110%. He leaves behind many musical brothers and sisters and will be remembered forever. We are lucky to have known Jerry in this life. Hopefully we will all meet again in the next.

Bruce J Maier

Life and music are not endless, for there are beats and rhythms which were sounding long before we came. The heartbeats of humanity and the steady pounding of the surf to the shores, the echoes of the whale's songs and the crying of the Albatross above. And long after we have escaped the bounds of this earthly phase, these sounds will continue as will the beats and rhythms and the words which we have created and left behind as our legacy. Our intention in this publication is not to bring you down or to dictate philosophy but to be at times a mere conduit with which we may reflect and to celebrate the lives of the music makers who have made this world a better place and who have now departed , yet have left us with a permanent record of their contribution and spirit.

Rest In Peace

Michael "Eyedea" Larsen
Trinity Lost

Go To Rhymesayers and read the articles and watch the videos. Trust me. You need to.
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