By Jacob Katel
By Laurie Charles
By Nate "Igor" Smith
By Abel Folgar
By Kat Bein
By Jacob Katel
Alternately known as everything from King Shango and King David to the Fireman and the Prophet, Capleton is a legend in his own right, one of the first to take dancehall back to its roots. Born in rural Islington, Jamaica, in 1967, he moved at age 18 to Kingston to pursue a music career. In 1989, a concert with Ninjaman got him hooked up with Philip "Fatis" Burrell; soon afterward came his debut single, "Bumbo Red," featuring sexual lyrics considered risqué, even for dancehall.
But Capleton was no one-trick pony, and in the ensuing years, he became known for infusing his jams with social consciousness, as well as delivering a growing Rastafarian message. It was his knack for beats and melodies, however, that garnered him crossover success in the States, most notably with hip-hop remixes of "Tour" and "Wings in the Morning." The late Nineties and the turn of the millennium saw Capleton again get rootsy, although he increasingly has been accused of writing homophobic lyrics. His most recent album, Rise Them Up, was released last May.
The Marleys: Julian, Stephen, Damian, and Ky-Mani
They hardly need an introduction, but these four brothers Marley head up the day's lineup. Julian, born in London in 1975, released his first album, Uprising, at the tender age of 14. His most recent disc, 2003's A Time and a Place, was produced by himself and brothers Stephen and Damian.
Stephen played in his early years with Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers, and with Ziggy founded the Tuff Gong subsidiary Ghetto Youths. Lately he's been a frequent collaborator with 30-year-old brother Damian, whose solo albums he's produced. He now lives in Miami, where he runs Lion's Den Studio.
Damian's career started slowly, but things blew up with his 2005 album, Welcome to Jamrock, featuring its hip-hop-inflected title track. The album charted on the Billboard Top 10 and won a 2006 Grammy for both best reggae album and best urban/alternative performance.
Finally, Ky-Mani, although up till now a relatively overlooked Marley son, makes a triumphant return to his hometown of Miami, on the heels of the winter 2007 release of his hip-hop-flavored album Radio. Not only is he the star of BET's show Livin' the Life of Marley, but also he just finished up a successful, high-profile national tour with Van Halen.