By: Joseph Cunningham
'Poor people fed up to how the system sheg-up, dem issue gun fi yuh pickney buss!' These are words from a song recorded by one of the most decorated artistes in Jamaica's secular music history, Bounty Killer.
The song examines a few of the challenges faced by youths in Jamaican inner cities.
Mystery Bless is a Gospel artiste who lived a life that epitomizes the Jamaican inner-city experience. He was christened Roger Linton and it is arguable that the line of the christening prayer, which says, " I now pronounce him a well blessed child," has certainly enforced a divine intervention in his life.
He grew up and still lives in Tavern, Papine. One of four sons overseen by his single mother; today he is one of two brothers still enjoying the privilege of "state freedom." His eldest brother was notorious in crime and is now deceased, while another who followed the notorious trail, is currently behind bars.
"Before accepting Christ I was fond of the thug lifestyle too. Lots of girls, parties and the guns were always visible to me," Mystery Bless recalls. He was also a Dancehall artiste, and admitted being influenced by Bounty Killer's music.
The change in his lifestyle began through his mother's insistence that he attend Sunday school. He got baptized at age 11 but revealed that he still continued in his "retched" ways. Well, "The lord had ordained my salvation," is what he strongly believes, adding that he got to a stage in his life when he made up his mind to "live right."
With the moral support of elder brothers at the Church of Jesus Christ United Faith Apostolic, he has progressed and now is an ordained minister, the youngest in his church assembly at age 21. One of his greatest spiritual gifts is preaching, which is combined with his now renowned dynamic live performances. Mystery Bless came to prominence when he upstaged the headline act at a concert in Jamaica. He recalls, "When the show promoter realized what was happening, he ordered that my set be cut short."
At this point he is not signed to a major record label, but said that he is not worried as he is waiting on the lord to provide the right deal. He can be seen at gospel concerts with the likes of DJ Nicholas, evidence that the leading Gospel artistes have recognized his enormous talents. He revealed that his manager does not have to be a Christian, neither does the producer have to be; "The message must be powerful so as long as there is mutual respect I'm willing to work."
Look out for Mystery Bless; you will witness his transformation.