By: Jigga Mattic
Photo By: Carlington Wilmot
Albinos are a persecuted bunch. Just look at the Tom Hanks' movie, 'The Da Vinci Code' where an albino villain plays a prominent role in the film and you'll get an idea of what we're talking about it.
Arguably Jamaica's most famous albino, deejay Yellowman is a legend in the lexicon of dancehall music. During the 1980s, he captured the public imagination with a string of sexually charged hits that exaggerated his sexual prowess, and established his reputation as an awesome, if foul-mouthed toaster. As the 80s wore on, he continued to churn out the hits, and in the process, eventually overcoming the pariah status normally accorded to albinos in society.
In the early 1990s, Yellowman struggled with skin cancer, lost a significant portion of his jawbone to the disease, disfiguring his face permanently. Later, Yellowman took a deep introspective look into his own life, and reinvented himself to some degree with his 1994 album 'Prayer'. Followup albums such as 'New York' in 2003, and 'Round 1' in 2005 walked that same path of new-found spirituality as Yellowman sought to redefine himself as an artiste in the new millennium. To his credit, he has continued to remain relevant. Last year, he scored a radio hit single with Dave Kelly.
"Right now, I am working on an album which will be released next year," he told a YardFlex.com reporter while they chatted in the V.I.P section at the annual Rising Stars finale. "Five tracks are already complete, but I am not rushing it, I want to do a good job. Dave Kelly is also working on a new riddim and I will be on it...I am just going to keep on working."
Yellowman will be heading to Spain soon where he will do a series of gigs during a two-week tour of Spain. In December, he has already been booked for a number of stage shows in Jamaica.
Still, Yellowman has been making the news recently as he became embroiled in a bitter feud with deejay Beenie Man over the latter's use of the 'King of the Dancehall' title to show his supremacy in the business.
Why do you think that you and Beenie Man fail to get along?
"The reason why is that I am known all over the world, and he is only beknown in America, specifically areas such as Connecticut and New York, that is the main reason. The problem I have with Beenie Man is that him no real, he is a disgrace to the fraternity, the culture and the music. Him can diss me all him like, but him caan diss the Jamaican public. What kinda ting that him say inna Riddim magazine? If me ugly, him pretty, me know say me wear shirt, him wear blouse, me wear pants, him wear skirt."
Yellowman was making reference to a statement Beenie Man made in Riddim magazine regarding a number of other deejays in the fraternity including arch-rival Bounty Killer that suggested: "He's (Bounty) a great artiste and he's ugly, too. He's got a rough thing about him, Jamaicans like that from the Shabba Rankin' days and the King Stitt days and the Yellowman days. They like ugly people."
Yellowman is particularly incensed at what he dubbed "Beenie's hypocritical ways".
"The man no real, him see me at a foundation show a few months ago, and him embrace me backstage, and the man even introduce me to his mother. Then me see him at Coco T show last year, and the him hug me and big me up, and now this. The man is a hypocrite," he told YardFlex.com.